Happy 2016 and back to reality! We are back to the routine (school, work, pressure, paying attention to time, the hustle and bustle of the city, oh me oh my!), which makes me even more nostalgic of last week’s Sunriver vacation with my family. Although my dad claims that there is “family” and “vacation” and no such thing as “family vacation,” I happen to disagree. We had the best time with my brother, sister-in-law, parents, nieces and nephew; and loved every minute of our time with them. Here are some pictures to enjoy!
SNOW! And lots of it! Unlike the 70 degree Christmas in NYC, the West Coast was hammered with cold temperatures and lots of snow — perfect for a ski vacation!
Hello from (grey and cold) Florida! We had an early Christmas celebration this past Friday night since we were all headed in different directions (Florida then Oregon for us Natori Juniors, the Philippines for the Natori Seniors, and New Jersey for my sister, Courtney). Take a look. And listen to this because it is amazing!
Santa visited us (the four of us actually celebrated Christmas that morning…. so I had to run out and get more presents for Santa to deliver to the kids!). This Santa, although wearing latex gloves, was BY FAR the best Santa that we have had compared to years past. No flask, no chain smoker, no creepiness.
Plastic cups; not very glamorous sounding, but trust me these will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. My best friend, Amy (who by the way, introduces me to 99% of what is cool / hot / hip / trendy / important), told me about them several years ago, but my reaction was “HUH WHAT?? PLASTIC CUPS, WHO CARES?” but then, as always, I listened to her (she = always right and in the know), so I bought them. And sure enough, they *changed* my life. Dramatic, but 13 bucks and you get 16 cups; all super cheery and colorful. You do the math, but I think that is a pretty good deal.
Colorful = happiness!
Although it currently feels like Spring in New York, Christmastime is in the air!; bells, fir trees, red, green, tourists, presents, ribbons, gingerbread, candy canes. We had a terrific Sunday morning last weekend, and I highly recommend recreating it for some family fun.
Anything with these two is fun and festive….except when they are poking each other’s faces, whining, complaining, crying, and hitting. #TheJoy
One of my favorite events in the Big Apple is the New York City Marathon. There is a buzz, energy, and pride that fills the city air. I cry, I smile, I weep, and I am just so happy for all the runners and finishers! And this year, it fell the day after Halloween, making it a BIG weekend for kids and adults. A memorable, fun, and inspiring weekend.
And so it happened……my (soon-to-be-6-year-old) son lost his first tooth this past Sunday.
Bottom tooth be gone!
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 a day keeps the doctor away. A crowd favorite, ice cream (and candy) from good ‘ol Goody’s!
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!
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.
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 !
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) was able to teach Cruzzie how to ride a bike. (and yes, That’s Life!)
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
Kids’ heaven. Playground with multiple airplanes. It is always deserted with very few people, and we are so happy to be there.
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
Spencer’s Butte. My favorite stomping ground in Eugene, Oregon. My home away from home. Thanks for letting me share pictures from over the years…
Summer 2009, Cruz in belly.
Here are my August loves! Take a look!
gon-DO-la or gond-uh-la? Who else is with me on pronouncing the “O”
Over the weekend, we went to the Lavender Festival on the McKenzie River with the family, including our nieces and nephews. What’s at an Oregon Lavender festival? Lavender. And a couple of lavender vendors. And, well…that is about it! That said, we enjoyed the scenery, smells, colors, and ummmmm lavender.
Purple lavender haze