>Becoming a Jersey Girl

>Who is Chefdruck? I just sent this to the new NJ Mom’s Blog – hoping they’ll let me become a contributor. I thought it might be nice to have it here as well!

I’m a stay at home mom to three wonderful kids aged 6 (Bella), 4 (Jack), and 18 months (Juliette). We have lived in Ridgewood for the last four years. It’s a nice suburb twenty-five minutes outside of the City to the North of NJ. Of course, it’s even closer to some fantastic malls which are mysteriously closed on Sundays. I picked up a pen and started writing in September, having just begun grabbing my life back after having my third child. Taking up blogging was my new year’s resolution and it has opened up a whole new world. My blog is a mixture of mom blog posts, fiction writing, and food posts.

Never in my life did I dream that I’d become a Jersey Girl. I was born in France and as a child lived in England, Morocco, Brazil, and Rye, NY before moving permanently to the US. I came alone to go to boarding school and never left. After college, I moved to New York City to work for American Express. I loved New York instantly: the food, the energy, the culture; it was all there. Within a few months of starting work, I fell in love with a funny co-worker and seasoned New Yorker, my husband Steve. We quickly moved into a cozy brownstone apartment on the Upper West Side. A year later, we got married. I started getting my MBA at night. I left the security of American Express and jumped into the .com world by taking a job at BarnesandNoble.com, 3 months before the bubble popped. As it didn’t look like we would be the next Internet millionaires on the block, we started trying to get pregnant. It wasn’t easy and we went through many home pregnancy tests without that little plus signs and many unhappy sonograms, but eventually we prevailed. I ended up graduating from my MBA program very pregnant.

I went back to work after my maternity leave but never got over the grief of leaving my baby with the nanny. I quit after three months and joyfully jumped into being a stay at home mom in the city. I took Bella to museums all over the city and loved it. We lived in our increasingly cozy one bedroom apartment until Bella was 2 1/2. At that point I was 7 months pregnant with Jack and we made the inevitable migration out to the suburbs. We chose Ridgewood, NJ because Steve was working near there and there was a great selection of restaurants in addition to great public schools. We make weekly pilgrimages back into the City every Friday night, regardless of the weather, kids in tow to eat dinner at our favorite casual restaurants. But the rest of the time, I am a fully assimilated New Jersey Mom. I drive a minivan, grow tomatoes and zucchini, have in-depth knowledge of all the stores and back-road access of our local malls, swim in our pool, litter my backyard with large garish plastic toys, and have weekend barbecues. We still love the food and museums of the city, but each time we go in, the city prices sticker shock is a little greater. I never thought I’d become a Jersey Girl, but I now wear that title proudly.

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