Wednesday, December 05, 2012

BFFs

So, last month, for book club, we read Mindy Kaling's book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) I really enjoyed the book, and Mindy's writing style, and it really made me want to renew my commitment to write something, anything, for an hour every day. It also made me want to write funny TV shows with my friends, but that's not happening any time soon, so writing by myself for an hour a day it is!

For book club, we were given an assignment to come up with a "Best Friends Rights and Responsibilities" list, like Mindy has in the book. I went a little overboard and wrote quite a few. I only shared three with the club because everyone else only had one and I didn't want to be that crazy over-achiever who was craving all the attention (too late.) I tried to mimic her overall format and tone. I had a lot of fun with it, and I think you should write your own, too.

Hailey's List of Best Friends' Rights and Responsibilities

You will always crave a cheeseburger at the right time, which is every time.

If I have too many striped shirts in my wardrobe, you will let me know in a sarcastic yet serious tone.

If I start getting sucked into rom-com movies or literature, you will remind me that sci-fi is my thing.

There will always be pistachio ice cream in your freezer.

If we show up to an event wearing the same dress/shirt/coat from Target, we will totally own it.

If I daydream about my future career as a dubstepping sensation, you'll promise to be in the front row even if that makes you sound like you're buying into my crazy delusion.

If I complain about feeling overwhelmed, you'll remind me that I said the same thing a year ago, and you told me then to get a TV in my bedroom.

Even though you're super organized and I'm kind of a hoarder-in-training/major slob, you'll help me go through my stuff when I move without judgment. Well, maybe just a little. You are human, after all.

No matter how famous you or your family become, I will always remind you that you will always be kind of a geek and your kids really don't care. You're welcome. Just for the record, I do care. A lot.

If it's January, and I don't hear from you for a month, I will remember that you're hibernating.

I will always give you the benefit of the doubt.

If someone is rude to you, I'll tell you that they were probably having a bad day, and when that doesn't work, I'll remind you how much funnier, prettier and smarter you are than them.

If I over-analyze a performance I just gave, you'll listen patiently, then still tell me I killed it.

I'll go to Time Warner and wait in line behind thirty people to pick up your modem while I write a list about my best friends' rights and responsibilities.

If any of our kids end up marrying each other, we'll sit back and celebrate the victory of our master plan, then await the arrival of the most inconceivably amazing offspring known to mankind.

When you run a half marathon, I will be there at the finish line...with a chocolate shake.

If you turn into a zombie, I will decapitate you with a katana sword, and vice versa.



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Taking a Breather

My kids are great. Amidst the craziness that is the quotidien around here, I want to take a minute to stop and remember the things they do and are.


Lane. She is still five going on thirteen. She is very sensitive, cares about what her peers think, and is particular about her physical appearance. Mainly her hair. When we wash her hair in the bathtub, she has to fix her bangs so they're not slicked back, even though they're wet. She was afraid to go to school because Jordan kissed her hand and wanted to "date on her." I had to tell Jordan that Lane wasn't old enough to date, to which he responded, "Holy Moley!" and ran away.


She has the slightest lisp which is the cutest thing I've ever heard. She is shy. Last year in her Kindergarten class she was in a play and played a unicorn who could turn invisible--it made perfect sense because she doesn't want people to notice her, and I understand how she feels. She still sucks her thumb while holding "baby white elephant's" ear over her nose when she goes to sleep at night. Her favorite game is when Maclain puts on her headband and does an impersonation of her, down to her little valley girl voice. She chose Ben for her one-on-one date and then spent the whole time asking him if he thought she'd made the right choice. She loves to paint. She loves nutella sandwiches and tomatoes.


Lucy. I need to record her voice when I pick her up from her classroom after school, because she has this hilarious way of talking when she's sharing an amusing anecdote that makes me want to laugh out loud. She also inserts "ugh" and "ack" into her sentences. I'm living with Charlie Brown and I have no idea where it came from. Any sentence from her will go something like this, "Ugh, ugh, ugh, can I have a string cheese?" It's like a stutter, I guess, and I never want it to stop. We had a special one-on-one date on Saturday and she kept saying, "This is a lovely, lovely, lovely day." She collected leaves for Lane and then came home and glued them on to a paper tree she made. I can't take it. She's so sweet and easy-going most of the time. She likes to pour her own milk. She loves to color and cut and she's learning to write.


She wrote her own talk about the Priesthood on Sunday, but then was too scared to read it. She got sick of me saying that I didn't have any money whenever she asked for an icee or slurpee after school, and so she told me to get a job. When I did get a job for a few days, she exclaimed to my friend who picked her up from school, "Guess what! My mom didn't have any money, so she got a JOB!" Then, when it was done, she asked me how much money I had now. She loves to snuggle with me after school. Sometimes, she cries when I come to recess because she worries that we won't have enough time to play together. When I sing "Goodnight my angel" to her at night, she tells me that it makes her think of me dying and she worries that when she goes in heaven after me, she won't be able to find me there.


Ethan. His "Lumpy Space Princess" impressions are killing me right now. The kid is funny. He's a talented actor and story teller. He has my big front teeth. He still loves board games more than just about anything. If I go to his soccer games or watch him play football after school, he looks over constantly to make sure I'm watching him. He's super picky about how his pants and shoes fit. It's maddening. He wants a little brother so badly, poor kid. He loves playing with his cousins and reminisces about Christmas in Sedona. He loves Utah and thinks it's better than New York.


He has gotten up to bear his testimony twice. The second time, he said to his friend sitting next to him, "Hey, if you go, I'll go." And off they went. Nothing offends him more at school than jokes that just aren't funny. He's keeping track of his babysitting hours to save up for Lego Batman. He's really good at Dungeon Defenders and was amazing when we defeated the dragon. He's a good friend and leader at school and everyone likes him. He has play dates with his friend that's in a wheelchair even though they don't always do things he would necessarily choose to do. This choice melts my heart. I want to hug him and kiss him and snuggle him like when he was 2. He gives me a kiss before he goes to his class. I just think he's awesome.


Mila. She brings candy home from Young Women and puts it out for me to take. She has a Tardis iphone case and is dressing up as a weeping angel for Halloween. She's 12 and takes the crosstown 96 bus to go to high school. She has a locker and changes out for PE and has off campus lunch. I'm starting to cry now. She likes her theater class, but says choir is kind of boring. She does her homework every day without me ever mentioning it. She wakes up 45 minutes earlier than me every day. She has a nightly checklist which includes laying out her clothes, making her lunch, showering, organizing her backpack, etc. I want to be her when I grow up.


Her Young Women leaders adore her and ask me what I did. I try to tell them that she came that way. She fights with Ethan because he pushes her buttons a lot. Sometimes she gets emotional and I catch a glimpse of the teen years poking through. She has to do everything her way, and if you try to get her to make shortcuts or do it differently, she goes behind your back and manages to still do it her way. She's an amazing improviser for her age, and a talented actress. She loves to wear necklaces and make friendship bracelets. She's crafty. Where did she come from? I love her, even though she's humbling to be around. She babysat for another family last week. Why is she getting older? I get texts from her that say "I love you more than anyone in the world."

I'm truly lucky.

(I wrote this post last week. And then, a few days later, a mother who lived less than twenty blocks away from me lost two of her three young children when their nanny took their lives. I was horrified when I found out. I can't imagine the pain of that family and I ache for their loss. I just can't even comprehend what my life would be without all of my little people in it.  I really want to capture my children as they are right now, and to cherish the simple moments that I have with them.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fakin' it

My motto for 2011 was "I can do hard things." I have decided that my motto for 2012 is "Fake it 'til you make it." Someone said that at church on Sunday in a discussion about being kind to people, even if they're mean to us, and I thought about how NYC is sometimes rude to me, but all I have control over is my reaction to its rudeness.

For example, I can't change the fact that NYC insists on me hauling four loads of laundry down to a cockroach-infested basement laundry room (rude), but I can pretend like it's amazing and I'm getting royal treatment, and that the roaches are my friends, a la "Shinbone Alley" with Carol Channing.

NYC insists on squeezing me into smelly, crowded subways with standing room only. But I can grin and bear it. Where else would I get to see a 60 year old man with long hair wearing glittery biker shorts and heels? How else am I supposed to learn what cuss words the kids are using these days. NO, thank YOU, NYC, thank you much.

And so on and so on.

But Hailey, you say, you live in the most amazing city in the world (it truly is). Surely you are being over-dramatic and really you are just spoiled. Maybe, friends, maybe. But I have to be honest. I went to Utah for three weeks this summer. I laughed, I ate, I sang, I improvised, I took in the views. And it was amazing. I can't ever change the fact that I am just a super Mormony girl who loves the kind of food places that exist between the realms of fast food and sit-down restaurants. Who loves to sit in on my friends' writing groups and offer ideas. Who loves to drive a minivan. It's who I am.

In my Utah ward in July, a lovely older lady turned to me and asked, "Is it true what they say? That New York City is both the best and the worst place in the world?" I said, "Yes!" That is exactly it. I have never loved and hated a place so much at the same time. I guess hate is a strong word. That's not very kind of me. OK, NYC, I don't hate you. But yes, sometimes you make it very difficult for me to like you.

And so I will continue to fake it until I make it. Hopefully, making it will involve me falling head over heels in love with this crazy place. I hope so. I do have moments when I'm walking down the street and this feeling of complete adoration for Manhattan will wash over me and it takes me by surprise. I ran into Lucy's Kindergarten teacher from last year this morning and I was reminded how much I loved her. My girls' K teachers were the best on the planet, and so NYC has come through when it really counts.

I'm so impressed with my many friends here in the city who don't have to fake it. They love it for reals and they're not ashamed of it. And if they don't, I would never know because they must be super awesome at faking it! Either way, they are wonderful examples to me in my times of need, and I'm lucky to have them. I also think it's hilarious that a friend of mine is coming to NY soon for a girls' trip and she sent me their itinerary and it looks like a lot of fun. Then this morning, I get an email from a friend here about going on a girls' trip to RI, or anywhere that is out of this place! Us city girls are dying to get out while everyone else is dying to get in. Oh, how I love irony...

And so my friends, please think of me when you're loading up your minivan trunk with Costco goodness or carelessly tossing your non-mildewed towels in your washing machine, and in return, I'll think of you when I'm sitting on a bench in Central Park in the fall, or eating pizza in Brooklyn. We can't have everything at once, right?


Sunday, July 01, 2012

I Feel You, Sesame Street

Recently, this song has been running through my mind every time I step out my front door.

"Who are the people in your neighborhood? In your neighborhood? In your neigh-bor-hood, say, who are the people in your neighborhood? The people that you meet each day!"

Here are the verses for my little block of NYC:

"First let's go and meet Maksut.
He's the person who sells us our fruit.
He smiles at me and lets the jokes fly
He's the friendly, kindly fruit cart guy."

"The dry cleaners is one block away,
I don't know the lady's name, I'm sad to say.
But she's lovely and is nicely dressed
And her classical music is the best."

"711 is just under us,
I can buy my milk without a fuss.
Slurpees also use up all my money
And the cashier always calls me honey."

"In my lobby you'll find Fernando
He's my part-time doorman, don't you know?
We talk about the weather a lot
And also he thinks my mom is hot."

I kind of love my neighborhood and the colorful characters who live in it. Maybe next time, I will add some verses about the crazy-eyed homeless man and the large, intimidating crossing guard lady who yells, "You don't have the light!" at you if you cross early. Ah, New York...




Sunday, June 10, 2012

Photography 101

Lane
SOOC means "straight out of camera." That's just one of the neat things I learned in my photography class, taught by the seriously amazing Lesley. I now find the following things coming out of my mouth: "Wow, nice bokeh," "Did you bump up your ISO to get that shot?" and "Try f-stop 4, 1/125 shutter speed." Seriously, it's off the chizzain.

Here are a sampling of photos I've taken since starting the class (some were for specific assignments), but keep in mind that it's the first time I've ever shot manually, so be nice... And while I'm not planning on going into business any time soon, it's nice to get some decent shots of my kids and friends, I must say!

Ethan, leaping off a hippo

Ethan, in motion

Lucy, backlit


Mila, front lit


Bokeh!
Conservatory Garden, Central Park



You can see me in the golden egg!
Jeff


Aurora

Jeremiah
Shayla, at Bethesda Fountain


Jessica and Jake and a voyeur
Belly Silhouette!
Kimberly's Key Lime Blackberry Pie

Ethan at the Met, in reaction to naked men statues

Self-portrait



Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Loving me some Lime Ricki

Back in Utah, I knew a sweet woman with a beautiful smile named Colette. She and her sisters had started a little swimsuit company by the name of Lime Ricki. After I moved out here, I was pleased to see that my friend Matt Clayton had started shooting some of their products. A few weeks ago, Matt asked me if I would help out with their Instagram scavenger hunt. On Saturday, April 28, Lime Ricki gift cards were hidden in cities across America, and picture clues were posted on Instagram. I got to hide the New York clue and it was really fun to get to play. As I browsed the website, I fell in love with this:


I've been wanting a new swimsuit and, while I was hoping to find an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot tankini, this adorable option came close enough! I paired it with this skirt bottom:




 They arrived last week and my family agrees that it's a winning combo! I'm so glad that Lime Ricki is growing and making such great products because Colette is awesome and I'm also loving Matt's photography! Now I just need to find a place to swim...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Stomach Bug of Death Break

It was going to be a wonderful spring break. Trips to the orchid show, the cherry blossom festival, the bioluminescent creatures exhibit at the Natural History Museum, Shake Shack, 16 Handles, The Doughnut Plant... Well, it's Friday, and I have eaten the following since Monday morning: 15 Saltines, 5 bananas, a bowl of applesauce, a scoop of rice, and two bowls of cereal and a bit of Pad Thai that I regret. If you know me well, then you know that the not eating thing in addition to the sitting at home all day thing adds insult to injury in a MAJOR way. My poor children. Not only did they trade off the virus over Easter weekend, now they are forced to spend their days watching TV and playing Xbox. Believe me, they are up in arms. Except they really aren't. They are good kids like that. And they love Dr. Who and Skylanders.

Our first scapegoat was Care-a-lot. Care-a-lot is the name of the Russian tortoise who normally inhabits Lane's Kindergarten classroom, but who currently inhabits our living room. Someone told me that those guys can give you salmonella, and you better believe I shot Care-a-lot some deathly glares when Ethan started vomiting last Friday night. But then Mila got it and she had refused to touch Care-a-lot. And then Ben didn't get it. And he is obsessed with Care-a-lot. It's adorable, really. I hear noises outside my room at midnight and go out and Ben's taking videos of Care-a-lot crunching on romaine lettuce. I really like to say/type Care-a-lot a lot. Also, we found out that at least three other boys in Ethan's class had spent the weekend as sick as dogs, so Care-a-lot, you got lucky this time!

The biggest casualty of the weekend by far were Ben's $78 Easter potatoes. This part of the story has a back story. Six years ago, when I was a few months pregnant with the twins, I got food poisoning the day before Easter. Ben made some wonderful au gratin potatoes for the occasion. Sadly, the evening after I ate said potatoes, the food poisoning ravaged my pregnant body in a horrifying way. After that, any time anyone said "au gratin potatoes," I trembled with fear and trepidation. They taste amazing going down, but... I can't talk about it, even now. So, flash forward six years later, and we're invited to our friends for Easter dinner. "We will bring au gratin potatoes!" I confidently type in an e-mail. When I deliver the news to Ben, he looks at me quizzically, "Are you sure?" "It's time. I'm ready," is my response. So, Ben makes up a recipe and goes skipping off to Whole Foods where he magically drops $78 on ingredients for his magical potatoes. To be fair, part of that was for asparagus which I requested, and $25 was to purchase a mandolin to make his onions and potatoes perfect in ever way. After he got home, he made potato chips with that mandolin which are the best potato chips I've ever eaten, so mandolins are welcome here. But yeah, if you're keeping track, that's a lot of gruyere, gorgonzola, and fresh mozzarella. Dang Whole Foods.

Easter Sunday comes and Ben's potatoes are truly awesome. However, we bring home more than half a pan. Great news on Sunday night! Worst news ever come Monday morning. Right now, I have about $25 worth of potatoes sitting in my fridge, taunting me with their awful au gratin-ness. Poor potatoes. It's not their fault that they have the worst timing ever. I have no choice but to swear off au gratin potatoes forever. Perhaps in 2020, I will have another go. Too soon to tell.

These are my spring break woes. We have had a few victories this week. I managed to take the kids to the Conservatory Garden in CP yesterday to meet friends, and it was lovely, albeit a little chilly. Last night, I went to Once with my friend MaryDee and prayed that I would make it through the whole show. I did, and it was a spiritual experience. There were angels singing and playing on that stage. After the show, I wondered if that were actually true when, after all the thunderous applause died down, the lead actor told us that his mother had just passed away on Easter after a thirteen year battle with breast cancer. He had held her hand as she died, and that had been his first performance back. We cried even harder, and I was grateful I had brought Kleenex.

Let's see, what else... I finished season one of Breaking Bad. I did four loads of laundry. I actually went to the gym once. So Spring Break has not been a total failure. Besides, imagine all the suckers at our school who got the virus and then had to get on their planes to Paris and Cancun! Bummer! We were the lucky ones!!

(I am starving...)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

You can take the girl out of the cheap, but...

Disclaimer: I am not trying to be appear ungrateful and insensitive in this post. I am truly grateful for the generous gifts I have received. I'm just trying to be honest about something I really struggle with. I do believe that I'm not alone in this.

Yeah, I'm cheap. Proud of it.

I was one of those people who used to drive to the gas station advertising the cheapest gas in the city limits. Nothing gives me a greater thrill than getting clothing for ridiculously low prices, or three boxes of cereal for the price of one. Nothing horrifies me more than feeling pressured to pay full price for something. And so you can imagine my dilemma when, for the second year in a row, I have been given a gift card to Anthropologie.

Yes, I know, I'm a spoiled brat. What female in America would complain about free money to spend at Anthro? Am I out of my mind?

Let me just back it up by saying that my mom's creed has always been, "My life's dream is to be able to walk into Target and buy whatever I want." So, yes, I am from Target stock. Target is my people. I simply was not raised at Anthro prices.

A tee-shirt at Anthro costs $70. A TEE-SHIRT. As I typed that, my heart actually failed me a little. What about a new pair of skinny jeans? Oh, that sounds fun! Oh, $160? Ain't no thing! Yeah, no, it is a HUGE thing. What the what? I'm sorry, but even if someone gave me all the money in the free world, I could not bring myself to pay that much for an article of clothing. I just.can't.do.it. Unless, of course, that article of clothing is going to clean my toilets. Only then would I MAYBE consider it.

So, you see my problem. I would rather have 10 adorable shirts that cost me $10 each than one t-shirt that will render me unable to ever even look in my kids' direction when they are eating, let alone touch them. Ben gets into this state at church when he's wearing his custom suit that makes me laugh inside. He deftly scoops all the crayon-bearing, snot-nosed children around him, maintaining a 3 foot perimeter at all times. Not me. I snatch up those Primary kids in all their booger and spit up and graham cracker crumb glory and get it all over myself in the process, because I know my sweater cost me $14.95 and it's not the end of the world. See? Cheapness=peace of mind+favorite Primary substitute teacher.

My cousin is a designer for Kate Spade. I would probably rather stick a needle in my eye before I'd even consider purchasing a designer purse, but make those bags $20 a piece? I'm all over it. But then I have to take it one step further. The cheap person's disease is not only restricted to buying cheap stuff, but they feel the need to tell every stranger on the street just how cheap it was. All the time at school, I get compliments on my coats. "Target!" I blurt out, as the person stares at me quizzically. But every once in a while, that other person will say, "NO way, I just don't believe it!" and that makes it all worth it. As for the Kate Spade loot, I should just smile mysteriously and say, "Why, thank you," when someone notices my fancy handbag. But no, I just have to yell out, "$20 at a sample sale!" and I just made myself nerdy cheap girl again (Ben gets so embarrassed. He loves to buy and wear nice things. Conversely, I'm embarrassed for him because of it. Our marriage is balanced.)

So, any advice? How do I get over my cheapness long enough to forget that $50 would go such a long way at H&M, but will only get me half a shirt at Anthro? I know what you're thinking. I should just buy some more latte bowls and be done with it.

Sidenote: With my Anthro gift card last year, I purchased a purse and shoes on clearance. Within a month, the rosettes on the bag were falling off, and the flower on my shoe fell off as well. I fixed them both with super glue. So much for better quality, eh?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Only in New York: 2011 Highlights

Since there's always the off chance that 2011 might be the only full year of my life that I spend in New York City, I want to always remember all the amazing things that I got to do, things that are only possible in this one-of-a-kind place. So here are my top ten, in no particular order:

1. Attended a live taping of a Project Runway fashion show.

My cohorts and I braved rain, early hours, abandoned children, and getting lost to attend an event that could have easily been canceled. But it's one of my favorite shows, I had to try! And in this case, trying paid off. BIG TIME. We stood in the front row, had great views of Heidi, Michael, and Nina, and we met Tim Gunn. The only person I wanted to meet in New York was Tim Gunn, and I did it! It was truly an amazing, surreal day. Perfect.






2. The Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met.

My friend and I went early in the season while the littles were at pre-school and I'm so glad we did. It was amazing and beautiful and inspiring, and cost me $2! I tried to go back again, but the lines went all the way out into the park. I learned a little something about how beauty can come in surprising forms, and how fashion can truly be art. Also, taking risks is not a bad thing.

3. Scored VIP seats to the free Andrea Boccelli/NY Philharmonic concert in Central Park.

I adore Central Park. I love music. I love free stuff. I even kind of love rain. Combine all four, and you have a magical evening, which was only made more magical by the fact that we stumbled upon VIP tickets as we were walking in. Then, as a bonus, Celine Dion and Tony Bennett walked out on stage. Fun, crazy night, with fun, crazy friends. Any time I ever eat a baguette and Boursin again, I will think of that night.



4. I went to an open call audition for a Broadway musical at a renowned casting agency.

My friend Rachel flew in to audition for the mistress in Evita. I thought, "Hey, sounds like an adventure!" and tagged along. It was CRAZY and intense. Hundreds of young (and not so young) beautiful (and not) women, hoping to be discovered after singing 16 bars of a musical theater song. I spent hours in line, then had to sing a cappella, but I felt good about it. No regrets. Can check it off my bucket list!

5. Attended a San Antonio Spurs/NJ Nets game with my Valentine.

This was definitely the Valentine's Day where I won. We took the train out to Newark and walked to the stadium. It's always fun to watch the Spurs play live, and it was even more amusing to see that there were more Spurs fans at the game than Nets fans, on their own home turf! The subway ride home was the most memorable one yet, as we ran back and forth between the express and local platforms at Penn Station with other New Yorkers and tourists trying to catch trains and laughed really hard. And also, Ben got called ugly.




6. Attended eight Broadway shows.

I saw The Importance of Being Earnest, La Cage Aux Folles, Billy Elliot, Born Yesterday, Anything Goes, War Horse, and How to Succeed in Business twice. Earnest was delightful, La Cage had the most amazing male dancers, Billy had some impressive dancing by kids, Born Yesterday's highlight was Nina Arianda's performance, Anything Goes made me fall hard for Sutton Foster (she can do NO wrong),War Horse was inventive and emotional and my hands-down favorite, and How to Succeed had my favorite dancing and costumes and Harry Potter as a bonus! I only wish I could have seen more!



7. Watched a fireworks show on a pier on the Hudson River.

The company was awesome, it was a gorgeous, not too hot night, the kids were happy, and the fireworks were fabulous! Everyone had a great time. The worst part was when it ended and we had to get home. We ended up walking about 25 blocks when every subway platform and bus was filled to capacity. But I think it was worth it...








8. Visited the 9/11 Memorial.

Ben got tickets for us to go see the Memorial while his mom and sister were in town. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in early November. The second we stepped into the memorial site, I felt like we were on sacred ground. Definitely memorable, and I'm glad I could take my kids there and talk to them about it.




9. Enjoyed Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel.

My friend Lynda got a coupon for Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel and invited me along for the swanky affair. Lucky me! We ordered the Chocolate and the New Yorker and dined on tiny sandwiches and desserts, and scones and cream, while sipping herbal Tuscan Pear tea. Our waiter with a mysterious accent even said to Lynda after she ordered, "Ah, you know your teas!" It was fun to see all the fancy older ladies around us, as well as a dad and his daughters enjoying the Eloise.






10. Ate the best pizza I've ever had, or will ever have, in my life.

Ben went on a pizza quest in 2011 and took me along for the ride, most of the time. We found our favorite place, Paulie Gee's, out in Brooklyn, and took lots of people out there. AMAZING. We have yet to find a person who dislikes it! We also really like Keste and Forcella.




Runners-up:

-Ran my first 5K through the Bronx Zoo
-Went sledding in Central Park
-Survived the Snowpocalypse
-Watched Ben get sworn in as a New York attorney
-Went clubbing as a VIP guest of Kaskade
-Watched Ethan march in the Veteran's Day Parade with his Cub Scout troop on 11/11/11!
-Went to the beach on Long Island
-Rode in a limo on Father's Day
-Ate pizza (Grimaldi's) and ice cream (Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory) under the Brooklyn Bridge
-Took Mila to the Lego store and American Girl Store
-Went to a NY Knicks game at Madison Square Garden and spent the whole time playing "Find the celebrity"
-Attended a special screening of "The Tree of Life" followed by a Q&A with the production designer
-Ate Doughnut Plant donuts and walked the High Line
-Prepared for and survived a non-hurricane
-Ate lots of cupcakes and Belgian waffles
-Went to many fun Zumba classes with my friends led by the one and only Chris
-Ryan and Kimberly Simmons showing up as Garth and Kat on Halloween
-Watched my daughter converse with and get an autograph from the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret
-Attended two Martha Stewart tapings with friends
-Went to an amazing party for Ben's work at the Central Park Zoo with more free food than I've ever seen!
-Went to the Rockettes Christmas show with Mila
-Went to the amusement park Victoria Gardens, in the middle of Central Park
-Sang in church, accompanied by three gifted musicians
-Directed two children's plays in my 2 bedroom apartment
-Attended two Shakespeare productions at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, one in the rain!
-Enjoyed the most beautiful fall November day in Central Park with Sherry and Melanie
-Went to more playgrounds and parks than I can count
-Ate at some crazy good restaurants

Looking forward to more New York adventures in 2012!*























*We had many other highlights during the year, including a wedding and Christmas in AZ, Ethan's baptism, a trip to Washington, D.C., trips to Boston, and visits from family and friends, but for the purpose of this post, I selected memories unique to New York!