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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston



Yesterday Marc and I took Hannah to the Museum of Fine Arts. We left Max at daycare for this trip, and it was really nice to enjoy time together as the three of us.

I love this museum. My mother's favorite painting is there, and when we came to tour colleges when I was a junior in high school, the museum made a big impression on me. When it came time for me to rent my first apartment after college, I found one right nearby, crossing the Fens area to Park Drive. I walked through the MFA parking lot almost every day to get to the train (until I started taking the bus). Marc and I had a membership to the museum before the kids arrived, and I think we've still gone every year or so since then. There's always something new to see.

Yesterday's visit was no exception, as we had to see the new museum expansion, which is mostly complete after years of work. One section is slated to open next fall, but the new "Art of the Americas" wing has been debuted. Before we made it there, we sought out the temporary exhibit "Scaasi: American Couturier" featuring dresses made for various members of society and celebrities such as Barbra Streisand and Natalie Wood. The dresses were just beautiful - hopefully Hannah will actually become a fashion designer some day and make something like that for me to wear.

We wandered through some other galleries until we found one of the many children's activities that are set up throughout the museum. Hannah created the triptych (yay, words remembered from my one art history course!) you see above featuring her in the past, present and future. It's easy to be inspired to create self portraits when you're sitting in a giant gallery filled with portraits.

We then made our way to the New American Cafe in the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard (yay Shapiros!), and while I waited in line, Hannah filled out a "passport" to use as we toured the new wing. We had a really nice lunch in an absolutely beautiful setting, complete with excellent people watching as almost all of Boston seemed to parade in front of us to get to the new wing.

Finally after lunch we walked through all four floors of the new space. There are 53 new galleries, with art from the Pre-Columbian era through the third quarter of the twentieth century (according to the MFA website). I loved the lay out - as you began in the basement level and worked your way up, it was like watching American history unfold before you. Items were grouped together on each level by period of time, so you moved seamlessly from paintings to sculptures to jewelry and furniture. There was so much to see, but since the museum was very crowded, we couldn't cover it all in detail, but I hope we'll get back there soon enough.

Hannah really enjoyed herself, but couldn't pick a favorite piece she saw. I have a feeling her favorite part was using her allowance money to buy something at the gift shop, but that's an important part of the museum experience too, right?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December Round Up

Okay, okay, you've caught me. I'm trying to beat my number of posts for 2009, so I've gotta bang out a couple more before the end of the year. Thankfully, December is busy enough to provide the necessary fodder.

Hanukkah ended, but of course the business did not. Hannah went to see another production of The Nutcracker with a camp friend. We all went to a neighbor's holiday party and had a ball catching up with our neighbors while indoors for once! Of course, the play dates and birthday parties continued too. Hannah and Marc went to see "Tron" while Max and I had fun at the mall. Max was Shabbat Helper. We all went to see "Tangled" for Max's first movie experience on Christmas Day, and he thankfully stayed in the theater the entire time. We hunkered down for the blizzard and ended up spending the two days potty training Max. Hannah and I spent a morning shopping for a rug and desk chair for her new bedroom set up, and mattress for Max's.

And I've still got DAYS of my vacation to go! We'll be heading to the Museum of Fine Arts tomorrow to explore the new wing, and then we have a few days of adventures scheduled with Fillis and John. It should be a nice end to 2010!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Break

After hitting my 5 year anniversary with my firm this year, I received an extra week of vacation time. I'll be putting that week to good use by staying home with Hannah over her upcoming winter break. A whole 10 days with nothing major planned - I can't wait!

But how exactly to pass the time?

We're planning to go to see Tangled on Christmas Day (Max's first movie theater experience!), visiting the new wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, celebrating Max's third birthday on New Year's Day, plus Shabbat Helper, swimming at the JCC and a trip to the mall with Grandma Fillis. But there's still a lot of time left to be filled in.

Any suggestions? Anyone want to have a play date?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hanukkah 2010

It was another great Hanukkah. I thought we had excited kids last year, but this year was even better. I loved that it was so early this year, as it felt very distinct from Christmas (as it should), and I really enjoyed so many of the viral videos that really came into their own as a genre this year.

Marc made latkes twice this year, and we enjoyed celebrating at Max's JCC class, Hannah's religious school class, with Marc's family in Hartford, at our synagogue and with Julie. I purchased all of the kids presents online this year, which worked out really well given my off and on back issues and not wanting to trek around a mall or super store. Again, the kids were thrilled with everything they received, and I felt so lucky to get spend such a nice holiday together. Now I'm looking forward to the end of 2010 and the start of birthday season around here!