Jan 13, 2016


The day of Carter's birthday party, Naomi saw popcorn for the first time. I was holding her in my arms, and she practically leaped out of them trying to snag some popcorn out of a friend's bag. After the party we had a lot of popcorn around the house, and Naomi was eyein' it like crazy. I never let her have some because she has no teeth! I assumed she couldn't eat it.

Well, I was wrong. She can eat it. She actually can eat tubs of it and doesn't stop eating it until you take her away. Some day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I filled up a tupperware with popcorn for Carter and went back to the bedroom to do something, I forget what. I soon heard giggling and immediately came out to see what was going on. Giggling from carter is usually a bad sign. 

I was surprised to find him feeding Naomi fist fulls of popcorn. I couldn't believe she was eating it. I was alarmed at first but then it was clear, she was thoroughly enjoying herself.  And there I sat, video taping, taking pictures and laughing my head off for a good 30 minutes while she ate the popcorn like it was the last meal of her life. It's moments like this, as a mom, where you are like, "Where is everybody!? Is anyone seeing this!?" I was so sad I didn't have an adult to share this moment with because it was hilarious. 

Literally, 45 mintues later, after Carter had long stopped eating and was running circles around her, I decided she had had enough and I should take her away. I thought she would stop but she just kept going and going and going.  

Her love of popcorn happens to be very fitting since she is named after her grandmother, who is known for her love of popcorn. 


After Daron and I got home form New York, first thing on the agenda was to get a Christmas tree. For the first time, we went to a Christmas tree lot. What a happy place! 
  The highlight of the night was watching Carter find his tree and then try to drag it out to the car.   
When you're looking so perfectly cute and your brother tackles you...
Daron checking something on the camera, but proof I was there, too!
Carter with "the one."
Daron trying to convince him to get a different one with less "holes."

Carter winning and getting to take home the one he wanted. That smile of his never gets old. I'm going to be really sad when his "cheese" doesn't look like this.
And you, the little teeny, tiny adorable flocked baby tree. You're mine next year!


Daron's work has taken him to the big apple the past two years now the first weekend in December. There is a big real estate conference there and last year and this year, I have happily obliged to tag alone! Both years have been thrilling trips. It's a nice little getaway because it's only a few days which is helpful with leaving the kids. Short and sweet. 

I had only been to New York once prior to last year and I don't really count it because I was 16 and clueless to what I was experiencing. All I remember about the trip was being distracted by the amount of homeless people (I had never seen so many before) and the odd smells and dirtiness of the city. I was the typical self-absorbed and immature teenager that was antsy to get back to "my friends and life in CA." So embarrassing! Thankfully, I've been able to redeem myself and had opportunities to appreciate New York how I should. And there's no better time to really appreciate the city than over the holidays. We have been blown away by "Christmas in the City" both years! 

Last year in particular was fun because Daron had never been. It was really fun for me to get to see him experience the energy of the city for the first time. Both years, our itinerary revolved completely around food. We hardly sightsee at all (is that bad!?) We go from one restaurant and dessert place to the next and if there is something to see near by we will maybe make our way there, but food is definitely the priority. 

Last year, we stayed in the heart of time square. This year, we decided to stay in a more quiet part of town and stayed in SoHo. 

(The charming entrance of our hotel. ^^)

Our first day, we hit up Bubby's. I had been dreaming about their pancakes for a year. Daron's sister recommended Bubby's to us last year and the place exceeded my expectations. It's pancake heaven. 

After some shopping and taking in the city, we made our way to some famous NYC pizza, ran into carolers outside the NYC temple, and then walked completely out of the way to Levain Bakery for cookies because they are that good. We ate the cookies outside the Lincoln center where we saw the ballet! A few weeks before our trip, Daron surprised me with tickets to the Nutcracker. I had always wanted to see a ballet and spent hours before our trip watching every documentary I could find on the NYC ballet. The nutcracker was even better that I'd thought it would be. I was really sad the show had to end! I'll never forget the partnered scene, it was magical.

(Daron bought me this skirt for the ballet. ^^ I'm wearing a pajama top with it because that was the best and only option I had but I don't think (hope) anyone noticed. I also only brought one nicer jacket and it happened to be green. I felt like a walking Christmas tree at the beginning, but by the end of the night, I sort of loved it.)
(said walking Christmas tree^^ ;) 

The next day, we attended church in the morning and then had lunch at The Smith. Daron was obsessed with the potato chip bleu cheese fondue. We ate until we couldn't move and then ventured to see a tourist sight, the Love sculpture. After that, we went to Central Park and "ooo" and "awed" at the bright, colorful fall-looking leaves everywhere, a very unexpected but welcomed surprise for a December trip!

 The flat iron building ^^ this building stopped me in my tracks every time!

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at the City Bakery for a chocolate chip cookie and then changed for dinner and a little trip to Brooklyn. We ate at the restaurant Frankies 457 Spuntino. It was the best meal of the trip. The restaurant is tiny, tiny and really dark. The food was so good though. I took a picture of my pasta dish but it looked like worms on a plate so I'll spare you but for the first time ever, Daron was jealous of what I ordered! 

After dinner, the plan was to walk the Brooklyn bridge. We almost backed out because we were stuffed to the brim (are we gross?) and the thought of walking 30 minutes was daunting. But thankfully, we stuck to the plan because that was our favorite thing we did the whole trip. The views walking the Brooklyn Bridge were breathtaking. Lady liberty was on our left, the new One World Trade Center building in front of us, and the rest of the city's skyline to our right. I felt so proud to be an American while walking that bridge!

The final two days of the trip, Daron goes to his conference in the day and then we meet up at night. When we went last year, I was really nervous to be alone in New York and wondered what I would do all day. But then, Daron left for his conference and I went to all the stores I wanted without having to accomodate anyone else... and I realized being alone was not going to be hard. I remember Daron texting me last year to meet up and I was like, "Oh no, already!?"

This year I did some shopping and checked out Christmas markets finding some gifts for family. I also ate some delicious Christmas market food and watched ice-skaters in Bryant Park. Some good people-watching-alone-time is a rare treat these days. This year, when we met up we saw the Rockefeller center's Christmas tree and light show and then I dragged Daron to time square. He didn't feel like going but it felt wrong to not take a peek. That night we ate at shake shack and rolled ourselves home. 

Our last day/night I took Daron to the Christmas Market in Bryant Park so he too could experience some of the delicious food and we could ice skate. Ice skating in Bryant Park is almost a tie with walking the Brooklyn Bridge. The rink was overflowing with Christmas cheer and it was an absolute gorgeous day. Have I mentioned the weather while we were there? It felt like fall, it was 50 degrees! I had on a hat and a sweater and was golden. Last year, we trudged around in 30 degrees and pouring rain. We're not sure if New York will ever be like that again in December so we made sure to soak it in! 

(Daron lookin' all New Yorker!^^)
(Delicious mozarella arepas from the Christmas market. I saw a girl eating this and awkwardly followed her until I finally got her attention to ask her what she was eating. I''m so glad I did because they were worth it!)
(More fall! ^^)

Our final night was spent touring the 9/11 museum and eating our weight in scrumptious tacos at Chelsea's market. 

We walked our legs off and every night, our tired bodies couldn't wait to plop in bed. I was always amazed at how much energy I had to keep going though. The city does something to you. We felt lucky once again to be able to experience another year of Christmas in the City and can't wait/hope we can do it again next year. 

And the next morning, we woke up for our 7 o' clock flight and  I looked like this...

This picture is actually the good version of my traveling self. You should see the video Daron took of me... my eyes were watering because I was so tired from staying up way too late watching a chic flick (by myself) in bed and it hurt so bad to keep them open. Why don't I rest when I'm away from my kids!? Instead it's like this weird "you have freedom" spell comes over me and I do all the things I can't do with them and then pay for it. Daron sent the video to my family via direct instagram and they had a great laugh at my expense. 

(Crossing our fingers) See you next year, New York!!!!!!!!!!!!!