I’ve Got Sunshine ☀️

This is less of an NYC update and more just my stream of thoughts from the last 24 hours. Scroll down for some pictures of some fun things we did this past month though!

Spending a couple of (sunny, gorgeous!) days in Orlando this week got me thinking about how much life has changed since the last time I was there for a conference. (Technically that was in 2017, but since that time I flew in and out the same day and spent most of my meetings feeling nauseous in early pregnancy with Bella, I don’t count that one 😉). The time before that was almost exactly 5 years ago at the same Omni resort. I had just started a new role at Cerner and my boss asked me to attend a healthy policy event at the last minute. I happily accepted the invitation to escape the cold Midwest winter for a few days. I remember watching the SOTU address in my hotel room, which was not at the resort since I booked my travel too late and they were sold out. I stayed at a Residence Inn type of hotel down the street and was definitely the only person there alone on business (vs. a Disney trip) in a huge family style apartment. I was training for my second marathon and loved running in the warmer weather for a couple days, and the thought of going to Disney by myself didn’t even cross my mind.

Fast forward to this week. I attended a Medicaid conference at the same Omni resort, but again booked accommodations too late so I stayed off property. This time, however, I stayed at the Gaylord Palms, which was amazing, I can’t lie. I felt guilty to be staying somewhere so beautiful and unique without my family, and this time I definitely contemplated whether they could meet me down there to do Disney World, but we couldn’t swing it last minute. Like last time, I caught a few clips of the SOTU in my room after dinner, which made me stop and think about how much our country has changed in the last five years too…but I digress.

Of course I had grand plans of going to the fitness center but never made it (extra sleep just felt so much better). Five years ago I would have been upset with myself for sleeping in vs. running, but with the exhaustion involved in caring for two little humans and still learning a new job, city, and way of life in NYC, I cut myself some slack and really cherished those extra zzzz’s.

On my Uber ride to the conference Tuesday morning, I started thinking about all the changes I’ve experienced personally and professionally since 2014. I’ve had two children, sold and bought a house, had 2 more roles at Cerner and took a new job in a totally different area of healthcare that allowed us to pursue a big dream and move to New York City. I’ve grown in my marriage, my career, and as a mom. I’ve learned hard lessons, made some mistakes, had some successes, and honestly appreciate all of those for what they’ve taught me.

It still felt odd to tell people at the conference that I work for a health plan in New York City instead of Cerner in Kansas City, although that still came up in many conversations since we haven’t been in New York for very long. Meeting people with a KC connection always ‘sparks joy’ for me, to use Marie Kondo’s words. 😉 10 years ago I never thought I would have such a deep affection for Kansas City, but I’m proud to have roots there now.

We haven’t missed the rough winter KC has had so far this year, even though the gail force winds in NYC are intense and can be bitter cold. We get the brunt of the wind living on the far west side of Manhattan right off the Hudson River. I have yet to see any snow accumulation in NYC though so I’ll take it. I don’t completely hate snow, but I also don’t love the idea of schlepping around in it every day on the way to school and work.

While I got a little sunshine in Florida, this week also has been mild in NYC so the kids were able to get some vitamin D and play outside a bit. It’s amazing what a few unexpected warmer and sunny days in the winter can do. Everyone seems happier, more patient with each other and less stressed out. I know we still have a lot of winter left before it’s actually spring, but any break from the cold and grey is welcome!

Between these cold and grey days, the kids and Brett getting sick, a devastating Chiefs loss in the AFC championship and a tough few weeks at work I’m glad January is over. February has already started off better with Ben receiving the ‘Student of the Month’ award at school for demonstrating kindness (we were SO proud!) and the sunshine this week. We are all looking forward to a long weekend in KC next weekend too! Hopefully the weather cooperates while we are there!

January in NYC:

We visited the Transit Museum in Brooklyn (in an old subway station, it’s so cool!) Decked out in our Chiefs clothes for their first playoff game of course!

Mom/Ben weekend in NYC was a great time while Dad and Bella went back to KC to cheer on the Chiefs in person (poor Bella was sick but got lots of Grandma snuggles)!

Bella tried some new art and music classes throughout the city with our nanny!

Ben and Brett went to Monster Jam in New Jersey- Ben was obviously exhausted from all the fun he couldn’t even make it through the whole thing!

January ended with Catholic schools week, and I made it to the special breakfast!

Here are a few pictures from Orlando, next time we will definitely make it a family trip! Or maybe move here next? Just kidding 😉

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