Polar Vortex

Turns out, the snow actually sticks here in NYC. And yes, I went out in that. Twice. 

Our First Week in NYC

Well, we've been in the city for a week now {give or take a few hours}. We haven't done anything super exciting, since we're going to be here for such a long time. Most of my adventures are related to figuring out how to live my life in a new city. But here's what we did, if you're interested.

Monday: arrived in the city. Went out for pizza at a place down the street. Got metro passes. 

Tuesday: slept in. Luke's first day of work. I ventured down to the Asian market for some groceries. Later in the day, we went out to find the closest Target. This was my first time riding the subway. 

Wednesday: Luke worked a long day. I stayed home, unpacked a bit, and went on a walk with one of our neighbours. 

Thursday: I went into the city with Luke. On my way home, I got lost and ended up in Times Square. Which is large and kind of intimidating when you don't know where you are. 

Friday: I stayed home all day, catching up on work. 

Saturday: Luke was feeling sick, so I took him to the doctor. We spent the rest of the day relaxing at home. Later we went out for pizza and doughnuts. 

Sunday: Luke wasn't feeling better yet, so we stayed home. 

At first, I had a hard time with such a slow week. We didn't get out much or do any sightseeing. Then I remembered that I live here now, and that by taking a few days to relax and get my bearings, I'm making it easier for myself in the future. Hopefully this week, I'll have some better adventures to share. And hopefully some pictures, too.  

Rough Landing

Guys. Traveling to New York yesterday was probably the hardest day of traveling that I've ever had. And I've been left waiting at the American border, and spend 30 hours straight coming back from London. 

We flew out of Salt Lake, which is usually a pretty easy experience. Only, this time, it wasn't. Since Luke's company paid for the tickets, they put my last name as D. Only, all my identification, including driver's license, passport, and {expired} student ID is under N. So when we got to the TSA guard, my names didn't match. 

Apparently that's a problem. 

They called up a new guard to figure everything out. He had to call up another agent to check if I was on any watch lists {hint: I'm not}. Finally, I was allowed through, but only if I agreed to additional screening. Which meant that I had to go through the full body scanner and get patted down. Twice. The first one was pretty basic. Just a quick check of my arms and legs. Then I had another agent search my carry on bag, as well as the rest of me. It wasn't as invasive as I thought it would be, although she did test her gloves after giving me the pat down. My best is that they're either checking for cocaine or gunpowder. 

All together, that took about half an hour. We made it to our plane in plenty of time, though. And the flight itself was pretty smooth. Well, not literally. There was a lot of turbulence, since there's so many winter storms going on. 

Things got stressful again for our connecting flight in Houston. That is a BIG airport. So big, we had to take a shuttle from terminal C to terminal B. Meaning that we had to hustle in order to get on the plan at the right time. But we made it! 

Finally, we got to LaGuardia, which is actually a pretty small airport. All was well until my suitcase came out of the baggage claim. I don't know what happened, but one of the wheels was pretty damaged. And by damaged, I mean, it's totally missing, and there's a big chunk missing from the bottom corner of my bag. So it looks like I'm going to need a new suitcase in order to get home.

Things started looking up when we got to the apartments where we'll be staying. It's close to the subway stop and several restaurants. I'm not sure what else is around, since I haven't been out exploring yet. Plus, the apartment is really nice. I don't think we'll need to worry about cockroaches, which was one of my main concerns being here. 

Here's the view from our living room window: 

Last Year's "Resolutions"

I meant to check in a bit more throughout the year on how I was keeping up with my goals. I might have, here and there, but not to the point I thought I would. So I'm going to do one big recap now, and then later on today I'll post my new goals for 2014. Here's the original post I made last year, if you want to check it out. 

The goal was: Be a better friend 

My success: not as good as I'd hoped, but better than nothing. I kept in touch with some friends, met up with others in real life, and called/emailed/Facebooked a few more. I even had some friends and family come for visits. However, I didn't put as much effort into it as I would have liked. 

The goal was: Be healthier 

My success: overall, pretty good. I joined the local gym, and I go at least once or twice a week. I increased my endurance as well as my lifting ability. I also increased my water consumption. I didn't lose the weight like I wanted, but I did gain some muscle. 

The goal was: Try one new recipe a week 

My success: not as good as I'd hoped. In fact, I kind of forgot about this one. I did try some new recipes, but I didn't document my progress at all. The best thing I tried was BBQ bacon grilled cheese sandwiches, which I adapted from Iowa Girl Eats {I just left off the chicken}. Or maybe it was the blueberry lemon yogurt cake. I think the worst thing was the two ingredient "cookies". You just mash bananas up and stir in chocolate chips, then bake them. They turned out like little rubber banana balls. So gross. 

The goal was: Be more creative 

My success: I'm pleased with how well this went. I did some embroidery, I made some artwork to hang in our house, and I learned how to cross stitch. I even tried a bit of sewing. And I made over a small hutch into a jewelry holder. So yes, 2013 was nice and creative. 

The goal was: Travel 

My success: A+. In March I went home for my brother's mission homecoming. In May we went to Northern California for my cousin's wedding. We almost made it to Goblin Valley in Southern Utah. We drove up to Barnwell in August and took a day trip to Waterton while we were there. We went to Bear Lake multiple times, and finished the year off with a back-and-forth between BL and Barnwell. So yes. That went incredibly well.  

December Recap

It's been awhile since I posted. That's probably because the month of December got away from me a little bit. Then it was Christmas, and nobody blogs during Christmas. Anyway. Here's what I was up to. 

  • Got the keys to our new apartment. Well, technically, it's a condo. But only because it's a privately owned unit in an apartment complex. 
  • Started moving in to the new place. 
  • Continued moving. 
  • Moved over the large furniture {turns out, we have a lot of stuff}. 
  • Cleaned the old place. 
  • Went to Bear Lake for some pre-Christmas fun 
  • Went to Barnwell for more Christmas fun 
  • Had Christmas at home with my whole family for the first time in 3 years. 
  • Saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 
  • Back to America/Bear Lake 
  • Celebrated New Year's Even in our new apartment 
Like I said, the month kind of got away from me. This list doesn't even include the friends I hung out with, Christmas shopping, and playing Beatles Rockband with my siblings {which is pretty much the best thing ever}. 

December was rough and busy but also full of awesome.