Tuesday, June 24, 2014

So I have this collection of things that are comforts - like when days are hard, I sort of sift through list in my mind, pick something to focus on, and it brings things back into perspective. Most of them are little things like clean sheets and a warm shower after you got caught in the rain, but at the top of that list is weekends. One of the things that is sacrificed when you decide to stay at home to raise your babies is weekends. Weekends just don't feel quite the same now that the things I do for 'work' throughout the week are basically the same things I do each weekend. Honestly, the monotony drives me bonkers each week, so I try to hype myself up for weekends. I try to cultivate a sense of adventurous peace, if that makes sense? We get out and do new things as a family, but I try to make the pace slow and the atmosphere joyful. It's been hard to do this over the last few months. There are always worries and to-do lists creeping into our conversations and minds, but for the most part we were able to let it go this weekend and enjoy each other.

Alex has been working a seasonal job over on Staten Island in a national park and Ev and I hopped on a bus after nap time on Friday to meet him there. He's kind of a nature nerd and has been reading books and watching videos about wilderness survival and wild edibles. He's found a lot of wild edibles just in this park here in the city and I'm kind of interested in looking for more in some bigger parks like Prospect and Central. He just noticed these trees full of berries and well, berries don't normally grow on trees, so he did some research and found out that they were mulberries. There are three of these trees and they're loaded down with ripe berries, so we picked and picked and picked until our hands were purple and ended up with about a gallon. I really think I ate more than I contributed to the bucket, so we probably picked way more than that. I really had no idea what to do with them all, but Alex made a cobbler that I plan on sharing the recipe for sometime this week. Then we attempted fruit leather, but that didn't turn out as well as we had hoped. I think we'll try again soon though.

When we were finished picking berries, we wandered over to the beach. I know it's so cliche to say, 'I love the beach,' but I do. It's sort of a magical place where no one has an agenda, no one is trying to get anything done at the beach. We're all just there to lay in the sun, walk the shoreline, pick up seashells, and spend time with who we came with.We've lived in the desert Ev's whole life, so of course she really didn't know what to think of the beach the first time they met. She and the sand made fast friends, but she made sure to steer clear of the water, until it creeped up on her and washed over her bottom. She shot up and took off running, crying her biggest hurt feelings cry she could muster up. Luckily, she's come to love the beach since then, but she has still never been very interested in the water until this weekend. She ran into the waves up to her waist, laughing and loving it, until a big one came along and swept her down face first. Papa had to pull her out by one arm and she was not happy. Luckily the sand made up for it. This kid loves sand. Dirt will do in a pinch. It's like a drug. She's just completely transfixed by it. Our plan was to camp out on the beach until the fireworks at Coney Island started (they shoot off fireworks every Friday night during the Summer), but they don't start until 9:30, Ev's bedtime is 8:30, and we weren't really sure how often the bus would come that late. I think we'll just pay the toll to drive across the bridge soon to see them once before Summer is over.

I really wasn't sure what to think about city beaches at first, and it's not even the fact that they're all crowded. We managed to find a few secret beaches that barely have anyone on them, but even the seashells are different than the beaches in the South. I imagine it's because there is so much more trash in the water here, but we find sea glass everywhere. It's kind of lovely to think about our neglectful trash becoming something so beautiful. At the same time, it's kind of depressing to think that Ev's babies will probably be collecting 'sea plastic' some day.  We've got quite a collection of beach treasures going in our living room windowsill, but I'm still not sure what to do with it all. Ev plays with it all much more than she plays with any of her toys, so I'll leave it there for now, but eventually I'd like to make something with it all, a wall hanging maybe. Anyway, as we were headed home back over the Verrazano Bridge we got to see the little pops of fireworks coming up from Coney Island anyway and Ev was even awake for it. She always says, 'That's like pop-torn?!' when she sees fireworks. It cracks me up. She was shouting, 'Let's go 'der! I wanna go over 'der, Mama! Let's go!' I'm looking forward to July 4th. I'm not sure what we're doing or where we'll be watching the fireworks from yet, but I know she'll love it. (if any of you locals have any tips, I'd love to hear them.)

For the most part, we spent the rest of the weekend at home. Saturday we cleaned up and Alex had some guys over from church for poker night. (I'm voting for an UNO night soon with ladies allowed!) On Sunday we had the best luck with curb freebies on our walk home. It was like the city was listening to our every desire and manifesting them for us right there on the sidewalks. First we found a Camelbak backpack that looked practically brand new, but the zipper was a bit broken, but was fixed with a  quick stitch with a needle and thread. Then we found a cast iron skillet! Then, and this takes the cake, I walked upon a dusty old Schwinn bicycle up for grabs. It's everything I've ever wanted in a bike - bright blue, rust in all the right places, leather seat, and most of all free. It just needs a bit of soap and water, some new tires, a basket on the front, and a name and she'll be ready for some city adventures. Walking her home and hauling her up and down the subway stairs called for a nap when we got home. Then we sat around reading for a little while, and made our way to a park down the street before it got dark to throw a baseball around a bit. Ev thought Alex and I throwing the ball back and forth was the funniest. She was just so excited the entire time! I love how she lights up when we're outside. It's a bit hot outside today, so we've spent the morning inside doing dishes and reading books on the couch together. I'm trying to get organized and prepare for the week. I got an email that The Goldfinch is due in two days, tried to renew it and they won't let me because there's a hold on it, so now I feel like I need to have a reading marathon tonight and tomorrow to try to finish it because I never will if I have to check it out again. Alex is contemplating getting a second job, which I know will be harder on Ev than it will be on me, so I'm trying to prepare myself mentally for that. And we need some groceries, so I'm getting a list together and we'll probably make the trek to Fairway tonight.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!
If you wrote a post about it, leave me a link in the comments.


  1. I found you via the Mom Lovin Linkup :)

    Beautiful pictures! Can't wait to follow along! This post makes me wish I lived near the water. At least a river or something (like I did growing up!) But nope! We live in the middle of a corn field in NE. It's all good though, because the kids still love swimming ;)

    1. We really aren't city people as much as you would think we would be living in NYC, so being near beaches and water definitely makes up for it. Pools are fun no matter where you live though! ;) Kids don't care.

  2. This sounds like such a great weekend. Since living in Alaska we have become such nature enthusiasts. I am like you though, I live for the weekends when we can change up the routine a little. Get out of the house more and explore before Monday rolls around!

    1. There wasn't much to do in New Mexico except hike and get out in nature, so it's kind of ingrained in us now - to get outside, especially on the weekends. It's really surprising how much nature there still is in this big city! How long have you guys lived in Alaska?



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