2014: The Summer of Wide Open Spaces

This has been the summer of wide open spaces. Every week I drag the kids out to the widest spaces NY offers. So far my favorites have been the Great Lawn, Governor's Island, and Nickerson Beach Park. Sing it with me!
The song is too good to be called a guilty pleasure. It's an actual pleasure. It resonates with me today as much as it did in 2000. Probably even more now. Give me some wide open spaces and room to make some big mistakes. Starting with using Dixie Chicks songs to add deep meaning to my life. What ever happened to them? They wrote some powerful stuff. I relate to the chubby sister with all the talent. ha
I was playing frisbee (aka AEROBIE) with Oscar and tossed it around some dudes neck. Even if I tried for a million years I wouldn't have been able to do that on purpose. The guy was not amused. Which made it even more hilarious. 

I would live on Governor's Island if I could. It's the car-free island of my dreams.
I made them do this. 
And finally, Nickerson Beach Park. It was worth the $30 entrance fee. Great beach, playground, and skate park. There was even beach cabanas and camping spaces for rent. I enjoyed it's sweet small town vibe. The perfect place for 10-13 year old kids to spent their summer roaming around and causing trouble. I would love to look into it in the future.
 In case you need supplies for next year's Gay Pride Parade, they sell these towels at Big Lots.  
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Best Weekend Getaway out of NYC: Windsor, Vermont

We spent Fourth of July weekend Tipi camping, rafting down the Connecticut River, and wandering around the Path of Life Sculpture Garden in Vermont. In other words, we out did ourselves. It was such a great weekend. I didn't want to come back to the city. Urban life has been losing its allure for me lately. It felt so good to run free for a few days without constantly being monitored with rules and regulations. Any chance I get, I find myself escaping NYC. We've played the role of city people for almost 4 years now. Might be time for something new. Really new. Out of the country new. Rob keeps suggesting London. I'm leaning towards the English countryside. Seeing my kids run around this summer is convincing me it's time. They need room to stretch out. I think I do, too. 
The garden was stunning. It's broken up into 18 mini gardens that brought us through the path of life. It sounded too "New Age" for my taste at first, but I enjoyed it tremendously.  
Keep reading for more pictures taken by my shitty camera.


My Happy Place: Fire Island

Fire Island is my happy place. No cars. Two choices for activities: the beach or the bay. It strips life down to the basics. I even left my phone and computer in NYC. On the third day, I asked Oscar if he liked that I didn't have my phone and he said, "Yes! Because you're always ready."
"Ready for what?" I said.
"Read for my hugs! Twice today I put my arms out to hug you and you didn't say, 'Wait one second.'"
My heart sank. I really need to throw that stupid thing off the Brooklyn Bridge.

My kids and I spent the week running barefoot to the little store for ice cream. Visiting our friends house. Dragging each other around in wagons. They jumped off life guard stands. We stopped rushing around everywhere. No stop lights to beat, no subway trains to catch, or elevator doors to run after before they close. Everyone slowed down. I did rush for one thing each day though: the sunset. I didn't want to miss it. I would move there if I could. Car-free destinations are the way to go.

Here's some of the pictures from the trip. My friend Liz supplied most of them.

Tragic: The ice cream store temporally closed for 5 minutes.
Keep reading for more pictures. . .


Keith Pitts Shoots My Family on Super 8mm: The Video

Photographer Keith Pitts does it again. In the past, he's taken pictures of my kids in our apartment, he's done a family photo shoot, and now he has a new labor of love: Super 8mm film. We spent the afternoon with him and his vintage video camera exploring the Museum of Natural History, eating hot dogs, and playing in Central Park. Check out the color, the speed, how imperfect the film is. It's the best. As always, Keith made my family feel themselves and, as a result, he captures us perfectly. It's not overly cutesy or cheesy. It's just us. I wouldn't have it any other way. Plus my amazing hair day only makes the video that much stronger. I mean, really. It's never looked better.

I can't recommend Keith Pitts enough. He's so easy to work with and is incredibly talented. Thanks Keith for making us this video. I'll cherish it always.

The regular price for a Keith Pitts Super 8mm movie is $1600. Keith is happy to include a mini session as well for anyone who books by mentioning my blog. (Added value of $300). Keith and his assistant work together as a team for the Super 8 with photography sessions. He will do the mini session, she will shoot the Super 8. A fun collaboration. He's based out of Scarsdale, AZ but will be in NYC 8/21-9/2. He's happy to book any sessions during that time! Contact him for details.

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Camping for Wussies

Every time we run into our friend Daniel Parker, it seems like his family is just getting back from an amazing weekend camping. When he invited us to tag along a few weeks ago, we couldn't say no. We were ready for anything in our new Target-quality camping equipment. Bring it on nature. We can take it. Snakes. Bears. Flash flood warnings. We love flash flood warnings.

Except that we don't. My family stayed in the Days Inn the first night because there was no way I was going to camp in rain. The Parker's took on the flood challenge, of course. And so did the other family in our party. As soon as we checked into the hotel, Rob fell asleep on the bed and I gazed out the window. We had a beautiful view of a McDonald's parking lot. Nothing beats that. I took the kids to the indoor pool, went to Taco Bell for dinner, and fell asleep with the Disney channel in the background. The wimpier choice? Yes. But it felt good.

The next morning, we checked the weather. Clear skies. It's camping time. We saw bald eagles, almost got bit by a snake, and sang camp fire songs around the fire. It exceeded my expectations. As long as the weather is absolutely perfect, we might be camping family. Warm, but not too warm. Clouds, but not too many clouds. And no rain. I'm going to miss those McDonald's parking lots though.
About to set sail.  
Good picture of Ella. 
Oz looking handsome. 
Whoa. Owen's entered his awkward stage a early. 
The kids knew they outnumbered us.
Oscar's dirty face thanks to the amazing desserts the Parker's made for us in their dutch oven. Best ever. 

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A Quick Post About My Feeeelings

I turned off my computer and phone last week while I vacationed in Fire Island with friends. I needed to break myself away from the Kate Kelly excommunication developments. I'm shocked I'm obsessed with her because I never put my profile on the Ordain Women website. I never marched with her at the priesthood meeting at conference. I don't even think women should be ordained. I don't think men should either. Ordain No One is the only group I could join at this point. I'll start it if it hasn't already been formed. Give church jobs to the most qualified or whoever has the most time or wants it the most. Let's quit these elitist titles and ceremonies and just move on. We're all special. Regardless of my outrageous beliefs, I still love reading about Kate. She tried. I respect that. The commentaries on the issue are entertaining.

Last night, I found some advice from a random guy on Facebook that helped. He suggested this: Go to a coffee shop. Sit there with a newspaper, take your time, and wait for the coffee to get cold if you don't drink coffee, or drink it if you do drink coffee. And just look around at all the people that are just fine. They are all fine. They drink coffee. They read. They have no clue what mormons do or think. They are fine. And you'll be fine. The other side is not necessarily harder or easier, but whatever the hell it is it's better with authenticity.

So that's what I'll do. I needed to get this out before I could write about Ferris wheels and ice cream and sand castles. It meant too much to me to ignore and act like nothing has happened. Pics of our summer trips coming soon. We've already gone to Ocean City, camped in the Catskills, and spent a week in Fire Island. My Summer Travel Blog starts now. Or whenever I upload the pictures and write the post. So like in a month or next year or tomorrow.

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Awww I'm a Grown Ass Woman Finding Myself. Cute.

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