November was a great month for the Hamricks. It was fall, my birthday month, gorgeous weather, time spent as a family, with friends, the Macy’s parade, Thanksgiving, and preparing for our Disney trip. I managed to write about the NYC marathon but then I spent the rest of the month LIVING IT UP! All of those big things were wonderful and are treasured memories, but real life is lived between those events. And that’s what a recap is all about!
And so, here goes! Cheers to the little moments of November 2021.
Matt took me to see my first Broadway performance since we moved to NYC. We saw To Kill a Mockingbird featuring Jeff Daniels. It was fantastic and I very much enjoyed it. As a teacher I’ve had three of my students read that book.
My actual birthday
Lunch at Time Out Market was great. We took the ferry from the Brooklyn Army Terminal to Dumbo. I always enjoy my lunches with Melissa as she’s as adventurous as am I!
My Birthday Meal
This year my birthday meal took sort of a back seat. Matt traveled a bit and some of the kids were in and out of town. So, we waited until we could all get together and I made my traditional “Frogmore Stew.” The tradition of having a low-country boil for my birthday started at our first duty station, Fort Jackson. We had this on the beach at night with two other couples, and it was cooked in a propane turkey fryer. Such a fun experience that I have continued it ever since.
I’m still working on my cakes and cupcakes and I wanted to practice my flowers. I also wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate icing for my birthday, so I made both in early November.
When the kids started school I decided I’d take up running again. I had a goal of running every street in Bay Ridge and I completed my goal on November 5th. I took a picture of the last street I ran.
Miss Anna (the teacher)
This is a common scene around our house… little Miss Anna acting the role of a teacher. She makes lists, assignment charts, and she lets us know when we’re “correct.” Gosh, I love hearing her say that! It’s so cute! (In this video I almost try to explain oxygen vs air but thought better of it.) It’s interesting, though… when I ask if she wants to be a teacher when she grows up she says no, that she’s still going to be a penguin veterinarian.
We’re moving. (JK!!)
I’m burying this lede because it turned out not to be true! However, we went on a 6-week long journey of thinking we were going to move. We were told Washington State, Kentucky, (a few more possibilities along the way) and finally settled on Fort Bragg, North Carolina. We were sure enough that we were moving to Washington that we told the boys but kept it quiet from most people. That turned out to be pretty good as it was changed multiple times. Let me tell you something, people, I grieved leaving here. I am not ready. Not at all. When it was ultimately changed to North Carolina I had a bit of mental and emotional whiplash, but settled on the positive side of being near family for the first time since 2007.
We even surprised the family with an in-person word scramble game to tell the good news… (that picture is really blurry because it’s a screenshot of the video).
A week after we shared the news we were told that we don’t have to move after all. And while we are very excited to be staying in NYC, there were things we had gotten excited about regarding NC. So… it was a brutal six-weeks of preparing our hearts to move, researching housing and school options, telling close friends here that we were moving early, watching the kids get excited about being near cousins and the bigs near friends, only to change all of that in the blink of an eye. Like I said, staying here is what we wanted, and I’m so glad it is working out this way, but I have to include this whirlwind in my recap of November because it overlaid everything we did… over the Broadway play we went to; over the Macy’s parade; over our “last Thanksgiving here…” It was emotional, to say the least.
Bringing on new pastors
A beautiful highlight of our time at Liberty Brooklyn was when we brought on our new pastors, Stephen and Jasmine Francis! (Also, Parker is still loving his time serving on tech-team!)
I can’t get through a fall without documenting the gorgeous changing of the trees! Enjoy this slideshow! I certainly enjoyed the trees as they changed!
Central Park Girl Date
Anna and I love to go see the tree at Rockefeller arrive and get dressed over the week or two that happens. (In this link we had our October girl date to Central Park.) We started near the Plaza Hotel with a hotdog from a cart. Then walked along the mall and watched an entire street performance (yes, we tipped). It was the highlight of her day, I later found out.
We saw Bethesda Fountain and then huffed it as quickly as we could toward the carousel because it was starting to thunder and lightning. We made it just in time. While on the carousel the bottom dropped out and, when our ride was over, they refused to let us shelter inside. We had to make a mad dash for the nearest tunnel, where we joined 20 other New Yorkers trying to avoid the half-dollar-sized hail!
When the rain quit we took a circuitous route to exit the park as many of the sidewalks were completely flooded. We made our way to Magnolia bakery and tried, once again, their cupcakes. Ever since I started making my own cupcakes (using the recipes and instructions of two amazing tutors) I genuinely do not enjoy Magnolia’s cupcakes! Even Anna had a hard time finishing these! I’ve wondered if they’ve changed their recipe in the past year, which could account for why I no longer like them. I honestly don’t know. I will say, however, their banana pudding is about the best I’ve ever had, and I still can’t say enough about that!
While we ate our treats we watched the workers building the scaffolding around the tree.
Community group (x2)
Our church has community groups that run through the semesters and we love participating in them. In the fall I hosted a Ladies Dinner every other week and loved the igloos outside of Peaches. We ate inside, but the igloos are too cute and are a part of NYC during COVID-era that I think may stick around. I also participate in another community group and during one of those evenings we went to Industry City to eat at Setagaya, a Japanese Ramen restaurant. Admittedly this was my first time ever having ramen and I fell in love! I’ve since had ramen in two other places and both paled considerably in comparison. I have since taken Hayden on a date there, Matt and I went on a date there, and I took Bailey and Gage one night! They loved it so much they went back again while Gage was here! Found another favorite spot!
This paragraph was about “community groups” and I got sidetracked a bit. But both of the groups I was in last semester were geared toward being with people and learning new spots around Brooklyn. The two groups accomplished their goals!
Tree up day
Generally, this day gets its own post but I really must wrap up 2021 and begin journaling about the year I’m currently in. (It’s March of 2022 and I’m finally wrapping up the previous year.)
Fun fact: because we were going to be leaving for our Disney trip the day after Thanksgiving and that’s our traditional “Tree Up Day” we decided to put the tree up early! Also, Anna had some friends come over to play once we got the tree done and I loved that they played with our Polish Nativity!
So, here’s a fun slideshow of our Tree-Up Day 2021!
Not so fun fact: two strands of lights went out on the tree two days later. I wasn’t about to undecorate, relight, and then redecorate, so we left the tree partially lit.
Written 3-5-22 and backdating to 11-20-21.