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Zoe’s 9th birthday!

This sweet little girl turned 9 yesterday. I got to go into her class with 32 (yes, 32!) cupcakes for all 31 kids and her teacher. We sang happy birthday, ate up the sweets and then passed around little phone books so the kids could take down numbers and have playdates (or just use the tiny book with their dolls). I can’t believe 9 years have passed so quickly. We love you Zoe!

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me and Z in her class

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Yum! Gluten free cupcakes!

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and a shot of Zoe on the day she was born… so pretty, right?

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We have cousins Stella and Allison to thank for turning our attention to My Froggy Stuff and their super fun youtube channel. The Froggy Stuff gals know how to occupy my kids’ cold winter days with DIY crafting for miniture rooms and spaces. I guess it all started when Zoe starting to request a ginormous Barbie Townhouse for the holidays … and all that pink plastic in our house kinda scared me. So I gave the kids an old Ikea credenza that we were not-quite-using anymore and .. voila! My kids wallpapered, created additional bunk beds and lofts and pasted in fake wood flooring and .. well they just keep going. Ezra is mastering his ‘contractor’ skills while Zoe enjoys creating a mini version of her ‘future gluten free cafe and art gallery’. I highly recommend upcycling an old bookcase over buying more pink plastic housing for dolls:

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and some others that I’ve seen online! How clever are these?

and we are kinda obsessed with making donuts out of cheerios (gluten free, of course):
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We love Kansas City!

Just before New Year’s Eve, we made a trip to Kansas City for cousin Stella‘s Bat Mitzvah! Aside from the joy of watching Stella lead a service and turn 13 on the same day, we also got the added bonus of some time to dart out to get some yummy BBQ and see the American Jazz Museum. Now that Ezra has made the move to Louis Armstrong Middle School, it was extra fun seeing all the info on our own musical great in the museum – while also learning about the (new to us) Kansas City jazz scene. Of course in the end, Zoe was sad to leave the cousin crew – and we can’t wait to see them again.

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enjoying the Jazz Museum

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and some of its instruments

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and of course, the bat mitzvah girl herself!

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Mazel Tov cousin Stella!

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Zoe was too sad to leave, and tried to hide in the hotel coat closet ; (

 

Happy New Year!

This New Year’s Day Ezra and his friends (and his dad, behind the camera in this case) decided to do the Polar Plunge at Coney Island.  Despite the fact that it was a balmy 58 degrees in NYC area, the dip was still cold so I’m still so very impressed that they went through with it!  Hope your year is starting off with a splash:

 

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before jumping in …

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and after! brrrr

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the gang gets ready

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Zoe and I are happy to take in the sights instead

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E and his friends since 6 months old… in it together!


and my iphone pix:
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Christmas Day at home..

This usually means getting to see the holiday store windows (while everyone else is home opening gifts – no crowds!) and of course a sushi dinner out.  Check out the very sweet cake and candy inspired windows from Bergdorf Goodman on 5th Avenue below! We hope you are having a sweet week as well (on to some New Year’s fasting next week, perhaps?) Meanwhile check out this cool video of how they put together the Bergdorf Goodies …. my dream job! Click here or go to:

Enjoy!

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Ok I just stole this blog title from another source : a work connection/photo rep who sent this email message out to her clients today.  I kinda like it in that it very much fits the frenetic attempts this month.  It’s a daunting goal to be happy always, right?  But we try… Or more importantly: to be happy, healthy and kind (perhaps that’s a more accurate aspiring goal, but still a lot to achieve.)

However all of this is hard to balance and achieve when December is SO flogged with holiday “things to do”.  Even my work life has become inundated with excessive holiday scheduling – on top of family and friend meetups, and kid school activities and concerts (and a viral cough and cold added to the mix – ugh!)

So – much like this photo that we took at the City Holiday Lounge at Columbus Circle – December is a little messy and didn’t quite nail it on achieving the perfect holiday cheer (nor did we ever get organized enough to make a mailer to send out by snail mail.)  But this photo is a pretty real and accurate depiction of how the season really feels sometimes.  Perhaps some year we will make it a point to decline all party and concert and meeting invitations and just really take it in ..  and really have a peaceful holiday.  By Friday (for us at least) it should all calm down, and we will have a break from school and work and recover.  Meanwhile I hope you are having a great holiday season and staying well.  In the end, it’s all anyone can ask for and want.

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more December photos…

Our holiday ended a week ago, but we have these lingering photos of a massive menorah lighting at the Friday night service – and Ezra is doing some more performing at synagogue lately!  He’s sitting on and playing a percussion instrument called the ‘cajon‘ here, and performing with the cantor.

We hope your December is going well and you are staying warm.

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