Currently

I have seen this survey on Carrot’s N’ Cake blog in the past, and I thought it would be a fun post.

Current Celebration: Weekends at home. I have been all over the place lately and really miss my couch. This past weekend both Keith and I spent the weekend at home and it was amazing. I only left the house for church and to run.

Current Confession: I went to bed before or at 8:30 p.m. each night last week. I just couldn’t stay up no matter how hard I tried.

Current Product Find: Coconut Banana Cashew Butter.  Keith saw me eyeing a little jar of this at Chelsea Market a couple weekends back and in typical Keith fashion surprised me with it.  I opened up the cabinet one day and there it sat with a note affixed to it.  I already ate the ENTIRE jar … and wish I had more.

Current Plan: I start a new position in the middle of November. I am not changing employers just the line of work. My life after beginning the position is in limbo because I don’t know many details about the position. With the change fast approaching, my planning mind can’t help but wonder and want answers.

Current Book: I’m not reading “books” right now. Instead, I have been studying for a test I have to take at work in the upcoming months. I am currently reading a lot of laws and regulations. Don’t worry; I won’t bore you with the details.    Current Purchase: I just purchased a new SPIbelt. My mom gave me this little gem several years ago for Christmas and I rarely run without it now. Mine went missing recently during a trip to Washington D.C. I called the hotel but of course they didn’t find it. After beating myself up, I finally purchased a new one. The new one is larger and fits my phone better. The old one also had a hole. Maybe it was for the best.

Current Drink: There is nothing current about anything I drink. I have always been a water girl and nothing is new. I supplement my water with coffee.

Current Holy Moly: Lamb. Up until a couple month ago I would have swore I didn’t like lamb and it smelt like wool. And then …. Keith bought lamp chomps when I wasn’t looking. He fixed them and I felt obligated to at least try them. I have definitely bought more lamb since.   Current Show: The Affair. A new season just started, and anytime Keith and I have a free moment together we indulge.

Current Want: If I must narrow it down to one item … this is tough …. I would say … winter boots. The cold weather is definitely here and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to convince myself if I have the appropriate attire it will be more bearable.

Current Obsession: Grapes! I have been eating multiple pounds of grapes for a couple months now. No I am not exaggerating.    

Mi Casa

I am finally caving in and posting the overdo pictures of our home.  Everyone keeps asking me to share photos but I have been reluctant since it isn’t fully decorated.  Let’s be honest, it will never be fully decorated.  Plus capturing photos at the right angle to accurately depict what things look like is hard work.  I definitely did not do our place justice.  

I should start by saying we live in a “condo”, which is best explained as an apartment we own.  At about 700 sf it is about the size of apartments I have lived in.  There are 9 units in our building (two on each floor with the exception of one).  We pay monthly HOA fees to cover maintenance of common areas.  This means if something is wrong outside of our walls we call and complain rather then fix it.  If we need to fix the roof or change the facade it must come out of the HOA reserve fund or the monthly fees have to increase.  Don’t worry we looked at the HOA financials prior to purchase.

Now we will begin the ENTIRE home tour …  Continue reading

Working in NYC

My first month after transferring to NYC, I was on special assignments meaning I had not yet worked in the city or with my new co-workers. I had a class in DC, a two week assignment in Philadelphia and then another two week assignment in Minneapolis.  This week I finally worked on an assignment for my new office with my new coworkers. Ahhhh!

If you didn’t know, Keith and I have the exact same job, which is not a stationary job.  The location of our work changes every week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks or as assigned. This week Keith’s assignment was in Midtown Manhattan and mine was in Astoria Queens.  Ideally, we could have both rode the same train and he would get off six stops before me.  Unfortunately, we had different work hours so I needed to leave before him.  Keith gave me directions.  Walk to the Path, get off at 33rd street, transfer to the Q or N train and get off at Broadway. Simple enough …. I think.  I made it!

Unfortunately I have to report I got “lost”.  Wednesday I had to go to the district office in Manhattan.  Getting there was easy enough.  On the way home I knew where I was at but I could not seem to find the correct subway entrance.  I walked and walked and walked in circles knowing it had to be close.  I found an entire underground world.  Persistence eventually paid off but my feet were in pain.

imageMy goal is to get a comfort with this map.  I don’t want to always depend on Keith for directions.  And you will know I am a true New Yorker when I talk subway lines and stops without needing to refer to the map.

I was concerned about meeting the new coworkers and meshing with them but the ones I worked with were fabulous.  With each change in assignment the coworkers I work with change along with the type of work I am responsible for.  I am very aware the assignments in NYC will be more complex than those in Wichita.  I fear not meeting expectations but anyone who know me knows I love learning and challenge.   Luckily, I was eased into this week with a familiar assignment.

The rough part about the week was the work hours.  I am 100% okay with going into work early if it means I get off early and have more of an evening to workout, cook, run errands and  relax.  This week my work hours were not optional and I was not getting off until 5:30pm, which meant getting home at 6:30 pm.  I am the girl who arrives at work at 6:00 am to get those 9 hours in and be off by 3:30 pm.

Friday I changed gears and drove to Edison New Jersey for a quarterly team meeting where I met more coworkers.  I was so impressed by the friendliness of the staff and the knowledge they appear to possess.

As okay as this first week was, I am ready to establish a routine.  I need to get into a routine to maintain my OCD sanity.  The routine will include workout schedule, cooking healthy food, and hopefully a schedule to these blog posts.  HOWEVER, Keith and I are currently on vacation sitting on the beach in Grenada so that routine will have to wait.  Stay tuned for more on vacation ……

 

Manter versus Hoboken

I apologize for the disappearing act I have played lately.  I am blaming my absence on my first experience with writers block since beginning the blog.  I have been trying to write this post since before I moved but have had trouble articulating what I wanted to say.  I am still not sure it is quite correct but I am throwing in the towel.

I was asked to provide details about my hometown of Manter.  However, at this point in the blog’s life I don’t see the benefit since the majority of my readers are from Southwest Kansas or very familiar with the area.  Instead, I thought it would be fun to compare Manter to Hoboken.

First, I moved to Manter when I was 5 years old and lived there until leaving for college.  Manter sits in the southwest corner of KS in Stanton County KS.  Stanton County is composed of the towns (Manter, Johnson and Big Bow).  Johnson is essentially the Mecca of Stanton County.  Kids were bused to Johnson from Manter and Big Bow to attend school, the only grocery store in the county is located in Johnson, the bank was in Johnson, we even got received our mail at the post office in Johnson.  I more often than not tell people I am from Johnson or Stanton County to avoid the likely “Where is that?” response.

I don’t want to provide any misconceptions about Johnson being a metropolis because it is still far from it.  Garden City (90 miles) provided most of our shopping needs including the closest Wal-Mart and Target.  However, we had to travel to Wichita (256 miles), Denver CO (293 miles) or Amarillo TX (195 miles) for a true indoor shopping mall.  Ulysses (31 miles) and Syracuse (36 miles) both have movie theatres.  These theatres only have one screen and the one movie is old enough it will probably going to be on DVD in the next week or two.

Second, I sort of kind of lied to you guys.  I did not move to Manhattan.  I moved to Hoboken New Jersey.  Whew! I am glad that is off my chest!  Manter to Hoboken?  That title just wasn’t catchy.

Hoboken sits right across the Hudson river from New York City.  In close to the time it took me to drive from Manter to Johnson (10 minutes) I can walk from my condo to the train and ride into NYC.  If I do not want to go to NYC we are surrounded by cities in New Jersey, which are commutable via train or I can simply drive.

This is the financial district from Hoboken.

Hoboken is similar to Manter in it is considered a “bedroom community”.  Unlike Manter, Hoboken has almost everything you would need or desire.  Within blocks of my condo are multiple grocery stores, restaurants (primarily local), a post office, multiple pharmacies, the spectrum of doctors, salons and almost anything else you can think of.

People always found it interesting that I lived so close to Oklahoma and Colorado.  Now it feels like I live close to almost every state.  New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts.  Shoot I live so close to soo many major cities.  Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Providence, and the list goes on.

In Manter people live in single family homes.  I only know of a few apartment units in Johnson.

In Hoboken people live in condos or apartments.  And for those of you who are not familiar …  a condo is an apartment you own in my dictionary.  This means you either have someone living on top of you or under you if not both.  If you live on the bottom floor you might have a small yard, other floors might or might not have balconies or if you are like us the entire building shares the outdoor space.  Keep in mind this yard I speak of is probably smaller then the smallest yard in all of Kansas.

And because everyone asks … Keith and I share ONE car.  Some condos do have garages but that was an item I had to sacrifice off my wish list.  Luckily, Hoboken allows free parking on the street.  Sometimes it is easier then others to find the parking.  Each street has a designated street cleaning day and time.  This means you must move your car before that day and time and if we are out of town for more then a week we will have to pay to park in a lot or garage.  With public transportation, you would not need a car if you live in Hoboken but with our job requiring travel, it is almost necessary.

Clearly in Manter you need a vehicle.  In fact, it would be uncommon for every person in a household highschool age or older not to have their own vehicle.  Of course parking is not an issue and you can remain parked almost anywhere for however long you wish.

I haven’t live in Hoboken long enough to attest to the difference in weather.  Contrary to popular belief, the average high and low temperatures are not that different.  Hoboken does get more precipitation.  Not a huge defeat since Stanton County gets close to none.

And because I am a numbers girl I must provide you with some statistics.

  • Manter has a population of 171 and Stanton County has a population of 2,235 according to the 2010 census.
  • Hoboken has a population of 50,005. The population grew 11,428 or 30% since the 2000 census. For those of you who do not spend your free time reading population trends that growth is CRAZY!
  • Manter sits on 0.24 square miles of ALL land.
  • Hoboken has a total area of 2 square miles. The area includes 1.3 square miles of land and 0.7 square miles of water.

* For true comparison sake I must point out Johnson has a similar land area of 1 mile square.  HOWEVER, Johnson has a population of 1,495 people.  This means 33.5 X as many people live on the same amount of land.  I think it can be left unsaid people live much closer and much higher.

  • And to be blunt … Manter is not diverse. There are white folk and Hispanic folk. I don’t remember any black or Asians growing up that lived there for more than a very short-period of time.
  • Hoboken on the other hand has almost every race. Although, Hoboken is not near as diverse as the melting pot NYC.

I hope this provides a good idea of where I am from and where I live now.  If not feel free to ask questions or turn to good old Google.

Our History

In preparation for the upcoming nuptials (13 days!) I thought it would be fun to recap Keith and I’s history.

Keith and I work for the same agency and hold identical positions. In the beginning, he was working in Syracuse and I in Wichita. We were both in Chicago for a work related class. The routine at these work classes is to introduce yourselves with your name, work location and time on the job. These facts were as much as I knew about him at the end of the week when I returned to Wichita. Yes, Keith and I did not speak one word to each other all week. We never went to lunch with the same group, we were never forced to make small talk while waiting for coffee in the break room, never caught a taxi back to the hotel together and never went out with the same group at night.

Luckily for us the agency sends us to a lot of classes in Chicago. Our second chance class went similarly to the first until the last night when a large group of us went out. On this night we FINALLY spoke and probably had to remind each other of our names. We had fun but neither of us returned back to our home with our hearts about to beat out of our chest. At this point I would have summed him up as smart, nice and very “city looking”.

Time to time Keith would message me on an instant message software at work and we would hold small talk. Both us specifically remember him messaging me on an unusually warm Kansas day in January to find out I was BBQ-ing. Keith was baffled that it could get warm enough to grill in January. He provided a typical Keith response of “so you are scraping char off your grill and I am scraping ice off my windshield”? I jokingly invited him to come to Kansas and he said he definitely would. I have since learned Keith is true to his word.

Over time the small talk turned into VERY long talks. We both knew it made no sense to talk to someone across the country the other barely knew. We reminded each other there was nothing rational about the situation and we both are very rational people. One day he spontaneously booked a flight to Wichita for my birthday weekend. Completely crazy! What if I’m getting catfished? I can’t do this! But he already paid for the ticket! What will I do when he gets on my nerves? What are we going to do all weekend? Oh No! I picked him up despite my reservations and was taken aback when I discovered he had researched restaurants in Wichita and made a reservation. I had a great birthday.

Next it was my turn to visit him. He absolutely despised Syracuse so instead I visit to his old stomping grounds in NYC. To keep things a surprise he planned and planned and planned the details of this trip with absolutely no input from me. Unfortunately, 99% of the places he took me to I responded with “oh I’ve been here with my cousin on my only other trip to NYC”.  We both had a great time anyway!

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After these initial visits we continued to use our traveling job to our advantage. He came to ride 4 wheelers, climb the sand dunes and go up Pikes Peak in Colorado. I got my first taste of New England with a driving tour from Boston to Portland Maine to Providence Rhode Island and back to Boston.  I almost froze at Niagara Falls.  We actually enjoyed Chicago together before spending the weekend walking ALL around Milwaukee.  Crashed in Philadelphia so we could eat crab in Baltimore.  Ran D.C.  Cheered on the Pokes in Oklahoma.  Biked across Denver.  Strolled through Vermont before learning a little French in Montreal.  In between these glorious trips we spent a lot of time relaxing in Wichita and enjoying all NYC has to offer.

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Many frequent flyer miles later we are both ready to slow down and enjoy the day to day ups and downs together. You can guarantee that is not the last of our traveling adventures.

 

The BIG Changes

I assume anyone reading this blog knows about the upcoming BIG changes in my life but just in case let me give you a brief synopsis ….

On December 31st I am getting married at the Manhattan City Clerk’s Office. I will enter calendar year 2015 with a new last name.

Along with becoming a wife I will also become a “step-mom” to one of the cutest, smartest and polite girls I have ever been around. Wow! That is the first time I have referred to myself using that term “step-mom” verbally or in writing.

My new family.

On January 19th a moving company will arrive at my apartment in Wichita Kansas to pack and ship my remaining “household goods” that I have not given away or sold. Approximately one week later (the exact date is yet to be determined) I will officially move 1,632 miles from my hometown in Manter Kansas and a gazillion miles from my grandparents, mother, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephew, and cousins to New York City.

 

IMG_0103.JPGJust some of my amazing family.

I do not think I need to start elaborating on how big of a change New York City will be from Southwest Kansas.

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What will I be doing in New York? The agency I work for and my job title will not change. Yay for no change! YEAH RIGHT!!! While my job title is the same, I will have a new boss, a new set of administrative procedures, a new set of new coworkers, and a new portfolio of institutions with products and services I am not familiar with. I am really putting to test the claim on that I “thrive on challenge”.

Did I mention I am a new homeowner? My fiancé and I purchased our first home. We will merge the stuff from his life and my life into our new 700 sf condo.

IMG_0221-0.JPGAnd my stuff is supposed to go where?

“… and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

– Anais Nin

Why Blog?

WELCOME to Manter to Manhattan!  I am commencing my blog with my reasons for it’s creation.  The truth is I am trying to rationalize blogging with myself.

  1. First and Foremost, I am about to undergo change … big change … ALOT of BIG change.  Change big enough it warrants documentation.  Details about this change and the associated anxiety attacks will be saved for a later post.
  2. I am anti-routine forms of social media but like to believe a few people want to know about my life.
  3. Food!!! I love to cook, I love to eat, I love to take pictures of my food, and I just don’t have enough people to share this obsession with.
  4. I need to take ownership in something.  I am aware this desire is probably just my need to be controlling in a time period of my life when I have no control whatsoever.
  5. Self-Improvement. If I had to sum up my feelings towards writing, it would be “vomituous” (may or may not be a made up word).  Maybe if I put my writing out there for everyone to critique the anxiety will subside?
  6. Those who know me best would say I am extremely introverted and self-conscious.  I am sure you are thinking these traits don’t mix with blogging.  However, we all know the empowerment that and devleopment comes from stepping out of your box.

Here goes nothing …