NYC-versary: A Decade

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Wow. A decade. 10 years. July 3, 2007 we embarked on a crazy new journey of life. I left everything and everyone I knew and loved (except one) back in Maryland and moved to New York City. The Big Apple. Without a job. To chase my dreams. To discover myself. To pursue a career. To build a relationship. To be more independent.

We honestly thought it would last a couple years. We would experience something new and different. Get a great job to put on the resume. Live it up in one of the biggest cities in the world. Eat all the food. Have all the incredible experiences.

There were lots of trips on the Bolt Bus back to Maryland in those early days. We are both such family/friend oriented people and we never wanted to miss ANYTHING. So we were on that bus sometimes twice a month for different events and celebrations.

Two years passed and we realized we had not even scratched the surface of this city. There was no way we were leaving anytime soon. No matter that we lived in a 350 square foot one bedroom apartment with no laundry or dishwasher in a 4th floor walk up. We didn’t care. This was where we were supposed to be.

Part of the excitement of this city was the endless possibilities…so much to do…so much to see…so much opportunity…new restaurants going up daily, the theatre, the nights of dancing, the history, the people, the culture. We learned so much and we were never bored. There was always another adventure around the corner. So five years passed…then 7…now…today is 10.

NYC Engagement

Engagement photos by Misa Me Photography 2010

Throughout this past decade, we have had lots of visitors to give us great excuses to explore our city. We have made many friends (reconnected with some old and made some new). I spent 7 years working in the advertising/animation industry learning SO much about production and creativity and how things work behind the scenes. I was able to travel and work with two amazing people that will forever remain in my life as we shared so much together. I feel very grateful to have had this experience and it was WAY more than just “something to add to my resume” that’s for darn sure.

I played on many soccer teams, had girl’s nights on the Upper East Side, tried my hand at club promoting (which although it was fun turned out not to be my thing ;-)), I lived through the majority of my 20’s here, did rooftop yoga, coached high school girl’s soccer, made a whole crew of neighborhood mom friends in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn that I swear I would have lost my sanity without during those early months of maternity leave when I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing.

My other half explored SO many different career options and ultimately paved such an incredible path for himself. I am truly inspired by his passion, work ethic and confidence every day. He also threw one of the BEST parties/events I have ever been to in the city (shout out to the Electric Moon Dance! ;-))

We celebrated an engagement, planned a wedding, got married, moved to Brooklyn, got a car (see ya later Bolt Bus!), started this blog, had two beautiful babies, I discovered a new career in online health + fitness where I am truly finding my purpose…all while living in this amazing city. We realized how much time we could actually spend at the beach in the summertime without driving too far. We’re actually sending our oldest child to SCHOOl in the NYC school system this fall, so it feels even crazier to know that we are now really raising kids here.

It’s crazy how many twists and turns, highs and lows, experiences and life changing monumental moments we have had since living in this incredible city. I literally still cannot believe that it’s been a full decade since we made this crazy-turned-amazing decision to move our lives here.

I am grateful for the most supportive, kind, hard working, adventurous, loving partner that has been here with me through it all. Zack, baby, I can believe it, but CHEERS to 10 years in New York City!

Looking forward to continuing our countless adventures and creating many more memories with you and our family. ❤

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Photo by Senshi Photography 2017

This holiday weekend will always have a special meaning for me on top of it being the Birthday of America. It’s basically the birth of our New York life together.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend! Keep safe. Sending love and happy times to you and your families today. We are off to Hershey Park for the day to chase some thrills and meet up with my brother in law, sister in law, nephew and niece! No matter how long we stay in NY, we will always make time for the fam. ❤

XO,

Gina

 

Happy 1st Birthday Luca

Baby Luca Has Arrived

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My Luca Bear. I cannot even believe my little baby is ONE today!!! It feels like you were born yesterday, but that also you have been here forever. When we got the news of my pregnancy with you, I thought for sure you would be the crazy one. Your brother was a pretty awesome baby, and I thought there is no way we could get two awesome babies. You kept me up all night kicking my belly during my pregnancy…and I guess the whole keeping me up thing hasn’t really changed haha, but aside from that (and the fact that you occasionally bite me…ouch dude, you should really probably stop that), you are pretty much the most awesome baby ever. Just sayin’. Like AWESOME.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine such a cool, chill, laid-back, patient child would arrive in my arms. I suppose I have your father to thank for that! It’s tough being the 2nd child. I’m not a 2nd child myself, so it was hard to imagine until you came along. Sorry little sis. But yeah, in this past year I have seen how hard it can be. Your older brother getting tons of attention, following his schedule…you along for the ride…mostly dragged along, woken up from naps constantly, pushed around, toys stolen. Of course there are the hugs too (mostly too tight). We kept a book of all your brother’s milestone moments, but we were too busy and stressed to create yours. But you honestly have handled everything like a champ…and with the BIGGEST SMILE!!!!

You rarely complain, you are incredibly patient, you go with the flow, and again with that smile!!! You are ALWAYS smiling. Like the happiest baby on the planet. I don’t think you even really cried for like the first 6 months of life. Not really. You truly made becoming a mother for the 2nd time a much easier process than I had anticipated.

A year ago today, you arrived in my arms and it was love at first sight. I knew how hard I could love a human being because I had your brother, so when you came, it was just instant. I knew I would love you just as much. And my love has kept growing throughout this past year.

I love the way you light up and crawl toward me when I come into the room with your little one legged crawl.

I love how your eyes smile along with your mouth…your Irish eyes are always smiling.

I love the way you snuggle your head on my shoulder when I sing to you before bedtime.

I love how independent you are with feeding yourself, and it’s seriously impressive how much you can eat.

I love how interested you are in animal sounds, dancing, drawing, my workouts, + the ABC song.

I love the way you push cars around a room and say “Broom Broom!” like you are having the time of your life.

I love the way you are always happy to see your brother even though he can sometimes be a butthead to you. You forgive him every time.

I love how when you say “Papa” it’s always in a whisper.

I love your sense of humor and that belly laugh that erupts whenever I show you a silly face.

I love those crazy curls on your head that no matter how many times I brush them, they pop up in a mohawk style.

My Luca Bear. Luca Dukes. Dukes. Goose. You have made our world so incredibly happy. You bring so much joy to our family and I seriously cannot imagine what life would be like without you in it. Apparently this birthday means you are a toddler now, but I don’t believe it. You still seem SO tiny to me (and maybe that’s because you are), but you are still my little baby, and I don’t see that changing for awhile. I am constantly amazed at the new things you accomplish on a daily basis and while I want to really keep you my baby forever, I am also excited to see you learn and grow even more in this next year.

Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet little angel baby. I love you to the moon and back again.

Love,

Mama

Happy 1st Birthday Nico

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Dear Nico,

Wow.  ONE whole year.  I cannot even begin to explain the emotions I am feeling today.  I will do my best to put it into words.  I am tearing up as I write this, but I’m not exactly sure why.  When I brought you home from the hospital one year ago, I couldn’t believe they were actually going to let me take you home.  Aside from babysitting my cousins and neighbors in my teen years, what did I know about raising a baby?  Especially a 5lb baby who had come two weeks early.  It was a strange feeling after carrying you around inside me for 9 months to then have you right there next to me or in my arms, outside of the womb.  To actually see the little face I could only imagine for so long.  You were so tiny.  So delicate.  I felt as if I might break you.  I was scared to put your clothes on, to swaddle you, to wipe your little tush too hard, or seal your diaper too tight.  Breastfeeding was a bitch.  I’m not going to lie.  It was hard.  You didn’t want to latch.  And I pumped for months, because I was bound and determined to make sure things panned out the way I had planned.  Although, of course things never turn out exactly how you think they will.  But we made it work.  And we eventually came to have a fantastic nursing relationship.

People said this year would fly by.  They said to make sure to enjoy it.  I believed them, but when you’re up around the clock with only a few hours sleep and you can’t tell the difference between night and day as you are in those beginning weeks, sometimes I admit it was tough to enjoy things.  Those weeks were hard.  But sometimes I wish I could rewind and see you that tiny again…before you wanted to squirm away from me after a quick hug.  When you would just lie on my chest for a three hour nap completely content.  Those days we cannot get back.  I look back at those photos from those first couple months, and I barely recognize that little baby anymore.  You have grown and changed so much in what feels like such a short amount of time.

When you gave me that first smile, I just about melted.  As hard as motherhood can be sometimes, it’s all worth it for every little smile, belly laugh, hug, and kiss you have given me.  Anytime you accomplished something new in the past year…it was such a complete joy to watch.  To know that maybe hours before you didn’t know how to roll over, but now you could…I felt such a sense of accomplishment for you.  You were so frustrated when you couldn’t crawl.  You would flail your arms and legs about like a flying fish, and spin in circles trying to make your move.  But that day you learned to army crawl, you were so excited.  You slid around the entire living room.  And once you could really crawl, you took off to explore the entire apartment.  Your sense of adventure and exploration reminds me of your Papa, and I love that you inherited that trait from him.

You are so curious.  You have always loved to see what is going on around you.  You really pay attention and focus on things, especially the alphabet, animals, and people playing music.  I am shocked at the amount of focus you have sometimes to sit and entertain yourself with a toy or a book for a long time.  You love to be outside whether it’s at the park, walking along the city streets, playing in the sand at the beach, or in the water at the pool.  You have flown in airplanes with us, hiked mountains with us, and rode on endless car trips.  You have made so many friends in the neighborhood, and you have attracted attention from admirers wherever we go.  You are definitely a people person, (which I like to think you have inherited from me) and you are incredibly sweet and lovable to all of your stuffed animals.

I am feeling such a mix of emotions.  I’m sad that you are growing up and moving from baby to toddler.  I’m happy that you have accomplished so much in this past year.  I’m excited for all the new adventures we will have in year two.  I’m nervous about the new changes we have coming our way.  I’m sentimental that we will never get back some of those amazing moments from when you were small.  All of those old firsts are now taken for granted.  However, I am anticipating all of the new firsts you will take on.  I am proud of the person you are thus far, and I’m hopeful that your father and I will continue to guide you in the “right” direction…whatever that means.  Most of all, I feel such an intense sense of love for you that grows by the minute.  Every day I think it is impossible to love you that much more, and every day my love still grows and grows.  The more time I spend with you, the less I want to be away from you.  You make my heart full and it’s hard to imagine what life was like before you came into the picture.

You are my Little Monkey, my Nico Bonzo, my Booski, my Boo Boo, my Stinky Butt, my Bubba, my Babycakes, my world.

Thank you for making me a mother.  Thank you for being you.  Thank you for the constant light and joy you bring to our family every day.

I love you like crazy.

Happy 1st Birthday, Nico.

Love,

Mama

*First photo by Justin Goldberg.  The rest, my own.*

Millions of Peaches

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I came across these photos that I had taken back in August.  Our yard has a peach tree out front that grew more peaches than we could possibly eat!  After passing them out to the neighbors, I swore I was going to make my first peach pie on the Friday of Labor Day Weekend.  I was planning on gathering all the ingredients early in the week, and I was going to make a blog post of how amazing it all turned out.  Well, folks, that clearly never happened, because I went into labor on Labor Day Weekend.  I had more important things at hand, like meeting my baby boy.  I can’t believe that was three months ago, today.  My life has changed in more ways than I could have even imagined.  I thought I could never love any more than the day when they put Nico in my arms for the very first time, but that love has continued to grow and grow with every day that passes.  My husband and I just constantly look at each other, look at Nico, and verbalize how lucky we are to have been blessed with such an amazing boy.  They told me time would fly by, and they weren’t lying.  Happy 3 Months my little guy.  We love you.

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Oh and by the way…those peaches did not go to waste.  We were lucky enough to have my mother-in-law stay with us for a few days after Nico’s birth.  One of the ways she helped out was by baking that amazing peach pie.  In my haggard new-mother state, I failed to capture this pie with my camera, but let me assure you, it was delicious!

*This post was intended for Nov. 29th, but we were on holiday celebrating Thanksgivingkah.  Hope you all had a great weekend!  I’m off to partake in Cyber Monday sales!

XO,

Gina