Thursday, November 29, 2012

Here Comes the Bride

When I was little, I absolutely loved flying. On a plane, that is. I loved the butterflies I got in my stomach as we drove to the airport—excited for whatever trip lay ahead. I adored carrying a backpack full of treats and games to keep me occupied for the duration of the flight. Security was exciting…after all, what kid doesn't like taking off their shoes? I treasured being responsible for my boarding pass, aka the golden ticket to take me on my next adventure. And I loved knowing I would never have to sit by a stranger, as my parents would arrange seating as such. The legroom was in abundance (not hard when your feet don't touch the ground), and mmmm those airline pretzels were divine. But wait, the airline dream doesn't end there. What about the landing? I remember crossing my fingers hoping we had a bad pilot so that I might experience the free-fall-lose-your-stomach-feeling that comes as a plane makes a horrible landing. Oh the joys of being a kid!!

My views of travel are drastically different these days. In fact I think it is safe to say I loathe traveling via plane. But, last week Rob and I were lucky enough to be able to go to Utah for our sister’s wedding and as such a plane was unavoidable.  Naturally, the journey from NY to Utah was anything but simple. 1 train ride, 2 subway trips, 2 air-train excursions, 1 plane ride, and 10.5 hours later, we finally made it to our destination. Sigh. Typing this makes me tired all over again! Luckily, this time, I didn't cross my fingers for a bad pilot and the landing was relatively smooth :)

It was SO GOOD to be home. Gasp! The mountains!!! They are truly glorious. And how about all that space on the roads? I could swerve all over the place and still remain in my chosen lane. Amazing!! I think it is safe to say I missed Utah. Anyway, it was a whirlwind of a trip—we fit bowling, two thanksgiving dinners, two trips to the temple, a family dinner on The Roof (incredible view by the way), a stroll around city creek, a night at the Grand America, a wedding, a luncheon, a reception, good conversation and a whole lot of hugs, all into 3 and a half days. Whew! We blinked and suddenly we were back in our little apartment in Scarsdale. That saying always proves to be true—“time flies when you are having fun”.

Before I overload you with pictures, I just want to say congratulations to Marcus and Elisa Hoskins!! I am so happy they found each other and I am even more happy I am related to them :) They are truly a dynamic duo!

So without further ado, a few pictures from the weekend:

Trip to Utah...check. 

Okay okay I know I already posted lots of pictures but i just have to show a few more, because guess what? I finally got my wedding pictures back! Here is just a peek at them...

Saving the rest (or at least some of them) for a future post.

And this concludes yet another loooooooooong entry.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Have you seen this video floating around on Facebook lately?

Isn’t it awesome? I cried all three times I watched it (no surprise there though…say the word “cry” and tears practically prick my eyes haha). Maybe I especially loved watching this video because Rob and I were lucky enough to be able to participate in it all. Our ward building is still without power from the storm so for us, this past Sunday wasn’t the usual! We had a Sacrament meeting at 8:30am in which everyone showed up in their “work” clothes. Definitely never been to church in sweats before—I much preferred it to wearing a skirt and heels. Shh! Don’t tell.

Anyway, at 9:30 we all piled onto a couple of buses and began the journey to Long Island. I knew what to expect as I’ve watched the news and seen the devastation, but no camera or TV can quite depict the devastation that was and still is so wide spread. The entirety of Long Island is literally destroyed: cars totaled, houses wrecked and covered in mold, yards and streets full of debris, structures collapsing, mud and sand caking the sidewalks and floors, glass shattered, and garbage every where. Not only did it physically look devastated, but emotionally as well. The streets were empty of people and when you did see someone you could almost feel the burdens they were carrying. It was a real eye opener and I wish so much that I could save everyone and everything that was touched by the storm.

So, where was I? Oh yeah, the buses. We unloaded and immediately split into teams, grabbed our “Mormon Helping Hands” vests, as well as masks, tools, and anything useful for our efforts. I spent the day gutting a house on the coastline. According to the homeowner, the basement was completely filled with water during the storm, as well as a portion of the upstairs. The house was completely ruined. We gutted the basement pulling up carpet, knocking down walls, and throwing away anything touched by the water. It took us all day to work on one house that really isn’t even close to being finished. It was crazy. There is still so much work to do.

Though I was saddened by my inability to help everybody, I feel so blessed to have been able to go and help even just one family—because even though they won’t remember my name, and I will probably never see them again, I made a difference in a small way. And I represented the church I love so much and everything that it stands for. It was overwhelming to see the neighborhood covered with people in yellow vests, doing good with every step they took.

Here are a few pictures from the day

this was the before picture when we were all happy and energized

There were cars washed up on people's front lawns. 

Some of the debris from the house we gutted

no explanation necessary

  This is the after (obviously). Lets not talk about how exhausted i look, haha. 

So I guess the take hope for this blog post would be 1. To count your blessings because you never know when something is going to happen that completely changes your life, 2. Serving others makes you happy, and 3. Never ever live by a beach. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

my demise

Winter Coat…check




Car Scraper…check

Will power and desire to go outside…uh...mmm…fine. I’ll do it.

That was the mental checklist this morning. After staying in doors for 24 hours while storm Athena ran its course, I finally braced the cold winter weather this morning and am happy to report back that I survived. Barely.

Winter! Ahhhh. When will I ever get used to cold weather? Never I tell you. Call me crazy, but numb fingers and toes, a runny nose, foggy breath, biting air, watering eyes, and whipping wind just don’t seem to tickle my fancy, to say the least. And while I’m having yet another vent session on this blog about my pure and utter detest of winter, can I just say that scraping a car is the absolute worst?? Somehow snow manages to get into the smallest of openings through my many layers of clothes so that not only do I freeze, but I’m wet the rest of the day. Joy. And you all know the moment when you think you've done a superb job of scraping, only to finally climb into the front seat of your car and have a heap of snow land on your lap just before you close the door. Oooooor maybe that only happens to me. But seriously, you think after all this technology and innovation these days they would have come up with something more genius than the average car scraper. Until said invention graces our presence, I guess I will continue to scrape and scrape and scrape—with a few grumbles in between.

So aside from scraping my car this morning, it was a pretty good day consisting of frosted toast crunch (yum), helping my sister with preschool (4 boys=complete chaos), a winter stroll, exercising indoors, a few phone calls, a stop to Trader Joes, and an attempt to be domestic. The key word here is attempt. I decided to try making my mother-in-law’s oh-so-delectable rolls and also to give my new Bosch a whirl. I failed miserably you guys. Unless, that is, you like to eat rolls that weigh100 pounds and double as a weapon. The saddest part of this story though is that I’m not exaggerating for satirical effect. I only speak the truth. But, on the bright side, I now have 3 dozen paperweights to use at my disposal.

Oh the ups and downs of life!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

my new home

Well, I’ve officially been in New York for 50 days. Can you believe it? 50 days!!! Sometimes it is pretty hard to believe. Other times, well, it’s not. Some mornings I wake up and hardly notice the roaring of the train outside my window; other mornings, it scares the living day lights out of me. Sometimes I feel like I no longer look like a deer in headlights as I stroll the streets; other times I feel like I have a blinking sign above my head saying “spot the Utahn”. Sometimes I think I’ve gotten used to narrow lanes and crazy traffic; Other times I find my shoulders slowly shrinking in, mentally believing making myself smaller is also shrinking my car. Some days I feel confident and bold; other days I wonder what the heck I’ve gotten myself into! Most days however, I’ve found that I really do love this state.

I must say though, I can't think of 2 more different states than Utah and New York. In the 50 days that I’ve been here I’ve seen, heard, and experienced things I never did in Utah. For example, have you ever seen a black squirrel?? Well, I hadn’t. Out here, black squirrels are everywhere…creepy little things, by the way.

In New York there is a Dunkin Donuts on every corner. I have yet to try one of their notorious morsels of dough, but I hear they are pretty darn good.

Out here, it is not uncommon to be honked at literally every time I drive. And most the time I have no idea what for.

In New York, I am finding that people don’t know much about Utah. One lady asked me if it was near Florida…uhhhhh, sort of? Ha! Another man asked me if I had ever had a bagel or chinese food, because apparently Utahns don't have a variety of food in our dry state. One fellow asked what kind of bike I had because according to him, all Utahns bike. Some people haven’t even heard of Utah. Just yesterday I was stuck in traffic and watched as the lady across from me grimaced at my license plate and mouthed the word “Uuuuuttttaaaahhh” as though she had never read such a word in her life. She then looked up to see me behind the wheel, and I smiled happily, laughing to myself. She however looked like she wanted to give me the bird. How dare I be friendly.

Out here the cold is biting. Stepping outside on a cold morning is like dunking your face into a bucket full of ice water. Brrrrrr—and its not even winter yet. Gulp.

In New York, autumn is breathtaking. Reds, oranges, and yellows like you wouldn’t believe. And the amount of these colorful trees surrounding you 24/7 could leave you with the impression you are in the middle of a blazing fall fire. The colors are insane.

Out here, life is expensive: an arm and a leg for groceries, a foot and a hand for soda, and hey, you can have the rest of me for rent. 

New York is opening my eyes to a lot of things and so far, i feel blessed to be having this experience. If you haven't been to NY i highly recommend it. And i heard there is a pretty great newly-wed couple that would love to show you around ;)

And just in case you are is life lately, according to my iphone. 

Happy November everyone!!