Philly

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knitters 2015

The knitters and me at the going away brunch they threw for me in April.

Moving is hard. Yep. I said it.

Moving to a new city and state as an adult pretty much sucks. The only way I know it will get better is because I’ve done it before.

When I graduated college, I moved from Southern Indiana to Portland, Oregon with Erin, a friend from school. I had just turned 22 and it was a huge period of transition for both of us. We didn’t know what we wanted to be when we grew up. We felt lost without our circles of friends from school, but at least we had each other. Well, at least for the eight months before Erin left me and moved back home to Illinois.

After Erin left I was forced to leave my comfort zone, find new roommates and make new friends. When I made the cross-country move to Boston for grad school four years later, I had created community in Portland.

The first few months in Boston were tough. I missed the life I had in Portland and although I knew I needed a change and I was excited to go back to school, I was starting over again. Fortunately, being a student automatically put me in situations to make new friends. I met Tim, my now husband after living in Boston only three weeks.

Three years later, after finishing grad school, Tim and I moved to Philadelphia. We wanted a fresh start and had heard good things about Philly. The cost of living was better than New York City, and it had an emerging arts scene that made it extra appealing. Moving to Philly we were forced to start over again. I don’t think I loved Philly at first. Finding a job, meeting new people, and navigating a new city is stressful. I had Tim, but the transition was tough. It took a while before we felt at home, but fast-forward eight and a half years and I had a fulfilling life. We were married, we adopted a dog, we had a three-year-old and a new baby. I had a job that I liked (and had worked at for over seven years). I volunteered in my community, had close friendships, and a city I knew well.

We’ve been in Tallahassee now for almost six months (what!?! how did that happen!?), and I’m still mourning my Philadelphia life. I miss my girlfriends tremendously and am moved to tears every few days whether by things I see on Facebook or an email I receive from a friend. Sure, on a moment-to-moment basis I’m doing fine. I’m settling into my new job, meeting new people, and finding activities to do with my family. We have the loving support of my in-laws and that’s been great, but I still feel homesick. Philly feels like home to me, and I don’t know when I’m going to get to visit again.

I think it would be easier for me if I had a Philly trip planned. If I knew I would be going to Philly over Christmas or even next year, I think it would be a easier for me. I could say, well, I’ll see you in May. But now, we have no plans to return to Philadelphia. It’s expensive and our Christmas holiday will be spent on pricey flights to Central Illinois to see my side of the family. Then, in April we’ll be flying to LA for my sister’s wedding (again, an exciting trip–yay, Gina!–but it’s not Philadelphia). Tim’s whole family is going to Key West next August and there’s just not enough time (or money) to do all the things I want to do.

Sometimes I daydream of just taking a long weekend trip to Philly for a girls weekend. I’m sure I could make it work financially if it was just me, but part of the reason I would want to go to Philly would be for my friends to see June and how much she’s grown. Plus, I would want to take Adelaide and have her get together with all her little friends.

It just breaks my heart to think that Adelaide won’t see her friends again or that by the time we do get back to Philly they won’t remember each other. I don’t know why that’s so hard for me. One bonus of moving Adelaide when she was only three-and-a-half years old was that she would be easily adaptable. Still, I hadn’t considered that she may one day completely forget her time in Philly–a time that was so important to me as a new mom and young family will likely just be the shadow of dream for her one day.

Tears stream my cheeks as I write this. I wrote it in two separate sittings and still, both days, tears.

My brain knows that I’m doing the right things–putting myself “out there” to meet new people, explore my new city and make new friends. I feel blessed to have made such good friends in all the places I’ve lived. (Otherwise, leaving wouldn’t have been so difficult.) I remember when I first met Tim and he said I talked about Portland all the time. I’m sure I did. Portland, Portland, Portland. Now I feel I do that with Philly–especially at work. I catch myself doing it. In Philly this and in Philly that.

Somedays when a Philly friend sends an email or comments on Facebook and says that it looks like I’m doing well or adjusting well, I cringe a little. Yes, sure. I guess I am. Right? But hell if it isn’t hard, and boy do I miss Philly.

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When I first started this blog, I named it “Next Life Chapter” because I was starting the new chapter of motherhood. Plus, I liked that the blog could grow with me. There will always be a next chapter.

I started a new chapter in January with the birth of Juniper, our second daughter. However, that chapter will be titled “The fourth trimester,” and it will be superseded by another exciting new chapter that’s about to begin.

Philly LOVE necklace  |  nextlifechapter.com

I gifted myself this special “LOVE” necklace as we prepare to leave the City of Brotherly Love.

Tim and I have been thinking about moving to Tallahassee, Florida for a while now. Tim’s parents are there, and with the arrival of Juniper we’ve dreamed of being closer to family. It’s a huge decision, but we are officially moving! I have accepted a Communications Coordinator position at Florida State University, and Tim is interviewing as well.

We told Adelaide last week, and she seems excited. Since I’ve accepted a new position, things are happening fast! The idea of moving to Florida has always been just that, an idea. It’s all happening much more quickly than I imagined. I’ll be starting my new job on May 8, so we’ll be leaving Philly on May 2. I’ll still be returning from maternity leave next Monday and working for two weeks. My official last day at work is Friday, April 24. Then, we’ll have a final week at home before heading out. (I’m flying down with the girls this time. We drove down when we went to Tallahassee to interview, and I don’t want to make that road trip again anytime soon.)

There’s so much to do and sort and pack. I go back and forth between feeling excited and feeling overwhelmed and sad about leaving. I’m going to miss my Philly friends immensely, and I feel dumb/scared/crazy for quitting a job that’s been good to me for the last seven and a half years. I know part of it is just the fear of the unknown. I’m comfortable in my job here and at a time when I’m trying to navigate the waters of being a new mom of two, starting from scratch somewhere else is a lot to bite off all at once. I’ll miss being so close to NYC (although we don’t take advantage of it as much as I’d like), and I’ll miss all the culture and opportunity that comes with living in a large city. Tallahassee does have a better cost of living, but it’s not THAT much better.

It’s all so bittersweet. I have to remind myself why we’re doing all this, and there are a lot of factors. One being that Adelaide will start Kindergarten next year–what!?!–and the Philly public schools (at least in the neighborhoods we can afford) are struggling. Plus, putting two kids in daycare is ridiculous. Tim’s parents are going to watch June this summer and then there’s the possibility they will continue to watch her two days a week into the fall and winter. It’s also going to be nice to have a free babysitter once in a while when Tim and I just need a date night. I think this will be really good for our marriage as well as our girls growing up near some of their extended family. Hopefully not having to travel to Tallahassee will allow us to visit my side of the family in Illinois more often–or *gasp* dare I say, take a vacation that doesn’t involve visiting family.

Overall, I know it’s a good move for our new family of four to be closer to Tim’s parents (they’re newly retired and ready to help), and the sunshine won’t hurt either.

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CityKids logoFor those of you in the Philadelphia area, South Philly’s CityKids Consignment Sale is tomorrow Saturday, September 13 from 10am-5pm and Sunday, September 14 from 10am-2pm. Many items will be 50% on Sunday, so come by early on Saturday to get all the really good stuff, and come back on Sunday to see what 50%-off steals you can find.

The non-consignor proceeds benefit the South Philly Parents Resource Center, so it all goes to a good cause. The SPPRC offers educational programming, new moms groups and other support to parents, and we recently received our 501(c)(3) paperwork. We are officially a non-profit organization! (And I’m Vice President!) This is only our second sale, but we are expecting over 6,500 quality, gently used toys, gear and clothes for your children, as well as some maternity clothes. The fall sale is appropriately dedicated to fall and winter clothes, Halloween costumes and other holiday items. Our spring sale is coming April, 2015.

The sale is free to enter and free to park! Thousands of name brands. Join us at Neumann Goretti High School on 11th St. between Moore and Morris.

SPPRC-kids-shirt_smAlso available for sale at this weekend’s CityKids Consignment Sale are the SPPRC fundraiser t-shirts designed by my talented husband Tim. The shirts come in three styles:

  • YO SOUTH PHILLY KID (toddler t-shirts – turquoise with black writing + onesies – black with silver writing)
  • YO SOUTH PHILLY MOM (dark gray with silver writing)
  • YO SOUTH PHILLY DAD (dark gray with silver writing)

The t-shirts will be on sale for $12 and the onesies are $15. We are running low on some sizes and will be making a new order soon. So, you may also sign up for a shirt you want and “pre-order” a sold-out size or size we didn’t order the first time around.

Check out Tim’s digital print designs on his etsy shop: Brothers Pannell

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I’ve been thinking about signing Adelaide up for some kind of dance class. Ever since we took her to see “Sesame Street Live” in March and then her school went to a performance of “Pinkalicious, the Musical” at the Walnut Street Theater in April, she’s been really into doing “shows.” She claps her hands and announces, “Okay, I’m gonna do a show.” Then she’ll proceed to sing a song that she makes up as she goes, common themes are Cinderella, Super Man, Leaves, Rocketships, Shrek, Music, “I love you,” and the occasional “I don’t love you.” She’s a budding songwriter at age two and a half and must take after her Aunt Gina with her improv skills. While she’s singing, she often dances, twirls and puts on a real number. (I’d really love to get this on video, but she stops/tones it down when I point the camera at her.)

I’m not exactly sure what’s the best age to start dance classes. I don’t want my kid to be over-scheduled before she even hits her third birthday. But, she turns three at the end of July and three seems like a reasonable age to start an organized activity. Then, this week I had the opportunity to check out Philly InMovement as part of a blogger event. I had heard of the space in Philadelphia’s Queen Village neighborhood, and it was great to check it out for myself. While the space is known mostly for gymnastics classes, they also have parkour, summer camp and summer open gym hours.

http://nextlifechapter.com  |  Philly InMovement

Adelaide was mesmerized watching the “big kids” show off their team skills.

On the way there, Adelaide asked if we were going to the playground. I said no, but that it was kind of like an indoor playground. When she saw the space she was so excited and couldn’t wait to take off her shoes.

http://nextlifechapter.com  |  Philly InMovement

I think her favorite part was the trampoline.

http://nextlifechapter.com  |  Philly InMovement

She also liked the low beam (with a little help from Mom and Dad).

We’re having Adelaide’s birthday at the sprayground again this year, but this would definitely be another option–especially for a winter birthday when outdoor parties aren’t an option. They have a room in the back with tables that would be perfect for pizza and cake. You can even check the birthday party availability right from their website.

Right now there is a $25 Groupon available for those interested in 4 adult gym classes or 5 sessions of children’s open gym (10 months-5 years or K-6th grade). It’s a $50 value, and is available for a limited time.

How old were your children when they started an organized dance/movement, sports, music or some other type of class or lesson?

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InspiredFamilyLogo

On March 22 I attended Inspired Family: A Mindful Parenting Conference. According to the website, “Inspired Family aims to give parents the space to dialogue with experts and each other on the topics that matter to you, from your pre-natal experiences through infancy and toddlerhood.” It was billed as, “48 workshops, 40+ vendors and resources, swag bags and giveaways.” And in full disclosure, as a blogger I received free admission.

The morning’s keynote speaker was Carla Naumburg, PhD, a clinical social worker, mother and writer. Her book, Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Connected, Sane, and Focused on What Really Matters will be released this fall. Although “mindful parenting” was part of the conference title, I have to admit that until I heard the keynote, I wasn’t familiar with mindfulness as a practice. I mean, I knew mindfulness in the dictionary-definition sense: “aware of something that may be important.” I thought it was about being present in the moment and about making parenting choices with purpose. I didn’t understand that mindfulness is a meditative practice and you can take trainings and study it with experts. In fact, after further research following the conference, I learned Philadelphia has a Mindfulness Institute at Thomas Jefferson Hospital, the region’s leading provider of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs. The following is a description from their website:

Mindfulness is about paying attention. It’s about living your life in the richness of right now, not being lost in memories of the past or overwhelmed by the worries or projections of the future. It’s a simple practice that strengthens the mind’s ability to stay focused on what is happening right now and to be open to experience — meeting the present moment with kindness and nonreactivity.

Reading that was an “a-ha” moment for me. I’m actually dumbfounded that I hadn’t discovered this practice before. A mindfulness-based stress reduction program sounds like something I could really benefit from. And learning how to overcome the worries or projections of the future and not let them overwhelm me is something that could have been helpful during the last six months as I’ve grieved my miscarriages. As I’m sure is true for many people, it’s hard for me to let go of things that are out of my control. Staying focused on the present is something I’ve been trying to do, but I didn’t have a name for it.

This discovery was my big takeaway from the conference. I attended many of the workshop sessions and tried to absorb as much as I could. I left feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the information I was given. I still have my swag bag filled with papers I want to go through and notes I want to review. But, I left feeling extremely positive and thankful that my husband watched my daughter and allowed me to have an entire day dedicated to self-care and learning.

The day’s workshops were split into five categories: Prenatal, Infancy, Toddlerhood, Self-Care, and Family. I spent most of the day in the Self Care and Family rooms. I was interested in some of the Prenatal workshops, but since I’m not actually pregnant yet, I only attended one of those sessions.

“Five Legal Documents Every Parent Needs to Feel Secure” was the first session I attended. I was looking for coffee so I got there a little late. Still, it rightfully scared me and I now feel the necessity to create a will and other legal documents. The lawyer running the session didn’t mention cost. I know expense is what would be prohibitive for me setting up the documents, but his examples convinced me of their importance.

I had a tough time deciding between “Taming the Toxins: Creating Better Health through Simple Changes around Your Home” and “Pregnancy after Loss: A Creative Arts Based Model for Loss and Life.” I chose the later because it was the only session that mentioned pregnancy loss. It was lead by Heidi Lengel from Interlude Music Therapy Services. Heidi is also a Certified Birth and Bereavement Doula (I didn’t even know Bereavement Doulas were a thing!). Only a small group attended the session and it was just perfect. I have to say that I was moved to tears by the song Heidi shared. I was glad to sit in the back of the room by myself, and I felt touched by her understanding and hopeful words.

Since I missed Xandra O’Neill’s toxins workshop, I attended her second session titled, “Taming the Myth of the Super Mom for the Mom You Want to Be.” I think the toxins workshop would have been a better fit for me, but I still enjoyed her inspiring words and she was kind enough to give me the handout from her previous workshop. I was already familiar with Xandra and her Womb to World Wellness business because we are both members of Philadelphia Social Media Moms. Since the conference, I’ve participated in Xandra’s Creating Fertile Ground Virtual Conference, and I don’t know that I would have joined in without having met her in person at Inspired Family.

I also attended a session on natural oils (something I know nothing about and am now intrigued to learn more), a work-life balance session, and one on mindfulness titled, “Anchored Parents: Creating Positive, Mindful and Happy Families.”

As a first-year conference, there were a few kinks that need to be ironed out. I was hoping for coffee and maybe bagels or some kind of light breakfast in the morning. Nothing was provided. The 45-minute sessions didn’t have built-in breaks in between. There was also no break for lunch. I would have loved maybe 10 minutes between sessions to run to the bathroom and get settled, and an hour for lunch. I didn’t want to miss any of the sessions, so running out to get lunch at the nearby food trucks was a bit of a chore. I ate during my session and felt rude. Plus, a lunch break might have allowed more time for the Marketplace. The room of vendors seemed to have a lot to offer, but I didn’t want to miss the sessions. I’m glad the Marketplace was open for an hour prior to the keynote, but I could have used more time.

The conference tried to be inclusive of the entire family and although it was heavily attended by women, I did see several dads or dads-to-be. The only session I wish was broken up by gender was “Wanna do it?… Not ever?! Having Sex after Baby–Will It Ever Be the Same?” For me, it was awkward to discuss such an intimate subject in a group full of strangers. It would have been fine for a presentation, but for an interactive workshop I just felt uncomfortable and left to check out a different session after the first 15 minutes.

Overall, I had a wonderful experience. The organizers were two moms with young children, and I was really impressed by the variety of offerings and all the work that clearly went into making the day a success. I feel lucky to live in a city with so many family-focused businesses. The conference was a great way for me to get a lot of information up front. Now I just have to take the seeds that were planted and follow-up with research of my own.

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Annual Memberships Prove Money Well Spent  |  http://nextlifechapter.com

Ready for the zoo!

Two of the best investments we’ve made this year have come in the form of annual memberships to local attractions. When my parents were here for Adelaide’s birthday back in July 2012, we never made it to the Please Touch Museum (the local children’s museum) due to some unfortunate circumstances, but my mom left some money for us to put toward an annual membership whenever we did finally make it. It’s so expensive for a one-time visit that we thought paying for the full membership would be worth the investment. We finally joined in November, right before the weather got cold and the local playground was no longer a viable option.

Then, when Tim’s parents were here in May, we wanted to take them to the Philadelphia Zoo. Doing the math for four adults and after finding a discount code online (always Google for a discount code!), Tim’s parents treated us to an annual membership for not much more than the cost of our visit. We figured if we went just two more times this year, the membership would pay for itself. Tim has been six or seven times already and it’s only the beginning of September. I’ve gone with them a few times, and he’s gone a couple of times on days he’s home with Adelaide.

I love our memberships at both the Please Touch Museum and the Zoo because the former provides an indoor option for those rainy/snowy/super-hot days and the later provides an outdoor option for those beautiful fall and spring days (and some might argue there’s plenty to do inside at the zoo too). Plus, we can go for just a couple of hours. As members we don’t have to worry about seeing everything because we can always come back. If Adelaide is cranky or feeling tired, we can leave and we don’t have to worry about not getting our money’s worth. Both memberships also offer free parking! Last Sunday we went to the Philadelphia Zoo just to see the monkeys, big cats and otters. Oh, and for ice cream. We can’t seem to go to the zoo without getting ice cream cones.

Annual Memberships Prove Money Well Spent  |  http://nextlifechapter.com

A quick “cheese” for Mom.

Annual Memberships Prove Money Well Spent  |  http://nextlifechapter.com

Although it looks like she’s roaring like a lion, I believe Adelaide was actually yelling for “Pizza.”

Annual Memberships Prove Money Well Spent  |  http://nextlifechapter.com

Striking a pose while waiting for the polar bear.

Annual Memberships Prove Money Well Spent  |  http://nextlifechapter.com

Mom was there, too!

I don’t usually post so many Instagram photos on the blog. Follow me on Instagram to see more photos like these.

 

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A few weeks ago I attended a workshop organized by the South Philly Parents Resource Center called Minimizing Motherhood Madness. The workshop was facilitated by Cristina Higgins from Strategic Mama whose tagline is “Less angst. More Joy. Simple Strategies to Reinvent Modern Motherhood and Thrive.”

The workshop was interesting. We talked about how our expectations and reality as moms differ, what “the perfect mom” is to us, what we want our children, friends and spouse to say about us on our 80th birthday, how our pre-baby self and our post-baby self differ (or are the same).  It was an interesting way to analyze ourselves and our expectations and to strategically construct ways to make things a bit easier (even if it’s just a matter of letting go of that unrealistic ideal). Anyway, you can sign up for Cristina’s mailing list on her website at strategicmama.com. A couple of weeks ago I received one of her email updates and with her permission I wanted to share it with all of you.

 strategic mama logo

“Last week I went to the Museum of Motherhood conference in New York City.  For 6 hours, I listened to academics from all over the world share their fascinating research on how the experience of motherhood impacts women’s lives. There was Prof. Patterson (New Zealand) who spoke about the experience of single motherhood and Prof. Tropp (US) who discussed the marketing of pregnancy and Laura Tropp (Canada) spoke about the theme of Mompreneurship just to name a few.

The presentations were great but it was a brief conversation I had with the Russian professors that really hit home.

Over cocktails, I asked Prof. Bagirova and Prof. Shubat (Russian Federation) about the role of guilt in Russian motherhood. They shook their heads and said it wasn’t a big issue.  What??

Then I asked them about how the role of experts (sleep experts, parenting experts, etc.) play for Russian mothers in terms of learning how to mother? They said, well, we mostly just learn from our own mothers and friends.

And, then, and this is the million-dollar question, I asked them about this idea of being a good mother. “You know”, I said, “what does it mean to be a good mother in Russian?”

They looked at me a little funny and said something like: What did I mean good mother? We don’t think about good vs. bad mother, just mother.

Wow. Just mother.  Can you imagine? If just by being the woman and mother that we are, that is enough.  Revolutionary idea I think for us in the US.

Now, I know there are more complexities to the role of mother in the Russian Federation.  But, for now, I am mulling over this idea that being Mom might be enough.  Not good or bad, just enough.

So, this week, as you go on with your life, I invite you to consider this idea that you, the Mom that you are, is neither good nor bad.  You are simply, Mom. And everything you are as Mom is enough.”

For those in the Philadelphia area, you can join Cristina for her next workshop on Wednesday, June 12 from 7:15 – 8:45pm at Mama’s Wellness Joint.  I’ll be flying to Illinois that day to see my actual mama so I won’t be able to attend, but I’m sure it will be an insightful workshop.

As moms, it’s important to take care of ourselves and sometimes that means taking a few hours out of your day to connect with other moms who understand how you feel.

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Rowhomes print by Tim Pannell | http://brotherspannell.com

Rowhomes print designed by Tim. Available for purchase at http://brotherspannell.com

 

We found out on Wednesday that our next-door neighbor, Marie, passed away on Friday. She was elderly (in her 80s? 90s?) and lived alone. I overheard neighbors talking about it. Apparently, she died on Friday but no one found her until Saturday. When I heard the news, I felt a pit in my stomach. As neighbors, we weren’t as good to her as we should have been.

We live in a small South Philly rowhome on a tiny street. For those who aren’t familiar, that means we share a wall on each side with our next-door neighbors. South Philly rowhomes also have a small patio, or as we call it “outdoor space” (patio might be too generous). We share the entire west side of our house with Marie, and our back patio is directly next to Marie’s – separated by only a chain-link fence.

When we first moved into this house in August 2009, we had a housewarming/one-year anniversary of adopting Hu go party.  When we were out back using the BBQ, Marie came out to introduce herself. Then, an hour later she came back out with some lemon cake she had made for us. It was such a sweet gesture. It reminded me of something you would do in a small town. I remember my mom taking over baked goods to welcome new neighbors when I was a kid.

We were so appreciative and made sure to say so, but we never properly thanked her. We never wrote her a thank you note. In fact, we still have the plastic plate she used when she gave us the treat – we never returned it and I feel so guilty.  I think part of it is that we thought we would see her more often. Aside from the day we met, we very rarely saw her out back and we only saw her a handful of times in the nearly four years we’ve lived next door. She kept to herself, but we saw family come and go, visiting her on weekends and checking-in on her.

Tim and I are often complaining about our neighbors. Many of them are “old school” Italian families who have lived here forever. They haven’t been very friendly or welcoming. After I learned Marie had died, it made me feel as if we aren’t any better than they are. (Okay, maybe we are better than some of them – we don’t sell and/or use drugs. We don’t yell as our normal conversational tone. We don’t cuss out our family and friends in front of our children. We don’t throw trash down the storm drain and think we’re “cleaning up.” We don’t have hair pulling, drag-out fights on the front porch and regularly have the police at our door. To be fair, it’s not all of our neighbors. It’s one house in particular and the general mindset of several others.) Still, why didn’t I go out of my way to extend a helpful hand and be more neighborly to Marie? The row houses in South Philly are so close together. Marie died just a few feet away from us on the other side of our wall. It just makes me sad to know she died alone. Although I know she was loved by many, in that moment, she was alone. I hope she didn’t suffer. I hope she knew how much it meant to us that she reached out to us when we first moved in.

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Fen

Boston Strong  |  nextlifechapter.com

The hat is a little small – but she thought it was so funny to wear it.

Although she doesn’t yet know it, our daughter is middle named “Fen” for the Back Bay fens of Boston. Although it’s the same fens for which Fenway Park was named, we chose “Fen” instead of “Fenway” because we wanted her to be named for the city and not just a baseball team or ballpark.

Tim and I sometimes joke that we see Boston with rose-colored glasses. It was just so good to us. Boston is the city where we met, where we shared our first kiss, where we fell in love. It is also where nearly four years later, while visiting from Philly over a long weekend, we were engaged. The city of Boston will always have a special place in our hearts.

Although I didn’t know anyone injured in last week’s marathon bombings, I felt touched by the events in a way I may not have if they had occurred in another city. I went to graduate school just six or seven blocks from where the bombings went off. We still have several friends in the Boston area. And in fact, one couple lives in Watertown and they were giving us play-by-play updates on Facebook during the tense day on Friday. Their home was searched by a SWAT team and a lot of the “action” was happening right outside their door. I had a pit in my stomach all day, and had a hard time getting work done. I kept flipping back to the internet between projects to see if there had been some kind of update, some kind of resolution.

I just wanted to go home, un-plug myself from the world and go to sleep. I wanted to put my daughter in a big bubble and protect her from all the bad in the world. Although I don’t want to live in fear, to let the few change the way I live my life, this week I had second thoughts. I wanted to stay inside and never go out in public again.

Friday night after baking pizza, Tim wanted to watch our NetFlix movie. The disk had been sitting untouched for a while — we haven’t been getting our money’s worth this month. This was shortly after watching the evening news where it was announced to Bostonians that they could once again leave their homes, shortly after the gunfire and the boat incident. So, to escape the movie-like drama unfolding on television, Tim tried to make me watch Zero Dark Thirty. I couldn’t take it.

We stopped the movie and instead watched the news coverage and the apprehension of the second bombing suspect. I was surprised and relieved they were able to capture him alive.

Saturday, Tim was working all day so Adelaide and I had a girls day out.  We drove to Tim and my old stopping grounds in West Philly. We stopped by the farmer’s market and went to Go WEST! Craft Fest, a craft fair in the corner of the Woodlands Cemetery. It was breezy and a bit chilly, but  it felt good to absorb the sunshine and breathe in the blossoming spring. Adelaide and I shared a cup of Weckerly’s carrot cake ice cream and although it wasn’t necessarily my intention, we got there in time to experience an interactive music performance by Jay from All Around This World. Adelaide enjoyed watching the other kids as much as Jay himself, but she had fun with the musical instruments too. It was such a big departure from the stresses of the week. It’s exactly the type of crowd I needed.

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I just love this photo — notice the ice cream moustache.

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The circus acrobatics were revving up just as we were leaving. It was an exciting day in the cemetery.

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