Yes!!! Why Not??!

Ohhh Emmm Geee, has it really been 2 months since I last wrote a blog post???! It seems hard to believe, but yeah it has been 2 months and 2 days since I sat down to share with you the adventurous, sometimes mundane, details of my existence. Life has been good, very, very good. My New Year resolution to make this my year of yes Three Weeks and A Day has led to one of the best Summers I have had in a while.
I have said yes to every invitation to hang out, even if I didn’t feel like it, I made myself do all kinds of stuff I wasn’t in the mood for, like hitting the gym, 5 to 6 days a week, even if it was pouring rain outside; and when my son came to me, out of the blue, with what I initially thought of as a ludicrous idea of wanting to pursue a modeling career, instead of my knee-jerk reaction of, “That’s crazy, go focus on your academics instead.” I, instead, said, “Sure, why not?” and immediately started the groundwork needed to get him started in the industry.

All that yes-ing has been taking away from the time needed to do other things, like my writing, with only 24 hours in the day, obviously, something will fall through the cracks. The important thing is that I didn’t abandon my blog, even though it as taken me 2 months to sit down and write again. The good thing is that the yes-ing has created new stories for me to share and that, in my opinion, is always a plus.

My fifteen-year-old, I have written about him several times, MILF, recently decided that he wants to put his 6’3 height to use and model. I was a bit taken aback since he has never ever expressed any desire to do anything like that before. First, I asked, “Why?” and he said,”It’s something I just want to try.” He maintains that if he is successful then he can make some money to help fund his college education. Of course, he had me at “college education.” So, I did a little bit of internet research and spoke to a few people, then hired my wedding photographer turned friend, Carmen, to do a photoshoot of my son and the results were fantastic. Turns out my boy does have some model appeal. He was a natural in front of the camera and even Carmen, who has been photographing people professionally all her adult life, was amazed at the ease in which Blake worked and his level of comfort and confidence in front of the camera.

Not sure where this desire of his will go, or if it will even go anywhere but I am doing my part as his mother and encouraging this pursuit. If it works, then fantastic, if nothing comes of it then I hope his disappointment, if any, will be short-lived. I am just happy that he decided on his own, without any input from me, to chase a dream.

The Summer of yes has also brought with it a myriad of social activities – too much hanging out, eating and drinking, has me gaining back 4 of the total 27 pounds I had lost before the Summer rolled around. Notwithstanding my gallant efforts to lose those nagging 4 pounds and to continue my weight loss journey towards my goal weight, which is now 12 pounds away, I just can’t seem to say no to the dinner and drinks invitations. I am trying though and I have not given up on the hope that I will get to my goal weight before the year ends.

I love live music and performances so I have made it a Summer of concerts and shows. Usually, I am a bit hesitant to shell out my hard-earned money on some of these overpriced concert tickets but this Summer I treated myself to a few artists I have always wanted to see perform live. I had the pleasure of seeing JLo do her thing, Aziz Ansari (a comedian), Billy Idol and Bryan Adams, who were on the same ticket, and most recently Lenny Kravitz, who I swooned over the entire time.

At the beginning of the JLo concert, right in the middle of Jennifer’s third or fourth song, the lights in Madison Square Garden went out. When her microphone suddenly went dead and the lights went off, I thought, “Dear God, I hope this isn’t a terrorist attack.” However, before my mind had time to go to town with that idea, the back-up generators at MSG kicked on and we were informed that we had to evacuate the arena. By then, my girlfriend, who was seated next to me, got a text from her husband informing her that the entire West Side of Manhattan was experiencing a power outage. Even though I was disappointed that the concert had to end abruptly I was relieved that it was only a blackout.

I was among the 25,000 attendees, who had to be evacuated from Madison Square Garden when the lights went out at the beginning of the JLo concert on July 13th, but I was only one of a few, who was interviewed by the local news about their blackout experience. 😁

I am yet to see the clip of my 10-second interview but a few people reached out to me and told me they saw it. My immediate question to each person was, “Did I make a complete fool of myself?” After all, I did have a couple of drinks earlier that night, but the general consensus was that I sounded “intelligent” and most importantly I looked “great”. 😉

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Moments before the lights went out at the JLo Concert – July 13, 2019 – #nycblackout2019

My Summer of yes has also brought with it some physical changes – not major changes but subtle changes – like when my hairstylist of the past 7 years suggested I try a different look this Summer. I hesitated at first but then reminded myself that change is good and told her to go for it.

When she first spun me around in her chair, after creating my new hairstyle, I liked the look but all the confidence I had leaving the salon was sucked out of me when I walked through my front door and my husband took one look at me and exclaimed, “Oh no…What did you do?”

“Trying a different look. Do you like it?”

“Not really!” was the honest reply.

So funny how the opinions of others, that we value, can have us doubting ourselves. I kept my “new do” for only 2 weeks, even though I had planned to rock it for the remainder of the Summer. Truth is, my husband is a simple man, who pretty much likes everything about me, nothing that I do really bothers him, but he truly wasn’t feeling my new look so I got rid of it much quicker than I had planned to and went back to the tried and true and that made him a happy man.

Perhaps the best experience of Summer 2019, was watching my former paralegal turned dear friend, Kerese, give birth to her first child. When I arrived at the hospital she was already in labor. Kerese had asked me beforehand to photograph the experience, maybe even make a video and I said, “Yes, of course!” I assured her that if hospital personnel would allow me into the delivery room it was a done deal. Well, it must have been my lucky day since no questions were asked when I waltzed into the delivery room, camera in hand ready to document the birth of my God-daughter.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the trauma of it all. I had never seen anyone give birth in my entire life, and despite having given birth myself, it’s a totally different experience when you’re on the other side watching it unfold with every breathless push by the Mom in labor. Whoa!!!!

It was brutal! I was in actual tears when she started crowning. It wasn’t an easy delivery, because my friend was too tired to push after a while, but she did it though. It took longer than anticipated but she gave everything she got and through lots of tears, screaming and scratching at her husband’s arms, my friend gave birth to her precious baby girl, Alexandria. It was an amazing, traumatic, breathtaking, bloody, magnificent, stomach-churning experience, all rolled into one, and I am still blown away by the miracle of it all.

There you have it, folks, I didn’t abandon my blog, I was too busy “doing”, “being” and generally just “living”. My unintentional hiatus brought with it a myriad of stories that I look forward to sharing even more of in future blog posts.

Thanks for sticking around and waiting for me to come back, and an even bigger thank you for reading. If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t be shy, go ahead and hit the “like” button and leave a comment below.

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The Weekend That Was!

Last weekend my husband and I flew out to Salt Lake City, Utah for our friends’ wedding. Initially, I really didn’t think there’d be much to see or do in Utah since I am one of those New Yorkers, who feel like NYC is the epicenter of the World, so I really wasn’t expecting much but farmland and wide, open spaces in Utah, but we were in for a big surprise.

Our first observation after we collected our rental car and drove to our hotel was that it was a Thursday afternoon and there was zero traffic on the highways, like none. Where was everyone in the middle of the day? At work, perhaps. New Yorkers work too but there is always unjustified traffic to fight and curse at on any given day or night in NYC. Always! We were pleasantly surprised by the lack of traffic in Salt Lake City, we arrived on Thursday and left on Monday, drove everywhere, and not once did we encounter any traffic; and get this? We even visited downtown, Salt Lake City, twice, and both times we effortlessly found parking.

As we drove to our hotel we were struck by the gorgeous mountains that served as the backdrop to the city. We observed “white stuff” on the peak of the mountains and we wondered could that possibly be snow? I mean it is the end of June, the first official day of Summer was upon us that couldn’t possibly be snow; but sure enough, it was.

A few days later we had the opportunity to take a drive up one of those mountains and experience the beauty of Summer snow-capped mountains live and in living color. Oh, what a sight that was! Absolutely picturesque!

Bold Mountain, Utah – Both these pictures were taken on June 22, 2019.

Utah is apparently known for its snow. I later read that Utah has the best snow on Earth because it has the perfect balance of wetness and fluffiness. Who knew?! I also learned that Utah gets an average of 18 snowstorms per year, averaging 551 inches, thus it takes forever and a day for the snow to melt from the peak of the mountains, hence the beautiful snow-capped mountains in June, which may very well last all the way into July. It was indeed a sight to behold!

The only thing I knew about Utah, prior to my visit, was that they were the home of the religious sect called the Mormons and that some (not all) Mormons practiced polygamy, which I find intriguing.

We did a bit of sightseeing tour of the Mormon Temple, which was pretty impressive. The architecture of the Temple was intricate and stunning. The erection of the Salt Lake City Temple began in 1846 and took 40 years to complete. I couldn’t help thinking that these masons and builders were way ahead of their time in the construction of such an architectural masterpiece. The pictures below do not do justice to the beauty of the Temple.

On the Temple property, there were also bold, elaborate sculptures that depicted the story of Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith, the founder, and creator of the Mormon Church, and who it has been said, was anointed by the Apostles Peter, James, and John to carry on the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Mormons, or members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, as they preferred to be called these days are a friendly bunch, who will eagerly give you a tour of their Temple while providing a synopsis of the teachings of their doctrines. I was even gifted with a copy of The Book of Mormon, which I actually plan to read someday.

Greg, my husband, and I quickly learned that when in Utah, one must hike. Utah is known for its’ parks, canyons and its’ epic mountainous trails so when we were invited on a hike, which we were told comprised of an “easy trail” we jumped at the opportunity.

Oh my gosh! The trail was not an “easy” one, it consisted of nothing but uphill climbs, and as fit as I think I am, especially since I have been working out consistently all my life, I quickly realized, only 10 minutes into the hike, that no amount of time spent in the gym could have prepared me for this real mountain hike. I was breathless and damn near dying just a fraction of a mile in.

Since the trail had been described as “easy”, I was expecting some flat paths coupled with climbs, not just uphill, treacherous climbs. I am not ashamed to admit that I quit the 4.8 miles, 4,141 feet ascent to the peak of the mountain, after only going a mile up. As the air got thinner, I found myself out of breath and petrified of falling and hitting my head on one of the rocks. I shamelessly threw in the gauntlet and told my husband to continue without me, and while I waited for him to return, I surveyed the beauty around me, took out my phone and took endless pictures of the Bell Canyon Trail, especially since I would never see this place again, because I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will never embark on an uphill mountain hike ever again in this lifetime.

The lawyer in me wanted to visit the Courthouses downtown, Salt Lake City in order to observe the daily proceedings and to get a sense of the type of cases being heard, but my husband wasn’t having it. He told me in no uncertain terms he wasn’t at all interested in “that stuff” so I had to settle for a visit to the Capitol Building instead, where the legislators and lawmakers conducted their business. We didn’t get to go inside, which of course I wanted to do, but our time was limited, so we settled for a tour of the grounds and some snapshots instead.

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On our second night in Utah, we went to a party on the Park City hip strip. We were late and as we parked the rental, as such we didn’t properly observe the parking instructions because we were too busy trying to get inside and rejoicing at how close a parking spot we found to the party’s venue.

At the end of the party, we returned to our car to find a parking ticket. We hadn’t realized that we should have walked to the end of the block and feed the meter. As we contemplated the expense of the parking ticket, especially since we were used to the astronomical parking violation fines of good ole New York City, we realized that we were being let off with a “warning”. The great city of Park City, Utah, decided not to charge us for our violation but instead waived the fine with a notice that read “Don’t worry this one is on us”. Incredible!!!! Can you believe it?! I think it was that moment that we fell in love with Utah!

Our mini vacay to Utah was one of the best getaways we’ve had. We enjoyed the warmth and friendliness of the people, the overall beauty of the State and how very clean the place was. It was hard to find a stray piece of paper on the ground anywhere.

It was interesting and fun learning the facts and history of Utah, enlighting myself about what made them special and even finding out that Butch Cassidy is a real person from Utah. Did you know that? I didn’t!

Who remembers the classic Paul Newman movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? I thought it was just a fictional portrayal of outlaws and bank robberies. It took visiting Utah to learn that Butch Cassidy was a real-life person born and bred in the great state of Utah, and may even arguably be the most famous Utahn to date. Then again everyone knows of Marie and Donny Osmond, and apparently, they are from Utah too, I didn’t know that. Did you?

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