Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas to me!

A couple of weeks ago I shared that Ben was working on a project for me (read it here).  Today, Ben brought home my desk!  He had taken it to the shop to refinish as my Christmas gift.  Let me tell you – it is beautiful!  It is now a dark walnut-ish color.  He fixed the nicks and scratches (while leaving a few for character), and stripped the roll-top. 

Here is the before picture:

Brooklyn Apartment - Living Room desk

Here are the after pictures:

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isn’t it beautiful?

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I have always had these old books and mason jars on the desk.  Now I think they look so much nicer.  I guess it’s because the desk is soooo much nicer!

I hope you all have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for…snow!  Yes, on the fifth day since it began snowing we still have quite a bit of snow.  I have always preferred the snow and winter to hot and humidity.  Someone at church told me that another lady and I were the only ones happy about the forecasted blizzard.  I was definitely happy.  But…I think I will also be happy to see some concrete again.

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Our street was finally plowed – last night.  The police towed the van which was stuck {mentioned in an earlier post} so that the plow could get through.  Our car was directly across from the van, so I’m glad they didn’t try to force through!

Mayor Bloomberg is taking a lot of heat for the slow response in clearing the snow.  Today Ben heard that the reason was a union protest.  They purposely delayed the snow removal in order to get back at Bloomberg for cutting 400 sanitation jobs over the last two years.  "They were told [by supervisors] to take off routes [and] not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay for the layoffs, the reductions in rank for the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank-and-file." (Read more here…)  Hmmmm.  I hope they get this “feud” settled before the next storm!

I dug out the car today while Elaine was napping.  Maybe I should have let Ben do it, but it felt good to get out and do something.  Then the bonehead {I mean that in the nicest way possible} who was parked behind me decided to dig his car out…and he piled it right behind my car.  Ugg!

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Halfway done digging out the car

I also ventured out…I stretched the milk as far as I could, and today there was none.  First I walked to the Post Office with Elaine {they are still not accepting and packages}, and then we grabbed the stroller and hit the market.  I had to carry the stroller across the intersections because of all the snow and slush, and the narrow walkways which had been cleared.  Elaine enjoyed being out of the house!

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Our steps – still a lot of snow on one half!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas at Our House

The beautiful thing about a snow day and a sick baby is that there is lots of time for blogging!  Elaine has been napping for about four hours now, so I thought I would take the opportunity to share some highlights of our Christmas with you. 

We were looking forward to being alone this Christmas.  I know it sounds selfish, but it nice to just have our little family together, in our own home, and start to establish some of our own traditions.

We started with devotions in bed and then a yummy breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls, bacon, and eggs.  The cinnamon rolls were my first attempt, but the recipe is a keeper – you have to try it! 

During our Wednesday night service, Pastor Bickel shared some stories from a book called In Search of Christmas.  I really enjoyed the “Biblical fiction” stories…looking at Christmas from the eyes of an aged Shepherd, and Joseph the carpenter.  I was so blessed to be given the book as a gift from one of my Sunday School students, Diesel.

After breakfast we opened gifts.  We went light on gifts to each other.  Elaine and I just had birthdays, and we really didn’t need much.  I had fun getting some things for Ben.  Our downstairs neighbors gave each of us a gift, and my parents sent quite the box.  Apparently it was a record season for volume with FedEx, but our box arrived on Christmas Eve just as we were leaving for Manhattan.

Christmas 2010
A light-up ornament from Great-Grandma & Grandpa Paul

Christmas 2010
Helping Daddy rip the paper

Christmas 2010
my happy little girl…sparkling eyes and all!

Christmas 2010 Christmas 2010
my parents gave Ben and I matching fleece jackets.  Ben’s is a little big, so we’re trading it in for a smaller size.  I love mine!  Ben got this nice fleece from the neighbors.  Elaine gave him a hat and scarf, and I gave him a new sweater and a Question Jar.

Elaine opened her last gift over Skype with Grandma & Grandpa.  I didn’t know how she would do with the laptop so close, but she thoroughly enjoyed being the center of attention. 

Christmas 2010

And when the baby doll came out of the package she couldn’t wait to get her hands on it.  Finally Ben released it from her package and she was in heaven!

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010

When Elaine took her morning nap, Ben & I did too.  We all slept so wonderfully for three hours – a rare treat for Ben, and little bit longer of a treat for this pregnant momma!  We also enjoyed a trek to the park, though it was brief because of the cold!

Christmas 2010  Christmas 2010
Daddy helped Elaine climb the ladder to the slide.  She decided she could go down by herself, but she always forgot to sit first!  It made for a mess of tangled legs…

We have decided to keep a Godby tradition for Christmas – fondue for dinner.  We had a meat & oil fondue, and this year I added a cheese fondue to the menu.  I talked my mom into doing it too…changing up the tradition just a little bit.

Christmas 2010(and just to clarify, lest anyone wonders…that’s just sparkling cider in the bottle!)

For your pleasure, Grandma & Grandpa Godby:

Christmas 2010
Elaine in her new PJs, in the baby cradle that Grandpa made for Mommy, with her new baby doll!

Christmas 2010
Giving baby kisses – Elaine’s newest “trick” is giving kisses

Snow Day

Brooklyn BlizzardThe sun has set and our wonderful first snow day is coming to an end.  Ben arrived at work with two other employees.  The people with the key couldn’t get through, so he came home.  That was the beginning of a lovely day!  (right: a view down our block of 73rd St.)

Brooklyn BlizzardA 15 minute train ride took Ben over an hour on the return trip.  They were only running the “R” line, and they had “D” trains on the track!  Yesterday an “A” train was stranded on the track for over seven hours, full of people!

After lunch we ventured out to the Post Office.  You probably think we’re crazy, right?  Well, I had diaper orders to mail, and the office was open.  Ben rigged a Rubbermaid box to be a “sled” for Elaine.  Pretty creative!  She kept leaning to the left and dragging her head in the snow!

Brooklyn Blizzard
this is Elaine on a snow drift.  That’s a car behind her.

Brooklyn Blizzard
our car snowed in – this is the good side.  Unfortunately, the side with the snow drifts is also the side with the broken window. 
Read about that adventure here.

Brooklyn Blizzard
Elaine was the keeper of the tissue box for all of our runny noses!

To my dismay, I arrived at the P.O. to be told, “We’re not taking any parcels.”  Let me just interject that this is one more mark against the USPS in my book.  The little office in our neighborhood doesn’t deliver mail.  So what was the point of being open if they aren’t accepting packages?  Do they think I’m going to come out in zero degree weather (including wind chill) to send a note to my grandmother?  Anyway, I digress.

It was very windy.  I dropped my bag at one point.  My glove blew out of my hand at the same moment.  My camera came out of the bag and went blowing along the icy sidewalk!  We had to turn Elaine around backwards, and I walked backwards to keep the stinging ice crystals out our faces.

There were buses, taxi cabs, and lots of cars stranded everywhere.  They had managed to plow one lane down fourth avenue.  A couple of brave souls were digging out their vehicles. 

Brooklyn Blizzard

We walked home via 5th Avenue.  This taxi driver was trying to remove his cab from the middle of the road.  When he had it dug out enough, the cab spun so fast it crashed into that parked car on the right.  Glad my car isn’t on a main drag!

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Somewhere there is a taxi driver that won’t be making any money for a while.  This is his car – snowed in, with another car double parked and snowed in.  Big problem!

Brooklyn Blizzard

This van on our street had huge drifts on top…pretty amazing!

Brooklyn Blizzard

Now I know that the grandma’s just want to see pictures of Elaine, so here they are!

Brooklyn BlizzardShe managed to walk a little, despite the three layers of clothing and little-bit-too-big boots.  She even enjoyed a snowball or too!

We finished the adventure by burying Elaine in snow and making snow angels. 

Brooklyn Blizzard

Brooklyn BlizzardShe was fine and happy…

Brooklyn Blizzard…until Daddy removed her pacifier!

Brooklyn Blizzard
on our front steps

A White Day After Christmas

Our Christmas may not have included a blanket of fluffy snow to make things seem “magical”, but the snow did arrive!  We were slated for a blizzard…snow from 6a.m. on the 26th to 6a.m. on the 27th.  Accumulation could reach 18 inches, the forecast said.  We were excited – our first snow storm in New York City, and it is going to be a blizzard!

We awoke on Sunday and there was no snow.  At church I played the piano for the Russian congregation.  As I returned to the English service, the snow began to fall.  It was coming fast and furious, and the cars were already dusted white.  By the end of the morning service the streets were covered.  We began the afternoon service early and ended early.  Many people had already left.

We came home and took a lovely nap – the perfect thing to do on a snow day!  By then there were 3-4 inches on the ground.  We bundled up and headed for the store.  I was hoping to get some more milk.  I always made fun of the people in the south who went to get bread and milk if the forecast called for snow.  But here the little grocery stores only carry a few jugs of milk as it is – now I understand!

Elaine got on her snow suit, mittens (much to her dismay), and boots.  We let her trek a little in the snow, and she couldn’t stop smiling.  Unfortunately, my pictures are horrible!  Ben shoveled the front and the neighbor’s steps while I put a pizza in the oven.  When we went to bed it was still snowing and very windy.

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A White Day After Christmas

This morning the snow had crusted in between the screen and the window glass so that we couldn’t really see out very well.  The last official report was at 1:30a.m. – 18 inches for Brooklyn.  We have so much more than that!

Ben got up with the “I think I’m getting a cold” feeling, so I loaded him with vitamin C, hot tea, and tissues.  He had to trek four blocks to the train, and then it is normally a 10 minute walk from the train to the shop.  A couple of people had walked on the sidewalk, and someone was beginning to shovel.  He took dry socks and shoes just in case!

A White Day After Christmas

A White Day After Christmasthe snow that had piled up against our door

A White Day After ChristmasBen slid down the front steps in an avalanche of snow!

A White Day After ChristmasWe have a bench on the front porch (left pile of snow) and two recycling trash cans (right piles)

A White Day After ChristmasBen walking to the train.  That van in the top right corner is sort of parked in front of the fire hydrant.  He got stuck going up the street last night.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve in Manhattan

Tonight we went into Manhattan to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree. 

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my pictures don’t do it justice – it was very beautiful!

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There were sooooo many people!  I tried to get a picture of the crowd, but it didn’t come out.  Down below the tree is the ice skating rink.  I wish I could tell you how long the line was…not something we will be doing for a while, or maybe ever!

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After the tree we enjoyed a brisk walk up Broadway and another train ride to go have dessert at Café Lalo (the café from You’ve Got Mail).  I enjoyed an Irish crème latte – my first ever that wasn’t served in a paper cup!  Ben and Elaine had a chocolate milkshake, and we shared a slice of chocolate covered Oreo cheesecake!

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