New York, New York


In the name of my blog, have you noticed how “life” is the last one in the list?  I will be the first to admit that “law” and “mom” dominate my time, with “wife” a sad third, and “life” getting the scraps.  I’m not complaining – I love my work, I love my kids, and I love my husband.  However . . . every so often it is SO MUCH FUN to put “life” first.

This past weekend, my law school roommate got married.  She and I are from completely different worlds – she grew up in Long Island and Manhattan, while I was raised in a small Midwest farming town.  When we would visit each others’ homes, we always felt like we were in a totally different world.  It was so much fun to share our experiences.  Unfortunately, our paths diverged after graduation, and we haven’t seen each other much since.

When I got the invitation to her wedding, there were a million reasons why I couldn’t go.  Anyone with kids knows the end of May/beginning of June is a tsunami of end of school events.  That weekend, we already had a baseball tournament, two birthday parties, and my husband was going to be out of town.  But, for once, I put “life” first and said I would come.  I lined up a sitter, booked my ticket, and off I went.

This was the best decision I have made in a while.  I didn’t know how much I needed a weekend of self-care.  I walked the streets of New York at my own pace, and went where I pleased.  I had my hair blown out at Drybar, I shopped, I drank coffee.  I laid in a king sized bed overlooking Central Park and ate chocolate.  I attended the most fantastic wedding of my entire life.  I danced for hours, I drank a tiny bit too much, and I ate breakfast sitting on a bench in Central Park.

This weekend was a reminder that putting myself first every so often is okay – in fact, it is important.  I returned to my family feeling rejuvenated, and more like myself than I have felt in a long time.

I guess we are always learning, right?  I am hoping this lesson sticks!



Minimalist Toys

I am taking my house back, everybody.  I mean it.

My kids are eight and six.  We have had roughly fourteen birthdays and fourteen Christmases.  We have a lot of toys, and they are getting out of control.  I really want to insert a photo of my children’s bedrooms here but I am ashamed and so I just want you to mentally picture a LEGO tornado with a whole lot of action figures and dollhouse stuff mixed in.

Now make it ten times worse.

This is not a healthy way for us to live.  I feel anxious all the time that things aren’t tidier, and my kids cannot find an everloving THING, and the only way to make it better is to have less.  I started this morning when they left for school.

Step One:  The stuffed animals.

My daughter LOVES the stuffies.  Since everyone in our family knows she loves the stuffies, she gets a lot of them.  She has so many we could cover her bed and probably still have leftovers.  She cannot play with them all, and has about ten solid favorites.  This morning, I removed all the stuffies that I could not remember her playing with in the recent past.  I put them in a bin and placed that in our guest room.  If she remembers a stuffed animal and comes looking for it, I will rescue it.  My bet is that she won’t notice most of them are gone, and a month from now, I can send them to new homes with a clear conscience.  I am doing the same in my son’s room later today, but he has far less to remove.  I will use the same “remove and wait” technique for him.

Dear readers, how do you keep the toys and STUFFIES!!!! under control?  I am going to move on to Step Two: action figures next.  Any ideas and recommendations are helpful!