Dumbo Arts Festival 2013

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This past weekend we headed to the DUMBO ARTS FESTIVAL.

This is one of my favorite festivals in New York City.

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A few years ago my dance company used to perform at this festival. We presented site specific dance performances all around Dumbo.

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The Dumbo Arts Festival signifies the beginning of fall to me. Fall in New York is magical. Truly it is. The art scene just bursts this time of year, the leaves are in a constant state of color explosion, I get to wear scarves and boots. It’s wonderful!

While I didn’t want to take too many pics of the actual art during the art festival.. it’s the artists work and I feel funny photographing it unless I can fully explain what the work is about… ya da yada…

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Lily loves art festivals… she says it’s going to be her one day. She’s going to create her own work and sell it or maybe present it at such a festival. pretty cool lil!

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You know what I love about the DUMBO ARTS FESTIVAL… the work is abstract, it’s interactive, it’s creative, its’ new, it’s all around you. This environment is really quite ideal for a young mind like Lily’s . While I was exposed to the arts when I was younger, it was always your mainstream arts, galleries, concerts, plays..etc. I didn’t discover performance art or abstract art or multi media collaborations until I was in college and was absolutely blown away by this brave medium of creating work.

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My personal choreography is multi dimensional, i use video, props, text , music and environment to create my pieces. Lily has come to many of my shows and just soaks it all up and when we get home she recreates a little something! ( I wish I could get back to making dances….i wish!)

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Oh stop me from getting all sappy this glorious Monday Morning!

Hope you enjoy a few of our pics from our weekend at the Dumbo Art Festival.

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20130929-234056.jpg.jpgWhat did you do over the weekend?

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JCrew Baby!

As if I need another reason to shop at J.Crew.

They now have a baby line. I mean… it’s perfection!

Lily has a nice collection of Crew Cuts pieces – the J.Crew kids line. We always find her pieces on sale. I refuse to pay those crazy full prices. But the sales are pretty hefty and I snatch up shorts, skirts, glitter long sleeve shirts, necklaces… for a fraction of the price.

In addition to J.Crew patterns and prints, there are also a handful of my favorite brands that are carried in the baby line. From outerwear, to toys and gift to cashmere for that little baby of  yours… this line is luxury and trend and all that you expect from the jCrew baby!

Now it needs to go on sale so I can buy it all!!

Head over to you local neighborhood J.Crew to find this uber cute line!

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Color run NYC – KindAwesome

Lily and I ran the Color Run NYC a few weekends ago.

It was her first time errr… ‘running’ a 5K.

We sorta walked and chatted our way through the run but had THE best time ever.

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Lily is 8. You know 8 is a tough age.. especially for girls. There is so much that happens at 8. All of a sudden you have a mini girl.. and not a baby girl. Online, on TV, in stores, toys, clothes… all seem to miss the 8 – 12 year age group for girls… this is also when most girls drop interest in Science and Math and go the way of the ” girly girl” because so much pressure is put on looks and appearance… yes starting at age 8!

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My way to try to address this is to have Lily involved in tons of things all the time. Our weekends are full of adventure, trips, digging in the sand catching crabs…etc.

The COLOR RUN NYC is a really amazing activity to participate in… and with your 8 yea old.. even better.

Lily was thrilled to see so many people at the run, and the color part of it was just awesome. She kept asking me – i can get dirty right?

And dirty we got!

First – The Color Run is AWESOME and you should sooooo do this next season!

Second – Let me know if you do so we can run together!

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We were sponsored to run the Color Run NYC by KIND SNACKS. and were  Color Run Correspondents!

KIND healthy snacks = Healthy and Tasty.. say wha! 

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Lily and I tried to ” train” for the run… that lasted all of 2 weeks maybe 3 runs. maybe. The night before she said. ” Mom, we’re going to win this!”  umm hmmm. Without any rehearsal? 20130916-084955.jpg

We had the best time. There were kids at the event… but not tons of them. This also appealed to Lily’s – I’m not a kid any more’ attitude. The demo was mainly 20-30 somethings. It was such fun. The best part…. music! They had beastie boys, LL cool J, Gaga… Britney… i mean… all kinds of feel good happy music.

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The Color Run NYC/Brooklyn  spanned 2 days. Saturday and Sunday. we went on Saturday at 9am. But there were many starting times. I think every 20 mins or so. After the run there was a huge concert outdoors with .. color being thrown from the stage and balloons and such fun. We opted out.. it was a bit much for Lily. But I recommend staying if you don’t have kiddies. Or jam out on the side… like we did! She’s a little to young for a mosh pit.. no?

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Look at this face…pure happy!

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KIND SNACKS wants YOU to share your KIND acts and spread kindness… so please hashtag #kindawesome to your posts on social media to spread the word!

* we were sponsored by KIND SNACKS for the color run. All opinions are my own*

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A week in pictures captured by my iphone

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” 
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

 

 

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New York the Impossible

^^ you know I love New York.  ^^

I do.

but just like any relationship… sometimes the OTHER ( not me) can be selfish, stubborn, and plain ole impossible.

my Sister and Brother -in-law are leaving… on a jet plane. Don’t know when they’ll be back again.

after living in New York and making it work really well, and comfortably and enjoying all that ole NY has to offer… they are moving to Seattle.

you know sometimes New York makes it impossible for people to settle down. between the price of property, taxes, noise, smells, school systems, dog parks ( lack of) , cost of everything! it’s a tough game.

their move makes me think of my life here in NY.

while I have seemed to have found a happy medium here in the burbs… my early artist life was tough.

between auditions, and gigs that didn’t pay much… most of my time was spent working jobs just to survive. so where was  there any space for art?  i eventually figured out that building websites, choreography,film and commercials paid a whole heck of a lot more than concert dance and I was able to make a good amount of money in a short amount of time that fed my Modern Dance Company. i can’t tell you how many friends of mine moved to NY to “make it” as a dancer, actor, artist, musician – and while a lot of us  achieved that “made it” cliff we had come to climb – some got lost in jobs that paid enough just to pay rent and subway fare and that occasional night out with friends. and some got non art related jobs that paid really really well and got comfortable and settled.

new york misses out on so many talented artists everyday. and i miss the art my friends create! ( or used to create)

my sis and BIL are not artists, they are in medicine and finance… really succesful great careers and even they threw in the towel.

i mean this gentrification thing is out of control. And who are these people who can afford to live in new york if the very demographic with funds to live here is moving away. the DINKS (Dual Income No Kids) and the YUPPIES – both terms you could potentially use to describe my sis and BIL.

dang it New York. why do you have to be so greedy and chase everyone out.

my sister is Lily’s best friend. lily is torn over this. she has decided to buy a tiny park in seattle and build a tiny house so she can be near my sister. breaks my heart. last night we spent a good hour looking at property online and she found patches of land for $75,000 and said.. ok how do I save up that money and maybe by the time i graduate high school i’ll have that money.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know my BIL and sister (as an adult) these past few years and we’ve had some amazing times, hurricanes, storms, snow parties, skiing, all those new years eve parties, boston, apple picking, beerfests, remember the time we threw our old dining chairs in the fire pit, we had a baby, beaches and just plain ole hanging out!

moving sucks.

Ugh. I’m going to miss my sister. ( and BIL)

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Inertia Infant Car Seat – Review – Child Passenger Safety Week

This is National Child Passenger Safety Week and what better time to share with you an amazing car seat for that presh little bundle of pooping+ smiling+ grunting+ mad luv baby of yours.

So you know I have a job where I review and stare at and check out baby gear all day. This blog just highlights some of my faves that come my way.

The BABY TREND – Inertia Infant Car Seat is awesome you guys… and even before you read this post, let me say… if you are in the market for a car seat… a little bun cooking in ye ole oven… then i HIGHLY recommend checking out the Inertia Infant Car Seat.

Inertia Car Seat

This car seat redefines baby car seat comfort and most important.. safety. While we did not have this seat when Thom was an infant. we did get it when he was about 4months. here’s what… Little wee babes – when in a car seat- look so very uncomfortable- their little heads just plop where gravity takes them. In the INERTIA INFANT CAR SEAT.. the reclining positions allow for the head to gently rest where it naturally needs to. and it’s supported by this awesome foam support in the headrest.

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While you should certainly pay a visit to the BABY TREND site for all the info about the Inertia Infant Car Seat. I would love to share a few of my reasons for loving this car seat.

  • It’s reclined a bit more than the other car seats and remember …4 positions of reclining and this is so great for wee little infants and their breathing and comfort. It seems to hug the body and position the baby in an organic way.
  • In case of impact while in the car – god forbid- the car seat actually tilts to ‘catch” the impact. It rotates upright. Kinda like those skyscrapers that move when there’s an earthquake…distributes the impact.
  • It is possibly THE easiest car seat to install in a car. and it’s really sturdy. The base of the car seat attaches to the rod in your car… I mean…so safe!
  • No re-threading of the harness as that little bundle of your grows. There is a turn-key click thing that’s awesome! and easy!
  • I love the handle on the car seat… so easy to carry and snug and all around comfy.
  • Baby is nice and snug while in the car seat because of the EPS energy-absorbing foam for state-of-the-art head impact protection.
  • Super comfy – removeable- foot cover for those cold New York winter days. You know you should not put your child in a coat … in the car seat right. So a foot cover/ lower body cover is perfection!
  • The seat belt parts are plastic which was great for the hot summer we had in NY this year.  Our other car seat has metal seat belt parts and gets really hot and I was always afraid it would burn my sweet Thom.

The Baby Trend Inertia Infant Car Seat is for babies – 5~32 lbs / Height: up to 32″ and can be purchased for $179 ish.

So there ya have it. I hope this review helped. You know I research stuff like a crazy person and this car seat wasn’t out when Thom was born… We got this car seat recently and love it!

You should go check this car seat out at your local car seat having store. And do let me know if you get it!

* I was not paid for this review. I was sent a Baby Trend Inertia Infant Car Seat for purposes of this review. all opinions are my own. I take the baby gear recommendations VERY seriously and really do love this car seat. *

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Expedia + St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital = Dream Big

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Expedia is making it very easy for you… yes YOU.. dear reader to save money on your travel… while also supporting the efforts of the good people over at St. Jude.

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All you have to do is donate $25 to St.Jude and that will save you 10% off your hotel booking or save 20% if you book via the Expedia App. 

For as long as I can remember, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital has been a part of my life.

Thankfully, not because any of us were sick..but because my grandmother contributes to them every single month.

She say’s it’s God’s Work that they do  and we have to do all we can to help the hospital help the sick children.

Recently I had the honor of being a part of a trip that took me to Memphis, TN… to meet the staff and patients and doctors of St. Jude.

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St Jude Children’s Research Hospital opened in 1962 and was founded by the entertainer – Danny Thomas.

The story goes – Danny Thomas’ wife had just given birth to their child. Danny – in the early stages of his career- could not afford the $50 to have them released from the hospital. He went to the nearby catholic church and prayed – If you help me, I will build a shrine for you – shortly he got a job for $75 and paid the hospital. Years later… St. Jude – the saint for hopeless causes- was built.

We met with some of the doctors and staff of the hospital and it really puts you at ease to know that these passionate professionals at the height of their field are working … hard… to cure childhood cancer. Just knowing how much these jobs means to them… which really aren’t jobs at all…rather a calling.

A higher calling.

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Writing these words down are bringing such tears to my eyes. But not tears of sorrow rather tears of  joy. The amazing things going on at St Jude are nothing short of a miracle. Danny Thomas was a visionary and his mission to eradicate childhood cancer is almost complete!

While I was visiting, Expedia hosted an “ AROUND THE WORLD” themed party. Food, crafts and even DANCE from all around the world. Mikella of Travel Bare Feet taught the kids how to hula and do some african dance moves. Dance is a healing art and you know I was over the moon about this movement aspect of the party!! The kids and their families enjoyed the food and music and just the social aspect of it all.

I played catch with one very special kid who stole my heart! It was humbling to see the strength these families had when faced with such a serious event in their child’s lives. I was counting my blessing every single moment.

rrAb3Xihta_4F2sII__CuZa4_IXYeDzVJ2qQpTk8btQSt. Jude houses the families of the children being treated in the hospital.. and long term care families are hosted in the Target House. The Target House is beautiful and no design element is spared. Each common room is sponsored by a celebrity or a corporation. From Shaun White, Tiger Woods to Proctor and Gamble… these rooms are designed to the hilt.

The apartments within the Target House are just right to comfortably fit a family of 4.

A few facts about St. Jude’s:

  • No family ever pays St. Jude for anything. Not one single dime. Nothing.
  • Daily operating costs are 1.7 million, which is primarily covered by public contributions.
  • In 1962 – the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic Leukemia– the most common form of childhood cancer- was 4%. Today.. .survival rate 94%.
  • St. Jude is the FIRST AND ONLY National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted to children.
  • The Flu vaccine was developed at St Jude
  • St Jude accepts patients up to 18 years of age and cares for them for a lifetime.
  • Although there are only 78 beds in the hospital for in-patient care, they still see
  • close to 7800 patients a year on an out-patient care basis.
  • Since patients come from all over the world no comfort food request goes unnoticed. Whether it’s a Chinese black chicken with noodles or mac ‘n cheese “just like grandma’s” the chefs at St Jude are dedicated to bringing every bit of comfort to these patients.
  • St. Jude offers counseling to siblings, and family members of the kids being treated. There is also a special day called “ siblings day” where the party is JUST for the siblings. Many times when there is a sick child, the siblings don’t get as much attention, St Jude has programs in place to address such issues.

Facts about Target House:

  • Built on property rented via the Catholic Diocese for $1 per year.
  • Elephants everywhere- since Elephants represent good luck, There are elephant structures and painting and touches all over in every single room.
  • When families are coming in, the staff asks the families for tips to keep the apartments “homey”- they include favorite colors, favorite characters so they can include that in the design.
  • Since wall paper has chemicals that can harm the kids, wall paper is picked out by the celebrity designing the room and painted on the walls precisely.
  • 30 Riding toys for kids to ride around campus. Trikes and bikes and scooters and wagons! But no driving rules.. so watch out!
  • There are special SPA, Hair, Gym rooms where kids get professional stylists to come in and do their hair, nails… etc.
  • Walls are decorated with painting of elephants from various public figures – celebs, presidents..etc

As you can see… there is a lot of good going on over there in Memphis, TN. My heart was touched, my mind was opened and I made my grandmother proud!

Expedia is doing their part in bringing attention and funds to the efforts at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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So what do you say… Let’s be a part of the EXPEDIA/ ST JUDE partnership. Go travel someplace and save money doing it. And don’t forget to enter to win one mama jama trip!

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I Love New York

Today marks the 12 anniversary of the twin towers falling.

I had moved to NYC a couple days before the towers fell. It was my big move to NY to ” become a dancer”. I had just graduated from college and this was it… live my dream.

The towers fell, NYC was in complete chaos for the days following. My mom was calling me all the time to ” GET BACK HOME TO FLORIDA”. I stayed. I stayed in NY, I got dance gigs, my career flourished, I got married, I toured with companies, I did commercials, I did shows, I became a parent twice, I created a whole new career.. and 12 years later I’m still here. New York City- your streets and your people and your bright lights held my hand as I grew up.

New York City

To mark this day… one we will never forget… I decided to share with you 12 reasons I love New York.

  1. People are nice… genuinely nice. Like help you out, give you directions, pick up your scarf when you it gets blown in the wind.
  2. That guy with the wacky art on the FDR Drive is pretty prolefic and I love that not many people know about him… and when people do.. it’s like an underground club.
  3. The FIRST cab of the L train going toward Brooklyn is a “singles” train… and a few times people try to pick me up… kinda nice for an old lady with two kids ya know!
  4. People go out of their way to make room for babies. And I can ALWAYS find help carrying my stroller up the subway stairs.
  5. Art is in abundance. Street art, concert performances, park dances, theatre in a parking lot, theatre on a rooftop, dance in a pool, everywhere!
  6. CITIBIKE! Loves it!
  7. Even though there are a gazillion people in New York… you can still run into your college friend in the middle of times square on a thursday at 10pm. Small world.
  8. Never a shortage of things to do for FREE in NYC. Always an art show, club event, theatre reading you can attend.. for free!
  9. Foodie Nation. Best food trucks, best restaurants, best sidecarts, just every kind of food, every nation every everything .. even secret foodies serving on the subway!
  10. Hiking in Central Park… I mean… in the middle of this concrete jungle there are waterfalls, and caves and serious rock climbing goodness going on
  11. Water Towers on top of buildings… it’s our secret game that Lily and I play. We count water towers and some of them are stunning, especially when the sun hits them just right. So next time you are in NY… look up!
  12. I love how New York fosters creative spirits, encourages us, gives us a space to create our art, gives us an audience, and helps us find our creative voice.

 

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PACT- Organic Clothes for Baby

Fashion with a higher purpose… why yes… Meet PACT BABY.

It’s a movement disguised as a clothing company! 

PACT’s colorful prints and organic clothing also help support small business.

With the Fall season upon us… I have some fantastic finds for baby!

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With every purchase, you help PACT make a positive change in our world. Each season, PACT designs a new collection of clothing inspired by someone doing something good: whether it’s about clean water, sustainable food, or affordable housing—They stick to the basics. They invest in projects that create independence. They are solution-oriented. Optimistic. Community-based. And they make great underwear along the way.  No matter what PACT does, they always stay true to our basic principles. Good design. Good fabric. Good cause.20130909-174602.jpg

* side note* look at the rollie-pollie-bellie you guys! What a round little man! 

Introducing the new line for BABY. This organic fabric has the softest feel. The big idea: Clothes that make the world a better place. From socks to beanies to body suits, PACT BABY has some really funky patterns and right on trend designs for that little babe in your life.

I love the feel of this fabric… SUPER soft and the bodysuit has just the right amount of stretch… to accommodate those round -round baby bellies and chubby thighs! 

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PACT uses no pesticides, no fertilizers no bleaches, no sweatshops or nasty stuff at all. Even their factories are wind powered!  They PROMISE only the best soft organic cotton and sustainable fabrics for your little one. So your baby not only feels good in PACT but you will feel good about where PACT comes from.20130909-174622.jpg

Little Man Thom is pictured in all PACT BABY clothing – Polka Dot socks ( my fave), Solid Blue Body Suit and Stripped Beanie.

PACT is available at specialty stores and Whole Foods.

Need more info?  get it here —> PACT BABY 

* I was sent PACT BABY products for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.*

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One Year Later…and we’ve built our boat.

It’s been a year since we moved to Long Island.

{ Lily has been obsessed with building a boat lately. She’s been researching how to build a boat… a real one. For her and me to ride the waves and go on adventures. We’ve tried to encourage her to build a boat for the fairies in the back yard or maybe for her dolls. to no avail… this child is set on building a boat. 

…until my brother took her to a TJMAXX and there… staring at them was the answer to all her boat building wishes… a boat! A raft actually… the blowup kind. 

This boat building project – which has lasted for weeks by the way – is a metaphor for moving… me thinks. }

The New York Mom

Moving is a tough thing. Matt and I moved from picturesque… Northern Westchester to very busy…very populated… Long Island.

I don’t say this in a negative way. I say this in a ‘matter of fact‘ way.

We moved here last summer actually. Matt’s job being the reason. The move was a welcomed one, we had been in our previous community for 10 years and awesome as it was… it was time to move.

It’s just that..last year at this time… I was super pregnant, cranky, it was hot – NY had some serious heat waves last summer and most houses here are old and gorgeous and come with a history worthy of historic mention this also means no central air. and while this is charming.. our falls and springs are seriously beautiful… this can be a nasty thing for a pregnant cranky woman.

IN AUGUST – our next door neighbor dropped off baskets of fresh produce from his vegetable garden. He did the same this summer. Granted the man does not wear a shirt outdoors until the snow is falling from the heavens and has a pirate mustache that I am most impressed with… but really isn’t this what neighbors are all about!

IN SEPTEMBER- My baby brother got married september and it was beautiful. I absolutely love my Sis in Law and am so thankful she’s part of our super close family. The wedding was beautiful but sadly I did not indulge in any of the wedding shenanigans… my 7 month preggy belly and swollen everything and not being able to breathe and the whole not drinking thing…but it was so beautiful and such a celebration!

IN OCTOBER- Hurricane SANDY, the worst storm to ever hit the NY region,  hit us and we lost power for over a week… Matt was a champion… my champion… he kept us entertained and made us gourmet meals because everything was slowly going to waste in the freezer and he massaged my feet by candle light and really kept us all sane during those insane few weeks here on Long Island. We lit all of our candles and played cards and told jokes and stories and built legos all in the quiet glow of candle light.

I was so close to my due date and prayed that i wouldn’t go into labor. I mean we could not leave the island… all bridges were on lockdown and the traffic was horrific and there was no gas at the gas stations. But we made it through. Thanks to Matt.

IN NOVEMBER- We got home from an amazing Thanksgiving at my brothers house in CT to find out my sweet bean Jonah had eaten my maternity leggings  and his body could not digest it. Big bucks, lots of prayers and emergency surgery later he is fine and the surgeon took a HUGE chunk of stretchy fabric out of his belly. He is fine. But my goodness what a scare AND this all happened on my due date! I can’t even think of the ” what ifs”. but we made it through that.

IN DECEMBER -Thom decided that he was so comfortable in my nesting bellie that he decided to just hang out in there – we are seeing this exact chill personality in him these days- my Dr. said…your fluids are low… we gotta get this babe out. So a week after my due date, we scheduled our induced delivery and out came my little man-man. and we made it through that just fine.

My family came to take of us – my mom and grand-ma, matt’s mom and dad, our siblings, our friends.. from far and near. We were filled with love for a long while. Christmas came and it was a truly blessed one.

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IN JANUARY – For the new year.. my ” so cool” brother and sis- in-law spent the evening with us and rung in the new year with us… kid having… not cool people. (because you know when you have kids sometimes people think you have lost your cool… so it’s great to have peeps who want to hang on special occasions) We prayed for blessings and health and friends and family and it was just wonderful!Spending New Years with my brother … for the first time since we went to college… what a blessing.

IN FEBRUARY – Matt and I celebrated our 11 wedding anniversary. Gosh I love that man so.

Lily turned 8!

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In the months since – We found a couple babysitters through our church and  the owner of our local coffee shop and they have both been amazing and we trust them entirely with caring for our babies… and Jonah and the guinea pigs.

We still haven’t found our social network in our new town.  I’m on the PTA this year as the Cultural Programs Coordinator – something I know all about and advocate for and am looking forward to this school year.

We’ve enjoyed the beaches of Long Island… Lily and I are both beach babies and the ocean has been incredibly inspiring! We go to the beach in the summer, fall, winter, snow winter and spring!

So much like Lily and her boat building dreams…

One year later…. slowly and steadily we have built our boat.

The New York Mom

We slowly put down the bones and skeleton for this boat of ours.

One question when one builds a boat is – what kind of boat do we build?

Do we build a motor boat… to go fast…or do we build a row-boat… one that will take effort, strength and time to master…a row-boat that will slowly and patiently get you through all the big waves and the hurricanes and keep you afloat.

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Our friends, our family, our babysitters, our house sitters, our local coffee shop owner, our library, our church, our neighbors, the pork shop, the fish shop, the beach, the running path that helps me focus, lily’s teachers who inspire her … all have had a part in helping us build our boat this past year.

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In case you wanted to know…We built a row boat. Slow and steady and one that allows us to enjoy every moment.

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One year later – I’m so thankful for our new life. Our new adventures.

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