making a home in Manhattan (part 2)

I'm getting there! I'm slowly but surely getting there. Today is our 4th day in Manhattan and by far the best (and it's not even noon!). My pride has been seriously hurt in this process. My identity as a "city girl" is all but invisible here. I'm a clueless foreigner and as awful as it's felt, it's done wonders for my humility. So amen to that. On the note of humility, I never thought I'd be so joyous after such seemingly small steps as the ones I took today, but I am. I am so so joyful.

Today I:

Left the house alone with the kids.
Every Monday and Thursday we can't park out front of our house from 8:30-10am because of street cleanup, so I had no choice but to take the car elsewhere and spend a couple hours out of the house. So glad I had to do this. Turns out right near me is a Whole Foods (where I finally found a good coffee for under $3! $1.69 to be exact :) and a Home Goods (US version of Winners). The kids loved being outside and I did too. We strolled around, did some shopping, and took in the crisp September morning air.

Bought candles!
Home Goods had large Yankee jar candles for $9 so I bought two in Fall scents in hopes of warming up my apartment. Totally working. I'm burning Pear right now and also grabbed Fall Air. Can't burn them at the same time though because this place is so small, it would smell like a bowl of potpourri in no time!

Got some more toys + books for the kids.
We packed VERY light coming here with the thought that a) we had no room, b) could buy toys/books in the US for cheaper and c) we could pick up cheap secondhand things and leave them here when we were done. But the kids need to "nest" too. And I think they're tiring of their car toys and books (we keep a stash in the car and that's all we brought). I got two sweet books at Home Goods for $5 (You Are My Little Cupcake, which my friend Sarah read to my kids when we were in Vancouver and have fond memories of, and Zigg & Ze Super Zeros, which is adorable and interactive) as well as a Melissa and Doug letter stamp kit for Lily. Oli has been OK with the rental's tupperware thus far :) Home Goods has amazing prices so we bought toys we'll keep instead of secondhand. Plus I think the only Salvation Army store near me is in Harlem which I may avoid...

Met a Neighbour.
Katie, a self-proclaimed Hippie in her 60's helped me and the kids into our building this morning after our adventures. She was completely lovely and we chatted for a good amount of time. She loves Canada and has lived in BC and took a warm interest in the kids too. Meeting her was monumental for me and made me feel a lot more "at home" even if I never see her again. Also I realized some things are easier here than at home (BIG deal saying that!) - meeting people and casual chatter is really seamless when you know they speak English and don't have to fumble in French!


  1. Soooo happy for you Emily!! Sounds like you're settling in! I LOVE Melissa & Doug! I found some toys at a garage sale that were barely use of M&D and only bought one (for $5). I wish I had bought more though since that's such a good price!

  2. I'm learning a lot about humility too. Isn't God great that way? He always gently (or not so gently, sometimes) reminds us of the deficits in our heart, and instead of reprimanding us, he builds us up, as it seems He is with you! Glad to hear you're adjusting better to NYC!

    As for avoiding Harlem...I've only been hearing praises about how amazing that borough is now! Yes, it's dominated by black culture, and that alone may make you feel out of place, but it's considered the most successful black city/borough in America. The stereotype of violence/abject poverty is not applicable today. Besides, isn't Tar-jay enough to make you want to visit? Hahaha :)

    1. Oh, my name didn't show up! It's Jenny :)

    2. I know, Target is SUCH a draw. So is Costco when you're got babies to feed! I hear you about Harlem, but locals are the ones I'm getting my information from, and many have said it's not the greatest place to wander around when you don't know your way. I'll go when Brad can join us, but probably not alone. Maybe Im being over protective, but I'm trusting the locals on this one ;)

  3. Not sure how I stumbled upon your blog...but I am glad I did and I just wanted to say that I look forward to reading about your adventures in NYC! My husband is also a church planter and we have been living in Vienna, Austria for 5 years now. City living is always an adventure~ and some days are harder than others. May God bless your time there! :)