It has been a while since I shared anything in this space; We’ve had a few busy weeks and aren’t sure when we will see a slowing down. I am surprised on how much our family’s dynamic is changing as Eliza gets bigger; This photo was taken on Sunday when I decided that only a roasted chicken dinner complete with wilted spinach and potatoes was in order to bring a bit of comfort to our table.
I decided to involve Sophia and Eliza in the cooking instead of occupying them with their toys and activities. The girls enjoyed being able to help and see how their chopped potatoes turned into roasted ones that were golden and delicious.
I recall that, when Sophia was just an infant, I would never be able to make a home-cooked dinner from scratch on my own. But as the months went by, I adapted and learned how to keep her occupied while I cooked. Then when Eliza came along, I couldn’t imagine being home with the both of them and managing serving their meal, much less cooking one. It is retrospections like this that confirm that, as the wise elders in my family say, this too shall pass.
It was only a matter of time before our hopes for a mild and mostly snow-free winter were dashed. And so they were this past weekend when a monster storm blew through our parts bringing with it upwards of 2-3 feet of snow.
I was actually excited for the snow because the storm was coming in over a weekend and we didn’t have to fret over school closings, childcare, and maintaining reasonable work hours. As such, Evan and I hunkered down with the girls focusing on family time and cooking.
I made a Dutch Baby for the first time ever and it was such so easy and yet, it tasted so luxurious. The fact that it warmed up our apartment and filled it with a rich and comforting vanilla aroma was an added bonus. It was so, so good in fact, that I made it again the next morning. I’ll have to be strong and hold myself off from making it again too soon.
Evan cooked his famous fried rice and a chicken/vegetable stir fry. I’ve no pictures of it, just happy bellies as evidence of his spectacular culinary prowess. Old City isn’t in a rush to dig out so we stayed close to home and finished the weekend off with homemade calzones. Ricotta, wilted spinach and tomato sauce calzones to be exact. They were better than I expected, took less time than it would to order take-in, and were much, much healther. Moreover, they’ll make excellent, not-sad-desk-lunches for a few days this week. It’s a win!
On life, it’s meaning, the people we choose to walk alongside on this wild and crazy ride we call life.
My family lost someone very special this past weekend. Though not unexpected, the loss feels just as difficult as if it were sudden. I cannot fully describe my own feelings because I do not believe that I’ve really processed it all.
At times like this, when my heart feels emptier, the sage advice, to “not postpone joy”, feel as poignant as it does today.
Our weekend was otherwise calm, peaceful, relaxing, and filled with a few hours of peace and quiet while the kids enjoyed an entire day with their Baba and Deda. We made the most of Sunday-Funday with a dance class, a movie afternoon, and homemade Pizza Margherita Sophia and Evan made together.
It doesn’t happen every weekend but often enough that we have the luxury of sharing the girls with the grandparents for the whole day (breakfast-late afternoon). Until this weekend, the honor belonged to my parents but this Saturday Evan’s parents rolled out the craft carpet and welcomed Sophia and Eliza into their home.
What happens at Grammie and Pop’s house, stays at Grammie and Pop’s house. Whatever they did, Eliza and Sophia came home overjoyed. Meanwhile, while the kitties were away, the mice (Evan and I) played.
There were breakfast tacos with pico de gallo and guacamole, and an afternoon movie. It wasn’t all relaxation though—we cooked up a storm to get a head start on the workweek. There was chili, bahn mi turkey burgers, an egg salad, and a banana bread to round out the savories. Whew! I’m tired just remembering all the cooking not to mention the work itself. All in all, the weekend went by too quickly. We are grateful to have gotten an opportunity to enjoy a meal in peace, watch a movie in the afternoon, and just … be.
A photo posted by Nadya (@growingupsavvy) on
We’ve long come to the conclusion that, for the man who has everything, experiences are more pleasurable than tangible items.
New York offers so much to do, and our time there is always limited. We chose to forego seeing a play and instead focused this trip on art. Having been to the Met, the MOMA, and the Guggenhem, we focused on two smaller galleries each of which had a particular art focus.
First, we visited the Frick Collection which featured Andrea del Sarto‘s charcoal sketches as a special exhibition. The sketches were awe-inspiring and I found it difficult to comprehend how a few simple strokes can, together, showcase such movement and emotion. The permanent collection was even more impressive in its breadth: works by El Grego, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Degas, and Monet were incredible. I am partial to El Greco, and having seen many of his works in Toledo—the city he called his home—I was once again reminded about his mastery with color, shading, and the marriage of Byzantine traditions into western-style works. This painting in particular caught my eye. His shading was so exquisite that one cannot help but want to reach out and touch the robes of the subjects.
We switched things up on Sunday with a visit to the Neue Gallerie which mainly focuses on post-impressionist art from Germany and Austria from the time of the Weimar Republic until and into the Third Reich. I wanted to see Klimpt’s “The Woman in Gold” and as magnificent as it was, it didn’t overshadow other fascinating pieces including fashions, jewelry, and photography from the period.
We interspersed our time at the galleries with tours of the Essex and Chelsea markets and a cider tasting. There may have also been a visit to a New York institution, a busy establishment for libations, and an beautiful dinner.
New York is big, bold, and beautiful. It’s crowded, enigmatic, diverse, and ever changing. These are the very reasons we keep coming back, to get recharged, to see how it’s changed, and understand a little more about ourselves through our experiences there.
There were no plans on our calendar for the break between Christmas and New Year’s. We had been content to have a staycation but were lured out with the promise of chocolate and quality time with Evan’s parents at Hershey.
The trip, which lasted just a few days, really was spontaneous and we rushed to make sure everyone was packed and ready to go. I am still shocked, though no longer really surprised, about how much stuff little kids require when traveling.
The girls went to Chocolate World and learned all about how chocolate is made. Sophia participated in cookie decorating and played reindeer games while Eliza napped. Sophia had the best time! Evan and I enjoyed seeing his parents and watching them enjoy their granddaughters. We finished the trip up with s’mores on the terrace in the dark warmed by a roaring pit fire. Just lovely!