Summertime in Sunriver

Fall is in full swing and I am (incredibly) nostalgic about sunshine, bathing suits, vacation, less scheduled time, and popsicles. So throwback (#MondayMemories — such a thing, HA!) to August when we traveled with our best friends (who don’t like the internet) and all our kids to one of my favorite places to travel: Sunriver, Oregon. Growing up, we would go there twice a year for family vacations; always to ski. Winter ski trip and Spring ski trip. Only once did I go to Sunriver in the summer, when I was invited in middle school with a friends’ family. Our trip this summer did not disappoint and we thoroughly enjoyed each and every minute — activities, relaxation, and quality time all together.

 

An ice cream cone a day keeps the doctor away. A crowd favorite, ice cream (and candy) from good 'ol Goodies!

An ice cream a day keeps the doctor away. A crowd favorite, ice cream (and candy) from good ‘ol Goody’s!

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Seattle, August 2015

I am not a good driver….as (1) I don’t like the actual driving, (2) I get sleepy easily, (3) my mind wanders off, (I don’t text when driving and I am safe!), and (4) I usually end up driving super slow in the left lane…..but I was more than happy to drive the kids up to Seattle last week to see their cousins before our summer ends. Here are some pictures from our wonderful time together in the Pacific Northwest’s biggest city!

Sailing at Sunset. We had the opportunity to do that 2/3 of the nights we were there. SO FUN and so relaxing.

Cruzzie and his cousin, Alagna, sailing at sunset. We had the opportunity to do that 2/3 of the nights we were there. SO FUN and so relaxing.

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How To: Meal Planning

My dear friend from childhood Katy is not only a good runner, but also a phenomenal teacher, mother, wife, and on-top-of-it-resident-chef.  Moreover, she is my 100% inspiration in terms of meal planning and cooking for her family. She is so impressive that I don’t know where to start — on top of being a full time teacher and mother of two she manages to cook 6 nights a week for her family by meal planning and organizing the menus two weeks at a time! As someone who needs guidance and help, I was fortunate to be able to sit down with her and ask a bzillion (sorry there are so many — worth reading through, PROMISE) about how she is able to meal plan.  It saves her time, indecision, and money.

 

Pinterest at its finest !

Pinterest at its finest !

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Beginning of Summer…

Here we are, Oregon Summer 2015! I arrived just a little over 24 hours ago from New York and it feels like I never left. I must say that I have had a hard time adjusting the first week….I always want to make a plan and have a hard time not having a “busy schedule”. That said, after a week in Eugene, I get the hang of doing nothing and get to be way more mellow and relaxed (all of it disappears the moment that I land in NYC). Totally jet-lagged, exhausted, and tired, here is a quick look at some photos of my first 24 hours in Eugene.

 

A walk to a flat area (we live in a steep hill in every direction) where Tata (my father) could teach Cruzzie how to ride a bike.

A walk to a flat area (we live in a steep hill in every direction) where Tata (my father) was able to teach Cruzzie how to ride a bike. (and yes, That’s Life!)

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Happy 3rd Birthday, Toosh!

A trip down memory lane…..Three years ago (to the date), I gave birth to my little baby girl, Zoe Esther (also known as ‘Tusia” or ‘Toosh”) Natori. Maybe it is from watching videos like this or this or reading about when she was 1 but DAMN, being a mother is such an emotional and rewarding job. And with Tusia’s birthday today, I can’t seem to hide my tears. I tear because I never knew that this type of love was possible; that she is no longer a baby; that we are now in a new phase of our life; the concern of future hardships; the pride I beam for who she has become; the curiosity of her mind. I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart). “Tusia Na-ta-tori” as she calls herself is my little princess, and I love her up to the sky, down again, around the world, and back again. Happy 3rd birthday, Toosh! I love you.

 

Big girl Toosh celebrating her birthday and mother's day yesterday eating a "Hello Kitty" sorbet and relaxing in Central Park.

Big girl Toosh celebrating her birthday and Mother’s Day yesterday eating a “Hello Kitty” sorbet and relaxing in Central Park.

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Spring Activities in NYC 2015

Believe it or not, Summer is around the corner! 6 more weeks! So better get going on the Spring Activities in New York City. My list is long and I hope to accomplish most of them this season!

 

1. Stroll the grounds at Storm King

 

A way of being outside in nature and enjoying art at the same time. Looks so beautiful and interesting and fun in the Spring or Fall!

A way of being outside in nature and enjoying art at the same time. Looks so beautiful and interesting and fun in the Spring or Fall!

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Currently Loving….April ’15

Spring is officially here! And although I have spent the entire winter moaning and groaning about the cold, I now have about 15 minutes of non-complaints before I start with the dissing and hating NYC weather once the humidity and heat start….which knowing New York could happen any minute! On top of loving Spring, here are other things that I am currently loving!

 

1. Ample Hills Ice Cream

 

Frozen custard.

Frozen custard.

 

Now that it is almost the marathon GULP SWEAT FREAK OUT PANIC WHAT OH WHAT AM I DOING (I leave on Thursday night for the marathon), I have been carbo loading every single day, which means eating pints upon pints of ice cream. And once you try Ample Hills Ice Cream, you just can’t go back to eating plain old regular ice cream. This stuff is the real stuff.  Click here for my full post.

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Dolce and Gabbana: This is My Family

A few weeks ago, fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana made some pretty controversial comments. In addition to opposing same-sex marriage, they also made critical comments about IVF, suggesting the procedure and other forms of fertility treatments created “synthetic babies.” While this blog has been a great outlet for me to share my ideas on fashion, food, fitness, parenthood, and more, I have tried to keep it free of any bigger picture discussions about politics or social issues. Until now.

 

IVF, and fertility treatments in general, are something that strike incredibly close to home for me, and for Ken. Without fertility treatments, we wouldn’t have any children. IVF gave me (us) the two most important gifts in our life. So Dolce and Gabbana… your comments were more than a little offensive and hurtful.

 

Ken and I first started trying to have kids in the Spring of 2008. As I hadn’t had a regular cycle in years, I was already skeptical of my ability to get pregnant. On a startling phone call from my OBGYN, I was told that if I wanted to have children, I immediately needed to see a specialist. And so seconds later, I placed the call.

 

My non synthetic baby.

My non synthetic baby.

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Puerto Rico – Spring Break

Happy Spring Break! As mentioned on Monday, I spent the first half of Spring Break with my family in Mexico, summarized here in 5 pictures. Now we are in Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico with my in-laws.  To keep up with the 5 picture theme and little words (shorter and funnier), here are cinco pictures of our current trip.

 

Josie Girl Blog - Puerto Rico Playground

Kids’ heaven. Playground with multiple airplanes. It is always deserted with very few people, and we are so happy to be there.

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Mexico – Spring Break

Hola, amigos! The kids and I had a great time with my parents in Mexico (Bucerias, outside of Puerto Vallarta) last week, and are now on part deux of vacation with my beloved husband and his parents in Puerto Rico. One spanish speaking place to the next, (but Pacific Ocean to Atlantic Ocean)! As I am still on vacation mode (= no downtime away from kids, and when kids are in bed, I collapse), instead of a full post, here are 5 photos that give you a good feel of Mexico. Enjoy the brightness, color, and look!

 

Day 1 Yellow wall.

Day 1 Yellow wall.

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Solo Travel = Mad Face

Happy Monday!  I just (barely) survived my first solo travel excursion with both kids.  To make it easy, we made the trip to Mexico…. with a stopover…. and a forty minute drive (joking on the easy part).  All worth it to meet my parents on vacation (I meet Ken, who couldn’t take two weeks off,  next week), but boy, was it an effort!

 

The below (while not taken yesterday), summarizes my (our) feelings.

 

Toosh... Make a mad face

Toosh… Make a mad face

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Seattle 2014

We just arrived in Florida after a solid week of lounging / eating / lounging / eating / lounging / eating at my brother’s house in Seattle. My brother, who happens to not just be my brother but also Ken’s best friend from college, along with his wife, 3 kids, cat and dog hosted the 4 of us, my parents, sister and mother-in-law all in their home. Gracious, open, and welcoming as always, we had the best time with them all. Thank you so much, Proskurowski-Rob family for taking us in to your beautiful home and letting us bounce off your walls for the week. And thank you to my parents, who like always, fed, spoiled, and took care of us all. Although I am wider than last week, I am more refilled with love from those closest to me. We love you so much and miss you all, already! Here are pictures to recap our vacation in Seattle.

 

Space!!! Needle! Space Needle!

Space!!! Needle! Space Needle!

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Shark Party!

Per request, here are photos of my son’s 5th birthday party! (JK no one asked to see them, so thank you for letting me share them with you!) My son, who turns 5 in nine days (who is counting?) celebrated his birthday with friends from school this past weekend up in Pound Ridge. Dedicated to sharks and the ocean (perhaps he will take after my brother), the party was shark centric. Here are the pictures!

 

Eeks, there is a shark in the grass!

Eeks, there is a shark in the grass!

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Remembering Joanna

I am not going to lie, but the past week has been difficult. It has been a hard transition for me to move from Summer to Fall, lounging to responsibilities, house to apartment, and Oregon to NYC. It is during those times — when I feel down and irritable — that I try to remember that everything is relative. At least I am alive and well with my family and loved ones. Unlike Joanna. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Joanna. On good days, bad days, cherished moments with my children, phone calls with my siblings, walks in the park, and routine activities, Joanna flickers through my mind. It is with a heavy heart that I remember my sister-in-law’s sister, Joanna. Might seem like a convoluted relationship, but she was more than just a distant relative; she was the sister of my brother’s wife as well as a friend, a mother, a daughter, a partner. Although Joanna passed away more than 2 years ago, it seems like yesterday and still brings tears to my eyes. 9 months after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, the world lost her. And what a great loss it was.

service

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Happy Spring Holiday(s)

Happy (belated) Easter! Happy (belated) Passover! Happy (belated) Spring! Some pictures from Pound Ridge of the holiday weekend!

 

As a typical 4 year old, Cruzzie decides to NOT listen to his papa, and throws the rocks into the pond regardless.

As a typical 4 year old, Cruzzie decides to NOT listen to his papa, and throws rocks into the pond regardless.

Almost 2, and already throwing mega-fits, this little cutie ALSO decides to not listen to her papa and (dangerously walks) on the rocks without supervision and shoes on.

Almost 2, and already throwing mega-fits, this little cutie ALSO decides to not listen to her papa and dangerously walks on the rocks with neither supervision nor shoes.

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Paris Highlights

AHHH Pareeh……How I really love thee. If I could, I would move there in a heartbeat. I have had the privilege of spending a lot of time there in my life time — as a child in the summers with my dear and lovely French family (I went to a French immersion school, and lived with an exchange family for the summers) to my adult life with the Natoris and their beautiful apartment. It is unlike any city and I am in love. Here are the highlights of my trip this past weekend for the Paris Marathon! A whirlwind trip, that will forever be remembered!

 

The Marathon

 

Obviously, the main reason I went to Paris, but just one of the many activities I did over the weekend. The route was incredibly scenic and beautiful!

 

Place de la Concorde.

Place de la Concorde

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