life Weekend

5 on a Friday: Let’s Call it a Comeback

April 8, 2022

Well! The last few days have been interesting. I managed to catch a non-COVID kid-cold that was not severe but just enough to take away all my energy and will to do anything other than the bare minimum to survive.

BUT I started feeling better yesterday and now I just feel especially aware and grateful that I feel normal again.

I feel a bit of a comeback coming on.

1- Looking forward to things. Josh and I rehashed our summer travel plans last night, and for the first time in a while I found myself really looking forward to things. We have 2 family trips and 2 just-us trips planned between now and the school year, and indeed that is a lot of fun on the horizon. (3/4 of them are fully booked, too. Just one more set of flights + hotel to arrange — we are thinking about a few days of just-us time together in Ithaca after attending the kids’ camp visiting day! If anyone is familiar with that area, recs would be welcome!).

2- Podcast rec: By The Book — The Power of Ritual. I love By the Book podcast, a comedic (but often poignant) podcast where the hosts “live by” a self-help book and then talk about it. This is the first time I’ve ever BOUGHT a book immediately upon the podcast’s conclusion!

3- Book rec: In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer (yes, of Forever 35 fame!). Okay, I’m reading two novels at once right now which is a little unusual. But I admit I started this book before finishing Matrix (though in the end I am enjoying both and almost done with Matrix now).

In a New York Minute is a cute and fun romp that I can credit for getting me out of a LONG and uncharacteristic reading slump. Also, there is a time and place for light and happy romance novels and I think that time (for me) may be now.

4- Weekend plans. Laura and I just recorded an episode on weekend planning, and it has motivated me to think about this weekend’s plans! Josh is on call and so far we have a baseball game but not much else. Trying to add at least one social event (neighborhood pool meetup, I think!) and we will be golden. Mostly I just to finish the book above and enjoy running in the last gasp of non-summer-temps:


5- HOUSE STUFF. Our floors are almost done! Our paint job is almost done! We have hired movers (including a day of packing the day prior). I guess this is really happening. Next week is going to be intensive decluttering time in preparation and I am HERE FOR IT. Hopefully Josh will let me get rid of basically everything . . .

a very dusty preview shot (these walls not painted yet)
Goodbye dated white tile, hello engineered wood!


  • Reply Marianne April 8, 2022 at 6:15 am

    I, too, LOVE By the Book. It often gives me a perspective that’s different than my usual.

    I also LOVE Ithaca likely because I did my grad work in Binghamton but my food recs would be 15+ years old at this point. I think some hiking, breweries, and (if you want to drive a bit) some Fingerlakes exploring would make for a good trip. I can feel the anticipatory excitement about your forthcoming adventures.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 8, 2022 at 9:21 am

      Yes on by the book! And the finger lakes sound so pretty. My sister used to attend a music camp there but I’ve never been!

  • Reply Chelsea April 8, 2022 at 6:44 am

    Ithaca is beautiful! Tons of lovely waterfalls, and walking around Cornell is fun. I’d also recommend going to Corning (maybe 45 minutes away), which has an amazing museum of glass art. There’s also a small museum of western art there, too. The little downtown is super cute with lots of fun shops and restaurants as well. I ran the Wineglass Marathon in Corning last fall, and it was a great weekend trip.

    We are going to St. Louis as a family trip right after we get out of school, and I’m really excited. There’s a lot of fun kid stuff, plus 2/3 of them are actually old enough to know who Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln and Lewis and Clark are so they will be able to make some connections between what they’ve read in school and the real world.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 8, 2022 at 9:20 am

      Ooh I totally want to see the glass museum! Sounds so pretty and we wiii definitely try to make the trip.

      • Reply Heather April 8, 2022 at 10:58 am

        We went to Corning when I was a kid. At that time there was a factory tour option. It was so fun – and clearly memorable since it must have been at least 35 years ago!

      • Reply Connie April 11, 2022 at 9:22 am

        Corning Museum of Glass is definitely worth it!

    • Reply Amanda April 8, 2022 at 12:53 pm

      Ithaca is gorges 😉 I highly recommend staying on the Commons as there are great restaurants, Autumn Leaves used books, and a bunch of other cute shops you can walk to. Lots of great hiking. I live in Syracuse and we love visiting Ithaca and wandering around.

      Corning Museum of Glass is fabulous as well. There’s also a great little feminist indy bookstore on main street.

  • Reply Sam April 8, 2022 at 7:53 am

    We are moving in June, so I’m with you in the desire to declutter and purge everything. I recently read “Organizing for the Rest of Us,” which I found super helpful.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 8, 2022 at 9:20 am

      Ooh thank you!!

  • Reply omdg April 8, 2022 at 8:31 am

    Years ago I went to the Moosewood restaurant in Ithaca, which is the inspiration of their cookbooks which I still use regularly. I’ve heard really positive things about the city as a vacation destination/place to live, and I’m told it’s kind of like Ann Arbor! It sounds like you will have a really nice time!

    I also am getting over a pretty intense bout of gastroenteritis. OMG I haven’t been that sick in ages. I spent all day yesterday vomiting and febrile and slept for basically 36 hours straight. I am feeling better today, but still quite weak, and I lost 6 lbs and am pretty significantly orthostatic. At least I didn’t have a fever this morning.

    So glad to hear about your move progressing in the right direction! I *think* we will be moving in May, but wow I can’t even imagine packing at this juncture. Between the puppy and decluttering and slow and steady packing, our current house is a DISASTER area. But that’s ok. Otherwise I’ve been feeling better here as well, aside from the gastro.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 8, 2022 at 9:18 am

      My sister just got over a very similar bug. Omg sounds awful. Hopefully recovery will continue quickly!

  • Reply Erin April 8, 2022 at 8:31 am

    I also just read In a New York Minute and really enjoyed it!

  • Reply Coree April 8, 2022 at 8:43 am

    End of term and I didn’t get Covid, so that’s a bonus! Although I’m going to a conference next week in England, which is a free for all, so I expect I’ll get it there?

    We moved about 6 weeks earlier than we hoped, and during lockdown, so the decluttering I had dreamed of didn’t happen. But I’m gradually picking through thigns and hoping to do some more intensive decluttering this summer as I’ll be home more than usual.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 8, 2022 at 9:19 am

      Oh man – I hope you won’t get it but you’re right could definitely happen. Moving is so hard!!!!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns April 8, 2022 at 10:55 am

    There is still so much crud going around. My husband got a cold last week and both boys are in the early stages of colds. I was thinking the end of all the germs was in sight but hope. But it’s been downright wintery here so I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve woken up to a ground covering of snow pretty much every day this week. But the weekend forecast looks better so that is good! I hope your weekend w/ Josh on call goes well. I had a really great weekend with my boys last weekend and I think it was because of being out and about/having plans. We went to the library, they got haircuts, I took the older one to church, and we went to 2 parks one day! Someone commented on how busy my weekend seemed, but the busier day was the much more enjoyable day by far.

    Good luck with decluttering. It’s such a big job! I did a lot of decluttering before our move in Nov 2019 and then another round of it once we moved!

  • Reply Sophie April 8, 2022 at 3:27 pm

    So great you are looking forward to things again! And reading! Yay.

    We are moving interstate TODAY from Sydney to Sunshine Coast QLD in Australia. (It’s 5.30am here right now). Had an entire day of decluttering yesterday, and it was great. We even threw out some old furniture that’s not coming with us. Feels good. Now packing service and removalists come today! Wish us luck!

    Another decluttering podcast rec is the Art of Decluttering.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 9, 2022 at 7:08 am

      ooh excited for that podcast rec! Great timing 🙂

    • Reply Kay Holmes May 10, 2022 at 4:23 pm

      Hey Sophie, totally random, but I am a reader that lives at the Sunshine Coast (moved here in 2021) saying hello because it seems so unlikely. Would be fun to catch up! i guess reply and we can share details somehow if you want.

  • Reply Sarah Price April 8, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    Go to Moosewood Restaurant, walk Cornell’s campus and go see the law library and walk in the Gardens, go to Buttermilk Falls.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 9, 2022 at 7:07 am

      love it, thank you!

  • Reply Anne April 9, 2022 at 9:13 am

    Some Ithaca ideas – Cornell, Ithaca falls, Corning Museum of Glass, Farmers market
    Favorite trails: Taughannock falls state park, Buttermilk falls state park, Watkins Glen state park (closer to Corning)
    Great swimming spots: Taughannock falls state park (Cayuga lake), Robert Treman state park, Flat rock
    Eating/snacks: Ithaca Beer Co – beer garden (great with kids), Saigon kitchen, Viva, Taverna Banfi (Cornell, for brunch)

  • Reply Christine April 9, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    Oh, I love Ithaca! I can’t be totally sure this isn’t tinged by nostalgia because it’s where I went to school, but the rest of the comments point the fact that it’s genuinely a great place. I totally second all the state parks mentioned in the comment above – the hiking and nature opportunities are one of the best things about Ithaca! I also heartily second walking around the Cornell campus: it’s beautiful, especially in late spring/summer/early fall. Aside from walking around the main campus, the Cornell Plantations are a delight (a zillion types of flowers and trees, and I think you might be able to walk all the way around a small lake), the Dairy Bar is fun (the food science students have a project where they invent their own ice cream flavors and the best flavor actually gets made and sold at the Dairy Bar, so that’s a fun fact), and, personally, I would try to time your visit for when the chimes are going to ring: you’d want to check the exact times, but it was something like noon and 6 p.m., and I always used to find it magical, walking around the campus and listening to the chimes ringing out from the bell tower.

    Okay, definitely at least some of this is nostalgia! Anyway. There’s also a pretty great food scene in Ithaca: the farmer’s market on the Commons is super fun (and delicious) and there are lots of tasty restaurants. Some quick googling tells me that two of my favorites (Just a Taste for tapas and Zaza’s Cucina for authentic Italian – run by my one-time Italian teacher, actually!) are closed, so I’ll leave you to the recommendations of other commenters above except to add one more: Collegetown Bagels just off the Cornell campus for delicious bagels and sandwiches and other assorted goodness. 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 9, 2022 at 4:47 pm

      inventive ice cream flavors is my love language. we will totally check it out!

  • Reply Marie April 10, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    Ithaca! I went to grad school there and my husband I got married there. It is lovely in the summer (a bit rough in January…)

    Some recommendations:
    – Hazelnut Kitchen in Trumansburg. My #1 favorite restaurant, anywhere, hands down. We had our wedding reception here! The owners are lovely and the food is fresh, creative, and comforting. The Hazelnut Butter Cake is fantastic. A nice afternoon/evening is to pair this with a visit to Taughannock Falls State Park… walk in to the bottom, and stop at the scenic viewpoint on the way to Hazelnut Kitchen.
    – I heartily endorse the recommendations above for the Cornell Botanic Gardens (aka the Cornell Plantations) — there’s a nice visitor center, some more manicured smaller gardens, a large arboretum, and more wild gorges. Would be a great place to run if you’re looking for that while traveling! Great place to picnic as well.
    – Buttermilk Falls and Robert Treman Falls are both great… you can do a state park day with those two and Taughannock. Note of caution: only swim where there are lifeguards. Swimming in the gorges can be really dangerous even for experienced swimmers due to hidden currents.
    – Corning Museum of Glass + Watkins Glen State Park make a great day trip… the older kids might enjoy a glassblowing workshop (book ahead).
    – Wander around Cornell’s campus (great views, gorges within the campus), listen to the chimes, and get lunch at Collegetown Bagels (an Ithaca institution). The Arts Quad, the law library, Beebe Lake, and the Dairy bar are all great places to visit.
    – Other food recs: Saigon Kitchen, Taverna Banfi at Cornell (brunch buffet is popular, book ahead), Le Cent-Dix, Ithaca Beer Co.
    – A visit to Wegmans and getting lunch at the hot food bar might be particularly fun for the kids
    – Red Feet is a great local wine store

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 11, 2022 at 9:05 am

      Love this! This trip will be sans kids (we are going to visiting day @ camp for A&C but leaving G home for a ~3 day getaway) but knowing it’s so kid friendly maybe in the future we’ll all go together.

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.