My Play Date with Moms

I recently met up with a couple of friend’s of mine, also Mommies, to go on a hike with our babies. VERY few of my Tennessee friends have babies so it’s rare that I get the opportunity to hangout with other Moms. It’s especially difficult considering I live an hour away from one, and two hours away from the other. So, when we do get together we try to pick a place somewhat in the middle. Our recent get together was at Old Hickory Lake Park, just north of Nashville.

OHLpark

This place is awesome! The trails go through some beautiful thick and very shaded woods. It is next to an enormous lake with beach areas, picnic tables and playgrounds. The woods are tall and grow over all the paths so its easy to stay cool on the shaded trails. Some trails are paved, but even the dirt trails are maintained well enough that we could push a stroller just about everywhere we wanted to explore. The moss growing over stones and old trees, as well as the butterflies, gives it a very “enchanted forest” feel.

forest sunlight

The best part about hanging out with these ladies is the ability to talk about our kids without feeling like a bore or like you’re in a competition. It’s so easy to get either competitive or ashamed when talking with (or googling) other moms and kids. I hate to even mention what Luna is doing, or not doing, because I don’t want to hear what she should be doing, or not doing. I too often google questions like, “When should my baby start laughing?”, “Why doesn’t my 4-month old play with her toys?”, or “When can I expect to be on a schedule?”

babyl

Sometimes I find responses that give me a bit a comfort, but most often I read things like “My newborn was on a schedule the second she popped out. She speaks 4 languages, sleeps 12 hours a night, reads fluently and does 25 push-ups.” Obviously these internet Moms with perfect children leave me thinking I must be doing something very wrong. I don’t actually take these people seriously, but it’s still refreshing and relieving to be with my real Mom friends and hear that their kids are just as unpredictable and random as my own.

babyboy

At first, one of us may sort of slowly and questionably ask….”sooooo, does your baby grab toys yet?” or “does your kid nap at the same time everyday by any chance?” Instead of lying or, exaggerating the truth, one of us will reply with, “Oh God no, my baby will sometimes take two 3 hour snaps and the next day might take 5 twenty minute naps. Then sometimes she naps once.”. Then we can all breathe with relief and realize that are kids are perfectly perfect.

swamp

After our hike, we had a picnic where we got to talk and gossip while one baby slept, one ate and one (slightly older baby) ran around chasing bugs. It was a great afternoon and I am looking forward to many more summer days like this!

meandluna

Cheers!

A Little Christmas Cheer

Hey there, long time-no see, I know… We have had visitors since Thursday (great friends of mine), and they will be with us until Friday. We are having a great time touring the city, but there’s little time left for writing! I cannot wait to fill you in on our week, but until then here’s a look at some of the Christmas decor around the city.

Husband and I took a nice walk around the city last week when we needed some holiday cheer. Nothing could cheer us up more then the window displays in all the department stores!

The Cirque Du Soleil themed windows at Bloomingdales.
The Cirque Du Soleil themed windows at Bloomingdales.
Belle and I enjoying the windows and our long walk.
Belle and I enjoying the windows and our long walk.
Bergdorf's! Always my favorite windows!
Bergdorf’s! Always my favorite windows!

IMG_3379

Cartier
Cartier
Fendi
Fendi
Saks 5th Avenue's windows are running a very close second to Bergdorf's this year.
Saks 5th Avenue’s windows are running a very close second to Bergdorf’s this year.
This shelves in this snow-globe window at Saks turned every minute to keep the snow moving.
This shelves in this snow-globe window at Saks turned every minute to keep the snow moving.

Barney’s window has been a HUGE controversy this year. (They made the Disney characters look like super models…in case you haven’t heard.) However, I think the display was very cute, and not nearly as distasteful as it may come off. There is actually a super cute short Disney movie playing in all the windows that I think is adorable.

barneys

We ended our walk at Rockefeller Center! It was uber-crowded, but we managed to make our way to the famous tree.

O.M.G the crowd!
O.M.G the crowd!

IMG_3393

Hope you find some time to enjoy the Christmas cheer around you, wherever you are!

Cheers!

West Side Walk

Finally! Finally, we have more than one nice day here in Manhattan. Miraculously, these days are all falling consecutively on the weekend! Ever since October, sunny/warm days have been very sporadic. I think my mind, body, and soul has a hard time adjusting to this New York weather.

Up until now, the coldest place I’ve ever lived was Nashville, (which I personally think has the best of all four seasons). We had a really mild winter here, or at least that’s what everyone keeps telling me. Apparently, I got off easy for my first winter in NY. However ‘easy’ it has been, it has not gone away! I was wearing scarves, hats, and a coat last week. It’s just not right.

So, when Mr. Golden Sunshine decided to make an appearance this weekend, it was impossible to stay in and actually finish that dang ol’ seating chart I keep putting off. Plus, Fiance and Belle were both excitedly waiting for me to get home from work so they could go for a walk. They may not have to work, but I guess they are starting feel a little stir crazy after 6 months of winter.

Fiance had made big plans to take one of our walking tours.

A week after moving here, I found a book called 24 Great Walks in New York. I bought it immediately knowing that this would be a fun and inexpensive way to get to know our new home. We started using the book right away (which turned out to be a perfect combination of popular destinations and lesser-known interesting spots). We were getting a taste of cultural neighborhoods, historical homes, and famous hotspots all while learning how to get around Manhattan. We did about 5 of these walks before Fiance took a 3 month job in Nashville. Walks over. By the time he got back, the weather was cold, and I was already too comfortable with my life here to be excited about taking a walking tour.

Fast forward to sunny today, and we are both more than happy to talk a nice long walk.. Yup, sunshine aaannnddd double fisting coffee definitely makes you want to keep moving. Did I mention it’s half price frappacino week at Starbuck’s from 3-5pm?

We took our little dog with us and started our walk at Central Park.

We exited the park on the West Side and started our walk at Columbus Circle. From here, we walked north to the Lincoln Center. The Lincoln Center is America’s premier theatrical complex and is home to the New York City Ballet, City Opera, Philharmonic Symphony, and the American Ballet Theatre. It is so big and so beautiful. We took a break at the fountain in the middle of the complex and people watched for a little while.

We took a little stroll even further into the Lincoln Center and discovered that it also houses a couple more theaters were Broadway and off-broadway shows are held. There is a really nice infinity pool, sculpture, and, and a really odd elevated park area all meshed together in this small outdoor area. Behind the above ground park we could see the famous school of the arts, Juilliard, and some of their students playing and rehearsing in the grass.

The next stop on our tour was ABC studios, which happens to be located in a really old castle. True Story.

After walking around the long block of ABC studio’s building, we strolled over to Hotel des Artists which was the former home of several famous artists (Norman Rockwell, Charlie Chaplin, and Howard Chandler Christy …just to name a few). We read a few interesting facts about the artwork found inside the hotel’s cafe before continuing on down Columbus Avenue.

The Pythian Apartments were next, its history must have been boring  because all I remember is that it has lots of Egyptian symbols (lions and pharaohs) adorning the front of the building, and that the song “Rock Around the Clock” was written here.

There were a few more statues, parks, and historical buildings for the next half hour, until we ended our walk at The Ansonia. This apartment building opened in 1904, and offered the best amenities the West Side had to offer… telephone service, artificial refrigieration, maid service 3 times a day, and of course…live seals in the lobby fountain.

Three hours and three miles later, we were done, and Belle couldn’t walk one inch further. We took the bus home, made (re-heated) soup, and here we are. I hope everyone has a great sunny weekend and takes the time to enjoy it!

Cheers!