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It’s Okay to Talk about the Good Stuff

Let me start by saying I wrote this in two parts. I started it in July when I was 24 weeks along. I held off on posting it because I wanted to see how things would progress and I was wary of appearing as though I’m “bragging” on my pregnancy. But after so many conversations regarding the negativity surrounding pregnancy, I decided to share my experience. Because I know that short of my son becoming a serial killer, nothing can take away the past 37 weeks.

Also, I have been incredibly fortunate to have had an easygoing pregnancy. I absolutely understand this is not the case for everyone and many people have a very difficult time. I send love and light to all of you growing your family, however that may be.

For the past 33 years, I’ve been lied to. Duped. Had. Fooled.

As most of you know, Jay and I are expecting Baby Boy Koman at the end of October. I never understood why people would tell you they are over the moon, but reader, we are absolutely over the moon.

I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but I’ve always DREADED the idea of pregnancy. Getting fat. Destroyed vagina. Hideous stretch marks. Hormonal cranky mess. These are the images that pregnancy conjured up for me. I used to joke that if we could afford it, I’d get a surrogate in a heartbeat (or wait until science figured out how Jay could gestate the baby).

Y’all, the past 9 months couldn’t be further from what I had imagined.

At times, I felt strong. And powerful. I ran a 10-miler. I squatted a bajilion pounds. I beat people in flywheel sprints (while still coming in a respectable top 10 in the class). I became more connected with myself, both mentally and physically.

My and Jay’s relationship has grown stronger. I have loved watching him be excited, supportive, scared and build nursery furniture. This time has been a wonderful reminder of why we chose each other. We shockingly loved our 3-hour weekly Hypnobabies dates. We have managed to keep our cool, save for some occasional snapping which is usually fixed by eating (you guys know that food fixes everything in this house). My hormones have shockingly been more in check than when I’m not pregnant.

Yes, things are sometimes uncomfortable. My tailbone quit around week 12. My digestive system is a mess. Around 33 weeks, my body decided it was no longer meant for spin bikes (I am nowhere nearly as active as I was as when I wrote that earlier 10 miler/flywheel/squat BS paragraph a few months ago – how annoying is that person???). Yesterday, I thought my skin was going to stretch off my body. Random nerve pain. Back pain. Sciatica. Lightning crotch.It’s all happening. He’s been super chill in utero which caused SO. MUCH. WORRY.  I am QUITE anxious about what baby’s arrival will do to my semester. And I’m concerned that I’ve underestimated the pain of actually pushing this person out of me.

What I’m saying is that like anything else in life, nothing is perfect. I am full of discomfort and worry and aches and fear of the unknown. Not to mention, I’m bringing a Black and Jewish child into 45’s America….we’ll save that for another day.

But goddammit, I am SO excited. Every time this kiddo pokes his butt through my belly (he get it from his mama?) or stretches his legs or shake his big ol’ head, I am filled with delightful anticipation of what’s to come. I wonder who he’ll be, what he’ll look like, what we will teach each other. Will he have his parents’ annoying extraversion or will he keep more to himself? Jay’s gnarly feet or my perfect toes? Armstrong neuroses or the Koman varietal??? These thoughts subdue my angst and my cold heart thaws a bit more.

How cute is my lil nugget??? That nose!

Monday, October 2nd  marked week 37 aka Baby K is officially full term, which is surreal. Reproducing is the most basic thing you can do as a being, yet there is still something so magical about it. I know I will miss this feeling. I sometimes think about the hollowness that will exist afterwards. And then I remember all of the love that has already flowed into this child, that I hope he’s able to give back to the world around him. It reminds me: why worry about feeling empty, when my heart is already so full?

(Because life is full of irony, the day I posted this, I found out Baby K decided to flip himself into a breech position. When he arrives, he’s immediately grounded.)


Candace Gatherings Global Cuisine Holiday Komanfest Thailand What I ate in....

We Survived the First Year of Marriage….and all we got was a trip to Thailand!

Photo by Julian Mackler, Rockhouse, Negril, Jamaica, Day after Blewish Wedding

People LOVE asking newly-married people the same question:

“How is the first year of marriage???”

That is QUITE the question. Do you give the expected, “It’s been wonderful!” and go about your merry way?? Or do you keep it (too) real with the “It’s mostly great, except for the times I want to kill him/her!” and laugh like it’s a joke even though you really mean it? I tend to go with a big ol’ grin and say “We made it!”

So, you’re probably wondering, how WAS the first year of marriage??

It was beautiful. It was terrifying. It was heart-breaking. It was educational. It was earth-shattering. It was hard. It was easy. It was enlightening. It was full of breathtaking highs and gut-wrenching lows. But most importantly for us, it was a strong and enduring partnership between two people who (thankfully) really, really like each other.

I can’t and wouldn’t want to give people marriage advice because every relationship is so singular. But I do have a couple of suggestions. These might feel painfully obvious, and if so, use them as needed reminders:

  • Regardless of who you are with, those highs and lows will happen. Be with someone that you can’t WAIT to celebrate those amazing moments with and who will never leave your side during life’s darkest days.
  • Take some time to learn who you are and how you operate within your marriage/relationship. We are all constantly learning and evolving as individuals, but I had to understand what type of a partner I am. Be patient with yourself and your significant other as you learn how to function as a team. Don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t organically happen immediately.
  • Spend time with each other and if you can, get the hell out of dodge! Maybe you don’t have the time or credit card points to go across the world (what, you thought we actually had the money to go to Thailand??); so road trip an hour away to a B&B or shut out the world for one night by turning off your phones and computers, make dinner, and talk to each other.

So yes, we SURVIVED the first year of marriage. If I’m being honest, I think I love Jay a little more than I did in April of 2015. And that, to me, is the biggest indicator of a successful first year of marriage.



Okay, yes, Thailand, the important part!  Our wedding anniversary is the same week as both of our birthdays (I know, so obnoxious, right???). So for our first anniversary and 32nd birthdays we went to Thailand!! I wrote a very, very, very long post about our trip, so I’ve broken it up in parts.

Want to read about what we ate and loved??? Check out the Thailand Eats post.

What to read about what we drank??? Thailand Boozing!

Want to read about the most disappointing $450 meal ever at the TOP restaurant in Asia. Read on about Gaggan. Be warned, lots of snark.






Welcome to Eats, Cooks & Drinks!

Welcome to Eats, Cooks & Drinks! I’m Candace Armstrong Koman, a 31-year-old woman who has been living in Washington, DC for way longer than I ever imagined I would. I think of myself as a southern girl with a northern mentality. I’ve been eating and cooking my way through life and have finally decided to start my own space where I can share my kitchen creations and culinary adventures. I’m a cilantro-obsessed, carnivorous creature who dabbles in the occasional Meatless Monday.

I’m a lover of mimosas, vodka and Thai food and hater of cucumbers and olives. I’m the kind of girl that will go to town on a fancy, overpriced meal and then two nights later, enthusiastically devour some street meat (#TWSS). In April of 2015, during the week of our birthdays, I married Jason, the love of my life. He recently convinced me to get the sweetest pit mix ever, who we named Rosé (yes, like the wine). Thankfully, he cooks too so we’ll be showing off his skills as well!

My journey has been a little crazy, slightly boring, a bit hungover, a tad cliché, and somewhat messy. But no matter what, it has always been delicious. I’m so excited to navigate new recipes, restaurants, and adventures and can’t wait to eat, cook and drink with you!