Tuesday, December 10, 2013


My plan for the anniversary of Nora's death couldn't have been a bigger success. Did I have moments of sadness? Yes. But I love my new plan of making it an awesome day - that Nora's short life should be celebrated. She changed our family in the 5 days she was with us - and a large part of the change is for the better. Do I wish I hadn't had to go through those dark days? Yes. Do I wish she was still here with us? 100% yes. But, we also have a strong focus on what is important in life, and how important enjoying and treasuring every moment is.

This trip was totally meant to be. Everything just worked out perfectly and we had a wonderful day. We left the house at 6 AM, knowing that we had a 3 hour drive to get to the Purdy train station. At that point, Aaron and Cam would drive to Legoland, and Maggie and I would catch the train to Grand Central. I had no idea what kind of traffic we would hit, but we sailed right through! And we were able to catch the perfect train - the 9:35 AM train that got us into NYC at 10:45. So we took a subway to my cousins apartment, got Maggie (and her doll) changed into her special dress - and we hit the streets of NYC!
She was so stinking cute that people actually stopped in their tracks to proclaim - Look! Isn't she cute!

Since we got into the city so early, we had time for lunch. I found out that American Girl Place was only a few blocks away from the Radio City Music Hall, and manged to get us into the 12:30 seating. This is where my cousin met us. She couldn't BELIEVE that place. Maggie was delighted.
We left lunch and on our way to Radio City Hall, I got this picture on my phone - Aaron and Cam had arrived at Legoland. He was so happy!
We walked to Radio City, and started noticing that the police were putting up barriers everywhere... turns out they were lighting the Christmas tree that night! My cousin was adamant that we got out of there ASAP after the show. I can't imagine what I zoo it would have been for the 9 PM lighting - people were already lining up at 4. We walked into the 2 PM show at 1:56.... again, perfect timing.

I took Cam to the Rockettes in Boston a few years ago, and it was great - but man. Nothing beats seeing it in NYC. They were amazing. And Maggie was transfixed. It helps that she is now taking dance lessons - so she was AMAZED at the tap dancing.

Afterwards, my cousin let us take a few pictures around Rockefeller Center before we jetted out - seriously. Could she be any cuter?!?
We walked across town to FAO Schwarz, because all little girls need to check that place out!
I was pretty sure we were going to have a meltdown (as she had been up at 5 AM, walked at least 3 miles, and it was now 5 PM) but she was delighted to get a super fancy face painting! And no toys! A true Christmas miracle.
From there, we walked to a huge candy store - Dylan's Candy Bar - can you see that face? I talked her out of the lollipop, but I did get her some candy buttons.
The rest of the evening was wonderful. We had a great dinner, then took a cab home. Maggie took a bath, played with my cousins and put herself to bed. And I got to spend a wonderful evening with my cousins and a few other friends playing cards and drinking.

The next day, we woke up just in time to make our way to Grand Central for the earlier train, and meet up with Aaron, so I could give my 5 year old boy a hug. As we pulled out of the train station, I asked Maggie if she had a good time. She told me, "Mama. It was a stupendous day! That is a fancy word for awesome!" (thanks to her new obsession with the Fancy Nancy books, she comes out with some awesome one-liners now).

When we met up with Aaron, the kids passed out quickly in the car. We both agreed that the day was a gift. We rarely get to spend one-on-one time with the kids, alone. Where they are our only focus. It was a perfect, wonderful day. Just like I had hoped it would be. 


Deborah said...

Wow! I can't believe you got through all that with no meltdowns! That is a ton of stuff. I'm glad it worked out for you, though, and both kids had good birthday celebrations.

HereWeGoAJen said...

It sounds like an amazing day and the perfect way to remember Nora.