Monday, September 21, 2020

A Farewell To The Summer Of 2020.

Although the summer of 2020 was not what we were expecting and just downright bizarre, I'm still a bit sad to see it go. But we made it work. We made it to the woods in Maine, and to the beaches of New England. We made it to the Jersey shore and spent simple moments outdoors as a family. We made it to the drive in theater and made numerous trips in the city that was once the epic center of the virus. Spent time in Dumbo and ate ice cream, shake shack, and Juliana's pizza. And the times we went the lines weren't long! Such meaningful and wonderful moments that will be etched in my mind for always. I do look forward to fall and hope for the best this season, but in some weird way summer of 2020 will always be remembered. Always. 

Here are a few photos from a bit of summer spent in one of my favorite spots in Brooklyn. They had a really cool installation in Brooklyn bridge park which is a reverberation bell which indicates that by pulling it summer is ending. 

Until next summer. And hoping things will somewhat go back to normal. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A Day On The Upper West Side.

There's something about this city that even in a pandemic gives you the urge to go. Even before the numbers of Covid decreased we'd venture out to the city to sneak a peek at what it was like to be in an empty, quiet city. In spite of everything that this wonderful city has gone through she always manages to pick herself up and thrive. I don't think she'll ever run out of energy. Ever. NYC is a lot like me and I can relate to her. We have both been beaten up and talked about but yet never willing to give up. She's tough and strong and fearless. And this is why I keep coming back. The example I set for my kids is to be strong. No matter our weaknesses and the things that can bring us down I remind them to find ways to survive and thrive. Lift yourself up and never give up. I love this city and the more we come here the more my kids love it. They even wish we lived here. Even though its a lot less to rent an apartment in the city we love the fact that we are her neighbor. Maybe someday. But for now we'll continue to take the ferry into the city or drive and explore our New York. We love her and we will never stop! As long as we live close to her it's either New York or nowhere! 

Here are a few photos from another day in the city....

Monday, September 14, 2020

A Flower Flash In Remembrance of 9/11.

Often times I'll go walking in the city and spot what you call a flower flash. Now mind you I never knew about these because I wasn't aware of the person behind such a brilliant and unique idea of displaying flowers in NYC, but when I finally started following Lewis Miller Design on Instagram is when I get the beets on when and where they were displayed. His recent flower flashed was made on behalf of those who lost their lives on 9/11. His kindness and thoughtfulness in expressing his love and gratitude for those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 is admirable and contagious. I love that he does this no matter what day it is. And sometimes he just displays flower flashes randomly just because. To see flowers on display like this in the city is something I would love to take home! So happy to see these flower flashes on fifth avenue. They truly are inspiring and can truly uplift someone and bring sunshine on their dark days! Particularly our heroes families who died on September 11th.

Friday, September 11, 2020

9/11 Remembered.

Such a powerful mural by Kobra street art which is located in New York city. 19 years later and this day will always be remembered. We will never forget the 343 brave firefighters who sacrificed their lives on September 11. This day changed countless families, our nation, and the course of history forever. We must stand with those who have secured our freedoms at home and abroad. To love God and one another. And continually pray for our leaders of this nation. 

This mural is painted in honor of our firefighters and it was a very teachable moment for Noah. Although he knows what happened in 2001years before he was born it's a great reminder for me as well to remember and never forget what happened here. God bless the 343 firefighters and their families. 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Art Omi In Ghent, New York!

The more we hear all about the great things that New York has to offer the more we love it!! We heard about this huge art sculpture park out in the Catskills and we made a day trip of it and spent the entire afternoon here. It was the best. It was unique. And best of was FREE! The visitors center was closed but all the sculptures are outdoors. They are all spread apart so social distancing was on point. We thought that Grounds for Sculpture was huge, but Art Omi covers more ground! It's also one of the biggest art parks I've been to so far so make sure you wear comfortable shoes cause you'll be doing a lot of walking. We covered most of the park and it took us about 3 hours. We walked at least 100 acres of it and boy were our feet tired! This was a perfect place for Noah to roam around freely without bumping into anyone. Poor kid needed to go outside more. Here's hoping for more outdoor trips especially when "homeschooling" begins! 

Now for some really cool art sculptures! I only captured a few in photos of some of my favorites. And you can see some videos of the house sculptures here and here!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Maine In The Summer Of 2020.

Our summer vacations this year were absolutely nothing that we thought. Due to the 14-day quarantine requirements we decided to stay close to home and explore more of New England. Specifically Maine. We spent a few days in Nantucket in July and this month headed to the outskirts of Maine. There is so much to do in this part of the world and as much as I wanted to visit my mom and niece in Texas and sister in Florida those states are swarming with corona and with school starting soon didn't want to have us cooped up in the house for another quarantine. Going to Maine was the perfect getaway for us. The outdoors is something that we love and being that Jon is an eagle scout was excited to have gone to the LL Bean wilderness camp with Noah. It was really a cool camp and wish the boys would have stayed here forever. Chelsea was jealous and wishes that girls camp was held here. Or that we just lived here period! That could possibly be arranged but we drove everywhere from Portland to York to Freeport where the famous LL Bean boot resides. We shopped till we dropped, ate lobster rolls, and lots of ice cream and with an abundance of caution distanced ourselves from others. It was a nice little get away. Because I captured so many moments you can view many images on my Instagram. Here are a few photos from our trip....

Friday, August 28, 2020

Belmar Beach In The Summer Of 2020.

Going to the beach twice last week was a blast but I gotta tell you that Saturdays are not the best time to go. Especially in the middle of a pandemic. Although the beach was pretty crowded we were lucky to have found ourselves a spot within a distance and managed to be in our little bubble. 

Chelsea's long time friend Amiyah has been staying with us for a few days and hadn't gone to the beach all summer! I can tell she was longing to go and so we braved the crowds on the busiest and sunniest day of the week and brought her. We probably broke all kinds of rules when it comes to socializing but luckily for us we stay to ourselves when we've ventured out and Amiyah and her family haven't really gone anywhere in months so I think we're good. But both she and Chelsea needed girl time and it was nice for Noah to have someone to play with other than his sister! We all had so much fun on this day and hope to squeeze in another beach day before school starts but for now here are a few photos from the beach! 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

A Day Trip To D.C.

Since school trips were canceled this year due to Covid we decided to do our own "homeschooling" trips so a couple of weeks ago we decided to take a day trip to Washington D.C. to see the sights. We have been bringing the kids here since we moved to the east and yet these pieces of history never get old. We love coming here to refresh our minds of what our forefathers have done for us as well as remembering all the troops from long ago who died fighting for our freedom. It's nice to continue to bring the kids here no matter how old and "bored" they get. We have come here in the past to see the Martin Luther King memorial and many other sights. There is so much to do and see here. It's good to continue to bring the kids here so that they can appreciate this place. The national zoo is another place we love going too and the fact that it's free is a bonus! In case you plan on going you have to reserve tickets in advance. We truly are fortunate to live three hours away from the nations capitol. Hope we can continue to make more day trips here! 

Now for a few photos...

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Beach Scenes From Long Beach Island.

The beaches in the summer of 2020. 

As summer began the beaches became more and more crowded which means we didn't go as much this year. A tad bit sad, but as much as we would love to go to the beach two to three times a week we just didn't do it this summer. We are however gracious enough to have been able to have gone a couple of times, and when we did the kids always have a blast. We did go twice to two different beaches this past week and it was awesome. Although I posted a few pics and a little vid of the sound of the ocean I also wanted to write a little bit about it. We usually go to Bel Mar beach but Long Beach Island is another fun beach to go to. We went to Long beach Island on a weekday which means not too many people so it was nice. I captured some moments of the kids and Chelsea wanted to take some photos of me. She said that I'm hardly in any of the photos and so this time she wanted me to get a taste of what it feels like to have your picture taken! LOL! 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Lexie Lately: A Farewell To Her First Missionary Companion & How 'Change' Blesses Her Life On Her Mission.

She reminded her of her younger sister Chelsea which is why they got along so well. Yeah, like literal sisters. They each had their own different views but somehow got along. They leaned and learned a lot from each other even when times got hard because isn't that how people...particularly church missionaries spiritually grow? Together. Discussing about who their teaching and sharing the gospel to. Creating. Finding ways to reach out to others in a pandemic especially when they are still quarantined in Arizona. But life goes on, and transfers come. Missionary companions will come and go. Investigators who are interested in the church will also come and go, or stay. And then a new missionary arrives and it starts all over again. Growing and learning something new from each missionary. And perhaps even investigators. Being teachable to every one they meet. Lexie continues to love her mission in spite of change. She knows this is what it's all about and how she sees change as a blessing.

Hermana Cook seemed kind and I for one was glad to have met her via Facebook when I would talk to Lexie. She even wrote me a letter! She was a pretty good first companion but her time has come to transfer and for Lexie to have a new sister! Farewell Hermana Cook! 

More photos below:

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Deep Cut Gardens.

Another simple summer moment was going for a walk inside the Deep Cut Gardens pretending we were in a scene from Edward Scissorhands. I recorded a little vid of it here. This is our second time coming here and it truly is breathtaking. It's a perfect garden and there is so much to explore outside the garden. There are small trails and on this clear evening Noah even managed to chase fireflies. We came late in the evening which made it perfect with social distancing and less crowds. We practically had the whole place to ourselves. Loved every minute of this evening with my small crew. I also feel that the blurriest photos have the best moments...don't ya think?