A Long Weekend in New York City

August 15, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, we headed off on a great trip to New York City to celebrate my father in law’s 65th birthday! Over a year ago, he came up with the idea to treat Marcus, myself and my sister in law to a fun trip to celebrate his milestone birthday. He came up with the idea of a long weekend in New York (sans little ones), and we were all sold!

Mary and Marcus NYC Summer 2017

We arrived early on the Friday after July 4th and didn’t leave until Monday, so we had a really nice, full 3 days to explore. We stayed at an Air BnB just a few blocks from the Flatiron building, so our location was fantastic. We were just a couple of blocks from the subway, so getting around the city was no problem at all!

Here are my favorite highlights of our long weekend. By the way, the amazing photos are compliments of my husband Marcus. He did an amazing job!

Walking the High Line

This was our very first stop after grabbing lunch after we got in on Friday. It was a little over a mile from where we were staying, so it was super easy to get to. We enjoyed some time just strolling and people watching on the old rail way line. It was quite busy when we were there, so the next time I go back, I’d love to catch some time up there right when it opens in the morning.

Highline flowers NYC

Running in Central Park

Getting to run in Central Park was a must do on my list, and I was lucky enough to be able to do it twice! On Saturday morning, Marcus woke up with me and we up that way – he grabbed a Citi bike and I ran from our apartment.

Mary Central Park 2017

It was a little over 2 mile to get to the park, so from there, we just started exploring a bit. He had to stay on the main path since bikes aren’t allowed in the inner areas of the park, so he ended up ditching his bike in favor of taking more pictures on foot. We came up on the reservoir, so I was sure to grab a couple of laps while the sun was coming up. It was gorgeous! My run rounded out just over 8 miles, which was plenty, given our sight seeing schedule for the rest of the day!

Central Park Reservoir

We went up to Central Park again on Sunday and I opted to stay on the outer loop and get in the full 10k. My legs were trashed from so much walking the day prior, but I just couldn’t give up running in 67 degree weather in July. It was such an amazing treat!

Brooklyn Bridge Context Tour

If you enjoy tours when on vacation, I can’t recommend Context Tours enough. They aren’t the big group, herding cattle, can’t hear a thing the guide is telling you kind of tour. There were a max of 6 people who could be in our group, and since there were already 5 of us from our family, we had a nice private tour.

Brooklyn Bridge Summer 2017

It was a 3 hour walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge, which started in Manhattan, took us over the bridge on foot, and ended in Brooklyn Heights. Our guide was incredibly knowledgable and it was really fun to see a part of the city I hadn’t had much exposure to before.

Brooklyn Bridge Summer 2017

Dinner at Bobo

Marcus and I treated his dad and his dad’s fiance to dinner at Bobo on our second night, and it was hands down one of the top 5 best meals I’ve ever had. It’s located in the West Village, so it was in another area of the city I hadn’t been to before. We had some great wine, I had a superb duck dish for dinner, and the service was stellar. I really can’t say enough good things about the restaurant.

Dinner at Bobo

World Trade Center Memorial

The memorial was an absolute non-negotiable for my trip to NYC. I hadn’t been there before and I am very glad that I went. We did not do the tour or actually go under the pools to see the ruins of the old towers, but we did experience the etched names in the marble, the somberness in the air, and the rushing of the water that seemed almost deafening at times.

World Trade Center Memorial 2

We did so much more than the 5 experiences I listed, but this post would get way too long if I recapped the whole trip.

Manhattan Skyline from Brooklyn Heights

Thanks again to my father in law for treating us to this great trip! It was a much needed break from grind and a fun time to get away from Florida for a few days!

Happy First Birthday Davis!

June 6, 2017

Sweet Baby Boy, Happy Birthday!

I can’t believe you are already a year old! My how time has flown this year! You are now a babbling, crawling, food flinging little boy and I wouldn’t have it any other way! You daddy put together an amazing video to commemorate the past year, and I absolutely love it! Check it out!

I sure love that he makes these videos for you and Grant, little man. It is such an amazing way to document these fast flying days!

We celebrated your birthday at our house with our closest family and friends. It was such a beautiful day and was truly the perfect way to rung in your first year! You crawled around, ate some yummy tacos, and of course had some cake to smash. You weren’t sure what to do with it at first, but once you figured it out, you ate the whole cupcake! It was pretty adorable.

Davis 12 months

We went and had your one year check up, and you are growing perfectly! You weighed in at 19lbs on the nose and are 29.5 inches long. You fit comfortably in 9 month clothes and size 3 diapers, and have been wearing some size 3 shoes. We had to go buy you your very own sneakers, since you are so much smaller than Grant at the same age. You two are so very different, and I just love it!

We’ve noticed your persistent personality shining through these days, as you let us know what you want, when you want it! You have this face you make when you are whining and it cracks me up. You squish your nose and make such a sour face. It’s just too much!

Davis 12 months_2

You are crawling around and pulling up on absolutely everything. You want to walk so so bad, but you can’t seem to gain enough stability to actually keep yourself up right. I’m sure you will start any week now, and our lives will change (again!). As soon as you start to walk, you will be able to go to school with your brother. You’ve been hanging with your two grandma’s, as well as Ms. Dawn, during the week. I know they are really going to miss you once you are in school full time, but I am so excited for you! Hanging with other kiddos your age will be so amazing for your development!

Davis, you are a crazy man at the park! You love watching the big kids play and no longer want to just swing the whole time. You usually have two hands in the dirt and consistently throw (and eat!) the dirt and leaves. Getting dirty at the park is probably your favorite thing!

Davis 12 months_4

You and I are still going strong with breast feeding and I don’t plan to stop any time soon. It is a nice part of the day where you and I get to just hang. You haven’t shown any signs of weaning yet, and I am a-ok with that. The health benefits are far too valuable for me to justify stopping. I’d love to get you through a few months of school before we wean you, k?

Davis 12 months_3

We still spend tons of time at the pool, between swim lessons and the JCC up the street. You absolutely love the water and just kick your feet and flail your arms whenever you are around it, including bath time. You are the epitome of a water baby, that’s for sure!

Davis, thank you for letting Daddy and I share this wonderful first year with you. You are such an amazing addition to our family, and I couldn’t be more proud to be your momma.

Davis 12 months_5

Love you so much, sweet pea!

Davis: 11 Months

May 17, 2017
Davis 11 Months_1

Dear Davis,

There is just one word to describe your 11th month – personality! It is really shining through each and every day and I can not say enough amazing things about it! You are a giggly, chatty little boy and you are truly so so happy! You are laid back and tend to just go with the flow, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Davis 11 Months_1

You are right under 20 pounds at this point and are comfortably fitting in 9 month clothes and size 3 diapers. You are definitely on the smaller side, even though you eat everything in sight! We are talking lasagna, oatmeal, chicken and green beans – pretty much anything you can get your hands on. You also only drink breast milk still and enjoy nursing every day. Your intake has decreased a bit since you are eating so much solid food, but you still love it! You scream in excitement whenever you see a bottle on the counter – it’s so funny!

Davis 11 Months_2

You cruise the furniture like a champ and aren’t too far from gaining enough strength to walk. You really, really want to, but your little legs just buckle when you try to stand by yourself. You’ll get there soon enough! For now, you are just doing your own little crawl. I describe it as if you are doing breast stroke on land. Needless to say, all of your clothes are getting so so dirty every day since your belly just drags on the ground as you move around. That’s ok! Who needs clean clothes anyway?!

Davis 11 Months_4

Davis, you have a total of 8 teeth now, which threw you for a bit of a loop over the weekend! One tooth was really bothering you as it was coming in, but as soon as it cut through, you were back to all smiles and giggles. You were all cuddles when you weren’t feeling well, and the snuggles have carried over a little bit. You actually put your head on my chest and just relax, and I pretty much stop whatever I am doing to soak it in. I know that won’t last forever, so I just enjoy your sweet, sweet hugs.

Davis 11 Months_6

You had a few fun firsts in your 11th month – we went to a baseball game and the local church carnival. Your brother had an absolute blast at both events, and you just took it all in. It will be even more fun when the two of you are running around like crazy boys, having so much fun. I’m so excited to see it!

Grant Davis USF baseball game

You moved up a level in your swim class this past month too! You have no fear when it comes to swimming, which is a little bit of both good and bad. You will hop off the wall and dive into the water any chance you get! You have really mastered learning when to hold your breath and now we are focusing on helping you roll over once you’ve gotten into the water. At your age, we are all just focused on the survival skills of swimming, and you are really excelling.

Davis 11 Months_5

This was the fastest 11 months to date, and I am so happy you have been here to spend it with me, Daddy, and Grant.

In just a couple of weeks, we are going to celebrate you turning one, sweet pea! I can’t wait!

Miles For Moffitt 2017 10k Recap

May 15, 2017

Miles for Moffitt is a race that I’ve had on my list to do for many years, but it just never really lined up in my race calendar. It falls pretty late in the season, and usually I’m done racing by this point. Since I have a half marathon this coming weekend, Miles for Moffitt landed in the perfect time for a little 10k tuneup before 13.1!

The race course is up at USF, so I had a quick 15-20 minute drive since there was no traffic. I had heard they start closing roads at 6:30, so I got into the parking lot right at 6:25am to make sure I didn’t have any issues before my 7:30am start time. I finished up my cup and coffee and then headed to the port-o-potties! With plenty of time to spare, I went and found a few friends to chat with a bit before heading out for my 2 mile warm up. I needed to get in a total of 8 miles, and since I tend to not complete mileage post race, I opted for a longer than usual warm up instead.

About a mile into the run, I knew it was going to be a tough race because I was already sweating a pretty good amount. That’s a Florida road race in May for you! I got back to the corral with plenty of time to spare, and lined up between the 7 and 8 minute corrals. I didn’t want to get stuck behind walkers, but I also didn’t want to go out too fast. I thought this would be the prefect spot to be. Once the clock hit 7:30am and we were off running, right on time!

We lucked out that the morning was a little on the overcast side. The course is all on the streets on the USF campus, so the sun could have been rough. There was also a nice breeze, so I was pretty thankful! As always, the first mile zoomed by in no time at all! There was water right at the first mile, but I opted to skip that one. There were still a lot of people around and I didn’t want to get caught up in the bottle neck of that first stop.

Mile for Moffitt Course

Once I came up on the mile 2 water station, I was more than ready for a sip! Unfortunately the cups they used were styrofoam, which is less than ideal. When you squeeze them to make an easy sip, they tend to split down the side. I was able to get a little bit of water, but it was honestly a bit of a pain! It was at this time that I could see a couple of other women in front of me, but I knew I was closing in on them fast. With the course being a large loop with multiple out and backs, it was pretty simple to see how many people were in front me. There was 1 other female. Just 1. I hadn’t planned to really push myself, but with this kind of placement, I felt like I had to keep my momentum!

Right around mile 4.5, I definitely started to feel the speed, but I knew I was almost done. On the back half of the course, there were a few hills that I was not expecting, so that proved to be even more challenging. I saw the first place female right before mile 5, and she was booking it. There was no way I was going to come even close to catching her, so I just held my ground and ran my race. I wasn’t going to let anyone pass me, but I wasn’t going to try and speed up anymore either.

Miles for Moffitt 10k_2

The only good part about hills is that good ole saying – what goes up must come down. I took the last hill really strong and let my legs just carry me down at the end. Then, there was one long straight away and a little turn to the finish line. I tried to kick it in, but my legs just weren’t having it. I haven’t been doing many dedicated speed workouts (especially at paces below 7:30) so my pace felt a little foreign and I was super fatigued.

I crossed the finish line in 44:54 (per the race, not my watch), good enough for 1st place in my age group and the 2nd woman overall! I was really happy with this race! I feel like I have been in such a running rut for the past 6 months, and I really needed this as a confidence booster. Seeing a couple of my miles sub 7 was pretty exciting, especially because those miles really weren’t that taxing.

Miles For Moffitt 10k Splits

I am excited to run my half marathon next weekend in Cleveland, and then back off a little bit over the summer to build a solid base, as I start marathon training in September!

There is one part of this race that I really feel like I need to point out – the race itself was amazing – really, it was. But I had a big parking issue trying to leave. The parking lot I parked in was closed down completely post race, with zero heads up. All exits and entrances were blocked, so we all were stuck until the streets were clear. Honestly, this wasn’t my issue. When I asked the traffic cop what was up, he was an absolutely jerk. He actually started yelling and screaming at me when I asked him where I should go, and when the lot was going to open back up. After having such a great experience at the race, this completely soured my whole morning. Luckily, I was only sitting for about 30 minutes, when a very pleasant cop showed up to help us out of the lot, but I was shocked at how terrible the first man was treating me. It was as easy as having a quick conversation and letting us know logistics. Instead, he was hollering and letting us know the next person who asked him questions would be receiving a traffic violation. Seriously, it was awful. **End Rant**.

Miles for Moffitt 10k_1

Anyhow, the Moffitt team put on a great, well planned race. I am torn as to whether I’ll run it again because of the parking fiasco, but the race itself was a lot of fun!

Davis: 10 Months

April 25, 2017

Hey little boy!

Now that you are almost 11 months old, I think it’s time I actually sit down and write your 10 month update! Month 10 was full of so many discoveries for you. You pull up on everything and are cruising the furniture like a pro. When I come into your room every morning, you are standing up and bouncing up and down to greet me. It is my absolute favorite thing to see each as I start my day!

Davis 10 Months_4

You are growing out of the 6 month clothes you have, so I think we will be transitioning your drawers soon. SIze 2 diapers are pretty snug as well, so I think size 3 are in the very near future. I’m not sure how much you weigh, but if I had to guess, I’d say between 18-19 lbs. You are growing perfectly on the growth chart and are starting to get a few little rolls.

You are eating anything and everything still and have really mastered the pincher grip. You eat all sorts of table foods now, rather than all of the pureed foods we started you out with. You make the funniest noises when you like what you are chewing on – its almost like you are repeatedly saying yummmmm!!!

Davis 10 Months_2

You are a super fast crawler now and can move across the house in no time if there is something you are going after. You can take (very) assisted steps now, and I see your legs getting stronger and stronger each passing day. You can’t start school until you are walking (per the school’s rules), so we are definitely hoping you will figure it out come July. You will be starting in the same class your big brother did, and we can’t wait to see you thrive around all of the other kiddos.

Your sleep is still superb and you go down at night like clock work. Luckily, your bed time has been stretched until 7pm now, which I love. I get to see you for a solid 30-45  more minutes each day! We play lots of fun games at night and your brother smothers you with hugs and kisses. You still love breastfeeding, which makes me happy. Those 10-15 minutes in the morning and evening are really a special time for me to spend with just you.

Davis 10 Months_1

Our whole house got a stomach bug this past month – you included. Luckily, you bounced back in no time and we affected the least out of everyone. Even when you were under the weather, you were still the happiest little guy. The extra snuggles you needed we fine by me. It is so rare you cuddle with me any more, so rocking you to bed at night and soaking in that sweet baby smell was like heaven for me.

We have just a couple more months until your big 1 year birthday! We are already start to plan the fun with our close friends and family and can’t wait to spend the day celebrating YOU!

Stay as sweet and kind as you are now, and no one will be able to stop you, sweet boy. I love you with all my heart!