Friday, February 17, 2017

Lifelong Friends and Lifelong Loves

Yey for BFFs!!

I had a great visit from Alyssa this week.  She and her daughter were in town with her daughter's choir for a school trip but while the girls and their chaperones stayed in a hotel in Midtown, Alyssa got to stay up in Harlem with us!  She was busy with lots of fun shows and trips with the girls each day but we got to chat into the night in the evenings and catch up like only friends of 38 years can :)


Stephanie and I had a great surprise for Alyssa's birthday (Valentine's Day) - Steph took the train up from DC and we all stayed in a fun hotel downtown, had a delicious Japanese dinner and did some cocktail tasting.  There's nothing like spending quality time with friends you've known for decades.

And just to make the trip extra special for Alyssa, I ordered up a snow storm complete with a couple feet of snow!  We did the obligatory sledding in Central Park followed by hot chocolates at Dunkin Donuts.  I think the kids will forever associate snow with hot chocolate.

A red cardinal spotted in a snow covered tree

Alyssa wasn't the only one to celebrate a birthday last week.  Kevin turned 47!

We celebrated his birthday by doing two of his favorite things: fine dining and fine art.

We rounded out the birthday week on Valentine's Day with a romantic dinner for two at the world famous Minton's, a Harlem legend, which also happens to be around the corner from our apartment.  Minton's is a supper club where Bebop and modern jazz were born.  Its stage has seen the likes of Dizzy, Ella, Billie, Thelonious, Duke, Benny, Miles and many more jazz greats.

"If marriage is about deciding to love on a daily basis, I have woken up to a no-brainer every day since." David Carr

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Winter: Now You See It, Now You Don't

Last weekend was exactly why we bought the cabin in Woodstock.


After a stressful week (due to our country's new administration), spending a quiet weekend out of the city, completely unplugging, was exactly what the doctor ordered.

My happy place

I spent Saturday sipping tea, listening to soft music, and sewing up some coasters and dish towels for the house.

Kevin and the kids had a fun-filled day on the slopes.  This was only Ella's second time skiing but before lunchtime she had had enough of the bunny slope and was already riding high up the mountain on the chairlift.

Kevin is thrilled that both kids love skiing so much.  And I was thrilled to have some quiet time alone to recharge.

We had a relaxing evening by the fire learning embroidery and having a dance party.  Then a lazy Sunday until we headed back to the city and to some friends' house to watch the Superbowl (really, to watch the commercials and halftime show).

Holden started a new class on Monday morning - coding in Spanish.  He needed another Spanish class a week because one time a week wasn't enough, and since his teacher is also a coding teacher (in English) at a few local schools, I asked her if she could teach Holden coding in Spanish - kind of a two-for-one.  Holden is still taking the coding class with his friends on Thursdays where he's been learning JavaScript and HTML, but in this class his Spanish teacher is helping Holden learn how to program his Sphero (one of those rolling BB-8s).  He LOVES this class and I love that he's getting a second opportunity to speak Spanish during the week.


He also continues his Volunteer Club on Wednesdays.  This week they returned to a senior center that they visited last semester.  They painted again with some of the residents who were thrilled to have the kids there to chat with.  One woman was even once a student of the painter Jackson Pollock!

And yesterday we played in Central Park for hours with only short sleeves on - high 60s in February - because we knew that this morning we'd wake up to a snow storm.  It's crazy (or just climate change) that the weather changed so drastically, so quickly.

Yesterday afternoon in Central Park
Several hours later...
So both kids are home today enjoying a leisurely snow day.  Yes, even homeschoolers get snow days. :)

Friday, February 3, 2017

It's Good to be Holden

As much as Ella loves her school, she still gets really jealous often when she hears about what Holden and I did during the day.  And I can't blame her.


Last week we learned about the Gershwin Brothers on Broadway and this week we learned about Louis Armstrong in Lincoln Center.  We went to our second in the series of Jazz at Lincoln Center, a series of performances for school children to learn about different jazz greats.  We were treated to an hour of amazing New Orleans jazz performed by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra while being taught about the life of Louis Armstrong by singer Catherine Russell.

Holden also got to spend his Spanish class this week at the Natural History Museum, his home away from home.  They've been learning about space in Spanish recently, so his teacher had their class this week right in the museum.

And no week would be complete these days without a political protest.

Holden and I made our way down to our senator Chuck Schumer's office to protest Trump's anti-environmental policies.  It worked out well because just that morning he and I had been learning about climate change.

Who's that handsome protestor?

We've stopped telling Ella about our days.