Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Home is where the Heart is...

So my husband inspired me tonight by posting compiling a blog of home he ever lived in here. At first, I was skeptical when he told me the idea- but when he explained why, I could not agree more! I am such a profound lover of photography and life stories categorized so that your story lives on, and can be past down from generation to generation.

So tonight, I too will share my story for the world, and for my daughter Brooklyn Marie McBain! This is the story of your mom, and where she lived growing up...

I was born in Long Island Jewish Hospital in NY on May 7, 1982, the day before Mother's Day. I moved into my first home in Queens 91-33 87th Street:

A quick snapshot of me and my mom, in the beginning:

My mom, MaryAnne and I moved out when I was 8 months old to my apartment home for the next 13 years, 263 Kingsland Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11222 (the gray building two left from the glass--this is a recent picture and I am in awe of the new glass building! Brookln is the "new place to be in NYC" so a LOT has changed from when I grew up :)):

This is what I looked like back then. It was what we called in NYC Rail Road Rooms-you walked down the first floor, and we were on the first floor, right hand side. You walked into a kitchen (bathroom in there, with a claw foot bath tub), living room and two bedrooms. It was small and sweet, but it was home. My grandmother lived on the top floor of the building next door,
my auntie lived with her, Aunt Chrissy lived across the street, and Uncle Joe lived with us till they all started moving to Queens and we soon followed. We could see Manhattan and the Empire and State Building from our window at night, and we had a "fire escape" balcony which I would steal our tuna and milk (sorry mom!) to feed our stray cats since we were not allowed to have pets, or use the yard. #MeanestLandLadyEver. Luckily, we had my school PS 110, and a park around the corner, which I went to every day after school. I also frequented my great aunt's home in Long Island every weekend, rode tire swings, swam in pools, climbed trees, and wished in the fountain for three things 1) My very own Home, 2) Pets - and lots of them 3) Husband to travel the world with and a happy family (Check Check and Check- thanks for making my dreams come true Jay).

I lived there until 7th grade, where I moved back to the very same street I was born on, just two houses over. This is what I looked like in my 6th grade graduation. Although I moved to Queens, I still went to school in Brooklyn JHS at St Cecilia's School, which is sadly now closed. I went on to attend Martin Luther HS in Queens- but that is all for a school blog to follow ;). My uncle Joe went on to buy the house I was born in, and we moved next door when a home became available. Back then, Queens was a step up from Brooklyn- that's all very different now!

Once again, like any good Italian/Polish Family we all lived in the same house, or far away, aka within a 2 block radius or 5 minute drive from each other in disparate Queens Neigborhoods. So my aunt Lorraine and Uncle Gene moved in the first floor, Mom and I lived atop of them, and my grandmother in a finished basement. Uncle Joe lived 2 houses over, aunt Lorraine and Uncle Gene moved out - around the corner, and grandma moved up. Uncle Sam and Jake and uncle Eddie lived 5 minutes away in Middle Village, Aunt Chris lived in Maspeth- and she was first to really LEAVE when she moved to North Carolina. We had no air conditioning, and like any good Italian American we had plastic on all our furniture, and all I remember is STICKING to the sofa as I tried to get up for a glass of "Wata".

My house was the second from left, I planted a Lilac Tree and Dug a Koi Pond- My first front (or back) yard- so exciting!
Although it was a "two family house" it was basically a fancier apartment which we owned- but that meant all the difference in the world.  It  meant we could use the yards- front AND back, and get an adorable 4 inch round pool- ahhh paradise! Goodbye City Park Sprinklers, and Fire Hydrants!

Please note the Plastic :)
We also spent a ton of time on "the stoop" entertaining ourselves and chatting with neighbors. Games ranged from Jax, Pick up Sticks, Hide and Seek, Freeze Tag, Hand Ball, Stick Ball, Jump Rope, Hop Scotch, and running like mad till the street lights came on and it was dinner time.

As you can see, I was always shy...NOT.

When it was time to move, I ventured to my next borough- the Bronx, where I attended Manhattan College (named for it's original location in Manhattan, but a bit bait and switch for those who moved from Hawaii like my best friend Jamie based only on the pamphlet which showed Times Square and the Empire State Building- haha. Although it was only a half hour drive away, it was close to a 2 hour train ride: We were the last stop on the Train in Van Cortland Park, passed through the Bronx, through all of Manhattan, through all of Brooklyn, and finally Queens where I lived only a few stops from Rockaway Beach.  A journey home is always worth it, no matter the distance!

While at MC I lived in Jasper Hall- Freshman Year, Overlook Manor off Campus -Sophomore Year, back to Jasper Hall for Junior Year, and then on to Horan Hall for my Senior Year.

College memories, I am 2nd from right hand side- Jamie my bestie and our token Hawaiian is to my left!

Upon graduation, I moved home briefly before I worked on Wall Street training to be a Stock Broker in Manhattan, had a call of conscious and quit. I fortunately discovered what I wanted t`o be when I grew up, and found my career at Cisco. This required me to move from NY to NC.

I moved to 517 Arringdon Drive, Colonial Grand Apartments, and into a new universe. Resort style pool, exercise center, complimentary cappucinos and luxary apartments all for $500 a month rent. Had I died and gone to heaven?

It was not too long before I bought my first Home Sweet Home, customizing every detail from roof to floor at 610 Conover Road in Durham, NC, and met some of the best neighbors and friends I have ever been blessed to have,

This is also where I began gardening- mostly because my dog Mirage (a Hurricane Katrina Rescue with an impending desire to be free) would dig wholes and escape, and I perfected garden walls to keep her in. Though she always found a way out- one time she broke a screen, shimmied down a drain pipe and rang the door bell when she returned home.

Luka (aka the good one) never left my side- or the bath tub as it was one of the cooler spots after moving from NY to NC!

Next I moved closer to my mom to help take care of my grandmother who was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. What I down sided in size, I upgraded in amenities - three pools, a fitness center (where I first began teaching Zumba) a slide, basketball courts, gym, soccer field, pool tables, and much more!
Mirage also escaped this Yard
Our "Community"
My beloved grandma passed away the day I left for South Africa and the month before I met my now Husband. Yet, somehow, this never really felt like home- I never hung a nail or painted a wall until...

ironically my first date with Jay. We met on October 15, stayed up till 6 am talking and our lives were never the same again. He Fixed my Broken Heart --We had a whirl wind romance, traveled to 40+ countries and he convinced me to leave my comforts of North Carolina which I called home for close to 9 years to move back to the icy white tundra which I call NY!

Daddy proposed to me on his Birthday June 24, while taking a leap of love and faith before we sky dived out of a perfectly good airplane.

We got married on Fourth of July in Westchester NY...

Your Sisters Mila, and Danica and Godfather- my Cousin Jake are in the top left Brooky Bear- next to our uncle Joey 
And this is where we went on to join our family- Danica, Mila, Luka, Mirage, Austin Danger Powers (Danger is his middle Name) and of course our littlest addition Brooklyn Marie McBain, born April 1, 2014 April Fool's Day! My first letter to my little girl was written here, and although I try to capture every moment of our and your precious journey, time seems to be going too quickly. I try to treasure and cherish every second and when I have time I will document our journey- so you will know all about "mommy and daddy" the greatest love the world has ever known (at least in my universe), and that which formed the most beautiful, smiley, and wonderous baby ever... YOU- SCHMOO!

I never thought I would be living in NY again, and I have no idea what the future holds- only time will tell. I look forward to making your first snowman and snow angels with you, sledding down hills with Daddy, and learning how to ice skate and ski- I am sure you will teach me :).  Someday, I hope to move somewhere WARM again, but we shall see.  As our lives change I will be sure to amend our journey along the way!

No matter if it is 10,000 square foot castle, or four simple walls - I will be home as long as I am with my family who I love!