Cue up some Frank Sinatra, because this little blog (and its owners) have moved to New York, New York!!! That's right folks, a brand new city, a brand new APT, and the same old RyGuy and me.
I told you all about the area we were moving into in the last post, but you guys have been waiting all summer long to see our home for the next three years. So without further ado, I present to you our NYC digs:
Ain't it beautiferous???
We've got almost 600 square feet of space, a whopping 50% more space than our itty bitty Philly APT. I know what you're all thinking...aren't NYC apartments supposed to be smaller than everywhere else? Well, like I mentioned in the last post, we were incredibly lucky to get housing through Columbia University and even luckier to be assigned this big and beautiful apartment! (The happy dances haven't stopped for months.) While it isn't cheap, it's definitely a lot less than you would normally pay in NYC for an apartment like this, and we're very thankful that we have the option to stay for all three years without moving out during summers or switching apartments.
The floor plan isn't 100% accurate, but it gives you a pretty good idea of the space we're working with.
You know what would give you an even better idea of the space we're working with?
A VIDEO TOUR!!!!!
Woohoo! Now you've all been inside our apartment. What did you think??? Let me just say right now that you are not allowed to comment on my acting skills, the random boxes lying everywhere, or the fact that I stole the entire closet in the bedroom. Just kidding, tell me everything. Did you love it? (Or, gasp....did you hate it?) Is it bigger than you thought? How awesome is our couch? What's the first thing you would change? (I already know my answer....and it has to do with paint.) Can't wait to hear your thoughts!
There have been a lot of crazy transitions in our lives recently. I graduated from my nursing program in December and RyGuy's finishing up his master's in English this month. In the meantime, Ryan's been applying to law schools while I tried my best to guess where he'd end up so that I could look there for a nursing job. And on top of all that, we got engaged!
So we figured, with all that going on, why not add a little more chaos to the mix? Hence our big news . . .
WE'RE MOVING TO NEW YORK CITY!
That's right, we're leaving Philly to tackle Manhattan in all its big city glory. The good news? We can't wait to explore a new city and really take in the NYC experience. The bad news? We have to leave Philadelphia, where our love for city living was really cultivated. We are terribly sad to have to say goodbye to good friends, great restaurants, and a wonderful little APT that we've called home for two years now. But, in the end, we're glad that we're leaving on a high note and we couldn't be more excited about what's ahead of us.
Ryan will be attending Columbia Law School in the fall, and we just got official confirmation that we'll be living in graduate housing at Columbia next year. Law students at Columbia are guaranteed three years of on-campus housing, and we are incredibly lucky that we qualify for couple's housing (since we've already lived together and have a joint bank account). We received our housing assignment yesterday and are BEYOND excited about it (we did the happy dance probably about twenty times). We'll share all the deets when it's all official and we've sent in our deposit, but until then, here's a little teaser about where we'll be living:
We'll be living in the Morningside Heights area, which is right above Manhattan's Upper West Side. We're less than ten minutes away from Central Park, and we have easy access to the Hudson River Greenway, a running trail that extends more than 11 miles along Manhattan. More importantly, we've got a Pinkberry and a Starbucks in the neighborhood (Pinkberry for me, Starbucks for the RyGuy). Ryan will be close to the law school, and I'll be close to the subway, which will make it easy for me to get to and from my nursing job (when I finally get one...keep your fingers crossed for me).
We've actually already started the process of moving out of our current APT. It's bittersweet to see the place emptying out as all of our stuff gets packed up in boxes, especially since this was our very first apartment together.
We're trying to cram in as much Philly time as we can before leaving, and we'd like to share a farewell Philly post that talks about all our favorite things in the city. Keep an eye out for that post, and for the big NYC APT reveal! (We've got a floorplannnnnnnnn!) In the meantime, if anyone has any helpful hints or advice for us about moving or about living in NYC, we'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment!
This weekend, Ryan and I will be partaking in the North Face Endurance Challenge for the second year in a row – not just because we think it’s fun to trek up three miles up Bear Mountain and three miles back down, but because we'll be running on behalf of Flying Kites!
For those of you who don't know what Flying Kites is, it's worth taking a couple minutes to go back and read my blog post from last year. Flying Kites is a very special organization to us, and we've been involved through a fellow BC '09er, Juli Morrall, since just after we graduated. We're part of a group that sponsors a little girl named Martha:
Martha sends us letters and pictures from time to time, and she always asks us to come visit. While that isn't possible for most of us, what IS possible is showing her our love and support through other means.
Last year, we were fundraising for supplies for the school, but this year we are supporting a new initiative – the Flying Kites Farming + Feeding Program. With our support, the Farming + Feeding Program will be able to provide over 170 nutritious meals a day to children who need it most. The plan is to grow beans, sweet potatoes, cabbages, carrots, kale, spinach, and avocado in their own crop fields, and with some help from neighbors and friends.
This is where YOU come in. Donate what you can, if you can – any amount helps.
That's right, I am a single lady no more. RyGuy put a ring on my finger, and told me I had to come up with a new favorite song. Sorry, Beyonce.
We're currently soaking in the post-engagement bliss, and have been incredibly lucky to be able to celebrate with our family and friends in Philly, New Jersey, Boston, and New Hampshire. Gosh, we feel loved.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I figured you all deserved to hear how the whole thing went down (and how I almost unknowingly ruined the surprise on multiple occasions). So hang tight, because here's the story of how two crazy kids living and loving in the city got engaged.
When you've been in a relationship with someone for almost seven years, the topic of marriage inevitably arises. What I mean by that, is we'd been talking about getting engaged for a long time. And by talking, I mean I'd been pestering Ryan to propose for a LONG time. (Don't feel bad for him - the kid can hold his own in the battle of the proposal pestering....his favorite thing to do when people would ask him when we were getting engaged was to look right at me and give the straight-faced response "5 - 10 years".) When it finally became a serious discussion (for Ryan...I was always serious about it) we decided that he should wait until after my sister got married in early March to propose. That way we wouldn't steal their thunder, and we could have our own special moment too.
In the aftermath of my sister's wedding (which was beautiful and so fun, by the way - even though it started off as a cold and rainy March day) I knew the proposal was imminent. We had picked out a ring and he had asked my parents for their blessing, but he still managed to keep up the ruse by telling me that he wasn't going to propose before April because we were just too busy.
So the last weekend in March rolled around, and it was the first one we actually spent in the same state. Ryan had been in Oklahoma, Texas, and New York for most of March at academic conferences, and although he was tired of traveling, we had to go to New Jersey for the weekend for two very special family events - my niece's first birthday, and my grandmother's seventh-fifth birthday.
Knowing we'd be in NJ all weekend and had family events lined up, I definitely wasn't expecting a proposal. In fact, I didn't even pack any cute clothes because I was that sure he wasn't going to pop the question.
It turns out that Ryan had made plans to propose in Philly on Sunday before he knew we'd have to be in NJ for all the birthday shindigs. He'd asked a friend of mine to invite us to lunch that day, but I'd thrown a big wrench in everything when I responded that we couldn't since we'd be in NJ. Earlier in the week, he tried to convince me to come back Saturday night, but I was immediately suspicious, and instead he decided to just roll with it and make the trip part of the day.
So, on Sunday morning I woke up to a text message that said we were going on a secret mission, not to tell anyone, and to be ready to leave at 10:45. At that point I knew it was THE day, and I promptly started hyperventilating. When Ryan came upstairs to check on me and make sure I was awake (he really should have been checking to make sure I hadn't passed out from hyperventilating) all I could say was, "Is today the day? Today's the day. Oh my gosh, it's today. I don't even have any cute shoes!"
Always thinking about the important stuff, I know.
We drove back to Philly and stopped at the APT quickly (so I could change my shoes) only to find two dozen red roses waiting for us on the doorstep. Today really was the day. I still had no idea what was coming next, but Ryan said we were going to go to lunch like he had planned.
We walked out of the apartment and headed toward Rittenhouse Square. And the rest is history...(watch the video):
Happy Birthday to the current reigning youngest member of the family - Juliabug, who was born exactly one year ago today! I can't believe it's been a whole year since she made her spectacular debut, but here are some of my favorite memories that document her first 365 days.
RyGuy and I tried to make it home in time for the delivery, but the little rascal was just too quick for us. And we had to wait for visiting hours at noon anyway, so really we should have just slept in. Someday we'll tell her all about the day she was born and how she had the whole family up at 3am anxiously awaiting her arrival, only to keep us waiting until noon to see her. She already had us wrapped around her tiny little finger. Little bugger.
She was so itty bitty teeny tiny. And at two weeks old, already a victim of my love for taking wayyyyy too many pictures. You should see my iPhoto albums - I'm talking thousands of pictures of this lil' peanut.
I give her (and her parentals, the Beckster and JP) mad props for putting up with the wild and crazy antics of all her aunties and uncles. We love her. No seriously, I apologize for putting the baby in sunglasses but SHE WAS SO DARN CUTE I COULDN'T HELP MYSELF.
If it makes you feel better, Uncle RyGuy worked his magical baby soothing powers later that afternoon, so I'm pretty sure the trauma isn't permanent.
At four months old, it became overwhelmingly clear that she was a child prodigy. I'm pretty sure she was the youngest baby in the whole world to master such advanced yoga poses as toe lock (can I get a what what from all my P90Xers out there???). Plus, now she can pretty much tell time (okay, fine, she can tell you that a clock says tick tock...which is practically the same thing).
And it's not just brains and brawn, folks, this girl's got STYLE. When she rocks a swimsuit and floppy hat, she puts all the other babies to shame (I'm allowed to say that because there are no other babies in the family yet....at least until this summerrrrrrrrr!).
Her inner fashionista was still going strong at her first Christmas, when she stole the show with not one, but TWO fabulous red outfits. Seriously, she's so cute I wanna die.
After all that gushing (I would apologize but we all know that's not gonna happen), let me simply say...happy first birthday Baby Julia! Auntie Kara and Uncle RyGuy love you times infinity plus a million and one. Times twelve. Plus three. Okay, we love you a whole darn lot, enough said.
RyGuy and I are running a marathon. Our first. Not just any marathon either. THE SAN FRANCISCO MARATHON on July 29th. I know, brilliant. I hate hills and San Fran is practically the hilliest place on the planet (....I'm pretty sure that's not true AT ALL). Also, I'm pretty sure that I said I was never running again when we were at mile 11 of last year's half marathon.
(...anddddddd those photos were taken at mile 6.)
Here's the thing, though. We (and by we I mean I) have wanted to visit San Fran for years. So even though this is going to be pretty challenging for us as first-time marathoners, we (and again I mean I) are excited because it's going to give us the chance to explore the city and take in all the beautiful sights.
While dying a long, slow, 26.2 mile death.
Nah, I'm just kidding. Except we really are going to go slow. And if we don't survive, I bequeath my sewing machine to my mother. You're welcome.
Fortunately, the course is actually not as hilly as you would imagine, and the entire second half of the marathon is basically downhill. And it'll be a fun and inexpensive vacation for us, since we managed to book our flights using only the frequent flier miles we've accumulated over the years.
Despite all that, we've got our work cut out for us over the next few months. We've already started training, and right now we are following the infamous Hal Higdon's marathon program for novice runners. The training plan we're using is actually 30 weeks long, with 12 weeks of easy running to build up a base before the longer runs kick in. We're on week 10. If you'd like to follow along, you can visit Hal Higdon's website and see the training program in detail - it's the "novice supreme" one.
Wish us luck and keep your fingers crossed for us!