Monday, March 31, 2008

The Big Apple

I woke up this morning to a very quiet (except for the baby sounds coming from 2 doors down) house. Very different than the traffic, sirens, yelling, hustle & bustle noises we woke up to every morning in NYC. And I must say, I sort of missed those noises. But every good (fantastic!) trip must come to an end and normal life must resume. And a darn good trip it was.

After a cancelled flight Thursday morning, we were able to get booked on another flight about 5 hours later. By the time we got to our hotel in NYC, the Westin Times Square, it was close to 8pm and we hadn't eaten dinner. We checked out Restaurant Row and found a wonderful little Italian place called Becco. It was crowded. We were squished into our table. The food never stopped coming. It was so New York. We loved it. After dinner we (froze our tails off) walked to the Empire State Building, which conveniently is open until 2am. When we reached the top, there were snow flurries. They melted a few floors down to become a slight drizzle. The NYC skyline at night was georgeous...far different than our Brunswick skyline - wait, do we even have a skyline??

Friday morning we had our television debut on the Today Show. I called home and my mom and Little Girl saw us (and commented on my teenager-ness when the cameras panned in my direction...can't help was my 5 seconds of fame!). We got to meet Ann Curry and Hoda Cotb, and see Matt Lauer from a distance. Mission accomplished. Then I got to shop at my favorite store, H&M, for hours and hours and hours.

Friday night we met up with my cousin Debby and her husband Jason and had a great dinner at another little Italian eatery called 44 Southwest. Again, it was crowded. We were squished into our table. The food never stopped coming. It was so New York. We loved it! Then we browsed M&M World, the Hershey store, Toys R Us - yes, children's stores, and yes, right up my alley.

Saturday we went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It took a full day of standing in lines but was well worth it...especially Ellis Island. To see where MILLIONS of immigrants filtered through into the US was amazing.

That night we saw the Broadway show, Wicked. Crazy good. It is the backstory to the Wizard of Oz. Shows the relationship of the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch...thus the title. Incredible music. As awesome as it was, Lion King still tops my Broadway show list...with Wicked a close second.

And of course the highlight was seeing famous people. I am a famous people magnet. When I went to California on 2 different occasions, the famous people would not leave me alone. It must be my charisma. :) This time it was James Earl Jones. Oh yes, Darth Vader himself. We walked by the back door of the broadway show "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at the exact moment JEJ was coming out. My jaw hit the floor as I tried to hold in my teenager-ness. I tried to hold it to a simple non-overreactive wave, but the wave was semi-obnoxious. He gave a big wave back and I think I heard him say under his breath, "Who is that girl? Is she famous? She should be." but maybe that was just my interpretation. We also saw Mrs. Huxtable in her car (Phylicia Rashad) but since Theo and Rudy weren't with her, I wasn't too impressed. And of course, the biggest of all, Sanjaya from last season's American Idol. He decided to see Wicked like normal people do so I think that's what threw me off when Carter said, "Look behind you" and wammo, there's Sanjaya with his family, like a normal person. His mom wanted to take his picture so I stood right next to her and took one too, like I was part of the family. Obnoxious? Semi. I held it to a minimum.

A fantastic trip. A fantastic anniversary present to ourselves. Now I know I can leave my babies and everyone will survive...and even enjoy themselves!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Photog Day

I did great taking pictures for Little Man's first 9 months or so and have been SLACK the last 6 months. I finally charged the battery and over a couple of days had fun taking pics of the babes. Even paired with the ones still on my camera (I get them developed about once every ...uh ....year??), I can see how they've grown up so much. I had a little fun with editing them, too. Enjoy!

Friday, March 14, 2008


I LOVE movies. Going to the theater (on the rare occasion that it happens) makes me feel like a 6 year old kid going to the "big picture show" (ok, it's never been called that in my lifetime, but you get the idea). I have seen 2 movies recently (in the last few months) that have grabbed me. The kind of movie that when the credits roll at the end, I'm left going "YES YES YES, that's what movies are all about." My choices might seem random as they are not Braveheart-esque by any means. They are very almost painfully simple...but passionate...and that, more than anything else, makes a movie for me. Make me feel like the character is my friend. Make me invest in their life, and BOOM, you got me hooked.

I CANNOT, I repeat, CANNOT, bear to watch a predictable movie, no matter how cutesy it is. I do not like action-adventure too much, just on occasion, and it must have crazy twists that I never saw coming. I like to think hard to figure it out, or I like to be moved to heart explosion because of my investment in the character. High stakes for my positive review of your flick, Mr. Director.

That leaves me in a bit of a quandry when it comes to rental time. I don't have a "genre". And I LOVE to be pleasantly surprised by a flick I know nothing about. On to the 2 I haven't stopped thinking of...

Movie #1: Amazing Grace. I heard nothing about this, just a random rental. True story about a guy named William Wilberforce from the House of Commons back in the 1700-1800's who set out to abolish slavery in Britain. His mentor was John Newton (author of the song Amazing Grace, thus the movie title) and their relationship plays a big part in Wilberforce's life mission. Passionate people all over this flick. I invested from the beginning and was pleasantly surprised. So much so that it's been a few months since I've seen it, and parts of it keep coming up in my head often. Got to love a movie like that.

Movie #2: Once. This is the simple one...painfully so. About a singer/songwriter who puts everything he has into writing songs and sharing that with street people mostly...and a girl. She walks in, becomes his bff, shares his passion for music and that's about it. Something in it grabbed me, the core (and it wasn't the frequency of the f bomb which thankfully was hard to understand b/c of their Irish accents). They were passionate people.

I guess that's the theme of both movies and why I love them so much. Passionate people have something to say and in these 2 instances, I wanted to hear it. Makes me want to live my life with the same amount of passion...abolishing slavery to writing a song...opposite ends of the "importance in the grand scheme of life" spectrum...both done with uncertainity as to where it would lead, yet with total surrender.

What would my life look like if lived with unstobbable passion? Would it point people to Jesus? Would it make them mad? Would it make them want to listen? Am I a "character" worth investing in?

Since I'm convinced my life is being recorded (I totally had the idea of The Truman Show first!), I guess I'll find out later if I make anybody's favorite movies list.