The Weekend Update

Middle School was one of the best times of my life. To this day, I claim that my culminating year, 8th grade, was the best year of my life. Clearly Matt doesn’t appreciate this comment since I didn’t meet him until Freshman year of High School. I have a lot of memories of dances, field hockey games, class officer meetings and of course, Mount Cardigan. However, one strange memory seems to sick out in my mind.

My middle school French teacher, Madame Meyers, had a poster of Val Kilmer hanging behind her desk in her classroom. While I never quiet understood her obsession with him (he seemed OLD!) I certainly found her stories entertaining. Madame Meyers would talk about how her son was going to be a famous actor some day and he would introduce her to Val. As much as I liked Madame Meyers, at the age of 12, I was wise enough to know that not everyone who says they want to be an actor, actually becomes one. Honestly, who grows up in Bedford, NH attends Manchester High School West, and goes on to become a famous actor? Well apparently, Madame Meyers’ son – Seth Meyers actor and lead writer on Saturday Night Live.

So my tribute to Madame Meyers and her unwavering support of her son, is my version of the weekend update (minus all of the really funny jokes).

While I did not accomplish everything on my To Do List, I had a good weekend and I started off with amazing productivity.

1. After work on Friday, I went uptown and taught a swimming lesson to two of my favorite 11 and 12 year olds. I essentially turned them into Olympic caliber swimmers in the span of 1 hour.

2. When I got home from my lesson, Matt was taking a nap (he had to wake up at 3:30am Friday morning) so I took the opportunity to finish the apron I had started to make earlier in the week. I based my pattern off of the apron that they sell at William Sonoma. I have to admit, I even impressed myself with the final outcome. Let me know if you think this is good enough to start making these and selling them on Etsy.

3. On Saturday, Matt and I banged out a 50 mile bike ride to Piermont and back. We stopped for brunch at the half way point, which was a great idea, until we started biking home (which is 99% uphill) and the french toast I thought looked so good on the menu, didn’t feel so good in my stomach. We even out-did ourselves with a 2.5 mile run immediately following the bike. Matt is doing the NYC triathlon in July and had a moment of sheer panic when he realized this was less than 2 months away. He felt pretty good about completing his first “brick” of the year, until he work up the next morning and felt the pain in his legs!

4. Saturday night we went out to long Long Island to see a band that we were considering for our wedding. Not only did we love the band, but when we were talking to the lead singer afterwards and he asked us where our wedding was, and we responded by saying outside of Boston, he whispered “Don’t tell anyone but…” and rolled up his sleeve to reveal a sick Boston Red Sox tattoo. I was pretty much sold at that point.

In addition to seeing a great band and FINALLY going out to a bar with my sister, I had my own Jersey Shore experience. Let’s just say, Long Island isn’t far from Jerz and the stereotypes hold true there as well. The bar had multiple flat screen tvs playing ultimate fighting the entire night. Honestly, the owners of the bar should know that these guys don’t need anything else to get their testosterone firing… They were more fired up by the fighting than by the band or the girls. Not sure if that is more of a statement on the guys or the girls….

After that my weekend fell off track a little. I convinced Matt that he didn’t really need to watch Tropic Thunder and we could send it back so that it would stop clogging up our Netflix queue (score one for Molly). unfortunately, Matt decided that instead of waiting for the next movie to come, he would just watch it on demand (negative score for Molly?). So now, as I write my blog (at my new desk!) he is watching a lame movie that Howard Stern suggested. I bet you can all guess how much I am enjoying that!

While I like making To-DoLists, and I LOVE crossing things off of them, sometimes life doesn’t always follow a plan. Sometimes, your lists are long, your time is short and you just can’t find enough time to get everything done. However, the beauty of life is that it goes on. The Container Store will be there next weekend. I can take a personal day this week to help Abby paint her apartment. And living in New York City, you don’t need to have food in your refrigerator – there is ALWAYS a restaurant open and willing to deliver. You need to take time to do the things that aren’t on your To-Do-List; visit a friend and tell them you love them, belt out the lyrics to your favorite song when it comes on the radio, and dance as you walk down the street. Never let yourself become to busy crossing things off your list to dance.

“She loved to dance and point her toes in any direction
And when she spun it stirred her soul
She caught herself in the mirrors that engulfed her life
She felt the rhythm connected to life
and the harmony of love
She’ll never stop dancing
The spotlight is her refuge”
-Trisha Bassi

3 Day Weekend, How I Love Thee

So it is Friday morning at 8:30am. Only 7.5 long hours until I am free from work and get to enjoy a glorious long holiday weekend. There really is nothing better than 3 day weekends, besides maybe 4 or permanent vacation; however we all know that at the age of 27, I am probably still a little too young to retire.

I have started to make a list of things that I want to accomplish this weekend. I don’t necessarily have lots of chores or things around the house that I want to get done, but if I don’t make a list of all of the fun things, I sometimes find myself wasting perfectly good days watching hours of Mad Men in our apartment (which Matt turns into a cave by shutting ALL of our blinds), baking cupcakes for no real reason, or folding insane amounts of laundry (honestly, how does 1 boy product so much dirty laundry?).

So here is a list of all of the fun things I would like to do this weekend:

1. Teach a swimming lesson (alright, not that fun, but I already scheduled this).

2. Go for a bike ride to my new favorite place, Piermont with my favorite people Matt and Abby.

3. Visit my new find: Purl, an arts & crafts heaven located in SOHO. Make something from their blog.

4. Finish my new apron that I started to make last weekend. All I need to do is sew on a pocket and it will be complete! Pictures to come.

5. Go to Long Island to see a prospective wedding band. Clearly this means fist pump along to the songs, hopefully with my MOH (maid of honor) and BM (best man), and of course Matty.

6. Go to the Container Store and get a few more things for my kitchen cabinets – I am nearly finished with my re-organization project.

7. Paint Abby’s apartment back to white. Since she is moving (sad) we have to paint over the awesome stripped hallway we created last year when we were living together.

8. Go to Fairway and buy some food. Right now we are down to cheese, beer and 18 sticks of unsalted butter in our refrigerator.

9. Get Matty to watch Tropic Thunder so we can return it and get the next movie on our Netflix queue, Valentine’s Day (clearly this is my pick!)

10. Dominate my new favorite workout video: Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. This video has 3 20 minute circuits that are SO hard. I will look like Jillian in 30 days!

Lots to do! Hopefully I will report back on Monday with a list of things I accomplished this weekend.

The Search for the Perfect Desk: Complete!

One of my first posts was about my search for the perfect desk. Just as former President Bush announced, “Mission Accomplished” after he landed on the aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, I am happy to announce that in the mission to find my perfect desk, the mission has been accomplished!

While our apartment is a good size for New York, that’s just it… it is a New York apartment. When we moved in I thought our 900 square foot, 1-bedroom apartment was very spacious. Now that we have been there for a year, the same 900 square foot space is starting to feel a little cramped. I must admit, it may be because when we moved in we didn’t have a lot of furniture and over the past year I have added random tables, chairs and now, our (more or less, my) craft corner!

I purchased kitchen cabinets from Ikea and mounted a wooden countertop on them. I then added “organization tools” like baskets, storage drawers for paper, and shelving. I covered 3 cork titles with different colored fabrics and then framed them, to serve as bulletin boards.

The biggest headache of this whole thing was getting a chair, specifically one that fit with the height, of my desk. I originally purchased one from Ikea but it was too high. After much nagging by Matt I finally exchanged the chair for one that was slightly smaller. Of course, this exchange was not done without a lot of attitude from the Ikea employees and then in response, attitude from both Abby and myself (Anyone who knows us, is well aware of the power Abby and I possess when someone makes us mad).

I am thrilled to have a designated space to work at, although I have a feeling some of my blogs might still be written from the couch as I watch my favorite tv shows.

My next home improvement project is to finally do something about our bedroom which we have pretty much ignored up to this point. While I am sure Matt doesn’t mind having mismatched furniture, walls lacking pictures and a down comforter without a duvet cover, I have to do something about this. Honestly, you never know when Martha Stewart will drop by, unannounced. And to be honest, with our current set up, she would not be impressed.

A Walk Through Central Park

Central Park is one of my most favorite places in New York City. This weekend, after a fun day starting with delicious New York bagels, wedding dress shopping, a walk on the High Line, and a drink at the Frying Pan, we took a stroll through Central Park. You honestly never know what you are going to see in New York. I think my video sums up my findings the best.

Give My Regards to Broadway

My mom has been talking about going to see the musical South Pacific for years. At first it started out with subtle hints to my father, then it progressed to my sister and I, and ended with her flat-out saying “I want to see South Pacific. Someone take me!” So for Christmas, Abby and I got my parents tickets to see it.  We had to give them more of an IOU since we didn’t know when my parents would be visiting NYC. I personally love IOU presents. They are creative, personalized and half the time, the people who you give them to forget to redeem them. You get all the credit of a great present, but don’t actually have to deliver something! Unfortunately, my parents are redeeming their IOU this weekend.

I went to the half-priced ticket stand that is located down at the South Street Seaport, fairly close to my work. The stand opens at 11am, so I planned to show up at 10:45. Clearly, 15 minutes early would be plenty of time and put me at the front of the line. I had a tour scheduled this morning for some anxious NYC parents (aren’t they all anxious?) which ended early so I made my way over the South Street immediately following it. Thank goodness I got their early. I arrived at 10:15 and the line was already 25 people deep. As I stood in line waiting, the line behind me grew and grew until it was well over 100 people before the doors were even open!

It took a few minutes for me to get to the front of the line and when I did, I got a great price (50% off) and great seats (Orchestra). I am thankful for the ease of the TKTS booth, and my credit card bill is definitely thankful for the steep discounts! If you are planning to visit New York City at any point , and plan to see a show (which I HIGHLY recommend you do) definitely stop in at one of the TKTS booths to pick up tickets at a great price. Just make sure you get there early and know which shows you want to see!

Half-Priced Tickets

Snail Mail

When I was in 3rd grade, my class was selected to participate in a pen pal program with a school in Zimbabwe. The unique thing about this program was that instead of sending letters through the mail, we used a new system was that was called “electronic mail.” We would cram our entire class into a tiny office that held the one computer in the school with an internet connection. We would dictate a letter, which our teacher would type on the computer. Once we were satisfied with it, the technology coordinator would push a button and “whoosh!” off our letter would go to Zimbabwe. I had no idea where Zimbabwe was or how the letter was taken from our computer to their school, but I remember thinking that it was a big deal that our class was selected for this program. We probably sent a total of 6 emails all year and we were always excited to hear back from our pen pal class every so often.

This morning, I went to an admissions directors breakfast at a nursery school. It lasted from 9:30am until 11:00am. When I walked out of the school and checked my phone, I had 27 unread emails. I didn’t feel quite the same excitement as I scrolled down my iPhone  reading my mail, as I did back in 3rd grade.

While I can appreciate the efficiency and ease of email, there is something to be said about snail mail. Not only is it exciting to receive something in the mail, but a hand written note is so much more person and touching than a quickly typed, often full of typos, email.

Another lost art form, similar to snail mail, is the mixed tape. I remember sitting at home on Saturday mornings, listening to” Rick Dees and the Weekly Top 40″, with Kasey Kasem trying to time my recording perfectly. There was nothing worse than hitting the record button at the start of the song only to have the DJ continue talking over the song. You would have to rewind the tape and wait for the song to come on again, scanning the various FM stations. The amount of work that went into making a mixed tape is far superior to CDs or MP3 playlists. Now to give someone the gift of great music, you simply purchase an iTunes gift card. It just doesn’t have the same effect as creating a mixed tape with the plastic case cover with handwritten song titles. While I do not have a tape player I still think that a homemade mixed tape is the best gift you can receive.

Today I received snail mail at work;  a card from my mom. It immediately brighten my day and gave me something to hang on the wall of my cubicle.

While my mom didn’t design the card, or write all of the words, I appreciate her taking time out of her day to browse the isles and pick out a card that says “just the right thing.” She sent me another one earlier in the school year that has been hanging on my wall since then, cheering me up every time I look at it.

I encourage you all, the next time you go to write an email to a friend or relative, think about sending a card or a letter. I guarantee that it will be one of the “little things” in their life.

20 Minutes Till Freedom

As I sit writing this post, I have 20 more minutes until my workday is over and I am free for the weekend. I am going up to Boston this weekend for a wedding and I can not wait to return to the dirty waters of beantown. I packed my Red Sox hat and my “Yankee Suck” chant – I have everything I need for a weekend of fun in the greatest city on earth.

Earlier this week, I called my mom around this same time. We chatted for a few minutes and she told me that she was getting ready to go for a bike ride. I knew that this meant “I want to hang up” but I insisted that she keep talking to me and get me through the last 20 minutes of my work day. We continued chatting about nothing important and every time we came to the end of a topic, there was an awkward pause, followed by my mom asking how much longer she had to keep talking. She started telling me a story, that was actually pretty interesting, about a conversation she had with her friends about wedding bands; a topic that I should care about since Matt and I still have to nail a group down for our wedding. However, as she was in the middle of the story, I looked down at the clock on my computer and realized it was 4 minutes PAST the end of my day. I quickly shut down my computer and interrupted my mother telling her that we had made it to “closing time.” Instead of being insulted that I wasn’t letting her finish her relevant story, she said “well get out of there!”

It is so great to have a mom who understands my priorities when it comes to my job.

On another note, I would like to thank my sister for coming to visit me for lunch this today. For someone who claims to “never go below 59th street,” I really appreciate it!

Lastly, I would like to thank my dad for his mid-day phone call. While I talk to my mom 5-6 times per year (sadly, I am not kidding) a phone call from my dad at lunch time is a rare and special treat. It is like he has a 6th sense and knows when I need some heartfelt dad-loving.

I can’t begin to express just how lucky I am. Doesn’t family rock?