Thanks everyone that commented on my last post! They were brilliant and just what I was hoping for! Just in case you didn't read over or catch all the comments, I wanted some sort of follow-up post that is kind of a reader's digest of what everyone's great ideas and advice were. 

If so, what should they be for you personally (and for your spouse)? 
  •  Moderation is key-June
  • Share everything with your spouse. The time you start keeping secret on FB or anywhere online is when you start getting in trouble-Mary  [She gave a link to an article from KSL regarding this subject, but I couldn't get the link to work, so if you're interested, pop over there and give her a shout out]
  • My husband and I have a joint facebook account. This helps us to keep in touch with people together and avoid temptations of secretly "friending" an old flame, talking to someone we shouldn't, etc. It also helps other people to know that we're in it together and if they talk to one of us, the other person sees it as well.-Ashley [I loved this idea! Plus, I love what having a shared account tells others]
  • Just like anything else, I personally have to monitor how much time I spend on facebook. Elder Bednar gave a talk recently about wasting away our time in front of a computer screen when we could be out with our neighbors and friends. I think if we're not careful, we can miss so much of life whilst browsing through "friends" profiles on facebook. -Ashley
  • A good tip: You should never friend anyone you wouldn't feel comfortable being alone in a room with.-Autumn
What should they be for our children or for youth we might have influence over?
  • Apply same rules to my children that I apply for myself-June
  • Guidelines for my kids is 3 hours screen time a day this includes TV, Wii, PC-Sheryl
  • They also don't get an email until age 12 and FB at age 13. We must be friends and they know I check them out because I am their friend, not a snoop.-Sheryl [I'm so happy Sheryl commented because she is such a fabulous mom and I love that "you're their friend, not a snoop:)"]
 What is the proper etiquette for turning people away?
  • If I don't want to hurt feelings, so I just ignore their request for like six months and then reply-Autumn [She also threw out the question , "Also, when you deny someone do they get a memo?" [So just make sure to REALLY ignore them. I do this too]
Thanks again everyone. I've got a lot of new ideas to apply to my own life, which always helps me feel motivated. Hopefully you found it valuable in some way too!


So I love talking. I am always game for some good conversation. I especially love talking to other women, which probably explains the countless hours I’ve logged talking to my mom and sister. I love having conversations regarding the world, the gospel, motherhood, families, the strength of women and how all of these things work together. These conversations and discussions always leave me feeling buoyed up and motivated to be better.
I also love to blog. And not only do I love to blog, but I happen to blog with many amazing women (I’m lucky enough to call friends). And so I thought (light bulb ping!) it would be kind of fun to combine these two loves. I’ll introduce certain topics that fall under the previously listed categories and then add in your two cents, plus advice and/or ideas, which equals a great formula for fun and educational online discussion. Right?
The point is to see how these issues relate to us, as women, and as Latter-day Saints. I would take the time at this point to open this up to men, but I know that there are no men that look at my blog besides my husband, and maybe my dad and my brother...maybe.

Now, to my first topic of conversation: FACEBOOK
The Issue
I know I’m not the only person who finds themselves wondering how to handle the Facebook phenom. There two different aspects of this issue that I find myself…concerned about. 1) How will I introduce this and other online social mediums to my children and other youth I have influence over 2) How will I choose to conduct my personal participation in these same things?
The Problem
There is always the good and the bad to things like this. And just as there is a dark side and a light side to many aspects provided by the world wide web, Facebook is just another oreo milk shake to be pilfered through and figured out as an individual trying their darndest to be their best self.  
The other day while driving in the car I heard on the radio a similar statistic to this article that I later read that stated 1 in every 5 divorces is due to Facebook. I’m sorry, what? That’s pathetic.
As for the youth, I’m not quite sure what negative effects it has, other than I’m sure it’s pretty similar to the  many other unsupervised forms of communication that are available to teenagers today. And well, the old spending x amount of hours staring at a screen is never good.
I’m not going to lie, it’s good entertainment to see the back-row introvert is now working for a Fortune 500 company and probably already bringing in 6 figures a year, but do I really need to see what’s going on in his life? It might even be intriguing to see where an old crush ended up. But am I really their friend? Really? I don’t think the term “friend” has ever been used so loosely than in the world of Facebook. In fact, where do we draw the line as to who we add, who we turn away? Oh and speaking of which, what is the proper etiquette for turning people away? Should there even be one? Do we end up having a bajillion friends because we’re afraid we’re going to hurt what’s-his-name’s feelings from what I think was high school?
But there is the good. I’ve seen Facebook allow extended families, even immediate families, stay in closer than they ever would have without it. And who doesn’t love tons of happy birthday wishes on their big day or really actually being able to stay in contact with a dear friend, where it otherwise would be hard to do so. So I don’t believe banning Facebook is the answer, in fact I believe it’s imperative to figure out how to use it constructively, as I don’t see it going anywhere any time soon.
My mom was telling my about a stake conference meeting where one of the speakers was talking on how they as parents chose to run their home and one of the rules they made for their children in regard to Facebook was that they only were allowed 100 friends. So they would really have to consider and prioritize who they were going to allow access to their Facebook page. What do you think about this?
So here are the questions to consider and want to hear your fine thoughts, advice and wisdom.
  • Am I overreacting? Do you think even think there should be guidelines? Come on, you can tell me.
  • If so, what should they be for you personally? What should they be for our children or for youth we might have influence over?
  • Lastly, what should those guidelines be?
Seriously, if you’ve made it this far, please leave a response. 1) So I don’t feel like a loser for having one-sided conversations with myself. 2) It will be cool, I promise. it will be like the new blogging revolution! (Which reminds of a time in college where someone commented during a lecture and accidentally said something about making New Years revolution instead of a resolution. Upon noticing her error she cried out, “ A New Year’s Revolution!”. I still chuckle to myself about it….Ahhh…but I digress)


I consider my need to post a little less about all of my New York newbie experiences a positive sign. One that hopefully means I'm getting more used to the big city living.

However, a record of our time here must be kept! So here's what we've been up to the last week or so...

We took another outing with Claire and Norah to Central Park. We like hanging out there. There are lots of things to see, shade, places to eat, bathrooms to, well you know and play areas. This time we checked out the Jackie O Reservoir and saw the Belvedere Castle. Such a fun place to hang out and take some photos. I would have been a bit more creative with my royal renaissance-type poses had I not been clutching Ryder with a death grip in order to avoid any nasty falls over those precarious castle ledges.

On Saturday, I made my second run to Trader Joes, which I'm really starting to enjoy, bye-the-way. A little me time and I get excited thinking of all the yummy frozen dinners we're going to have. I was in a bit of a conundrum, however, because I needed to find some time to get Phil a father's day present. If I waited to long, TJ would have a crazy long line (any place worth going to in NY always has a line) and if I waited until after I would have a suitcase full of frozen dinners to carry around. Do you now see how it was a bit of a conundrum? Anyhow as I'm trying to figure something out, I pop out of the subway to see a Nordstrom Rack (enter choir "Ahhh" here) a mere block away from TJ. Heaven sent. And one of the best I've seen, mind you. Went in, bada-bing-bada-boom, errands done.

After the nap time we walked almost 30 blocks to the Children's Museum of Manhattan. It was wonderful. Four floors of really cool educational play. Plus, a water feature area. To say Ryder loved it is an understatement and it showed when we had to leave. The tantrum only subsided when we promised we'd come back again. Good parenting, eh?
Here, Ryder is wearing a chiton. A common toga dress men would wear in Ancient Greece. See, we learned something.

 He was so excited to play with some blocks!

 Taking things very seriously, as any fireman should

Sunday was casual and nice, as usual. We love our ward and I love going to church in the temple. (The church "building", or floor rather, is sandwiched in-between the Manhattan temple.) The church members here are really great and there is something about NYC, because every week I go to church I will end up running into someone I know. Whether it was from Seattle or's fascinating and pretty fun. Especially when you go through most of the week wandering through hundreds of people, cultures, languages not knowing a soul. So I love Sundays here.

And Monday was a special treat because my Uncle Scott was in town with his wife and daughter, Shawnee, so we met up with them for a little play time at the park. Ryder had a blast running around with my uncle and there may have been something about him that made him miss a certain Pompa... It's always so good to see family.


Today we are throwing, as hard as we can, birthday blessings to one of our most favorite people:


First off, there are a couple of people who are missing you and wanted to tell you a little something:
 Note: Ryder drew both the "H's" Sorry, mom, I didn't mean to make him look like he was 20 years old in that first one.

As for me, I was thinking how great it would be to get on record all of the reasons you are so wonderful, so in celebration for the 55 years of your life, here are 55 reasons why I love you so very much and why I'm so grateful for this day.
  1. You're a kindred spirit to me
  2. You can make anyone your friend
  3. And if you don't have time to make them your friend, you just end up charming the socks off of them
  4. You are genuine
  5. You are always trying to do your best
  6. You've taught me to always be kind and nice
  7. You have an amazing smile
  8. You can read my voice and face like a book. 
  9. You are crazy talented! But to be a bit more specific.
  10. You could and should be sitting next to Candace on the judge panel for Design Star. 
  11. You are a needle art GENIUS.
  12. You're an artist in the garden and taught me to love flowers.
  13. You have style in everything you do
  14. You love to read
  15. You taught me to love to read :)
  16. This probably already goes without saying, but you're an amazing mother
  17. You're a just as amazing Nana
  18. You are a teacher, and a really good one. 
  19. You are a wise and helpful counselor
  20. You're a good driver, even though you don't like it
  21. You are beautiful outside
  22. ...and inside
  23. You have unwavering integrity
  24. You have an undeniably close relationship to your Heavenly Father and the Savior
  25. You are a great missionary and asset to the Gospel
  26. You love your scriptures
  27. You know your scriptures
  28. You make everyone around you feel comfortable
  29. You can always make me feel better
  30. You have a great laugh. I love hearing you laugh!
  31. You are so fun to talk to. I wonder what the tally would be on the hours we've spent talking :)
  32. You think I'm funny
  33. You are an ardently loyal and happy wife, utterly smitten with your cute husband
  34. You love animals, even really big, overwhelming dogs
  35. You Skype with me and my family 
  36. You always talk to me about anything and let me ask you anything
  37. You are an example of what a lady is and should be
  38. You have beautiful, long and freakishly strong fingernails
  39. You are a cancer survivor
  40. You are a wonderful sister
  41. You are a warrior who has conquered a hard childhood
  42. You have beautiful jade green eyes
  43. Your grandchildren love you and miss you when you're not there
  44. You share my fetish and taste for handbags
  45. You are and example of and have taught me the importance of motherhood and womanhood.
  46. Your feet, that you were gracious enough to pass along to me :)
  47. You taught me what faith was and how to exercise it from a very young age
  48. You look at my blog every day
  49. You are one of the few people I can brag to--everyone needs a compliment bench once in awhile
  50. You have taught me the joys of Jane Austen movies and are able to share together their life's lessons
  51. You are so fun to shop with and great shopping friend
  52. You are an exceptional listener, even if one happens to go on and on
  53. You are working on becoming an awesome at computer communicating devices for the times I live far away
  54. You always make me want to be better
  55. You have in some way passed along all of these amazing things about yourself to your children, family, and friends.


Ryder: Take my picture mommy!

Me: Okay! Ready? Make a...


After knowing this girl as well as I do now, sometimes I wonder if I should have named her something like, "Joy" or "Patience" or "Angel Baby-of-my-Heart"...

Luckily, I don't feel too bad because I'm in love with her name almost as much as I'm in love with her.


We get a little overwhelmed (which seems to be my theme word for NY) when planning what to do on our Saturdays. What to see? What to do? Will there be something fun for Ryder? It's really easy to go against my previously made rules and take on a little too much for one day...which is exactly what we did...again.

We found out the subways run a little differently on the weekends due to construction, so instead of getting off near Chinatown like we had originally planned we had to ride it to the Brooklyn Bridge. This was where we thought, "Let's go check out the Brooklyn Bridge!" And that's what we did. Besides being highly entertained by the "wada! wada!" stands every 20 ft. (water! water!) I couldn't help but feel the need to take an enormous amount of pictures, many of which were of myself in front of this amazing piece of architecture. Lucky for you, I'll only include a few.

After this we started walking. Ryder took a nap and we let Penny air out a little from sitting in her carrier.

We headed toward the financial district to see where Phil works, which is also right by Ground Zero. There really isn't much to see there besides a big construction site, but we did see the below I-beam memorial that had been removed and saved and stated it stood as a symbol of hope.

Across the street from what used to be the World Trade Center was St. Paul's Chapel: Opened in 1766, St. Paul's Chapel is Manhattan's oldest public building in continuous use - a place where George Washington worshiped and 9/11 recovery workers received round-the-clock care. I totally love historical stuff like this. This chapel was surrounded by a cemetery with headstones only 2 inches thick where most of the engravings had been worn off. These people were OLD.

There is a feeling around this building and Ground Zero that just left me with tears streaming down my face the whole time.

How quickly that changed after stepping into Century 21 which is, if you can imagine, the mother of all TJ Maxx's, Ross's, and Nordstrom Racks all thrown into one. We'll tackle that one later.
 Taking a break before our jaunt over to Chinatown...I dunno, it could have been a wise time to go home...

After lunch we went to check out an apartment for a friend and decided to walk full circle back to Chinatown. My feet were screaming at this point but Chinatown's famous Ice Cream Factory kept me going. They are known for there famous flavors and quality of ice cream like mango, black poppyseed (gross), red bean (tastes like pink vanilla), and pandan (made from a mongolian leaf and utterly delicious), which is what I got.

We were breaking down at this point and had to deal with a very inconvenient subway situation so after four subway changes and a 6 block walk later, we were finally home. ~Sigh


So after our first successful venture on the subway, I may have gotten a bit over confident because I went from being brave to just plain stupid.

Yesterday, we'd been cooped up in our bite-sized apartment for too long so we just headed our around 3:30 in the afternoon. I thought we'd hit up FAO Shwartz, ya know, thought it be fun for the kiddos. I took off with a general idea of where it was. Lessons learned from this outing:

1) Know exactly where you're going. Just know the address and take a map, because I'm here to tell you, not all blocks are created equal and if your plan is just to weave through streets with your "general idea" you could be walking around with two babies for a very long time.

2) Traveling on the subways is much, much, much easier in the mornings when there are less crowds. I knew I was in trouble when I had to sheepishly squeeze my and my stroller on at 3:30, let alone 6:00 (which is when we went home). My saving grace was that Penny got all sorts of charm on on our way back home.

3) Check the weather. Rain isn't too big of a deal, but it doesn't help when you've got the previous two items going on.

Luckily, today I was able to put my new found lessons to good use. I met my new friend, Claire (who's husband is doing a finance internship at Amex), at 66th and Central Park West. Our plan was to explore a little of Central Park and to check out the zoo. We got to the carousel and Ryder and I couldn't resist. So Claire graciously watched Penny and took photos of us as Ryder and I took a ride.
 @ the carousel

 For the first couple rounds Ryder was a little nervous and had to keep a hand on my neck as if any minute he needed to jump ship, he could :)
The ladies, Norah and Penelope

We attempted to go to the zoo next, and probably would have been really cool had we found it. We got a tad bit turned around (it's harder without the street signs) ended up taking a nice stroll through "The Mall". At this point, lunch seemed like a fantastic idea while Ryder and Claire's cute daughter, Norah, took naps. We spent the rest of our time playing and running around and I made sure to start our journey back home before 3:00.
 Here we are walking "The Mall". Below is cute Clair with Norah and Ryder

A much more successful and fun outing. Most likely, it was due to our cute company, which is a good thing to know as well :) It's funny though, because it's like we're all like babies (well, most of us are) where we get home and we're all suffering for so much stimulation overload that all any of us can do is stare at the TV with our mouths open or do this:
Three cute things about this photo: 1) how she used her teething toy as a pillow 2) how she always throws her feeties on my lap 3) Penny

Oh...and Phil...remember him? He's around here somewhere. Last night he was found here, enjoying a little Mets baseball:

Luckily, the weekend is upon us which means we get to go do something all together. Wahoo!


Today was the day--thatr I conquered the subway with two babies, by myself. And it wasn't that bad. However, I think the cool 70 degree, breezy weather helped--a lot. My entire attitude changed knowing I wouldn't be wet by the time I got home :)

We had a play date with some other women in the ward and even though I had planned to walk the 20 blocks to the park, time got away from me and not wanting to get there just as everyone was winding up, the subway was the only option. So apparently, necessity is the mother of conquering your fears.

It actually went really well. I used everyone's tips and only popped Ryder out of the stroller to go down/up stairs. What I didn't know before is that you swipe your card and turn the turn style, without going through. Then you get the person on duty to open the emergency exit/entrance for you. This went easy peasy and we just rolled right onto the train. And just like everyone said they would, I had some cute person help me carry my stroller up the stairs.

My only snag came when I was standing on the subway so smug and happy I had accomplished my goal, that I missed my stop. Luckily, I only back tracked about 4 blocks :) Hehe.

If you've been reading all my posts about adjusting to this city, this was a huge feat for me as it opens up a whole new world of opportunities for us three to explore the Big Apple without Phil. (Although, we do prefer him there :) Plus, "ride the train" is probably Ryder's most favorite thing to do in the city and considering he's having a little trouble adjusting, I'm happy to accommodate him in this way. Just as a warning if you call and talk to Ryder, be prepared to get told over and over "come visit me?", "come see you?", "no, not far away." Poor little guy. Hopefully, as I get more adjusted and comfortable with the big city, he'll follow my lead.


The babies watching TV together while I was at Trader Joe's

So it's been kind of a crazy weekend, packed with good and bad things. Very New Yorkish of it. (you know, how I always find lots of good things/feelings with lots of bad things/feelings). Anyhow, I started off Saturday morning by taking the subway by myself to Trader Joe's. I've wanted to do this since we've gotten here, so it felt really good to cross this off my list and to have a freezer stocked full of yummy dinners :)  (Just so you know my new ingenious philosophy for eating/cooking in NY with my small, no appliances/utensils kitchen is frozen dinners!)

After nap time we ventured over to the Museum of Natural History. I don't have to much to say about this museum. I really liked the displays that showed how past cultures used to live, but could take or leave the numerous displays of stuffed animals, dried out sea creatures and the life-size model of a the male malaria mosquito (wait, actually that one was pretty interesting--see photo below).

This is what Penny thought of the dinosaur bones

After that we headed over to the Shake Shack, which could have arguably been the high-light of my day. A burger/shake joint that is soooo delicious with root beer on tap. Not quite sure if that's what makes it as good as it was, but it was goood.

We went home got the babes ready for bed and enjoyed a fun visit from my friend, Monica, who was in town looking for a place to live. (Her and her family will start working full-time for Amex in July).

I came home from getting some Pinkberry and Phil and Penny were just doing some reading :)

We got thrown for a loop however, when Phil and I were in the middle of our Saturday-night movie when Ryder woke up with what seems to be a neck strain that was swollen and red. Weird. It seemed to really be hurting him and so we gave him some Tylenol and put him to down to sleep for 20 minute increments the rest of the night. I think a huge part of his problem was that it was hot. But he woke up with a mild (100.5) fever. A little Motirin took it down and we still decided to go to church.

I'm very grateful we did. There were tons of newbies just like ourselves and we were able to see  and meet lots of couples who were either in our same situation or lived close by us. The mother's lounge was packed when I went to feed Penny and was able to get loads of good advice for NYC living. In RS, I sat by Monica who was previously acquainted with the ward last summer and pointed out that someone in the presidency was a pediatrician. I shamelessly went up and talked to her after church and asked her for recommendations and told her about Ryder's situation. She even sat down and took a look at him. Can we say heaven sent?! Tender mercys abound?! I will forever love this lady.

She told me it was most likely wasn't meningitis becasue the hurt neck came before the fever, but said it could possibly be an infected lymphnode, which would explain the fever. Or just a pulled neck. Either way she gave me great advice as to where to take him and specific perameters to monitor him by. So thankful we went to church. :)

We also ran into an old college friend of mine, who just happened to marry someone who also worked at Amex, so that was fun. They were kind enough to invite us to a delicious dinner, where we were able to do some more mingling.

As for now Ryder is in good spirits and easily keeping his fever down with some Motrin every 4-6 hours. His neck is still red and hot to the touch, so that's a bit worrisome. I'm just waiting it out until morning to see if everything has died down or if I'll need to spend the day figuring out how to get him to a pediatrician.

On a positive note, after talking to Monica and other ladies in our ward (who have so many pearls of NY city living), I'm more motivated to do the subway solo. I may just even attempt it this week. We shall see!


Although there is a lot to do here, doing it by yourself with two babies quickly limits the options. The subway is still up for debate. When I went with Phil, it was tricky enough, but it's also something I'm not used to as well. We'll see as the summer goes on if my bravery and ability to maneuver a stroller, baby and a toddler increases. Until then, we'll save the longer outings for when Phil can join us and stick to activities in walking distance.

So my goal now is to figure out a regular daily routine that allows us to take advantage of everything we have available to us in walking distance.

We live in 4th floor walk-up, which I'm happy to say the hardest part of that whole thing is Ryder s.l.o.w.l.y wandering either up or down the stairs at whatever pace he chooses (either slow or super duper slow). And then when I get outside, I just count on being wet because it is oh so very humid here. Luckily, most parks have nice shade trees and there is usually a nice breeze waving about. We are in walking distance to Riverside Park, Morningside Park and if you walk about two blocks more, Central Park. So a park visit is a must.

There are a couple of mini-farmer's markets once or twice a week, which are always fun to me. We also live pretty close to a library so we'll have to work on getting us a card.

I just realized how utterly boring this post is getting. Man, I think I'll just stop now until it even gets more boring, if at all possible. Hurry, throw in some photos quick!

 Here is Ryder under a tunnel at Central Park. 

 Here is Penelope's new favorite sleeping position. On her side:) 


Well, it was memorable, that's for sure. Not really full of any activities that are typical of Memorial Day Weekend, I spent most of the time recovering with Penny as my little napping sidekick while Phil and Ryder did some exploring.

Saturday we worked on getting some groceries and Phil and Ryder explored NYC's Riverside Park. With NY pizza having the reputation it does, we knew that was one of the first things to cross off our list. So pizza for dinner, it was! We at a Famiglia's pizza place, which we here is one of the better in the UWS area. Tasty stuff. And I really can get on board with their idea of a single portion :)

Sunday Phil and Ryder checked out our new ward. Penny and I stayed home and slept. Later that afternoon we took a walk and P & R showed me around Riverside Park. It was a rather pleasant way to spend a Sunday evening.
 So on our walk home from the park, Ryder kept asking to be held, but I was sick and Phil was holding Penny, so we kept telling him no. I wasn't being much help since I was on the phone and the next thing I know, Phil is picking up Ryder to put him on his shoulders. I quickly get off the phone and ask to take one. Being a good sport Phil told me he was a baby-carrying machine. I laughed and asked again if I could help and he just sighed and said, in a rather manly voice, "No. Just take a picture."

Monday we rode the subway down to Times Square to visit the Toys R Us store there. Ryder needed some help in the interior entertainment department, especially since we didn't pack hardly any toys. Plus, who needs a good excuse to buy toys any way? I thought Toy's R Us was totally cool and Times Square? Let's just say it certainly isn't underwhelming.

After riding the subway with two children and a stroller for the first time. Popping out in the middle of Times Square on Memorial Day weekend, the below photos show how I (and maybe someone else) was feeling.

I fully admit I'm in culture shock. I told my mom on the phone today, my emotions keep polarizing. One second something about this city will amaze me, two seconds later, something about this city will alarm me. One second I'll think something about our knew lifestyle here is challenging, the next second I'll think our the lifestyle here is totally convenient. Make sense? I know I'm confused too.

I'm working on and rather determined to focus on all the positives, but that will take some time...or maybe not as long as I think.

(Hi Mom!)