new york | pictures & words

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This past weekend, Caleb and I took our last vacation/long weekend of the summer. We visited the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, ate a sicilian pizza at L&B Spumoni Gardens, and were able to spend time with my Aunt Cindy and four younger cousins (Emily, Luke, Aaron, and Baby Joy). 

I learned four very important things on this trip: 

1. Be nice to everyone – especially the man in charge of the entrance to the Statue of Liberty.

I left my photo ID at my grandparents’ apartment, but he still let me go up to the crown after seeing my ticket, and my Facebook profile page. Thanks again, Ryan the ticket man. You’re awesome.

2. Children will always have more energy than you.

I work 32 hours a week with young children, and let me tell you… just because a child is your cousin, is cute, and is well behaved, does not mean they won’t wear you the heck out. They will most likely also eat more pizza than you.

I came back tired, but very happy.  

3. The Lego store is a let down. But building with legos is SO much fun.

4. Making sauce with my Papa is something I wish I had done more when I was younger.

For me, this was probably the highlight of our time in the city. Papa is one of a kind, and anyone who meets him is impacted in some way. He is encouraging, supportive, giving, and makes the best sauce and meatballs. I woke up early on Saturday morning and followed him around the kitchen, watching him measure throw in handfuls of oregano in the pot, and even helped to make the meatballs. I hope that I’ll be able to recreate it on my own…but I can’t make any promises.

This time with my grandfather was so precious, and helped me remember why I love him so much. He claimed he doesn’t have patience, but he was a pretty great teacher this past weekend. : )

Hope your summer is ending well! 



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Don’t Cry Over Spilled Pizza

That’s how the saying goes, right?

Last night I caved in. I was tired from my first day of classes and an afternoon of four-year-olds, and didn’t feel like cooking. I simply wanted to watch another episode of Call The Midwife, and eat pizza. So that’s what I did.

Afterwards, I felt terrible.

I sat at the kitchen table and cried over the fact that I had just consumed four delicious, cheese and mushroom filled pieces of pizza. I must also mention that only a few minutes before eating the pizza, I was also locked out of the online test I had to take and got an automatic zero. Test on the first day of class? What? Oh, yes.

BUT: today is a brand new day. And I’ve learned a bit from this pizza fiasco.

  1.  The past four days have been difficult – two liquid meals and one solid meal a day is just as bad as it sounds, and it has been getting harder and harder to consume liquid vegetables. However, I have to remind myself that I am not alone. I bet there are a lot of people on the Clean diet that snuck in a piece four pieces of pizza. This is so important for me to remember, because I like to do things all on my own. I have never liked group projects- the pressure of relying on other people is overwhelming. I have a hard time asking for help, which most likely explains my inability to do mental math, word problems, and long division. Even during this cleanse, I can rally support from those around me, and I must remember that in my darkest pizza-craving hour.
  2. Not everything is going to be perfect. Last night Caleb called me a Perfectionist. Me? A Perfectionist? Yes. Just writing this small post has taken me almost the whole day. Over Christmas break my mother-in-law said to me, “if you can’t do the best, do the best that you can.” If my body cannot handle two liquid meals in a day, I can still stick to the Clean food list, and eat four pieces of delicious venison steak.
  3. Pizza is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I cannot wait to eat more after the cleanse.

As I type, a Wendy’s burger commercial is playing on Spotify.


Nonetheless, it has been a fantastic week so far. I’m excited to take more classes that actually have to do with my major (Early Childhood Education), and next week I start Field Experience! Yay! I am most excited to wear all of my new “teacher clothes” that I got for Christmas. Thanks, mom!