This is a post about past lives and reincarnation! And hopes and dreams and next-times!!

I really enjoy explaining these things up front in the loosest terms possible so you know what you're in for without actually knowing anything about what you're in for.

Today, in partnership with Chime, an app by the creators of Sittercity, I've compiled a short list of things that, were I lucky enough to get to do a do-over, I would have do differently while living in NYC. You know. Regrets. Since I'm not there anymore and it is heart breaking and I think about it often. Quite often. Truly.

So let's hit it!


Okay so this one I didn't not do, but if I could go back in time, I would do it even more. This is what I tell people who are leaving the city any time I get the chance: WALK NOW WHILE YOU HAVE THE PLACES TO GET TO ON FOOT. I miss all the walking every bit as much as I expected to. And it is heartbreaking! The suburbs make me lazy! Where have all the sidewalks gone?! My bottom has been more than happy to conform to the shape of the driver's seat of my car, it must be noted, but that shouldn't mean it needs to happen . . .

Enjoy especially those subway stairs while you have them. Oh hell. I once hefted a sleeping kid, his scooter, three bags of groceries plus a package I had to pick up from the post office, from the Prospect R stop all the way home. We made it off the train, up the stairs, to our building, up two more flights of stairs . . . and then he woke up the minute we opened the door.

These days I'd be hard pressed to get halfway across the street with that much. If I could even manage to lift it! Boo. The accidental muscles one gets just from existing in NYC! It's wonderful, they're wonderful! I loved my accidental muscles. Accidental muscles are the very best kind of muscles. Actually, they are, this is a serious point that needs to be made, so I'm going to run with it: Purposeful muscles get too much attention. They tend to be little prima donna glory hogs. Right? At least in my experience. Accidental muscles don't even know they're there. They're like that One Direction song. That's what makes them beautiful.


Yeah, with my husband.

This is a big one. Come on, Natalie. I so wish I had gotten out more with my husband. Grown up fun. I'm putting this one in italics, you guys. That's how you know it is serious.

I mean it wasn't all bad.

me and the beebs at a yankees game, 2013

me and beebs at peter luger eating our faces off

See, we did stuff!

Plus he's handsome. 

Still makes my heart go boom boom, that Beebledeebles.

But next time. (Next time?) Next time there shall be more date nights.

Ooh! We saw Garrison Keillor at the Lincoln Center once on my birthday!

us holbrooks utilizing our primary mode of transport, the foot


New York has some of the most killer places to stay in all the world. Like the Pierre hotel! Where Joe goes to stay after he buys all his luggage.

You know what I mean here.

yours truly in the standard hotel

Here is how I know. During a Bugaboo event I once got to stay a night with some girlfriends at The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District. That place is a late-night haven, guys, wth immensely entertaining, beautiful people-watching. And while Sydney made an excellent roommate, don't get me wrong, I do think we missed out on the point of the thing by not being there with our husbands. You know. The rooms at The Standard seem to be designed for over-the-top sexy things. Bathtubs in the middle of the rooms, see-through glass in the shower door, floor-to-ceiling windows for spying on people walking the High Line. (And the other way around . . . ;) You know, if there are ever situations that call for being naked in front of some crystal-clear windows . . . it involves your husband.


We had many babysitters while we were living in the city. A lot of them were wives of the summer interns at church, or the high schooler who lived upstairs (we miss you Alexandra!), or else close friends willing to pitch in. But it was never very pleasant finding a sitter. It was mostly like pulling teeth. Sadly. So here we are. Let me put this one out for you. Trustworthy childcare shouldn't be a luxury.

In the absence of something seamless to help you navigate the case-by-case bookings, I'd recommend hiring a sitter for a month at a time, with the same hours + days every week--even if it's just 5 hours a week, even if you're not sure you're going to need it that week. Sometimes it pushes you out the door for something spontaneous and I've noticed that's usually where all the magic happens.


I'm talking about me-time in general but actually regarding the Barney's Co-Op . . . I really think that place might be a little bit of personalized Natalie heaven.

Actually I like to think about this one a lot. The Barney's Co-Op and how much I miss it. Especially the one in SoHo. Does this make me shallow?

Huck was a great errand buddy and I credit the times we spent together getting shizz done for his amazing ability to utilize patience like a master. I think that's my parenting advice to end all parenting advice: expose your kid to boring things from day 1. However. I do wish I'd taken more me-time to myself to explore the city on my own, in whatever form that took. Groceries, dry cleaning, though not necessarily errands. Maybe logging work hours at a cafe, or getting important wondering-time in Downtown, or solo museum time to recharge the old creative battery. . . or shopping . . . whatever! I'm sorry I love to shop I won't even apologize for it! ;)

I've noticed more and more that I really thrive on those just-me-and-my-thoughts kinds of outings. I don't even realize half my brain's missing when I'm not getting enough of it, I just get grouchy. It's like scurvy. Stuff just . . . shrivels. 


Don't pass up this opportunity, New Yorkers! Words cannot even express how much I miss being within walking distance of a Trader Joe's. Oh those blessed chocolate covered cheerios.

The End.


  1. Yes, you will. You must! My husband and I are moving to the city and will be there this summer. I'm talking lifelong dream coming true, right here. Thank you for this and please move back whenever so we can be friends, neighbors, or, you know, I can just be the girl that says hello to you while we're both out and about in the city as if I'd known you my whole life. It will happen. See you in the city! (And I'm not just saying this for the chocolate.)

  2. I used to live in hipstery Cap Hill Seattle. I'm out in the burbs, now, but man I miss being in walking distance from good food (in the bowl! On Summit!). Man oh man. And I wish I had appreciated the market more... and I never went out to the other neighborhoods the way I should have.
    Next time!

    1. I spent a week in Capitol Hill with my husband and his brothers (plus partners/children) last year and I told him the day we arrived I never wanted to leave. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford the airbnb we were renting on a more permanent basis but DANG. What a place. I live in the suburbs of Rochester, NY (whompwhomp) and have been to Seattle half a dozen times to visit family. I'm now refusing to go if we don't stay in Capitol Hill. I can't imagine what leaving there after actually living there would do to me. :p

  3. I moved from Chicago to Nashville so technically I'm still in a "city" but southern cities are just different. I miss the food and I wish we would have eaten out more when we had the chance. We'd spend time in Chicago but we were cheapos and often wouldn't eat out! Silly us.

  4. I miss you in New York! Although, I'm sure I don't miss you in New York as much as you miss you in New York. ; I have to say that I admire the way you chameleon thru life. Pretty awesome that you can rock New York and rural Idaho.

  5. i love this post and identify with so much in it. my husband, our six year old daughter and i just moved to asheville, nc from miami, fl. i walked/rode my bike everywhere for over 10 years. i so miss that. things are different here and i am still getting used to it. they're not bad though. they're just different. also, love that kenny scharf wall in that first pic. he's a good friend

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I am with ya on this one ... I moved from Cleveland back to my small hometown (so we aren't talking NYC) but like everyone is saying - the proximity of life we took for granted. Gah! I read this and just wanted to scream ' YES! someone else gets it!!' Thanks for the post and the honesty...

  8. I love this post; it's inspiring me to take advantage of living in downtown Boston! As a reader, I've noticed most of your posts are sponsored/promotional now. I hope you'll write more like this soon without needing sponsor encouragement.

  9. I live in Jersey, but love venturing out to NYC. So many things to do, but you're right about the expensive part. I swear every time we go, we spend a couple of hundred dollars, and that's just in one day!! Chime sounds like an awesome company, and glad to know they are rigorous in who they hire, and recommend. Lord knows we need responsible young women to nanny, and babysit these days! Luckily we've always had a sitter in our own family. Since our four kids are five years apart they would watch each other as they got older. And if we lived closer my daughter Alexandra would be a great sitter for Henry! And I totally picture y'all city living again someday, and know that your move back to Idaho will teach you many things. We've moved around so much in our 21 years of marriage. From Utah to Texas back and forth three times in 10 years! Then to North Carolina for two, and now we've been in Jersey for eight years. It's been a great move, and although challenges come with settling in a place, there are also blessings as to why we are there. I've leaned and grown so much in maturity, as well as changing my perspective in many things because of all the moving we've done. Especially with kids! You'll do well in Idaho, and even though I miss your NY posts there is a reason why your move brought you back to your roots.

    Take care, and make every moment count with your family!


  10. my heart was in my throat reading this because i so relate and so miss nyc. it literally pains me daily. all the walking. mainly the walking. walking around quiet suburbia and an empty park is just not not not the same. you really are doing an impressive job enjoying your new life though - trying to use it as a good example! - kblaze

  11. I used to live in Sydney, Australia and I miss it like crazy. It's not a big city by real big city standards but I miss being able to just get up and walk to Chinatown or all the amazing street performers or if I was just generally fed up inside there would be somewhere to walk to and look at. On weekends we'd leave the house at 8am and not get back until 12am. Now back living in the town I was born in and have been for the past 8 years now, and it does get easier but it doesn't go away. Here's hoping we both get to live in a city again! :)

  12. I miss a lot of the same things about Zurich - especially the walking. Oh, wonderful walking and accidental muscles. SIGH. Natalie, I am in Spokane and we need to connect. Drive up here for a Sunday afternoon. Huck and Coco can play and I'll take you to Trader Joe's. Seriously, we're going through the same exact shizzzzzz. Email me!!!!! lindsey at swisslark dot com xoxoxo

    1. I told Natalie to go meet you--Spokane is practically "next door" to Moscow! How nice of you to offer. :)

  13. PS - I think we miss doing a lot of things because we think we've got time. Worst assumption ever. Move back! It was totally your place.

  14. What a great post! Yes the walking--walkable cities are s0 special, and one of the reasons its so hard to feel a part of a place when driving is essential. people dont talk to each other when they are in their cars (unless to gesture in anger, arg). Humanity needs to walk. I loved that that was first on your list. Thank goodness for your online community of like-minds. It doesnt replace being there, but it must assure you that friends are nearby--like Lindsey who is just in Spokane! You should totally take her up! I'm in Seattle so if you ever come this way!


Comments are moderated because mama ain't no fool.