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For that little hole-in-the-wall we discover!

Jozzy makes her Broadway debut!

Jozzy makes her Broadway debut!

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.

I know I’ll be doing this with a much more significant dress one day, but this was fun.

 

pretty in the back
not a horse drawn carriage but still classy!
She says daddy is her Prince Charming!

 

He played Vlad…
Gleb…such an incredible voice.

 

Dmitry!

 

ANASTASIA!!! She came up to Jozzy and said, “Oh you look like such a beautiful princess in your dre….. wait a minute!! That’s my dress!! Oh my gosh you’re me!!!! Aaawww, you look so beautiful!” haha it was so sweet!

 

She was wide awake when we were headed home… at nearly midnight! haha

 

 

Thanks for checkin in!

Love,

the Grizzards

 

 

 

 

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Last day at the Beach!

Last day at the Beach!

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 ūüėČ

 

 

the tide was ridiculously strong!

So blessed to have sweet friends that love on my kids and are a god send to me! Thanks for checking in!

 

Love,

the Grizzards

 

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1st Day at a 1st School!

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

 

Just can’t believe it how big she is getting!

 

No minivan to school for us! School is just a few stops away!

 

Day one was a family event! So proud of our big girl!

 

SURPRISE OUTING

SURPRISE OUTING

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!!

Love,

the Grizzards

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Finding Bethesda in Central Park

Finding Bethesda in Central Park

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!

Love,

the Grizzards

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CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

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!

 

Love,

the Grizzards

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A New Park and New Friends

A New Park and New Friends

I feel like I could almost do a city-wide tour of the parks…or at least I will be able to in no more than a month at this pace. We checked out the Clinton Dewitt Playground over on 53rd and 11th today. It was more or less similar to others we had been to except that there was a mini-mountain that you know Jozlyn just HAD to conquer despite my mild heart attacks as I watched her climb all the way to the top. She kept saying ” Mom, I can do it! I’m using my imagination!” How am I supposed to keep her from doing that?

I met another sweet mom today, Brooke. Brooke is a friend of a good friend of mine from Dallas named Amy. Amy used to live up here with her two kids and was a source of encouragement as we were praying through the decision to move. Side note… Amy writes an amazing blog on discipleship! You really should check it out! You can find it here!) Brooke has lived here for 6 years I think, in 3 different areas with 2 kids. She was extremely helpful in “talking shop” about pros and cons to the neighborhoods in which she lived, school, what to do with the kids and church stuff. All of the areas we talked about were areas we are considering looking into; Washington Heights, Upper West, and Midtown,¬†so her knowledge was invaluable.

Brooke, Finn and Ally

 

You may be interested to know that one thing she said that stuck out to me was that she was a huge advocate for raising kids in the city. For those that are nervous or concerned for us or have that instinct to purse your lips, tilt your head and shake it side to side upon hearing that we’re raising two kids in NYC (not judging…that’s my immediate reaction as well) just know, I have met so many amazing, Godly women who say it is an AWESOME place to raise kids… don’t worry, mom.

She has two adorable kids and Jozzy loved playing with her new friend! Here are some shots from our adventures today!

 

 

 

This playground is smack dab in the middle of Midtown…an area that I thought of as unattainable,¬†not family friendly and really not an option… my options just flew WIDE OPEN again! ha. leave a comment and let me know where you think we should look!

 

Love,

the Grizzards

COOL MESS

COOL MESS

One of the best things about living in the city is that it is a hub for every body. We get people coming through all the time and it makes me so happy to see friends from everywhere. One of our sweet friends from Prestonwood came in town for work and called to meet up at a cool place she read about on another blog called mommypoppins. A blog I love to stalk as well.

She told us to meet her at a place called Cool Mess. It’s this adorable, almost “diner inspired” place. The food is good, but what is so great is that they let you make your own ice cream at the table.

Pick your base
pick your toppings
churn and chow!

 

So mad that we forgot to get a picture with Shelley and her family. It was so great being able to see them.

This spot is off of the Lexington and 59th St Station…which, by the way, has an escalator…. for all my stroller weilding mommas! It’s in a beautiful area.

Obviously, the kids approved of spot…

Jordan seemed to like it too….

 

In a time of crazy transition and uprooting of their “normal”… I love the moments when I can help make my kids faces look like this. We’re doing good guys. Thanks for checkin in!

 

subscribe to stay tuned in to what we’re up to and how to pray for us!

 

Love,

the Grizzards

BROOKLYN BRIDGE AND DUMBO

BROOKLYN BRIDGE AND DUMBO

A little while ago, I posted about the importance of choosing your friends. I know that there are people that will be in my life forever because they are the kind of people that I want to surround myself with. I learned how important this is from my parents.

My parents have been in ministry my entire life and some of those years were very hard. Those of you in ministry know that there are times when you can feel completely alone, betrayed, and judged. But in spite of those emotions, we have chosen to be vulnerable and real with people. It is not always easy…it’s actually most of the time very difficult. However, some people make it absolutely joyous! For my parents, it was the Neely’s and the Williams. These two couples were my parents “forever people”.

we look the exact same right?? ha

The Neely’s were a sweet family from my dad’s church in South Carolina. They were kind of like the cousins we didn’t see often but loved from afar. Well, times have changed! The Neely’s oldest daughter lives right up here in Brooklyn with her husband and two precious little ones! Isn’t God amazing like that?

 

Tonight Laura Beth’s little sister was in town, so we decided to have ourselves a little girl hang reunion on the Brooklyn Bridge!

 

 

If you make this trip, start out at New York City Hall…they just don’t make architecture like this anymore!

And then, grab some lunch and check out the park….

I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful this place is. I can’t believe I’ve been here so many times and never done this. I thought that when you walked the bridge (which did not sound like fun initially, but it was a girls night!) that you would be walking next to the cars under the cables and things… nope! You are elevated above the traffic so you always have a 360* view of the city. It is absolutely beautiful!

On top of the world.

 

 

 

After we made it across the bridge, which only took about 15 minutes, we made our way to dinner at Grimaldi’s. I feel like this place is kind of “touristy” even though there are chains of it in other cities… but I don’t care because
it is delicious and in a quaint, sophisticated little block directly under the bridge. Not to mention this building is a beautiful stark white that makes it stand out amongst all of the other architecture. I just couldn’t get over the windows, painted black from the inside….<sigh> love. When you come visit me, you should absolutely take the trek over here…skip Times Square and go to DUMBO.

 

 

 

 

And by the time you leave this NY staple, if you are like us, it will be pitch black because you will lose touch of time for all the great conversation you’re having. But it’s a good thing DUMBO has one of the best views of the city sky line in all of the city. And it is never more striking than when all the lights are¬†lit up against a pitch black canvas.

Brooklyn Bridge
Manhattan Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just an incredible night with friends. Don’t miss this next time you’re in the city. And if you have kids, there is an adorable carousel here as well that they will LOVE!

Thanks for checking in! Don’t forget to subscribe to see new posts. Love ya’ll!

Love,

the Grizzards

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Coney Crazy!

Coney Crazy!

I don’t know about y’all, but I did not have much knowledge of Coney Island. The only frame of reference I had was from a scene from an old Gene Kelly movie, ON THE TOWN. The lead girl (Vera Ellen) has to work as a kind of “cooch” dancer out on Coney Island to pay for singing lessons. She dances alongside freak shows and other less than classy acts, so for all I knew Coney Island was full of two-headed¬†men and bearded ladies! Rest assured, it is not… well not anymore anyway! ha Apparently, a few years ago, it was kind of sketch, but not so anymore!

The boardwalk is gorgeous! If you are in New York with kids and want a break in the monotony of the city, take a day trip to Coney Island. You can hang on the beach (which also has a playground and water features), eat at the original Nathan’s for lunch and spend the day on roller coasters. It’s not the cheapest. An unlimited pass is $50/person or you can pay per ride (we spent $40 for Jordan, me, and Jozlyn and we were fine). They have rides for all ages! There are rides for younger kids… a pretty good amount, but there is also another park that seems to be designed for young kids. It is extra to get into that area, though.

It’s not the cheapest. An unlimited pass is $50/person or you can pay per ride (we spent $40 for Jordan, me, and Jozlyn and we were fine). ¬†Jordan did pay extra for a “specialty ride”, but other than that, we were good. They have rides for all ages! There are even rides for younger kids… a pretty good amount, but there is also another park that seems to be designed for young kids. It is extra to get into that area, though.

Coney Island is so much fun! We got to spend the day with some sweet friends and their 5 kids… all of whom are so sweet and have been so encouraging to my girls. They love on them and make them feel special which has just been such a blessing! Jordan luckily was able to come with us as well, so we were a FULL group! The Knight tribe is 7, Kyle, Carrie Anna, Jordan, me and the girls! We looked like we had taken a school field trip with chaperones, but whatever… we had a blast.

 

Here is a video. Check out what Coney Island is like now and shatter that old image of paint chipped side shows!

I'm Kayla. Mom of two, wife of one and new New York transplant. We're a family of four fumbling our way through our new normal in Manhattan! We're excited to learn as we go... we can't mess this up too bad, right? :)

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  • Kendall Ryan.... I just can't.
  • She loved her first broadway show! And her custom made Anastasia dress.
  • Cuz we live in midtown!! Ha
  • These people! Loved getting to hang out with this group of incredibly talented and amazing people.
  • Loved getting some much needed girl time while in Dallas! I miss my girls!
  • Escape room nyc!!
  • Birthday night!
  • Found my lipstick drawer!
  • Brooklyn Bridge.... because I can! Haha
  • 4th of July took it out of her... falling asleep on the train... standing up.
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