8/30/11

End of Day

After work today, husband and I met up at Crate & Barrel to find a gift for a wedding this coming weekend. I mostly needed him as a chaperone so that I got out of the store at a reasonable hour. I pace it frantically when I'm by myself, employees trailing behind me like I might be a crazed kleptomaniac. I'm not. Just crazy for kitchen supplies that, in all likelihood, will never be used by me. 
In any case, we wandered afterwards, as we often do. 
Ate Sprinkles. 
And came home to watch Scrubs, swap back rubs and fold laundry. 

These are the times I look forward to most. 
Enjoying simple moments with the guy who always saves me the last bite of our shared cupcake. 
That, my friends, is love. 

8/29/11

That time we had to bathe in the pool.

Yesterday we walked along the beach in the Connecticut town where we grew up
and were shocked by the level of devastation - flooded homes, jagged roads, massive ocean walls
crumbled into the sea. 

We waded through water knee-deep, shook clods of dirt and mud off soiled rainboots,
ran into friends and neighbors and asked them how their homes fared.
We were grateful to hear that all had escaped harm in spite of the toll that this hurricane took on beachfront property. 

We went home to bathe in our pool 
lit candles around the family room 
and celebrated my mother's next year of life. 
We're thankful, because we lost only power, internet service and a few tree limbs.
 
Still praying for those less fortunate - hope you're all safely tucked away! 

8/27/11

Irene

Not to worry
the Walkers are stocked with junk food, reading material and blankets at my parents' house
to brave the wrath of crazy Irene
sending up prayers for the east coast. 

stay safe! 

8/25/11

Lately.

I've been thinking a lot about the moment
and how we rush through each year, each day, each minute
as if the next one were going to be better than the last
and about how we feel like we should have things all figured out
when, really, we're just babies
and that maybe what we search the world for
has been by our side through every step.

8/24/11

Some sunshine for your Wednesday.

This morning one of my good friends was kind enough to start my morning with these photos:
Which reminded me that (a) I was once much tanner and (b) I love Twizzlers. That's what we're eating - see?
Also that I love my friends. But I didn't really need to be reminded of that. 

 And for those of you who were wondering, I obviously survived New York's baby-quake. Which felt similar to what I assume it would feel like if a horse were to walk through the office. You know, wobbly floor and all. 

In other news: hurricanes. Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Prison inmates and foster cats
And I ate an entire box of blueberries in ten minutes today. 

Hope your Wednesday is just lovely. 

8/22/11

Love, Actually.

You can identify a New Yorker by observing
how tightly they clench their bags
how effortlessly they navigate the subway system
and how quickly they cross the street. 
It's an abrasive culture - one that is wonderfully efficient and full of energy
but often devoid of kinship, solidarity,
love.
So we find love in secluded places
hidden within the heart of the city
in a nightly stillness that rings of evensong
or outside it, in suburban homes
where people congregate to celebrate life.

8/20/11

This is where I run.

I know that my interest in rooftops is becoming excessive. 
But seriously - can you blame me?
This week I signed up for the gym at our new office.
Which has this incredible rooftop track that I ran in complete solitude. 
Views of the Hudson, Statue of Liberty, the Freedom Tower under construction, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building...

At this height, running feels more like flying. 

8/17/11

Just a little note to the people I'm (barely) living without.

Someone recently told me that we can have it all, but not all at once. There was a time when I wouldn’t believe that – I do now.

Because having it all means leaving work at 6 PM, going for runs every day, taking long trips to Europe and seeing your best friends at least once a month. It means that lunch consists of more than a few bites of chicken and a handful of popcorn. And that your husband never has to include disappointed emoticons in his texts when you just can’t see him as much as you’d like to.

  Loving and living with what we do have is a skill, an ability to recognize what tremendous blessing we encounter each day with every breath. I have more than enough. It’s not what I thought it would look like when I was eleven and wild with dreams about adulthood. In some ways it’s better, though. And most days, it’s okay.

   But yesterday – working late, missing my husband, missing my dear confidants and wishing maybe more than anything that I’d eaten a decent lunch so that I could handle my life – becoming a grownup seemed like the worst possible thing that could ever happen to a person.

  So this is my plea, to my friends who kindly read every word so that they can stay connected to me in a way that I have not been able to stay connected to them: don’t stop calling, texting or emailing. One day soon we will stop playing phone tag.
(Also, I keep photos of all of you on my desk and sometimes, when no one is listening, I whisper to you. Ok… jokes, jokes. I’m not that crazy. Yet.)

8/15/11

The West Village Office

my office recently moved to the West Village. 
which is pretty awesome if you love food trucks and artists' lofts. 
and you may not be interested
but I was
when I saw the amazing view from our new office windows
our cool new mannequin friend, Shawna
 and my desk, which sports a nifty bench and brand new chair (gasp!)

on a completely irrelevant note, do you know how long it takes to find a cab in Long Island City? 
I do. 
because I spent half a lifetime flailing like an idiot in the rain until I finally gave in and took the subway. 

Happy Monday, all! 

8/12/11

Yesterday in the City

my practice group went out to dinner
I split a homemade ice cream sandwich with my manager
ate a taco that set my mouth on fire
then took the train back to Connecticut to work from my parents' house today
and all was right with the world.

8/10/11

Cupcake Bakeries

I realize that I don't talk about cupcakes enough.
Which is a gross oversight on my part because cupcakes take up a significant portion of my diet (I admit) and I live in what is arguably the cupcake capital of the world. 

So I'm going to share a secret with you - something that will change your life if you ever care to visit/live in New York City...

These are the best cupcake bakeries in the city, listed in order of greatness:
1. Magnolia - perfect frosting-to-cake ratio, doesn't leave you feeling as if you were just hit by a truck (which is a feeling that often comes with cupcake-eating).
2. Crumbs - wide selection, generous size, and the s'mores cupcake is sent straight from heaven above.
3. Baked by Melissa - the mini cupcakes are adorable enough for me to want to hug a baby.
4. Cupcake Cafe - buttercream. That's all I have to say. 
5. Billy's Bakery - delicious while consuming, but leaves you with a headache that could kill a whale. Yes, a whale. 

There are many, many others, but I suggest you try these. 
You're welcome.

8/8/11

Green Lights.

When we made the choice to move to Manhattan,
I knew that I was saying "yes" to a lot of opportunities and challenges.
I said "yes" to the hour that I spend commuting - an hour alone with my thoughts, or a book, or a newspaper, or a playlist on my iPod turned up just loud enough to drown the world out.
I said "yes" to salad buffets on every corner and the produce man who sells us our vegetables with the sweetest smile you've ever seen.
I said "yes" to finding our own (albeit, ridiculously overpriced) apartment.
I said "yes" to parks, long walks and $104 MetroCards.
I said "yes" to rooftops and cars honking and windows lit up with dinner specials and grocery stores spilling flower sales out into the street and brief moments of silence that make you wonder at how amazing and complicated this world is.

But when we say "yes" to any one thing, we're also saying "no" to a dozen others.
A dozen other paths that I could have taken, but I preferred the one with streetlights changing from green to yellow on Park Avenue at midnight.

8/6/11

With Family Upstate

This weekend we headed upstate to celebrate my father's birthday. 
The whole family - parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, in-laws. 
We talked about meatloaf, songs that remind us of Saturday mornings as children, the bunk beds that I shared with my sister and how good it is to be together. 
 Because this is something I would have done as a kid. Before I had the husband and the job and the life away from what is still so effortless. 
Before my sister and I were more than sisters - now we know each other impossibly and sometimes painfully well. We know where we've come from, what we've grown out of and where we'd like to end up. 
 But with all of my dreams and hopes and worries,
I know that a large part of me doesn't want to end up too far from where I started. 
Surrounded by good people doing simple things, all adding up to something beautiful. 
But perhaps a little wiser, kinder and lovelier from the journey. 

(FDR National Historic Site in Hyde Park and Aerodrome in Rhinebeck)

8/4/11

Manhattan Rooftops

I've been working a lot over the past few weeks.
This week, I fulfilled 40 hours by Wednesday. 
Which means that, to maintain sanity, I need to enjoy spending time with the people that I work with. 
And I do. 
So we go out when we can. Mostly (well, only) to rooftop restaurants. 

I'm making it my new hobby.
Rooftop Restauranteering. 
It's a real thing. 

8/1/11

Songs for Honduras

On Saturday we hosted a benefit concert in our hometown to raise money for the Children's Rescue Mission of Teupasenti, Honduras. 
We raised around $2,000 for the Mission's food program, which provides two meals a day to the children of the village. 
Children who, without these meals, would often go hungry. 
In those moments I remember that we are blessed. 
And any opportunity we have to share that blessing with others, we should take.