The tangled, complicated problem of unemployment

You know what the worse part about unemployment is? Everyone asking about your unemployment

And I feel rude even typing that, because I know people ask because they care. To show they are interested, to show that they are thinking of me and this state in which no one wants to hire me.

Which is considerate. It really is. I recognize that, and I appreciate everyone’s good thoughts. I say all of this to cushion what I’m about to type next; asking me about my continued lack of a job is not helpful.

In fact it makes me feel stupid and unmotivated. Because when I tell you that, yes, things are in the pipeline and I’m interviewing and yes, it’s hard, the next thing you will inevitably do is give me lots and lots of suggestions. Of things I should do, and what I should say, and how many times I should follow up, and what I should or should not have on my resume.

And instead of your suggestions all I hear is “you’re not doing it right”.

And I know that is not what you intended! I know you’re trying so hard to be helpful.

Here is what you might not realize: You are not the first person who has asked me about my job search today. In fact, there’s a good chance you’re the fourth person I’ve explained this all to. The fourth person I’ve listed my lack of interviews to, the fourth person I’ve ticked off the interviews that happened but I’m still waiting forever to hear back. And all those suggestions? I’ve heard them all, I really have, and I find them terribly not helpful because they just further kill my already very-battered self esteem.

I want so badly for someone to interview me and say “oh my goodness, I want you to join this organization”. I crave the identity that comes with my name on a business card. Even if it’s not a dream job, even if the title means nothing, I want someone who is willing to print my name next to their logo as a stamp of approval saying “we think this person is worthwhile. We think she is smart”. I never realized how important that identity was to me until I didn’t have it.

Today I was telling Selemon that I’m in a bad mood. Falling into a funk. And that led me to type this disclosure to him; that I didn’t want suggestions of what I should do. Instead I typed “If you ever want to just reassure me that I’m smart and awesome and pretty though- that’s always welcome”

Because that’s the hardest part of job searching; the crushing blow to your self esteem. It’s not all the resumes, or follow up emails. It’s the fact that after awhile you start to doubt yourself really hard. And when people tell you all the other things you should be doing, well that just re-enforces the doubt.

My brain is wired and twisted in a way that leaves it with a very strong propensity for guilt. I’m not sure how normal or not-normal this is, but I do know I spent a good year in therapy attempting to untangle this self-shaming, guilty mess. Because feeling guilty and shameful for everything you did or did not do is not helpful. In fact, it’s quite paralyzing and harmful.  I made a ton of progress turning this mindset around and by the time I had to move away from my dear therapist I had come a long way. I had learned how to set healthy barriers, how to acknowledge this part of me, work with it, and love myself anyway. I’m really proud of the progress I made. Like super duper, fucking proud of myself. But lately I find myself slipping into that self-doubting, guilty slump again.

This propensity might make me more sensitive to everyone’s recommendations, because when they say “Did you follow up enough?” I hear “you messed up, it’s your fault, you can’t even look for a job right” I know that’s not what anyone intended. Maybe that’s the messed up nature of my brain. But you know what? If we’re all totally honest with ourselves, I don’t think it’s just me. I think a lot of us have brains filled with self doubt that would veer that direction.

So, moving forward, when I talk with friends who are going through something, anything difficult, I have decided I will stop giving suggestions.  I’ve thought back to my past reactions and I have totally spewed what they “should “ do! I “should” all over people, just the way I “should” all over myself. I did this because I really, truly wanted to be helpful, and it came from a genuine, good place. Stressed? I’ll tell you to try yoga! Or try running!” Sad? I’ll tell you to find a nice community to support you (what does that even mean?!). So I’m sorry friends that I should-ed all over.

This experience has taught me that instead of suggestions about what they should do; I will look at my friend and reassure them that they are awesome. That they are smart, and charming, and loved. I will tell them exactly why I think they are a great friend and why I appreciate them in my life. I will probably even give them a hug. And I hope that is exactly what they needed.

*I feel this post does warrant a footnote, because I love my friends and family and while I trashed the notion of “suggestions” in general, I really have gotten some good ones. I also have been told to volunteer, which I think is a great recommendation because it’s something that will give me that validation that I need; to feel helpful and valued. So thank you! Just maybe also tell me I’m smart and charming  ;)

**Also, assume no news is bad news so if I am not currently perched on our rooftop shouting to the city that I finally have a job, that’s because I don’t have one yet. You’ll hear once I do.

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Scenes from this Weekend

As I was laying in bed last night I kept taking super deep breaths and loving how the chilled air stings your nose a little. Which is my way of saying that it finally got cooler here in New York. All of last week we were in the 70s, sometimes up to 78, and then last night temps plummeted and we’re suddenly hanging out in the 40s and 50s. I unabashedly love coats so I’m on board with this seasonal change.

Here are a few pictures I took while cruising around this lovely city this weekend (and a few from the past week)

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Andrew Loo, a friend from our Minneapolis days was in New York for work! We had Korean BBQ, as they don’t have it in Minneapolis. It was his first time in New York City so after dinner we needed to stroll through Times Square…

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It is a pretty spot. If only less people were around…

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Saturday morning I strolled up my favorite street, 5th Avenue, and came upon this adorable family Halloween-fest in Madison Square Park! I tried to not look creepy strolling around as a single female without children, but I did really enjoy seeing all the families out enjoying the day!

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This is what outdoor time looks like in New York! I think kids that grow up here are super lucky and are exposed to so many great things and diversity, but I took a picture because I realize that it looks quite different than Minnesota…

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How cute is this?!? They had a green screen where kids could pose in their costumes. I don’t know what they made the background but I can guarantee it was 100% cute.

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And then back home! The fountain looked extra pretty :)

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My favorite part of the fountain is sitting along the shallow steps.

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Oh hi! Scarf and North Face weather! And this is what I look like these days :) I’m considering bangs. Thoughts?

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Jessica and I met outside the Museum of Natural History on Sunday so she could take me on a tour of the Upper West Side. We went to a flea market filled with clothes, furniture, jewelry, and food. I had a very tasty empanada. I definitely love taking a step back and realizing how many amazing, unique food options there are here.

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The Upper West is so pretty. Loved these townhouses!

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I realized a bakery I had heard about a lot, Le Vain, was nearby so we detoured over. This was the line to get into the little basement shop, but thankfully cookies move quickly!

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A nice man offered to take our photo :)

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We split a chocolate chip with walnut and it was incredible. Worth every ounce of hype. Super huge (it looked like a scone) and still steaming warm! The chocolate chunks were huge and melty. Oh lord, just talking about it is making me crave a return trip.

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And finally, I will leave you with this glorious Ostrich egg that was sitting at Whole Foods! I should have put my hand next to it to show you size- they were huge!

Here’s to an awesome new week!

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Store Opening Adventures

Being unemployed has many downsides, and just a few positives. Today, we will put on our “optimisitc hats” and discuss one of the main benefits: free time during the day. While financial restraints are keeping me from transforming into a full-out lady who lunches, I do still manage to enjoy the perk.

Yesterday I was chilling at home, per usual, when I saw that a new store was opening in Soho, which is quite close to me. It’s called & Other Stories, and is a sister brand to H&M. Their clothes are made of higher quality materials such as wool and silk but they have that same fashion forward vibe of H&M. After checking the store out, they remind me a lot of Zara, and you can see their online store here.

So I headed over to a sign taped to the back door that they were opening at 12. It was pretty close to 12 so I looped around to the front of the building and saw a line and a lot of eager staff.

store opening 094Oh okay. So this is a big deal. I had nothing else going on and this suddenly seemed like quite the event so I shuffled into line. There were super enthusiastic employees going through the line and handing out expensive chocolates to “give us energy as we shopped”. Chocolate is always an incredible bonus for standing in a line and I was pretty stoked about the whole thing. Little did I know that as I walked through the door…..we would all get presents! What?!?! I really didn’t know that was a “thing” at store openings so I was THRILLED. My shopping budget for non-grocery items is zero (again, unemployment downsides) making this extra exciting. As we walked through the door all the managers and staff were gathered there looking so excited, people were taking pictures. I actually felt special just because I had enough free time in the middle of the day to stand in a line for 10 minutes and walk into a store. It was sort of bizarre, in a very good way.

I didn’t end up buying anything for obvious reasons, but the clothes really are super adorable and I plan to come back when I have some disposable income.

But I am very, very pleased to show you my free swag!

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As we walked in the door they handed us each this tote bag with these goodies inside! The tote bag is super big and sturdy. Without a car, tote bags are an everyday item to schlep your things around town, so this is fantastic. They had different colors too.

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A black leather clutch! I love that this is small but not too thin, so you can actually fit everything you need. And its leather! This clutch retails for $120, so this was a lovely surprise!

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I’m sure it will get a lot of use! And they just handed this to me. Who does that?!?

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Next up: these earrings. At first I was bummed and wondered if each tote had different ones, but now I love these. Once I tried them on, I saw how cool they looked, which is great, because I never would have picked these up otherwise. The dangly part hangs behind your ear, and the front geometric peg can be worn alone, as I did last night. These retail for $29

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These are the fancy, paleo, Brooklyn made chocolate bars they were handing out. I’ve tried both and they are delicious!

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Cute note!

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The tote again. I apparently already smudged the mint, and should have stuck with the black version as a true New Yorker.

Overall it was a super cool experience and I was so pleased to get these gifts!  I will definitely be hitting up more store openings now…

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David Lebovitz in Brooklyn!

We left off after Thursday night but there was a whole weekend left for fun! Friday morning we were all off to a very slow start. However, we eventually regained vitality through bagel sandwiches and walking right past Micheal Cera. Then, another nap.

A few days earlier I was ecstatic to see that a favorite author and chef, David Lebovitz was in the United States! He is American but has lived in Paris for the past decade or two (I’m not entirely sure how long it has been) He had posted a few pictures on instagram from around the city, and was in fact doing a book signing event. If you’re unfamiliar, this is David’s blog. I fell in love with him through his book The Sweet Life in Paris which chronicles his adventures moving from San Francisco to Paris. For our wedding we were lucky enough to receive two of his cookbooks, Ready for Dessert and My Paris Kitchen. While I enjoy his stories he comes across as a bit sarcastic and Parisian in his writing, I was blown away by how insanely nice and smiley he was. He seemed genuinely thrilled that we were all there to see him. So charming!

Brooklyn Kitchen went all-out hosting the event. They were serving rose wine, duck fat cookies, lamb meatballs, and an assortment of other goodies (all recipes from his book). The entire experience was far above my expectations! It was hard to get good pictures of the event itself, but I’ll still share what I have.

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You guys, it was pretty nerdy how excited I was to be meeting him! Here I am posing outside the store. Photo cred and all around good-sport: Ashley

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Serving the very tasty treats. And below begins my series titled: Becoming Besties

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Hahahahaha I was terribly charming and we walked away exchanging numbers! Well, not really, but I think we did hit if off. Actually, that’s still not true. He seemed to find every single person at that event charming and delightful and it didn’t come off as one bit un-authentic. Again, way nicer than I could have imagined.

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And above is a cheesy photo that I find incredibly not flattering but I’m including it because it’s good for your vanity to share not-attractive photos of yourself on the internet. Builds character or something.

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Ashley and I! She was such an awesome companion for our adventures all weekend!

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The event was held on the top floor of a market and kitchen equipment store. The market downstairs was filled with incredibly interesting and pretty produce!

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They had cheddar cauliflower! What?!?!?! I hope it tastes like cheese, but I’m guessing it doesn’t so I purposely didn’t try anyway. I’d rather not crush my dreams.

After the book event Ashley and I had dinner at a delightful Thai restaurant followed by wandering around Cobble Hill, an incredibly cute neighborhood. It’s filled with famlies and brownstones. Gorgeous. I may or may not return to that neighborhood to watch a Halloween parade for little kids that was being advertised. Probably too creepy, but I’ll see how I’m feeling that day.

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The next morning was rainy and dreary when we set off for brunch. Ashley and I both decided that rainy and dreary is the perfect backdrop for exploring the Lower East Side. The cloudy hues just match the sort of rough-around-the-edges vibe of that neighborhood. We eventually found a tasty Israeli brunch that I forgot to photograph. Ashley soon returned home and I spent the afternoon snuggled up with my wonderful, very tired, husband. That night we needed to eat, so we went up to Koreantown to meet friends for Korean BBQ. I’ve never had Korean BBQ before and it was fantastic!

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They grill your food in front of you, so you sit in these recessed tables with the grill in the middle. It was a bit awkward getting seated, but once you were in, it was quite comfortable.

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The grill with the side dishes they serve you.

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Delicious marinated beef. It was really delicious, super filing, and quite healthy! Plus, it was good to catch up with Aman and Jess while trying something new!

So that was the rest of our weekend. Thanks for following along :)

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A New York City Weekend

New York City. The city that never sleeps. The one place where you can stay up all night and still be blinded by the bright lights of Times Square. The subway runs 24/7 and bars never close. We’ve heard it all.

But I’m married. I’m 27, and while that isn’t old by any stretch of the imagination, it does mean that I currently harbor zero desire to hang out in a club and my ability to recover from a late night hangover is diminishing at alarming rates.

What I’m saying, is that, while I have spent late nights out in the city I have not spent late/crazy/only-in-New-York nights out yet.

This weekend changed that. And now, on Monday, I’d say I’m finally fully recovered.

On Thursday we had a very special date watching Aziz Ansari do live stand-up comedy at Madison Square Garden. Aziz is always fantastic and I was thrilled for my first chance to go to Madison Square Garden. It felt super New York-y no? Just don’t tell anyone that I had always imagined Madison Square Garden to be outdoors…you know, a garden? Spoiler alert: It’s an indoor auditorium. Still cool, still very New York. But I just thought I’d share that tidbit with you.

Two friends from grad school, Kim and Ashley took the train from DC up to New York for the weekend. I got the house ready and halloween-y for their visit.

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pumpkin lights!

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After catching up over snacks and wine it was time to head over to the show!

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Aziz’s posters are plastered all over and this was very exciting of course!

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On the way to our seats we saw Amy Schumer (along with basically every single famous comedian in New York City) It was very exciting and my smile is about to break my face. I was too embarrassed to ask for a photo so Ashley did it (thanks, Ashley)  I must say that Amy was crazy nice. SO NICE.

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Ahhh! So excited!!!!!

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Aziz!!!!!!!!!

After the show Kim suggested getting dinner at the Spotted Pig, a popular spot in the West Village. The show didn’t end until 1:30 AM which meant we could check out a very popular spot without a wait. The restaurant was not near Madison Square Garden, which is important to note because as we sat there AZIZ ANSARI walked through the door!!!!!!!!!! What?!?!?!??!?!?! It was incredibly exciting. His two opening acts and all of his family was there. OH MY GOODNESS we were freaking out. Despite many, many attempts we were not allowed to go upstairs to meet him but we did stay at the bar until it closed at 4 AM waiting for him to come downstairs (our meal ended at 2:30 so this wasn’t super crazy). Then we walked home, got a slice of pizza which we ate along the fountain at Washington Square Park. At 5:30 AM we finally slipped into bed and thankfully my gracious husband wasn’t even mad at that very early arrival. :)

The night was filled with celebrities, larger than life venues, amazing food, insane coincidences, pizza by the slice, and ridiculous New York landmarks. Overall, it was a perfect perfect PERFECT New York evening.

The rest of the weekend to come….

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Worth 2 Thousand Words

Well hello there family and friends who take time out of your day to see what I’m up to! Thank you for stopping by! :)

I’m going to share a few photos I’ve taken around the city lately

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I was walking through Chelsea, a nearby neighborhood and it was extra pretty :)

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A cool, fall morning in Washington Square Park. It’s still not “crisp” here consistently, but we’re getting there…

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Selemon and I, and some of our friends, ended up at this cool dive bar in the W Village. The bartender is from Bloomington!

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Eating BBQ at Mighty Quinns :)

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Enjoying the Plaza on a very lovely morning walk to Central Park. I miss my runs terribly so I still take the train up to explore new parts of Manhattan, just at a slower pace.

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Leaves aren’t changing color yet, but can you imagine when they do?

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Cool enough for a scarf and a latte from a very cute French cafe on the Upper East Side :)

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Oh hello, part of Central Park I’ve never stumbled upon before! All those people row-boating are adorable!

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Not gonna lie, the view was super spectacular

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I was having serious flashbacks to my favorite scene in the Little Mermaid

Yup, pretty much exactly the same.

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I was standing in a relatively short line at Whole Foods the other day when I realized you all have probably never seen this whole check-out process. People in New York do lots of small grocery runs. We have smaller fridges and we have to lug them further. There are also way too many people in this city so this is what check out looks like. I don’t work during the day so I purposely go during “off” hours and it still looks like this. Basically, you get in a line, all of which have a colored arrow above. There is then a screen that flashes a number for each color as checkout stations become available.

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There’s a closer shot of the screen. So right now whoever is standing in the yellow “lane” goes to checkout 22. Pretty simple right? Don’t ever mess up what number you have. I’ve done it once and I believe it is something you make damn sure you never do again. Turning to the people behind you and asking “did you see what number that was?” is not a way to make friends…

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I bought new weights yesterday and then carried them 18 blocks home. The whole time I was fantasizing about car-ownership.

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I had an interview today so I washed my hair and put on nice clothes!

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It’s been 2 full months in NY and I still haven’t had a black and white cookie. There was a deli next to my interview spot so I treated myself to one afterwards. It was pretty meh and I ended up throwing half away. Don’t worry, I’ll give a different one another shot.

The news is saying we’re having a storm tonight! Selemon is working on a big project right now and has been coming home super late so I’ll curl up with some pillows and turn on that white noise machine. Night, loves!

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Alright alright alright

I told myself I would never apologize for gaps in blogging. But, if I’m being honest (and I am) I do feel a bit sorry. I personally hate it when you want updates and they.just.aren’t.there. And I’ve been here. Putzing along and generally happy.

On Monday morning I took a train to Philly. Juliene’s parents are coming for a long visit so I helped with a few decor related projects but mostly hung out and enjoyed the company of my awesome sister-in-laws.

On Wednesday morning I baked an apple pie (Juliene’s Dad’s favorite) and boarded a train back to New York. 

I always love my visits to Philly. Juliene and Sofya treat me like a doted-upon little sister and agree to whatever type of food I want to order (pizza, duh) and are all-around awesome, generous hosts. 

It did feel good coming home to New York though. Which is a wonderful sign, because if you can leave as much love as those two and still feel alright things are good, you know?

While in Philly I upgraded my phone and here’s a video I took on the way home. I had to test out my fancy new features. (*note, awesome video not currently working. darn)

Selemon has been working like crazy this week and will be for the next three weeks as a deal progresses. For perspective, he came home at 4:15 AM last night, immediately logged on and worked from home until 5 AM, slept until 8:30 and went back to work. Pobrecito looked so tired this morning.

I had some good calls this week with potential employers, which is great. I really am antsy to start working. hard.

In the meantime life is okay though. I miss my morning runs so I’ve been morning walking (short walks, of course) and staying busy by hanging Halloween decorations around the apartment.

Life is overall alright alright alright, but I still find myself lacking the emotional wherewithal to articulate the complicated web of feels that manifest throughout the day. But really I could sum them up. Generally I’m happy. Here I’ll list all the things I have to feel good about:
  1. Selemon and I are learning how to be better partners to each other as we live together.
  2. I’m feeling loved by my friends, for example Ashley Thomas (along with her sister) made a quick visit this weekend which warmed my heart enough to last at least a month.
  3. I am able to buy delicious berries when they aren’t in season thanks to the magic (or waste?!) of commerce. It’s the small (juicy) things.
  4. I feel supported by those I love and even loose acquaintances, which is sort of everything, right?
  5. The amount of time I hesitate figuring out if I’m headed Uptown or Downtown in the subway is shrinking everyday.
  6. As of Monday evening, my brother who was deployed to the Republic of Georgia is back in the States with his lovely wife.
  7. My beloved sister is 29 years old today! Yay, Lindsey, Happy Birthday!!! You’re my favorite (only) Chickabee in the whole world and I love you so much!
  8. I’m still having mild panic attacks on the subway when it sputters/stops/does anything, but it feels a bit better.
  9. Lindsey sends me videos of 3 year old Landon “hunting” which just consists of him eating lots of snacks while his dad takes video. They are hilarious and heartwarming and the best thing ever. Thank you for sharing joy with me, Marcum family.
  10. Today marks Selemon and my 5 month anniversary. It does not feel like 5 months which is maybe a good thing? Go us!

Okay, and now off to sweet, sweet sleep. Thanks for following along, guys. Thursday I went for a walk and New York seemed extra lovely so I’ve included a few photos from that walk.

*Update, I have cool video and photos that keep crashing the system tonight. So I will attempt to re-post later.

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