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‘Tis the crazy season! With two weeks to go until Christmas (and Hanukkah starts tomorrow!!) it seems like things are moving at lightening speed. The streets are packed, stores are bustling, tourists are wandering and lets not even talk about the post office. Yikes! I am reminding myself to stop and take a breath every so often- between making cookies, wrapping presents, writing cards and organizing a packing list, oh and working!

But, on Saturday night I did find some time to hang with a cherished friend and sneak away to see the lights and decorations in the City. It is one of my favorite things to do and I don’t always make it a priority. This year I am so glad that I did.

It just so happened that on Saturday we also had our first snow fall of the season. Every time it snows in NYC, I really feel like the city is transformed in to a magical whirling snow globe. The fresh snow makes everything seem beautiful and I swear it is a bit quieter somehow.

We started our adventure off at the GreyDog for dinner on 12th Street and then headed to Union Square to check out the Holiday Market. From there we walked up 7th Avenue past the Flatiron District to Macy’s. From Macy’s we walked up 6th Avenue to Bryant Park and then headed to 5th Avenue to check out the windows along 5th, including Sak’s Fifth Avenue and of course the tree at Rockefeller Center. Our tired and cold feet jumped into a taxi at 59th street and headed home.

Whether you are a tourist or have lived in NYC for all of your life, I highly recommend finding time to do a nighttime walk to see the sights at the holidays. Yes, the crowds can be a bit crazy but there is nothing wrong with fortifying yourself mid walk with a hot chocolate or something a bit stronger to keep your energy up. There are lots of restaurants and pubs along the way! Get out there and then hurry back and get cozy on the couch with your favorite holiday classic, might I suggest “Love Actually”? 😉

Hope you enjoy this year’s pics. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season. May you find some time over the next couple of weeks to do something just for you. Love and hugs, S xo

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Taking the time today for a bit of personal reflection. The sun is shining down on this spectacular city. The dog and I walked through Central Park and currently the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade plays in the background while my little family lounges. Life is certainly not perfect, it never is, but there really is always something to be thankful for.

Right now I am thankful for my girls. They are challenging and exhausting but they are also smart, determined and hilarious. I am thankful for my family, who no matter how far away are always available for a chat and a positive word or two of support. I am thankful for Mr Memphis who shares my love of walks in the park. I am so damn thankful for my friends, especially my girlfriends who just understand. All of it.

I am thankful for another day to explore, experience, question, to be angry, to fight, to love, to care, to be kind, to have adventures.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for you ❤️

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Hi there everyone, it is me, your long lost friend, or it certainly feels like it anyway. The last time I wrote something on this blog, there was snow on the ground- yikes! I guess I have been a little remiss in the writing department or maybe I can just apologize and say that I have been distracted by life. Let’s go with that.

It is September, I love this time of year. I always think of it as the official New Year’s. Maybe because I have always been involved in education in one way or another, but I always think of the new school year as a time to being again. To start fresh. An opportunity to put forth new goals, plan, get organized, get energized and move forward.  It is also the month in New York City where the weather turns into days of beautiful blue skies with crisp mornings and warm afternoons. Perfection.

I also love September because there is a schedule again. Even though I hate toooo much structure and you know that I can’t stand planning lunches and dinners, I do love getting up and moving and having purpose and a calendar filled with things to do. I promise not to complain too much when this starts to become overwhelming-ha! My girls can’t wait to go back to school, their days of lounging are making them a bit crazy at this point. I know I definitely need them to go back to school so our apartment can stop looking like a frat house!! Teenage girls are a hot mess, literally.

We have had a good few months, the girls, Memphis and I. Keeping busy with the everyday. We have had the opportunity to travel a bit, connect with family, explore and appreciate the little things.

The world in general is tough right now. Politics in the US, not okay at all. That is a much BIGGER issue and a fight that continues daily. It weighs heavily on us all.

We are lucky though, I am grateful that life, in general, is good. Am I where I thought I would be at this stage in my life? No, I am not. Some days this is exciting and awesome and other days it paralyzingly terrifying. Life is definitely messy and amazing at the same time. That is the beauty of it all. One of my goals for September is to let go of the fear of the unknown, embrace the chaos and concentrate on the things I can change. We will see how it goes. I also promise to keep writing. It really is good for the soul. Happy “New Year” my friends. Good luck to all the students, teachers, administrators, support staff and parents as your new year begins! xoxo

(Here are a few of my favorite pics from the last couple of months, hope you enjoy them)

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February, you are definitely the longest, shortest month.

I am not going to lie, I have been in a bit of a funk lately. The weather is up, down, snow, rain, freezing rain, fog, warm, cold… it can’t make up its mind. Life is busy, the political world is overwhelming (that is an understatement) and the rat race is a rat race. Being a grown up is hard, yo. And some days it would be easier to stay under the covers. Oh yes it would. Tempting. Very tempting. I know we have all been there.

So, I am really trying to focus on a bit of self care and reframing. Focusing on the positive because no matter how dark the days can seem, there is always something positive. Always. I truly believe that. We are stronger together. Kindness goes a long way. Never be afraid to ask for help. That can be the hardest thing to do sometimes, I know it is for me. It’s okay to be tired, to regroup, to recharge. We have got this. Yes we do.

I am turning up the tunes, heading out to enjoy the city and sending some love and positive energy to all of you.

Here are some pics from the last month. Enjoy!

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Today after getting home from Washington in the early hours of the morning I woke up exhausted from an intense 24 hours but also invigorated, energized and filled with hope.

It will take awhile to really let all of the feelings and emotions fully sink in but I wanted to share my pictures and initial thoughts from yesterday.

I traveled to Washington in a passenger van with 11 other people. The “Dirty Dozen” as we called ourselves. We hit the road from NYC at 3:30 in the morning. Armed with tons of food (women sure know how to go on a trip) and coffee we made our way to the Capitol. The excitement started to build as we were joined on the highway by a sea of buses and cars full of women and men clearly headed to Washington or bust!

Our plan included parking at Reagan Airport and then taking the Metro into the city. The people at the Metro were extremely helpful offering advice and directing us to the right train. We stood on the platform with other people holding signs and wearing pink pussy hats and inspiring slogans on clothing. The platform was crowded and when the train pulled in it was already overcrowded. We had to let it pass, but as determined New Yorkers we crushed on to the next train. Everyone was going to the March. Our train was held because of traffic. We were squished in like sardines. Not a single person complained. There was laughter. We traded stories. Asked where we had all traveled from- Missouri, North Carolina, Colorado, Alabama, California… As we approached our stop it became clear that the crowds were already growing, we had to skip our stop due to crowds on the platform (it was just 9 am!!) and they dropped us off at the next stop. When we exited the subway it was a bit unreal. We joined a swell of people who were moving toward the meeting site. The mood was electric.

Our group found a spot to stand, the area closest to the stage was already inaccessible. We stood with many others as the crowd around us continued to grow. There were people as far as the eye could see. We stood for hours, reading the signs, talking to those around us and getting pumped up by the crowd. When we did finally begin to march it was then that we became fully aware of just how many people there were. It is hard to explain what it felt like to be a part of something so big. Women and men. Young and old. Families, couples, sisters, brothers, friends. It was a day I will not soon forget.

I have never been a part of anything so inspiring. So many people joined together in peaceful demonstration. No matter what your political beliefs, it is an incredible reminder in the power of freedom of expression. What struck me most throughout the day was the little moments of kindness- people helping others with directions, offering snacks, saying sorry when jostled in a crowd, smiling at one another. I saw no acts of violence, in fact there was very little anger… people weren’t being disrespectful, screaming or swearing. It was the opposite. There was singing, creative signs, thoughtful questions, inclusivity, women and men fighting for human rights, reproductive rights, equality, respect for all. At one point in the march a group of Trump supporters needed to cross, a group of men in “make america great”  and “trump” hats . They looked nervous. The crowd simply parted. No words were spoken.

When we regrouped at the end of the day and cell service was restored I was in awe when I saw the numbers from marches around the world. A beautiful thing indeed.

Mr. President, you have been elected, yes, that is fact. However, this is the United States, we the people have a voice and we have rights and we are watching. You can’t bully us. We will not be silenced. You can’t ignore us. Isn’t that what democracy is all about? I am proud to have marched with so many people from around the country and world yesterday. For my daughters, for their future, I refuse to be silent.

Thank you to the “dirty dozen”, it was a real honor to share the day with all of you. So much love and respect in that little van.

Love always trumps hate. S xox

 

 

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For some reason my body and mind do not like to sleep in anymore. I guess by default that makes me a morning person. I have been embracing this early wake up on Saturday mornings by heading to Central Park with Memphis where he runs off leash and I get some exercise walking at the most beautiful time of the day. Today it was enjoying the calm before the snow.

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I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon putting away all the Christmas decorations and tidying up the apartment. The snow did begin to fall. I love looking out my apartment window watching it blow all around. It is like being inside one giant snow globe.

There really is something magical about fresh snow, or maybe that is the Canadian in me talking 😉  Whatever it is, I always feel like I need to get out and go for a walk. So I grabbed Memphis’ leash and off we went. It is the Southern Gentleman’s second time in the snow. I do not think he shares my enthusiasm quite yet. I would say that he tolerates it.

 

It was quite blustery down by the river and we are both happy to be back home in the snow globe watching the white stuff fall outside. Time for a cup of tea, a warm blanket and a good movie. Memphis has already found his spot for the afternoon =)

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Happy Saturday my friends, stay warm and safe. Happy Snow!

 

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The line from “Hamilton: An American Musical” keeps running through my mind right now as I sit here reflecting on the insanity of the year that was 2016. This year has been a whirlwind of ups and downs. And yes, there have been many downs but we are still here. We ARE lucky to be alive right now and to enter 2017, fierce and strong and ready to meet challenges like the badass people we have proven to be. Yep, I am talking about YOU! Go get it my friends!! =)

Sorry, I haven’t written in awhile, one of the resolutions I hope to keep is to get back to my writing. It really does soothe my soul and make me happy.

I have spent the last few days of 2016 with my girls and Memphis. I was lucky enough to get the week off of work and we spent Christmas in Bedford celebrating with good friends and meeting new people in a beautiful setting. We have also had some quality time chilling at home binge watching “Gilmore Girls”.

This time of year is still a bit tough, I find myself with a bit too much time to think and reflect. Not necessarily a bad thing unless I start being a little too hard on myself. I have to remind myself to take a deep breath. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. This year we said goodbye to Dopey dog but it also brought us Memphis. The girls and I have become closer, we are our own little family unit. I have a job that I enjoy, it is chaotic and crazy, it forces me out of my comfort zone. I don’t see my extended family and out of town friends as often as I would like but they are doing a-okay and that makes me smile. Here in the big city I am surrounded by my NYC family and these friends are the glue that hold all the pieces together. My heart is full. For that I am so very humbled and grateful.

I do feel a little uncertain as to what 2017 holds, but I do know this, together, we will be okay. Kindness is key. And love really is the answer. Be well my friends. Happy, Happy, Happy 2017!! -Sandra xo

(I leave you with a few pics from the last few days of this year- Enjoy!)

 

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