Monday, April 25, 2016

March Recap

March means spring blossoms all around the neighborhood! I love springtime in New Jersey. It's such a happy time after surviving the cold, grey winters. 
Here are a few day-to-day pictures from March...
 Mya's favorite blossoms are the forsythia blossoms that were blazing all over our town. When we walked home from her dance classes she would get so excited to spot every bright yellow bush and shout "FORSYTHIA!!"
Have I mentioned how fun it is to live five minutes away from the Newmans? These little second-cousins are such good buddies. 
 I LOVE being in primary every week with Bryn and Mya, and witnessing all the sweet little moments in Sharing Time. One week Mya was chosen to come up and wear this cheerleading outfit and it may have been the happiest day of her life.
Mya is also my little baking buddy. She always has her arms lined with bracelets and purses, even when she is baking!
Tate had a really rough two weeks in March with more breathing issues. His pediatrician thinks he's got some asthma issues, but we'll just see how things go down the road. Luckily, after a couple weeks of doing nebulizer treatments and steroids, he got over it and hasn't had any issues since then.  
 Tate loves the park! His very favorite part is watching the big boys play ball. He peers through the fence at the boys and calls out "Ball! Ball! Ball!" over and over. It's so cute!
Mya doesn't nap anymore, but once and a while she falls asleep against me while we read books. It's one of my favorite things to have this sweet girl snoozing next to me. 
 We go through so many art supplies at our house! Now even Tate has joined in on the fun. He gets in trouble almost daily for scribbling on Bryn and Mya's drawings, but I'm thinking this will turn into good motivation for the girls to clean up their drawings.
My youngest brother is about to graduate from high school and he got his LDS mission call in March. He is so excited to be leaving in July for a 2-year mission in Guatemala. None of my other siblings live in Utah, so none of us could be there in person when he opened up his mission call. Thank goodness for technology that helped us all to be a part of it via video chat. 
 Toddler negotiations. It always cracks me up to see Tate "playing" with little friends. 
I finished this temple painting in March. This was a fun commission, a little larger than my usual commissions. 
One of Tat's favorite things is to "organize" my fridge and our food storage in the basement. He would do this all day if I allowed it. 
 This is why we are growing out Mya's little bob haircut! Crazy, crazy bedhead every morning. She's got the thickest hair on the back of her head and it gets so wild. 
 Something about Tate's chubby white legs in shorts!
Unfortunately, he is like Bryn was at this age - a little explorer! His main objective lately is to wander (or run!) as far away as he can. Maybe he was just so cooped up in the winter months that he is just ready to get out and go as far as he can. We spend a lot of time chasing after this little rascal. 
 I love these three little buddies.
And let's end with this awesome picture of Mya sharing her huge chocolate bunny with Tate :)

Sunday, April 24, 2016


 A few weekends ago I had such a fun day in NYC on my own. Josh had a really busy month in March, travelling for work almost every week. He felt badly about being gone so much, so he insisted I take a full day in NYC on my own. Ok!
I rode the train into the city and started the morning with a trip to the Whitney Museum of American Art. This has been on my "Art Museum Bucket List" for quite a while, but I wanted to wait til the museum opened it's new location in West Village. The new building design is really cool and it's a great location right on the waterfront. Here are a few favorite pieces...
 Jackson Pollock
Gerald Murphy
 Willem de Kooning on the left (I love this one).
Jasper Johns (Love this one, too).
 I'm not normally a big fan of de Kooning's figurative work, but I was mesmerized by the bottom corner of this painting. Those clean areas of green and gray are such a beautiful contrast to the messier strokes above. 
 Franz Kline
 Louise Bourgeois
I wasn't familiar with Bourgeois' work, but I liked this carved sculpture from his "Personages" series,  representing the people she left behind as she emigrated from Paris to New York in the 1930's.
 Charles Demuth on the left, Kay Sage on the right.
Elsie Driggs
I liked the history of this painting called Pittsburgh, which was based off of his childhood near the Pittsburgh steel mills. She stared at the mills and told herself "This shouldn't be beautiful. But it is. And it was all I had, so I drew it."
 A well-known scene from Edward Hopper.
I coudn't get a straight on shot of this one because there was a tour group huddled around it at the time. 
Arshile Gorky
I stared at this large painting of The Artist and His Mother for a long time. I loved the story behind it and thought I'd record it here so that I remember it:
Gorky based this portrait of himself and his mother on a photograph taken in his native Armenia in 1912, when he was eight years old. In 1919 he watched his mother starve after years of deprivation during the Ottoman Turks' campaign to eliminate the Armenian population. The following year, Gorky arrived in the U.S. as a refugee of the genocide. As he established his career as an artist in his new homeland, he remained preoccupied with the photograph; it offered a potent symbol of a tragedy that had killed between 1 million and 1.5 million Armenians. Gorky's painting, made over a span of ten years, is not a precise replica of the camera's image. Instead, he worked in broad areas of color and used dry brushwork to create a soft, blurred effect. He furthered this quality by leaving the hands undefined, at once suggesting the loss of physical connection between him and his mother and the fading memories over time. This painting is a testament to the complexities of the immigrant experience and the struggle to come to terms with history. 
 Mark di Suvero
 David Smith
I'm always a fan of David Smith's welded steel sculptures, and I thought this Hudson River Landscape piece was great.
 Sculpture on one of the outside levels... can't remember the artist of these, but what a view behind them!
 Enjoying the beautiful NYC view from one of the museum decks. 
After the Whitney, I walked along the Highline, whose southern end is right at the courtyard of the Whitney. This was actually my first time walking the Highline and it was really cool. I need to bring my kids up here! (They love the book The Curious Garden, so I've been wanting to take them to the place that inspired the book).
 For lunch I popped into Chelsea Market and had fun wandering around the different shops. 
 I ended up trying a Cambodian salad from Num Pang and it was great. 
 Right across the street from Chelsea Market is Google's NYC office, where Josh interned a few summers ago. 
 For my mandatory NYC treat of the day I tried out Doughnut Plant for the first time. I totally over-indulged with a creme brulee doughnut and a coconut creme doughnut. The creme brulee was really good, and a very unique doughnut from anything I'd had. The coconut creme was a little too rich and I couldn't get through much of it, but maybe it had something to do with already eating another doughnut right before?? :) Dough doughnuts are still my favorite doughnut in NYC, but Doughnut Plant was still really yummy!
Enjoying my creme brulee doughnut on the sunny steps of the Lincoln Center Plaza. 
Right after I took this selfie at the Lincoln Center, a big, solemn NYPD officer walked over to me and said "Have you ever taken a selfie before? You look like you're struggling. Give me the phone and I'll take your picture for you." Ha ha! He said the whole thing without even cracking a smile. It was so funny to me.  
I ended the day by quickly switching my jeans for a skirt and going to the Manhattan LDS Temple and doing an endowment session. It's tricky getting into NYC to do temple work, so it's always a treat when I get to go. After a busy day around New York, it was so peaceful and uplifting to spend two hours in the temple and be reminded of my commitment to God.  
It was a perfect NYC day! Thanks to my sweet husband for encouraging me to go and for happily watching the three kids while I was away. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016


 I love Easter time. It's such a beautiful time of year to celebrate Jesus Christ and to welcome spring, with feelings of renewal and hope and newness. 
We had a fun time at the community Easter Egg hunt the week before Easter. (I love that I live in a small enough town that does fun little activities like this). The kids had a great time and surprise, surprise- little Miss Mya found the golden egg for her age group! She's not as dramatic or expressive as her big sister, so her reaction was so funny. She just calmly picked up the golden egg, plopped it into her bucket, and just gave me a little smile.
She was thrilled to turn in her golden egg and redeem it for a life-sized chocolate bunny!
(Bryn was not so thrilled about this situation, since she had been desperately searching for the golden egg. It was a good lesson on being happy for your siblings and how you can't always be the "winner".)
Mya is in love with her bunny!
I say "is" in present tense because the bunny is still around! She eats about 1-2 bites a day, so she's only eaten to his eyes. Josh is threatening to chuck it, but I think it's so comical to see her take a little nibble each day. :)
Rocking her chocolate bunny baby.
 Instead of plastic eggs with candy, our city hid hundreds of beautiful hand-dyed eggs. I thought they were so pretty!
 Easter Sunday. We didn't have time to snap a photo before church, and by the time church ends no one is in the mood for a good picture!

 It must be a holiday if rolls are being made! We had a lovely Easter dinner at my cousin Cara's new home, with another family from our ward. It was such a great evening. What a blessing to live five minutes away from family!
 We did a little Easter egg hunt (this time with candy-filled eggs!) in the Newman's backyard. 
Thumbs up for a wonderful Easter!