I Really Do Love New York

So I am so sad to see it hurting.  I think it’s fitting that I write a little love letter to post some love photos of our home for the last year.

One year ago today, on Halloween, Scott and I were packing up the last of our belongings into a U-Haul truck and making the move to New York City.  I can’t tell you how many times we heard Thriller on the drive up, being that it was Halloween.  Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

I wasn’t sure about New York at first.  I heard about how difficult it can be to live here.  I had nightmares that everyone was rich and had great clothes and would judge me for my Tar-jay purchases.  I thought everyone would be mean.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.  New Yorkers are tough – they take care of themselves and their loved ones – but they are not mean.  They are also pretty tough critics – but as someone who has been accused of having high standards for both myself and others, I totally get that mindset.  I think it just explains why all of the restaurants here are awesome.  Only the best survive!  And I’ve learned that fashion is relative and everyone here has their own unique take on it.  So my sparkles and hot pink are just fine as far as everyone here is concerned.

Anyways, I was thinking recently about the fact that I often take pictures of the city on our random adventures, but they don’t often make it into the post I write later on.  Some do, but others don’t.  So here are some of my favorites of the city that has been the background (and a major player) in our first year of marriage.

I think this is just beautiful – the juxtaposition of the concrete jungle against the scenery of Central Park.

Super Bowl Champs!  Not that we’re proud or anything…

Lady Liberty.

I ❤ New York.  And Scott – it’s been a great year!  Cheers to year number two in the best city ever.

Frankenstorm

Well, we survived Frankenstorm.  I hope everyone out there is doing alright.  It sounds like most everyone we know is safe, but some property was damaged or ruined.  Especially for those that live in New Jersey.  We avoided losing power and even the majority of the rain.  The wind was the worst of it.  Our fence has seen better days…

 

Poor, stick-y little fence.  We are so grateful that we were not in a flood zone.  It could have been bad – a heavy rain produces inches of standing water in our backyard, so we were really nervous.  It was scary being on the first floor, that is for sure.  Our hearts go out to those that were in the flood zones and are dealing with damage and loss.

 

 

We are on day two of working at home due to closed offices.  Luckily we had a stocked fridge (and the power didn’t go out, big sigh of relief).  So I used my bit of extra time to try new recipes that took more time than I typically care to invest in dinner on an average weeknight.

Like these lovelies I found via Pinterest.  It was my first time making anything bread-related from scratch, and it wasn’t bad!  I was actually quite impressed with myself and Scott ate three.  Oh and the house smelled ahhh-mazing.  However, Scott would like to point out that, no, I did not actually grind up wheat, etc. so I didn’t exactly make them from scratch.  Details.

 

 

 

Oh yes, and this little critter has been most happy to have BOTH of his parents home.  He’s gotten a lot more iPad as well as cuddle action.

 

Thank you to all of our family and friends that checked in on us over the past few days.  We love you all!

The Electronic Age

You know you live in the electronic age when your cat is technologically savvy.  Savvy may be an overstatement, but go with me.  We have officially bought the most expensive cat toy (the iPad).  I heard about the app, “Game for Cats,” and we decided to give it a try.

Prince luurves it.  There is a mouse version and a laser pointer version.  Let me just say that he never gets as excited for a real life laser pointer or toy mouse as he does for the ones on the game!  He sees the little mouse flicker across the screen and lets out a war cry (it’s quite ferocious, as you would imagine) and pounces and bats and tries to bite the thing until we have to cut him off.  We can’t even pick up the iPad now without him sitting up a little straighter and trying to peek to see if the mouse is there.

 

And now poor Scott has to deal with this every time he tried to use the iPad.  Which is all the time.  (I love that the computer is basically mine now…mwahaha).

 

Apparently Prince is into reading about the election?  Who knew our cat went for the Wall Street Journal?

 

Or does he think Obama looks like the mouse from his game?  Who can say?

 

And it doesn’t stop there.  Prince spent a good portion of our last Skype date with my parents sitting like this, watching them.  It was kind of cute!

We feel like we are putting our kid in front of a TV when we let him play with the iPad, but he just enjoys it so much!  Luckily, he does still perk up when he hears me pick up one of his toys, so he won’t become a cat couch potato just yet.

Happy Friday!

Happy Birthday Billy!

Today, we celebrate YOU, Mr. Babcock!

You, of the epic playlists.

And the lens-less glasses.

And your “Rick-a Rick  Rick” free style rapping skills…oh yes and your priceless dance moves.

We loved celebrating you this past weekend.

Happy Birthday, Bill!  Hope it’s a great one!

Rainy Day Musings

Yay, it’s Friday!  Let me just start there, because that, my friends, is worth celebrating.

Second, it is absolutely pouring in New York today.  And as usually seems to happen, the raining turned into downpouring when I decided to step outside to make the (long) walk to the Subway.  It happened today.  It happened the other week when I had a certain Prince to carry to the vet.  Nothing makes carrying a heavy, howling cat more pleasant than struggling to hold an umbrella up at the same time!

It wasn’t pleasant for me either, mom.  Geez.

But I’m not complaining.  We found a good vet which is a praise.  And that vet found our friends Rick and Dana a kitten!  Bigger praise!  And the Subway was actually working today and wasn’t that crowded, which is always a start to a good day.

Earlier this week, I came up to my usual Subway stop and saw a mass of humanity blocking my way.  Surely, this is some sort of tourist trick, right?  A bus is picking up here, perhaps?  I usually see the Jitney in this general area…

No such luck.  I noticed that the massive crowds were coming up out of the Subway…uh oh.  And they were all clearly New Yorkers, not tourists.  Bigger uh oh.  Come to find out, there was no. downtown. train. service.

Can that even happen?  Is it allowed?!?

Apparently so!  I expect it from other metropolitan transportation systems, but not from my trusty New York Subway!  The bus stop lines had reached historic proportions at this point, so I decided walking was my best option.  It’s not a bad walk, about 32 blocks and 5 avenues.  But it certainly takes more time than I had planned.  But it was the perfect fall morning; sunny and brisk.  The kind of morning that makes you want apple cider and football.  And I was above ground so I had full Internet access on my iPhone.  Score.

I made most of the trek down Park Avenue, because it’s Park Avenue.  And it’s seemed the least crowded.  But it still has plenty of foot traffic.  So much so that they set up a traffic director complete with a waving orange flag on the sidewalk near a construction site…just for people walking by.  I had to laugh that he didn’t say a word as he waved me by with his orange flag, as if he couldn’t have just said, “It’s safe,” or “Come on,” or “Boogie on by!”

All of this to say, I thanked Jesus this morning that the Subways were working, and that He saw fit to stop downtown train service on a beautiful fall morning, rather than on the day of torrential downpours.

Have a great weekend!

Our Anniversary Celebration

It’s official.  We made it to one full year of marriage!  To celebrate, Scott and I went back to where it all started – both our relationship and our marriage – Newport, Rhode Island.

New York sent us off in style, though.  It has slowly but surely wormed its way into our hearts.

We stayed at our first New England style Bed and Breakfast.  The food was delicious and while our room was tiny (it was named The Snuggery for a reason), it’s spiral staircase was quite charming.

Let me tell you, I could get used to freshly prepared breakfast every morning.  This particular morning, Scott and I split the omelet and the french toast.  It was phenomenal.  I couldn’t even restrain myself from taking a bite before I tried to get the perfect picture!  Oh well, this is a more accurate depiction of breakfast anyways.

Oh and the coffee…they warmed the mugs on a griddle every morning.  It was divine.  I think I like being pampered.

And how cute is this idea?  Anyone else want one in their living room at Christmas time?

On Saturday, we spent the day walking around Newport.  There is one store that is always closed whenever we try to stop in.  And of course, it has the most perfect “Martha Stewart meets Jackie O at Hyannis Port” window display, so it’s always a major disappointment that I haven’t been able to stop in yet.  I’m talking big time pouting.  But oh happy day!  They were open!

I didn’t buy anything, to Scott’s joy, but it was fantastic window shopping.  And when I DO have a house, I’m confident we’ll have an item or two from this store.

But then, it was time for the real reason we came.  (Besides to celebrate ourselves, of course.)  The Seafood Festival!  Our wedding started at 5:30 pm so our guests had the day to enjoy in Newport.  Many of them ended up at the festival and we kept hearing about how amazing it was.  That just added to my list of why I neeeeded to go back to Newport for our first anniversary weekend.

This hot lobster roll was worth it, all by itself.  I must confess that I’ve never understood the draw of lobster rolls.  I love lobster.  I adore it.  I’ve eaten two in one sitting on numerous occasions (I’m looking at you, my dear cousin, Jennifer!).

But yes, I love lobster.  But I just never got the appeal of lobster rolls.  Why would you try to make lobster the same way you make canned tuna!?

But this.  Oh this sandwich.  They basically pulled out all of the good stuff, soaked it in butter in a crock pot and then put it on a buttery toasted roll.  And then I  took a bite and died happy.  THIS is the sort of lobster roll I can get on board with!

These are one of our favorite appetizers – stuffed quahogs or “Stuffies.”

We also had a delectable fish taco, shrimp and pumpkin rangoons, crab cakes and hush puppies. I. Was. Stuffed.

Scott made a frenemy with the worlds largest lobster.  He claims he saw it’s mouth opening and closing as it looked at him.  It was a race to see who could eat the other first, apparently.

The beer of Rhode Island…Scott always has to get a Newport Storm when we are in town.

Everything was so autumnal and festive.

We discovered a little lobster bar we never knew existed.  It’s at the back of a wharf, built over the water.  You literally have to walk through a seafood market with tanks of live lobsters and fish on ice to get to this little, rustic, salty sea dog-esque bar.

See? Here are some of the live lobstahs.  For reference. the smaller lobster is the size you can order at a restaurant.  That was one HUGE crustacean.

Oh yes, and we got to enjoy live music as well.

All in all, it was a very relaxing afternoon.

The next day we went to a local winery for a tasting and a tour.  The last tasting I did was in France and it was a bit of an experience.  So I was surprised how quickly this tasting went!

We did find two nice whites to bring home with us.

And then we were off on the tour.

It was so serene and lovely.  It was enough to make me want to move somewhere and buy a winery just so I could walk down the rows of grapes and find a spot to snuggle up and read a book.

Each grape variety grows in a different way.  These reds only grew in a neat, straight line on one level, whereas some of the whites were wild and crazy with fruit all over the place.

This particular vineyard, Greenvale Vineyards, was settled on the bank of the Sakonnet River.  May I move in tomorrow, please?

I wish we had a picnic blanket, some cheese and an open bottle of wine.

But wait, who is that?

Why, it’s Burberry and Macintosh, the friendly vineyard pets!  They weren’t nearly as excited to see me as I was to see them.

“No pictures, please.”

They were monstrous!  And lethargic.  But pretty darn cool, in my opinion.  Their breed is from the Scottish Highlands, so no need to worry about them in the New England winters, which are more mild than what they are used to.  I hope I never consider a New England winter mild.

We did a pretty fair job of doing activities that we both liked or trading off if something was more to my liking than Scott’s and vice versa.  The vineyard was definitely more for me.  So we then went to a bar to watch the Giants for Scott.

Buffalo chicken dip and beer.  Perfect compliment to an afternoon of vineyard touring.

Unfortunately, I don’t have many photos from our evenings out.  We treated ourselves to drinks at all of our special places.  The first evening, we sat by the fireplace at 41 North, the hotel where we spent our wedding night.  I had champagne, Scott had scotch and we talked about our wedding and just about our first year of being married.

The next night, we had to stop at Castle Hill Inn for drinks before we went to our “fancy” anniversary dinner.  I had champagne, Scott had scotch.  We are nothing if not consistent.  Then we tried a new (to us) French restaurant, Bouchard, for dinner.  I think it will be a challenge for us to go anywhere else from now on.  It was that good.

Everything about it was lovely – and I’m a picky Hospitality and Tourism Management major.  The white tablecloths, the knowledgeable waiters in tuxedos, the murals of the south of France.  I felt so comfortable and welcome…and fancy!  It’s not often this girl wears heels anymore.  They just don’t make sense in New York.  Oh and I wore my wedding day earrings, which added a dash of bling and fanciness as well.  I love having a reason to get dressed up!

And the food.  Oh, the food.   I had blue cheese mousse for my appetizer and the restuffed lobster with scallops, truffle oil and Gruyere for my entree.  The lobster and scallops were cooked to perfection.

We sadly had to return to real life on Monday morning, which happened to be our actual anniversary.  We got home and set right to cleaning the apartment and doing laundry.  I’m glad my bridal self didn’t know how my “actual” anniversary would be spent, because I’m sure I would have had a conniption fit.  But our weekend was just perfect so I didn’t mind the cleaning and just spending the day in my home with Scott.  Especially because we stopped to dance to our first dance song, “Crazy Love,” right in the midst of it all.

Oh yes!  And yet another reason we went to Newport – our Anniversary Cake!  At our bakery, they serve your top layer of your wedding cake and offer you a free, fresh Anniversary Cake in your wedding cake flavor!

We had two options – chocolate with raspberry and strawberries and champagne.  We decided to get the chocolate, since I’m married to a chocoholic.  I was trying to toast Scott with my apple cider.  He was too busy playing with his new toy/anniversary present.

Happy Anniversary, Scott!  Love you!

Wedding Week – Celebration!

Scott and I had just said, “I do,” in a beautiful ceremony and it was time to celebrate!

But not before we squeezed the last light out of the day and got some crazy gorgeous pictures of Scott and I overlooking the Newport bridge.

I can’t imagine my wedding day without the wind now.  The pictures just wouldn’t be the same without my dress blowing around being all dramatic!

Speaking of dramatic…

Meanwhile cocktail hour was in full swing.

And from the pictures, it looked like a great time.  And we haven’t stopped hearing about how great the food was – in particular, the lobster bar!

Scott and I weren’t able to make it to the cocktail hour between our individual, bridal party and family photos.  I had high hopes, but it just didn’t happen.  I wouldn’t give up the pictures, so such is life!

The boys were finally allowed in our bridal suite and they were a bit jealous when they saw where we got ready, versus their hotel room with seven men and two photographers.

What can I say?  I enjoy being pampered 😉

We had champagne and hors d’oeuvres brought up and it was just silly and fun.

I really wanted a shoe picture, considering how obsessed I was with both mine and the girls!  The photographer and the girls didn’t quite get my vision, but I made them stay there until we got it right.  Are you surprised?

We took so many different family shots!  Here we are with my wonderful grandparents.  I’m so grateful they were able to make the trip and be with us on our day.  My grandma told my dad that I looked like I was walking around on a cloud in my dress. 🙂

And the Fitzgerald clan!  We were lucky to have everyone at the wedding.  We’d just had the newest member, Liam Hugh, join us six weeks earlier, so we were quite glad that the whole family could be together to celebrate.  And can we discuss how great my sister-in-law, Stephanie looks (gray dress on the left)?  You would never, ever guess she’d just had a baby.

So you may have noticed a baby theme.  The little ones were definitely out in force!  From top left we have Walker, our pastor’s child; Carmen, sweet Megan’s daughter; Liam, our nephew; and my cousin’s two week old, Sophie Rose.

Time to make our grand entrances!  I love how happy both of our parents look in these photos.

Nothing could make me happier than them enjoying the day.

And then there were those crazy friends of ours.

I have to say, Scott’s sister, Jess, and her husband, Dan, did a pretty good “wind up ballerina” bit.  It’s an entrance I’ve never seen it before and it was hilarious.

But even funnier was the role-reversal my sister, Megan, and Scott’s brother, Mark, pulled off!

Unfortunately Scott and I didn’t get to see any of this, since we were hidden away.  I’m so glad they were all on the wedding video!

Mr. and Mrs. Scott Fitzgerald!!! (And the crowd goes wild!)

We shared our first dance to Van Morrison’s,”Crazy Love.”

I loved the moments of our first dance.  It was one of the few times I got choked up during the day.  I was so happy to be married to Scott, surrounded by everyone we loved.  Most of the day I never stopped moving, but in the moments where I could pause and savor, I would get so overwhelmed by how blessed I was.

My dad put a lot of thought into our first dance and he landed on “This Moment (Dance with Cinderella).”  It was so sweet, since its about a little girl who loves dancing and her father sees her as Cinderella.  It was quite fitting for me and dad.

Millie chose Elvis Presley’s, “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” since she used to sing it Scott as a little boy.

Before we get to the toast…a few detail shots for you.  I love discovering all of the details come to life after planning them out all year!

My dad did a fabulous job welcoming everyone and toasting me and Scott.  I was so proud of him, since public speaking isn’t his favorite pastime.  He was funny, heartfelt and truly welcoming – both to our guests and to Scott into our family.

I think Dad just called Scott, “Good People.”  Love it.

Aah, my cake.  Isn’t she a beauty?

Scott fed me a piece of cake so very nicely.  But I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to smash a little in his face (he claims it even got on his neck inside his shirt).

He paid me back by laying a big, fat kiss on me.

I mentioned that our niece, Avery, was excited for my sparkly shoes and most importantly, my princess dress.  I don’t think she was disappointed!  Half the time I would turn around to find her just standing behind me, dancing and playing with the ruffles.

I may be biased, but we had THE cutest kids in the world at our wedding.

Mr. Mike!  The only man who could swing me around in a gazillion pound wedding dress like it was nothing.

There are so many stories and pictures from that night and I simply can’t include all of them here, as much as I want to.  But all I really want to say is that I had the most amazing time dancing at my wedding.  I loved every. single. minute of it, from our guests’ antics to the amazing DJ who kept the dance floor packed with all ages from start to finish.

Shout! A little bit softer now… (Please notice me sitting on Scott’s lap…my feet had gotten a workout that day and weren’t up to the rigorous “Shout” dance.)

Dad holding court with the men and cigars outside.

We had a little break dancing as well as “The Rebecca” dance and one lucky lady who caught the bouquet!

I asked Scott what he would want to include about our reception.  He said that he was handed approximately 20 glasses of whiskey but only drank about 4 ounces over the course of the night.  He also said “Being scared for my life while the guys threw me around….oh yeah, and YOU being scared for my life while the guys threw me around!”

I LOVE this picture!

All too soon, it was time to leave.  I would have stayed forever, but we had a ’57 Bentley and a parade of sparklers waiting!  The best advice I received was to walk through the line of people slooooowly, rather than running, which was my first inclination.  Slow was definitely the way to go, because its all still a blur!

And so ends Wedding Week.  I have loved writing about that time and reliving all of the details.  And the crazy part is that I know I didn’t include every memory or photo or story that made that time special for me and Scott.  To each and every person that played a part in that day – thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It means more to me than I can ever express.  And goodness knows, I’ve used a lot of words to try to express my feelings this week.  So I’ll leave you with my final thought…

And they lived happily ever after!