In the city with my Alyssa

With yesterday being the last full day of school for Samantha, Alyssa and I decided to take advantage and we headed to Manhattan to thrift shop.  The thrift scene around here has dried up with me personally not finding the former awesome finds I’d become accustomed to.  Just a bunch of department store clothing.  Not thrilling, IMO anyway. 

So we took the ferry across to the city and promptly caught the uptown 1 train.   On the subway we were then serenaded by 2 older gentlemen, one was a former member of The Drifters we were told.  After the singing we transferred to the number 2 express train which got us uptown in no time! Alyssa being a typical 15yr old talked my ear off the whole time.  I’m not complaining I enjoyed it, I loved hearing her unfiltered point of view regarding just about everything important in her life.   We got off at 96th St. and Broadway to hit the Salvation Army there. Yes we went that far uptown :).   I love this store, you seriously never know what you’re going to find.  Sometimes you hit it big other times…not so big.  Like I’ve walked out of there empty handed with a heavy heart but that’s the thrill of the thrift, the hunt!

This time both Alyssa and I both scored.  She found the coolest pair of “genie pants” (think more attractive MC Hammer pants) that are apparently very in style right now.  The pants looked brands new and were from TopShop which can be quite spendy in price.  Alyssa also found the cutest sundress perfect for summer.  But then again she is 15 and what wouldn’t look cute on her?  I scored with True Religion denim that fit perfectly (squeal!), a zip around Kate Spade wallet and awesome cotton/linen J Crew pants.  I heart J Crew when I score it at the thrift. 

 

 

After about an hour or so we called it quits to get home early as Alyssa was getting together with friends and I wanted to have lunch before picking up Samantha. We caught the express train downtown and were all set to transfer to the 1 to the ferry terminal when the conductor made an announcement that the service to the ferry via the 1 train was interrupted and gave instructions to catch another train. Alyssa and I exited on Fulton street and oh my goodness we had NO idea where to go which way was the ferry?? After a couple of false starts I spied 2 building security guards on a corner and asked them how to get to the ferry. They were nice enough to give us directions and off we went! I’d say we walked about 10 blocks, far enough IMO.

I’d say our day was a fun thrifting success and more importantly I had a great time with my daughter.

Getting down to business

I’m in the middle if writing my business plan for my store I dream of opening one day. Yes I dream of opening a high end resale store in my neighborhood (I love my ‘hood). I had the opportunity to take an entrepreneur- ship class last year at the local city college and it was all about learning how to write a business plan. Since last spring I have been procrastinating writing my own plan. Now that I want to someday make this dream a reality I need the business plan.

I feel like I’ve given myself a huge homework assignment. I’m not complaining since this is self imposed but I’m overwhelmed a bit. I think this is the direction The Lord wants me to go. You know when things fall in that direction. I’m not saying I have this clear cut path and message, no not at all. No matter what other things I think of doing as a “grown up” this is one thing I can’t get out of my mind and I keep coming back to it. I have this thrill of the thrift that I keep talking about.

If I’m wrong and it’s not meant to be The Lord will show me and point me in a different direction.

So getting back to this business plan…I know I’m procrastinating by writing here. I haven’t drawn a blank like the one I have for certain parts of this plan in a long time. Usually I start writing and things take off. It’s forcing me to dig deep and use this brain God has given me. I know I can do this. It’s not even like I have little children around anymore to distract me. Even as I’m writing this I’m uninterrupted so I think I’ll take this as my cue to stop procrastinating and get to work. I won’t ask for a wish of luck but a small prayer couldn’t hurt :). Thanks.

Hit the thrifts!

I’m so glad I made it to Manhattan to see Nancy before the snow started.  I don’t know which I’m more happy about, seeing Nancy or hitting on of my favorite thrifts. I scored a gorgeous Lulumon hoodie, OMG that brand is expensive, who knew?  Not me I can tell you.  Anyway I paid 2.00 and I’m proud of it.  I also picked up a couple of sweaters I needed and another hoodie/sweatshirt that has cool embroidery and sequins.  Right up my alley.  Got to love the bling :).

So it’s now snowing and it does look pretty.  Everything looks so quiet and peaceful and clean.  I’m not a fan of snow by any means (not that I have any desire to move down south), but it is nice to look at when it’s first coming down. My girls are already planning their “snow day” tomorrow. They rarely close public schools here but you never know, besides I’ll most likely keep them home anyway.

I noticed this week how much I really have come to enjoy the thrift stores. I got my husband to come with me one day this past week. He’s not a thrift shopper and that’s ok. He came along because he loves me. I told him it’s a “hunt” he said he knows but it’s not his thing. Meanwhile I felt like I had to hit every rack or Heaven forbid I miss something! Ack! Today in Manhattan I noticed I’m quicker in going through the racks and how I can feel quality fabrics and I notice the workmanship of how a garment is finished. That’s how I found the Lulumon hoodie, the fabric, the workmanship, it’s gorgeous.

I also love the one thought mode I have when I’m in the thrifts. All I think about it the hunt and search. Not much else, unless I come across something I know someone is looking for. Then it’s as if I hit the jackpot! I can’t take a picture and text fast enough. And if that person isn’t eagerly awaiting my surprise text (like they really would be…right…) and get back to me right away I’m torn; do I buy this item and take a gamble or leave it and have thrift regret? Most times everyone gets back to me so all is right with the world.

I do have personal thrift regret, certain handbags I hemmed and hawed about and then left them! Oh man…I still think about them believe it or not. I think that’s the only thing I waver on is handbags. Mostly because many times they are priced higher than clothes and do I want to blow my thrift budget on a handbag I may not be in love with and use? Sometimes I totally score like the Kate Spade bag I have from the thrift, it’s new I don’t think anyone used this bag.

I hope this snow doesn’t stick around and keep me housebound and away from the thrifts!

Back to our regular program

The holidays are officially “over” by my clock and calendar anyway.  I’m glad, whew!  Now upward and onward to getting back to life in general.  It was pretty cool having the kids home for break, I enjoyed sleeping in :).  The girls are getting older that they no longer need me to be “rightthere” all the time.  Thank God.  Seriously.  Samantha at age 7 is fairly low maintenance and if Alyssa is home I can run an errand or two alone by leaving Alyssa to watch Samantha.  I want my life back where kids are in school, choir practice is resumed and all is right with the world.  Oh and I go to Manhattan to see Nancy and after we chat I get to thrift in the big city.  Yes I am excited about that.  I haven’t seen Nancy in about 2 weeks or so and I miss her.  I’m not sure if that is “correct” but I do like her as a person as well as a therapist, although I’m not sure you could NOT like a therapist as a person and still want to have sessions with them.

So yes I’m off to Manhattan and hoping and praying the snow storm predicted won’t begin until I’m back home.  I’m not a fan of driving in the snow, I don’t know many people who are.  I miss going to the city.  I’ve come to the realization that I am having a love affair with NYC, Manhattan in particular.  Living on an outer borough it’s easy to get to Manhattan and I notice my Alyssa will take any opportunity she has to go as well.  I’m glad because I want her to feel comfortable navigating subways and bus lines.  I love to people watch so this is perfect for me.  I know I enjoy the city so much because I’m not dragging myself there and commuting to a job everyday.  However I will say (now) that I’d jump at the chance to work in Manhattan when Samantha is older and much more independent.  If it’s The Lord’s way though.  It won’t happen unless He wants it to and I’m not privy to His plan.

When I do visit the city I enjoy taking public transportation.  For a people watcher, it’s definitely the way to go!  I’ve driven many times and it’s usually a headache and an expensive one at that taking into consideration bridge/tunnel tolls not to mention parking.  Ugh!  Yeah, that’s all I have to say about that.

Yes I’m welcoming back our regularly scheduled program and routine. We had a lovely Christmas, Thomas came home and the visit went for the most part, well. We spent New Year’s Eve with some of the nicest, sweetest people on the planet. Some new friends and some friends we’ve known for years and years. Regardless of how long everyone knew each other, all seemed to find common ground and chat and laugh. I loved hearing people laugh.

I hope everyone has a smooth transition back to their regular schedule/program.

And just like that…

Its over, Christmas that is.  By my personal calendar at least, as I know some religions still celebrate or hold holy days/weeks past the 25th of December.  All the running around, the stress, the angst over choosing that perfect gift for that perfect (or not so perfect) someone.  It’s over.  Until next year, haha.  I love the whole build up to Christmas personally.  The reverence of knowing we are about to celebrate the birth of our Saviour and how wonderful our Saviour is.  I love that part.  I love knowing He came down to us to save us.  Yes I know this. That our Lord took on human form and arrived without bells, whistles, trumpets blaring; it’s amazing and humbling.  

The shopping, meh…I could take or leave it most times. Yes it’s me talking saying I can take or leave “shopping”. Its not the kind of shopping I enjoy, it’s too stressful man! And I KNOW I’m not the only one who feels this way.  Sometimes it’s fun especially when your know what you’re buying is the “one” for that special someone.

We’re having a nice time with Thomas home. He’s been rather pleasant and wants to be helpful most times. Both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day he did an awesome job of helping to clear the table. It’s funny as sometimes he is clearly does not act his chronological age of 17 yrs and other times he comes out with some doozy comments that stop you dead in your tracks and you KNOW he’s in there and so very far from “not smart”.

I’m looking forward to taking my tree down, I realize we’re only 2 days past the big event but I want my house back and I’m tired of sweeping up needles. That said, I loved having a real tree for the first time. The smell was awesome and just having a living tree was just the coolest for once. I would do it again next year (I say this now before taking it down, haha).

I’m also having thrift withdrawal. I haven’t been thrifting in a couple of week due to the Holiday and all my kids home from school. My oldest daughter is in Manhattan today thrifting with her friends and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t envious. She called me with an authenticity question about a pair of premium denim IMO they sound good to me and the price was right so I said to go for them! I can’t wait for her to get home and show me her finds.

So yes, just like that Christmas is over. The fact that our Lord came to earth is still truth but the stress and running around is done for another 350 or so days.

Waiting and patience

I’ve been feeling discouraged that things are not moving fast enough or in the right direction concerning my business.  For those not in the know I shop either for a client or myself and I specialize in the thrift. I find designer items and sell them. I love the thrift, I love the thrill of the hunt. Www.nayaudo.com is my website that is not updated, I know I’ve posted it here before.

Anyway, I’m convinced God hasn’t divulged his plan as of yet, meanwhile I keep telling myself right now I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. It’s funny because when I was waiting on a residential school for Thomas I knew one would come along but on God’s timing not mine. I was so certain and I was right, God and the Holy Spirit made sure Thomas arrived at where he’s supposed to be.

I need to find that same confidence in knowing that I am right at this time in my life. God has put me exactly where he wants me to be for now and he will decide when things are to move. Sounds confident doesn’t it? I need to instill those words in my soul and let it be my answer when I begin to have feelings of doubt and frustration and discouragement. He is faithful.

In other news, our church is performing a Live Nativity. Actors with costumes act out Mary, Joseph and Jesus in the manger and the shepherds arriving and then the wise men. It’s so moving and just beautiful. The choir (which I am a member of) sings carols and songs about His birth. It’s all so amazing when you really think about it. The birth of the man who will become a Savior and die a horrible death to pay for our sins. Christmas is about His birth. The ultimate gift of salvation. It’s miraculous.

Moving forward

“Moving Forward”. 2 words and not a difficult statement to follow given you have the means to do so.  At this time in my life it is time for me to move forward.  I’m quite serious about my business (www.nayaudo.com), I want to see this succeed.  I feel this is what I’m supposed to be doing; shopping.  Feel free to laugh it’s ok.  Yes I dream of getting paid to shop for other people or find them some treasure they haven’t been able to locate on their own.  That treasure can be almost anything, but I specialize in clothing, shoes and the thrift.

Moving forward. Why isn’t it as easy as it sounds? I believe I’m not going anywhere until The Lord decides it’s the best time according to his plan. If my business took off last year I would have buckled, I was not ready and was still healing. But just because I think I’m in a better place doesn’t mean God agrees. Giving it all over to Him is one of the most difficult things I’ve done. To The Lord I handed over Thomas’ residential school and now I hand over my future of trying to be a success outside the home. I know He is “in charge” and He really does know better than we do. I trust The Lord, he is faithful.

I’m looking forward to moving forward. To not visit the depressed and traumatic times anymore. They’re still there, just not ruling me like they did. I’m also looking forward to growing as a person and sharing that growth with my family. Frustration and having more patience are two things I really need to work on. I want things to happen NOW like most of us do. If I’m to trust The Lord, I must develop more patience and accept his timing and not get frustrated.

I’ve done quite a bit of reflecting of when I was going through the depression and when you’re in that state you don’t realize how far down you are. I was thinking about this, this morning. I don’t ever want to be that far down again. When I was remembering that place I was reminded of the physical sensation of being that far down. It was as if I were in a ditch looking up at everyone and I couldn’t get myself out. I don’t ever want to be there again.

So here’s to moving forward!

The Who’s and Why’s

There are many times I feel unsure of what to write. I’ve visited the sites that give you ideas (thank you Rob), but I don’t think they are “me”. I like to write about what is on my mind even though whatever that topic may be might not be as interesting to a reader as it is to me. Then I ask myself who am I writing for? Myself or an audience? This blog has been extremely therapeutic for me. I’ve never been so honest about our life with Thomas. I never thought I’d be so honest about dealing with depression and medication and therapy. I never thought I’d receive the feedback I did because of my honesty. So I guess I’m writing for me and an audience even though I know my audience varies from time to time.

When I look back to a year ago I thought I was doing “well” handling the depression. I can see now the difference a year makes. Last year I was not doing well at all and I thank God I can see the difference today. A year ago had I ran into the mom I wrote about in my last post I probably would have broke down in tears explaining Thomas in residential school. I didn’t even come close to that the other day. And as an added bonus, Janice told me I looked great. We all know what an ego boost a compliment is.

I truly wonder what I will be reflecting on a year from now. I pray it’s the take off of my business but if not it will be ok as right now I know it’s in God’s hands and if He feels it’s not to be then it is not to be and God will have other plans for me.

The Big City

I never thought I would enjoy going to Manhattan as much as I do.  I’m sure that was part of God’s plan as well, to get me in a different atmosphere to deal with what was going on.  I know most people will say I only enjoy it so much because I don’t do that commute everyday and I’d agree.  I really like the ferry and believe it or not the subway too.  Most people aren’t looking to chat and nobody bats an eye if you read, write, close your eyes, whatever…on the ferry or subway. If someone is chatty I’m usually more than happy to chat as well. People are interesting, I’ve met an English couple who came over on the QE2, I met a young woman from Mexico who was in NY visiting her boyfriend, she traveled alone and I was so surprised! I met a couple from Canada, Toronto I think. They drove here in their motor home. The husband had a therapy dog but I didn’t ask why.

I also tourist/people watch. It’s funny because I’d say 8 out of 10 times you can tell who is not from here. It’s hard to explain and put your finger on it but I know most native New Yorkers will agree. I find it so funny when I lose my bearings in the City and I’m looking around for a landmark, the first thing I think is, “Oh my gosh I look like a tourist”. And I laugh at myself. It’s not a bad thing it’s just funny because no one wants to look out of place.

I enjoy the solitude when I go by myself. Yes, in one of the biggest cities in the world with all those freaking people I enjoy the solitude. Almost everyone has someplace to be and they need to get there, so just walk with your head up and watch where you’re going.

Some people will drive into the city from the outer boroughs. I used to do that years ago when I first started taking Thomas to see Dr.F. After a while I grew tired of paying the high tolls and high parking fees and started taking public transportation with him. When he was doing well we used to have fun going together. I taught him to “hold on” if we had to stand on a crowded subway and we would take pictures of ourselves with my cell phone. After his appointment I would love to walk over to the Anthropologie store a few blocks away. Thomas was great and loved it when I bought something. He is the best in enabling a shopper 😉

Now that I’m learning about the locations of new to me thrift stores I enjoy the city even more. I get a kick out of becoming a regular in the thrift and the staff says hello. I don’t think I could live in Manhattan though, I like where I live and I like being a New Yorker. I consider my trips to Manhattan a mini getaway after my appointment.

God’s light and wounds.

I’ve been feeling down the past few days.  It’s not major but not minor either. But on the upside, Daniella and I had an interesting conversation last night.  She asked me what do Nancy and I talk about, but…I don’t have to tell her if I don’t want to.  I thought that was very sweet and insightful for a 12 year old.  I explained that we talk about almost everything and yes sometimes we talk about her and her siblings, but not always.  That Nancy listens and may explain why I might feel a certain way or pick up on things that I don’t feel are important.  I have a caring daughter.  I’m glad she feels comfortable enough to ask me such questions and in a mature manner.  

I’ve been praying in hope that a The Lord will relieve this down-ness. One of my wonderful choir friends said something to me last Thursday that is sticking with me still.  She said that God uses your weaknesses and wounds through which His Light spills out of you.  You are then able to bless others when you expose the humble, hurting parts of yourself.  I found this really profound.  This blog is/has been an outlet and source of healing for me. I’ve received such feedback to keep writing, something I never expected, I had no idea anyone would even read what I write.

I can only hope God’s Light spills out of the parts of me that are wounded and that that light is shining and touching someone else.

I really heart my choir family. My friend received her words from a book “Dear Jesus” by Sarah Young.