Archive for the ‘old friends’ Category

It’s one of those magical moments.  Errol and Thomsen are at Sue’s hotel this morning for breakfast, and I am at the Nassau Street Starbucks–alone.  About a week ago, I received a free drink coupon for my birthday.  Ever since, I have been carrying it around with me in case there was an unexpected time when it would make sense for me to slip away.  That moment happened this morning.  Sue receives two complimentary breakfast buffets each morning–not three.

On the whole, I try to support local coffee shops over chains, but Starbucks and I have had a relationship for years.  With countless branches all over ASU and a seemingly endless balance on my sun card (thanks again, Residential Life), I frequented Starbucks at least once a week during my college years.  I have great memories of grabbing drinks with Monson before we went to our 11.40 with Dr. Duncan and standing in line at the one in the MU with a muttering Ian, “I can’t believe we’re at Star*ucks.”  I’ve always been a sucker for all things festive, and it seems Starbucks shares this love as well.  I love the red cups in December.

Once my stint with Res Life ended, my trips to Starbucks decreased dramatically, but that made them all the more special.  Paradise Bakery was much closer to J.Crew, and that is where the managers usually wanted to go for their morning coffee, but, sometimes, my darling Travis would pronounce he simply had to go to Starbucks for his… grande mocha frappucinno light, was it?   We would get to walk outside!  For those of you lucky souls that have never worked in a large indoor mall, seeing the light of day is a big deal when you’re on the clock.

Currently, I get my Starbucks love from my sister Kate.  I don’t think I have ever seen anyone get quite so much joy by the first sip of a drink.  Kate is in pure bliss when she holds her venti iced chai with light ice.  Since Thomsen was born, almost all of my trips to Starbucks have been with my Starbucks-loving sister.  I love both Kate and Ian dearly, but the two have grossly different attitudes regarding Starbucks.  It’s almost comical.  I fall somewhere in the middle, and it’s Valentine’s Day.

So, from this girl that doesn’t even drink coffee: Starbucks, be mine.

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Thomsen, Errol, and I took a day trip to New York today.  Isn’t it amazing that I now live some place where you can actually day trip to NYC?  Amazing.  Definitely a perk of old Princeton.  The timing of this trip wasn’t the best.  As some of you know, we’re making our journey back to Nebraska tomorrow.  It’s usually not the best idea to give a two-year-old back-to-back hectic, out of the ordinary, lots of good behavior needed days. However, our dear friend Buttless was going to be in New York this weekend, and it had been almost a year and a half since I saw her last.  Unacceptable.  Therefore, to New York we go.

Thomsen and I see the Dinky all the time on our walks by Carnegie Lake.  We love watching it go over the bridge and these past couple months we talk about how we’re going to ride the Dinky sometime.  That day arrived, and Thomsen was so excited to board the train.  It was adorable.  He loved holding the tickets and handing them over to the NJ Transit employee for punching and inspection.  I hope he is still that happy riding trains when we do it all over again….tomorrow.  Actually, we have to ride three tomorrow to get to Newark airport instead of the two it took to get to Penn Station today.  As I said, this boy better still love trains and planes tomorrow.

We got to Penn Station shortly after 11 this morning and headed to our lunch destination, Penelope.  I stole this restaurant recommendation from Susan’s friend Christine, a NJ native.  It was fabulous!  Errol and I just got sandwiches, but I pretty much wanted to eat everything on their menu–especially the Warm Brie and Green Apple sandwich and the raspberry sour cream coffee cake.  After lunch, we went to the New York Public Library.  It was gorgeous, and I think Thom liked being in a familiar environment.  We then walked to FAO Schwarz.  Errol really wanted to go there, and I agreed because I had seen Home Alone 2.  That toy store looked amazing!  Disappointing.  Sure, it’s a gigantic toy store, but it’s not anything super-special.  There were lots and lots and lots of people in it.  Thom’s line of the day was, “A lot people!  A lot of people!” Luckily, the only place that wasn’t overrun with strollers and literally, shoulder to shoulder crowds, was the book area!  Barefoot Books has a corner of the store on the second level, and it was wonderful!  We even caught a story time and, again, Thom liked being in his element.  The kid is definitely not threatened by new libraries and bookstores.

You can’t go to New York in December without visiting Rockefeller Center.  Thomsen absolutely loved the ice skating rink and didn’t want to leave.  However, standing around when it’s 29° is not too much fun for me.  We walked further south to Bryant Park and then to Macy’s to meet up with Buttless.  She had to take a later bus from Boston so we didn’t get to spend as much time together as I would have liked, but it was still good to see her.  Her life is so totally different from mine (law school, marathon-running), but I am genuinely, very, very interested in it.  I felt a bit like Kate with my questions, “Tell me more about that,” and Buttless probably thinks I’ve lost touch, but I so hope we can have a good visit soon.

We lucked out and the 5:01 train we took out of Penn Station was an express train.  Yes!  We arrived at Princeton Junction so relieved to be almost home.  Thom wasn’t nearly as thrilled to get on the Dinky again, understandably.  It was a long day, and he spent a lot of time in the Ergo. The sidewalks of New York are not ones to let kids roam Pierson-style.  However, one really good thing about New York sidewalks is the store windows.  They were unbelievable.  Errol liked the Bergdorf ones the best while I was partial to Sak’s. They were all amazing and beautiful-took me back to Ab and me watching Mannequin in the basement.

It was a great trip, and I look forward to more.  There seems to be a lot to do there.

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Touch the Art books

One of my goals as a mother is to foster the love of art in my children.  When I went to Europe in 2003 and met my dear friend Florence, I noticed she had such an appreciation for art when we toured the Paris museums.  She knew so much.  It was wonderful to have such a traveling companion for those few days.  I could show Florence how to eat on a few euros a day, and she told me about the artists and stories behind the paintings.  It doesn’t seem like it was a fair deal.  Poor Florence…

I want Thomsen and his future sibling(s?) to have a foundational knowledge of  art.  Errol and I agree that neither of us know that much still as twenty-somethings.  We’ll learn along the way!  The first lessons have come from  Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo’s Touch the Art books.   I found them earlier this year on a google search while composing Thom’s birthday list, and thankfully, Grandma Sukey and Aunt Abby bought T some.  They are really great books.  I recently sent Make Van Gogh’s Bed to Thomsen’s four-week old buddy, Emerson.  I just love them and probably won’t attend a baby shower without one for a while.

Imagine the thrill I got when I found out that the authors would be leading the story time at the Princeton Barnes and Noble this week!  I told Errol he had to take Thom and me out there this afternoon.  We survived a rainy drive on Route 1 and had a great time with Amy and Julie–especially Amy.  (She loved his eyelashes and curls).  Thomsen got his books autographed, and Errol and I restrained ourselves from buying the rest of the series.  It was tough!

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This morning there were two parcels on our porch, and I was thrilled.  It’s always exciting to get good mail and even more exciting when you look closer and recognize your mother’s handwriting immediately.  Mom did not disappoint, and I now have in my possession a dozen of her homemade mint chocolate chip cookies.  Thomsen has books, and we are happy.  The other package was a coat I bought weeks ago in Lincoln that had been backordered.  I love surprises–even when they’re from myself.

I’ve been getting lots of good mail recently.  Errol anticipated my melancholy following the move from Lincoln and asked my friends to send me pick-me-up letters.  I’m reading a few each day and savoring each one.  Thank you all so very much!

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We leave Lincoln tomorrow.  Good-byes have been so hard.  I’ve been trying to clean out our apartment, and I scrubbed the bath tub this morning with soap and lots and lots of tears.  I will miss my life here so much.  A few pictures of my Lincoln loves this week:

t and maren

eddie and t

lincoln mommies walk

maren and t kiss

bread and cup

diane, m, me

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We have officially changed our address.  I am so sad to leave our home.

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Friday and Saturday were exciting days for us.  On Friday Errol got his Master’s!  He didn’t want to participate in the commencement ceremony and keeps telling me this degree is not a big deal, but I forced him to buy the cap and gown and at the last second he agreed to indulge me.  Mom and Dad came to Lincoln for the occasion and even spent the night.  Randomly, our old pal Nathan Palmer was also getting his Master’s this semester. Jan and Terry flew all the way from Arizona, and we were blessed with some Palmer-time over the weekend.

After Farmers’ Market in the morning, a lot of Saturday was spent working on Thomsen’s basketball skills.  He is currently obsessed with basketball and motorcycles.  Our afternoon outing was able to combine these obsessions when we walked to Woods Park.  We walked a few blocks on O Street and saw fourteen motorcycles speed by us.  Once at Woods, Thom got the basketball out and finally got to do some drills with an actual basketball hoop.  Even though T is always good about pointing out every basketball hoop we pass, we rarely stop and play under one.  He definitely thought it was a big treat.

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