Behind Bars

Friends, I have so much to share in this post. But, first things first. Can you tell from my title what I am going to tell you?

YES, they caught the guy and the girl who stole my wallet!! A miracle, right? Two Wednesdays ago, I got an email in the middle of my mom’s group from the Queens County DA titled Order of Protection. At first, I wondered if it was a scam, but after reading, it was apparent that it was an order of protection protecting me from a guy named on the paper. I quickly forwarded to Ed, former police officer, and he said it seemed to him that it was indeed real and he thought they had arrested the guy who stole my wallet. I tried calling the detective to find out “Is this a normal thing or does this guy have a rap sheet and I need to be careful?” but he wasn’t supposed to be in until the weekend. Ed was on campus that night and I have to admit, I was a little jumpy. But, thankfully, I got a call from the detective the next day confirming that they had arrested a guy and a girl. He had an warrant out for his arrest from violating parole, had also stolen another lady’s wallet, and was at Rykers and would be going away for a long time. She posted bail and doesn’t have any priors. I am sooo impressed with the NYPD and I can’t believe they really arrested someone. So grateful they won’t be doing it to someone else.

We also had our first snow storm…in November!!!! Ahhh!  I hope its not an indication of the kind of winter it will be. The kids had a blast playing in the snow (they called for some flurries and it ended up being 3-5 inches!) and building a snowman with Ed when he came home from St. John’s.

I love our girls’ school for lots of reasons but one of them is what they do in November. Instead of a class party, they give the classes a choice of 4 charities and they let the class choose a charity that they will adopt. This year, they could choose between Ellie’s Hats (collecting hats to benefit kids that have cancer), Socks in the Box (collecting socks to benefit kids and adults living in homeless shelters), Adopt PS 446 (this is a school in Brooklyn that has over 25% of the kids bussed in from shelters all over the city – we collect coats, toiletries, food items, etc. for them), and Coalition for the Homeless (collecting toiletry items for the homeless).

Kinsley’s class chose to adopt PS 446 so we read a book about homelessness, wrote cards for the kids at the school, and are collecting items to send to them. Emerson’s class chose Ellie’s Hats, so we read a book about a tree being sick, losing his leaves, and needing medicine to make him better, wrote cards to the kids, and are collecting hats to send to them. I love that they focus on giving to others who need help or don’t have as much. Here is a picture of the card Emerson made.

One of our favorite things to do in the city in the winter is to go ice skating at Bryant Park. If you have your own skates (which we buy cheaply online), you can go for free!!  Here is a pic of our family at the rink the first time. Blake LOVES that he can actually skate this year. Brynn stood at the entrance to the rink the whole time, wishing she could join them.

Check out my pretty Thanksgiving nails I put on to celebrate courtesy of Color Street nails. I love them and we even had enough in one pack for me to do each of the girls.

Thanksgiving was very restful at our house and we had a great time eating with our friends and teammates. I think I literally watched the parade in my pajamas until 12. We debated about going to see the balloons the night before like we do every year and we even thought about going ice skating in Bryant Park during the parade so we could see the balloons floating by, but it was the second coldest Thanksgiving parade in NYC and we didn’t want to take Brynn out in that. So, we stayed in, stayed warm, and enjoyed it from our couch.

While I enjoyed the restful pace and the company of our friends, not being with a whole hoard of family is still hard for me. Growing up in a small town surrounded by lots of family, holidays ALWAYS remind me of big family gatherings and lots of fun. Yes, we could have driven or flown, but for various reasons, it just wasn’t in the cards for us this year. Thank goodness for FaceTime to make it a little easier, even if it doesn’t completely fill the void.

Black Friday in my book is normally known for shopping, but with online deals starting earlier, and being able to get most things online, and with NYC not being the easiest place to navigate with shopping, Black Friday became “put up Christmas” day in our family. Before we began decorating, I envisioned putting up decor together, smiles, goofing around, singing Christmas songs, and lots of fun. Let me just tell you…sometimes what we envision IS NOT reality.

Instead, it was lots of “don’t hang 3 ornaments on the same branch” or “Brynn, don’t touch that one…its very breakable” or “Ah man, who dropped the surfing Santa on the rug where dad stepped on him and broke him?” and lots of “Calm down and quit acting crazy”. Needless to say, our house is decorated, all our kids survived (and only a few ornament casualties and one that was saved by hot glue), and we all celebrated by watching our first Christmas movie of the season “The Polar Express”.

Tomorrow, Ed and I are speaking on a panel at our church and I am super, duper nervous. I am fighting all kinds of “I am not qualified” and “I have nothing to say thats worth hearing” thoughts tonight, so will you pray for us?  And thank you to Gina for bringing our kids home so we can stay for the other services…it takes a village and we are so grateful for our village!

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