Saturday, 29 November 2014

Happy Birthday Lyndon!

Happy Birthday to the main man in our lives. We were so happy he was able to get home from work at a decent hour so we could celebrate it with him. Can't you tell from Henry's face we were excited. 
The kids love anything to do with birthdays and presents. Ever since her birthday Cosette has been wishing everyone "Happy Birthday" for just about any reason. She was especially excited to celebrate Daddy's birthday. 

We surprised him with lots of different single origin chocolate bars from countries that we have not tired yet. 
Excitement!
"Here you go Daddy! Happy Birthday!" Not an exact quote, but pretty close.
She had to model the "Luke I am your father" shirt. That is what she calls Star Wars.
The big box had all of them intrigued.
He is excited to get his fitness on with his weights. 
The box doubled as a toy for the kids. They played a Jack in a box game, where Cosette would pop up and make Henry laugh.
Sister come on out! I want to play! is what I bet he is saying.
Lyndon's cake was the most complicated recipe I had ever done. It was a chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse filling, and chocolate praline sheets draped around the cake. It was kind of incredibly delicious. 
Cosette was happy with it, but probably more so with Lyndon's favorite homemade chocolate ice cream.


Henry had way too much birthday.
Happy Birthday Lyndon! We hope this year is a great one.

Love,
Christine, Cosette, and Henry

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Greatest Relay

This past weekend I participated in The Great Relay held at Lyndon's alma mater, Columbia. It was a fundraiser my swim team and a few other teams in the city teamed up with Trident Swim Foundation. A couple of my teammates created Trident Swim foundation a few years ago to help organize and run swim lessons, competitive swim teams, and academic programs in the inner cities in NYC, And the good news continues, they are about to get the okay to start one in L.A! It is now going to be a bi-costal organization. Trident helps kids through swimming with academic success. They provide help with college applications, SAT prep, and a safe place for them to be. So kind of an awesome organization. They currently have programs in Washington Heights in Manhattan and one in Prospect Heights in Brooklyn.
To help this great organization as well as my beloved swim team, Red Tide, the Great Relay was created. The Great Relay is the longest relay in the country. It is a total of 5000m (200 laps) that is divided up among the relay team members. Each relay team was made up of 8-20 swimmers. Each swimmer swam a 50 (two laps of the pool) at a time until the roster ran out and then we would start from the top again. It turned out that each team had eight swimmer so each swimmer swam 12 or 13 50's. I was one of the lucky few who got to swim 13 50's. I was having such a great time I was kind of sad it was over, and we were the last team in the pool, haha. Yeah, I could have kept swimming for another hour. It is probably good when it ended because my lips were the same color as my swim suit, purple! The Columbia pool water and deck is cold.

This was not a "real" competition, but it was the first time I have "competed since high school, so it's been a long while. Now it has me jazzed about competing again. It was a great way for me to dip my toe in the pool of the competitive swimming world. Let me tell you I have a long way to go to get back to be a serious competitor. I really want to put more time and energy into swimming, but at this point in my life I have to save some energy to take care of my two wiley kiddos. There is a time and place for everything. I am just grateful I found a team that I can work out with and keep up my swimming with. It really is the greatest sport.

Warmed up and ready to swim.
One of my adorable cheerleaders. I think I had the biggest cheering squad there.
Coach Jeremy getting us pumped to swim!

Let the relay begin!

Cheering on my team mate ready for my first 50.
Swimming in lane two.


My other sweet cheerleader. Lyndon told me that she cheered for me everytime I stepped up on the block. I wish that I could have heard them. I did look for them and waved every time. I am glad she got to see me participate in swimming because swimming is an important part of my life, not a big part but a very important part. This sport gives me so much and helps me be a better mother, wife, basically overall person. I hope that both my children and develop their talents and find hobbies that help them be the best they can be. 
It was really fun to use my relay dive again. It is different from your regular start. I have not used it for years. Glad to brush up on my skills.
This was my favorite part of the race. I jokingly challenged one of my friends in the lane next to me to race and he surprised me by accepting my challenge. The swimmer in his lane finished before the simmer in my lane and he waited for my swimmer to come in and we went at the same time. He beat me pretty good, but I guess I was in the water first so one of our coaches said I won because of that.  But the reality is beat me pretty good.

My relay team's name was Red Wine. We were told that it needed to go along with our team name, Red Tide. We put our team together kind of last minute, but were still able to raise $2,110. I had a goal of raising $200 and I made it! A HUGE thank you to all of you who donated. I really appreciate all the support from friends and family for this event. I am very thankful to know that I have people who are supporting me in my life. The Great Relay event had the goal to raise $30,000 and we raised a total of $34,000! 
Here we are, team Red Wine! I have had that song stuck in my head all weekend long.

Once again a huge thank you to all those who donated and to my sweet Lyndon, Cosette, and Henry for cheering me on the whole way. Thank you!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Cupcakes and Canstruction

Lyndon's birthday was last week. We did all we could to celebrate it properly. For our weekly lunch with Daddy at work we changed it up and met at the Brookfield Place for lunch and cupcakes. We were not sure if he would be home that night and at the last minute I thought "hey, taking cupcakes to work with us for him would be a good idea". That took us down to the Brookfield Place which lucky for us is hosting this year's Canstruction event. 
Dogs are Henry's favorite right now. Whenever he sees one she says "Dog! Dog!". Therefore, we had to get a picture with the Dog sculpture. We tried to get him in it but that kid is fast.
Canstruction is a charity that hosts events that feature sculptures made entirely from canned food. The large sculptures are displayed as an art exhibit in 150 cities around the world. Once the event is over the canned food is donated to local hunger relief organizations. I think it is a brilliant way to get people to think about food and those who are without, especially this time of year. It is really fun to see all the different types of canned food used because most often I'm sure we all have several of those same canned food in our cabinets. And demonstrates an artistic way to use your canned food. So if you are bored on a rainy day pull out your canned food and make a sculpture!
Sprinkles cupcakes for our Daddy on his birthday! We had to make sure he got some cake on his birthday. We got pumpkin, ginger lemon, and Cosette picked out chocolate marshmallow. The ginger lemon was voted the best by us. It was a spice cake cupcake with lemon cream cheese frosting. Yum! Yum! Yum! 
May the odds be ever in your favor. I like how Cosette snuck into this shot. She has the most beautiful smile here. 
Wall-e and Eva can-sculpture.

My loves.
She looks out for him (sometimes). And when she does it is the sweetest.
Apple core can-sculpture. The curvatures of the core really demonstrate skill of the people who create these can-sculptures. It takes a lot of skill to create the smooth curves the apple core has with something akin to blocks. I thought that was pretty incredible. 
Henry's face says it all, we are happy to be with Daddy and to be at Canstruction. (More happy to be with Daddy, especially on his birthday). 
It may be cold outside, but those palm trees help us feel like we are in Miami or another warm city.
The "Thinker", another one of my favorites at the exhibit.
I'm not sure what this one is but I liked the name of it, Van Gogh Away Hunger.

The kids were really excited about the sea lion. Makes sense they are a favorite when we visit the zoo.
Being silly girls at lunch. We like to laugh together.
Our view when we left the Brookfield Place. Hello One World Trade Center! 

Happy Birthday Lyndon! We hope that the first part of your birthday was great! (Be prepared, part II is on it's way).

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Great Relay Fundraiser

As you may or may not know, I am training for a big race called The Great Relay on November 22, 2014.  It is the longest pool race in the country and should be a big challenge.  My team and I are swimming this race to help support the Trident Swim Foundation – a great organization running swim lessons, competitive swim teams, and academic programs in the inner cities of America. 

Trident gets kids hooked on sports through the discipline and rewards of competitive swim training, while also providing college application help, SAT tutoring, and a safe place to be after school.  To learn more, check them out at www.tridentswimfoundation.org and watch the video of them on NBC’s Today Show!

I have set a goal of raising $200 and I need all the support I can get. Please help support this great cause and make my race a meaningful one!  This is the first race I have done since high school so it is kind of a big deal for me. I am reaching a personal goal here. Please go to www.crowdrise.com/redwine to donate today! Any amount will do. Even if it is a dollar it will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Life Lately

Things have been pretty normal around here. We seem to stay really busy all the time which is good. We don't like to be bored. Even Henry gets antsy when we have been at home to long. It is amazing to see the difference in my kids that getting to the playground makes.

Lyndon's work load has lightened up a little bit which means he has been home before the kids go to bed. I can't remember the last time he was here for bedtime, but then I cannot remember what happened yesterday (what day is it?).

The weather has been a dream this fall. The cold is setting in this week, so pray we will keep warm. Last winter here was pretty bad, and I am so thankful we were not here for it, but people are pretty freaked out for this one. Anyway, we are very grateful to mother nature for being mild to us so far.

On Saturdays we try to do a family outing as long as Daddy does not have to work. Sometimes he does sometimes he doesn't. One Saturday we were lucky and he did not have to work so we made a plan to go to the first ever New York Festival of Light. It was held under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo. And sadly it was not all it hyped up to be. I guess if we did not have our kids with us it would have been better. It was really crowded and there was a section that we did not get to see because there was a massive line that would have taken at least an hour to get through. We did get to see the exhibit that was displayed on the bridge and that was pretty cool. When we look up the events going on and different things to do we always don't know what it is going to be like. So we have the attitude of you win some and you lose some. Although I don't think we can ever say we lose some because there is always something fun or good that comes out of these things. I think just being together when we go on these "adventures" is really what makes them fun. We always come away with some fun/happy memory. So I think this one was still a win. We got Indian food, so it was a total win!
One of the exhibits. 
Even though we did not get to see this part, it still was pretty psychedelic just to see the lights.  
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And we went on Jane's Carousel! Riding it at night with the lights and seeing the city lights across the water was kind of incredible.  
There are only smiles on Jane's Carousel.
Cosette told me her horse's name was "Catbus". The conversations we have right now are pretty awesome. Three year olds are some of the funniest people I know. 
Macy's has their "Dear Virginia" window display already up! I am one of those people who does not play Christmas music till after Thanksgiving. Each holiday deserves to have its time to be celebrated, but I am really wanting to start getting ready for Christmas. I cannot wait for Thanksgiving! We have been to the parade the last couple of years and Santa is always at the end "bringing" in Christmas, and I cannot wait for him to come to town.
This is our view when we leave our building. Nothing beats Central Park in the fall.
There is a Dairy Queen in the city! That blew my mind right there. Not that we are going to be down there every other day, but it is nice to know there is one. And it was another affirmation that I do not have to leave the city because it does have everything.
Henry gets around really well since he is walking like a pro. That allows them to do things like this on the elevator. 
We celebrated the end of the week one Friday and went to happy hour at Yogurtland. She agrees that frozen yogurt is the bomb.
Can you guess which one is hers?
Like I said above, Nothing is beats Central Park in the fall.
A toddler lives the life of luxury. You get carried around, people feed you, no worries, all play. You want some peeled grapes Henry?
The moon was peaking it's head our early one afternoon. I like the extra hour we get from daylight savings, but I wish it would stay daylight a little longer here. At least it getting dark early helps us get home and to bed on time. Otherwise, we would wear ourselves out more than we already do. 
 Happy Monday! 
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