6.30.2020

15 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it's a lot of exclamation points, for a lot of years. 

love isn’t what i thought it was when we got married 15 years ago. our life doesn’t look like i would’ve guessed on our wedding day 15 years ago. last night we walked at dusk in the pouring rain through the west village, our 3 kids sprinting in front of us temporarily laughing instead of fighting, and we had 7 whole seconds to hold hands and laugh and look at just how far we’ve come. it’s not where we planned to be, and i know you would’ve rather been on the couch scrolling tiktok, but instead, you came with me because you knew it’s what i really wanted to do. it’s been A RIDE, mikal petersen- super high highs, and lonely lows that have nearly taken us out, but it’s all been better than i would have imagined anyway. i’m so proud of where we are. thank you for growing up and making a life with me. happy 15th anniversary!
“I don't know who we'll become
I can't promise it's not written in the stars
But I believe that when it's done
We're gonna see that it was better
That we grew up together
“Tell me you don't wanna leave
'Cause if change is what you need
You can change right next to me
When you're high, I'll take the lows
You can ebb and I can flow
We'll take it slow
And grow as we go”
(thank you, ben platt)

6.26.2020

last day of 4th & 1st!

after 10 months, 3.5 of which were spent learning from home, these 2 are finished with 4th & 1st grade! 

their first day seems long ago based on jude's hair, and the overalls that no longer fit elle. 

they have shown patience and resiliency and adaptability like i never imagined. 

i learned that elle can be entirely self-sufficient, and jude's brain is much more of a math-brain than a writing-brain-- the opposite of me, and likely explains in a small way why he and i have struggles communicating at times:) 

it was confirmed (not that i was considering) that i'm NOT meant to be a teacher, and trying to educate 2/3 kids with a husband working next to us, all in 1 room is less than ideal. i've come to appreciate headphones and zoom calls and just how much really is possible. 

i won't miss 2 computers on my kitchen table 5 days a week, or screaming matches with kids, but i will miss seeing them in pj's all day, or hearing them on calls with their teachers and friends, and absolutely no need for a schedule. i have no idea what fall will bring yet- i assume more of this- but for now, i'm impressed and totally pleased with what these 2 accomplished this crazy school year.

6.19.2020

our new york city, before and after.

last night we went on a walk to see the rainbow lights at lincoln center. 
all of lincoln center is closed and blocked off with the same metal barriers we see all over the city these days, but the buildings, fountain, and columns are lit up for pride month. it was so, so beautiful.
the weather was in the low 70's, but with 87% humidity. we walked home, hot and sticky, and i observed all of the upper west side different than i have before. june 18th. a beautiful, "typical" thursday night. normally, bustling. i haven't walked these streets at night since the start of the year- january maybe? back when it was cold and i walked as fast as i could just to get back inside. now, the streets are dark. ambient light from the closed (and sometimes-still-boarded-up) stores, salons, and offices showed dirty floors, stockless shelves- aside from some easter decor and signage- and tipped over chairs. a few restaurants are open for take-out, with an even more occasional straggler table w/ chairs on the sidewalk-- socially distanced-- even though anyone dining now is technically breaking rules and the restaurants face fines, many don't care. those who are caught are threatened with fines and the loss of their liquor license, but for many it's worth the risk. bars are the only signs of life, with window panels removed so you can order a drink to-go. the stretches without bars are eerily quiet. high rises that are usually speckled with lights now show mostly-dark apartments. those who stayed are clearly much fewer than those who fled.

i thought about the new york city we moved to. the new york city most people imagine. 
this isn't it. 
mike and i walk and talk often about that life- the before- the one that seems like a dream. there are no tourists now. "the rich fled." it's just the "normal people" left here. the days when people came to buy counterfeit bags in chinatown, or to see broadway shows, or take pictures to post on instagram of the a packed times square, or to see the statue of liberty, or ride a carriage around central park (not supportive of that, but i get the allure)...... all those things don't exist right now. most days, the loss and change breaks my heart, but on other days i feel so much love and pride for what's beneath all of those things. the under-workings of a city built on people. the creativity of the quilt shop owner around the corner, where she sits outside to sell pillowcases because she's not allowed to have customers inside. the mta workers who drive the other essential workers around in underground silver worms, or buses above the ground as they try and dodge people walking or riding bikes and scooters in the streets. the doormen who wear masks, but you can see in their eyes when they smile to you as you pass. 

i worry about what will be left. what businesses can survive. i worry that the people who left won't know what the city went through, and just envision her before, and i wonder when we'll be in the after.
*film from some of those cold january days that feel so long ago now.

6.11.2020

quarantine roll 3

it's thursday. phase 1 started monday in nyc - our first baby step to re-opening! 
phase 1 means construction, manufacturing, hunting (ha!), and curbside retail. 
due to the looting, a lot of the retail has remained closed, so really, the biggest difference is more people on the streets, and now you can pass the threshold at starbucks, and 2-at-a-time, you can enter to pick up your food. really though, it's not too different than the last 100 days. it's been a long road. 

a little blurb from my IG, which landed there first instead of here:

I laid on my floor and sobbed. My emotional dam was broken by none other than a soggy croissant. Feeling alone, guilty, jealous, burned out, tired... it all came to a head. The cascade of emotions and events tied to unnecessary death and racism shattered my heart. I listened, watched, read, donated, and marched. I looked with new eyes & promised myself to be better, moving forward in real and legitimate ways. These last 3 months have been harrrrd on my mental health- overwhelming, exhausting, claustrophobic, isolating, discouraging. We haven’t left our little Manhattan island once. We’ve watched our city get sick, and sad, and broken. We’ve watched it shut down and board up. We watched the rest of the country shut down, and then open again. It seems like everyone our family loves has left. 100 days ago we had a village, and now we just have ourselves. We chose to stay- we’ve chosen a hundred times over- to stay and fight. To try and support the community we love. Home. We've had the same talks about what the future looks like a thousand times. We’ve fought more times than I can count. We’ve said awful things in low points, and cried buckets of tears, and wanted to run, only to find ourselves still here. We’ve made up, and held one another, and we’ve had the most special moments of love and gratitude. We moved to New York City because we loved what it was— but the last 3 months we’ve watched her change. First, as the epicenter of Covid, and then as she let out her anger; she rallied with her strong, diverse fighters- a city with strength in numbers and a fire to fix. Today, we finally start phase 1 of reopening. It’s a step in the right direction. I’m hoping to find my footing again. Healing. Our new normal. Patience and grace. Deep breaths.

some photos from #thequarantineroll 3 - moving from life indoors all the time, to time outside each day. it was SO welcomed...

6.03.2020

the murder of george floyd, and a blank quarantine roll.

i found out my 3rd quarantine roll was blank- that hasn't happened in years. mike said it was probably the company ruining it but not wanting to take the blame. he's just trying to make me feel better- it probably was my error in loading, but either way, it sucks. these rolls have been a really symbolic display of the way life has changed and progressed through this whole process of "pause." i was so sad to lose 36 of those middle-images from our time, but that feeling of disappointment is also sort of synonymous with the times, ya know?

i started this post about a week ago, but never finished hitting "publish." since then, i feel like our already upside-down world has been spun yet again. i'll get into my thoughts more fully on another day, but for now, i'll just address the weight that feels like it just won't stop piling on. 

---

nyc is scheduled to reopen phase 1 on june 8th. it's funny that way back in march, the announcement of school being out until april 20th seemed like an eternity away. there are signs in dozens of small shops and restaurants around our blocks that read something along the lines of: "closed due to governor's mandate. we'll see you at the end of march. stay safe, stay strong." 

it's june 3rd, and those shops are still closed, nearly 100 days later.

about a week ago, a woman walking her dog in central park, called the cops on a man who asked her to leash her pet. the exact spot is one that we visit often- it's become a favorite during quarantine. it's beautiful. it's peaceful. i took photos right there- photos that are now lost from quarantine roll 3. anyway, this woman, she called the cops and said an african american man was threatening her. the ramble- this large wooded area- requires dogs be leashed at all times, but people never listen. (kind of like the "no smoking" thing in the park- it's an ambiguous rule that apparently only applies to some.) her racist threat (she had no base for her call to the police) sparked outrage. it went viral. that man she called the cops on was a bird watcher- what seems like a kind, forgiving, understanding, and very smart man who recorded the encounter. 

later that day, a man named george floyd was murdered in minneapolis after trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill. i'm sure the details are quite known- i don't need to get into specifics here, other than to say, i was disgusted. appauled. horrified. shocked. all the words. the almost-9-minute video left me with my jaw dropped, and my face wet with tears. it was unbelievable, but somehow........ it was real. he was murdered- suffocated- right there in the street as he begged, "i can't breathe."

the murder of george floyd has caused a tidal wave of protests, riots, looting, and overall outrage in all 50 states. the already-heavy world feels heavier. a reminder that covid is still very much pulsing through society- especially here in the city. in an already-dark time, it feels, darker. sadder. what wasn't boarded up before, is now. boards and buildings are tagged: "black lives matter!" "we see you! george floyd, breonna taylor, kaleif browder, ahmaud arbery..." protests have filled the streets the last couple of days, and looters have ransacked stores we've visited dozens of times. soho is a war zone. cop cars were burned. sirens are raging outside again. a good friend of mine was arrested. it's quite literally a shit show outside. i never saw covid coming, and i sure as hell never saw this either. 

the city is on an 8:00 curfew. i heard the last time a curfew existed was in 1943. it's eerie. a city that felt banded together for 90 days now feels angry. it looks worn. broken. glass in the streets. burned remnants. 

while i've never thought of myself as racist in any way, the constant barrage of information i've been given, and have been pushing myself to read about and watch and overall become more educated about, has been eye-opening. i'm sad. i'm embarrassed. i'm desperately wanting to help fix what i can- anything i can. i want to say more when i have better words to share, but for now, my heart is just trying to stay open and learn what i have apparently been missing in my own ignorance & privilege. i want to stay aware and compassionate and open-minded as people express and share in their own ways. i want to speak more when i have better words, but for now, i'm learning, and then i'll do.

#blacklivesmatter

*photos from my second quarantine roll.
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