Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Nutcracker

Nate and I went to see the New York City Ballet's The Nutcracker last Saturday. I was so excited to see this, as I have never been to a performance of the Nutcracker, except to a shortened version when I was in elementary school. We have the SF Ballet version on tape which I have watched many times, so I was thinking to compare it to that. Nate and I were both a little disappointed. The dancers were excellent and everything, but it wasn't very exciting, and there wasn't enough company dancing. Little kids did a lot of the choreography, which makes it a fun show for kids, but not so much for people looking to see awesome dancing. Nate's opinion was that it was "perfectly boring". As in, excellent execution, but so what? Nothin' special. It almost put me to sleep. Sad.

I am definitely still glad that we went, as I was really sad that we missed it last year, and I think it is something that everyone should experience in NY at Christmas time at least once, but I don't think that I ever need to go again.


The first night Ben and Whit were here, we went to see Ragtime. We were running so late that we literally sprinted from the subway to the theater. The show was phenominal (sp?)! I love the music in that show so much, and always have. It makes me cry. But there are also really fun and upbeat songs too. I used to clean to it back in my BYU days. The costumes were great, and the set was super cool. The main characters' voices were so rich and powerful. This is definitely a must see! I don't think Ben would have the same review as Whit and I, but he doesn't really know what he is talking about, so it's ok. Sorry, no pictures.


The second night Ben and Whit were here, we saw Cirque Du Soleil's Wintuk. I had never seen any Cirque du Soleil shows, so I didn't really know what to expect. I ended up really liking it. The first half was just a lot of fun stuff, juggling, biking, trampoline jumping, and some other fun stunts. The second half got a little more serious, and they did some seriously cool acts. I thought it would have been such a fun show to take the kids to. Someday.


A few weeks ago, Nate and I finally went to see Wicked. I saw it a few years ago with my mom and sister here in NY, but Nate had never seen it. He was VERY impressed. I don't think he could really imagine what all the fuss was about, but he really loved it. Which is saying a lot, because Nate doesn't really do broadway. It's such a fantastic production though... funny, uplifting, amazing music... it's just got it all! Definitely a must see! My camera battery was dead, so no pictures. I am so glad Nate liked it.

The Shafers {finally} visit

The Shafer family finally made it out to the big apple to visit us! Unfortunately, it was an extremely short visit, so we had to cram a whole bunch of fun into no time at all, but it was still a blast! Asher was seriously mad that his cousins had to leave. He had so much fun with them, and they all actually did SO great in the confined space of our apartment.

The first night they were here we went out to Famiglia pizza, then came home to put the kids to bed and ran out the door to catch a show

Day two we hit up the Museum of Natural History, which the boys loved, and would have been happy to stay all day. After wards, we took a nice walk in the drizzle through central park, to FAO Schwartz. The kids played around on the big piano, looked at lots of toys, took a break for story time, played around some more, then we headed back home, put the kids down, and headed out again to make another show.

It was a great time and I can't wait to see them again in 2 days!

Here are some pics...

Ben and Whit in times square

Museum's main entrance with the big dinosaur

Lunch break

God of Carnage

A couple of weeks ago, Nate and I went with our neighbor Clare to God of Carnage. The cast was changing on November 14th, and we really wanted to see the original cast, so we went the last week of their run. We heard rave reviews about this play, so I had high expectations. I think it was funny, but towards the end, it was just a lot of yelling and swearing, and it didn't really have a resolution in my opinion. The premise of the play is funny (two couples getting together to discuss a mishap between their sons at the park. One mother is very critical and expects that the others will punish their son appropriately...) but after a while, I just didn't see the point. Maybe I am missing something. Oh well. The cast was amazing though... Jeff Daniels, Marsha Gay Harden and James Gandolfini (and some chick I didn't recognize). They were all really talented and very entertaining. Even though you are not supposed to take pictures during the show, I did...
Nice barfing moment... one of the funniest parts of the show

The set at the end of the play... gives you a nice idea of what was going on... tulips strewn all over the stage, more barfing going on... pretty awesome!


I wouldn't say that I recommend this. I did think the first half was very funny and the cast was really amazing and it was so fun to see them live, and I definitely don't regret seeing it, but the end of the play was a little disappointing.

Handsome boy

Doesn't he look so handsome in his Sunday best? I think his long hair is adorable, especially with the little curls. Unfortunately, it is almost time to cut it. It will be a whole new Asher!

Date with Sayer

A few weeks ago, after we dropped Asher off at preschool, Sayer and I headed out to breakfast at Tom's Restaurant. It's totally cheap diner food, but I was craving pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream. Sayer loved all the attention he got from the senior folk, who I assume are regulars there for breakfast, as well as having alone time with mommy.

Beautiful fall

Just a couple pics of our neighborhood park that I wanted to post looking lovely in fall colors. So sad that now it is all brown and ugly and bare. Oh well, at least it comes with the holiday season to take our attention away from the ugly trees!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We just finished watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade... and for all of you who are just now starting to watch it, it was just as magical as ever. Enjoy it! I have always enjoyed watching this parade, but somehow being in NYC makes it even more special to me.

Maybe it's because we went last night to the Inflation Celebration to see all the balloons getting blown up. Us and all the rest of the city, that is. The crowds were crazy, but there was something about just having the opportunity to be a part of the madness that was so special to me. We live here in this amazing city, where amazing events happen on a daily basis, and we get to be a part of it. Last night, it was like we had backstage passes to one of the most famous productions of the year. This morning as we were watching the parade begin, I could just imagine all the floats and marching bands lined up along central park west, with the balloons on either side of the Museum of Natural History, awaiting their turn to join with the rest of the parade.

Maybe it's that I love seeing the places that I've been so many times, all dressed up and on tv, looking so special and inviting. Just seeing the entrance to Macy's on 34th, adorned with trees and "Believe" that we saw them putting up just a week or two ago... it made me happy. I love that we will be going there next week to visit Santa before we head out for our holiday travels.

Whatever the reason is, I love it. Especially when Santa makes his entrance, which for me signifies the beginning of the Christmas season. I have kept myself from putting up our Christmas decorations until today, and now that Santa has come, I feel like I am totally justified in putting them up. Can't wait!

As for the whole purpose of this post... Thanksgiving, I have much to be thankful for. First of all, I am thankful for all of my friends who have blogged on a daily basis about the things they are gratful for. It has helped me to reflect on all the little (and big) things that I am grateful for.

Such as the fact that I don't even notice anymore how old our little apartment is. I have actually learned to love our home and our neighborhood and have become quite proud of it.

For all of the wonderful friends that I have made in the city. That many of those friends are not members of the church, two of which are my closest friends here in the city. Before we came out here, I prayed for wonderful friends. I guess I always just assumed that my best friends that I would talk to and do things with on a daily basis would be in my ward, so it kind of surprised me that it didn't turn out exactly that way, but I would never change it. It's one of those things that I don't think I would have known to choose, but it just shows that Heavenly Father has a plan for us and knows what, and who we need in our lives. I have learned so much about other religions and faiths and have learned to be so much more open minded, and not just tolerant, but accepting and loving. Just to be clear, I also have wonderful friends in my ward too!!

My darling boys. They both keep me laughing all day and help me to learn things that I know I couldn't learn any other way.

My wonderful husband who is so patient with me and the kids, and makes sure that he comes home to play with them. He is such a hard worker with school and really does go above and beyond. I know that he will provide for us and make sure that we are always taken care of. Even when things have been so uncertain, I have never felt an ounce of fear about our future, or questioned Nate's ability to get a good job and provide for us... however that might happen. I am so grateful that he is a strong, worthy priesthood holder and that he loves the gospel. I am also thankful that he makes me laugh. I may roll my eyes at him a lot, but I can't deny that I think he is very fun.

Most of all I am so thankful for the gospel and for my savior Jesus Christ. I don't know where I would be without it in my life. I know that the gospel brings true happiness, and I just hope and pray that Nate and I will be able to help our kids feel the same way about it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope it was a fabulous day full of delicious food and wonderful friends and family.

My kids probably ate 2 bites each of this delicious meal... so sad.

Our awesome hosts, Slade and Andrea Combs. Slade did an amazing job on the turkey!

Nate's post-turkey nap

After dinner entertainment. Nate and Mark played for us and we sang... Christmas carols, hymns, bluegrass. It was so fun!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New York photo shoot

We got our family pictures done a few weeks ago by our friend Sara. She did an AMAZING job!! I was so excited to have pictures taken in New York... our home. We chose riverside park over central park because I feel like it is more "our" park... we are there almost every day. It feels so new york-y to me, and it's so beautiful. I am SO happy with the pictures. We started the shoot at about 7:30am, so she caught the sun coming up so beautifully! Here are a few of my faves:

...and those are just a few. Thanks again Sara! Click here to see the rest. Password "riverside".

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Thanks everyone for all the lovely well-wishes and congratulations. We are very excited, as well as a little nervous. I definitely understand why people don't have a lot of kids in the city, because, well, it's really hard just to have 2 kids out here, and thinking about having 3 does make me a little tired. But it will be fun and we can't wait to meet our new baby. He/she will be here on or around May 10th, so that makes me a little over 13 weeks. I have been feeling pretty good, mostly just really tired, up until these last couple weeks, when sickness has taken over our family. I think being pregnant makes it all hit me a little harder than it normally does, but thanks to A LOT (and I mean A LOT) of help from my wonderful husband, I am surviving. I think the end is near though, so thank goodness for that.

We don't really care if it's a boy or a girl. Well, I should rephrase that, I don't care which it is. Nate really wants a girl and is convinced it is one. Asher is already calling it his baby sister. Nate doesn't want to find out and wants it to be a surprise, but I don't know if I can be patient enough. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Crossing a line

There seems to be an acceptable number of kids to have in Manhattan without people thinking that you are nuts. That number would be 2. Lots of people have 2 kids in the city. It's normal. However, not many people have 3, or 4 for that matter. Parents of 3 and 4 do exist, but from what I have seen, they either: are mormon (and there still aren't many of them), have a set of twins, are foreigners, or live in Harlem. Having 3 kids in UT or anywhere else in suburbia is totally normal and almost expected. Having 3 kids in the city is like crossing a line into crazy-ville.

Well crazy-ville... here we come!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

America Dances

Last night I went to America Dances at the New York City Center because Nate bought me a ticket, like the sweet and thoughtful husband he is. I wasn't really sure what it was supposed to be, but it turned out to be a kind of concert/awards ceremony. They recognized several people and honored Patrick Swayze by presenting his wife with a gift. They did all sorts of different genres of dance. Some were wonderful, and others, I personally didn't even think should be recognized as a type of dance. Oh well, I guess they were just trying to be diverse.

They started the show off with a "stars and stripes" pas de deux, which was fantastic. They had a tap ensemble perform a type of gum boots dance that I was not very impressed by. They had the Isadora Duncan dance company perform a piece that I personally thought was hideous. I am sure that it's meaningful and "beautiful" in it's own right, but the actual choreographed dance was so ugly. I couldn't tell if some of the dancers were trying to make it look ugly or if they really just had no technique. I imagine they were trying to, I mean, it is the Isadora Duncan dance company... you'd think they would be amazing! There were a couple of contemporary ballet pieces that were amazing, as well as a modern piece choreographed by Sonya Tayeh from SYTYCD. That was probably my favorite. Beautiful!

At the end, they did a sad rendition of excerpts from Bob Fosse's, Dancin'. Yeah, I didn't love it. I thought they could have chosen something much more fun, or at least better parts of the musical to highlight.

I was sitting on the edge of my row right by the door, so after the bows I made a fast escape. When I got to the main lobby, I saw Sonya Tayeh waiting down there. I touched her arm and told her that I loved her piece. I wanted to get a picture but didn't want to be annoying, so I just snapped a quick one on my way out.
Awesome outfit, huh?!


Apparently, Asher and Sayer thought the laundry in the hamper by the tub couldn't wait a second longer to be washed...

**The difference between dads and moms... when Nate saw it, he laughed, when I saw it... I did NOT laugh. Luckily, Nate had bought me a ticket to a show so I had to leave right then and didn't have to clean it up! ;)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Just readin'

Do you like my white socks?

The other day we had Asher's little friend Addy over to play for a bit. Here they are reading Cinderella books on the couch together.
I told Addy that I liked her sparkly shoes, so Asher said that he liked her sparkly shoes too. Then he said: "do you like my white socks?" Funny kid.
She doesn't look too impressed!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Home from church: part 2

After I did my post about Sayer falling asleep in the stroller, I decided that maybe I should lay down for a little while since I had no other kids to take care of. I laid there for awhile at first wondering if this was ridiculous to be going back to bed. I found myself thinking, maybe I should just get up and do something productive. I imagined Nate mocking me and saying that "oh, it must be nice to just go to sleep in the middle of the day" or something like that. But then I thought, you know what? I am sick. I feel like crap, and when do I ever get to lay down in my bed for hours at a time during the day when I am sick?? Never! So for moms everywhere, who never get to take a break when they are sick and feeling like they want to die, I surrendered to my bed... for almost 3 hours! Little Sayer slept like a the worn out little boy he was, so when I woke up, he was still sleeping. I deciding to take my pampering one step further and take a bath. It was lovely. As I was finishing up, the little guy woke up. And true, my house is no cleaner than when Nate left for church, and I didn't do anything productive, but I feel pretty good about myself for taking care of myself. The end.

Home from church

We've all been pretty sick this week, with colds and flus and coughs. You know, the good stuff. Today I decided Asher could go to church with Nate, but Sayer and I were still feeling pretty blah so we stayed home. Sayer was so sad to be left behind, so he climbed into the phil & ted to await being taken outside. He cried when Asher and daddy left, so I brought him his bear and blanket and binky and he was quite happy in there. I left him and heard him talking and laughing at himself in the mirror and after awhile it got really quiet. I went in to check on him and found this.