Spring is coming…Maybe, sort of?

Today was a beautiful day in NYC. The sun being out all day with temperatures in the upper 40s almost made it feel like spring Is around the corner, almost. We got out for a bit in the afternoon and even felt it was warm enough for ice cream at the iconic Big Gay Ice Cream in the West Village [side note- it definitely lives up to expectations- highly recommend for kids and adults alike]. The kids played at Washington Square Park for awhile and we ran a couple errands, it was nice to be out walking (without gloves!, until the sun started to set at least 😉).

We still have some cold days ahead of us (hopefully minimal to no snow though – we have had some since my last post but it doesn’t compare at all to what our KC friends have experienced!), but the nicer weather today got us talking about what we are looking forward to in the spring and summer. We’re excited for our first spring in NYC, which may not actually come until May, but the rest of March and April should be fun. Next weekend is St. Paddy’s Day, so that will be fun to see the big the parade here. My parents visit in a couple weeks when Brett goes to Arizona for his annual golf/Royals spring training trip, and I’m finally going to a Broadway show with them when they are here! Ben turns 4 (😭😭😭) in early April and we are doing a little celebration/weekend get away in the Riverhead area of Long Island to celebrate since Brett has a project for work out there. And hallelujah the Royals will be in town Easter weekend playing the Yankees!

In May we expect a few visitors, including Uncle Scottie and Aunt Erica, which Ben is excited about. And in mid June school is out for the summer! Still figuring out how to keep Ben occupied since this is his first real summer break, but we have a couple of trips planned that will be fun. We are especially looking forward to exploring a couple of cities on the East Coast (DC and Boston) with the kids, even if they don’t remember it at this age 😉.

Our door is always open for visitors any time! We’ve loved seeing friends and relatives the past couple of months who have been in town for various reasons. Please reach out if NYC is in your travel plans this year (or maybe it should be if it isn’t, hint hint! )

Here are a few pictures of some February fun:

Ben’s ‘Student of the Month’ award that I mentioned in the last post! Cue more tears about how fast our little man is growing up!

Intrepid Air and Space Museum with our friend Rocco!

Snowy weekend back in Missouri seeing family and friends, including lots of sledding and seeing Paw Patrol Live!

School winter break (apparently a thing in NY/East Coast? Who knew.). Our nanny helped make it fun since we had to work!

I’ve Got Sunshine â˜€ï¸

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 health 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 😉

Happy 2019!

We’re almost a week into 2019 and it’s hard to believe I started my job in NYC exactly 6 months ago. Time really does fly. Last weekend Brett and I had a date day/night (thanks again Mom and Dad for watching the kids while you were here!) and we talked about what has been easier living in NYC and what has been harder now that we are five months in. The short list is-

Easier things:

  1. Getting out with the kids, even in the winter/gross weather. This may be surprising to some, but not having to load and unload kids in and out of car seats makes it easier to get out of the house….err, apartment. In KC we would not have bought the stroller gear necessary to walk around in cold or rainy weather, but here, we can barely go a day without getting out or we lose.our.minds (Kids included). This was often the case in KC for us too, so we would go for a drive or venture to Target/Ward Parkway Mall in the winter just to get out of the house for a little bit on days we were bored. We are still figuring out the best indoor activities to do with the kids in NYC on winter days, but an interactive music class ‘Mozart for Munckins’ yesterday in the West Village was actually kind of fun. Kidpass seems to be a promising way to learn about activities and meet some young families, so I’m hopeful!
  2. Household chores. Cleaning an 800ish square foot apartment, while still difficult to do with two young kids, is much easier than a 4 bedroom house. We’ve decided to save the $ on a housekeeper here (because we’d also have to board hoop during cleanings-he’d go nuts even in his kennel 🤦🏻‍♀️), so I try to keep up with cleaning when I can on weekends, and Brett can help more since he doesn’t work weekend PRN shifts and doesn’t have any outside chores to do. The latter is something he definitely misses, as he loves his yard work and it’s a bit of an ‘escape’ for him. But I certainly appreciate the help 😉. Our nanny is also a huge help keeping the apartment tidy during the week.
  3. Ordering food and household supplies, because literally EVERYTHING can be delivered here. I know that’s becoming easier elsewhere so maybe we have just been using delivery more frequently in this phase of life, but even Trader Joe’s delivers in NYC and it’s magical. [Note: you still have to do your shopping in the store and sometimes the line is wrapped around the entire store during busy times so you just enter the store and ship while in line], but another thing about NYC TJ’s is that it’s incredibly efficient. Same for Whole Foods. The big chain grocery stores really know their stuff here 👊🏼.

Harder things:

Pretty much everything else 😂.

Ok, maybe not everything- but a couple of key things are definitely more difficult.

1. Commuting by foot and train for a mile to school every day is not always smooth or easy with a 3 year old. Ben does pretty well most days and I take the umbrella stroller when I can tell he is tired (which I then have to drag to my office too), but we’ve still had more than a few cab rides in some desperate moments. Brett’s commute to and from Long Island, while kidless, is long- 75 min in the mornings and 90 or more on the way home by foot, train, and work shuttle ride. It’s a far cry from his 10-15 minute commute to Children’s Mercy without even getting on a highway back in KC, that’s for sure.

2. The kids sharing a room, while easier than we thought, still has its challenges. Both of our kids are pretty sound sleepers, but they have slightly different bedtimes so we have to be careful not to wake Bella when Ben crawls into bed.

We had a wonderful holiday season enjoying many things NYC has to offer and having our families come visit. We avoided some of the major large crowd events like the Thanksgiving parade, Rockefeller Tree Lighting and NYE at Times Square (no desire to do that last one frankly!) because all of those seemed like they would be way more fun with an indoor view overlooking the chaos than being in it, especially in bad weather with a 3.5 and a 1 year old. We still went to see the Rockefeller tree and the Winter Village at Bryant Park (which actually has the bigger ice skating rink!) twice, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes as I shared in my last post, visited Santa at Macy’s at Herald Square, the holiday village at Union Square, and many more. Our date last Sunday at the NYC ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ was the perfect end to the holiday season. Brett and I had gone to the KC Ballet’s production 9 years in a row so it became a holiday tradition for us, and one that I cherish. I actually noticed many similarities between the KC Ballet and NYC Ballet productions, which shows how high the caliber is of both companies.

After the ballet we went to Blondie’s sports bar on the Upper West Side, which we just happened to find on Google Maps trying to find a place showing the Chiefs game. It was so much fun. Tons of football fans from all NFL teams cheering on their teams, different games showing on all the TVs lining the dining rooms and bar, and, best of all, fellow KC folks! The owner sat us next to a group of Chiefs fans who has been sitting in the same booth for 14 years, so it was great to chat with them and celebrate the Chiefs win! It made NYC feel a little bit smaller 😉.

It’s also been fun to reconnect with high school and college friends here. Brett and my high school friend Kim bonded over cocktails when we met up with friends to round out our great date- see pics below the rest of our holiday pics are on Facebook).

As we start the new year we are looking forward to exploring more of NYC and being more ‘present.’ Cheers to 2019!

Fa la la la la

The holiday season is in full swing in NYC, and I can’t lie- it’s pretty incredible. Like most places these days, the city basically goes from Halloween to Christmas overnight, but in NYC the transition pretty much has to happen quickly because with so many holiday traditions and events here, there are not enough weekends to fit everything in before the new year! If you have read one of my previous posts or seen anything I’ve posted on Instagram or Facebook lately, you can tell we have kept pretty busy exploring all the fun things the big 🍎has to offer this time of year. I’ve shared a few pictures below as well.

A couple of weeks ago I took the kids to visit my parents and sister in Little Rock over a long weekend to give Brett and his brother Scott some time here sans kiddos around. Scott came to NYC for a country concert and they had a fun time (once he finally got here after hours of flight delays!). Speaking of airport/airplane fun, my flights with the kids (connecting both ways because there are maybe two airlines with direct flights to LR from any NYC airport 🤦🏻‍♀️), were about a 4 or *maybe* a 5 on a scale of 10. When they were both content (aka one or both asleep and the other one entertained for more than 2 seconds) life was good. But of course that couldn’t happen the entire time on 4 flights, and I was outnumbered. And they knew it. Needless to say that while the weekend at my parents’, which was somewhat of a surprise for my mom, was great, I definitely won’t fly solo with both of them any time soon! Lesson learned that no amount of preparation can guarantee anything about that situation will go smoothly (duh).

It was great to see both mine and Brett’s brothers last month and we can’t wait for both sets of parents to visit this month! There really is nothing better than seeing family, especially when you don’t get to all the time. You soak it up and make the most of your time together. We had a great few days with my brother John and he captured some wonderful family photos for us in Central Park, along with some other photos here and there that I shared on Facebook. Shameless plug (unbeknownst to John)- if you are in the OKC area, contact jgrammedia for all your photography/videography/business marketing needs! I’m biased, I know, but he is the best. He’s also the most positive person Brett and I know because he hilariously documented his 16 hour flight delay while trying to get home to Oklahoma and being trapped at Newark airport on Instagram. It was quite entertaining.

Hopefully our parents don’t have flight issues as Brett’s are coming later this week! We’re taking them with us to see Santa at Macy’s, and I may be more excited about ‘Santaland’ than the kids are. Same thing happened when we went to see the Thanksgiving Day parade balloons the night before the parade, but Ben still thought it was pretty cool to see Chase from ‘Paw Patrol’ up close before watching the parade on TV the next day. Yes, we live within walking distance of Macy’s and where the broadcast happens, but no, we decided not to brave the gigantic crowds for the coldest Thanksgiving parade on record with a pre schooler and a toddler. Maybe next year 😂

We bought our first real Christmas tree this weekend, and rather than wait to have it delivered, Brett offered to lug it home on the subway from the West Village after we went to a tree lighting. It was pretty comical, but he was a good sport about it. In the one box of holiday decorations I was allowed to bring from KC (see the last post), I didn’t get to bring a ton of ornaments, so the tree is still a work in progress. Don’t worry though, those of you who know me know I’m quite bummed I didn’t get to bring all of my actual Nutcrackers to NYC, but you better believe I brought all the Nutcracker ornaments I’ve collected over the years 😉

Here are a few photos of some holiday fun we’ve had so far- including the Rockettes, Winter ‘Onederland’ at 1 WTC, Thanksgiving Parade balloons, and a few more!

Settling In

I hope I don’t jinx anything by saying this, but we’re finally starting to feel more settled in NYC. It’s been over a month at Ben’s new school and he’s adjusting well and making friends. We had a blast on his first ‘field trip’ together to a local theatre last week and I got to meet a couple of fellow preschool moms (side note- I feel like I’m dating potential mom/family friends as I try to feel them out and determine our ‘compatibility’ 😂) Our nanny is working out great and the kiddos have pretty much gotten used to our new normal. It’s also getting colder (and SO windy!) as fall has quickly come and gone and winter is looming. Apparently winter has already arrived back home as KC has had snow a couple of times now! Crazy! I’m hoping we have at least another week or so sans the white stuff here since we are out in the elements way more for day to day life, but unfortunately the forecast doesn’t look reassuring. 🤦🏻‍♀️

To prepare for the cold months, we’ve bought a weather cover for the double stroller and the kids have hats, gloves, thick coats and snow boots (well, at least Ben has snow boots- Bella probably won’t be walking in the snow much even though I’m sure she’ll want to try, home girl doesn’t like sitting still 😂). We’ve also found a pair of thick waterproof gloves that remain attached to the stroller and a stroller sleeping bag muff that we want to get, as well as a snowsuit thing for Bella. We have already learned we have to be extra prepared for Old Man Winter in these parts- our kids have made it pretty clear they do NOT like being cold!

Speaking of winter, this weekend we went to the Winter Village in Bryant Park. It’s pretty awesome. I’ve never been one to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving, but now I’m totally in the spirit and dying to get out the one box of Christmas decorations Brett let me bring to New York. I have a LOT of stuff in storage back home- it was so hard to choose! It will be like my own little Christmas to see all of my decorations when we have the space again! Oh the things you take advantage of when you have more than 800 square feet 😉

The trade off for a big tree and lots of decorations though is that New York is pretty magical during the holiday season (and it’s barely begun!) There is so much to do, we’ve started a list of things we want to prioritize for each weekend leading up to the New Year, especially when we have family in town. Personally, I CANNOT WAIT to see the balloons being inflated the night before the Macy’s parade, the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall on Thanksgiving weekend and the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center next month. I’m also excited to take the kids to various (free!) holiday events around the city – who knew there were so many! Pictures to come as we get out there (in all of our winter gear of course 😉) and explore the Big Apple during the most wonderful time of the year!🎄🎄❄️

Feeling nostalgic

  • My baby girl turning 1 in 2 days has me feeling very nostalgic this week. Watching ‘This Is Us’ tonight didn’t help 😥. As I scrolled social media today and saw all the posts about Cerner’s Health Conference (CHC) taking place this week in KC, I find myself thinking about where I was a year ago during CHC week. With Bella’s due date a few days away, I was feeling a bit funny the first day of the conference and decided to lay low at home, but the contractions I thought I was having eventually subsided that evening. I even managed to finish choreographing the rest of my winter showcase dance routines for my substitute teacher that night ‘just in case.’ I figured it was all a false alarm though and planned to head downtown for the conference events the next day, but Bella had other plans and my water broke early the next morning. 12 hours after I arrived at the hospital (alone after dropping Ben at school and with nothing but my purse as I still wasn’t convinced it was the real deal- that’s a different story), Isabelle Marie was born, and my dream of having a daughter was fulfilled. I really can’t believe a year has passed already. And a year ago I never would have believed we would be fulfilling another dream of living in NYC and celebrate Bella’s first birthday as residents of the Big Apple. Life is crazy y’all.
  • I’d be lying if I said Brett and I both don’t have moments (weekly, sometimes more) where we ask ourselves and/or each other ‘what the heck are we doing here??’ These moments often occur when things get hard, like during a tantrum on the walk/train ride to school when all the world bears witness to our 3 year old freaking out about breaking his banana in half on accident. We have to remind ourselves that this parenting gig, while awesome, is HARD, regardless of where we are. Bananas break everywhere and would probably be equally as traumatizing if it happened in the car on our drive to school/work in KC too.
  • We miss our friends and family dearly, including our old work families since CHC was a fun week for both Brett and me the past few years. I’ll never forget Brett texting me that he bailed early on an education session to watch the Royals vs. Astros in game 5 of the 2015 ALDS. When I found out how close the game was I finished my pumping session (Ben was 6 months old so I was doing the lovely working/pumping mom song and dance) as fast as humanly possibly and sprinted from the conference to the downtown Marriott to meet him in the lobby and watch the epic win with a few (hundred) fellow Cerner associates and clients. It was one of my favorite KC memories, next to actually winning the World Series and the parade of course. 🤗
  • Amid the hard ‘what the heck are we doing here moments’ though, we have plenty of ‘wow, we live here?’ moments too. Weekend adventures definitely bring some of these, but even in the most mundane every day things I sometimes have to pinch myself. For example, watching ‘Friends’ and realizing we walk by Monica’s ‘apartment’ building regularly (it’s a restaurant in the Village called The Little Owl, actually a few blocks from Ben’s school), or the opening shots of ‘SNL’, or even the aerial views of the city during the MLB playoffs taking place at Yankee Stadium, it still feels a bit surreal to call this place home. It’s also a bit crazy that Arianna Grande lives two blocks from us across from our local pizza joint. No, we haven’t seen her yet, but we did run into Amy Adams on the subway last weekend. She was sitting right across from where we were standing with the stroller and Bella offered her her snack, because why wouldn’t you want to share your cheese crackers? Kids have such an innocent way of bringing all kinds of people together, it’s the sweetest thing. Her young daughter was adorable and we chatted a bit before I even caught on to the fact that other people were looking our direction and (unsuccessfully) sneaking pictures. But I played it cool because I mean, we’re basically related now, we even have the same last name 😂😜. Jk, I’m not cool at all because once off the train I definitely had a starstruck moment and had to share our first celeb sighting on my Instagram story.
  • We are excited to do more fun things as the fall weather sets in for good and we get more settled in our new new routine. Ben is doing really well at his new school and we know in our hearts this was the right thing for him, even if it was hard to make him change again so soon. God was looking out for us, that’s for sure.
  • Here are a few pics from the past week or so, and a pic of Bella as a newborn because I’m still in shock it’s been a year since these photos were taken and my baby is almost walking!
  • Love this candle from Brett’s former coworkers! beautiful sunset over Chelsea Piers, one block from our apt.practicing his scooter skills in Central Park! Brooklyn bus festival was a hit! Even if the kids did not feel like smiling for pictures because snacks > pics
  • Fall is here!

  • Fall is upon us in the big Apple and we’re ready for the change in seasons. Well, I am anyway, Brett would probably be ok if it was summer 24/7/365. The weather has been a rollercoaster this past month and it’s crazy how it can really affect one’s mood, especially when you are out in the elements more regularly in NYC. We all need some rain boots/winter boots pronto!
  • But enough about the weather. It’s been several weeks since I last posted and we’ve been pretty busy trying to adjust to our new normal, including what is and isn’t working in terms of our daily commutes/where to park the car and, most importantly, child care. We’ve decided to pull the kids from full time daycare and hire a nanny for Bella since Ben got into a Catholic school in the West Village (yay!) Not only are we excited about the new community we will be joining, but it will also give Ben a bit of a break from being in daycare 9+ hours every day since he was 12 weeks old- pre school gets out at 2:15 every day! It is also quite a bit more affordable to have a nanny and do Catholic pre school in NYC, which is the exact opposite in Kansas City. Hopefully this all works out, but if the trial day on Friday is any indication we feel pretty good about it. Ben asked to stay longer to play with his new friends 😊. The nanny we hired has already babysat a few times for us, is originally from Mexico (we hope Bella becomes bilingual), and is very kind and patient with the kiddos. These are all good signs that even with another round of changes coming, especially for the kids, we’ll make it through just fine.
  • Last weekend we went back to Missouri and had a great time seeing friends and family. We had a date night to see Billy Joel at Kauffman Stadium, took the kids to a carnival at Brett’s high school alma mater with our sweet friends, had a Chiefs watch party and celebrated Bella’s first birthday a little early with the Adams side of the family. It was a blast and just what we needed to see familiar friendly faces. We have several visitors lined up for the holiday season too and can’t wait to see them all!
  • I’ll try to post more regularly as we continue settling into our new routine. I’ve shared a lot of recent photos and videos on Facebook and Instagram so I won’t duplicate posting them here, but here are a few from a fun (beautiful!) and still somewhat warm fall day today in our neighborhood.
  • Chelsea Waterside Park is open again and so much fun!