nice to see you new york, you super fudge chunk, you!

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we flew back to new york city tonight from utah.  before we boarded the flight in salt lake city, i told josh, “hey. let’s evaluate our feelings about leaving the west and coming back to new york tonight on our own privately, ok?” mostly, i just wanted to be sure i could really analyze my own feelings this time around without any distraction about coming back to the city. especially since it just felt so strange last time to come back here and since the past few weeks in utah were just so so fun for us.

and so, after what felt like the longest flight on earth (thank you, dear samson), our plane finally approached new york city and i saw those sparkly city lights in the dark night from my tiny cabin window, and sure enough, and felt glorious butterflies in my gut! i was so grateful to feel them, but i also wasn’t sure if i was mostly just grateful that the flight with my toddler was almost over.  so i stayed quiet as we touched down and rode in our cab back to our tiny apartment on the upper west side.  we walked into our space and before their coats or shoes were off, both littles had grabbed their scooters and were off down the long stretch of the apartment! i walked around a little just to familiarize myself with my home once more…my home, which sometimes i love so deeply and other times i’m just so over.  and my butterflies were back. full force. even with that weird smoke smell that sometimes seeps in from the hallway or those loud sirens and city noises outside our windows… and even with our extra narrow and crammed apartment for four. butterflies, full force.

and i had to laugh while i told josh, “yeah. this feels good. thank goodness this feels good!”  because honestly, i just wanted to be sure.

winter in the city killed me a little bit inside, it was harder than i like to admit for several reasons.  and then there was that emotional goodbye at the airport with my own mama earlier today. and i so desperately want eleanor and samson to have their grandparents and aunts and uncles as present and involved in their lives as possible while they are young. but i know we’re supposed to be here right now in the city. i felt that again tonight when we arrived home. and i’m so thankful for the chance. it’s a crazy city but most days, i love it to my core.  who knows how long this chapter will last but i hope it lasts a while longer.  as long as my loved ones are thriving here, and those butterflies are present, i’m all in.

josh ran over to the corner store to grab a few supplies for our bare fridge while i started the unpacking.  and he surprised me by coming back with my favorite ben and jerry’s ice cream flavor.  he didn’t even have to say what kind, he just said, “i got you ice cream…”


great to see you tonight, new york! and spring in the city is always something else. can’t wait.

  1. Elizabeth

    i loved this post. i moved to chicago a year ago and sometimes feel like i need to exit the city immediately (especially after we just finished up the 2nd worst chicago winter on record!!!). i went back home for a week and just arrived back in chicago last night. as i saw the bright lights out my cabin window and the airplane stewardess said, “welcome to chicago” i couldn’t help but get a grin on my face. there is something so special about living in the city, and i too am meant to stay in my city a little bit longer :-) glad you had a fun trip and are home safely!

  2. Becky

    I have the same with our house- butterflies I mean. For as long as I have those when I walk in the door, I know we’re meant to be here! Ps don’t talk to me about flying with toddlers- we’re taking our first flight with our two little ones (3 and nearly 2) next month to Spain, and dreading it!bit worried I’ll need another holiday and Valium to get over it!

  3. Olya

    Hey, Naomi. Just wanted to write a note of support. I get it all : the love-hate city relationship, the UT love, the desire to be with the family, the butterflies – all of it. NY can be so,.. almost consuming, and getting out of it to a beautiful place like UT is so refreshing. Utah has its own beauty that is not comparable to anything else. It’s unique in how it is created, and , of course, it is your home too. I felt just what you feel when we lived in NYC. I also know what it is like to part at the air port… My entire family is in Ukraine, and as life would have it, we have not been able to visit since having children, lots of reasons, but just not able to. My mom and my sister were able to come to the US to see the kids, but rarely… last visit that my mom came was after a 5 year long break. I cried my eyes out from day one foreseeing the separation again. So, I get you. Very much. I too, wish that my little ones would be blessed to have grandparents by them – again , life would have it, that they don’t have any: none from my husband, and my side is far away… my dad has only been able to skype with the kids, and even then, rarely. It is very , very hard to be away from the family. but then, I often look at my mighty crew of 5 now, and think how very blessed I am. And praying for everyone makes it easier too. You are right to keep the place of opportunities while it lasts, because things in life do come and go – create the time , moments and take every opportunity while it is there around you. NYC winters are tough, and the last one was terrible. It was not even 1/3 as bad when I had my “cup” too full and couldn’t take it anymore. (A climate is huge for us, medical reasons too). But when in UT we missed NYC dearly. Aubrey will testify :) San Francisco is my new love, and complete love too. When you are ready, come on over! I will take you through the best neighborhoods, awesomest Italian food in US, and cutest kid stores. And then we’ll go and take a ballet and modern at Lines. And then yoga and pilates. xoxoxo. and Josh is awesome. I don’t know what I’d do without my husband and his support. horay for the best husbands ever. xoxoxoxoxo

  4. This post resonates with me on so many levels. I was raised in NYC and had had enough of the city just in time to get married and move to the suburbs in California. I now have a daughter and SO wish she could have both sets of grandparents near. But, for now, my parents still live back in NY. It’s bittersweet, but helps when you know you are where you belong.
    I really enjoy your posts where you toss in a few of your raw thoughts.
    Good stuff!
    You guys are a great little family.

  5. Katie

    I know how you feel, coming from wide open spaces in Utah to tiny spaces in NYC. It is a strange feeling; I don’t know if you remember, but I would tweet you before I moved here in July, completely enamored by you and your blog and your life in the city. Pictures don’t always show how hard NYC can be sometimes, and I certainly have a new appreciation for the place that is truly my home – Colorado – after living her for almost a year. Whoa. That’s weird.

    My three bet friends came to visit a few weekends ago, and the cab ride to the airport to pick them up was quite similar to the frustrating ride you had, last time you came back to the city. I wasn’t there to see them walk into baggage claim, despite leaving with plenty of time for any New York City road blocks or detours. Needless to say my mood wasn’t ideal when I saw them waiting out for me. But then they told me how “New York” I looked, and I showed them to the cab line around the corner that nobody seems to know about, even with a giant sign that says, “More cabs 180 ft. from here,” or something like that. I sat in front, they sat in back; as soon as the skyline came into view, those same butterflies you felt today were in my stomach too. :) I couldn’t wait to show my friends my city. The reality of me living in NYC finally showed in their faces.

    For every four to five crappy experiences or encounters in NYC, you’ll get one great one – one that slaps a permanent smile on your face and makes a great story to share with friends. At least this is what I think. NYC is one tough lady, but only the people brave enough to get to know her can understand all the little things that make us fall in love over and over.

    So after all that – I’m glad you got the butterflies. However long you and your family stay, I hope they never go away. :)

  6. Karla

    I’m so glad to have read this post. Ur amazing at expressing urself. Love from hollywood,ca. P.s. Wish u lived here

  7. Elise

    I’m glad to hear you felt those butterflies again :) And how sweet of Josh to bring you B&J!

  8. So glad home still feels like home (for now, at least)!! I totally understand the pull to be near family when you have children and, also, the need to find the perfect spot for your own little family to thrive. I tried to go “home” again (back to my home state of Michigan) and found that it is no longer home for me (even though being around family was amazing and so good for the kids) and so now I have accepted that I have become now and forever a California girl :-) Best, Melissa

  9. Home is where ever your heart lies….so they say…..I can’t imagine what last Winter was like for you guys… in London….two inches…is enough to throw the city into chaos!!

  10. nanette

    i totally get you except i’m in another country. :) it’s so hard saying goodbye to family. but like you said we are supposed to be here and what can we do?! :) i hope you fall in love with the city all over again.

  11. It took me a long time to adjust to no longer living in a city and I still miss it but don’t think I could go back now! If probably think differently if the city in question was NYC though :)

  12. With this blogpost you made me even more excited to come back to NYC this summer. My boyfriend and I have only visited the city once, but one time was enough to feel the butterflies. This summer we’re coming back, and I can’t wait to experience the city and all the things it has to offer!

  13. Jemima

    Wowzaz. Look at those mountains! Hopefully the weather has picked up a little whilst you’ve been away and things won’t be so dreary in NYC! I recently moved to the UK myself and although my partner and are not quite at the expanding our family stage, doing so in London away from our home country is something that we’ll be looking at in the next few years. I have the same worries. I want my kids to grow up with aunties, uncles, grandparents, family and friends and to have a place that feels like theirs. But at the same time, I love London so much and want to share that experience with my children-to-be, so I don’t know what to do! but like you, I think the answer is ‘whatever feels right’.. and whatever will nourish my little family however many members there may be. very happy for you to be feeling okay about it all!

  14. Sanja

    lovely written post! just so full of truth :)

  15. Stacy

    Thanks for being real about your conflicted feelings. My husband I love the mtns out west and always dread leaving but when we return to our own tint apt home (in DC) it feels good. *of course after a few weeks/months we revert to daydreaming about abandoning city life for the mtns, but there’s something to be said about finding peace and being grateful for the here and now. Thank you for reminding me of just that. Have a great weekend.

  16. Amy

    We are flying with our toddler in a couple weeks and I too feel there will be to be a lot of ice cream at our end destination!


  17. chelsea

    I love this so very much! So happy for you!

  18. I’m always struggling with the decision to stay in the city (for me, Chicago) or move somewhere beautiful in the west, but the city is beautiful in it’s own way! Winter definitely makes it harder to see that.

  19. Birdy

    Home is still there where your loveones are… and if they are all spread around the world, thats perfekt for you, because than you are home everywhere! Never let your mind close about the idea that the world is big and colorful… I really think you can be happy everywhere if you are happy inside!

    Love from mostly sunny Germany (A place I was born in, but definitely won’t life my whole life… because, the world is to bright, to sunny, to exciting!)
    Birdy from _fatcatconnection-
    have a wonderful weekend back in your city ;-)

  20. Erica

    Living a plane ride from family is so hard isn’t it? I absolutely love living in DC but I hate how little I see my family and am afraid of how much worse that will feel when I have children. I understand how you are feeling! Hang in there. It’s really taught me not to take ‘family time’ for granted. Thank goodness for ‘facetime’ and cell phones :)

  21. Susana

    Lovely post.
    I’m a New York Super Fudge Chunk Girl myself!

  22. I’m glad you had a good time out west and enjoyed coming back into the city. best wishes for the weekend!

    Also, props to Josh on the ice cream. that was very kind of him!

  23. Andrea

    I think seeing the possibilities in life is such a gift – and that feeling of ‘what if?” is powerful. I am just thankful for it- and thankful for others who I see have this same gift of reinvention and seeing the good in places and possibilities in moving to one place or another. It feels great to be home and to visit home. Sleeping in your own bed is such magic!

    The ice cream looks delish! I will probably have to follow your example and have some.. well before noon :)

  24. Alissa

    Hey Naomi

    Welcome home!

    I just had to comment as I was nodding my head all the way through this post. This winter in NYC hit me HARD too. I really struggled. So many times it all just felt too much. Too noisy. Too grubby. Too chaotic. Too claustrophobic. Too cold. Too hard. Just all too much.

    I managed to escape out west a few times too – California, Utah, Wyoming – and oh my, the air ,the sky, the calm…it just felt so, so good. The best kind of soul food. Coming back wasn’t always easy but like you, it also felt like home. Where I should be right now. Even if that feeling was buried quite deep down some time, it was always there.

    For me, as I get older and wiser I’m realizing that my bones need both. To love this city wholeheartedly I need a regular time out with a beautiful view and a big sky. Right now I’m getting my fix with sweet Hudson Valley weekends whenever I can and it’s kinda changing my life. Come run around in the fields with us anytime you want :)

    But more importantly, here’s to our beautiful city in the spring time. There’s really no place like it.

    What lucky ducks we are.

    Much love

    Ali x

  25. malisams

    your honesty about your feelings and the reality of life is so refreshing…so many blogs gloss over all of that and make it all just appear so amazingly blissful all the time on the surface. i for one really appreciate that you don’t do that! the imperfections and insecurities and challenges and low points of life can still be beautiful, too…just usually in retrospect. :) anyway, glad you were happy to get home. also, SPRING!

  26. Rachel

    I’m so glad you still got the butterflies! I don’t have a husband or kids but if I ever do, I hope to live with them in a city–I’d love to read more posts about what it’s like day-to-day with littles on the subway, on the streets, in your tiny apartment, etc. Keep at it!

  27. Maureen

    I was just in Salt Lake City for the first time last week. It was gorgeous! But I too was so happy to come back home to DC. It is such a great feeling to be excited about ‘home’ and I’m so glad you still have it.

  28. very naked post. i like it. it’s hard to say how you feel about something until you can totally evaluate. i can say every single time we leave our little town for the city we’re all too happy to go. but about 3 days into anywhere else i’m ready for my bed, my shower, my kitchen — all of it! home is home. glad you’re back and glad to know you have such a sweet little family who supports you! thanks for such a real post :)

  29. Jazmin

    I don’t know if you read the comments and I hope this sounds positive, but honestly, live in NYC as much as you can for as long as you can with kiddos and then move. NYC is pretty, magical, nostalgic, but it’s expensive, hard, lonely even. I have been to NYC to visit friends who live there, and its definitely a place to experience, but not a permanent spot. I don’t know how you do it with two kiddos, but if you moved back home, you would really wonder how you did it. It’s soooo much easier when there is space, convenience etc.

    Either way, I’m sure whatever place you find to stay for the long run, will feel like home to you guys!


  30. I totally understand how you feel. Every time I visit my parents I wonder if I should be closer to them. I get this overwhelming feeling that I only have one life and I should be spending it next to the ones I love most. But I soon remind myself that nothing in this life is forever, and if I realllllllly wanted to I could pack up and move back down to sunny San Diego. After which I no longer feel trapped or uncertain and suddenly quite at peace in my current home. I am choosing to be there, and it is pretty great.

    Also, my husband always buys me fish food on those bad days, so I couldn’t agree more that B&Js is the best pick me up!



  31. janis

    Those mountains look awesome and good thing that you still love the city! :)

  32. amanda

    This winter has been so rough. So long and dreary and never ending. Last night I left work before the sun went down and had a nice walk from Meatpacking to First Ave and the bustling streets reminded me “oh yeah, spring/summer/fall in NYC, that’s RIGHT!”. It’s still too far from family though…

  33. Taylor

    Coming home from any vacation can either be the worst feeling or one of the best. Depending on what’s going on in my life, I usually struggle with wanting to come home because I enjoy traveling so much (even if I am doing blog work on the run). I’ll be headed out to MO tomorrow and I’m a little interested to see how it feels to come back home to my full-time job and full-time school. I’ll be sure to have some ice cream ready. ;)


  34. Arika

    This post made me really happy. That is all.

  35. Paige

    This post was wonderful! it’s so great to love where you live and know that it’s the right place for you and your family!


  36. flowersbloomforhim

    Hey girl! But what about when the butterflies and feelings fade? We can’t always trust our feelings…and this can apply to so many different avenues.

    “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”

    Jeremiah 17:9

  37. cal

    yep, my family is out west but, we’ll be here in florida for awhile, most days I know we are supposed to be here and enjoy it, but occasionally thinking about how far our families are really hits me.

  38. My husband and I are obsessed with Ben & Jerry’s. We’ll have to try this flavor next!

  39. MrsFun

    I dream of living in NYC, my heart aches just thinking about it. This country living is for the birds, and the cows,horses, chickens, sheep…you get the idea. It’s not me and it’s hard to live somewhere you don’t feel at home. Glad your butterflies were there, enjoy them.

  40. Audrey

    For some reason this made me emotional. Haha!

    Anyway, it is so good to hear you’re back and enjoying it.

    Glad your vacation was lovely! Your family deserves it! :)

  41. Kelsey

    City living withers & life chapters fade, but Ben & Jerry’s will stand forever.

  42. literki

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going
    to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;)

  43. Margo

    I feel you on this post! Thanks for sharing!

  44. Ali

    I’ve lived in Amsterdam for the past four years, and all of my family members live in Boston. I miss them so much, but appreciate them even more when we do spend time together. It is never thoughtless – every moment has so much value, and as much as I miss them, I sometimes prefer it this way. There is never a moment with my mom that is taken for granted, never a hug with my dad or a late night gossip session with my sisters that goes under appreciated. And when I’m just off the plane, balancing bags and trying to find my keys at the door, I just get this feeling of relief. That I CAN have the best of both worlds. My home in Europe, my loved ones in the USA. I know exactly the butterfly feeling you mean.

  45. Oh I really love this post! It’s heartwarming. You seem to be in such a good place right now in terms of your family life and settlement, I’m so happy for you. You deserve a spring filled with joy, laughter and love!

    Beth xo.

  46. I’m one who tends to fall in love with cities, and I’ll describe them in terms of relationships. “This city I love in that fleeting way,” “This one I have to love, but I don’t have to like.” NYC is one that seems a little bit distant, but one that I yearn for – I know it’ll never be The One for me, but I want it to be that one, lifechanging love anyway before I have to leave it. Hope to have that relationship with it some day :)

  47. Julia

    I think everyone has their “place”, somewhere in the world where you feel like you fit. Mine is London, I don’t know why, it just is. I dream about London especially this time of year. One day I will live there but until then I will long for it like I’m homesick for it because I am. I’m homesick for a city that isn’t my own yet.

  48. Bianca

    Beautiful post. You always paint such a picture, regardless of how much detail you share. This is why I keep reading.

  49. alison

    I’m glad New York gave you butterflies this time around!
    I grew up in Southern California and still live here.. in a different city, but the same nonetheless; no matter where you go, home is always the best.. the home where you lay your head down with your husband and tuck your babies in to bed.
    And seriously, what is it about Ben&Jerry’s!!?? I treat myself to their Half Baked Fro Yo on the weekends. It’s just soooo goooood!
    When Life Gives You Mellin’s

  50. ashley

    we are actually moving away from my parents/my childrens grand parents and i hope we visit each other often! we are moving to Minneapolis Minnesota for who knows how long! best of luck to you and your family! i hope spring treats you wonderfully!

  51. Nish

    I’m not gonna lie, I got a little giddy & dolphin-clappy when there was even a hint that you might move back here to Utah. But, I get it. I totally get it. And I’m glad you got the butterflies. There’s nothing like home.

  52. Emily

    I think this winter killed us all a little inside. It’s almost over!!! I bet summer in NYC will be amazing.

  53. uhhh* BEST ICE CREAM EVER :)
    I love the pictures in the background of that ice cream picture. How/where did you get/order that?

    Thank you for your answer!
    Hugs from Germany!

  54. Steph

    Beautiful post and I could relate to everything you touched upon. My son is six months and has only met his grandparents a couple of times as they live across the world from us. It’s really hard not having family close by, but I really admire you for being able to find the positives and embrace your city even during those wobbly moments (goodbyes are the worst). Here’s to Spring! :) xx

  55. Sylvia

    You just described exactly how I feel about NYC … I have been wanting to live in this city for 13 years now but can’t find a visa sadly … You are so lucky to see those lights every night :) Love your blog as usual! you are such an inspiration!

    Take Care

    Sylvia :)

  56. Rose

    I feel like you would be happiest in Utah, just by the fact that both times you have come back to New York after being out there you devote posts to having to convince yourself that it’s worth living in NYC. I’m 26 and single and can’t imagine being able to find any inner peace in NYC, but with two toddlers, no way. I hope you figure it out. Life it short, and I don’t think it’s always worth putting on a brave face. Sometimes you just have to admit that you deserve some open space and sanity. :)

  57. Having moved away from our family (albeit a much shorter distance — 3 hours in a car) a few years ago, I know what you mean about feeling pulled in different directions sometimes. I know you’ll continue loving everything you love about NYC in this season of life. ;-)

  58. What a fabulously written post! Sometimes writing conveys more than a thousand words (pictures) and in this case you delivered. Goodbyes are always hard though. Don’t you wish someone would invent a transporter?

  59. Aimee

    more eleanorisms, please !! they make me laugh so much !!

  60. Sarah

    This has been a tough winter.

  61. Marissa

    Wonderful post.
    I feel the same way. No children yet, but planning. My husband and I live in Hawaii. And our family’s back in California. An easy but expensive flight ;( I always get emotional at the airport and I always ask myself, “Why am I an ocean away from (almost) all my loved ones?! But when we land in Hawaii, and I see the green mountains and blue ocean, it just feels right again.
    So, I totally understand the feeling (and I’m sure it’s a million times harder because I want my future children to ALWAYS be around grandparents, aunts, and uncles).
    Thank you for this. I like that you’re human, you struggle, and it makes you that much more inspiring and beautiful.

  62. Rebecca

    A beautiful honest post. You are doing what your family needs right now, you can always evaluate in a few years. Try not to stress and enjoy the little things! I hope you had a great time away.


  63. Batsheva

    This was a really tough winter. Especially for mothers home with kids.
    it was really endless.

    im happy your to happy to be home. NYC is the best, wouldn’t trade it for nothing.

  64. Ali Ballard

    Or… Wherever you are, home is always nice to return to.

  65. Lisa

    My favorite ice cream, too! We’ve nick-named it “Super Chocolate Chunky Chunky” and have an accompanying song and dance we do at our house in recognition of its greatness. Hope it helps get you through the rest of winter!

  66. Kirsten

    as fun as it would to have you be back in Utah, Reading this made me happy for you. I’m so happy you aren’t miserable and you do what makes your family the best possible! This is so cute and gives me hope that if i ever do move to the city that it won’t be the end if i have children! <3

  67. I always feel that way about traveling too. Mine is the opposite since my family lives near my home, but there is always that, how will I feel about this, type situation. Glad that you are so excited about the city again!
    Lisa | c/oMKE

  68. Christine

    I grew up in a Manhattan apartment with a younger brother, in an extra-narrow, crammed apartment for four and you know, now than I’m 25, I look back and can’t imagine having had a better childhood. Sure, I can imagine it’s much easier raising a family in the suburbs with lots of space and family nearby but there’s something magical about experiencing the city as a kid and having that experience change every year as the child changes.

    I think what you’re doing is awesome. And brave.

  69. Nicole Topete

    You and your little family make me SO happy! I’m always thinking about how I would feel to live in the city for a while.. What do you think a person really has to want in order to actually enjoy the city?
    Blessings and positive vibes being sent your way, you’re more of an inspiration than you may think!

  70. Jill Adams

    I had a similar experience recently: My husband and I moved from Utah to Texas last year. This is the first time in my life, and anyone in like five generations in my family moved away from Utah, so it was kind of a big deal that I was moving away. I’ve had a really hard time adjusting to Texas flatness, my ward isn’t the most out going and friendly, and I haven’t been the first to reach out to meet new people either. Last week my husband and I took a trip back to Utah to visit our family; I was nervous that I was going to see those mountains and my family and want to stay. One night my husband and I took a ride through Morgan canyon and I had an overwhelming feeling that Utah isn’t “my home” anymore. I was so glad that I can visit my family, but that I’m also making my own life with my husband in Texas, and where ever else we go in our life! I realized I am always going to have my family and can stay in touch and visit often, and it’s really okay if I make my life in another state. This realization feels so good! Now, Texas doesn’t seem so flat anymore! I’m happy you’re still feeling butterflies where you’re making you life happen too!

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