Monday, December 19, 2011

Subway Scare

There are moments here in this city when people go crazy. There's so much going on -- so many people-- I guess we're all bound to snap one day. What's really terrifying though is when you get trapped with said crazy person in an enclosed area... such as the subway.

Janell and I were headed home from church last night and are riding peacefully home on the 4 train. About two stops from our stop, an older woman gets on the train and the nice gentleman sitting across from me gets up to allow her to sit down. She mumbles something as she sits down, but since I was engaged in an intense Nertz game on my phone (don't be jealous), I didn't think much of it.

I began to get that creepy feeling where you feel like you're being watched, so I pressed pause and glanced up... only to see the old woman glaring at me. The next few moments went like this...all in a blur..

Woman: (INTENSE GLARE) murmer murmer murmer
Me: I'm sorry, what?
Woman: LOUDER MURMOR MURMOR (continued glare)
Me: I'm so sorry, I can't hear you.
Woman: Shut up- you're so STUPID (now SHAKING FIST) -- don't act like you don't know me!
Janell: (Stifled laughter)
Stranger next to old lady: (Overt laughter)
Me:... What?? (Clutching belongings-- wishing I had packed my taser)
Woman: YOU KNOW ME!!
(Janell and stranger bond over my extreme awkward situation through stolen glances and more laughter)
Me: I'm sorry, I don't know you
Woman: (Terrifyingly intense glare) GIVE ME A BREAK!!
Me: (Playing with gloves. Too stunned to focus on Nertz)
(Janell and stranger exchange numbers)
Subway Voice: "This is Franklin Ave."
Me: (DASHING out of subway)
Woman: (STILL glaring)
Janell and Me: (Extreme Laughter)

I have NO idea who that woman was or what I did to her to cause her so much hate. I would like for that exchange to never happen again though. I now have her glare seared in my mind, so I'll try to hop cars if I find myself trapped with her again.

Ohhh the adventures never stop...

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Over the past couple of months, I have had some GREAT weekends with some of my favorite people stopping by NYC for a little visit :) First, at the beginning of November I had this conversation with my mom...

Mom: So.. what are you doing the first weekend of November?
Me: Oh I don't know... why?
Mom: I think I just booked a ticket to come see you!

So my Mom pops in and we had so much fun just hanging out together and seeing some sites. I hadn't been to the Empire State Building since I moved here, so we thought we'd give it a whirl. Mom thought it would be best to go late at night on Saturday, when they have the saxophone player (Mom: "You know-- for the romantics"). What we didn't know is that the wind was going to be 90mph and it was going to be the coldest night of the year. I think the vertical position of my hair explains the situation best...

OUT OF CONTROL. We did manage to get some semi-normal shots though...

We spent the rest of the weekend eating some tasty treats, going to the ballet, and just hanging out together. It was PERFECT and I'm pretty sure it needs to be a new tradition. Obviously, I'm all about annual events. Just added this one to the list.

A couple weeks later, my friend and old roommate from grad school, Christy, and some of her friends were in town for the Quiddich World Cup. Let's just take a minute and digest that together. For those of you who aren't Harry Potter fans, Quiddich is an imaginary sport played by wizards. Die hard fans, apparently, have made the sport a reality and now there are enough college teams playing that a World Cup is warranted. And who better to host than NYC? All the crazies fit in :) Sadly, I was working and unable to attend the event, but I did get to hang out with Christy later which was really great! Come back soon my friend!

And just a couple of weekends ago, another old roommate and her sister, Julie and Diane, came for the weekend to enjoy NYC at Christmas time. It was so fun! We started out the weekend by me making them go stand in line for over 2 hours in the cold while I went to work to get tickets to Memphis! Thanks guys-- loved our fancy (and CHEAP) box seats! Who needs to see Stage Right??

And then it was time to see the Rockefeller Tree lit up! Apparently all other 8 million residents thought it would be good to go see the tree at the same time. I got head butted by an old woman. That happened. Needless to say, I don't remember much about the rest of that night.

This is a singing snowman choir at SantaLand at Macy's. Pretty fancy floor dedicated to becoming the North Pole. I must say though- I was a bit shocked and disturbed when I realized at the end there were no fewer than 4 Santas that we were siphoned off to see from the line. Tricky, Macy's.. Tricky.

We also got to go to the September 11th Memorial, which I hadn't seen yet. They are still doing some work on it, but the reflecting pools are beautiful. This picture is actually pretty terrible, but it really is cool!

We of course ate some delicious food and encountered some crazies on the subway and in the park.... Overall I'd say it was one of my favorite weekends here! 

So take this as a plug my friends-- you're welcome to visit any time! I can assure you will leave well-fed, full of stories of crazy people, and possibly a concussion. What's stopping you??


Thanksgiving this year was my first without any Hendersons around me... which made me really depressed the days leading up to turkey day. However, while I missed the fam of course, I think my Thanksgiving holiday was as good as it possibly could be away from home. Whitney flew in from Oklahoma on Tuesday night and stayed through Sunday, and we had so much fun. One of our first orders of business was going to the Plaza and sneaking up to the top trying to get to the roof... We couldn't find a way out but we did steal a laundry bag on our way down as a keepsake. No shame. On Thanksgiving morning, we woke up bright and early and went to claim our spot for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And man was it CHILLY... I think this picture sums up the weather for you...
There was nothing else to be done.

We survived the cold though and it was a lot of fun to watch the floats! I will say though, after two years in a row, I think I might enjoy the parade at an appropriate hour in front of a television next year... of course by next year I will have forgotten about my frostbite and probably convince myself to go again. Only time will tell. Here are some parade pics...

7:00am people... Yep, that would be 2.5 hours before the parade showed it face at our spot. 
That's dedication.

Andrew thought it would be appropriate to mosey on in around 8:30 and cut in front of approximately 2000 people to come stand with us. Next year you're holding the spots, buddy! :)

Literally thawing out in some random deli. I have never been happier than when I was drinking that chai.

We headed home and began to prepare a Thanksgiving feast! Now about a month prior, we had "Fakesgiving", which has apparently become an annual tradition. It's basically a trial run for the turkey... and also an excuse to eat a full Thanksgiving dinner a month early. I kind of forgot to take pics, but I do have this on of the original four members of Fakesgiving... meaning the one from last year. But we all returned this year for Round 2!

Fakesgiving was a success so I felt more than confident about Thanksgiving dinner. At Fakesgiving we had 19 people squeezed into our apartment, and we STILL had leftovers. SO, we felt it was obviously appropriate to make the same amount of food for the seven people who attended Thanksgiving. We literally all had our own pie. Totally fine! Yet again, I forgot to take pics except there is this one of me and my dear friend from T-Town, Audrey--

After the feast, we took some naps and prepared for our midnight shopping trip. Yes friends, the fact that we woke up at 5:30 that morning did not squelch our need to participate in Black Friday. At 11:30pm, Janell, Whitney, Andrew and I headed to the Brooklyn Target to STAND IN LINE to get inside. It was amazing. Especially the part where Janell almost got into a physical fight with some guys who decided to cut in line. When we got inside, literally EVERYONE except us had a huge flat screen tv in their shopping baskets. HOW they were planning on transporting these monstrosities back to their respective apartments, I will never know. But I guess people will do whatever is necessary to get a $200 TV. We then headed to Macy's-- why? I will never know. About 4:00am, we could no longer stand up straight, so we headed back and finally went to sleep. It was an extreme day... but so much fun!! 

The rest of the weekend was full of more fun adventures and I'm so thankful for the time I was able to spend with my NYC/Texan friends :) 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I fully believe that Texas does most things better than every other state... Barbeque, Sunsets, Being Awesome... but New York definitely has a leg up on what Fall should look like. We had a little snow storm at the end of October (which NEVER happens apparently-- so of course it happened while I'm here, per usual) and it snapped the trees into action and they started changing into some amazing colors. Here's what I see out my window...
I know the camera can't fully capture it... but it's beautiful and I love walking while the leaves are actually falling all around and I'm in appropriate fall attire that I can wear without sweating and longer than two days, as opposed to in my motherland :)

Something else I love about fall, is that there is a thing here called "Apple Picking". Yes, my friends, this means you romp about in an orchard, pick some apples, each some apple cider doughnuts, and feel incredibly festive. I had the opportunity to go apple picking TWICE this year-- once with Leticia and two of her friends and then again with my friend Heather and the foster care girls mentoring group we started. Sadly I can't post most of the pics from the foster care girls group because of rules about posting pics, but I'll give you a few snap shorts of my apple picking experience...

 When we got to the orchard, we were informed that there were no more apples left... EXCUSE ME?! No... we got a ZipCar and trekked across the countryside... we are PICKING some APPLES!! So naturally, we snuck into the orchard and scavenged apples off the ground and plucked the lonely ones left in the tree. It was the Christian thing to do, obviously.


 Apparently an action shot was necessary.

 This is a sign one of the foster care girls wrote while we were shopping around in Grand Central Station waiting for our train to get there. Mercy First is the name of the foster care agency we volunteer with. These girls are amazing and it has been so much fun to hang out with them! I wish I could post their beautiful faces but you'll just have to use your imagination :)

 The orchard we took the girls to thankfully still had apples and was set up like a huge harvest festival, complete with this terrifyingly large black cat...

 And a hay ride!!! None of the girls had ever gone on a hay ride so they were REAL pumped about it. I think there was screaming... I'm not quite sure why. But we all survived and it was beautiful.

I think this picture is legal since it's just their backs. We had to use these long picking sticks and I think the girls had a lot of fun filling up our apple bag. I wasn't exactly good at maneuvering the picker so I just started trying to juggle the apples and ended up hitting some children on accident. Oops! I should probably stick to holding the bag.

Soooo in summary fall here is awesome and apple picking is something that has to become a tradition in my life. That's all there is to it!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Time To Go

** WARNING: This is a sentimental post**

Reflect back with me, to April. I had just succumbed to some intense brainwashing from Leticia and agreed to participate in a half-marathon with her. Sure, I thought, why not? I've done this before and I need to make myself work out every day. This will be good! Besides, the race is in July so it's just a few months and then it'll be over.

... And then the race filled up before we registered. But it was okay-- we just decided to do the Philly Half Marathon instead on September 18th. Awesome-- this meant we got to take a couple weeks off and then RE-START our training. My favorite. But we worked hard and dedicated each Sunday to running those long runs, bum knees, blisters, and all, and we were ready on race week to conquer the 13.1 miles! (And get those t-shirts.. let's be real, it's all about the t-shirts).

Back in Texas, my sweet grandma fell down on her knee at the beginning of September and had to be admitted into the hospital. It seemed pretty low-key and she was going to be released in a couple of days after having a procedure to rehabilitate the knee and she would be good to go. Unfortunately, her body wasn't exactly on board with this plan and her various systems started reacting badly and before we knew it, she was in pretty bad shape. Five days before the race, I received a devastating phone call from Mom and Dad stating Grandma was just given 24-48 hours to live. She had been given the choice to either undergo a grueling surgery that she most likely would not survive and if she did the recovery would be extremely difficult, or she could refuse the surgery and be moved into hospice care for her last few days. My Grandma has always been a strong, independent woman who is wise with her words and steadfast in her faith. During those terrifying few weeks, she dazzled the staff with her optimism and determination while receiving bad news after bad news. When she had to make her choice, she was wearing a breathing mask and could not talk. My mom wrote out the alphabet and asked her to point out the letters as to what her decision would be.

She pointed to T-I-M-E T-O G-O.

Grandma knew she had lived a life dedicated to the Lord and she was ready to be with Him. While it was heartbreaking to receive this news, and difficult to even write this post, I was once again amazed at the steadfast faith and wise words of my grandmother. Josh and I flew home immediately and Stacy drove in from school and we gathered with the rest of the family in Temple to say our goodbyes. It was an unexpected but beautiful time together as a family and we were there together as she went to be with our Savior.
So.. I didn't run the half-marathon. But I'm thankful I was able to be there as Grandma faithfully finished her race. She fought the good fight, she finished the race, and she kept the faith. And I know Christ was there to say to her "Well done, my good and faithful servant", as she ran into His arms-- wheelchair, cane, and artificial knee-free.

Grandma will always have a special place in my heart and I will never be able to open presents at Christmas, sing "In the Garden" or watch Dancing with the Stars without thinking of her quiet, consistent support and faith throughout the years. Thank you, Grandma, for leaving such a strong legacy of faith and for showing me what it means to be dedicated to going where the Lord calls, each day. No matter how difficult.

Leticia ran the half-marathon like a rock-star in record time and like a true friend, brought back the coveted t-shirt! She said we should run another one... to which I replied, "NEVER AGAIN!" :) Words that have been said before, I know...

Thank you for those of you who have offered up your prayers, encouragement, and casseroles during my family's time of grief. Your words and hugs have meant more than I can express. I am beyond blessed to have such supportive friends and family.

Movin' On Up... Er... Over?

I know after the last couple of posts you were all probably on the edge of your seats-- Will they move? Did eight more natural disasters occur the next week? Will they recover from their junk food coma? But I am happy to report that we DID in fact get moved, no more natural disasters have occurred (unless you call all of my clients forgetting to wear pants last weekend when I went to their homes a natural disaster... which I think I might) and I may never recover from the Irene Junk Food Influx of '11, but it was totally worth it.

So without further adieu... let me introduce you to Apt. 3I (the letter-- not the number-- it's already annoying) that is my and Janell's Brooklyn abode....


This is our tiny tiny closet in which we have attempted to store everything possible after being allowed to spread out over some massive square footage in Queens. Yes friends, we moved into a smaller, more expensive apartment... by choice. It's the New York way apparently.
Our tiny but cute linen closets! (We have lots of towels-- so come and visit! Our towel collection makes up for our lack of sleeping space, I suppose?)
This is how I let you into the apartment. Or the Thai food delivery man. Whatever.
Behold the kitchen. I love it. It has that great bar and behold beneath the sink to the left, what do you see? That's right... it's a DISHWASHER. I know I know-- crazy.
Also please note to the right on the bar the stack of coupons. I have channeled my childhood Sunday past-time of clipping coupons, and I love it. Hey, you don't get to sit this pretty buying paper towels at full price!

This is an overview shot of the kitchen/dining room/living room. You can cross the area in about six big steps. So while it's not ideal for playing "Mother May I?", it's cozy and nice but open enough to host some little parties! And ones that people might actually attend, since we don't live in no-mans-land anymore :)

The dining room... and TV. Also to the right you'll notice our giant air conditioning unit directly next to the heater. Why not just combine all the eye sores into one central location? I mean seriously-- WHERE do you store an A/C unit?! Perhaps there's space in that linen closet.

Just in case we forgot we live in New York, we have the pics about the couch to remind us. Our dear friend Angie took those pics and they're awesome :)
Also you can see the coat rack that remains up all year... with all the coats still on.
See storage question above.

Our little bathroom.

I know I know, two grown women living Lucy/Ricky style may appear a little strange...
See above remark about the NYC way. Hey, it works!

The other side of the room. That back corner are some things yet to be unpacked... slash we may need to start storing things in the hallway.

All my sarcastic comments aside, I absolutely love this apartment. I may have to eat cereal for two of my three meals a day to afford it, but the location is great and coming home is no longer and hour plus affair, which makes it all worth it! So.. go ahead and book those plane tickets and come see the awesomeness for yourselves :)