Well, fall is officially here! Which means, we are in full coat, hat, and gloves full time now. I had a scare for a minute because I could not remember if I had a winter coat at all. Everyone around me kept telling me that it was freezing outside, so I scoured my closet and all of our remaining boxes to find something warm. I could’ve sworn I bought one last year, but could not find one. BUT we promised the girls this day in Brooklyn with friends, so I layered up, threw on my warmest leather bomber and headed out the door with the family.
We hopped on the F train to Dumbo for our fun afternoon! The girls were so excited! We were going to meet our friends, Laura Beth and Blake with their three kids (including their brand new baby girl that I was dying to hold) and as an added bonus, Laura Beth’s parents were going to be there. I understand that sentence may sound strange that I would be excited to see my friend’s parents at our playdate…let me explain… Laura Beth’s parents, “Miss Cathy and Mr. Jeff” have known me since the day I was born. It was a blessing to get to see them again. They are, by far, some of the kindest people on Earth and have been an encouragement to my whole family for 30 years…so yes… excited.
We have a few rituals on the train to keep the girls occupied on our commutes. One of them is Rock, Paper, Scissors and Jozlyn is the absolute Champ! Basically, undefeated. A gentleman on the train saw us playing and asked if he could see if he could beat her.
When I say, that this girl is outgoing… I ain’t playing! ha… and she won.
Once we got out, we walked along the East River until we saw the Carousel pop up over the trees. The kids went crazy!
Hi, Miss Cathy!!!
We took several trips on the Carousel and then headed to a nearby playground to let some kids get the last of their energy out. Luckily, it wasn’t as bad as I had expected, and I made it through the day just fine…sans winter coat….which I found hanging in my closet when I got home. Ha.
I think it’s fair to say we tuckered them out just fine.
Next time you’re in New York, don’t overlook a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to this beautiful park. I recently wrote about my first trek and it is not to be missed! It’s one of the best views of the city you’ll find. Thanks for checking in!
New York has some pretty amazing experiences to offer! And we have been blessed to do some incredible things so far… however, something that has definitely been one of the coolest experiences IN MY LIFE is singing at the legendary Rainbow Room on top of Rockefeller Plaza. I could not believe that Jordan and I were not only going to sit in the room of this extravagant venue, but sing! What is my life right now?
Now, before it seems I am making this something bigger (for us) than it was… our good friend Quentin (and Broadway star of CATS and the upcoming ONCE ON THIS ISLAND) was invited to sing for an event here and asked us to sing a trio with him. It was his gig for sure…but who cares?? I got to sing in the Rainbow Room….with a Broadway star…. as a princess! We sang the trio from SHREK, so since I was singing Fiona, I think I can claim my tiara now. Although, technically, she was an ogre with an oversize bangle on her head, but WHATEVER! I was singing Sutton Foster. 🙂
This was such an amazing experience! If you get the chance, the Rainbow Room is open to the public, so go check it out when you’re in the city!
Now, people have been yelling that I haven’t posted video (and by “people” I mean my mother). There was no video taken at the venue as it was not allowed. Here is a clip of our rehearsal sans Quentin as SHREK. Thank you so much for your prayers!
We love you guys!
Guys, my babies are growing up. I cannot begin to tell you how hard that is. Of course, every mommy in the world knows the horror of this feeling. No one needs to try and explain to another mom the pain of seeing your babies developing into children/kids/middleschoolers/teenagers/ adults. Of course, there are perks to be sure. I feel like I’m going to look into all the faces of the moms on Jozlyn’s first day of school… yes, my daughter is going to school for the first time this year, and see an expression of equal parts heartbreak and elation; an inward struggle for a dominant emotion. I am thrilled to have some time to do adult things. I am excited to hopefully have conversations with “big people” who challenge my thinking and help me grow. But I am equally unnerved at the thought of my daughter being away from me for 8 hours a day. I mean, for the next 13 years of her life AT LEAST, someone else will have more time with her than I will. I will no longer be the one who has the best opportunity to develop her character, responses, intellect, and grace. That is a sobering thought.
When considering moving to NYC, of course, we THOUGHT about the day when Jozzy would go to school. We talked about the school systems and some options. We felt very strongly about putting our kids in public school. We want them to be a good influence in the community and thought it would be a great way to meet people outside the church. I still believe that. As much as I love Christian education, and believe me, I DO, I have definitely seen the effects of not allowing kids to develop a Christian worldview outside of the confines of the safe church. When we don’t expose our kids to things outside the church until we throw them out into the college world, we are begging for overwhelmed, blindsided and often times, ineffective Christians on college campuses…many of whom, leave the church once they’ve experienced this “new world”. This, of course, is not the case for everybody but is a large number. We didn’t want that for our babies.
However, when you’re in New York, that safety bubble is effectively burst! There is no “church world”. They are exposed to everything you can be exposed to simply by existing in this place, so we decided Christian school would be a great option. This is the only reason that I’m not having a nervous breakdown right now.
Jozlyn is so ready to be in school. She’s excited to go and I know she will thrive. I know every momma thinks their babies are brilliant…but mine really is…:). Maybe not “brilliant”, but she’s a very capable, smart little girl and I am excited what school will do for her. I’m excited for her to be able to be social and structured. I’m excited for her to experience new things. I’m excited to see who she will become. And I’m excited to get some one-on-one time with my little one.
The kids have coped by clinging to one another and I think the separation will help them gain some needed independence. I’m so glad they love each other, but right now, they tend to fall apart a bit when separated.
We are so excited about Jozzy’s school. I really want to tell you what school it is, but I’ve been on the internet too much and don’t want to say where they are going! ha. I’m that mom. But I will tell you it is an amazing place with fantastic leadership. They have shown love for our family and made us feel like our girls would be special to them, which I’m sure they do to each family, but I love them for it.
You guys are the best! Thank you for lifting us up. We love you.
Last week, I wrote about taking Jozzy to the theater in an Anastasia costume. Since Halloween is coming, here is a quick DIY if you want to make your own princess dress for your little princess.
I scoured the internet for a toddler sized costume for the Russian princess and found NOTHING! I decided I was going to have to jimmy rig something. But when I did research I found that the Broadway costume is totally different than the finale film dress. I knew Jozlyn would request the film dress, but would be so ecstatic to see the dress she was wearing on stage. So I showed her pictures of Anya’s Broadway dress and she agreed that it would be better to go with her red dress…whew.
So, for any other Broadway lovers out there…. here are the steps to making this dress…
Here is the original Broadway dress…..
This is the dress I purchased for about $20…
The first thing I did is CUT THAT FLOWER OFF!
Get some gold trimming and red jewels from your
local fabric/craft store or online…
This ran me another $20
The dress ended up being a bit big on top (she’s tiny), so I just tried it on her and tightened the side seam and straps.
Lay out a pattern for your appliques, and decide what you like. Play with things to get the right scale. Luckily, this Russian-inspired gown called for opulence… the more the better!
I was not excited that the dress has rhinestones on it when I first got the dress, but it ended up adding a bit I think. I layered on one applique at the bust and a simple small one to lengthen the center to her waist.
I then went to town pinning all of my appliques in place..making tweaks as I went. Once I was happy with the placement, I thought I would glue them down… but, I decided to bite the bullet and hand sew them (you can just sew them down). I know some of you are thinking “Why didn’t she just use her machine!?” Well, I tried and broke 2 needs on the embedded sequence… ouch. I had the time, so I just took out my needle and thread and did it myself. It actually took a lot less time than I expected.
Once the appliques were secure, I could get to the fun part…. JEWELS! I bought way too many jewels, but they were pretty and I knew I wanted to make it obnoxiously gawdy! ha. I simply Gorilla Glued the gems in place and tried my best to edit my desires to bedazzle the entire gown. I think it turned out just right.
At this point, my plan was complete… but it never is with me.
One of my favorite aspects of the gown is its silhouette. It is very similar to an Audrey Hepburn gown… a classic 50’s line where there are two skirts: a slim fitting column skirt seen through the front slit of a voluminous top skirt. It is one of my favorite designs in all of fashion and I hated that it wasn’t a part of this mini copy.
I had to at least reference it, so I slit the top layer of the dress right down the middle and tacked it back to reveal the silk under skirt. In the original dress the bottom skirt is almost a baroque pattern. I was not going to spend any more money as I was already at my budget, so I took some leftover trim and cut out some pieces to form a pattern down the center of the underskirt I had revealed. It was not exact but at least it was a nod to the beauty of the Broadway design.
After adding a few more gems to the new pattern and the tiara, I stepped back and felt pretty good about what had been done. Jozzy was going to love it.
If you tackle this (or others), leave a picture in the comments! Good luck!
It is no secret that one of the best parts about living in New York, in my humble opinion, is the access to the most incredible theater in the world! I have always loved theater. My grandmother sat me down in front of the tv to watch musicals since I was born. My babysitter from that time said I had SOUND OF MUSIC memorized at 6… in its entirety… including choreo…:) That started a love affair for musicals that grew to a love of theater. I loved the music, the dance, and the clothes!! Vera Ellen’s dresses that swirled around her as she turned across the floor, Julie Andrews turning curtains into day clothes for a litter of children, Marilyn Monroes beautifully ornate gowns. Period pieces, contemporary works of art… I just love the clothes that litter the stages and screens of the theater. I’ve been obsessed my whole life.
One of my favorite pictures I own is one of Jozlyn before she turned 1. She had a bad ear infection and would scream everytime I laid her flat. The only thing that would help quiet her for a few minutes at a time was when I put on SINGIN IN THE RAIN on my laptop. She would crook her little neck to watch Gene Kelly dance gracefully across the screen. I knew I had my theater buddy! I now have two little girls… two girly girls… and I have been anxiously awaiting the day that I get to take my baby girls to their first Broadway show. The day finally arrived for my oldest. We took Jozlyn to see ANASTASIA. She already knew most of the music since we had been watching it on repeat since we decided to go. And since I tend to the dramatic, I decided my little princess should go decked out as a princess.
I now have two little girls… two girly girls… and I have been anxiously awaiting the day that I get to take my baby girls to their first Broadway show. The day finally arrived for my oldest. We took Jozlyn to see ANASTASIA. She already knew most of the music since we had been watching it on repeat since we decided to go. And since I tend to the dramatic, I decided my little princess should go decked out as a princess.
She was so excited! When Anastasia came out on stage in this dress, Jozlyn freaked out! I love making my baby girl happy!
Here are some of our favorite shots of the day.
She was wide awake when we were headed home… at nearly midnight! haha
Thanks for checkin in!
Summer was quickly coming to a close and Jozlyn would not stop asking for another day at the beach. The funny thing is that I grew up in a home that was no longer than 15 minutes from a beautiful Florida beach… and I think I made my way to the sand a total of 6 times in 10 years. My little girl, however, is completely enamored with the sight of the waves and the feeling of sand between her toes. So we made plans to go with our good friends just before school started.
I guess she had fun 😉
So blessed to have sweet friends that love on my kids and are a god send to me! Thanks for checking in!
This is not happening. I feel like this cannot be happening, but it is! I am sending my daughter off to school. Not mother’s day out. Not a two day a week day care….SCHOOL! What is happening!?
We found a great, Christian school in Queens and were blessed enough to find a way to get her in at the last minute! She was so excited that “going to school” became the go-to bribe for the whole week before she went. I would say, “Now Joz, you need to obey Mommy like a big girl. Big girls get to go to school, but babies stay home with Mommy all day.” Like I was actually going to consider not taking her to school! lol.
She picked out her outfit and I bought her a new jacket. Kenny was even unwittingly excited…not realizing she was going to be without her best friend during the day now. My big girl smiled the whole morning even though we had to wake her up earlier than practically she’d ever been woken. New York is amazing, but since we moved here during the summer, it’s been hard to for her to find friends. And Jozzy is a social girl, so no kids around is a bit of a problem for her. I knew school would solve a lot of her loneliness and have been so excited to see her little eyes light up like this!
I am so going to miss having her infectious energy with me all day, but am so excited to see how she blossoms in this new environment! I just hope the teacher can contain her! lol
The girls have been so good over the past few days. Jordan hasn’t felt great this past week, so we spent a lot of days inside getting the whole house healthy. After everyone was back to full health, we decided to surprise the kids with an outing; an outing that momma has been wanting to go on for a while now!
They were so excited. Jozlyn kept squeeling when she saw the bikes and Kendall, of course, copied everything Jozzy did. After biking up and down the hills of the park (ps- I forgot how tiring biking is, but so much fun!), we sat down at the mall which is always littered with street performers and artists. It is also where J Lo strolled with Ralph Fiennes in MAID IN MANHATTAN.
We even happened onto an outdoor, free dance class in the middle of the park.
The artists were great, but the scenery was breath taking.
Jozlyn saw daddy taking pictures and was an oh so willing model.
and so Kendall followed…
I know this pic is crazy blurry, but we had so much fun!
New adventures, new places…every day.
Thanks for checkin in!!
Confession: I have been to Central Park A LOT. It is basically my fall back when I haven’t planned anything to do with my kids that day. They are always happy when we spend time there, but never moreso than when we meet some FRIENDS!
Today, we met my old friend, Jeff. Shout out to Jeff who has been such a source of encouragement and comfort in this transition! We went to college together and both majored in theater. It has been so good to have him here to reminisce and talk shop with. He watches a little boy here in the city right by our apartment, so we decided to meet up at the playground next to my place.
This playground literally is 1 block into the park and I am embarrassed to say that it is the farthest I have ventured into one of the most famous and beautiful parks in the world! ENTER JEFF! After playing on the swings for a bit, Jeff led us north through a path that took us through beautiful tree lined walk ways. On either side were painters, musicians, and sculptures… all of which my daughters were enamored with (almost as much as mom was). We saw volleyball courts, baseball fields and street performers before we came to this beautiful fountain, The Bethesda. We walked down the stairway that led to this elaborately painted tunnel. It looked like it was inspired by some lovely Morrocan works. It had beautiful arches and even better acoustics.
There was a “performer” standing against the wall, elevated on a ledge. I use the quotation simply because I’m not sure she was performing as much as posing and “presenting herself”?? She was wearing a 1920’s inspired garment and kept stroking her knee and smiling at people as they passed by… that makes her sound like a different kind of performer, which she was not. I just couldn’t figure out what she was doing! But she seemed very content to be doing it…whatever it was.
Once we made our way through the tunnel, we were enveloped in sunlight again. It seemed like an orchestra should’ve been playing the soundtrack to this part as Jozlyn drove her scooter into the sun and let out a gleeful squeel at the sight of the large sculpture in the middle of the large body of water!
I love that there are beautiful things to find at every turn and I love that fact that my girls seem so eager to find the adventure in everything that we do. The hard part is suppressing my laziness to give them the best chance to see as much of it as possible. I’ve heard it said, “you can make anything fun or anything miserable”. That’s my job… to help expose them to as much as I can and unleash the fun that is so accessible all around them.
Here are some of our shots from today! Thanks Jeff!
Thanks for checkin in!
So I’m way late on this post, but one of the first places we went when we got here was the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. We had heard so many great things about this place and I couldn’t wait to get the kids there. It’s located in the Upper West, so it took me a while to get the kids dressed, on the train and carted up there, but I just knew once we got there, it would all be worth it. My resolve was strengthened when I got out of the train station and saw Mandy Patinkin walking toward me!!! Day made!
Once we got in, I checked in at the front desk and paid the entrance fee… it’s $14 a person to get in which is normally pretty steep, but I didn’t mind since I had heard that no kids New York experience was complete without a trip here. After we checked the stroller and bags, we walked into the main room full of anticipation. It is a room filled with memorabilia and interactive displays about Islam and some countries where Islam is prevalent. Jozlyn was enamored with the room where there is a massive screen that you can control with a touch screen. You pick a spot on the globe and it will show you an interactive view of the Mosque built there.
There is also a space that shows how people shop in those areas: the spices, the tapestries and other things found in the markets. Then you can go and jump on the large ship and imagine you are navigating the waters of the Meditteranean. It was very interesting, but after about half an hour, my girls were pretty much done.
I walked around trying to find the way to another room, but couldn’t find any. I finally asked someone if there was another space and was directed downstairs to a basically empty room filled with “block stations”. I was pretty perturbed that this was all there was for $14 a person! Kendall was pretty much done, but we were going to suck every penny out of this place that we could! And so I forced Kendall to find something to play with down here.
After about another 30 minutes and a total meltdown by Kenny, we decided to take off. We found the elevator to get back to the main floor. Once, in the elevator, I saw signage…. for 4 OTHER FLOORS OF EXHIBITS! haha I felt so ridiculous! We quickly ran through the other floors, but Kendall was not going to last long, so I made a mental note to come back and explore fully.
We made the second trip recently, so here are the pictures from both of our fun times at the CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF MANHATTAN. If you are bringing young kids to the city, it’s a great place to let them loose! I know a lot of families feel like they have to keep a very close eye everywhere they go here, but this place is safe and so fun for them!
Thanks for checking in guys!