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Trip to Chincoteague Island (Part 1)

Well, I’m back. Back from such a relaxing/amazing/fun/beautiful vacation with my family. It was much needed because this past month and a half has really taken a toll on me. As much as I love this adventure we are on out here, change is always hard to get used to. So, it was really nice to spend a week with my family at the beach.

My mom flew to DC a week before the trip to visit with my sister’s family and then my Dad flew out to New Jersey so he could pick me up. We met on the Virginian coast at a little town called Cincoteague Island. As we got farther and farther away from the city, it became more remote. The hour before we arrived to our destination, there were even a couple ghost towns. It felt like the opposite of where we live, which felt like a breath of air.

(Sidenote: We found out it is illegal to pump your own gas in NJ. In 1951 they declared that it was too dangerous and it hasn’t been changed since. A little ridiculous, am I right?)

We arrived in Virginia on Saturday evening and then explored the complex and bay where we were going to stay. It was such a gorgeous sunset that night… probably the best one of the week.








On Sunday, the LDS church was about an hour away so we decided to be Methodists for the day. We took two cars-Dad, Eva, and I in one car following everyone else in the other. We saw them pull into a parking lot, so we pulled in as well and walked into the church (filled with 100% of people over 80 years old). They were so excited to see my dad and I. But there was one problem-we couldn’t find our family. My dad asked a man if we were in a Methodist church-he said no that’s down the street! We were in the wrong church! I felt so rude getting up to leave, but we told them we were looking for our family and had to go. So, out we went. I guess they took a short cut and drove through the Baptist parking lot to get to the Methodist parking lot. Who knows. But that was kind of funny.

After church, we went to the beach. It was pretty chilly at times but I still ended up getting some sun. But just the site of the beach, listening to the waves, and spending time with my family was such a great time. I convinced Mark to get in with me at the end of the day and it was so worth it. Very cold, but the waves were incredible! When you feel like you might die, that’s when you know they’re good!


To wrap up the evening, we walked around the town a bit. We saw about a dozen ducks, a bunny, and some really charming houses.





We went to the beach on Monday and Tuesday, and I got the courage to get into the water! I even got Mary Beth to join me one of the days. I’ve always loved the ocean and never worried about sharks or whatever. I even used to see how far I could get – it was such an adrenaline rush not being able to touch! But guys. I am such a pansy now! I think T.J.’s extreme fear of sharks has rubbed off on me because I kept thinking I saw shark shadows! This time I always stayed in areas that I could touch too. To be fair though, the waves were really intense so I didn’t want to drown.

On Tuesday, the Pocock clan rented bikes which seemed to be a hit-even with Eva (although the below image doesn’t really show it).





Eva did so well at the beach. She loved playing in the sand and as the days went by, she got more and more adventurous by getting in the water and chasing the waves.


On Wednesday, my dad and I drove to Philadelphia to pick up T.J. (he took a bus there) so he could join us for the rest of the week. We listened to a lot of The Office and complained about traffic for the majority of the day. It was kind of nice though to have a day away from the sun and to have my mom take care of Eva. She is really clingy with me, but does well if I’m not around. Apparently, she clinged on to my mom all day, so it was a great day for her!

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Quick Trip to DC

It’s been about 15 years since I’ve lived near by sister Mary Beth-so to have her and her family just be a bus ride away from us here in New Jersey-it’s really amazing. That being said, Eva and I had a quick trip to Virginia to visit them. We weren’t there for too long, but we had fun playing with the kids, going to a farm, swimming, and seeing Superman. It was a great couple of days.

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It was really weird to get back to the city and feel like we were home.


Alive and Well

Well, we made it to New York. We took a redeye flight from Salt Lake to JFK last Tuesday (Holy cow… has it already been a week?) and Eva slept for just about the entire time although we didn’t get much rest. We kept saying, “Boy, this is the way to fly… no entertaining your toddler and a direct flight!” Right? Sounds perfect. Until the next day when major exhaustion sets in. It took a couple days to get over it, but finally we are getting enough sleep for our busy days walking around the city.

We saw an apartment on Roosevelt Island the first day we got in town and immediately fell in love with the area. We applied for an apartment there, so if we don’t get that place (we should find out today or tomorrow) then we want to live SOMEWHERE on the island because it’s absolutely perfect for a family in NYC. It’s so quaint, lots of parks, kids, families, little shops, so clean, and very safe. Pretty much an escape from the city but just a stop away. Hopefully next time I write, I’ll tell you we got the amazing apartment we were hoping for (still a one bedroom because everything is so expensive… yikes) or at least have a plan if it doesn’t work out.

The weather has been all over the place. The first couple days were so humid that I took cold showers at night just to cool down. The next two days or so were cold and rainy… I even ordered hot chocolate once because I was so cold. The wind almost tipped Eva’s stroller over, and it broke our cheap umbrellas as soon as we opened them. The past two days though have been very pleasant and really helped my mood. The days when it was so cold and wet, it made me really miss Utah and question what we were doing out here.

Riding the subway hasn’t been too bad with Eva. I was worried about doing it with her stroller. If there isn’t an elevator, T.J. and I just carry the stroller down the steps… we’re practically experts at it now. At rush hour, it is very tight and probably wouldn’t work without T.J. helping me, but it still has been manageable and I feel like I’m getting a hang of the system. It really helps that T.J. was here last summer because he is used to being here and knows how the subways work. He always talks me out of wanting to get a cab so we save money.

Something I’m pretty shocked about is that Eva has been able to take naps in her stroller almost every day. I think the only day she took a nap in the hotel room since we’ve been here was on Sunday. But the rest of the time, she’s been amazing and napped for an hour or two while we are walking around the city. It’s been such a huge blessing because we have had a lot to do and not too much time to do it since T.J. started his job today.

I’m getting very sick of eating out and cannot wait to have a kitchen again to cook! It’s been hard not to even have a mini-fridge or microwave in the hotel room with us. I hate spending all of our money on so much eating out, but there’s not much we can do except find cheaper places.

Our first hotel ended last Saturday. We thought about extending our stay but it was pretty far away from the subway. So instead, we found a different hotel (last minute special) and it was totally worth the move! There’s so much more space here and is a lot easier with Eva. When T.J. was a little kid, his parents took him and his brother to a hotel (nothing fancy) and T.J. said, “We are living like kings!” Isn’t that the cutest thing ever? But really. After being in the tiniest hotel room ever, we feel like we’re living like kings over here at the Holiday Inn.

On Sunday morning, someone called us back about an apartment in Brooklyn finally. Because of the holiday weekend, no one was answering when we called! Anyway, we decided we needed to take a look at the apartment, which meant missing church. Well, we got to the apartment and the neighborhood seemed nice enough. Nothing great, but I didn’t feel like I’d be R-ed walking around by myself. While we were waiting outside for the landlord to let us in, a tenant saw us waiting and asked if we were looking to move in. She said they just moved in a week ago and were already broken in to, found out the apartment has bedbugs, and the building has rats. It didn’t take me more than five seconds to get the heck out of there. We found an LDS church nearby and made it to Sacrament meeting instead. Looks like we should have just gone to church in the first place!

T.J. started work today. He seemed excited but a little nervous. I’m sure he’ll do great!

There you have it. Our first week in a nutshell. Thanks for all of your prayers, thoughts, notes, messages, and calls! Pictures are on their way… the internet at our hotel is so slow!


What up 212?

We are moving! T.J. accepted a job offer in Manhattan for Johnson & Johnson (the company he interned with last summer). We are very excited and grateful for this opportunity, but we are a little nervous for the huge move and very sad to leave our friends and family here in Utah. It is exciting to see things fall into place, though, since we’ve made the decision. We still have some loose ends but we know things will work out.

See you in two weeks from today, New York!


PS: If you’re looking to buy a car, LET US KNOW! We are hoping to sell our car before we leave because it doesn’t make much sense to have a car out there.



My Ol’ Kentucky Home

I decided to visit my parents in Kentucky for a number of reasons:

  1. The flights from Kentucky to SLC were way too expensive in April, meaning my parents weren’t going to be able to come for T.J.’s graduation as we had planned.
  2. My dad was going out of the country for two weeks and I thought it would be fun to surprise him when he got back.
  3. My mom broke her wrist and needed some cheering up/help around the house.
  4. T.J. is really busy with school and wouldn’t notice we were gone.
  5. I’d be in town around my birthday… Happy Bday to me!

So, I asked my mom what she thought and a couple hours later, the ticket had been purchased.

It was such a great trip. My dad was very surprised when he got back from Australia and I was sitting on the couch when he got home. The two unenthusiastic questions he asked me were, “What are you doing here?” and, “How much did it cost?” haha! But really, he was excited and we all had a good two weeks together.

Some of the highlights were going the Krohn Conservatory, the art museum, Kenwood mall, PF Changs, watching Downton Abbey together, helping my mom out at school, going to the park with Eva, a visit to Cynthiana-the “big town” near where my mom grew up, and eating LOTS of goetta.

Thanks for the trip, mom and dad! Miss you guys so much already!



I am in a major blogging funk right now. Here are a couple reasons why:

  1. I need to post Eva’s 15 month post, but I haven’t taken pictures of her yet so…
  2. So much going on right now is up in the air and kind of private until we make our huge life decisions and they are set in stone. And if I am saying it’s private and too big to post about, you know I mean business considering I am usually an open book. Agh! Please, let’s just fast forward a couple months when everything (hopefully) is all figured out and settled!
  3. I’m bored of my blog. I mean honestly, how many recipes am I going to post?

Tonight I went over to a good friend’s house who I grew up with… follow her adorable blog here. We looked through her old scrapbooks from middle school and high school. Hilarious. Also, turns out I was a major brat at times. FORGIVE ME. I’d like to think I’m pretty nice now, but that sounds bratty too. Anyway, it’s fun to be home and reminisce on the olden days. Although they were filled with drama at times, they were easy and fun. I grew up in a great town and was blessed with great family and friends.

Well, that turned into such a random blog post. I should end now.


Pro/Con list (minus the cons)


I’ve been making a mental pro/con list for our family moving to New York. There are a lot of obvious points for each side. But here are the top three things for the pro side that you might not have thought of…

  1. Carlo’s Bakery from the Cake Boss nearby
  2. The actor Matthew from Downton Abbey is in a broadway show-so there’s the chance of meeting him
  3. The one and only Essie nail salon is in NYC

Those are all very important things. How could we not move there when all those opportunities in NYC exist?


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Wrapping up the Holidays

Now that I’ve finished all of the holiday posts, here are a couple more Instagram photos to wrap it up and move into the New Year!

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We thought Eva would like a little ride on the luggage. She wasn’t too thrilled about the experience.

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We went to this Elf Village on the Levee in Newport. My mom used to take my older siblings to see the Elf Village when it was downtown Cincinnati like 25 years ago, so it was cool that they set it up again for the public.

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We also saw a lego display that was really big and intense! There was a lego Santa, of course.

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This is the cool walkway in the Chicago airport. This is the only good thing about that place.

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When we scold Eva, she makes this face. Ha!

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Eva became quite the recorder musician as the vacation went on. I think we’ve got to get her a harmonica. And me some earplugs.Photo Dec 30, 5 49 48 PM

She pulled out all the clothes and sat in the trunk.

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We love our festive and warm socks!


SLC to SDF: A Living Nightmare

I have flown with Eva a lot this past year, and only once with help. Each time has been dramatically different because of how fast this Diva Eva has grown up. There have been easy flights where she slept the whole time, busy flights where she played nonstop, and difficult flights when she cried a lot. But none of the trips have been as horrible as this last flight out of Salt Lake to visit my family in Kentucky for Christmas.

It began very early, our flight left at 8 am so we had to get Eva up before she was ready, which already is a recipe for disaster. I wasn’t too worried though, considering usually I fly by myself and have handled it. But when our flight was delayed for two and a half hours, things got worse by the minute. Eva was already tired and our flight hadn’t departed yet. We boarded the plane, then an hour later, got off the plane. We tried to find another way to Kentucky, but the layover to Chicago-the original plan-was the only way it would work because so many flights were being cancelled due to weather problems.

Three hours after the plane was supposed to depart, we FINALLY were in the air. We entertained Eva until she got to a point where she was so tired, she wouldn’t do anything except whine. After MANY prayers, she fell asleep and we didn’t move for the next half and hour, in fear she would feel a twitch and wake up.

Little did we know that the arm rest was loose and would later crash down on her. Not only did it awaken poor baby Eva, it startled her so much she wouldn’t stop crying until we landed. We had already used our secret weapon, the candy cane, so we just let her cry, sip her bottle, and hoped we would never see anyone on that plane for the rest of our lives.

We got to Chicago. The flight to Louisville had long ago departed. The next flight was 7:00 pm, five hours away. Then I realized we could try to catch a flight to Cincinnati instead, since it’s closer to our home anyway. (It’s too expensive to fly into usually.) Thankfully, there was a flight departing soon and, if we hurried, we would make it-although our luggage, they said, definitely would not.

The service desk told us to take the shuttle to another terminal, which sounded easy enough, except that it left from the lower level. I asked a lady where the elevator was, since I only saw steps. This is what she said:

There is no elevator. Just steps.

Excuse me?!? I then replied:
What do handicapped people do?


Well, thanks for the EXTREMELY vague help and the incredibly rude attitude, lady! Eva was in the jogging stroller and our stuff was all piled in the bottom. I told T.J. the situation and we decided we’d carry her down in the stroller. But then she yelled over to me saying:

That MERCEDES isn’t going to fit in the shuttle. You’ll have to fold it up. And the shuttle is here, so get going!

Enter a flood of tears, from yours truly, me. Also, I never want to fly United again because of her!

Long story, short. After Eva’s diaper leaking on T.J., a diaper blowout as soon as we got on the plane, and our luggage getting lost until the next day, we finally arrived at my parents’ home in Fort Thomas, KY!

Wish us luck for our flight tomorrow! After that last trip, I don’t think it could get any worse so we are probably prepared for everything!

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San Antonio

I traveled down to Texas on Friday the 12th to celebrate my uncle and aunt’s 50th anniversary. The flight was pretty bad, Eva was so tired and could not  settle down. But at least I never have to see those people on the flight again. What can you do?

My Uncle Tim picked me up and I just hung out with them and waited for all the cousins to come over. We had ribs and lots of Greek food because my aunt is from Greece. After stuffing myself full of Greek desserts, we played a couple rounds of Spoons-a card game we always play when we get together. The Swainharts are all sarcastic and have a dry sense of humor, so quite a lot of laughter was shared.

On Saturday, my parents made it into San Antonio and visited with all of us. We then headed over to the golf club where the anniversary party was held. Although it was just a couple of hours long, it was fun seeing my cousins who I hadn’t seen in several years. The night ended with Greek dancing and breaking it down to YouTube hits on the projector.

Sunday we went to the Greek Orthodox church where my Aunt and Uncle attend. I really enjoyed going to a new church and seeing how they worship. I really liked how they had a nursery with a tv broadcasting the service. My sister and I hung out in there with our kids.

Sunday afternoon, my immediate family visited the Alamo and walked on the Riverwalk. It was really beautiful but just so hot! I thought I might want to live in Texas one day but it turns out I need the cold to appreciate the heat. 90 degrees with humidity in the middle of October? No, thank you.

We all parted ways Sunday evening and I spent one more night with my aunt and uncle. It was really great to get one-on-one time with them because I don’t get to see them very often.

All in all, it was a great trip and so nice to see my family again. But after so much traveling this month, it’s nice to be back in home and back to my routine.

(Unfortunately, I took most of the photos with my iPhone. I’ll get some good photos from my dad’s camera soon.)