I have officially been in New York for one month! It still doesn’t seem real, except when I wrote that rent check. That felt real. I’m starting to get the hang of things and finally getting a grasp on what I’m doing. I love exploring the city after class. Most days I’ll just pick a neighborhood and walk around it to get a feel for the neighborhood.
I’ve learned that the people here really are nice. New Yorkers always have a bad rep for being rude and in a hurry. I have witnessed the complete opposite. Sure, people are always walking quickly but that’s just because that’s the pulse of the city. I even walk faster now. People are just keeping up with the pace. I have seen about 100 people ask for directions and I’ve watched people give them help with smiles on their faces. New York City is huge and it’s easy to get turned around but the guy at the hot dog stand always knows which way to go. I have even been asked a few times for directions. Luckily, each time I have actually known the answer and they never knew that I was brand new to the city. 🙂
I have also learned how important community is and how much we need people. I had to fight back tears one Sunday at church while I was talking to someone and telling her how great of a community I had left in Oklahoma. I think she knew because she quickly changed the subject to something else. As excited as I was to come to New York I was really sad to leave everyone. I don’t think people are supposed to get as lucky as I did when it comes to family and friends. It completely makes my day when I get a phone call from home so keep them coming!
The most important thing I have learned so far is that in a city that’s so loud and big, God’s voice is just as big and loud. I seriously feared I wouldn’t be able to hear God once I got here. That the hustle and bustle of the city would drown Him out. Not knowing anyone, though, has meant that I’ve gotten some extra quality time with Him and I am so thankful for that. Being more focused on His voice has helped me hear Him more clearly. If I can focus on Him here with the stress of learning a new city, I should be able to focus on Him anywhere. God is the same God no matter where you are and that has never been so comforting.
The survival of one month calls for the celebration of lavender lemonade.
I first made this lemonade for one of my dearest friend’s bridal shower. Saying everyone loved it is an understatement. I don’t think a single lady left that shower before they told me how much they loved the lemonade. Some asked me where I bought it and I loved the look on their faces when I told them it was homemade. I have to give props to Caitlin who lovingly squeezed lemon after lemon until her arms were sore. You’re the real MVP. My roomies and I were a little disappointed when all the lemonade was gone after the party was over. I’m still regretting not stashing an extra pitcher in the fridge just for us.
This lavender lemonade is so refreshing on a nice spring day, especially after hand squeezing all of those lemons!
The best part of this lemonade is that you can adjust the amount of each ingredient to your liking. If you want it sweeter or a stronger lavender taste you can add more of the simple syrup. I like to actually be able to taste the lemon so I add a higher ratio of lemon juice to the water than most recipes for lemonade. If you don’t like it so tart you can add more water. Lemonade is so easy to make and you can keep adjusting each ingredient until it’s perfect! Lemonade is pretty forgiving.
The lavender simple syrup needs to sit in the fridge for at least and hour or two but it’s best if you can let it sit overnight. The simple syrup recipe is more than you will need but that allows you to add more if you prefer and you’ll be really happy when you have the leftover in the fridge to make more lemonade!
Lavender Simple Syrup
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons dried lavender
- 6 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups lemon juice (about 7 lemons)
For the simple syrup:
- With a mortar and pestle, crush the lavender until fragrant. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle you can use a shallow bowl and the bottom of a glass to crush the lavender)
- Add the sugar, water, and lavender to a small pot. Bring to a boil and then let boil for about a minute.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Add the syrup to sealable container and continue to let it cool until room temperature and then refrigerate. Let the simple syrup refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or overnight for a better lavender flavor.
For the lemonade:
- When you are ready to make the lemonade, strain the lavender syrup through a sift to strain out the lavender.
- Squeeze the life out of the lemons making sure to not get any seeds.
- Combine half of the lavender syrup (about 3/4 cup), the lemon juice, and water to a pitcher. Try the lemonade and adjust to your preferences. If you want it sweeter add more syrup. If it is too tart you can always add more water, up to a total of 8 cups.
Recipe adapted from Honest to Nod