Saturday, May 31, 2008

New beginnings...

This past Wednesday, I began orientation for my nursing program at how am I still up at 1:30am, I don't know.  However, I felt it was important, before I go into detail about my new school, that I share a couple things with everyone that I have been to busy to blog about until now.

First, on April 29th, my future sister-in-law, Heather, gave birth to her second child, Tyler Chase, in Minnesota.  He is adorable and looks Just like his dad, Travis. Scott and I can't wait to meet him next weekend when we're home for Jodie's wedding.  Zoe, Scott's niece (who now calls me Auntie Lauren which I LOVE) is apparently handling big-sisterhood quite well.  Here are some picks of Tyler Chase in his first days:

Those are some Travis cheeks right there!

                        Heather and Tyler (Mommy time!)

                     The whole fam including little Miss Zoe...age 2.5

    Tyler, Heather and Travis...(like I said...the resemblance is in the cheeks)

     Welcome to the world Tyler! Can't wait to meet ya!

Second, on May 21st, my fiance, Scott, graduated from his Masters of Fine Arts program in acting at Columbia University.  I am soooo proud of him, and his parents and I even sat through 2 ceremonies that were 2+ hours each.  Yikes.  The first ceremony was outside and the sun was to the east and I got this awesomely ridiculous sunburn which hopefully will disappear in time for my bridesmaid action next weekend. Here are some pics of this event as well:

    The old library on Columbia's Morningside Heights campus where the excruciatingly long ceremony took place

Awww, what a cute grad!

                                                                           So proud!
                Stupid rolled up sleeves....this is a symbol of my dedication.

                  And that V-neck was REALLY awesome.  Good times.

Now I must go to sleep but be back soon w/ pics of some new friends from school from our orientation week boat cruise.  It's refreshing to be in a program with people who care so much about their future professions, and about people, which is what their future professions are all be continued...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oh so familiar....

After reading this article in the New York Times about living off of a starting salary in New York, I actually feel lucky to have been able to live with Scott and split the bills in a one bedroom!  And man do those raises make a difference!  I can assure you, even before the raise, I ate a bit better than these people (thanks in part to my mom...Thanks Mom!)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New York Happenings: April/May 2008 Edition

Hello all,

Here I sit in my office (I swear I don't write these emails fromwork...) during my last week of full time work for the next 2.5 years.WOOOO HOOO!!! Not that an accelerated nursing program at an Ivy League school won't be work. I'm sure I'll spend all my free time sitting onmy bed in my new (HUGE) bedroom with my nose in a nursing book. But still! No more 8:30-5! No more listening to jerky psychiatrist whoget paid too much for handing off all their work to the "little people"! No more having to look decent every day. I'm talking sweatpants and flip flops people! I'm talking different schedule every dayof the week! I'm talking half days on Fridays. I CAN'T WAIT!

If you all haven't gathered from this intro that I have 3 days left ofwork (including today), and that I'm starting my combined BS/MSprogram at Columbia University School of Nursing on June 2nd, apparently we haven't talked for a while and you need to read myupdates more frequently. Although it's Tuesday today, I am taking tomorrow off to watch my fiance graduate from HIS graduate program at Columbia University. He truly is taking that big leap from being astudent to being a struggling actor (*wink wink*). HOWEVER, in the last month, Scott has had multiple interviews with 2 agents who saw him at his showcase in April. One agent is a legit agent (TV, film and theater), and one is a commercial agent (umm...commercials.) He hasn't signed with either of them yet, but they're still in talks, and in the mean time, Scott is free lancing for a manager until he gets a contract. Who knew things would go so smoothly for him!?! He even had a commercial audition last week. We couldn't ask for a much better turnout from his graduate program! (You know...except a recurrent role in a national commercial campaign that pays millions...but we have lots of time to work up to that.)

So Scott and I are both transitioning. We moved on May 10th into ournew HUGE one bedroom apartment on Riverside Drive West around158th-160th. (See pics here: I have yet to take pictures of the furnished apartment (as we're just finishing unpacking), but will get those up on the blog soon. The area (Washington Heights) is quite a switch from our old quiet neighborhood on the Upper West Side. Lots of Latino music playing from car stereos allll day long on Broadway. However, our street is fairly quiet and we enjoy it quite a bit. The space we now have is worth the switch!I also had a visit from my mom which was her first solo trip to NY and she did great! Found her way to the bus right off the plane and traveled all around town with me for 5 days. We even found my wedding dress and tentative bridesmaid dresses. She wrote up a little bit about it which I added to my blog so check out the details of her trip here:

I am sure there is so much more going on that I should relay to all of you, but quite frankly I am a bit overwhelmed. Between moving, having my mom visit, finishing work, having a final this Thursday, Scott's parents coming into town today, and starting nursing school next week(orientation is a week from tomorrow!), my head is in a whirl, and I will leave my funny stories for future emails. Hope all is well with you guys! Will be in Minnesota June 6th-8th for the Murray/(Jodie)Flaherty wedding. However, it's going to be a very quick trip so all of you Minnesotans should clear your calendars in August when I'll be home for almost 3 weeks before heading to Kansas for my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary and jetting back to the big city! (That's right...I said 60! Impressive huh?)

Love to everyone and wish us luck!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Guest Blogger: MOM!! (Karen)

Just wanted to update you on my fabulous NYC getaway!
Had no trouble getting into NYC Wednesday. Caught the M60 bus and rode it to 116th, where Lauren was waiting for me.  She took me to the subway and we rode uptown to 157th to her new apartment, which is SO much more spacious than her previous apartment on 105th.  Even though things were still not put away, as she just got in the weekend before I came.  It has a view of the Hudson River from the living room.  The kitchen is small, but has it's own washer and dryer. Lots of closet space for storage. And a BEDROOM!
I put my bags away, then we walked up to 168th where the Columbia Medical Center is located. How impressive is that?!  Lauren is at a renowned school associated with a noteworthy hospital.  She is getting excited...She can actually walk to school daily (10 blocks) or take a bus on rainy, snowy days. It was very impressive.
Next, we took the subway to the Bronx, to the only Target in NYC. We bought shelving paper and household supplies. We brought our stuff back to 157th.  We worked a couple hours covering shelves but ran out or paper. We met up with Scott who was doing a reading downtown that afternoon.  He suggested a BBQ restaurant in West Harlem for dinner. It was fabulous. After dinner, we went back to the former apartment, on 105th, and brought back some items left over from the move last weekend. And that was all on the first day here.
Thursday, Lauren and I got up early to make an appointment on 37th and Broadway to see bridal gowns. We took the subway from 157th to 42nd.  As we were a bit early for the 8:30 appointment, we hit Starbucks for a brew. The first shop was very small, but carried a brand which Lauren happened to like.  She tried on one style, which really flattered her, but as she hadn't looked that much, she took the number of the dress and a card from the lady, and we moved on to the next dress shop.  This shop was much bigger and carried lots of merchandise.  As it was a weekday, it wasn't as crazy as the last time Lauren had attempted to shop there, when it took over 1.5 hours just to get waited on that time.  Lauren must've tried on 10 dresses, until she tried on "the" one dress which so flattered her, there was an "Ahhh!" moment! They recorded the style number and color for us.  We would be back tomorrow to show the bridesmaids. We were successful!!
We left there feeling elated over our success. We stopped for a salad lunch, working our way back uptown.  We stopped at a Bed Bath and Beyond for more shelving paper and supplies.  Another subway ride up toe 157th to unload our supplies.  We then went uptown to Dyckman (near 204th) to meet up with 3 of Lauren's coworkers. One coworker, Amy, just moved into her new apartment and the girls wanted to see it.  So we viewed her apartment, and at her suggestion, tried a Mexican restaurant, blocks from her apartment.  Scott met us there, after an audition.  We had some fabulous Mexican food. Another fabulous NYC restaurant! Back on the subway to 157th and another day in NYC is over.
Friday, the rains came along with a chill in the air.  Lauren and I were to meet two bridesmaids, Amy (with the new apartment) and Jamalyn (Lauren's old roommate from U of Mn).  Lauren tried on her dress for them.  As she was modeling it, another customer asked to try on that dress (a compliment to Lauren, I would think!) Finding one dress to compliment 6 different figure types is another story.  Lauren has a definite color in mind for these dresses which narrows the options.  She also thought she wanted a shorter dress, which further limited the options. Having tried on a multitude of styles, they came to a tentative consensus on one dress, long, but in the color Lauren so wants.  Before we left, we put a down payment for the bridal dress.  Lauren is relieved to have found "the" dress, priced very reasonably, and most flattering to her, before she starts school and gets so buried in homework that she's unable to make time for such pursuits.  I treated the girls to lunch (Chinese- Another wonderful NYC dining experience!) and we parted ways. As it was rainy and cold, we rode the subway back to the apartment and busied ourselves putting things away.  I went back to lining shelves and completed that task, so Lauren could put her kitchen in order.  Lauren, Scott and I went for burgers on 105th and Broadway.  The weather was testy that day but the food and the experience were great.
Today, Saturday, is the most glorious day in NYC that I've experienced. There is a chill in the air, but it's sunny and bright.  Lauren and I trotted up to 168th for a Starbucks by the medical campus, and on the way back, she realized that a certain bus line runs close to her apartment, which is a good option on rainy or snowy days for getting to class. She is studying for a final, so I am busying myself with this email and trying to stay quiet.
It's been a worthwhile and memorable trip.  The one on one time with Lauren and Scott has been valued.  I've gotten to see the new apartment, the new school, help decide on a wedding dress, help sort through the multitude of bridesmaid dress choices, eaten well, and made memories.  I'd say it was a trip well spent!
Will be back in Minnesota Monday afternoon, much richer for the experiences with my New Yorkers!