OK, so this is the LAST renovation post because SOON, OH SO SOON, there will be a REVEAL POST which shows the apartment. So here are the latest photos of what is going on. Yes, still not liveable, still not a lot of lighting (and 3/4 of our belongings are still packed), so there is a lot to do. But here are the latest pics!
One wall in Cruzzie’s room is this whole world map — it is where eventually his bunkbed will go.
We just returned from a special 40th birthday party of a very dear friend in the French Alps. It was a weekend of snow, ski, rose, fondue, meat, relaxation, and lots of fun. An incredible experience that we will never forget.
Val D’Isere is located in the French Alps, a three hour drive from Geneva. We landed early morning in Geneva, took a bus to our chalet, got fitted for skis, and went straight to the mountain. No wasted time!
For personal family reasons, I have had a difficult past week with lots of tears shed and feelings of despair and sadness. Many friends went above and beyond and have been an incredible support. Thank you for listening, thank you for the wine, thank you for the lunch, thank you for check ins and calls, and thank you for being my shoulder to lean on. It means the world to me, so thank you.
It is also during these times that I miss my parents the most. Growing up, whenever I got upset (either by throwing a temper tantrum or having my feelings hurt), my father would type up letters with some big moral and place them on my pillowcase. My father (the smartest man in the world) is also incredibly sensitive, wise, articulate, and thoughtful. It was during those hard times that I looked forward to his letters the most. Especially right now, I so wish I had these letters and could relate them to my feelings.
So when I came across this book “Letters to My Baby” it tugged at my heart strings and I had to buy it. Not that they are similar to my father’s typed up letters, but they are a great keepsake and something a child can have forever. Write now, read later, treasure forever. They are little paper time capsules that contain 12 letters where a parent can write to their child. Each letter has a different prompt for the parent to write about, and then you date, seal and keep the letters for your child. I love this idea.
Vintage Air Mail look in a great little booklet.
In August, I posted about our renovation and how lucky we are to be able to combine two apartments together to form our dream home. So here we are, now in November, and while we are progressing, the end doesn’t seem much closer (still living with my in-laws). IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT, but man, it can be difficult not having my own home or space. My in laws are incredibly generous with their home, yet, it is still not our own…..
ZEN — my in law’s apartment is ZEN, of course, until you see our mess and chaos and craziness.
It feels like a million years ago that we were on vacation with our dear friends in Deer Valley / Park City, Utah. In reality, it was just a week ago (another trip to the West Coast this weekend for my sister’s wedding sure makes time confusing). Deer Valley was the perfect ending to a fabulous summer, filled with lots of activities and simple family fun with great friends. Here is a recap of our trip with recommendations.. Deer Valley is a PERFECT summer getaway (particularly at the end of the summer after Utah schools start up… everything was empty which was perfect!)
On our final weekend on the West Coast (Best Coast), we went to Napa to celebrate our best friends’ joint 40th birthdays. It seems like there were a lot of California trips this summer (there were), but this one topped them all. Just like we did 10 years prior for our friends’ wedding, we stayed at The Carneros Inn. Over the weekend, we had an incredible (INCREDIBLE) dinner at Ad Hoc, one of Thomas Keller’s restaurants, brunch at The Fremont Diner, and the party at The Barn at Cornerstone. Not only was it hog heaven food wise, but the weather, the company, and the experiences were all top notch. I already miss the ease of flying from Eugene to San Francisco, and all our West Coast friends….
White farm flowers.
I love my summers with my parents in Eugene. It couldn’t be any different than our routine in New York, and I love the change of pace both for me and for our family. Not very glamorous or fashionable or social; but very nature-centered, kids focused, with lots of fresh air. Take a look.
I wake up very early and do my morning workout before the kids eat breakfast. I just get up, and do it. Then, after the kids are fed and dressed, I take Cruzzie to camp (in the car). From there, Tusia and I start our day of Tusia-Mama Camp (the oh so exciting camp) which means:
Trips to the grocery store…who knew that they could be so exciting? And who knew I needed to go most days? (Her cousin Nadia is pictured – Toosh is hiding behind the grocery cart).
Last Friday, my sister Courtney and I hosted a Bridal Luncheon to celebrate our baby sister, Galen, and her upcoming wedding. The lunch took place at Olympia Provisions in Portland. Located in a hip / up and coming industrial area of Northwest Portland, the restaurant (which also is known for its meat sold nation wide) was the perfect venue. The lunch was super special with a great group of girls, delicious food, bubbling sparkling wine, and a glowing bride-to-be.
Truly, a la Portlandia; garage, brick, burlap, and meat.
Just returned heavier and happier from another great California trip with the family. We started the week in Yosemite and ended in beautiful Sonoma. Invited by close friends from Stanford, we spent last weekend with several other families to enjoy nature and beauty in wine country, on a ridiculously beautiful ranch filled with plums, pears, apples, peaches, berries, vegetables, bees, hiking, pool, tennis, and MORE. Every step I took, I was reminded of the movie Parent Trap (top 5 movies for me, and yes, the one with Lindsay Lohan). To take a look at our California Dreaming, see below.
ATV picnic. I love how California can be so high class and cowboy at the same time.
Bonjour! Hello from NYC after a whirlwind trip celebrating Mother’s Day with my special mother-in-law Josie Natori! As most of you know, I have a deep profound love for Paris and feel that it is my second home (Cruzzie corrected me and said “third’ — after NYC and Oregon, so true true). As it had been over a year since I had last been there, I was dying to get there. So my mother-in-law and I (just the two of us), jumped on a plane and went there for the long weekend. And what a special and wonderful treat it was. I am currently cross-eyed from no sleep (Jet Lag and I don’t mix), and we #ShoppedTillWeDropped, but it was so special and fun; a weekend to always remember. Take a look.
The view from the apartment. There is just something so special and glamorous about the buildings there. #BuildingEnvy
My son’s school had Grandparent’s Day this past Friday, so I called up my parents and begged for one of them to come. My father, newly “retired’ (he is still kind of working though..) agreed to fly across the country to make a 2 hour appearance (along with Ken’s dad – Ken’s mom was out of town) for his beloved grandson. Not only do I love my father so much because he is *my* father and the smartest, sweetest, grumpiest, most active, and fun 71 year old; but also because he is a devoted and loving grandfather to his 5 grandchildren (2 of them are my kids). He truly loves them and looks forward to every opportunity to spend time with them….like the whole summer when we move into his house in Oregon! As expected, my upbeat and energizer bunny father, was up for anything and partook in all our adventures and explorations. Take a look at what we did!
My dad was a Junior Chess Champion of Poland (and my uncle wrote a book about chess)….and I have no idea how to play
It seems like 2016 just started; and yet, school is about to end. I can’t believe I only have 6 weeks to squeeze in everything I want to do in Spring in NYC. Better start…..yesterday! Here is my list. (For last year’s list, go here).
1. Go see Hamilton (again).
Yowsers, I can’t stop raving about it.
After our wonderful vacation in Mexico with my parents, we headed to Puerto Rico with the Natori Seniors…YUP #hardlife and YUP #travelwithparents. We had a luxurious, lavish, relaxing, and fun 5 days (just like last year. Same vacation, different year). Take a look at the pictures….wish I was back there NOW! NYC is flipping cold and un-Spring like.
Bucerias, Mexico to Puerto Rico isn’t exactly a direct flight. We had 4 hour layover in Dallas, so we killed time (at the kids’ request) by taking the airport monorail in circles for 45 minutes. #KillingTime
Like last year, we spent the first portion of Spring Break in Bucerias, Mexico at my uncle’s beach house. My mother, born and raised in Mexico City, still has two brothers that live in Mexico. And fortunately for us, one of them has a beautiful beach house in Bucerias, a sleepy-non-tourist town north of Puerto Vallarta, on the west coast of Mexico. Here are the highlights from our ten day vacation with Nana and Tata!
My husband Ken is one of the most caring, down-to-earth, and fun people I know, on top of being extremely brave, courageous, and committed. For his 40th birthday, he threw a concert (similar to his 38th year birthday recital) but instead of doing it solo, he cobbled together a full band (frequent readers know he started taking guitar lessons 3.5 years ago when he won an O.A.R. Sound Check at a silent auction). So, with a lot of work, practice, and dedication, he had a fabulous 40th birthday party last weekend. I am so proud of him for putting himself out there and taking risks. Here are the photos (most of them are taken by Cynthia Delconte, our wedding photographer!) Enjoy!
In my previous life, I was a math teacher. I taught for ten years; in a public high school in the Bay Area, a public high school in New York City, and then a private middle school. Each school had its strengths and difficulties, but I was drawn to teach, not just because of my love of the subject matter, but because of my love for the students. Many students were my first children; people that I cared for, worried about, cried over, and loved.
Graduating from Stanford with my MA in 2004. I thought graduate school was hard, but nothing is as hard as your first year teaching.
Everyone is talking about it…. so call me generic or mainstream, but I can’t stop raving and oohing and crying about When Breath Becomes Air. I am obsessed: I have ordered four copies and given them to friends. I figure out a way to bring it up in every conversation. I think about it. I want to re-read it with a highlighter and underline the important lines. It is heart-wrenching, gut-punching, soul-defining good.
DRUM ROLLLLLLLLLLL…….my hubba hubba husband is now El Capitan of The Natori Company (also know as President). For some readers, you might think OBVI, he is the son, so of course, he is President. But that is not the case. Ken never thought he was going to work for his mother and set out to make a name for himself. He was a TV and radio broadcaster at Bloomberg for 5 years (Ken Natori, What’s the story?), then went to Stanford Business School (near-perfect GMAT scores), worked at Lehman Brothers for several years (left before the crash), and then joined the family business in 2007. I am proud of my husband for working hard, committing to what he believes in, being a diligent and thoughtful worker, and at the same time as being the smartest person I have ever met (other than my brother and father — they all tie for first place). So now, a new era of new life for the Natori business, and I am proud and in awe of my husband’s dedication, drive, and talents. So to celebrate, I got him this plate (this is not a joke).
YUP, “You are special today” BEST GIFT EVER.
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!
Happy New Year! What a beautiful start to 2016! Without further ado, here is a look at five goals for 2016! (Can I just say ditto to my 5 goals of 2015 and call it the end? The end.)
Sledding right into the New Year (with my beautiful and sweet niece, Alagna).
A short and sweet, simple Merry Christmas to you and yours. As you read this, we are somewhere on an airplane traveling from Florida to Sunriver, Oregon to spend a week in the snow with my side of the family.
Happy everything! And yes, those sweaters are hand knit art work created by my mother. Next on her list of projects, a matching sweater for me! I can’t wait.
Although most people take the week off from posting on the world wide web, I will be doing regular posts (#JosieGirlNeverStops), so please stop on by! Thanks so much for all your continuous support and viewership (#ForeverGrateful) and have a very Merry Holiday.
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.
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
The minute my mother-in-law walks in the door, people stare at her. She carries herself regally, impeccably dressed, and is constantly glamorous and beautiful. In the 12 years (!) that I have known her, I have constantly been in awe of her beauty, grace, and class. So, I decided to ask her questions on how she takes care of herself (with the unrealistic hopes that it would give me the tools and hints on how to be as beautiful as she is). Take a look at her answers!
JCN and me before the CFDA’s
It is rare to find friends that are family; people you love unconditionally and can be completely comfortable with in any setting. Luckily, we have found our New York non-family family, so it was an extra special treat to be invited to spend Thanksgiving with them in Aspen, Colorado. HOLY COW was it amazing, perfect, and incredible. Take a look at our pictures (#humblebrag #sorryimnotsorry)!
The kids get along swimmingly. Best friends for life.