making a home in Manhattan

It's hard to explain how hard it is living here without sounding incredibly ungrateful and selfish. I struggle to communicate it well, but can I share my heart with you? It's awesome and awful all at once. The culture shocked girl in me is still a city girl. The limitations I have here as a mom of two littles are greater than in Montreal. I'm less mobile here. I'm less confident here. I'm less comfortable here. But it's still amazing to live in New York City. I remind myself that a lot.

One way I know I need to delve in is our home. Primarily for me. I am a nester through and through. There isn't much I can do with the swanky sexy decor here (there are literally artsy photographs of legs in fish net stockings hanging above our couch), but I can make it mine for the time being. Not to mention, Brad is doing so much during the day, it would be nice for him to come home to a, well, home. So for him and me, and my poor Lily who keeps pointing eagerly to the door (something she never does at home), I need to make a home here. Oli, you just keep being easy going and cool, mk?

Nesting So Far:

Cooked my first supper! 
We ate out our first night here and got take out our second. Tonight was our third night and Brad had at attend an evening church service in NoHo so it was just me and Lily eating grown up food. Could have easily made it a cereal-for-dinner night given that Brad wasn't even here and I was unmotivated, but I knew making a real meal in this kitchen would be good for my soul and belly. It was.  Brad picked up groceries this afternoon and did an amazing job. Lily and I feasted on some grain-fed boneless skinless chicken thighs (cooked on a skillet with olive oil + sea salt + ground pepper + fresh parsley +a sprinkle of bread crumbs) and corn on the cob. Oli even tried some chicken. Cooking in a kitchen immediately makes it feel like mine, do you find the same? It was delicious in every way.

Unpacked, Fully.
Since we're renting a fully-furnished apartment, there is no need to live out of suitcases for another second! I love to travel, but I can't stand living out of a suitcase. It makes me feel so transient and haphazard. All four of us are unpacked, the cloth diapers have a home, there is even a toy corner. We've officially moved in.

Filled the house with food.
People often comment that there is so much food, EVERYWHERE, at my house. I love bowls of fresh fruit, canisters of ingredients, and herbs in vases. I'm doing what I can to do the same here. One thing we always have are small bowls of fresh ground pepper and sea salt. We keep them by the stove since they're used so frequently in cooking. As soon as I ground them in Montreal they went into a zip lock bag and found a new home in Manhattan. Something so small that speaks volumes to me.

Still to come:

Candles! what a cheap way to make a home warm (and this house is not warm!). Plus autumn is coming and that's the best candle scents :)

Exploring alone. Brad has been with me very time I've left the house. I like it that way, but starting tomorrow, it won't be so. I'm dreading it but also know it will give me more ownership over this neighbourhood.

Meet the neighbours. We've said his and byes but I'd love to know names and faces.

Do some baking. Cooking is one thing. That has to happen every day, at least once. Baking on the other hand, is pure pleasure. Completely hearty yet totally unnecessary. And one of my favourite things to do, especially when nesting. Is it really my kitchen or autumn before pumpkin cookies have been baked? I think not.


  1. Keep writing and processing your thoughts, Em! I love reading them and it sounds like you are gently growing in peace and a sense of settled-ness as you glorify Him through your attitude of contentment. Love you and love reading about your fam and life! Perhaps one day we will meet again! Until then <3

  2. I love hearing you're getting settled in NY. I think it's so important to 'nest' in a place, even if it's only your home for 6 weeks. I'm saying a prayer for your time out and about in the city today! I stayed in NYC for a conference a few years ago and hated leaving the hotel alone, even to buy coffee because it was so unknown.

  3. Three weeks ago we moved to New York (from San Francisco) too. Except we moved to Westchester county, just a 30 minute train ride into Grand Central Station) with our two kids. When we visited Manhattan last January our 2.5 old was so over-stimulated that we couldn't imagine how on earth we would pull it off. Your comment in a later post about leaving the house with both kids by yourself - I totally get it!

    Now I have a three year old, a 6 week old (never said the timing was good for this move) finding my way around in a brand new place. We came into the city last Sunday - what a glorious day! I wondered if maybe we could have been alright in Manhattan? I don't know that we'll ever know but I'll follow your blog now so that I can live vicariously through you!