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My Little City Girl

I did really good in gymnastics and mommy promised me my favorite chocolate milk in Union Square.  Come join me on my subway ride!

subway 1a

The L Train!  Here we go.  My favorite way to get around the city.

subway 2a

Which subway stop is it again?

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Just missed my train.  Oh well, I’ll rest my feet a little.

Subway 4a

Better hold tight.  This train ride can be a bit bumpy.

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Looks like it’s morning rush hour.  Hope they see me down here!

subway 6a

More stairs!!  One of my favorite reasons to ride the subway.

subway 7a

Uh oh, I’m a slow walker and it looks like the next subway is here.  Those NY subway-goers walk fast!  I better pick up the pace.

subway 9a

Getting excited.  Almost there.

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I forgot how many steps there are at this subway stop…whew, almost at street level.

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I found it!  I found it!

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aaaahhhh…..nothing like my favorite NY chocolate milk in USQ Park and watching the squirrels.

subway 13a

Better head home…I’m missing Cade…

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Being short has its advantages.

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Another great day on the subway.

What is your favorite way to get around your town…bike, skates, scooter, ect?  Would love to hear about it.

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Not Just A Tree

Is it tall enough?

Is it wide enough?

As for me, growing up, it was the tree that made the season feel so magical.

And picking that right tree took time.

This year we walked two blocks down the street to the corner Christmas tree stand.

Ah, that smell, the smell of freshly cut pine trees signifying the scent of the holiday season.

Our same Christmas tree guy was there.

We chatted with him about how his daughter was doing and his trek from Canada.

We searched through the 6 and 7 foot Fraser Firs.

Critiquing.

Analyzing.

Comparing.

Until we found it.

The one that, with a lot of work and a little magic would light our mornings and evenings for the next month.

Dean hoisted the 2 foot Fraser over his should and we headed home.

The tree, suited for a toddler.

Set up time was short.

No need for trimming or rearranging furniture.

Lights were strung in 60 seconds.

I remember, as a child, the mystery of that darkened room and the beauty of those twinkling lights.

Maddie looked on with wide eyes as the lights illuminated our first Charlie Brown tree.

This year we carefully picked just a handful of our plastic and wooden ornaments, sparing all glass – I’m sure a couple will hit the ground, be tossed across the room or sway with the tree.

The special memories relived through each ornament – my mother’s duck, Dean’s martini shaker, our trip to Rome bulb before Maddie was born, the Cape May boat of our first family trip of 3.

Then I came across “Baby’s First Christmas,” time sure is flying, faster than I had truly imagined.

Already so many precious memories in just a year and a half.

Wow.

Maddie hung a few ornaments.

Analyzing each branch where her tiny fingers were determined to place them.

This year spacing didn’t matter.

Several ornaments on a single branch were waved.

Not the same tree as in the past – small in stature, but big in meaning.

Family history lives and is growing on that tree.

Tonight I played with Maddie next to that tree.

Together.

With those ornaments.

The past, the present, all woven together with so much meaning, so much joy and so much love, on and next to that Christmas tree.

As Summer Fades

 

When children head back to school and the weather becomes less humid the feeling of summer begins to fade.  As we absorbed our last city summer weekend together, as a little family of three, I could not help but reminisce on what made this summer special.  There were milestones for all, many playdates and birthday parties, family and friend visits, fumbled and learned as a parent, which I’m sure will be a lifetime of growth, learned not to sweat the small stuff, and learned how to squeeze a stroller onto a subway during rush hour.  I took countless pictures and went through them all!  Tear.  Here are some of my summer favorites…

Exploring the city through the eyes of a child…a new experience for us all and how fun it was…covered half of the city parks…

Maddie’s summer milestones…first birthday and walking on her own…

Our many new ways to get around the city with a stroller…taking the ferry through the East River is one…

Family trips we took over the summer.  Learned to adjust travel schedules to nap schedules…no trip is a small trip or as simple as it was before…

Numerous fun playdates and birthday parties.  I’ve never been to so many parties in one summer, actually make that a year!

My husband’s 40th surprise birthday party…two big birthday milestones this summer…phew, have to hand it to those party planners!

and, of course, all the crazy places and situations Maddie got herself into.

May the last few weeks of your summer be fun, memorable and shared with those you love.  This week we’re planning for guests and getting ready for our final summer trip.

What are some memorable moments from your summer?  I would love to hear about them.

Until next ride,

Amy

 

Vacationing: Kids or No Kids?

Illustration by Adrienne Hedger

In the past, I would point my finger anywhere on the globe and just take off.  It didn’t matter how long the flight was, or the number of days I was gone (well to an extent), or how long I stayed out in the evenings, or the activities I did during the day or the minor bumps that came along with traveling.  There were no restrictions.  And, a beach vacation was exactly what it was meant to be; no recollection of time, sprawled out on a beach blanket, nursing several nearby pina coladas, shades on, eyes closed, toes buried in the sand and waves crashing inches away.  So simple, so easy, so carefree.  A real vacation.

This year things aren’t so simple and there is a tough lingering question.  That question it not how many bathing suits should I bring, or which restaurants and lounges are in the area, or what activities can we do, or what drinks will be offered poolside.  The difficult mother question is, should we take Madison or not?  Am I ready to leave our 14 month old for almost two weeks?  Will she be traumatized?  Will I?

My 10 thoughts on not bringing children, or Madison, on vacation…

1)  Will Madison be distraught if we leave her behind?  She breaks down the moment the babysitter enters the apartment and doesn’t stop until bedtime!

2)  The poor grandparents!  Will they be able to handle a 14 month old, who is teething, for almost two weeks?  Will they ever want to come back?

3)  Vacation = Relaxation.  Will I truly be able to relax wondering about Maddie a 14 hour flight away?

4)  No checking out this year!  Need to get international service.  I will definitely need daily check-ins and maybe a messaged picture or two.

5)  Reservations about a 14 hour flight.  The last time I flew I was 6 months pregnant, having back pain, Maddie was hanging-out on my sciatic nerve and I was dealing with those other unmentionables, that all women can relate to, during pregnancy!

6)  However!  We will have freedom to stay out as late as we want!  I know there’s life past 7pm.  Lets find it!

7)  All the pina coladas, margaritas and sangria I want!  Reliving carefree days.

8)  Lets kick start that spark!!  Gets a little dim when everything revolves around kids.  We know it’s there!  Just needs a little Santorini fuel.

9)  No diapers, no clean up, no laundry, no temper tantrums.  Looking better and better!

10) I think we both need some adult time!

I vote, No Kids!  Will Madison need child therapy in the end, no, and will mommy need to turn to countless sangrias, no, well maybe just a couple.  Even though traveling used to be easier, the things that made it easy before don’t seem to be as important now.   So what, if I have to check my luggage rather than have easy breezy carry on.  So what, if our transportation is running late to pick us up.  So what, if we don’t get the check-in time we wanted.  What matters is time together, either as a family or as that so-needed couples time.  Things for us have definitely changed, our worries have changed and our needs have changed, but changed for the better.

Are you taking a self-needed vacation this year and leaving someone or something behind?  My girlfriend is taking a vacation and leaving her cell phone and technology behind.  Now that’s tough!  How about you?

Until next ride,

Amy

It’s Here! It’s Here!

We have been checking the mail for the last two years anxiously awaiting, not giving up hope, and blaming the poor mailman!  Here is an example of our evening conversations, after checking the mail, over this long awaited time…

Dean: Did it arrive Amy?

Amy:  Not today, honey…

Dean: Do you think they’ll really publish it?

Amy:  I hope so, but not sure…

Dean: Should you check on it?

Amy:  I have been…

Dean: Ok, we probably won’t recognize ourselves once it does get published, because we’ll be so old!

Amy:  Speak for yourself!  I plan on looking the same as I did on our wedding day 20 years from now!  {well, that’s what I thought before I had a baby :) }

Dean: Of course honey :)

Drum roll…trumpets please…announcement…it’s here!  Two years in the making, or two years of Amy following up so we don’t get lost in the wedding paper shuffle, is our debut in Melbourne Bride Destination!  We were hoping for a tiny spot in the corner, but to our surprise, got four pages!!  It’s an Aussie magazine, so tough to get your hands on, since they don’t mail out of Australia.  But, so cool to know we are in a magazine!  Probably my first and last time in a magazine, so I’m going to dwell in it for a while.  Here it is…take a peek…

Looking at these pictures and reading the write-up brings back so many fun and happy memories with family and friends.  I feel like I could do it all over again…

I can’t believe we have been married for two years already.  How time flies, especially with a 14 month old.  And, your calculations are correct.  Maddie blessed us shortly after we were married.  Celebrating our one year anniversary, at home, with our three week old daughter could not have made the first year of marriage more memorable.  She is truly the icing on the cake, no wedding pun intended!

Is there something you hold onto, or have, that reminds you of a special time?  I would love to hear about it.

Until next ride,

Amy

 

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