- each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, with the fresh yes of an adventurer -

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

signs of spring

these past few weeks of april in new york have been absolutely gorgeous.

really unbelievably gorgeous.

i do believe it is officially springtime in the city!

Monday, April 26, 2010

April Staycation!

Last week, Mom and Dad came up for a long weekend!

Usually I don't take any time off work when they visit. They can navigate the city well enough on their own by now. (slash with my detailed itineraries?) But because it had been so long since they were both able to visit at the same time, I decided I needed a few days off to hang with them.

Staycation. Totally worth it.

We spent 4 days playing in the city. The weather semi-cooperated and we had such a fantastic weekend. And while I expected to be a bit stressy, as I always am when I'm in charge of visitors, I'm happy to say that the weekend was quite stressy free. I'm learning. :)

Of course me and Mom had planned out our entire weekend itinerary. Because we are planners and that's just what we do. We make plans. And Daddy just goes along with them. This trip, we planned early, so we had lots of fun things on the agenda.

First up, a lil boat cruise around the island. I know, I know, it doesn't sound super exciting. But on this 70 degree sunshiney Thursday, it was the perfect way to enjoy the weather and see Manhattan. I didn't even have to make them walk the entire city this time. I believe they appreciated that part.

me and mom on the boat!

Gracie Mansion - The Mayor's house - And Carl Schultz Park, a few blocks from my UES apartment.

And I may have gotten a little (read: a lot) sunburned. When will I ever learn?

We went to see Jersey Boys on Broadway. (Finally! It's been on my list forever!) It was just as wonderful as I thought it would be. Glad I splurged a lil bit on the better seats. Because according to Dad, "That's the best show you've ever taken us to!" Win!

Friday we hopped on the 5 train up to the Bronx Zoo. I can't even tell you the last time I went to the zoo. Maybe in High School? Or Middle School even? I have no idea. But we'd heard good things, and I like animals, so to the Bronx we went!

I honestly can't remember what this guy is called. But I liked my creative photography from inside the cave.

Gorillas are pretty funny.

Was this before or after I bought a diet coke from a lady who told me my yellow shirt made me look like I was glowing?


And Tigers! On Tiger Mountain!

And Polar Bears!

And this lil guy. A Red Panda. He was cute.

After our zoo adventure, I think Mom and Dad were all walked out. But we had late dinner ressie's at Little Owl that I made 4 weeks ago and have been looking forward to for months. So suck it up, we're going downtown for delicious dinner! I mean, maybe. If we can get there. The 1 train has decided not to run? And in the rain? And where are we?

But, oh. was. it. delicious!

Cheers to delicious dinner! And a fun NYC weekend!

And this is Daddy's Root Beer Float dessert. I had beignets. With Nutella. Delightful.

Oh, and the Texas Rangers also happened to be in town playing the Yankees this weekend. For whatever reason, Dad didn't realize they were here. By the time he realized, he forced me to try and google last minute tickets to the game. Little did he know that Mom and I had already taken care of the ticket situation. See, we're quite the planners. Surprise Daddy!

Next time though, I request a lil sunshine with my Yankees tickets. It was freezing. My arms were still radiating heat from a 2-day old sunburn, yet suddenly it was freezing. Figures.

And then on Sunday after brunch, we headed over to Brooklyn to browse the Brooklyn Flea Market. After my own flea adventures with Bethany, I had been hoping to get Mom out there to visit the old Williamsburg Bank building and search for more treasures. She loved it. Just like I knew she would.

Oh and Daddy took me to Wankel's Hardware on 87th street to purchase a new screwdriver. Mine broke. And who knows where to buy a screwdriver? And there are just too many to choose from. How do you know which is best? These are things I miss about having my Dad around. He takes care of me.

And then the weekend was over. I put Mom and Dad into a cab, LGA-bound and headed to the gym to work off the ridiculous amounts of carbs consumed over the weekend.

But like I said, worth every minute.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuesday Night Dilemma

Sometimes I have to make hard decisions.

If you worked late and only had time to watch 1 of 3 really fantastic Tuesday night TV shows when you got home, which one would it be?
a) American Idol
b) Glee
Tough, right? I mean, really tough choice.

AI is always entertaining and I don't have to fully pay attention, but I'm not loving this season, so maybe I'll just catch up tomorrow? But I could watch while I'm putting away laundry...

And Glee! Glee is back after what has felt like the LONGEST break in the history of winter TV breaks! I've been looking forward to it's return for weeks! And everyone will be talking about it tomorrow...

But then there's LOST. Except, I know I'll have to focus to watch it or it won't be worth watching. And it's late and I'm already sleepy and I really am getting up early to hit the gym in the morning...REALLY. I. AM. But everyone will be talking about it tomorrow too and I don't want to feel left out.

Oh just pick one!

Fine! Decision made!
I think I have to go with Glee! Just have to.
What can I say? I have an affinity for show tunes and Sue Sylvester one-liners. It's guaranteed to make me laugh out loud and I'll probably be quoting it tomorrow. Done and done.

Of course it would happen that the one time I don't watch LOST on a Tuesday night, I get an email from co-workers who would like to discuss whatever happened in the episode that I put on the back-burner to Glee. Of course that happened.

I felt like such a fake fake LOST fan with my "well, guys...the thing is....I ummm...I decided to watch Glee last night instead..." email response. And let me just be clear - I am not a fake LOST fan. I am a very dedicated LOST fan that has persuaded many others to jump on the LOST train. Co-worker Eric was in such disbelief that his response to my inadequacies was simply "ew."

Sigh. You can't always win. Sometimes sleep is necessary. And please let the record show -- I did not get up and go to the gym. So really, my efforts for more sleep with the intention of working out were all for nothing. Grrrrr.

In my defense though, I leave you with this lil gem of a Glee clip. You know, in case you chose LOST over Glee or something crazy like that and you missed it.

You are welcome.

Monday, April 12, 2010

She's TWO!

Things I hate about living so far from home -- missing birthdays.

Especially her birthday.

Today Sloan, my lil oh-so-adorable-you-can't-possibly-look-at-her-without-smiling niece, turns 2.

Y'all, she's 2! Already! How?! I mean, she just turned 1!
Or it seems like it anyway. Time. Flies.

This past weekend Sloan had her 2nd birthday party with her lil friends at a lil gym in Dallas. Everyone was there. And I was babysitting. On the Upper West Side. Very far away from Texas. Sigh.

Thankfully I got the play-by-play from Leslee. So it was kinda like I was there-ish. Thanks Les!

I wish I had a recording of this phone conversation. Because the preciousness of her 2-year-old voice just cannot be translated into writing.

Les: Who are we calling?
Sloan: La La
Les: Yep. Say hi!
LJ: Hi Sloan! Happy Happy Birthday!
Sloan: Hi La La!
Les: Tell her thank you for your shoes...
Sloan: Thank you for my shoes!

And then she was off. She's very busy. And it was her birthday after all. Soverybusy and important. And I adore her.

Les tells me she opened up the cutie purple Haviana's flippy flops I bought her, put them on immediately, showed them off, then said "These are my shoes." and ran to put them away in her closet.


Tell me she's not the cutest lil girl ever! And those flippies? I kind of love them. :)

OhhowIwish I were there to celebrate her 2nd birthday! To see her play with her lil friends and eat her birthday cake and open all her presents.

But I couldn't and wasn't. So I'm content with a phone call and pictures. For now at least. I'm not sure I'm prepared to let her turn 3 without me.

Happy Happy 2nd Birthday to the prettiest 2-year-old around!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bracket: Busted.

Oh hey, remember last year during March Madness? When I was 'The CHAMP?' Yeah, that was awesome.

This year? March Madness? Not so awesome. Mostly just Madness.

Here's my bracket. Or what's left of it anyway. I successfully chose 4 teams to be in the Final Four that were all officially eliminated after the Elite 8. I am that good.

So much for being "The Champ" 2 years in a row.

Oh and Longhorns, if you're reading, please try not to disappoint us quite this badly next year. kthanks.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Surprises!

Things I love about living so far from home -- Surprises!

Ok, I won't lie, there are lots of things I hate about living real far away from my family. Especially during holidays when I can't be there with them. It's kinda tough. Les even sent me this message -- "Are you surprising us and coming home for Easter this weekend?!?!" Sigh. Oh how I wish I was!

But last week (arguably one of the stressiest work weeks in my big girl career), I came back to my desk after a loooong meeting to find a surprise package from Texas waiting for me! An Easter surprise package! Addressed to me in Daddy's careful handwriting.

It didn't matter that it was 3:30pm and I hadn't had time for lunch yet. I couldn't wait even 2 seconds before immediately ripping the box open.

Look, look! Liberty of London rain boots! Pink and flowery! Just like me! And I adore them!

I mean, what could possibly be better than an Easter basket box of treats from home?! Pretty pretty rain boots, plastic Easter eggs filled with yummy Cadbury creme eggs, Dove dark chocolates and truffles, sweet notes and a pink iTunes gift card! Well that's just enough to make me smile even on the stressiest of stressy days!

I love my parents. Lots. And I miss them terribly. But I love how surprises like this one makes them feel so much closer than they really are.

Happy Easter! Love!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

All To Him I Owe

Happy Happy Easter Sunday!

I had every intention of writing really great blog posts this Holy Week. Really, I did.

But as it always does, life kind of got in the way of my good intentions. And suddenly it was Easter Sunday and I still hadn't written an Easter blog.

I had so much to say this week. In this season of reflection on my Lord and the sacrifice he made for me, for us. There is so much on my heart that I wanted to share.

Unfortunately, I find myself completely mentally exhausted on this Easter Sunday and I can't even find the energy to write a thoughtful sentence. Instead, I shall share these song lyrics.

They say it all anyway. The story of how in His death, Jesus paid debts that weren't even His to pay. I am overwhelmed by this kind of love. And this kind of sacrifice. The ultimate sacrifice in death, overcome in resurrection. He died, and now He lives. All so that we could be redeemed. That's crazy love.

I hear the Savior say
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness watch and pray
Find in me thine all in all

Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

Lord now indeed I find
Thy power and thine alone
Can change the lepers spots
And melt the heart of stone

Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

And when before the throne
I stand in him complete
Jesus died my soul to save
My lips shall still repeat

Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

Oh praise the one who paid my debts
And raised this life up from the dead.

"As for me, I know that my redeemer lives,
And at the last, He will take His stand upon the earth."
~Job 19:25