Sunday, November 10, 2013


I'm lying here on the couch next to D with a belly full of chicken noodle soup and chocolate covered pretzels--the two most perfectly designed foods the culinary world has given to humanity--and I can barely stay awake I'm so comfortable. This fall has been very good to us in terms of time together and time with friends, and sometimes I wish I could just press the pause button to keep the time from passing. 

Then again, I'm more than happy to let the next few months buzz by because work has been a constant struggle that will only get better with time and many, many lessons learned from mistakes.  But I am learning and letting go of perfectionism and realizing that earning something worth wanting means working hard at some point. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I am starting to realize just how much where you live dictates how well you celebrate certain holidays. Growing up in Arizona, the 4th of July at my uncle's pool and Thanksgiving with 50+ relatives at our house were the epic holidays. In Colorado, the 4th of July was usually pretty lame, but Christmas took on whole new meaning because it was actually cold outside and we could usually go sledding after presents. In New York, we end up leaving town more often for holidays so as to be around family, but Halloween is done right. This year we had a chili and pie cook-off at church, a pumpkin float in Central Park, a costume party with friends, and the Village Halloween Parade.  To think of all we missed out on last year because so much was canceled after Hurricane Sandy. 

Since the parade, we've tried to come up with great group costumes that we can talk our friends into next year. We had zombie missionaries and a herd of unicorns on the list, but recommendations are welcome.

These puppets were by far the coolest part of the parade. There were even penguin puppets in the same style, but I was too overwhelmed with excitement to get a picture of them.

This is pretty much how we both looked during the whole parade.

The tortoise and the hare puppets were quite theatrical. They had moments where everything paused and the tortoise shadow puppets came out and you'd hear a tick-tocking. Then the music would speed up and the rabbits would get going again.  Very cool.

There were lots of political costumes: the Saudi women with steering wheels and the old guy still campaigning for Ross Perot.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Movies that changed my life

Movies have become a big part of the New York experience. Between me being exhausted after a week at work and Dane trying to stretch his study hours til 9 or 10 on Fridays, it has become our go to reward at the end of each week.  And with all these movies, we've come across some real gems:

Cinema Paradiso -A real classic with a great film score.
Spirited Away - Caused me to take back earlier sentiments about anime.
Castaway on the Moon - So strange but so well made.
Mud - A Sundance/Cannes D'Or festival film with Matthew McConaughey. You will want to brush his teeth the whole time, but it is a great story.
Big Fish - I don't know how I missed this when it came out a few years ago.
Rare Exports - The newest Christmas family tradition.

So I've never really done this on this blog--usually just sending random thoughts into the void--but today I am asking for a response. After watching Cinema Paradiso last weekend and remembering what great movies can do, we came up with a list of movies we will try to see over the next few years, and I want to add your suggestions. So what movies have been your favorites?  And they don't necessarily need to be top 10 material (this list certainly isn't), just movies that left you thinking about them days after. And then I will watch them and let you know what I think.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mom comes to the Big Apple

I haven't taken this many pictures in a long time, but I spent a solid 4 days touring around with my Mom on her first trip to New York City, so I guess that's what happens. We did a lot of the bigger sites (Statue of Liberty, 9-11 Memorial, Grand Central) but some smaller ones that I had yet to do too (Stone Street, Teddy Roosevelt home, soul food in Harlem). And we capped it all off with a day upstate to visit Sleepy Hollow and the Roosevelt estate. It was weird having two distant worlds collide when I first met my Mom on a very busy 6th Avenue during rush hour, but she had a good time, so hopefully it won't be the last we see of her here.

1000 paper crane chains at St. Paul's church near the 9-11 Memorial

I love this angle of Lady Liberty. She looks so powerful, so not to be crossed.
 My mom typically hates having pictures taken of her. I made sure to get a few anyways.
Part of our upstate trip included apple picking--so many apples, so many apple cider doughnuts!!!
 If you're familiar with the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this is the famous bridge that Icabod Crain tried to reach before he was thumped by the Headless Horseman. Apparently the bridge has been rebuilt 4 times at least since Washington Irving was around, but the effect is still there.

The rest of these are pictures of the Rockefeller Estate, Kykuit. I've found with these big houses the best part is always the grounds. We also weren't allowed to take pictures while inside, so there's that.

My dream house now requires a view like this of the Hudson. The main house is designed with all the big windows looking out this way. Guess that is one things me and John D. have in common.
I've never been so into old cars but now would love a Hotshot. They don't have any doors and are too cute.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pushing the boundaries of summer

 Just some good old fashioned campfire conversations complete with tin foil dinners, starry skies, and  a beautiful evening in September as our formal goodbye to summer.  We've really lucked out with the friends we've made this last year, and I'm glad they enjoy getting out of the city and into nature as much as we do.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

"Ello Gov'na"

Going into it, I always think that the Labor Day weekend holiday would be better served at a different time of the year, but then every time it comes around, I am so so very glad to have the long weekend.  We started it off with a trip to Governors Island, a disappointing loss by BYU, and some Dino BBQ, so net positive in the end.
 At Governor's Island right now, they are hosting Fete Paradisio, a carnival with French vintage rides. They all had such great details, and all of the workers were dressed like mimes/hipster Frenchies. There was a couple with twins in a stroller, all 4 of them dressed in matching stripes with berrets and neckerchiefs, and I threatened D that this would be my new form of punishment if he ever misbehaves. But seriously, how cute are these rides?

The coolest ride that we saw was the Cyclometer. The ride was powered by the riders as they pedaled, and they got going really fast despite the freeloaders who didn't have pedals and the little kids who couldn't reach theirs. I love to see how ingenious people used to be, and am glad that we can still count on having carnivals should we ever decide to go off the grid.
Just our luck, Governors Island was also hosting the annual Unicycle festival, so we got to see the zoobies of New York come out together.