I want to tell a quick story about two couples living the dream in the heart of New York City. Ok, it’s not really a story, per se. It’s maybe more of a moment of magic.

Magic that maybe was more fully felt by their mother than it was for them. Because when you’re in the middle of the magic sometimes you don’t even notice it until you look at it from a different vantage point.

Generational indoctrination of love for NYC

I’ve talked before about how my kids have been indoctrinated to love NYC from the time they were little. My dad served his mission there, three of my brothers have lived right in Manhattan for years, and we have visited as much as we could. We love New York. There is a kind of energy and diversity and love for that place that is palpable. This NYC love is a generational deal, spreading from parent to child, and then the next parent to child…and niece and nephew too.

How that love has passed onto my own kids

The thing I didn’t realize though, is how deeply those little seeds of love have blossomed in my own kids. Abby and I were laughing the last time she and Max went to NYC about how giddy Max was to see all the sights. Running through the rain trying to take in all the things he wanted to see, camera in hand.

And do you know how that made my mama heart swell? When your kids share in something you love so much? When I took my “bookends” to NYC years ago, there was interest in that place for sure. But not that kind of energy that boy has now.

Then when Elle and Carson got matched to spend a couple months in New York, we were all pretty excited for them. These were their last two externships, and it is a pretty great note to end on after six months of moving from place to place. They spent the first month in Brooklyn and got to know that place so well, and now they are renting a place on the Upper West Side right in the very spot where my brothers used to live. They are SO grateful for this spot!

All of this to explain how excited we were to have the opportunity to follow those kids around that city for part of our Fall Break last week. Elle and Carson are living there, Max, Abby and Murphy were there for a wedding, and the “three musketeers” (what Dave, Lu and I call ourselves) overlapped with them for just a little.

Maybe we need to be careful what we love!

Maybe the bottom line of all this mumbo-jumbo is to be careful what we love. And also what we say. Because our kids are watching and listening. I’m sure there are some not-so-great things they have taken in like sponges right along with the good things. But as I followed those two kids of mine and their spouses around that place I love so much, my heart wanted to burst.

Two couples taking on NYC

I’m first going to post a few pictures of stuff that happened before Dave, Lu and I arrived. Because these pictures just make my heart so happy.

I think it’s safe to say Murphy was pretty enamored by NYC as well.

…or maybe it was just her aunt she loves, who must have been smiling at her from behind 🙂

Those guys had so much fun together.

Joining the party in NYC

And then the three musketeers joined the party.

We arrived late at night, right into Time’s Square. Lucy was tired and ready for the hotel but Dave and I were ready to explore!

The next morning was Sunday and I love this picture of these two heading to meet up at church with some signage that kind of matched the occasion. Ha!

Also can you see Lucy’s face in the picture below? M&M world and Krispy Kreme all lit up on the big screen right together? Yep, can’t get better than that!

Meeting up at church

Transported to Lincoln Center where the church and temple are actually combined in the same building. Can you see angel Moroni kind of camouflaged on the spire in the top middle down below?

Loved meeting up with all these people filling up a whole row, passing Baby Murphy up and down in that place where we have so many memories!

Loved running into long-lost friends there too…Alyssa was my roommate at BYU when we were both dating our future husbands. Now we both have daughters living in that ward for a little bit.

And our friend Jason is hidden behind in that picture, but he and his wife have raised all their kids in NYC and it was so fun to see him for a bit.

Other things we did with all eight together

Oh how I loved having these kids just guide us around to their favorite things. They know that city so well!

Lucy can never get enough of these older siblings who love her so.

I mean, you have to see the firehouse from Ghostbusters while in New York, right?

You also have to eat the best food.

I had my own personal “cookie contest” to see which NYC cookie I love the most…I’ll have to share my findings soon. Ha!

For real though, look at this line for Levain Cookies:

This is the kind of cookie we make copycats for just about every chance we get. Oh man I love them, but they didn’t win my little “competition.” Can you even believe there’s something better??

Squibb Park

Loved walking Squibb Park and taking in views of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The whole crew with the skyline of New York City in the background.
Elle, Carson, Shawni, David, Lucy, Max and Abby taking in the city skyline of New York City

Loved when these two overheard some Chinese and stopped to have a chat with a mom and her kids all in Mandarin.

I wish Claire could have been there to join in!

Central Park

Can’t get enough of that place and all it’s various nooks and crannies to explore.

Shawni, David, Max and others sitting in Central park
Elle and Carson living the dream in New York City Central Park

Ok, more coming tomorrow for what happened after Max, Abby and Murphy left. We still had lots to explore.

For today I just wanted to talk about how a mother’s heart was filled because her kids’ hearts were filled with something she loves. It was a pretty special slice of time for this mama.

LOVED getting to see how these two couples were together, living the dream in New York City.

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  1. I love seeing this love of yours passed on!! What a beautiful and precious gift! I agree! NYC does have an amazing vibe. No place like it! I grew up in the northeast and get to touch base with my “city roots” once in a while, and it’s awesome
    So sweet to see all the love your siblings have for each other and the darling Murphey!

    1. Getting to that soon! She’s half way through her time at the MTC (missionary training center) and she’s getting antsy to get to Australia! todays the day we get to talk to her and I’m can’t wait!

  2. Good to see you’ve been having a good time with your older kids! Glad that you’ve been having fun!
    I hope we all agree that all your family is obviously super pretty but that the star of all this post is the one and only Murphy S2
    What a cute, lovely, photogenic baby! Y’all must be melting around her!

  3. Max was born to be a dad. He is so proud and confident. Abby is calm and nurturing, a total natural. What a beautiful trio!

  4. I have paid attention to this: seems like Elle’s husband is very sweet with Lucy. I recall seeing so many photos of them walking and chatting together throughout the years. How lucky! Just from the photos he oozes kindness.

    1. I so agree too! It’s so fun to see Abby’s baby pictures and see how much she’s looking like her as well. So fun to watch how all that “looking alike” unfolds!

  5. O, this brings me such bright joy ~ Elle and Carson are renting my apartment and I feel so happy seeing them drink every drop of their October in New York! I’m not sure if she shared this small seed of the story with you, but I have been reading your blog since I was in college, and all these years later (nearly seven years married, and three baby boys!) I saw your post about their NYC apartment hunt and reached out to her and it all ribboned beautifully from there. Such a meant to be thing.

    Elle and Carson are so lovely, so kind ~ how your heart must brim to burst!

    1. Oh Alexa!! So fun to hear from you! We were singing your praises as we got to visit that beautiful apartment of yours and see what a perfect spot it immersed in in that great city. Elle adores you and is so very grateful for you graciously renting that perfect spot for them. THANK YOU for making that possible. I love that you have been reading the blog, and wish we could have met you and your cute boys! Thank you so much for reaching out and for your kindness! I hope you are having a wonderful adventure where you are!

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