New Site

Hello!

If you’re still getting updates here and following along on our journey, thank you! This space has reminded me that I really enjoy writing and I want to spend more dedicated time honing that craft. This blog has allowed me to get my feet wet a bit, but it no longer feels like the space that fits what I want to say. So, with a lot of encouragement from Brett and lots of time to think and pray about what this writing journey might look like, I’ve started a new site. This new space feels a bit more like a home for my writing — a place where I am proud to share my stories. I felt like I needed a fresh start, and I hope you’ll join me there. I’m not taking this site down, as I’m really thankful to have it to chronicle our first couple years in New York City, but I will be posting only on the new site from now on.

Here’s the link: http://www.bigskytobigapple.com/

Yes, it’s the same name, but I’m using a different hosting site with a little more flexibility to make it my own.  Hope you’ll join me over there!

Cheers!

Jodie

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March 2016 – In Pictures

Norah’s absolute favorite thing to do is read books.  Which is great, because it just happens to be my favorite thing too.  She takes her job of saying good-bye to her library books seriously.  She looks at each cover, says “Good-bye” to the characters, and places the book in the return bin.  There have been times she accidentally puts two books in at once and forgets to say good-bye to one of them.  So she tracks down the librarian to get the book from the bin for her so she can say a proper good-bye.  It’s awesome.  Usually our closest library is crazy busy, but one magical morning in March we had the whole children’s area to ourselves for about half an hour.  Glorious.

Norah and I tagged along with Brett for one of his work trips to Noway.  It was an incredible vacation.  This is just a sneak peek, but I’m hoping to do a whole post on our trip soon.

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Norah had preschool the day we returned from Norway and could not stop talking about how excited she was to see her teachers and friends the whole way home.  She had her outfit planned out, right down to her “pinkest, most sparkly tutu”.  She ran right to her classroom and promptly told her teachers that her favorite part of Norway was the hotel swimming pool and making orange juice at the breakfast buffet every morning.  Glad she got the whole European experience.

March saw lots of rainy days, which translated to lots of art at the kitchen table.  Sometimes in a swim suit and sun hat just to will warmer weather to come.

I got to spend a quick weekend in Sacramento to be in the wedding of one of my dearest friends, Jen.  We played basketball against each other since 6th grade, officially met our senior year of high school and were roommates freshman year of college.  It is impossible to spend more than 10 minutes with her without laughing and feeling so loved.  Every detail of this wedding was so beautiful and intentional and I was honored to be a part of it.  20160322_212705

Daphne and I spent a much needed catch up evening at Sweet Revenge, one of my favorite little spots in the West Village.  Their specialty is pairing cupcakes with wine & beer.  This was technically for Daphne’s birthday, but we both had long weeks and it was such a treat to take a deep breath and have a real conversation with a good friend.

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One of the moms in Norah’s preschool class organized an Easter egg hunt picnic after school one day.  We love Norah’s school and she adores her teachers and classmates.  But I knew for sure that we picked the right place when one of the moms pulled out a bottle of Prosecco for the adults to enjoy at our noon time picnic.  Yes, please.

She had another Easter egg “hunt” at church on Sunday.  It was more a game of “pick up the eggs off the floor before anyone else” but all the kids had fun.  Then on Monday morning she promptly put on her swim suit, asked for all of her eggs, and began organizing them.  I totally get the desire to organize her eggs and candy, but I have no idea where this need to be in a swim suit is coming from.

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know Brett and Norah go on a Saturday morning run & coffee date most weekends.  I rarely join them, but after a busy start to the month we needed some family time so after a morning coffee date with a friend, I took the subway and met them La Colombe, where they stopped for coffee and a treat.  Side note: La Colombe now serves three of their coffee drinks on draft.  The latte that Brett ordered was delicious.    Then we walked to the Imagination Playground at South Street Seaport before finding lunch at one of the cute little restaurants in that area.  We hadn’t walked around there at all, but it has a very old-town feel with cobble stone streets and lots of fun little shops right on the water.  After lunch, Norah fell asleep in her stroller.  It was a gorgeous day, so Brett suggested we walk home.  “It should only take about an hour”, he said.  I checked my Google maps.  “It’s almost 5 1/2 miles.  It says it will take two hours and a half hours”, I said.  “We can stop for ice cream”, he said.  “Okay”, I said. And I’m glad I agreed, because other than the fact that we were pushing a stroller, it felt like a mid-day date that only cost us the price of a couple milk shakes.

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That same night we met our sweet friends Chris & Hope for Indian food at one of the many great restaurants on Curry Hill.  I can’t remember which one this was, but they’re all so very yummy.  Couple friends are hard to find, but these two are just so fun and we love our time with them.

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Rainy days mean indoor play dates.  Thankfully several of Norah’s buddies live in our building so we can just trade apartments every afternoon.  Kids are happy and moms are happy.  This one particular afternoon these two played “Doc McStuffins” for about an hour.  They even set up a clinic underneath our kitchen table.  I guess that’s what you have to do when you live in an apartment — create new rooms in any space you have.

I love this series of pictures of Norah playing dress up and practicing her moves from ballet class.  She asks Brett to be her prince and dance to the Sugar Plum Fairy song at least two or three times a week.  I’m not sure if her love for ballet will last past these preschool years, but it’s certainly her passion right now.

February 2016 – In Pictures

20160205_084907February started off right — with catching snowflakes on our tongues.

We celebrated Brett’s birthday with our first trip to Dizzy’s Jazz Club.  Jazz music with a backdrop of Central Park at night is hard to beat.  Then we punched our “official New Yorker” card with dinner reservations at 9:30 at Marta.  We ordered dessert after my usual bedtime and I felt super cool.  And you guys, we even met friends for a cocktail after dinner.  I know.  We’re crazy.

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Norah can now hail a cab, get in, tell the driver where we need to go, and carry on a conversation with him.  City kids, man.

There were Chinese New Year festivities all over the city.  Norah and I walked up to Lincoln Center one afternoon to catch the dragon dancers.

We’ve been playing a lot of “hide and seek” lately.  This is the game that parents perfect their acting skills, I’m pretty sure.

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But this shot Brett grabbed of Norah peeking around the door when he “couldn’t find her” made all of the acting worth it.  She looks so grown up to me in this photo.  We might as well just submit this to her senior year book because I see glimpses of adult Norah in her face.  And yes, this game of hide-and-seek was in the middle of a dress up session.

We hadn’t been to the American Museum of Natural History in a while, but they just opened a new area with the biggest dinosaur found to date.  It’s tentatively named the Titanosaur and it doesn’t even fit in the giant room.

Breads Bakery opened in our neighborhood and we rejoiced with a family outing to try some of their goodies.  Yum.  We’ll be back.

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Shovels & Rope opened for Jason Isbell at the Beacon Theater, so we had to go.  If you haven’t heard of either of these artists, go check them out.  Jason Isbell was new to us, but we saw Shovels & Rope a few years ago at Sasquatch.  They are so fun live and just really great songwriters and musicians.

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These two had many afternoon painting dates.  I haven’t been invited in awhile, and that’s okay.  Norah has figured out that my artistic abilities are not represented in picture form.  Brett recently asked, “Are all of your drawings rainbows?” Why yes, they are.

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Brett and I went to see Mike Birbiglia‘s new show, Thank God for Jokes.  I was sick for two days before the show and almost didn’t go, but powered through and it was well worth it.

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Brett had this gorgeous bouquet delivered for Valentines Day.  A good friend of ours just launched a flower business with a friend, so it was even more special because she designed it.  Norah went to her first drop off birthday party on Valentines Day, so Brett and I snuck away for a lunch date at Caffe Storico while she partied.  Win, win.

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And one last picture of our favorite little New Yorker.

January 2016

Okay, so I’ve realized I can no longer keep up with a weekly update like I was doing for the last year and a half.  For one, it’s time consuming, but I also want to focus on a different kind of writing – more like the last few posts.  However, I’m not a scrapbooker and these weekly updates were a way to document this life here so I didn’t want to give them up.  My goal this year is to do one recap each month instead of one each week.  Feel free to hold me accountable!

Here’s a look back at January…

Big City {Parenting} Lessons Learned:  If you’re curious about something, ask.  If it means getting down on the floor to dig deeper, get down on the floor.

It’s no secret if you’ve met Norah or read anything I’ve written about her that she is an outgoing, curious little lady.  This is never more evident than during our weekly trips to Trader Joe’s.  She knows many of the employees now, and they know her by name or at least by remembering the details of a conversation they have had with her before.  Like every other grocery store in this city, Trader Joe’s is usually pretty busy.  We do our best to avoid the rush by going early.  Norah knows the drill by now – if it’s too busy she has to stay in the cart, but if the aisles are fairly clear she can be my helper.  She knows where everything is that she can reach so I usually just have to tell her what to get and she’s on her way.  During our first visit back after returning from Montana, she saw one of her friends (how she refers to the Trader Joe’s employees) on his knees stocking something on the bottom shelf.  She walked right over, sat down, and started asking questions.  Of course he smiled and answered every single question she asked – because Trader Joe’s has the best employees ever.  As I watched her I was thinking of how quickly she just asks a question she wonders about.  She doesn’t stop to think about what other people will think of her by not already knowing the answer.  Sometimes I think she does know the answer but the question is the best way she knows to start a conversation.  She’s not afraid to sit down on the floor to get the answer she needs.  This isn’t a deep reflection at all. It’s pretty simple really.  I need to stop assuming I know the answer or stop assuming others will think I’m ridiculous for not already knowing the answer and just sit on the floor and ask more questions.  We get so exhausted by the onslaught of toddler questions that we forget that’s the best way to learn.  There’s a reason you learn so much when you’re a toddler.  I think they realize it’s okay to not know everything, so they ask.  Why do we stop wondering?

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Best Thing We Ate: Restaurant Week date at Empellon Concina

Most of the time we go out to dinner it’s either to celebrate something (birthday, anniversary, holiday), to entertain visitors, or because we already have a babysitter for a concert we bought tickets for so we tack on a dinner to the night.  But on a Tuesday night in January Brett and I made reservations at Empellon Cocina to take advantage of New York Restaurant Week.   Brett came from work and arrived before I did so he had a drink at the bar while he waited for me.  It kind of felt like I was in a movie – riding the subway to a hip neighborhood, walking the busy street with my scarf wrapped tight to shield me from the January wind, walking in to the restaurant to see a handsome man looking up at me and smiling from the bar.  The food was delicious.  I’ve started turning eating out in to a competition – and unfortunately Brett won this one.  Every course he had was better than mine.  The good news is that he’s nicer than me and was more willing to share than I am when I win best dish.  I’m pretty sure their prix-fix menu is actually offered all the time – not just during restaurant week.  So, if you’re in NYC it’s definitely worth a visit.

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Music: Lyrics & Lyricists

Our friend Aaron was asked to sing in a really cool concert at the 92 Y at the beginning of the month.  The concert series is called Lyrics & Lyricists.  This particular show focused on well-known songs that were written in hotel lobbies while the musical was on tour or in the hours right before the curtain opened –resulting in the actors frantically memorizing the songs during intermission.  The six performers for this show were wonderful and we just had a fun evening learning some Broadway history and seeing Aaron perform again.

Favorite New Place Visited:  Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York sits along 5th Avenue in the middle of Museum Mile.  The NYC Marathon currently has an exhibit at the museum, and because Brett’s hospital sponsors the marathon all employees were given free admission.  We had a great morning exploring the tenement exhibit, a few art halls, and a really cool folk music room.  They also had activities for children on the weekends so Norah got to run her own obstacle course marathon and was rewarded with a snack at the end, so she had a great time.  The exhibits at this museum change pretty frequently, the space is beautiful, and it’s just small enough that you can make it through most of the building in a few hours.  We again left thinking we need to go back without a toddler so we can actually learn something, but we had fun anyway.

Falling (more) in Love with Central Park:  Snow day

This year, when they said we were going to have a blizzard, we really did have a blizzard.  We went to bed on Friday night with snow lightly falling and woke up to swirling winds and a constant downpour of white stuff for about 12 hours.  When it finally stopped snowing it ended up being the second biggest blizzard in NYC history, with almost three feet falling in that one day.  On Sunday morning we woke up, put on snow gear, and headed straight for Central Park.  The snow seems to quiet this city and when it comes on a weekend it’s such a treat.  Everyone smiles, everyone plays in it, and everyone walks down the middle of the streets because they’re shut down to traffic.  It really is magical.  Like these 8 million people are part of a secret winter wonderland.  It’s almost Narnia like.  Unfortunately, we left not one, but two pairs of brand new snow boots for Norah in Montana, so she had to settle for rain boots to play.  She was fine with that until the walk home, when I’m pretty sure her feet were frozen.  But the memory of being tossed in to snow piles that were taller than she was was worth some cold toes.

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When you wake up to snow but you can’t run out to your back yard to play in it, you grab your hat & mittens and ask your daddy to make you a snowball from the accumulation on your bedroom windowsill.  

Our view all day Saturday during the blizzard, after the snow had stopped Saturday night, and then when we woke up Sunday morning.

Only in NYC:  Milk Bar & A Special Birthday Party

One of Norah’s little buddies had a birthday party at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum so we took advantage of our time there and had a family coffee date to Milk Bar before the party.  We’ve started finding all of these Australian coffee shops lately and this was another one to add to the list.  We don’t purposely seek them out, but they all have really good coffee and we do seek that out.  This one also happened to have some delicious breakfast dishes and they call their steamers “babycinos” which won me over.

After our date we walked over the Children’s Museum to explore and celebrate.  This was the first Korean birthday party Norah had been too and the family celebrated with a lot of traditional Korean birthday rituals.  It was the little girls’ first birthday so she was placed on one end of a blanket in the middle of the room.  There were several objects placed at the other end, each symbolizing a different fate (string = long life, coins = wealth, pen = scholar, bowl = never going hungry, stethoscope = medical career, etc.).  Whichever object the child chooses is said to predict a part of their future.  The family was all dressed in beautifully intricate Korean clothing.  Norah kept calling my friend Ruth (mom of the birthday girl) a princess and was delighted when she was asked to dance with her.  I love that Norah has friends from all over the world and is getting to experience so many different cultures.  She had a great time at the party, but wasn’t a huge fan of the rice cake.  We had to opt for a cupcake later in the day after realizing Norah equates a birthday party with birthday cake.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  😉

For the Grandparents:  WeBop & Ballet

Norah’s Tuesday mornings are perhaps her favorite day of the week. She starts off with ballet/tap class with her beloved teacher, Miss Angie.  Angie has some kind of magic up her sleeve and all of the little girls in the class just adore her.  Norah still practices first position and plies everywhere we go, but not she’s added some tap skills in to the mix too.  After ballet we head up to Lincoln Center for WeBop class.  I’m learning just as much as she is, but it is really cool to hear her take in all of these jazz greats.  She saw a picture of Louis Armstrong when she was out with Brett one day and immediately knew who he was.  Then she saw a woman singing on TV and said, “Mom, she scats just like Ella Fitzgerald.”  And perhaps my favorite came this morning when a new character came on Doc McStuffins.  He was dressed in a tuxedo and Norah came running down the hall and pulled me away from drying my hair to say, “Look!  He dresses fancy just like Duke Ellington!”  So Nama, Bapa & Grammy, thanks for the ballet and jazz classes.  They’re a hit!

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A Love Letter

Dear New York City Parks,

I love you.  I’ll just come right out and say it.  After a long winter spent mostly inside you were my most faithful companion when spring finally poked it’s lovely face around that cold corner.  I think I could spend every waking moment enjoying your green fields, bustling playgrounds and genius water features and not feel like I’m missing out on much here.  (Side note: As I’m writing this Norah is chanting “Let’s go Mets!” while playing in the living room.  So maybe we’d have to make the occasional trip to CitiField).  But really, you have so much to offer, parks.  And not just in your most popular gem sitting proudly in the middle of this island, reminding busy New Yorkers to take a deep breath and walk just a little slower, but in all the pocket parks and trails and playgrounds dotting the city, too.

Thank you for your river views and inviting piers just perfect for three little “favorite friends” to run and blow bubbles and scooter and sing “Ring-around-the-rosie” over and over.

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Thank you for your creative structures that spark my daugther’s imagination to open an ice cream shop (she’s been to a lot so she knows what she’s doing) and challenge her to be brave, take risks and try new things.

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Thank you for your cafes that allow parents to never be too far from coffee, because we do need to keep up with those toddlers who are so excited to get back to running and playing and splashing.

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Thank you for your winding paths that make it feel like our daughter is scootering down a sidewalk in a quaint neighborhood and not right next to skyscrapers and millions of people.

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Thank you for your art structures that are meant to be played in and not just looked at.

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Thank you for planning your expansive green fields to look like they are spilling forth from your iconic skyline.  That contrast makes my heart skip a beat every single time.

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Thank you for placing your bravest on top of your most regal.  Their presence offers the perfect combination of security and joy.

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Thank you for the nooks that invite impromptu jazz combos to groove on a slow-paced Saturday morning.

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Thank you for the wildlife that makes this city feel like a walk in the woods for even just a brief moment.

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You see, Parks, you are the real reason that parents in this city can make it here with kids.  We don’t have backyards to relax in, but we have more backyard space than we could possibly use in a summer.  This letter only captures our time enjoying your company from one month of the year – May.  It’s safe to say that the pictures we took with you and the memories made with you in the following three months would fill an entire book.

In a city best known for finance, fashion, theater and food, I think you are the real star.

Sincerely,

Your biggest fan – Jodie

Conversations with Norah + Piggy & Norah Do Lincoln Center

Here’s a quick snapshot into the day-to-day thoughts of our sweet little one.

Norah usually wakes up and happily talks with her dolls or calls my name with a singsong voice.  So when she woke up yelling “I’m so mad!” one day I was caught a little off guard.

Norah (standing in her crib and pointing to the window with her trademark furrowed brow):  Mamaaaaa!!  I SO mad! That makes me soooo mad.

Me: What makes you mad?

Norah: Those blinds!  They cover up!  (Mind you, these blinds are down every single day for her nap.)

Me: Do you want me to open them?

Norah: YES!

(I open them)

Norah: Helloooo world!!  Nice to see you!  I LOVE you world!!

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Yesterday after swimming lessons she sat on the bench in her swim diaper while I got ready.  I look over to see her looking down at her diaper, which has Nemo & Dory on it, and saying, “Hi Nemo!  Did you have a nice swim?”

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And perhaps one of my favorite mornings with this girl came a few months ago.  We arrived at her music class only to find it had been canceled.  I thought she would be upset, but she just said, “It’s okay, mama.  Let’s show Piggy the biiiiiig fountain!”

She had brought her stuffed pig along for the day and decided to give him a tour of Lincoln Center.  I was the designated photographer.  I didn’t catch everything she told Piggy, but she was an excellent tour guide.

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“First we sit on the benches”.

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“Look at that biiiiig fountain, Piggy!  It’s my faaaavorite!”

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“Mom, take a picture of me and Piggy sitting.”

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“Now it’s Piggy’s turn. Say cheese, Piggy!”

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“Sometimes I do jumping jacks here, Piggy”.

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“Next we stop to look at the flowers, Piggy.”

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“Then we count the signs.  Ooone, twoooo, threeee…..”

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“Jump down the stairs, Piggy!  I’ll hold you.”

It was fun to take a step back and see the “highlights” of Lincoln Center through her eyes.  I do think it’s one of her favorite places in the city and she considers it her own personal playground. Piggy seemed to enjoy the adventure, too.  😉

Retreat

I’ve been asking myself a lot of big questions lately.  Well, they’re big to me anyway.  Questions like: Am I really happy being at home?  Are we ready to have another baby?  Will that tugging at my heart to pursue a doctorate in education go away or should I actually (eek!) go for it?  How in the world did we end up living and raising our daughter in NYC?  Are we crazy for keeping our daughter out of preschool another year when every one of her friends are packing their backpacks and skipping off to school next month?  And, thankfully, how did this Montana rooted family fall in love with the city life so quickly?

I realize that a lot of these questions have big, nuanced answers.  Most of those answers are not simple and will take some time to figure out.  Or more than likely, I’ll look back later and realize once again that the Lord has answered them in his perfect way without my help.

But still, the questions remain.  I wouldn’t say they were making me panic, but they certainly weren’t helping me fall asleep quickly or go through the day with a clear mind.  So I found a day that we had no plans and told Brett I was going on a mini retreat.  I needed time to walk without a stroller, listen to God without the background noise of a monitor, and ask for His guidance rather than asking people around me – or worse, the world around me.

I had absolutely no plans for this day.  I left with my Bible, journal, wallet & metro card.  After grabbing coffee I rode the train up just a few stops until it arrived at one I hadn’t been to before.  I got off and walked the quiet Saturday morning streets until I found a little book store tucked half way down a tree lined block.  It didn’t open for another half hour, but there was a bench conveniently waiting for me underneath the shade of one of those big trees so I sat and opened my journal and just started writing.  I wrote out a prayer and put some of those big questions down on paper – which only led to subsequent questions.  But something about having them in ink made them stop clanging around my head quite so much.  Now they have a place and I trust that God hears them.  I don’t expect quick answers, I just wanted to be heard.

When the book store opened I closed my journal and happily opened the door and let the bell ring alerting the clerks that their first customer of the day was there.  And then I just browsed, wondering if any of the pages around me held answers to some of those questions.  But guess what, no one has written a book called, Jodie’s Big Questions Answered with Color Coded Detail yet.  I did buy one book which was recommended by a friend and then just enjoyed the peace and simple joy of being able to linger.  Toddlers don’t allow for much lingering – so I reminded myself of that and then lingered some more.

I left the book store and continued walking, eventually finding myself in the middle of Columbia’s beautiful campus.  I still don’t know if I meant to go there or really did just stumble upon it, but it was good to be there.  I sat and prayed some more and questioned and listened and walked around, imagining what life would really be like if this became part of my routine.

When my belly started rumbling, reminding me that even though I wasn’t keeping a toddler schedule I still did need to eat, I decided to stop at a bagel shop that friends have raved about near campus.  Even on a Saturday at 11:00 the line was out the door, but it was certainly worth the wait.  I took my bagel, new book, and somewhat calm heart to the north end of Central Park and found a quiet spot underneath a tree overlooking a pond to plop myself down for the next couple hours.  As I ate, more questions and prayers spilled out on the pages of my journal.  I opened my Bible and read, looked back at my journal and realized that, oh yes that book titled Jodie’s Big Questions Answered?  It was written a couple thousand years ago.  I just need to let go of that with Color Coded Detail subtitle.

My pen couldn’t move fast enough to underline passages and write down verses of the peace that God has given me through his Word.  These are not answers with the exact steps I need to take, but they are better, bigger reminders.  Like the fact that He wants good for me, that He’s established His plan for me, that I need to be humble with the start of each new day, and to seek wisdom and understanding from Him.

I walked away from the park that afternoon with no more answers to those big questions than when I ventured out for the day.  But I was reminded of the importance of falling at the feet of the One who loves me most and taking the time to truly seek Him.  That’s what I had been missing.  The questions remain – most of them anyway.  But I know He’s heard them, and that’s all that really matters.  I can trust that they’ll be answered in His time, not mine.

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May Highlights — Mother’s Day Walk

After church on Mother’s Day we decided to take a little detour home and walk along the Hudson River path.  We’ve walked this path many times, but for some reason always missed a ten block stretch that runs right behind our apartment.  We either entered a few blocks below or several blocks up and just neglected this other stretch.  But on that Sunday we decided to keep walking and it has since become our favorite quiet place to go in Manhattan.  This stretch of the riverfront has rotating public art pieces, reading nooks, an old train engine with a grassy area out front that hosts free kids concerts, and has lots of green canopies covering boardwalks that Norah loves to scooter down.  I still can’t believe we made it almost a year before discovering this little gem.  I didn’t take many pictures that night, but I will definitely be posting more about this in the future as we’re there at least a couple times a week now that we know how lovely it is.

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Perhaps the best part of this particular walk was stumbling upon these seven goslings.  We checked in on them weekly for a few months and it was so fun to watch their feathers turn from yellow fuzz to soft gray down and finally sleek black.  Norah knew all of their favorite spots to learn to swim and fluff their feathers.  They’re full grown now but it was a pretty sweet spring seeing them grow.  

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Thankfully we discovered this path before this giant butterfly swing was replaced with a new piece of public art.

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May Highlights — First Mets Game

Norah might just be New York City’s biggest Mets fan.   We had no idea she would love a baseball team so much when Brett was offered (really great) tickets from a colleague to a spring game.  I wish I could get in our sweet girl’s head and see this experience from her perspective, because she has talked about baseball or mentioned the Mets or just started randomly chanting “Let’s go Mets!!” at least once a day since this first game.

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Sunday afternoon games are also “family days” so there are all kinds of activities out front before you go in to the stadium.  We didn’t participate in many of them but couldn’t pass up some free face painting.

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I think being in the first row just one section down from the dug out probably helped her feel like she was right in the middle of the action.

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“Do you remember when that ice cream dripped everywhere?!?!?”  She still laughs about this pretty frequently.  Soft serve on a hot day is not the cleanest idea, but it’s certainly fun.

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We had a great time at the game.  Our friend Carrie, who is a life long Mets fan, joined us which made it even more fun. We have been to several more games since this first one and Norah requests to go almost every weekend.  20150531_14420520150531_134711

The next morning we were getting ready to go grocery shopping so I asked her to get her shoes on.  She grabbed them and then ran to her room yelling, “And my baseball hat!!!”  She wore it all day long and has rarely left the house without it since.

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I guess we’ve picked our New York baseball team.

May Highlights — Lake Placid

On a Friday morning in May we packed up the car and drove up to Lake Placid for the weekend.  Brett was meeting with the biathlon team there to do work stuff and Norah and I were anxious to get into the mountains for a bit.  I was expecting to find a little resort town similar to Big Sky or Park City and there were certainly parts of Lake Placid that felt that way.  But I was surprised to find that it felt much like what I imagine it did in the late 80s or early 90s.  It is quaint and certainly has a beautiful setting tucked up next to the mountains with a pristine lake plopped right in the middle of downtown, but it also felt a bit forgotten.  Just a very different feel than the mountain village of Big Sky or the Olympic Park in Park City.  However, the out-of-date shops didn’t stop us from dropping our bags and taking a stroll down town to fill our lungs with fresh mountain air.  Brett got to work right away and Norah and I found a fun park to play in right next to the lake where she quickly got busy filling her bucket with sand and making new friends.  We met up again for dinner at a fun pub across the street from the park.

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Brett & Norah left the restaurant before me as I was packing up all of the things that are required for a 2-year-old at dinner.  When I got outside I couldn’t find them.  After looking around for about 5 minutes I finally spotted them sitting next to the lake having a little daddy/daughter chat.  I hope these two continue to take advantage of these little moments.  She has such a great daddy to look up to and her eyes really do sparkle a bit brighter when she looks at him. This picture just makes my heart swell.  So thankful God gave me these people to love and be loved by.  

The next morning Norah and I had a quick bite to eat and then headed straight to the nearest trail head.  The trail we found apparently led to a look out of another beautiful lake, but I didn’t expect to get there — and we didn’t.  After walking for about 2 minutes Norah turned to look at me, smiled, and said, “I like hiking Mommy!”  She was really in to it for awhile by pointing out things she saw and jumping over bumps on the trail.  But after about 20 minutes she started asking for her scooter, reminding me that she is in fact a city girl.  If I had our hiking back pack I would have kept going, but I still wanted her to like hiking when we finished so we turned around and headed back to the car.  We ended up walking for almost an hour when all was said and done though so I was pretty proud of her.

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She named this plant “Bobby” and carried it with us the entire way back, having a little conversation with it along the way.

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This is where she started “putting on her noculars” (binoculars) to find things.  She now does this everywhere and will encourage those around her to look for things with their “noculars” too.

That afternoon we took her scooter downtown and did some exploring before picking up Brett for dinner again.  This time we found a restaurant with a screened in patio by the lake.  The food was delicious and Norah was convinced the bus boy (who was probably about 22 with a long brown beard) was Santa, so we all had a good time.  Although the bus boy wasn’t as amused as we were when she asked him, “Are you Santa?!?”

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Always meeting new people and wanting to help, she ended up watering many of the pots along the downtown street with the shop owners who were tending to them.  

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And can I just take a moment to say how proud I am of my husband?  There are certainly parts of this career choice that have required us to make sacrifices (like being on the other side of the country from our family), but he is always one to jump at opportunities to grow as a doctor and has had some pretty cool ones at that.  I don’t take for granted for one minute that I get to spend my days hiking and scootering with my favorite little lady because of how hard he works.  And I am immensely thankful that he wants to include us in it as much as possible by asking us to join him on weekends like this.  So thanks Brett — for working hard and loving us well.

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