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24 Jun 09 The last night in Brooklyn

Where did three years go? It seems like just last week we moved to New York City. Especially with the barren feel of our apartment as it is dismantled, packed up and ready for another move. Tomorrow at 7 a.m. the movers arrive to pack up our remaining items and load what is expected to be a completely purple moving truck.

We are so sad to leave New York. Our family has grown up here and we will bring so many memories and long distance friendships back with us. We are also so excited to be back in Toronto.

So what does the road ahead hold for us? Well, we hope to hit the road from Brooklyn for a night with friends in Columbia County (about three hours north of NYC). Then we head to Stowe, VT for a night at the Trapp Family Lodge (the European style inn of the von Trapp family of The Sound of Music fame). Marley can hardly contain herself as it’s quite possibly her favourite movie. We then head for the ferry across Lake Champlain and look forward to a drive through the Adirondack Mountains on the final stretch toward the 1,000 Islands and continuing past the last American exit to our homeland.

We hope to post photos on our Flickr page as we progress along the route. We look forward to seeing our Toronto friends soon. Most of our NYC good-byes have been made, but we’ll be back for many visits.

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23 Nov 08 Planning our return to Canada

Baby Coming Soon

We’ve really been neglecting our updates of late. Life is busy as Karyn continues to slow down in the late stages of her pregnancy and we gear up for the arrival of our third daughter. Stay tuned for updates.

Karyn, Marley and Mara on Halloween

Karyn, Marley and her friend Mara on Halloween

Recognition for Dave

Work for Dave is as exciting as ever. He has built an incredibly talented and profitable team at Fleishman-Hillard in New York that is set to triple its revenue over last year. Dave was also recently nominated for Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 for his work in digital PR over the last 15 years. We’re in the process of finalizing his submission which is due at the end of November. The competition is overwhelming but it’s been an honour for him to be nominated.

Coming Home

Several people know that we made a family decision to move back to Toronto in the summer of 2009. There are several factors that influenced this move.

  • We miss our family and old friends and want to be in closer proximity.
  • Marley will be eligible to start French immersion in senior kindergarten in September 2009.
  • Nicole’s early intervention services through New York State end when she turns three in July 2009.
  • Our visas expire at the end of June 2009.

When David informed Fleishman-Hillard of the decision, they said, “Don’t go anywhere.” The company has been so supportive of the decision and asked him to write a new job description that will see him retain some of his responsibilities in New York and bring his expertise to those in the company across Canada. He will also support colleagues around the world. Next year, he may visit Asia again and continues to connect with his peers across Europe. We feel really fortunate that he is employed by such an accommodating company and will continue to have global opportunities while we’re based back in Toronto.

Preparing for the Move

There is a fair bit we have on the books before making the move. We have hired the incredibly talented William Hudson at Post Architects to come up with some very exciting plans to put an extension on our house in Bloor West Village and optimize the living space to accommodate our growing family.

We will also need to buy a car that will hold three car seats. After much research on our family car blog, we have narrowed the decision down to the Honda Odyssey and estimate that is is cheaper to buy the car in Canada than the U.S. It’s been quite the adventure. Minivan denial was a major early theme. We felt like the automotive manufacturers didn’t have a car that met the demands of our environmental conscience. They really don’t. It’s no wonder they’re teetering on the brink of collapse here in the U.S. They’ve been too slow to change and innovate. We also got severely turned off Volkswagen, our brand of preference since Dave bought “Emily Kar”, his 1972 VW Super Beetle, after college.

Sad to leave New York

Our decision does not come without regret. The move to New York has been phenomenal on so many levels. We love Park Slope, our Brooklyn niehgbourhood. Manhattan is magical. The entire city has so much to offer. We look forward to many return visits to stay connected with the great friends we’ve made and see the things we missed this time around. We still have a little more than seven months here, so we plan on making the most of it and hope for a last wave of visitors. Then we’ll start welcoming visitors in Canada!

Life is exciting.

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31 Mar 08 Canada, in our words… how about yours?

It’s amazing how much more Canadian you feel once you leave your homeland. There are so many things we appreciate even more about our “home”, having moved to New York last year. There are also tons of Canadians in New York who get what it means to be Canadian from the outside looking in. Here are some of the words, places and things that remind us of Canada. We’ll add more as other concepts hit us.

What else do you have to offer? Leave your impressions and contributions in the comments. (you don’t have to be Canadian to respond) Be sure to include a little bit of context.

11 Dec 07 So many familiar faces

When we first moved to New York City, it felt very familiar. Weird. It’s such a big city – a place where you can easily feel lost. There are so many people. Every day on my subway ride to work I submerge into a sea of strangers. A day doesn’t go by though when I don’t think I see someone I know. There are so many familiar faces. Even though the chances are pretty remote that I know these people, I sometimes think the familiarity is mutual. People smile. New Yorkers are a friendly bunch. Sure, it’s a big city but there are so many transplants here. Everyone wants a friend.

11 Dec 06 On the road to destiny

What’s your destination? We don’t always know. If you’d asked us a year ago where we’d be living, we wouldn’t have even thought of New York City. If you’d told us we’d have a child with Down syndrome, we’d be in disbelief. But bring those two together and it really starts to make sense.

Recently, I was “back home” in Toronto giving a workshop at an industry conference. It felt so comfortable being on familiar turf. As much as we love New York, there’s nothing like walking the streets of a friendly city where you know how to find practically anything you might need.

Interestingly enough though, it seems that New York is the place where we can find exactly what we need right now. As those of you reading this blog know, Nicole has started both speech and physiotherapy. She gets physio three times a week and speech twice a week for a total of five sessions. We wanted more but we take what we can get, especially when it’s covered by subsidized government programs. According to someone I met in Toronto though, this level of public health service is unheard of for most patients. We’d be lucky if we had one session once a week. Combine that with the fact that the therapists come to us, and we quickly start to realize how the turn our lives took was meant to be. Really.

We can’t explain it. But there are some kind souls and spirits looking out for us and guiding our way. Needless to say we are grateful.

Heading home for the holidays will be so much fun. We leave in just over a week. Coming back will be difficult, but knowing that this is where we’re meant to be at this point in our lives gives us a bit more clarity and drive.

Thank you to everyone who’s been thinking of us and continually sending us your good thoughts. It’s working. And we’re working hard to create as much opportunity as we can for our daughter, Nicole. And there’s no better place than New York City right now.

Posing