Friday, June 18, 2010

Family Upstairs

Some of the sweetest blessings when living away from family are the friends who become like family. We've been fortunate to meet a lot of wonderful friends who fit the description. But the camera's out a lot with one surrogate family especially, and after Tamara shared these pictures with me the other day my happy heart had to sing their praises a bit on the blog.

When Noah and I were considering new apartments, we kept our search largely to one neighborhood in the city. And by that, I mean even 6 square blocks of one neighborhood in the city. Most of our closest friends lived in one general area, and the prospect of maintaining a little consistency in the wake of that particular move was appealing. But we did happen upon just a few outliers - one in midtown that seemed too good to be true (it was.) and another downtown that piqued our interest (the prospect of a gym six flights of stairs below me really spoke to me. the no-hassle workout. now we're talkin').

Imagine our delight when we realized Tamara, Brian and their adorable offspring called the latter home as well. It was especially reassuring to chat with Tamara about the building, the apartment, the neighborhood, etc. before we signed on the dotted line and we've been spoiled by their gracious hospitality since the minute we moved in.

We always find ourselves lost in great conversation in their home - they're both incredibly well-read and wildly intelligent in the most approachable way, and I usually find myself wanting to learn more about two, three, four new topics each time we get together. Best part about it - two of the most adorable kids known to humankind. Overstatement? Not one bit. Exhibit A:
In addition to dinners (sometimes, I don't even put on shoes... glorious!) and surprise treats left at our door (Donut Plant? why yes, thank you!), it has become our occasional Sunday ritual to walk or take a detour home from church with this wonderful family. A few highlights include the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown, the Muggiest Day of the Year Picnic at Union Square, City Hall Park in Bloom and little T's spring ballet recital. Yes, you're all welcome to breathe a collective sigh at that last one. It was the very definition of "presh."
In all these pictures, I realized this was the only photo of the six of us. iPhone + stranger who only marginally cares how the picture turns out. Squint and maybe we won't seem so blurry...


The De Rosa's said...

So cute, it is the best when you really find some other couple that you connect with. I bet they just love having you guys around. And their kids look amazing and so sweet. Such good memories of all 6 of you! You guys are truly missed here!

Lincoln and Alisia said...

Don't forget that they let complete stangers stay in their apartment when coming to NYC to visit the Rileys... They really are so great and I don't even know them!

Drae said...

Oh... you live the charmed life. I'm so vicariously living through you. (Not that I'm not happy here, that's not it. I've just always wanted to live in NYC and take the Subway to and from places.) You both look awesome, by the way, and I know what you mean about family away from family. I really think that's what life is all about...not only making friends, but making family. I always get so excited to read your blog. Keep it coming. We wish you guys lived upstairs from us, but I guess we'll share you with the interesting, and intelligent people of NYC. (It was such a highlight to see you in SLC-Thanks for taking some time away from your real family.) OK-I think this "comment" is long enough now. :)