Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Some Tid Bits from New York!

We had so much fun in New York! It was so exciting to see some of the places that I've only seen in movies or pictures. The energy of the city gives you the momentum you need to keep up with the fast pace and to see all (well, almost all) there is to see! Here are a few of the places we were....

This is the entrance to our hotel. It was only about 30 feet wide, but was 33 stories high. We were on the 33rd floor. :)

This is one of the views from our room. It was really strange to look out into the windows of the office building next to us and see people going about their business. I didn't want to watch for too long. I was afraid I would see something I really didn't want to. :)

Thursday night we went and ate at John's Pizzaria. It is in an old church that was built in the late 1800's. It was beautiful inside and the pizza was delicious!! Matt had eaten here during his previous trip to NY and wanted to take me back there. I can see why ~ it was a true NY style joint! :)

This is the exterior of Grande Central station. This picture doesn't do it justice. The Chrysler building was directly in the background, but it was raining this day and the fog kept covering it up. Inside Grande Central station is truly beautiful. I felt like I had stepped back in time for a moment.

I took this picture in Central Park. It was one of my most favorite parts of the trip, because I don't remember the last time I got to walk along a path covered in autumn leaves. It was beautiful!!

This picture is of the interior of St. Patrick's Cathedral. As we were passing by we noticed the HUGE front doors had opened and we couldn't help but want to go inside this beautiful cathedral. As soon as we walked inside, my eyes welled up at this amazing site. Shrines of statues were set up all around the pews, with candles available to light with prayer. These candles were burning all around us. The magnitude of the church was amazing and for as many people who were was eerily quiet. Since I had been worried about my dad, especially that morning when I heard he had been transferred to a different room due to some issues with his heart, we decided this would be a good place to say a prayer for him and light a candle in his honor. That felt good. And as we walked by the shrine of St. Elizbeth, we couldn't help but light one there too.

This photo was taken in Central Park. Matta and I love these stone steps and thought it would be a good place to take a picture. Matt propped the camera up on the ground with our little mini tripod and finally we got a picture together! :) I thought Matt was going to break another ankle sprinting up the stairs before the camera took the picture! :)

Matt and I in Times Square after "Grease". Our hotel was only a couple of blocks from this hustle and bustle, so we got to walk almost everywhere.

We were by far the most "dressed up" people at Grease. I was really surprised at how casual most people were. We were told definitely don't where anything too fancy and not to where any type of long dress which is what I was planning on.
P.S. I know it doesn't look like it, but my dress DID come down longer than my coat!!! :)

Here is Matt with the Merrill Lynch bull. We walked all over the Financial District looking for this bull. Each time we would ask someone where it was, they'd tell us something different. I think they were feeding us a bunch of BULL! :) Anyway...we finally found it! We also saw ground zero and walked up and down Wall St. It was really interesting! We saw the building where George Washington took oath as the first president, and the New York Stock Exchange. Ground zero was really humbling and I can't wait to see the new Freedom Tower they are building in place of the Twin Towers. It's beautiful! The memorial that they have planned for this area is amazing too!

Friday during the day we walked around and found the theater where "Grease" was playing. So of course I had to get my picture taken with Max.. aka Danny (oh ya...and Laura...aka Sandy:))

During our walk on Friday, we also found Tiffany's!! :) I wanted a picture mimicking Audrey Hepburn, but the windows didn't lend themselves to that. :) So...I posed in front of the sign and just pretended I was Audrey. :)

Friday night before "Grease" we went to dinner at Bobby Flay's restaurant called "Mesa Grille". It was unbelievable!!!! Matt had pork tenderloin that melted in your mouth and I had a 16 spice encrusted chicken. Both were great!! We actually were told we had the best seat in the house. We were on the balcony and could see just about every seat as well as the kitchen and chefs. The dessert was out of this world ...of course it was chocolate!! We were having so much fun that we didn't realize we needed to get going to the show! Unfortunately it took a little while to get cab, and then the traffic was SO bad that we ended up hopping out of the cab and running the last two blocks. We were so sure we were going to be late...but we we walked in and got our seats just as the lights were going down! :)

Matt took this picture while we were up at the top of the Empire State Building. It was so windy and you really can't see any lights in this picture, but the view was unbelievable! The higher we went up the more nervous I got and when Matt opened the door to go out onto the observation deck and the wind about knocked me over, I wasn't sure I could go out there. I learned quickly that I was okay looking OUT, but not so okay looking DOWN. :) This little excursion took us 2 long hours. I would definitely recommend doing it...but maybe when it's less crowded!

On Sunday morning we took a Harbour Cruise that took us to see the famous bridges, the Statue of Liberty and the different areas of Manhattan (from the water), plus we got to see different parts of Brooklyn and New Jersey. This picture was taken from the boat as we were passing by the Financial District. I think this is such a good picture of Matt. :)

Same cruise. Matt and I in front of the Statue of Liberty. Seeing her was my favorite part of the trip I think. It was just amazing!

She stands in middle of the harbour, facing the gateway to the Atlantic Ocean. You can see all five burroughs from here. She was a bit smaller than I always imagined her to be...but not one ounce disappointing! What an amazing sight!!

Rockefeller Center. Really fun to see the ice skating rink. It wasn't open yet to skate on, but we'll go back! :)

We have a ton more photos, but I won't bore you with everything!! :) We really had so much fun! The cultural diversity that was so apparent as we walked along the streets has really touched a place in my heart. It really IS possible for us to live in peace amongst each other no matter what race, religion or financial status we come from. It was amazing to walk from block to block and hear 50 different languages....for some reason it just made me smile to be a part of that. And despite the reputation that "new yorkers" have for being rude....we never once experienced any rudeness or bad service. We packed in so much, and yet there's so much more to see....SO...when you're up for a trip to NY count me in!! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Off to the Big Apple!

Well, tonight we leave for New York! Our plane leaves Phoenix at 12 midnight...we arrive Chicago after about 3.5 hours, have a 1 hour layover and then on for another 2.5 hours to arrive in New York around 9:30am. Yikes...I already feel tired! :)
I'm really excited for the trip, however travelling always brings about anxiety for my dad's in the hospital and I'm the type of person who likes to be accessible for whatever the situation might need from me. Even though there're really nothing I can do, not being here is turning out to be a bit hard for me. (it's a personal issue I need to deal with...I know! :) And then there's the actual flying...I can't even think about it or my palms start to sweat. Thank goodness for Dramamine!! Once we get there, I know everything will be fine...thinking about all that is ahead of us is really exciting...5th ave., times square, central park, rockefeller center, broadway, empire state building, harbor cruise, ground zero, statue of liberty (I thought about seeing the statue of liberty this morning on my way into work and started crying...a bit emotional maybe??), delicious restaurants!! It's so exciting to be seeing a part of our country that I've never seen before. I can't wait to soak it all in.
So until we're home again on Sunday...I'll be missing you, loving you and hope that all of you have a wonderful week!
P.S. Take good care of dad!! :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Today I'm thankful that I was able to go to bed last night knowing that my dad was okay and that his surgery went well. Each step is one step closer to better health and that's the goal. There's a quote that often goes through my mind at times like these. I don't remember the words exactly but the point of it is that the right path through our journey is typically not the one that takes you around the issue, but the one that takes you through it. The path through it is most often more difficult, but it's the one that gets us where we need to be. I'm just so thankful for my dad and for his courage to to walk right through the middle of this difficult situation. I pray the other side brings you happiness and abundant health! I love you dad!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hizzle Bizzle ma Sizzle!!!

Happy Birthday Cassie! I hope you have a wonderful day full of lots of fun, laughter, love and happiness. I wish we could be there to share it with you. I can't believe you're 31 ~ yikes!! How old does that make me????
You are a very special person in my life and I'm so blessed to call you sister. I wish so much that we were closer in distance, but I'm so thankful we both make an effort to stay close no matter what. I love you so much and wish you the happiest of birthdays!
C ~ courageous woman
A ~ assertively graceful
S ~ sweet sister
S ~ seeker of knowledge
I ~ intelligently beautiful
E ~ enthusiastic teacher (in many realms)

I Love you!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I found this card by Maya Angelou a long time ago when I felt like our family was going through a rough time. I never quite found the right moment to share it with everyone, but I came across it again and really felt the urge to share the message with you all now.

"Families are held together by choice. Members are alike and unalike, yet there is comfort in the sameness and excitement in the differences. When we respect and relish both conditions, we can call ourselves family. Loving, giving, doing everything we can to work through things ~ that is what our family does, and I am grateful to be a part of it. "

Life isn't promised to be easy, but I thank God everyday that I was blessed with a family who stands by each other, supports each other, encourages each other, is committed to each other and respects each other. I celebrate our differences and feel comforted by our similarities and I find strength every day in knowing you are there.
Thank you and I love you!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Moving Forward

Hi ~ I just wanted to give an update to those of you who have so diligently supported us and encouraged us through one of the most difficult parts of our journey so far. (you know who you are :)) and we are so thankful for you.
Tuesday I went into Piper Surgery Center for my d&c. I was very mentally unprepared for this procedure, since I didn't know it was going to happen until Monday. I had a hard time wrapping my brain around "the end" and it put me into somewhat of an irritable tailspin Monday evening. Poor Matt and anyone else I spoke to that night.
They use general anesthesia, which my body does not respond well to, so I was fairly sick Tuesday and Wednesday. I went to work on Thursday and I think that evening driving home is when it hit's over. And I started crying...finally. Today I feel a little better...still the lingering headache and dizziness, but everyday gets a little better. It feels strange to just go about my life these days...the last few weeks have been so full of so much emotion, both good and bad. Shouldn't there be some sort of mourning period, or quiet ceremony to acknowledge the existence of a little soul even for the short time it was with us??
I asked Matt last night, how he gets through it...what does he tell himself that carries him through? He told me that he still has hope...that he never loses his hope amongst the sadness. So, that's what I'm choosing to do...maintain hope. I'm looking forward to the good things coming up....the smells of Fall...our first trip to New York!...supporting my mom in her 3-Day Cancer walk...celebrating birthdays...holidays with family....the spirit of Christmas...and new beginnings. All the while, maintaining hope. I know it won't be easy, but as they say "don't pray for an easy life...pray to be a strong person". And every night I pray for strength because I've learned that life is not, nor will ever be, easy. May we all have the strength to fight our battles.