Sunday, June 29, 2008


As of this weekend, Ryan is half done with his internship. I realized this at church today and started to feel a little panicked. We still have so many things we want to see and do while we are real New Yorkers (I'm sure many New Yorkers would be offended that we think we're locals even though we're only here for 3 months). We feel pretty urgent about it all because if we come back to American Express, we are pretty sure we will not be city dwellers. Ryan would probably commute from New Jersey, so this is probably our only chance to be so close to so many great things.

My mom came into town a couple weeks ago, so we made a special effort to scour the city, looking for fun. Here are pictures of a few of our adventures:

This is Maisie wearing a Macy's hat in Macy's on 34th street.

We live 2 blocks away from Grant's Tomb, so we thought we'd go investigate who is actually buried there...

Here's Mais playing at the foot of Lady Liberty - she really liked having some grass to play in (there really was a lot, I don't know why she chose to sit in the one patch of dirt.)

Here's the whole family under the Statue of Liberty - one of our favorite trips so far!!

Here's Katharine, Maisie, and I at Belvedere Castle in Central Park (a great Sunday afternoon stroll)

We live just blocks away from Columbia University, here is a picture of the library at the center of campus.

I'm still a week or so behind on what's going on with our lives, but at least I'm a little more caught up - we are really happy to be where we are and are loving all the adventures.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Please don't call CPS

This first picture sends chills down my spine. Ryan, holding Maisie up like that. Trust me I was not encouraging him! This is atop the Empire State Building on the 86th story where you really can see the world! Well, if there weren't so much smog I guess. The view was spectacular and we had a great time identifying the parts of the city that we have explored.

We still feel like we're tourists, trying to cover as much ground in this great city as we can over the summer.

Ryan is enjoying his time with American Express. He even got to meet the CEO. That was very exciting, like a celebrity siting. He even shook his hand!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

If you can make it here you'll make it anywhere...

...or so says Frank Sinatra. I've got to admit, old Blue Eyes might have known what he was talking about. In my short experience here in New York, it sure seems like this place is a lot different than anywhere I have been before. For the first few days here, I definitely wondered what I had done dragging my family across the country to this strange place, but now it is really starting to grow on me. Don't get me wrong, there are still some things I am not a fan of, I don't like living in an environment where silence doesn't exist, and I hate having to get a running start just to get a place on the subway, but New York definitely has some redeeming merits. I guess the best part of New York starts right here...

I'm spending my days here in the building on the right working at American Express. I live on the 35th floor in cube 109C. I've been so impressed with Amex up to this point. I was originally attracted to the company because of their history of success, and I have found that the success they have achieved did not come by mere happenstance. American Express has built an organization that continues to evolve and succeed no matter how the environment changes. It's been fun to observe how this happens. Innovation is a priority and it seems like everyone is aligned toward similar goals. One of my tasks this summer is to get to know the HR organization, so I spend a significant amount of time each day sending emails to people throughout the organization asking for the chance to speak with them. Without exception I have found people that are willing to take time out of their schedules to meet with me and tell me their story.
I am working on Employee Data Privacy which is a fascinating (and somewhat boring) subject, I will save the details of that for a later post. Anyway, life is good and we are starting to adjust to the fast pace of New York City.

7 Days for $25

When buying a subway pass you have the option to buy an unlimited ride pass for $25 that lasts 7 days. Or you can buy each ride for $2 each. So... over the past week I definitely got my money's worth. Here are a few of my adventures:

This may look like an amusement park, but no, it's Toys'R'Us in Times Square. It was unbelievable.

Playing in Central Park for Luke Busby's birthday. It's been so nice to have MBA friends here!

Children's museum of the Arts. Maisie had such a great time playing, reading, painting, and exploring. In SoHo.

The Jersey Shore. My favorite day so far.

I just had to add this. No, that's not facial hair silly, that is sand stuck to snot. Who hasn't seen this before? Classic.

Carnegie Deli, greatest cheesecake I've ever had, EVER. $8.95 a slice. Worth every penny.
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. Beautiful to see the city scape. We ate great pizza once we got to Brooklyn.

Picking dad up from work. He works in the financial district right on the Hudson river. It is a gorgeous water front with a path all the way to the ferry boats to the Statue of Liberty. We were too late for that though.

The Bronx Zoo- Maisie and I went with Anika Busby, Stacey Creer and their kids. It was a lot of walking and not very many animals to see. But the Zoo is free on Wednesday and the kids were thrilled to be there and play together. The most exciting to Maisie were the peacocks. I thought that was hilarious.

Country Girl... City Girl!!

Going from two weeks on the family farm in Honeyville Utah, to New York has been such a drastic change. Nice relaxing horse rides with thousands of acres of farmland surrounding- to busy, noisy city streets. Please note: look at Maisie's little hands covering her ears as she fell asleep. She's still getting used to it too :)
On Saturday we walked all of Central Park and saw Carnegie Hall, then walked home. A 7 hr walk. Geesh. Central Park is so wooded and beautiful. I was surprised to see a group of about 40 skate boarders, boarding together. The open lawns in the park looked like crowded california beaches, and every play ground was packed with children of all ages. Central park is full of so many different running trails and ponds and so much more. My favorite part of the city so far.
Monday was hard letting Ryan go to work- this break has just been too nice with him home. Maisie kept asking "where's daddy?" over and over. We stayed busy with another walk to the park, where we tried to find an albino peacock we had seen that weekend. No luck. So we finished our adventure at the public library. I packed light coming out here so I checked 25 books out for Maisie- she has loved having them already. We made it to story time and let me just say that Provo kicks New York City's trash in the story time department. No competition.
Everyday I find I need something at the market. I didn't realize how hard it would be to start a kitchen and a fridge from scratch. No flour, sugar, baking soda, oil, condiments, etc. Is everyone else having a tricky time getting kitchens organized?
Today's Pros and cons:
Con - always seeming to find myself walking behind someone smoking (and we walk a lot)
Pro - New Yorkers are SO helpful. They make using the subway a piece of cake. AND, I don't have to pay for gas in a car this summer!

I'm My Daughter's Nanny

New York, New York. Could we really be here? Apart from BYU, the last chapter of our lives was in Glenns Ferry, Idaho- population 1,200. Moving on to New York City, population 4 million, in a smaller geographical area has been shocking, nerve racking, depressing, exciting, wonderful all at the same time.We arrived on Thursday May 15 and spent the day walking around our neighborhood which is right next to Columbia University.We've spent so much time in parks already, and what I've learned is that the children at the park who have a different color skin than the adult they are with probably weren't adopted but with a nanny. It looks to me like the adults that sit silent with the children saying nothing are usually the nannys. It actually breaks my heart. While at the same time fills me with such gratitude that we live such priviledged lives to be stay at home moms.My favorite Nanny/child pair was a woman from Tibet with a beautiful little boy or girl- I couldn't tell. So I just asked. Well, can you blame me? Beautiful long blonde hair, green cargo pants, a royal blue t-shirt and a bright pink barrette in the hair. What would you guess? Name: Wyatt. Male. The nanny was nice and said she got sick of his hair in his eyes so she now uses hair accessories. Adorable.