13 February, 2011


Photo 44/365

We're getting pretty used to the drive from NY to MD and back. Late this afternoon, on our return from a short weekend trip, this sunset was a nice welcome back to New York.

12 February, 2011


Photo 43/365

I love a good double date. And tonight was a very good one. My husband & I went out to dinner with his brother & his sister-in-law-to-be. It was the first time that the four of us had gone out - just us - as adults. And it was incredibly fun. And incredibly entertaining. And incredibly joyful. And SALT was delicious.

11 February, 2011


Photo 42/365

My mother-in-law just sent me an article that made me want to be a teacher. An educator. If you have just a few minutes, I'd encourage you to read the whole thing. If not, here are some key phrases that really made me think.

"The primary purpose of education is to enable students to make a living as adults; without this capability, everything else falls away. Yet we still teach within a basic framework established in the 19th century."

"The fact is, we too often teach students to perform without their actually learning anything. Most of the time, students are simply remembering lines, notes, steps, terminology, and so on... We must ask ourselves, are we preparing students to function as human beings, or just as flesh-and-blood versions of a hard drive?"

"Why am I convinced that this would work? Because the arts relate to the unique ways in which human beings think... To focus on these [key characteristics of the human mind] is to enhance the very qualities that make us ... us. In other words, to be artistic is to be human."

The article's author also mentioned something I've never heard of before: the "Habits of Mind"...  as I'd like to think of myself as a "characteristically intelligent, successful person" I'd better make sure to employ at least a few of these!

The Habits of Mind as identified by Costa and Kallick are:
  • Persisting
  • Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
  • Managing Impulsivity
  • Gathering Data Through all Senses
  • Listening with Understanding and Empathy
  • Creating, imagining and Innovation
  • Thinking Flexibly
  • Responding with Wonderment and Awe
  • Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition)
  • Taking Responsible Risks
  • Striving for Accuracy
  • Finding Humor
  • Questioning and Posing Problems
  • Thinking Interdependently
  • Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
  • Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

10 February, 2011


 Photo 41/365

Took the Amtrak Acela from NYC to Boston today for the first time. First time on the Acela. First time to Boston. Most of the time, I think that Penn Station is a bit intimidating. People move fast. And everyone - except for me - looks like they know exactly what they're doing, where to go, and where to get the best coffee.

But today, I was ready. I prepared a lot of things last night, got up early, took my time, made sure I knew where I was going (and asked a very nice attendant when I had a question about the special Acela Waiting Area location). I stood in line to get to the correct gate (8W) with people who looked bored or tired or impatient, while I felt excited and very awake and a little nervous. I was even smiling. I boarded the train, sat in a seat next to a man who looked nice, got out my laptop (thanks, AmtrakConnect!) and settled in for the 3 1/2 hour trip (with traveling speeds up to 150 MPH).

There's a Cafe Car. And a 1st Class Car. And a Quiet Car. I sat in one of the many Coach Cars, and still I thought it was one of the best traveling experiences I've ever had. Beyond that, it was by far the nicest in terms of employee personality.  Among other kind announcements were:

"Thank you for choosing Amtrak and let's have a positive day today. Once again the cafe car - that has no line - is open." (Cafe Manager, over loud speaker)

"You're all set. Have a good trip, Jack. Ellen - this ticket is perfect. Thank you." (Ticket Taker, in person)

"My name is Nathanial. I am the Passenger Service Representative. Please let me know if there's anything I can help you with." (Passenger Service Rep, over loud speaker and in individual cars)

Although I've only been once, I'd venture to say that the Acela to Boston is the best way to get there.

09 February, 2011


 Photo 40/365

One day at the rehearsal hall,  I had a conversation with an actor I respect about life:  the uncertainties of career, the responsibility of children, our experiences with parenthood, our own parents, and that - somehow - both of us, although thoroughly blessed, also thought a lot about our own mortality. Death. The great unknown.  A deep and insightful chat, but kind of a downer. About a half hour later,  I walked by this building of LIFE. Three windows - and above each window, those four simple letters. A sign? A fluke? A happy accident? Who cares - what an upper.

08 February, 2011


Photo 39/365

Okay, okay. Soon enough I'll stop making every post about my baby girl.

06 February, 2011


Photo 37/365

Although she DOES look good in purple... today she's her mother's daughter! Now, the picture's a bit blurry, but that's because she was shaking her D-FENCE headband so much. (Albeit, not enough for the Steelers to win. Perhaps they would've prevailed had this little fan not gone to bed after the 3rd quarter!)

04 February, 2011


Photo 35/365

Amazing night of theatre created by Zach Helm.
Amazing video created by my husband.

If you read this blog and you live in New York, I strongly encourage you to go see this. It's theatrical. It's honest. It's funny. It's a one-time-only event. Each night is different. Each experience is different. It's the definition of live theatre. And I promise you will be surprised by it. (And perhaps, by yourself!)

03 February, 2011


Photo 34/365

It was Grace's first birthday party. There was a delicious lasagna (that also happened to be vegan) made by Jill. And a Panzanella salad made with a recipe shared by a friend. There were pecan and blueberry and almond pear tarts. And a birthday (cheese)cake that she gobbled up. There were new books wrapped up in paper (that was fun to rip open!). And there was a homemade scarf from Eric. There was a pink singing dump truck (what? you didn't know they made those?). And there was a new outfit from Dennis.

There was a party. And there was LOTS of love from our dear friends (read: our New York Family).

02 February, 2011

01 February, 2011


Photo 32/365

In just one year, you...

* were born
* learned to roll from your tummy to your back
* had your first cold
* started sleeping through the night
* learned to hold a bottle by yourself
* started teething
* traveled to Ohio and Maryland and Vermont
* began to crawl
* moved to the "big kid" room at day care
* started eating solid foods
* discovered your scream
* started saying "mama" and "dada"
* learned you can make people laugh
* learned to wave hi and bye-bye
* started giving us "kisses"
* decided which toys were your favorites
* enjoyed your first thanksgiving dinner
* moved into your own big room
* had your first christmas
* can tell us where your tummy is and your toes
* discovered that dancing is fun
* started to imitate us
* took a few tentative first steps
* proved you love lasagna and pancakes
* can say "no" when you don't want something
* opened many presents on your first birthday
* have changed our lives forever

Happy birthday, my beautiful daughter!