Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gary and Amy, and hey, Spring!

I am always learning new and cool things about my nieces and nephews as they grow up.  It's amazing to watch them become these full people with talents and passions and great personalities that have nothing to do with anyone but themselves.  For example, apparently Amy is in to A Cappella singing.  I did not know that until I saw that her group at school won their regional competition and were coming to Nationals in NYC.  What?!   I was so impressed, and so excited that I could be there to watch! Gary and I met up for some pizza and Levain beforehand, of course.  

The group did really well.  They didn't win, but it was really fun to be there.  I was so glad I could go.

Saturday was probably the nicest day of Spring yet.  It was STUNNING.  I was glad too, because the last time Amy was here last year it was rainy and cold the whole time.  So we had brunch and went to Central Park.  

We rented bikes and rode around the whole park; it was a dream.


Then, after another Levain cookie excursion, Gary left us at the theater to see Matilda since he had to fly out that afternoon.

  I had seen Matilda once already, but I loved it every bit as much the second time, if not more.  What a great show.  I have found that really great theater makes me emotional.  I am so deeply affected when all the elements come together so beautifully.  Matilda is one of those shows for me.  The music, staging, performances, the visual effects.  I was so happy the whole time.  And so happy to be there with Amy.

It was a really, really great day.  Again, living in a destination city is really kind of the best.

The Spring In NYC: Worth Waiting For....I Think.

I accidentally posted this before it was ready, and before my previous post, which happened earlier in April.  That always bugs me, when I get my timelines out of order.  Anyway, spring has finally arrived in the last few weeks, and is still in the process of getting comfortable.  For example, it was stunning on Sunday, but then it's been a little chilly again these last couple of days.  In mid-May.  All the same, the world is beautiful again with evidence of spring, and I will even walk through pockets of lovely, flower-smelling air occasionally.  Those moments really make my day.  I need to store them in my memory bank for the upcoming spicy summer smells of the city, like sweat, urine, hot, crowded trains, etc...

The pictures below don't require too much comment, but I will add as necessary.  Most of them are from different places in Central Park. 

The sunset from the window of a home I babysit in quite frequently.  Too bad about that view over the Hudson...

Buildings in NYC are cool.  And clouds.  Clouds are cool.

A lunch with some ladies I like!  Shan, Melanie, her friend (that I don't remember the name of) and Terra.  The day was still a little cool, but so sunny and beautiful that we had to get outside to see what we could see.

After-church excursion to the Conservatory Garden in CP with my friend David.  He literally told me, "Sometimes I wish I had a bee costume that I could put on and run around in so I could pretend to pollinate the flowers."  Purely for the spectacle he would make.  In the moment, this was the best he could do. He makes me laugh so hard!

Tree of Life?

OK, this does have a filter on it, but not much.  The sky really was amazing that day.  And the Chrysler Building never disappoints.

This is Virginia Wilcox.  She and I were double cast as Tzeitel in a youth community production of Fiddler On The Roof when we were in high school.  I haven't seen her since.  She lives here, and we finally met for lunch.  What a great time to catch up on life.  It was a delight to see her!

I love pathways in the park.  I really do.


The combination of a tree in bloom, greenery, a cool building and the sky get me every time.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Life While Spring is Taking Its Sweet Time.

So, it turns out that life is still happening while Spring is figuring itself out.  Here is some evidence.  Please notice the wide array of seasonal clothing happening.  That's Spring in NYC for you.

A catch-up birthday dinner with Mel, Deb, and Brendan at The Meatball Shop.  I was a first timer, but will be going back, that's fer darn tootin'.  (I have no idea where that came from). 

Sister Groberg is transferred out of my branch.  One of my favorite missionaries.

Brooke Martin, one of my besties from college, came to town, and we met up with Paul Canaan for dinner.  Part of the old group together again for a minute.  It was amazing.  We just missed Karyn Mann, Eldon Kartchner, Wade Foster, and Carlos Encinias.  So weird, this passing of years.  It's been 15 years  and a lifetime, it seems, since we were in college together, Brooke and I were roommates, and a few of us were in Young Ambassadors and MDT together.  Life happens, I guess.  It was so good to see her, and even though Paul and I live here, I rarely see him either.  So it was delightful to get together. Old bonds...waxing very nostalgic at this moment....don't mind me.

Then there is John Preator, who happened to be working at the restaurant we were eating at.  Another old college friend, though from not quite so far back.  Always so great to see him!  (Can I please ditch the coat already?  It's April.  No?  Dang.)

This was a first for me- to see a Mennonite choir in the train station at Times Square, just singing and spreading the Good Word.  You know, like you do. 

Another first- an interfaith concert that my old ward in Harlem hosted.  I was asked to sing, so my friend Jon and I came up with a fun arrangement of "How Great Thou Art."  But really, the best part was watching the other choirs sing.  Let's be honest.  We don't hear music like that in our church.  What a fun night.

Kata Dean, one of my girls from Vegas, came through with her family!  We got to connect for a few minutes at church.  I love her!  So much fun living in a destination city.

Really though, Spring.  Pull it together.  I've got things to do.  And Vitamin D to absorb.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Spring Is Trying So Hard To Come...In DC, At Least.

For Easter/General Conference weekend, I headed back to DC with some girl friends to see the cherry blossoms.  Unfortunately, they really weren't out yet due to the long winter.  But we went anyway and had a great time with some friends down there.  The weather was beautiful, a little chilly on Saturday, but nice and sunny.  I also got lucky in that it was the opening weekend for my dear friend Stephanie Waters' show at the Signature Theatre.  So I got to see that.  She was amazing, and it was so fun to see her on stage again after so many years.  The weekend was complete with some walking around the tidal basin, General Conference, BBQ-ing, eating, and late night chats with some of my favorite girls and some great boys.  And some definite "Uptown Funk" providing the theme music for the trip.  

What a difference two weeks make.  See my previous post with another Jefferson shot.

Trying.  Trying so hard.

I can't take credit for the pic above.  This literally may have been the only cherry blossom we saw in bloom.  But Brook did an amazing job of capturing it with the Washington Monument in the background, don't you think?

Brook, Marcus, Danny, me, Ros, Chris, Rachel. Colin photobombing below.  Loving it.

Marcus was really excited about his new-to-him grill.  We felt really good about it too.

Just some shots for a walk between Conference sessions on Sunday.  Sometimes you pass a house with gargoyles and a faux stone wall in the front.  It's fine.  And then you see a sign like this in front of land that is bone-dry.  Makes sense.

The Best Birthday Gift Ever, Otherwise Known As Rob's Wedding.

Geez.  I have put this post off so long because I almost don't even know where to start.  I had a fabulous birthday weekend because I got to go to DC for Rob Moffat's wedding.  What that also meant was, I got to spend the day/weekend with some of my favorite friends in the whole world, the Tinneys, the Littles, plus Joseph Ogden, all in from Utah for the wedding.  I'll start with mah birthday and move on from there, shall I?  I shall. 

I took a bus down to DC on the big day, which was fine because I knew who was waiting for me on the other end.  So 4 hours on a bus was no big deal.  I met up with my people about mid afternoon at the Foggy Bottom metro station. 


Don't worry that when Chad told me Foggy Bottom, I thought he said "Soggy Bottom," so that is what I asked about when I got to the train station.  The attendant laughed at me sooo hard.  No biggie, I laughed with her, and marveled that the station attendants are so NICE in DC as opposed to NYC.  Seriously.  My friends laughed at me pretty hard too when I told them the story.  We ate dinner at some burger eatery; I don't even remember the name, but I sure did get a free birthday cake shake. 


We saw a play called Sheer Madness that night, and had a great time. We laughed so hard, in part because of the sweet boy in front of us who was REALLY enjoying himself.  I love audience members.  

Larene needed me to do a little bit of lunging for my day, and everyone else got in on the action.  Truly, I don't even know how or when this became my thing, and everyone knows it, but there it is. 
 Happy Birthday to me!  

I really do love my friends.  They are the best, and made my day so fun.  

Rob's wedding on Saturday wasn't until 4pm, so we went out and saw some sights in the morning.  Just a few monuments, you know, but enough walking that Larene needed to stretch out in preparation.  

Also captured for posterity would be my amazing style of sneakers with my skinny jeans, and Joseph's switch leaps in front of every monument.  It's fine. 

Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson with my faves.

FDR memorial

MLK Memorial

The wedding was just incredible! 

Mr. and Mrs. Rob and Courtney Moffat!
 First of all, beyond seeing my great friends from Utah, I was so excited to see Rob's family, who I haven't seen in years.  But then, all these old friends from college showed up that I had no idea would be there!  It was just a big reunion! 

 I could have died of happiness that day.  And the weather was gorgeous to boot.  

Oh, and yes, one of my best friends in the world married an amazing girl in a beautiful ceremony in the DC temple.  I cried.  I'm so happy for him.  So there was that.  Winning. 

The dinner was held at a lovely Italian restaurant.  

We all had assigned seats, and were all given T-shirts as party favors that said #worththewait on it. We ate really well that night.  The only problem I had was the bartender put way too much cream in my Coke.  This happened and it was gross.  Oh well.

Cristian was at the dinner as well.  He is also very close to Rob.  I haven't seen him in 4 years, and so it was kind of a big deal to see each other.  I met his new wife Venus, who was lovely, in all honesty.  I can't imagine being the new wife of a man when he sees his ex for the first time in years.  And witnessing all of it.  She was really gracious about the situation.  Truth be told, it was harder and more emotional than I thought it would be.  But we got it over with and were able to move on with the night.  I'm so everlastingly grateful for the support of my friends who were there with me, watching me to make sure I was alright.  I felt so loved that night and I'm profoundly thankful.  The night was still awesome, however.  I loved every minute, sans The Greeting Of The Ex.

Young Ambassador friends Jay and Marilee Spencer.

I stayed with my old friend Nancy Burgess, who I reconnected with this past year.  She lives in DC, and is good friends with the bride, Courtney.  It was so fun to see her!  

On Sunday we went to the Holocaust Museum.  It was stunning.  I really could spend days there, just learning about all the intricacies of that major aspect of our history.  It was horrifying and utterly fascinating, trying to comprehend how one person could influence so many people to commit such atrocities.  The way Hitler thought is so completely foreign to me that I can't even comprehend it.  

I had a beautiful weekend.  In every way.

Those crazies even sent me this pic to let me know they missed me.  

And then I came home to this.  #WHY