24 Hours in NYC

What a wonderful whirlwind 24 hours with Sara in New York City!

We landed on Wednesday night, grabbed a quick dinner, and then did a little shopping before heading back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep. We didn’t realize that Wednesday was the lighting of the tree on Rockefeller Center, so the crowds were huge—and a little claustrophobic. We ended up heading back to the hotel a little earlier than we had anticipated but being part of the excitement of such a highly anticipated holiday event was definitely memorable!

Yesterday morning we got up early so we wouldn’t be rushed, had some breakfast, and then walked over to the NBC Studios. I knew exactly what Sara was feeling—I’ve felt it for the last three years! As I ate my oatmeal, I understood why she could only nibble on a piece of toast. Nerves do that to you, and that was exactly what I’d eaten for breakfast before I went on the show.

On our walk over, I was quiet, knowing that she was going over everything in her mind, anticipating questions and practicing responses, wanting to make sure she did her best and made the most of whatever time she would have.

Although we got to the studio earlier than we needed to, they whisked her away to make-up almost immediately; I didn’t even have a chance to take a photo. I did manage to sneak one of her sitting in the chair though. . .

Sam, the producer, then spent a few minutes with her, going over what to expect. He’s been the producer we’ve worked with the past three years as well, and he takes such good care of us! So friendly and helpful . . . it was great to see a familiar face.

Finally we headed upstairs to the studio to “hurry up and wait.” We knew we were scheduled as the last segment of the show, so there was plenty of time to wait. I took a few photos of our Stampin’ Up! demonstrators who were outside the window, holding up Stampin’ Up! signs, and I snapped a few other pictures while we were waiting. 

Although she was nervous, Sara managed to laugh at me as I tried to take photos with one hand while juggling my purse, her purse, my coat, her coat, plus a Stampin’ Up! bag with the other hand—she called me the “bag lady.”

Then the moment of truth came. And I just sat there and felt proud! I watched my daughter’s every move and was elated with how she presented herself and represented the company. (Check it out here.) She was beautiful, confident, and enthusiastic. She did a fabulous job. .. I couldn’t have done it better myself! I sat there and thought, “I don’t have to worry! I can be her cheerleader and bag lady every year; she’s got it down.”

Of course, after it was over I sympathized with her about all the things she wished she would have done differently and agreed that it would have been nice to have a little bit more time so she could have said everything she wanted to say. Replaying those few seconds on national television over and over a few times is perfectly understandable—that’s what I’ve always done! But ultimately, what a great opportunity for Stampin’ Up!—and for Sara—and how grateful we are for the chance to be part of the TODAY Show Toy Drive and to share whatever we can during the time we are given.

And then we got to enjoy our last few hours in New York! We went outside and met our demonstrators, thanking them for taking the time and making the effort to be there. We treated those who could stay to a cup of hot chocolate and enjoyed the opportunity to get to know them a little bit better.

Then we tried shopping again and, with fewer distractions this time, had a great time. Such a good time, in fact, that we lost track of time and had to rush back to our hotel, pick up our luggage, and jump in the car to get back to the airport.

We didn’t even have time to grab lunch, but our driver was amazing—he stopped at a place so we could run in and get something. . .. poor Sara was starving (that sliver of toast was long gone!). Our driver’s name was Ryan Jordan, and our experience with him is a blog in itself! Watch for that one in the next couple of days.

And then, before we knew it, we were home—a whirlwind 24 hours that marked some milestone moments for both Sara and me. I’m so proud of all our daughters, but this was certainly Sara’s moment to shine!

So that’s the story from my perspective—check out our trip from Sara’s point of view here.