Monday, July 28, 2014

NYC or bust

Where have I been? You may or may not be asking yourself this question. I'm still here I swear! My mind is still going a million miles a minute with new ideas, I'm still pulling all nighters sewing and cutting and prepping for things to pretty your heads with! I just have a few other "small" things going on right now as well...

So, a few weeks back I shared that my family and I will be moving closer to the NYC area for my husbands job. While this isn't a HUGE jump for us on the map (we are upstate now), it is a HUGE jump for us in every single other way. And I mean every single. We currently have a house, two cars, are within 15 minutes from both of our families, and have developed great friendships for us and our kiddos. This has all been such a huge blessing to us and we are so grateful for that season, and are now just as grateful for this new season that will bring about a lot more change (and a lot less space, if you know anything about NYC living;)

Jordan & I have always LOVED the city, and when we first got married even talked about moving there for reasons totally unrelated to our current situation. Needless to say, we are SO grateful for the opportunity and excited to see the journey that the Lord has us on. Our families have been so kindly helping out with our girls while we've done a few weekends of "house hunting" which has been great. Let me just say that I never quite realized how many options there were when you make the move to NYC. We took a weekend JUST to scout/drive through areas and we started in Jersey City, drove through Hoboken & a few surrounding towns, and then explored Brooklyn & Queens.

We realize what a huge move this is going to be for our family, and especially for our girls who are used to a big space to run around, a playroom and a backyard to freely go wild in. We are really trying to do our homework to figure out the best possible scenario for them as well as what will be the best for Jordan's commute into Manhattan every day.

While we considered searching for a spot in Manhattan to be close to Jordan's job, we *quickly* realized that a 600 sq ft apartment in our price range just may not be the wisest decision for our family (or my sanity:) So we started looking in some surrounding areas.

Park Slope, Brooklyn

Oh Park Slope. You're where I go in my dreams. Walking brownstone lined streets, watching little kids set up lemonade stands outside their doorsteps selling not only homemade lemonade but an assortment of their moms shoes/books, and well that just sent me right over the edge for the cuteness factor alone. Don't get me started on the abundance of parks, quaint and local coffee shops on the corner or the farmers market that was completely calling my name. We truly fell in love with this spot! It's so charming and seems like such a perfect place to have kids in the city.

Queens (Astoria & Forest Hills)

We checked out quite a bit of Queens. It was super cute and full of hidden art and character. There's an adorable street with a strip of stores in Forest Hills that's great for walking. Tons of food trucks and food in general (always a plus here). Astoria was a little less busy, more laid back (or so it seemed to us, maybe just the part we checked out) and such a huge range of people from all walks of life, which we really liked. 

Hoboken, NJ 

We could not have loved this cute little area more. Hoboken is like being in the city but on a more relaxed scale. It's like the perfect "coming from upstate" transition area if we had to pick one. There are adorable boutiques, local restaurants, parks all over the place, families, brownstones (I may be obsessed) and did I mention the piers? Our first visit we didn't even get a chance to check out the piers, but a friend of mine told me that we couldn't make that mistake twice. I mean, are you kidding? A walk down this little pier overlooking Manhattan, oh and there's a playground for the kids? Tell me where to sign. 

Jersey City, NJ 

We stayed in Jersey City as kind of a central location to checking out the whole area when we were scouting, and I can tell you right now I don't know if I could ever get tired of these views. I woke up early one morning to the sunrise and was just so in awe of how beautiful it was.

Jersey City has a ferry that goes right over to Manhattan, which we took to go check out an area in Manhattan that we were considering. It goes right over to Battery Park, which is also a super cute area to have a picnic or take a walk. 

 Freedom Tower during the day and night from Jersey City.

We LOVE NYC. Like, love love. After a ton of discussion and prayer and confusion and more discussion and more prayer (ha), we decided to concentrate more on looking on the outskirts of the city to settle on for looking for our new home. We spent a good amount of time around Hoboken this past weekend, as well as the little towns surrounding it. We're kind of leaning towards these surrounding areas just because it's a decent commute into Manhattan (30-35 min to where Jordan needs to be exactly), it's pretty family friendly and it's more affordable than living in the heart of the city, while still having a lot of the conveniences of being right there.

Spent a lot of time walking up and down this path wondering if the next time we're walking it it'll be outside our back door so to speak. There is so much to consider when you move, right? Especially with kids in the equation. Anywhere we end up we are so aware of the huge blessing it is and the adventure that we have the privilege of being on. And it's been great to do so much research on surrounding areas along the way. 

Being in NY my whole life I've never been to so many areas in the city or outside of the city as I have in these two weekends.  It was exhausting ;) 

So with all this being said, what does this mean for Two Sparrows? Oh, only that it's going to get EVEN BETTER :) I mean for starters...when you put this girl 35 minutes at most from the garment district, watch out. Dropping me off in the garment district for a day is like putting a kid in a candy store with $100 bill in their hand and telling them to go for it. There is SO much at your fingertips and I can't wait to get my hands on some amazing fabrics exclusive to NYC for you guys! I can't say how much I appreciate your continued support as I know I've been a little off the map and tied up with these major life decisions, but it seriously means so much to me that you're still following along! 

In the meantime, I do have some pretty fab-u-lous things coming out in the next week or two and I'll just leave you with a little sneak peek...but you'll have to come back for more :) This stuff has been in the works for a while and it's screaming at me to get out there! You're going to love it so don't say I didn't warn you :)

EEK! Can't wait to show you more:) xo