Archive | July 2013

Moments of Discernment: It’s Time I Should Testify. Part I.

20130730-124610.jpgFor our church board retreat this spring, we read Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith by Diana Butler Bass. The book goes into great detail the research as to how our smaller community churches have been fading and joining into other churches with a new found network of inclusivity. The churches that are reforming into inclusive ones follow ten areas that Bass refers to as Signposts. The signposts include- hospitality, discernment, healing, contemplation, testimony, diversity, justice, worship, reflection and beauty. Board members had to randomly draw two from a basket and we were to talk about them personally. I pulled out discernment as one of mine.

Most people don’t know what discernment is, but it’s really the Christian version of feeling led to do something specifically by God. I have issues with claiming discernment, because I have heard people use this as a way to say they feel led by God to treat other people like they are less… in other words excusing their self- righteousness behavior for exclusivity. When someone says I felt led to ———- by God, It comes off as insincere and in my head I’m thinking if you say that one more time in this conversation… I may feel led to smack you upside the head. No one can say they really heard God these days without someone wanting to check them into the closest mental health clinic. So many have used their moments of discernment for reasons of violence… so I believe you can feel led, but don’t go all crazy backing up your hate by calling it discernment or I will call your bluff.

This is not to say I haven’t felt moments of discernment myself, but how do you say this in a way to not sound like a crazy person? I like to describe my moments of discernment as to compare them to a moment of clarity, zen, and a stressless moment of being fine with the unknowns. I will pray mostly for this zen feeling that I may be at peace with whatever life has in store for me and my prayers are answered often. So I shared my examples of discernment at the board retreat and as moving as they may have been in that moment… I will not share them at church as you have learned via my blog that I’m so not that person to stand at the front and testify, but it doesn’t mean I can’t write it down.

~This is what I shared~

I tend to be a nervous person… not so anxious that I can’t function but I will worry and fret over something and mostly because I like things organized and I’m not fond of surprises. In early March of 2010, my husband was feeling oddly ill. He just wasn’t quite himself and had some odd abdominal pain. He went to the doctor and they weren’t sure what was going on with him and basically told him they didn’t know and sent him on his way. His symptoms were kind of all over the place and not pinpointing to anything specific, but we knew something was wrong. I slept okay that night even though he was in pain and he was not sleeping well. I woke the next morning and immediately thought- he’s going to have an appendectomy. He didn’t have a high fever, didn’t have vomiting and didn’t have pain in the area common areas so this didn’t make sense. So I got the kids up and off to the sitter and informed the sitter of my unexplained conclusion of the appendectomy and prepared her for the possibility of a weird pick up situation. I went to my classroom and prepped to teach. I felt no sense of urgency, but in retrospect I should have stayed with John. I just felt like I had time and it was fine. He got up and headed to the urgent care nearby. I started getting my things ready for the following day for the substitute and prepping for the current day. I went over to my friend Bridget’s room and I said , “Look I have a feeling John is going to have an appendectomy today and I need to get everything set up for the kids to be picked up and overnight care and find coverage for my classes tomorrow.” Bridget looked at me oddly and replied, “Okay….. What can I do?” She not once questioned me about my certainty, she didn’t bat an eye. By the time school was out, John was calling to tell me that they were sending him to the hospital and they were thinking he had appendicitis and I needed to head on over. I left school with confidence and Bridget and my friend, known as the Infamous Ms. Beth, helped arrange dinner, pick up and even were ready for a sleepover for my kids. The substitute plans were on my desk with copies for the next day and coverage organized for the following day for my classes. I brushed my hands off and headed on without a care or a doubt.

I walked into the hospital to be by his side sometime around 4:30 or 5 with no worries about my children. I made important calls and waited on news. I remember the smell, the noises, and the conversations around us and I was not afraid. The doctors came to talk with us and his appendix was so enlarged they were going to have to do emergency surgery. Around 7 or 8 that evening I walked beside John in the stretcher to the OR prep room which was oddly empty, but at that time of day it made sense. They discussed risks, complications, recovery and how he would be asleep in a matter of minutes. I held him and kissed him, but I didn’t question the doctors… I had no questions. I already had been prepared for this during my sleep the night before unbeknownst to me. They wheeled him away and I made important phone calls. I waited in the OR waiting room patiently. Patiently enough when Bridget called asking what else I needed I said, “Socks. I need a pair of socks my feet are freezing and I’m going to be here a while.” As the wonderful friend she is I got a nice pair of warm cozy socks. After some time, I had been in such great ease I couldn’t wait for him to come out of the OR and growing with some impatience I prayed again thanking God for leading me to this point and asked him to continue to lead me on this way. Shortly after, the surgeon came out to meet me and said that John was doing great and was in recovery. He also took time to mention that John’s appendix was the most disgusting gangrenous appendix he could say he had ever seen. Later that evening, I got to see John after his time in the recovery room. It felt oddly natural in a sense that it was weird in the comfort I felt. He was released two days later and did great at home.

At some point in the days that followed, John thanked me for having so much composure to juggle all of things the way I did. I replied, “No problem. I knew that’s what was happening all along. I can’t explain it and I can’t pretend it was anything else. Gut instinct (no pun intended), intuition, or just God applying those things through to me.” By the end April of 2010, I had walked into the doors of the church that I now serve as a board member. In this moment of discernment, I knew where I was going and exactly what needed to be done. I did so with ease and everything just fell into place and reassured my faith that led me to where I am today.

This hymn always reminds me of discernment and it’s one of my favorites.

I’m on a Boat Called Change

20130727-153345.jpg I said to a friend the other day that I am simply not the person I was six months to a year ago. It is hard to get aboard this new vessel called “Change”. Not everyone wants to stand on the shore and wave as I take off on my voyage. Actually, some are getting irritated with my leaving. Some would rather I get on their vessel called “Take My Way. It’s Better”.

20130727-153630.jpg This same friend told me that people will come and people will go and that’s just part of the ride of life. Some people would rather have the old me around instead of the new me the more calm, quiet, reserved friend and also self conscious and unhappy. It’s the friends that accept that change and wave at me as I go or the other ones that get on the boat with me that are fun to have around. Also just having this glorious boat called “Change” around has created new friendships and relationships. Regardless of the change and how it has changed me in positive ways… I am busy in ways that I want to be busy. Happy in ways that I want to be happy. The real friends the ones that love you will be happy to see you go.

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I have just realized that some would rather me be docked on a ship called “Stay the Course” but I wont stay the way it was, because that wasn’t the right thing to do for me. I have spent a lot of time in an unhappy place and I’m unwilling to stay there dwelling with the muck that I was surrounded by and John says maybe they are doing you a favor by making this difficult. Why most certainly, by pointing out the obvious reasons for my need to change certain folks will stay docked where I was and I’m gonna just have to leave them behind. It’s nothing personal, but you either wave me goodbye or jump on the boat and go along. I refuse to get aboard the “Debbie Downer” cruise and involve myself with those who have nothing positive to say or are unwilling to come aboard “Change”.

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I’d rather get along having fun so I’ve been surrounding myself with fun and activity. I went to a wedding a few weeks ago and my husbands friends were there. I have to bring my more going out self to really fit in with them. They are loud, silly and energetic and the old me would have struggled with this. My self consciousness would take over and melt under their boisterous personalities and I would keep my distance. We were dancing at the reception and by we I mean yes me and them dancing. The old me would have sat at a table and wished I had the guts to dance or the physical ability to do so because of my hips.

20130727-155952.jpgI have known most of them for 5 to 10 years. This was the first time I have ever got up and danced with them or had the stamina to play along for longer than a song or two. I’m sure some of them, that haven’t really followed my blog, felt surprised by the arrival in my boat called “Change”. I had a blast. I’m not brave enough yet to sing karaoke as my friend Crystal realized last night, but I am brave enough to dance and I will take it as a baby step and have fun.
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Plato said, “People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.”

I’m Sorry Trayvon~ From a Teacher of Hoodied Children.

ImageOne of my friends sat on a jury for a murder once. After the trial was over, they shared with me that the lawyers just didn’t do it right. Beyond a reasonable doubt was not presented and because there was doubt as the moronic lawyers fumbled through the trial. It was apparent that the event took place as it had been presented and yet there was still a reasonable doubt. I wasn’t in the court room, but from what I saw of the case the lawyers looked like fumbling idiots for Trayvon.

I taught kids that dressed like Trayvon all the time by the hundreds. Armed with a hoodie and a snack. Sure they walked like thugs, sounded like thugs, but really many of them are just babies. Their outer shell of defense and armor is how they survive and a hoodie has been a major trend over the last decade. I taught middle school in an economically struggling, racially diverse, and challenging school. Every morning as they came in the door we would say, “Time for the hoodie to go down.” The children would reluctantly pull the hood from their head. Their eyes tired and hair a mess and hoping that this would be the day they would make it to homeroom without having to be told to take it off. The girl whose parents shaved her head because of lice and she was so ashamed to have to remove it from her head. The boy who wasn’t quite ready to admit he had hickeys all over his neck from his adolescent exploration. These hoodies much larger than their bodies, for the most part, are where they find solace and security much like a shell for a turtle.

Inside their armor of hoodies are just children. They may say things that make you think otherwise. They may seem like these tough and rough kids, but really they are just inside their shell and setting themselves up to deal with their reality. Their reality is one many adults cannot say they have faced. They face poverty and diverse family structures- parents who work hard to just make ends meet to parents who are incarcerated, yell at them or beat them. Even those children not in poverty were only surrounded by those who were in it and struggled to fit in and would wear the same armor and learned how to use it. It was rare to find two parents that were married before they had the child, who went to anything beyond high school, or who were still married while their child was in 7th grade. They deal with inner city gang violence and pressure. Then just general peer bullying and media pressure. The list goes on into things that “when I was in school” didn’t really exist to this extreme.

Trayvon is sadly an example and proof that their livelihood faces uncertainty and it occurs all over the country every day. A lot of times it is one hooded kid to another, but if you think the parents haven’t already talked to their kids about injustice and racial inequality you are sadly naive. Some of the kids I taught by 7th grade already had a chip on their shoulder and outward defense to their fear to being treated as less. As a white female teacher, I felt this most from the African American female students. Oh how I just wanted to squeeze them so tight until they just released all of it knowing that I loved them no matter the color of their skin and their defense towards me was unwarranted. Some people deserved that defense and they are the ones who chipped the shoulder to begin with and it’s painful to watch as the damage happens when they are already so young. It’s also not just about race for the hoodie brigade. Many of my hooded children were actually caucasian…then even hispanics and asians. Their reality is about neighborhoods, financial status, dealing with their family, and even just where they live- the physical, probably dilapidated, home, housing project or even shelter.

I’m not sure if we will ever know what exchange really occurred that night between Martin and Zimmerman. Did Martin act like a punk and say things that would make him seem dangerous? As a turtle threatening from his shell towards the pestering dog that wont leave it alone and says, “I’m going to duck and cover over here, but I’ve got a grenade and I’m not afraid to use it.” Regardless, Zimmerman was armed and it seems preposterous and maybe it wasn’t Trayvon, but some other hooded kid and a true thug that frightened Zimmerman previously.  Maybe Zimmerman is like many who will read this and are frightened by the hooded kids in the night. Sometimes I’m sure it is a threat a real one from a kid with a gun, because some of these kids do have guns. I know it for a fact and that’s a real thing too, but most of them no… maybe a brush, a house key on a string, a snack, their cell phone or if you’re lucky a pencil and their folded up history homework. If Zimmerman truly felt threatened he should have returned to his home and phoned the police after locking his door and grabbed his gun incase of an attack from a real hooded gang armed with guns.

I remember once a hooded child walking the halls and you could see in his jerking peppy step that he was filled with rage. He paced the hall around in a circle and did not listen to the faculty as he walked and paced and refused to pull down the hoodie. He walked into my classroom, paced and slammed his body into his assigned seat shoving his face down on the desk just as my class began. I could feel the heat and steam from his anger pulsating from his hooded shell. I didn’t ask him to take off his hoodie. I let him have a moment while all the students are waiting for me to respond to his insubordinate behavior. I started the lesson, got the students working on something and I quietly walked over and softly pulled the dark black edge of the hoodie to peer in at his brown skin, his big brown eyes and the tears streaming down his face. He says, “Please, Mrs. B…. Don’t make me take it off. I don’t want them to see me cry. Mr.— made me so mad. I’m so angry and I know you want me to work on my temper. Someone stole my workbook for your class and I was almost done with it. I worked so hard on it for months and it’s gone. Mr.— wouldn’t help me find it and released us from class so I will never know who took it.” My response was, “You have a few minutes to get it together (one hand on his arm and another on his shoulder) and then we will move on. We will find your workbook and it will be okay. I promise.” A few moments passed and he quietly removed his hoodie and completed his work. Later that day, somewhere on the other side of the room his workbook magically reappeared and life went on. I could have intensified the fight. I could have written him up and written him off for his insubordination. I did not. Did he hurt anyone? No. Did he threaten anyone? No. Was he angry about something real and not a thug thing? Yes. Did he curse? No. Was he insubordinate in refusing to take off his hooded shell? Yes. Was his hoodie a safe haven for him? Yes and most often you will find that these children feel naked without their hoodie. Their tiny bodies (some not so tiny) exposed to the elements of their reality. It is an adolescent security blanket.

The particular student in my story, facing much adversity in his life, graduated from high school this year. I am so proud of him. Tears were streaming down my face this time. I pretty much cried the whole time I attended the graduation this spring but this was the e-mail I received from one of the graduating class of my example student- “Mrs. B…. I just wanted to let you know that I graduated High School last night. I just wanted to thank you for being such a great teacher to me in Middle School. It paid off.”

I have asked myself often- Could Trayvon have been one of my babies a.k.a. students? Yes, most certainly he could have been. So I hurt for Trayvon, his family, his friends and his teachers. I hurt for the ones that knew that even though he might have yelled “Grenade!” from his shell, while he was most likely very afraid of Zimmerman, he was just a child armed with a snack.

Where do we go from here? I would say three things. 1. If you are a child armed with a hoodie. You realize that many wear it to intimidate others and realize that the power of that intimidation can be helpful and dangerous for yourself. If you are afraid of someone who is watching you… you also have the right to call the police. 2. If you are an adult afraid of children in hoodies. Please, I urge you to find the closest challenged middle school in your area and volunteer. Speak with love and understanding. It may be the only place they find it. We must work to bridge the gap of our cultures and generations. 3. If you spot a suspicious person in a hoodie realize they may be just afraid of you as you are of them. Call the police because things may be warranted, but most of the time…. I just see scared little turtles.

Wait. Stop. It’s Just Lip Gloss.

I left my teaching job three years ago this last June. I’ve missed it, but with good reason, I stayed home with my children and decided to run an in home daycare business. This provided enough income to make ends meet and for me to be home with my own children.

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Wait. Stop. Make a Silly Face

I’m attempting to find the right level of me in the mix of all of this. How to do what I have to do for work, being a mom, and having time for myself without any of those things overpowering the other. My desire to be an awesome mom is frankly unrealistic and my expectations too high. As my youngest child, Maggie, approaches the ripe age of four I am experiencing highs and lows. The highs are in realizing she’s becoming a little lady. I got my ears pierced at four. She’s sharp, spunky and energetic. Our son, Alden, is seven and he’s almost as tall as me in his 48″ and my 60″ that’s not hard for a kid to do. I learned to ride my bike at seven… he already knows how. The lows are realizing that I’m done nursing babies and snuggling them late at night giving them something they need to survive. I miss that loss of sleep for snuggles. Now our kids are sticky, sweaty and boney and I can’t wait for them to stop climbing in the bed. I realize that I should slow down and appreciate that, because just like late nights with babies I couldn’t wait for it to end…. well now I miss it. Although they are no longer nursing, I need to respect the fact that what I’m doing now is their survival. It’s the structure to everything yet to come.

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Wait. Stop. Apply.

The needs of my children are changing. The needs are changing before I can change my ability to humour them. Today, for example, I got a call from a church member and I quickly had to go and I said, “I hate to be rude but I must go. I have five children with me right now.” My kids were fighting over a lego. When someone says to me… “I’ve got three kids all day” while they search for mommy support. I hope I don’t roll my eyes outwardly as I do in my head. I mean if I only have three kids… that’s seriously an easy day for me. I know it seems ridiculous fighting over a lego, but they are in a phase where they are mean to each other to only want to play together five minutes later. The other three older daycare girls are testing me in their ability to stretch out how serious the word “No” is coming from me. The youngest daycare girl is learning to stand her ground and being verbal towards the other children. So this is the time I must figure all of this out, before I lose control. It comes in waves when they develop like this. I manage though and I get things quickly under control.

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Wait. Stop. Look at Legos.

I have found myself a bit overwhelmed the last few days back on the job and I know it’s not just the job. I’m getting frustrated because I don’t want to quit running and stop the treadmill even though Maggie wants me to change the tv show to something she would prefer. Alden wants me to remake his bedroom- now – today in this moment. I overslept this morning and I had ten minutes to run downstairs feed and let out the dogs, clean up what the puppy destroyed, check on the cat, start the coffee.. and yet Alden wanted me to look at his new lego creation. I declined… I felt bad but I had too many things to do. Today, while prepping lunch for the five, Maggie interrupted wanting me to try out her new lip gloss. I declined and continued on and she just sighed in frustration. That’s when it hit me… did it really matter if I was 30 seconds off for lunch? Did I really not have enough time to wait… stop …. and let her apply lip gloss? If this is true, I have gone too far and I am doing too much. I have defeated the entire purpose of resigning from my teaching job. If I simply find it impossible to stop for legos or lip gloss we have a bigger problem. Obviously, not all day is like this or I wouldn’t have time to write. I have to wonder if they are so starved for attention in these moments that they want to interrupt me when I am obviously extremely busy. Many times I enlist their help to speed things along and hope they don’t ask me to do anything additionally. I wish I could watch from afar to see what’s really happening. Just to be a fly on on the wall watching me in the motions of getting things done. I enjoy watching other parents struggle and find that one thing that changes the course of their child’s behavior. The learning curve is fun, but not while you are in it. I wish, in this moment, I could find the thing that would change the direction of my two kids or better yet myself.

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Wait. Stop. Enjoy Being a Mom

Lindenhurst

photo (92)On Saturday the 6th of July, we got up really early to visit some friends of mine in Lindenhurst, NY. Lindenhurst is along the south shore of Long Island. We got on the Long Island Rail Road from Penn station. It took about an hour.

The first place we went was to my friends the Picciano family. When I was in 8th grade my best friend, who I remained close to even into adulthood, was Nina the eldest child of four. Her parents, Suzie and Dino, were a major support for me in my adolescence. They would have given me anything I needed and would have taken me in as one of their own forever if I had ever needed it. They moved away from my hometown at the beginning of our 9th grade year, but I still visited them in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The last time I had visited them was 8 years ago now, but like old friends that you love with all your heart we just walk in and feel at home.


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Their home was damaged very badly but Super Storm Sandy. They were still lacking a kitchen, but we didn’t let that bother us. We cracked open early drinks and headed out in the boat on the water. They also had a jet ski too and we were off to go clamming. Off the South shore there are these shallow watered areas and they just hook their boats together with their friends then anchor in and they quickly hop off digging their toes in the sand looking for clams. I found one or two and John found a few more. Nina’s little brother Julian was there and took John and I out separately on the jet ski taking it to full speed. I have never been brave enough to try one. For some reason I trusted this kid, who I’ve known since he was about 6 or so, to take me out on the water. I had a blast and neither John nor myself have really let that one sink in and admit that I really did it.
I wasn’t there but for a few hours, but I could have stayed a year. With our skin we didn’t have any business being out there long, but we adore them and it was hard to leave. Being with the Picciano family is a comfort like no other to me. Luckily, we know they wont mind and we’ll be back to visit them with the kids. It’s all too wonderful and I adore them. Dino drove John and I back to the house on the jet ski. We were soaked and we had a blast, but I had some other business to attend to on this trip.

The next part of our day is honestly hard to write about. I’m afraid I will sum it up too short or go on too long. It’s a story worthy of a book and yet it’s supposed to fit here on my blog. So I will do the very best that I can to say it right and make it short. I promise to revisit this story, but for now it’s too emotional and I don’t have the time or energy to embrace it.

As many of you know, my sweet aunt Peggy passed away in November of 2010. She was 38, married with three boys. She wasn’t really an aunt she was more like a cousin since we were so close in age. She died very suddenly of a brain aneurysm spreading shock among the family. I traveled with my sister Summer to bring my mother four hours away to be by her baby sisters’ side. There were over ten family members there with her that day. We waited hours to hear if there was any brain activity and sadly there was not. I remember sitting with my grandmother who was sick with grief and hope. I distinctly remember holding her in the waiting room; my arms were wrapped around her, but not squeezing her tight. I had already lifted this day up to God, because I knew that it was out of all of our hands and that God would take care of my sweet aunt. All I could do for my grandmother in that moment was pray. That’s all I could do. I prayed for God to give her strength in what was ahead for her more than anyone to get through this. I said all of these prayers in my head and just held her. My grandmother turned to me a moment later and said, “Thank you for that.” I know she wasn’t talking about holding her… we both knew it.

Once we reached the 6 hour mark of no brain activity… I think it was six. They pulled us into a conference room. We were very quickly told that there was no activity showing up and we were greeted by an organ donation representative. They went over the details. We paced… we cried… we prayed and my uncle, her husband, basically did a vote. We were either all in or not in at all. We went around the biggest table I think I’ve ever been seated to… all sharing our thoughts and our vote. As we worked our way around the table my grandmother sealed the deal when she said, “We should do it. That’s what Peggy would have wanted.” So with the amazing leadership of my aunts grieving husband we went all in and upped the ante on someone else’s life.

So what in the world does this have to do with our vacation…. We chose, as a family, to do an open donation. This means that we have the willingness as a group to contact and be contacted by the persons who live on with the love and hope given by our precious Peggy. Shortly after the donations went through, we all received word of the donations and then my uncle was contacted by a man named Vito. Vito is the man that was so ill that without a new heart he could not go on living. He had about two days before his heart was expected to give out when hope rang in from his angel. God works in ways we will never understand and I try not to question it, because I often end up puzzled and answerless. Last year we met Vito. He and his wife Margaret came to us this exact week last year. So this year I was already going to the town of Lindenhurst to visit my fabulous friends the Piccianos and, as luck would have it, Vito and Margaret only live about 5 minutes of a drive away.photo (99)

So after my time in the water getting soaking wet on a jet ski, I was picked up by Vito and taken to his home. I was greeted by an assortment of friends and extended family. We spent the evening together chatting, eating, joking to take the edge off, and some serious talk about how that day happened, my memories of my wonderful aunt, and our road towards healing. Meeting his daughter and grand daughters was probably the most moving moment for me. All you have to do is see it in their eyes…. just look in their eyes. They don’t have to say a thing.

It’s hard. I wont lie. I would give anything to have my aunt back, but that’s not going to happen and wasn’t whether or not we had upped the ante. Meeting his family and knowing him reminds me of what a wonderful person we lost and reminds me that if I question it I will come up empty answered.

May God continue to bless our two families in our friendship and bond that we now have for things we can’t answer and certainly can’t explain. As my grandmother said, “It’s what Peggy would have wanted.” May we continue to seek peace and healing through the hand we were dealt. May you put that heart symbol on your driver’s license and be ready and willing to up the ante when and if the time comes.

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That’s a Recipe for Making Love ~ Harry Connick Jr.

We woke the morning after the 4th of July to being married for 10 full years. It was strange to think about how long it has been, but we filled it with doing things we both wanted to do.

We woke early to do something I really wanted to do and that was to complete my couch to 5k workout program by running a full 5k which is 3.1 miles. It wasn’t intentional to reach such an accomplishment on our actual anniversary, but I figured I might as well finish in Central Park. No better place I could think of and I just so happened to be in NYC.

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I was still physically tired, but had at least rested up a bit from actually getting sleep from the night before. So we headed uptown and got off at 86th street at the Museum of Natural History to give ourselves a starting point. Off we went but I had trouble this time with keeping the focus in my mind and not on my legs.

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My pandora app had trouble keeping a connection so I listened to the Avett Brothers on my itunes… which just wasn’t doing it for me this time. I needed Justin Timberlake to keep my focus in my mind and not how exhausted my legs were at the time. I now realize I need more on my itunes. It was a hard run. I won’t lie. The 5k I had managed in Cape Cod on Wednesday and all of the physical activity from this trip I was wiped out and managed to finish the 5k in 47 minutes. Regardless, I finished it and I’m proud of how far I have come. photo (83)photo (82)

As far as my personal goals- I’m going to start the couch to 10k program from the beginning and work on speed. As far as our anniversary… I’m not sure what else says love than to get up on your vacation on your 10th anniversary at 7am and catch train to Central Park for a run.photo (72) I can’t thank my husband enough for his support in this.

Here is a link to my previous blog regarding my running journey.

After sweating it up together, we went back to the Canal Park Inn and had breakfast hosted by Sarah-Doe. It had all the carbs we needed after our run and the charming atmosphere was wonderful. We rested, showered, and headed out for some shopping. John had it in his mind that I had to have a new shirt for our evening festivities and I agreed. We had lunch/dinner at a deliciously perfect Greek restaurant on 42nd street. We were so annoyed with America right then as we had passed all of these chains… lines out the door at Mc Donalds, Burger King, Duncan Donuts. I mean it’s not like I never need a quick bite to eat, but the Greek place was nearly empty with lots of servers… the food and service were great. The prices were probably the best we came upon the entire trip. So I encourage you to try something new and step out of the box. You might be surprised. photo (69)photo (78)

photo (75)We left the restaurant and headed on the subway to Yankee Stadium. John loves the Yankees so what a treat for him. I have never been to a major league game. Too bad Jeter wasn’t there in all of his cuteness, but alas I went anyway. I’m joking. I really enjoyed the game and the atmosphere.  I am very impressed with the new stadium. It was a drab game in the beginning until the bottom of the 9th, when the Yankees won and there was tons of energy. John is convinced it was because of his rally cap. photo (77)I’m not sure that’s true but it didn’t pick up until he did it so I will give him that one.

The song when we were announced Mr. and Mrs. Bryant was Harry Connick Jr’s. Recipe for Making Love that goes something like this- “A little bit of me and a whole lot of you… Add a dash of starlight and a dozen roses too….That’s the recipe for making love.” 

Me and John in my new Yankees gear he was certain I should have.

Me and John – my new Yankees gear he was certain I should have.

NYC’s Sizzle Sizzle Pop turns Sizzle Fizzle Plop

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We arrived in NYC the afternoon of July 4th to a heat wave. We came in through Penn Station and took the C train to the Canal Park Inn on Canal Street. The Inn is connected to the Canal Park Playhouse and both are run by the Osborne family. The home was built in 1826 and has many updates but many of the original framework remains making for a quaint stay. The staircases would proved difficult for many, but the stay is well worth all of your efforts. The Osborne family purchased the home on the edge of Soho around 1980 and made furniture there while raising their daughter. We met Sarah-Doe and Kipp for breakfast and it was just absolutely delightful. They made your breakfast in a waffle iron in the Waffle Iron Cafe, but the best part was the conversation and hospitality of the father-daughter duo.

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The bedrooms were cute with original beams and bricks in the walls and some more along the ceiling of the room. The bed was extremely comfortable and it was the first place I really slept the entire vacation.

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Once we settled in and freshened up we decided to walk close enough to take a picture of the Statue of Liberty for our son.  We decided to walk along West St and we happened upon Pier 25. This was really nice because it had mini golf, a splash park, volley ball and more for the young and the young at heart. We were impressed by the activity and environment created there. It was nice to see so much happening right there.photo (85)

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West Street follows the west side of Manhattan with a pedestrian and a separate bike path which we just strolled along with ease. Maybe too much of an ease because we quickly found ourselves at the Freedom Tower and peering up to the needle touching the sky… sounds very amazing until I mention again that it was the 4th of July and in a heat wave! I had to get the heck out of there! It was hot and crowded and unbelievably uncomfortable. We had managed to move ourselves a mile from the Canal Park Inn! Now we were tired and hot. So we grabbed a few drinks and dinner. I was overheated and exhausted. So we headed back to the Inn and I plopped myself on the bed at 7 and set an alarm to wake for the fireworks. We chose a place right on the west side so we could see the Macy’s fireworks display over the Hudson. At 10pm John woke me to go see the fireworks… my alarm had never gone off… we slept through them!!!!!

I don’t know how, but we managed to watch them on the news though. I quickly fell back to sleep and almost slept until 7. I’m not kidding when I say I’ve been waking at 4 to 5 every day unable to sleep. So big thumbs up to sound sleep at this B&B…. you sleep so soundly even through one of the biggest 4th of July fireworks displays in the U.S.

Here are some pictures and video of what we slept through. *Train riding again forgive me for the errors.