underneath the magnolia tree…

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our saturday was filled with birthday parties for little friends!  one in brooklyn in the morning and another in westchester in the afternoon (because our kids have busier social calendars than we do. but we’re ok with that.) the day was a jam packed with friends, eating a lot of “happy cake”, as eleanor likes to call it, and catching a lot of different trains. by 5 o’clock in the evening, we were beat. we found ourselves on the east side making our way through central park when we happened upon the most beautiful group of magnolia trees right behind the Met. goodness gracious, i wanted to cry. for starters, because  i was tired. but also, because they were just beautiful and we are missing terribly all of those beautiful cherry blossoms in washington dc right now. and, if i’m being completely honest, i’m going through one of those phases where i just can’t shake this homesick feeling for life in dc no matter how hard i try. it will always be one of my favorite chapters of our life together. i just can’t say enough good things about that place.

anyway, the magnolia tress in the park are something else right now. we plopped ourselves down underneath one for fifteen or twenty minutes while eleanor ran around the trees and samson tried to eat a stick. it’s nice to escape this busy, loud and fast-paced city sometimes and head into a nearby park where it’s calmer and quieter, greener and a little easier for the kids to run around freely. living in new york city right now means we don’t have a fenced in back yard with a little garden or even a hose or one of those fun blow-up kiddie pools from target, but central park is our backyard for now, and that isn’t so bad. ;) especially when she is in full bloom! (and you aren’t one to suffer from allergies…sorry, josh.)

speaking of magnolia trees and parks and the outdoors in general, happy earth day! :) this earth is something else, no? we are trying our best to be good stewards of her and all her beauty and resources.  there is much to still do (and we aren’t the greenest people on the planet) but we try to find small ways to do our part. what are you doing to celebrate earth?

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ps. eleanor and i visited the cherry blossoms in dc last year HERE, and more cherry blossom photos from years past, HERE.

  1. Tilly

    Your family is adorable! Little Samson’s smile is priceless! Would you be able to let me know were his jumper is from, it’s just so cute with its hood :) Love your blog! Tilly xx

  2. sabine

    wow, samson looks so different in some of these pictures! so much hair!!

  3. Lina

    I can’t help myself… These photos are more than beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing! You and your family made my day <3

  4. Hey there….

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures.
    Beautiful as always.
    Just a stunning little familiy!!!

    Best wishes from Germany :)

  5. What beautiful photos! You really capture all the memorable moments perfectly xx

  6. I love magnolias. It’s my favorite tree (in spring). Thank you so much for sharing your lovely photos. Made my Monday much better.

  7. oh sweet, sweet beauty of earth. simply stunning photographs – and how wonderfully you tied it into earth day, what better way to enjoy and pay notice to the earth and all its wonder than to sit beneath a magnolia tree in full bloom.
    we’re living in dubai at the moment, and i often find myself missing seasons, and spring with all its green and bright colours bursting out all all over.
    the kids at our nursery made a huge tree out of recycled cereal boxes, newspaper and empty toilet rolls today in honour of earth day! ;-)

  8. Sarah

    Speaking of Earth Day, isn’t it poignant how Eleanor is surrounded by magnolia trees in full bloom while still wearing a Patagonia coat?! Gorgeous pictures as alway! And PS- I can’t believe how blond Samson is. What a cutie!

  9. amanda jean

    How lovely! I think that having Central Park as your backyard is just about the best thing. Beats a fenced-in yard any day, in my mind.

    When did Samson get all that hair?! Did it pop up overnight? So sweet.

    We always struggle with how to be more conscious about our consumption, especially now that we have a baby. I had this vision of being a total earth mama, with a kid in cloth diapers with reusable wipes and wooden toys, and it just went out the window (along with most of my romantic visions of the type of parent I would be, haha). But taking care of the Earth we’ve been entrusted with is a noble goal!

  10. JM

    This looks mesmerising! And, my goodness, is Samson getting a little curl? As if he wasn’t cute enough already! We are also enjoying the slowly (very slowly) emerging spring here.

    http://lifeiswhathappensblog.wordpress.com/

  11. Wow! That little Samson boy is growing up fast!! There’s something so special about city parks. They are like a little oasis in all the hustle and bustle. Surprisingly peaceful!

  12. Jimmy

    The Magnolias back here in DC are beautiful right now too. They’ve grown to be a sight I like about as much as the Cherry Blossoms. Of course, in my opinion, both can share second place behind the amazing crepe myrtles that will bloom in a few weeks. I don’t know if it is that bark-less trunk, their range of colors, or maybe just because they bloom later, and seemingly by themselves (whereas the magnolias and cherry blossoms have to share the stage with the phlox, daffodils, tulips and everything else that is just bursting right now). Either way, love this time of year. Great job capturing it.

  13. Samira

    Wow beautiful photos!! love the trees!

  14. Samantha

    What beautiful photos of your family and the magnolias! Thank you for sharing. We are still waiting for ours to bloom. Happy spring and thank you so much for allowing us in on the intimate, and joyful end, of your afternoon in the park.

  15. Those are such beautiful Pictures of you guys!!! I absolutely love them :)

    xoxo

  16. we have a magnolia tree outside too! i think they are just as pretty as all those cherry blossoms that decided to get into full bloom this weekend in nyc ;)

  17. Cheltz

    I really wish I could grow a magnolia tree in my yard! I’m laughing about Samson chomping on a stick (and can also see that Legos would not work during conference for you at all — sorry about that :).

  18. AM

    what a beautiful post! those pictures are amazing and as usual those babes… adorable! happy monday!

  19. Seems to be the time of year for parties – we had 2 as well yesterday! There is something so special about magnolia trees especially when they are in bloom. Gorgeous images!

    brandy j | http://www.prettyplainjanes.com

  20. Suzie

    sweet . <3 . I LOVE TAZA ♥♥

  21. Kelly

    Beautiful! Thanks for making me smile this morning!

  22. Beautiful photos! We went to NYC for the first time this past weekend and we we’re enjoying the beauty of Central Park on Saturday as well! :)

  23. Lea

    Oh goodness lady, you have my empathy! The snowing of perfect little pink petals cannot be recreated, and DC has so much more to pine for.
    Despite the homesick yearnings, a glance back at your most recent cherry blossom photographs has me blown away by Eleanor’s age and progress. She has transformed from baby to little person, and Samson is quickly following suit. What a great (growing) family you are regardless of where you call home!

  24. lo

    before i even read the post they reminded me of the cherry blossom trees in dc. again, your spring photos are so so pretty!

  25. Jackie

    I love cherry blossoms. We lived in Japan for 3 years, they were magical! We went to festivals just to celebrate the beautiful trees!!

  26. Car

    I love this blog so very much but the pictures never load and I am left with empty white boxes on my screen. It has been after the url change so I’m nor sure whose end is having the problem.

  27. you have the most BEAUTIFUL family!

  28. I had a moment Saturday when I nearly burst into tears too out of a combination of happiness, ,tiredness and a little fear connected with my 8 year old girl. We were in the mission district in San Francisco and it was so gorgeous out… It was the combination of all those factors.

    Lovely pictures. The cherry blossoms are blooming here too.
    http://oururbanplayground.com/?p=1568

  29. These photos are absolutely STUNNING! Beautiful little family.

  30. Emmy

    Gorgeous pictures! So bright and cheery :)

  31. Janice

    Yes! Our cherry blossoms were lovely this year! But those magnolias look awfully magical.

  32. Nicole

    Wow! I thought our bougainvillea were amazing, the cherry blossoms are beyond amazing. Doesn’t even look real, they are so beautiful.

  33. bri

    ah i love magnolias! we had one in our background growing up. one year we went to mexico for spring break and we missed it blossom. i cried. i was so mad at my parents for making me miss it! ha!

  34. hanna

    The photos are beautiful. Hanna

  35. cathy

    It’s great to see you in the pictures! You guys are a lovely family. God bless you <3

  36. beautiful post…lovely pictures!

  37. Samirah

    Come back to DC! :)

  38. Could Samson’s wispy curls be any sweeter? Your photos are stunning. Thanks so much for always making me smile!

  39. Sarah

    I get nervous that I’ll have city fever like you do, in about a year ;) We visit National Parks to celebrate and cherish the most beautiful parts of the earth, so untouched and so unique!

  40. Vanessa

    I love this post for its honesty and how I can relate – living in a city can be really difficult when you don’t have much outdoor space of your own. We are seriously considering moving to DC but the costs seem insane! How did you manage to live in trendy Capitol Hill? Any tips on areas that would be nice to live in for a young family (our first is due in June) and not too far to commute? Would really appreciate it!

  41. Sarah

    Awww, well the magnolia tree will be the new cherry blossom for you =) Oh my look at Samsons hair!!! It’s grown so much since your last post about him lol! Sorry you miss DC =(

  42. Daniela

    So beautiful… amazing pictures ♥

  43. Those little curls on Sampson are the cutest thing ever!
    And gorgeous photos!

  44. Oh man, I’m in LOVE with these photos! So ridiculously gorgeous. Just the trees are beyond beautiful and then throw in those little faces….EEEK!

    And haha, I love it, “happy cake.” We’ve had a bunch of birthdays this month as well and my boy (20months) is getting it…if we walk up to a house and there’s a balloon outside, immediately he yells “CAKE!” If the group starts singing together, immediately same thing…”CAKE!” hahaa

    xo,
    Henna
    http://hennablossom.com

  45. Libre

    Oh, this makes me miss Central Park! I lived on it (west side) for most of my 11 years in NYC! And I have to echo what others have said… that Samson is sure growing up and changing. In looking at these photos today I had this immediate thought of “oh, he is going to be a heart-breaker one day!” That smile and impish look to his eyes and now the hair… fast forward 15-20 years, uh-oh! :)

  46. Such beautiful photos! My boyfriend and I are planning an NYC trip in the near future, but I wish it was now so I could sit under those magnolia trees in full bloom! Just gorgeous. Your kiddos are adorable by the way:)

  47. Rebecca

    SO adorable! I love magnolias in the springtime. your family is so beautiful.

  48. Katie

    Such beautiful photos and a beautiful setting! :)

    xo

  49. Jaclyn

    aww what a great way to end your busy day!! love just being able to enjoy mother nature!! xoxo

  50. Marie

    such pretty flowers!! I love to hang out at the park with my family too. It’s such a relaxing and calm place to be at. ♥♥

    http://smittenbyangels.blogspot.com

  51. Amanda

    Stunning pictures! Totally understand the homesick feeling and not being able to shake it.

  52. giulia

    i also lived in DC for two years and just moved away this year. I’m missing the cherry blossoms and all my friends terribly this spring. i understand you so well… maybe a weekend roadtrip is needed, right? (i’m in europe, so that’s not an option for me at the moment…) i’m sure some amy’s pizza and froyo around some washington streets would cure your homesickness :)

  53. Tina

    It’s so nice to wake up on a Monday morning to such a beautiful post filled with family and love. You are such a wonderful mother and a have a beautiful family. -xo!

  54. These beautiful pictures!! You probably could have told me that you came across the Garden of Eden & I would have still believed you – I don’t think I’ve seen a place look more blissful and pure!

  55. callie

    Last year at this time we were living in Biloxi, MS and were preparing to move (my husband is in the Air Force so we move often). All around us were magnolia trees and even as we drove to our new home in the Midwest, we saw the magnolias blooming at various places in the South. your pictures reminded me of that and brought a smile to my face. :)

    p.s. since we do move often and i grew up moving as well, i know what it’s like to miss a certain place/pine for another time in life. heartfelt thanks to you for being honest and for still appreciating the beauty around you this day.

  56. Your family is too adorable! Such cute pics! My parents have one of these trees in their garden reminds me of home :)

  57. Amanda

    There are a lot of lovely cherry trees in Brooklyn Botanical Garden–and it’s free on Tuesdays!

  58. Sheila

    I saw the title of your post and it instantly made me think of a song by the band Truckstop Honeymoon named “Magnolia Tree.” It is the sweetest (and yet sort of sad) song ever and perfect for quiet summer evenings after fun days in the park! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8OgnWSOTKA

  59. What beautiful shots with your lil ones! The magnolia trees are beautiful!!! =)

  60. Rayani

    Lovely pictures, and omg, your kids are so cutie!!!!

    Hugs from Brasil
    Rayani

  61. Kendra

    Holy cuteness! Look at those locks on Samson! I wish you were here for the festival this year, too! :(

  62. Lindsay

    Your photos are just so incredible. I can feel the love and the light in all of them. Gorgeous!

  63. Amanda

    I echo what everyone else has said — adorable and beautiful photos of you and yours. Where, oh, where, did you get that hoodie/sweater on Samson? It’s awesome! Do tell. :)

  64. Sally

    Wonderful photos. Homesickness is such a hard thing to wrestle with, even when you’re in another amazing place. Hang in there and take some little adventures around your new neighborhood!

  65. Arianna

    So beautiful! Magnolia trees are one of my favorites – breathtaking. Hope you have a wonderful week!

  66. Karen

    Your little family is so adorable! I’m pregnant with my first baby(!) and looking at your blog and your cute kiddosmakes me so excited for everything that’s ahead:)

    Thatmakes2ofus.blogspot.com

  67. Jess

    Such gorgeous photographs Taza! I can’t believe suddenly how different Samson looks! He’s going to be soooo handsome!

    ps. he is rocking those shoes!

    Jess

  68. Diana

    beautiful pictures naomi! samson looks so cute, and did all that hair just grow overnight?!

    i love that jacket of yours! total rockstar status :)

    http://www.ourlovefeast.blogspot.com

  69. kendall

    breathtaking shots!! X

  70. your whole family seriously have the best SMILES!!!

  71. Absolutely stunning photos!! LOVE your jacket, btw.

  72. Katie

    First of all, beautiful pics of your fam! Second of all, I also love Magnolia trees…something so magical about them!!

    xo,
    Katie
    http://www.hellolittlebean.com

  73. Katie

    First of all, beautiful pics of your fam! Second of all, I also love Magnolia trees…something so magical about them!!

    xo,
    Katie
    hellolittlebean.com

  74. Katie

    First of all, beautiful pics of your fam! Second of all, I also love Magnolia trees…something so magical about them!!

    xo,
    Katie
    http://www.hellolittlebean.com

  75. Katie

    First of all, beautiful pics of your fam! Second of all, I also love Magnolia trees…something so magical about them!!

    xo,
    Katie
    hellolittlebean.com

  76. Madison

    Oh my, that picture of you and Samson is so great. He almost looks blond! and that face is just so handsome!

  77. Kassi

    Wow, Samson is getting so big! What a sweet little man. And I looove your photos and stories of Eleanor…our baby girl is almost exactly a year younger than her. It’s so fun to see what’s in store for us in a year from now! :)

  78. Lisa

    Your little bit of DC right there in New York. Just lovely. Isn’t Spring beautiful?

  79. Bea

    WOW!!!!!!
    I love this park!!!and all these trees and flowers and blossoms….

  80. Wow! The most beautiful pictures I have seen lately. Worth the Earth Day we are celebrating today. What camera did you use here? Your little ones are cute and shiny like always! Have a bright week :)

  81. We were living in DC at the same time as your lovely family and I always hoped we would bump into you. Then ya’ll moved to NYC and we moved to Paris and I thought bummers! It is funny though living in a city people constantly tell you they are envious of yet your heart still yearns for DC. I don’t think you get it until you live there. It is truly magical. The free museums the clean streets the incredible people who all seem to be working in some area trying to make this country a better place. Plus the church has such a strong community there. Ughh now I am all homesick ha!

  82. Risa

    Absolutely gorgeous photos! I might just have to steal my husband away this weekend for a visit for the day to Central Park to see these blooms before they fade. Such a peaceful place amongst all the chaos on city life. Love these smiling faces too, as always! xo, risa

  83. Gorgeous family photos! Perfect scenery for spring. :)

  84. Kelly

    Oh my goodness, I love how she calls it Happy Cake and the color of these flowers are just breathtaking!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  85. Sinead

    Having Central Park as your back garden is definitely a good thing, it looks amazing :-)

  86. So precious!

  87. Ohmygoodness! You have the most beautiful family I have ever seen! What an enjoyable afternoon under those gorgeous trees!

  88. Corinne

    Wow! So beautiful, Naomi! You are so talented– I swear I would buy one of those photos as a print to hang in my house. So cheery and beautiful and perfect for Earth Day. Also, your family is just so adorable, as always. I started following your blog before you had Samson and it is so fun to watch him and Eleanor grow. His smile is to die for! And she is so beautiful, just like her momma. You are doing a great job. And I know how it feels to miss a place– we moved to England and back when my kids were that age and I still miss it something fierce some days. And the people, too. People and places get into your heart and there is always a little happy aching spot that I will always save for them.