Tuesday, April 12, 2016

When the Roof Falls In on You

Last week was one of those weeks where everything just seemed to go wrong. Monday morning I didn't have any clean workout clothes, so I couldn't go to the gym. I was sitting in the den with Edith at the time when I would have been at a class I attend regularly, and I heard water dripping from the bathroom... more gushing than dripping! We've had a regular leak in the bathroom since December, and just keep a silver bucket in the bathroom for the times it leaks. This was a major gush so our super took the matter seriously and decided to peel back the ceiling to investigate. Doing so caused the ceiling to fall down! It was a major mess. Every inch of our bathroom was covered in dirt, rocks, leaky mystery water, and brown gunk. I had to throw out bath toys and wash everything in there (a major laundromat event!).

Literally as the ceiling was caving in, I got a call from Israel's school saying that we had to pick him up RIGHT NOW because he was sick. He had a fever and was throwing up. He ended up being sick for almost an entire week and finally kicked the mystery illness with an antibiotic after missing an entire 5 days of school and church.

It was a long week. It took a few days to get our ceiling fixed and bathroom cleaned. Our super is supposed to patch it up for good this week. We're finally healthy and I'm ready to resume a routine of leaving the house!! Our apartment felt very tiny last week and having one bathroom was a bit of a crisis! But alas, we made it through and I had a great weekend at a fashion show and a Parakaleo ministry training as a reward.

God has been teaching me that he is building resiliency in me and that this winter, although it has been full of challenges and trials, has been shaping my character. How do I respond when things are falling apart? Do I see God's purpose in the chaos? Am I trusting in His goodness and faithfulness when things are not going my way? I wish I could say I always respond with grace and gratitude but that would be a lie!

I don't share every hard thing about our life because that's not really what I want to remember. But I do want to share that even in the hard times we are given what we need. Friends who have cared for us, sweet moments of snuggles with the kids, scriptures and quotes that speak directly to our hearts.

Here's to a new week, a clean bathroom and healthy kids!

Fashion show

Last weekend my friend Sarah invited me to a fashion show. Her workplace was receiving some of the proceeds from the event, so she needed to attend and her husband couldn't accompany her. I was so thankful for the opportunity to join her!! She told me to dress in "Downtown Cocktail Chic" and this is what I came up with:

Will saw me off: 

The venue was at the NYC Furniture Market and it was for designer Chuks Collins. 

My swag bag: 

It was really fun! There was an entertainer, Verbal Ase, who performed before the show started. A trio of live musicians performed while the models walked. There were two rounds of clothing for the men and women and then the designer spoke. There was a silent auction of a set of BEAUTIFUL gowns on display after the show ended. It was a fun night!! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Game Night!

For my birthday this year Will and I had a game night with a few friends. I don't have any shame about having a party because I love a good excuse to hang out and play.

We did a "Game Show" theme and people had to dress up as a contestant from a TV show. We had representatives from Cash Cab, Price is Right, So You Think You Can Dance, Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader, Deal or No Deal, and Will was from American Gladiators and I was from Dancing with the Stars.

We played games from Minute to Win It and then "Fishbowl" which was a favorite from our EngageJSU days!

It was a nice night with friends and we laughed so much. We really do feel like we have a great community here in Brooklyn and if our apartment was bigger then we would have tried to include so many more people because we have so many people that mean so much to us here. 

I posted online that I was so grateful for this birthday for a few reasons. One is that the lie the enemy tries to make me believe is that no one really knows me or cares about me. But this birthday I received so many blessings from others and I felt very loved and known when I went to bed. So thank you everyone! Not sure how I feel about my last year of my 20s... but so thankful for the people who are a part of my life! 

Edith: Losing the Paci

I posted about Edith's transition to a toddler bed and wanted to post about the paci transition for me to look back on one day!

Israel didn't really care about his pacifier. He'd never used one in Ethiopia, but we immediately started using one when he came into our care because we wanted him to have it for the plane. He was never able to put it in his mouth on his own so it was pretty easy to do away with it because he was never attached. I think when he was a little over a year old we probably did away with it, but the whole time he used it we had to hold it in his mouth for him (mainly during Ergo wearing and when I was rocking him to sleep). Paci transition for him was no big deal.

*I actually looked for a picture of him with a paci IN his mouth and couldn't find a single one.*

Then we had Edith.

Oh this girl LOVED her paci. Loved loved loved. We used the Wubbanub pacis for 2 years and around her second birthday we got rid of them and just kept the tiny paci part. It was so nice for when we were out on the subway or in the car or stroller. If she started to melt down we could just give her the paci and it was an instant relaxer for her. She just loved it so much that we had the hardest time taking it away because it helped us so much!

Edith has been phasing out the paci for a while. For about a year she's only been allowed to have the paci in her bed during nap and nighttime or when we're out and it is an emergency. Recently she had just been holding it to sleep and wasn't even sucking on it anymore. One day she didn't ask for it at nap or bedtime and we decided that would be day 1 of the detox. The next day she started climbing out of her crib... and thus the double whammy happened. No crib + No paci = no more naps (well sometimes naps but she is much trickier to fall asleep!).

It's been a hard transition losing the crib and paci. She's cried, I've cried and almost given in to her. But all the pacis are out of the house and although I really miss the easy days of a few weeks ago. I know that this is just a part of the childhood process. Kids change all the time and this is just one of those transitions.

I'm glad we had the wubbanubs and that we had the paci when we needed it for traveling, moving, and subways. I'm proud of how far Edith has come and that she can self-soothe without the paci most of the time! RIP naps.

**Edith was 2.5 yrs at this transition!**

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Birthday Date

While my parents were in town, they let us have an afternoon/evening off to go on a long date in Manhattan for my birthday. 

As soon as Israel was off the bus, we headed uptown and went to the Museum of Modern Art. We only had an hour to explore but we saw as much as we could! Will has been a member since September, and now I have a free membership through the ID NYC program! ;)

This is one of Will's favorite paintings by Andrew Wythe: 

I remember writing a paper on Van Gogh as a kid! The line for a picture with Starry Night was pretty long.

MONET!! The Monet room was so fabulous in person. The paintings are so huge. So stunning!

After leaving MoMa we went to dinner. Of course this is what going on walks with Will looks like:

We ate dinner at Jacob's Pickles (where we went for Will's birthday date!). It was just as fabulous and Southern as we had remembered.

After dinner we browsed at Books a Million then shared some gelato. It was a perfect date night and so much sweeter having my parents at home watching the kiddos!

Nana and Papa Visit

The Monday after Easter until Thursday, my parents came in town! They came in Monday afternoon right before dinner and we ate something at home and then we showed them around Bay Ridge. My mom helped us move in last summer (we even went to a play!) and then returned again in the fall for a quick visit. It was my dad's first time to see our NYC life and I loved being able to point out our grocery stores, laundromat and other places that are a part of our daily routine. 

Monday night we went to Stewart's for dessert and then Mom and I did a little shopping on 86th street while the men took the kids to bed. We came home in time for Mom to watch Dancing with the Stars!


Dad and Israel have a special bond and Israel was thrilled that Papa was there on the bus stop in the mornings and afternoons. One time Israel pointed to my dad and told his bus drivers "Papa" to explain to them who he was! 

After Israel was on the bus Dad and I picked up some pastries from Leske's and then we got ready to head into the city. We stopped by the 9/11 pools and then went into this indoor mall to kill some time before we headed to the Museum of Jewish History. 

Mom was so silly on the subway.

Edith loved the indoor stairs at the mall. ^^

Lower Manhattan has some cool art!

We headed home in time for naps (Edith never took one though) and Mom and I headed out for pedicures. When Israel got home from the bus, Will and I went on a date in Manhattan. My dad had fun walking around Bay Ridge looking at all of the food options (he refused to order from Seamless!). 

It was a much nicer day so we headed to Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Prospect Park Zoo. Dad wanted to rest so he stayed home. 

The Botanic Garden was starting to bloom the weeping cherry trees around the Japanese Garden and it was so beautiful!

My mom loved the yellow flowers:

We headed to the zoo to show mom how cute Edith is around the animals. Edith LOVED feeding the goats and seeing the monkeys.

Wednesday afternoon we took the kids to Shore Road Park.

That night our friend Emily babysat after the kids went to bed so that we could show Mom and Dad one of our favorite Bay Ridge restaurants.

Thursday morning Mom and Dad packed up. We went by Target on the way to the airport where they continued to spoil us.

It was a short week but we packed a lot in! I love that in this age of technology, I get to "see" my parents almost every day through Face Time and that my kids still get to know their grandparents. They both love their Nana and Papa so much! It was a special week and I'm so grateful for their generosity and care for us. 
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