Sunday, June 28, 2015

Week (and Weekend) Recap!

Week two in NYC was pretty busy and people- filled. Main events:

1. Meeting New(?) Friends. This week I was able to put two real-life faces to internet friends, Emily and Frauke. That was really fun to connect in person with people that I have been following on Instagram and interacting with online for a long time. I also went to a party brunch at a friend's house and met lots of her mom friends. It was a good week with a lot of friend time, but I did have moments of feeling lonely and missing the familiarity of the past.

2. Checking Off To-Do Lists. Will got his license and set up our new bank account. I ordered a Prime Pantry box and I'm getting a better idea of how to handle some of the homemaking things. I've now attempted laundry twice!

3. Exploring the Neighborhood. On Wednesday I drove (stop and appreciate this people- I DROVE and PARKED IN NEW YORK) to meet my friend in another part of Brooklyn at the Third Street Park (Prospect Park). I really liked this park a lot and it was definitely manageable by myself. I really love that the parks here have flat ground that Israel can scoot around on, instead of rocks or grass.

4. Preschool Applications. I woke up last Monday with a heavy weight on my chest because it was the day that round 2 of preschool applications became available. I called and left a few voicemails with the special education department to turn in our IEP materials but wasn't getting anywhere. I decided to march down there and try to talk to someone in person. I was nervous and praying all morning. I was so pleasantly surprised that there were some very helpful, enthusiastic workers there! They were so pleased that I had so many prepared materials from Alabama - updated assessments, clear IEP forms and even a medical referral. They gave me two options for school for Israel and one of them was UCP. We went on Thursday to look at the school, and we have a lot to think about. I'm hopeful that we will have peace about the right decision/ placement soon.

5. Hosting Friends. Thursday - Saturday two of our former #EngageJSU students stayed with us. Josh was in the Middle East for four months on a mission, and his girlfriend came up to surprise him. Josh and Will went out on Thursday night to explore Brooklyn. Friday afternoon we met Josh and Amy for dinner, then Will went with them to a Mets game at Citi Field.

6. Rainy Day. On Saturday it was raining. We had plans to go to the park that afternoon but it was a yucky day. We were feeling a little stir crazy so we took the kids out with their new rain cover on the stroller. We ended up at Dunkin Donuts and I've never seen Edith inhale food that quickly.

7. Crossroads. On Sunday Will finally preached at our new church. Afterwards there was a reception/ picnic for us at Owl's Head Park. It was so fun! We had a great time getting to know some of our church family. Edith took a short nap in the Ergo on the way there, and that was all the nap that any of the McGee kiddos got for the day... but in general, they were great at the park and enjoyed it too!

We are really excited about Crossroads, Bay Ridge, and getting more settled in our new environment. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

First Weekend in NYC

Our first weekend in NYC was busy!

Friday morning I went to the DMV in Brooklyn (near the Barclay Center) and got my new license. It was actually a pretty quick process because I had a reservation. I didn't have to take a test or anything, just trade in my license and show a bunch of forms of ID. It was $65 and only 30 minutes of my time :). Afterwards, I went by Target and got some cheap groceries and then took the train home. 

When I got back, Will and I headed to IKEA to pick up some things we needed (new kitchen table, desk, and some other home things). It was a nice little date, thanks to my mom for babysitting! That night we were all exhausted so we enjoyed the dinner provided by one of our church families and watched a movie. 

One a walk Friday afternoon Will found a clown giving out free balloons!

Saturday morning we took my mom to the airport to say good-bye. Thankfully we had a close parking spot so Israel was able to use his walker for the first time in a few weeks! It meant a LOT to me to have that little piece of normal again. That afternoon we took a walk and just put some furniture together. Saturday night the youth pastor from Crossroads and his wife Stephanie came over. It was fun chatting and getting to know each other - and Stephanie cooked a great meal for us! 

Sunday morning was my first Sunday at Crossroads. They had a very special commissioning for our family at the end of the service, almost like a wedding! Will made commitments to the church, and the church committed to support him. It was really surreal to finally be in New York, at a church, with a loving church body already there, ready for us. Will's mind is going 100 miles an hour as he is very excited about the future of Crossroads.

Outside of the high school where our church meets. 

Edith fell asleep on the walk home. That didn't stop her from having a three hour nap once we got to her crib! 

After church the kids took naps and then we decided to explore Prospect Park (a quick 30 minute drive away). There was a great splash pad for free and then when we left we stumbled upon a drum circle! It was so fun and Israel loved it the most. He was grinning for the rest of the night. That night Will and I ordered takeout for Father's Day and relaxed.

It had been a very busy first weekend, but we were SO excited to finally be in New York! We are still pinching ourselves - is this real life? 

Mother-Daughter Manhattan Night!

Thursday of my mom's trip up, we went in to Manhattan for a girl's night! We ate at The Meatball Shop in Chelsea Market (thanks for the recommendation Emily!) and then hit up some tourist stops.

We went by the Rockefeller Center, then Time Square.

We stopped in the Disney Store where I almost got Israel a new Mickey themed gift but decided to wait. He has a very love-hate relationship with "Kickey Mo" right now.

Finally, we headed to see "Finding Neverland" with Matthew Morrison (Mr. Schuster from Glee!) on Broadway. IT WAS AMAZING!! Seriously. Loved. It.

We took the train home (we were a little confused at times) and got back super late. I gained about 8 blisters on my feet from all of the walking, but I wouldn't trade the memories, just the shoes. It was a fun night and I'm so glad that I got to have a very touristy night out with my mama!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

First Week Exploring (Park & Shore Road!)

My mom stayed with us during the first week of NYC living. She drove up with me and stayed until Saturday morning, which was a HUGE help as we tried to settle in. We spent the first few days unpacking and setting everything up. It was really nice to have her there to give me decorating tips and to switch off on watching the kids and unpacking boxes! By Wednesday we felt pretty good about unpacking and we decided to explore a little. We needed to get out of the house!!

We walked to a park that is about 11 blocks from us (15-20 minutes maybe?). It has great big swings and handicap accessible ramps. I didn't bring Israel's walker that time but we will in the future!

We walked along Shore Road and the pier that overlooks the Verazzano Bridge and the Manhattan skyline/ Statue of Liberty!

That night she even let us go out on a date and we sat outside at a nice place!

It was so fun having my mom with me to explore the neighborhood. She's always so helpful and patient with the kids. I'm glad that we have some NYC memories with her already! 

Driving Up to NYC

Last Sunday - Monday, my mom and I drove up to New York. We went to my dad's church, FBC Hendersonville on Sunday. It was such a timely message on anxiety and casting our cares on the Lord. I was tearing up listening because I had a list of things I was worried about and it reminded me to trust the Lord and to pray to Him specifically about what I had on my heart.

After church we got on the road. The kids did AMAZING the whole drive. After they took naps, we stopped at a rest area just to stretch our legs.

That night we stayed at a hotel. It was not a great night of sleep for anyone (night terrors for one of the kids) and Edie's morning face described how we all felt:

Monday morning we were up EARLY and we headed to Hershey, Pennsylvania where we went to Hershey Chocolate World. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!! We rode the free tour ride twice! It was basically an informational roller-coastery type thing, with chocolate at the end. We had the best lunch (chocolate covered pretzels and chips! reese's cheesecake!) and then got back on the road... to New York!

We arrived in the early afternoon and immediately got to work unpacking. That night we had our first NYC Pizza and enjoyed brief walks around the neighborhood.

We made it to our city!! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Move-In Day (Will in NYC)

I wasn't there, so I don't really have captions or the full story. But Will moved in to our NYC apartment last Wednesday, thanks to the generous help of our new church family!

Will arrived in NYC several days before us, so he was able to get things a little set up before I brought the kids up. It was a long week apart! 
There was an error in this gadget