Monday, May 28, 2012

New York City....

So, if you don't like rambling blog posts and a few pictures, you may want to skedattle.  

Why did we go to NYC?  Well, because we wanted to.  The truth of the matter is I have ALWAYS wanted to go to NYC.   Like since I was little, but there was never a great time to go.  I have always been too responsible to do "fun" things (yes, there is a little regret there, from being too responsible...Mom, I should have listened to you!).  Anyway,  Bj gave me a personal challenge, and he said we could go to NYC as soon as I achieved my goal.  Well, I achieved my goal...and so we started planning the trip.  Little things or big things tried to thwart our plans, but we made it, and I am so glad we got to go.

Here's how it went down.  We left Thursday morning at 4 a.m. to get to Phoenix for our flight that left at 7.  Got to NYC at 3 p.m.   I took my first taxi ride, and that was an experience, to Bj's best friends house in West New York, NJ.    I felt so blessed to be staying at Derrick's house.  What a great friend to let us stay at his place so we could afford this little dream of ours.  That night, he also took us out, with his two sweet girls in tow, and showed us how to be real New Yorkers.  I was so impressed with him!  And I felt super lucky to have someone introduce us to the city like that.  I think I might have felt a little lost without him, but he showed us the way, and made me feel like NYC was my second home.  We walked all over the city, and didn't get back to his house until 11....then we worked hard (and failed) to get tickets to a broadway play for the next day.

Friday morning we had a plan, it was a pretty good plan.  Get up early, 6:30...and start the day with a bang. Go to breakfast at Sarabeth's (this was DELICIOUS...can I just say Lemon Ricotta pancakes).  Then go to get tickets for a show we wanted, then go to the temple, then to ground zero, etc...  

We didn't get the tickets we wanted after waiting for an hour in line, so we just headed to the temple, hoping we could get tickets later when the TKTS booth opened at 3.  The temple was amazing.  I loved seeing how they made the temple work in the CITY.   The building was beautiful, the people were kind, and we were both impressed by the spirit there.  Its amazing to come in from the craziness of the city, to the beauty and peace of the temple.  I loved adding this to our trip.

So, we were off to get tickets.  I wanted ticked to the show ONCE, but as we got to the ticket booth, we realized the wait would be INCREDIBLY long.  VERY long.  I bagged it.  We are only in NYC for a weekend, I don't have time to wait in line all day.  I headed over to the box office of "It's Nice Work if you Can Get It" with Mathew Broderick, bought the cheapest seats in the house, and washed my hands of it.  Then, we were off to Ground Zero.

At this point, Bj was done with the dress clothes he had on. So, we stopped at this little cafe.  I got us a little snack, WATER, and found an outlet to charge our dying devices.  This was a fun spot to just stop, relax, and take it all in.

We got to Ground Zero, and truly, I felt it.  The something happened there.   There was a heaviness in the air, and a peaceful calm as well.  We really wanted to get tickets to go see the memorial, but the tickets were for 6:00 p.m., and we had tickets to the show.  So, we couldn't do it all.  Bj was bummed, this was the one thing he wanted to see there.    But, at least we got to go down there.  

At this point, my choice of shoes is making me wonder if I am insane.  I just wore flip flops, but they were not the comfy kind.  We had been walking all day.  And I LOVE walking, but my feet were crying a little.  But, just a little.  We kept walking from the World Trade Center site, to SOHO to go to dinner.  I had so much fun snapping pictures of buildings as I was walking.  There was some amazing architecture, and I LOVED it.

We parked it at the Cowgirl cafe.  This restaurant had some great BBQ for Bj and a superb salad for me.  It was nice to sit and let my feet rest for a bit.  At this point, it was getting a little windy and cold for me.  It was in the 70's, and this is pretty cool for an Arizona girl.    After dinner I picked up some supplies to paint my nails while we were there.  I learned a very important lesson....99 cent polish is worth, 99 cents.  Next time, just spring for better!  I'm learning.

That night, the show was so fun.  It was a fun, light hearted musical, and Mathew Broderick was great.  Bj and I had a blast being there together.  We got back to NJ at about Midnight...and since that is 9 in Tucson, I stayed up and did my nails, and read a book.  

Maybe not the best choice.

Saturday....we didn't get up at 6:30.  It was 7 or 7:30...and then we got going.  We walked around the city a little, and then went to the MOMA.  I love modern art, totally one of my favorites.  Maybe not the crazy art, but I love simple lines, the slightly crazy stuff.  Anyway, much of the art was my cup of tea.  And, some of the art was a little too crazy for my tastes...but still interesting.

After the MOMA, we walked 5th Avenue.  We walked into just a couple of the stores.  I think Bj didn't love this part of the trip.  Its true...we can't really afford anything in Saks.  But, I think it is a little fun to look at all the things other people are crazy to buy.  We also went to Tiffany's.  I found some amazing jewelry I will never have.  Luckily, I don't really have a need for it, so it all works out!

We made our way to Central Park.   I love the view from the park...  It seems like such a calm area, but then the city is right there, looming!  We met up with some friends who came from Boston to hang out (Shawn and Jhordan).  The park was beautiful...but we wanted to go see the off we went.
Parts of the Guggenheim were being worked on, so we did a little fast walk through of what was open and available, and then made our way to Brooklyn.  This was a little bit of on adventure on the subways.  Luckily, I just left it up to Bj and Shawn, and they found the right way to go, and we finally got to Brooklyn.

We waited in line for a bit to enjoy this pizza.  But, at least we had each other to make the time go fast.  When we finally got our pizza, I wasn't sad we had waited.  This was DELICIOUS pizza.  Super delicious!  After dinner, we walked the Brooklyn bridge back to the island, and it was a beautiful night to be walking.  I tried to get everyone to go clubbing...but no one took me up on it.  
Got to bed early....midnight.

Sunday was our last day there.  We wanted to make it to the 9 a.m. ward.  At 7 when the alarm went off, I looked at Bj, and he just said...we'll go to the 11 a.m. ward.  Thank goodness, we slept a few more minutes.  We had a few things to do around the city before we could get to church, so we hiked all over the place, and then made our way to church.

This ward made me want to move to NYC for real.   Okay, NYC made me want to move there, but this ward cemented the idea in my head.  The talks were amazing, the choir was even better, and the whole experience was great.  Really, I am so glad to have the opportunity to go to different wards whenever we travel.   We spent the rest of the day walking around central park, and sitting and relaxing for a bit.

This was such a great trip for me, for us.  We haven't been on a trip, just the two of us, in 12 years.  Too long.  We've decided we need to be more fun.  We need to start having the experiences we want to have, NOW, not later...when the kids are grown, or things are easier, or when we have tons of money.  We just need to make it happen now, when life is imperfect.  

When we got home, Bj started looking for jobs with his company in NYC.  Not seriously...just glancing at what there is....let's hope he keeps glancing.  I would love to live in the big big city!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I love to look for Rainbows....

My little Elizabeth was baptized today.  She went outside this morning to take pictures and was freezing cold....Tucson in May, is not quite freezing, but it was under 90 degrees, so it was cold to Elizabeth.  Getting ready this morning was fun.  Hair, dresses, getting the house prepared for the party afterward....and then, miss Elizabeth tore her dress.  Of course, we didn't find the tear until we were supposed to be leaving.  Thank Goodness I have a sewing machine always ready to go...2 minutes later, we were on our way.

Here's the baptizee and the baptizer...I love that Bj is a worthy wonderful priesthood holder.  He is such a good dad, and my children are so blessed to have him as their dad.  I love that as Liz came out of the font, she said, "I feel so warm inside, but I feel cold outside."  She has already started to benefit from the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  I love that.

My parents came to town for this special day...being close enough to family that we can be together for the most important days, is pretty awesome.  

Me and my super special wonderful amazing Elizabeth.

After all the fun.  I got to crash...old school style...with my dad.  If it were true old school style, I would be cuddled up to him, but this was good enough.  A little napping together is pretty great!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Miss Liz...

Hello world.  Yes, we are alive.  But barely.

Okay, better than barely alive.  We are so blessed in so many ways. 

 I have been aware and mentally preparing for Elizabeth's baptism in a couple weeks.  The actual preparations have been harder to get to.  So, on one of the best days ever (Mothers Day), I have had the fun opportunity to spend a little time with one of my favorite kids.  Taking her picture, and playing with her is always fun.  My Elizabeth has the kind of personality that lights up any room.  She is so sparkly.   I love that even as a baby she had this spunk, this bright spirit.  I love that nothing can dim her.  She is full of light, and I love to bask in it!

In two weeks, I get to be with her as she gets baptized.  I'm so excited.  There is nothing like watching one of your children make a covenant with Heavenly Father.  Even with all the worries of the day, the logistics of it all, the Spirit is so strong, all that other "stuff" melts away into nothingness.  Thank Goodness!  Even though we live far from all our family,  on this day, family feels close....because I am reminded that Family is Forever.  

On this mothers day, I have to say, I am so grateful to be a mother.  I am grateful that my babies yell for me when they are excited to see me.  I am grateful they scream for me when they are sad.  I am grateful for slobbery little kisses.  I am grateful for late night snuggles when they are scared.  I am grateful for small hands that fit so nicely in mine.  I am grateful for unconditional love.  I am grateful I have magically taught them all that I have no faults (I know....this is bad, in a few short years...they will discover the truth on their own).  I am grateful that they have taught me what true love is.  I am grateful for the peace when they are asleep, and the insanity when they are awake.  I am grateful for their humility.  Most of all, I am grateful for the woman they are helping me to become.  Through them, I have learned my life's greatest lessons, and I am sure there are thousands of lessons yet to be learned. 

 I am grateful for motherhood.