Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Father's Day weekend in Boston

For Father's Day we headed to Boston to spend some time with John's childhood friend and his wife. We planned to take the kids to the aquarium as Ellie has a thing for fish and Luke wants to know more about his good friend walrus, and the seals and sharks.
The Bruins parade was of course happening the same day, and as we got to the T station everyone and their brother was coming back. We were greeted with wild fanfare like, "we won the cup" and all manner of hooting and hollering. Thankfully our timing was good and we swiftly we made it through the crowds to the train.
Luke loved the ride.
After an emergency potty trip and a long walk through the crowds we made our way to the aquarium. The first stop was the penguins and then we corkscrewed up the inner giant tank to see scuba divers, lots of fish and Myrtle the Sea Turtle. Myrtle pretty much is the queen of the tank.
Then we saw the jelly fish which were just mesmerizing.

Luke was able to pet a sting ray, but actually he grabbed its fin. Ack! Thankfully there were no repercussions.

Afterwards both kids bought a sting ray, walrus was in a need of a pal and a confidant afterall.

Then we braved our way back to the Alewife train station, and Luke became Kevin's new bff.

Fish and chips dinner was had at the Summer Shack.
We tried to get a picture in the T but Luke didn't really want any of that because, you know, there is no T in his name. Four year olds have their own mindset.
And then the next morning we headed back home with our sting rays in tow.

Memorial Day Parade

Okay so I'm pretty backed-up with pictures and posts of what we've been up to. Luke's first Memorial Day parade did not go over that well, he was afraid of the massive trucks and loud music but last year he warmed up to the whole idea. Seeing fire trucks and ambulances up close and personal, not to mention his big cousin marching with a saxophone is really exciting stuff.

Nearly everyday we drive down this stretch of Glen Street and he points out where we sat to watch the parade and all the things we saw. This small town is so precious, the memories we're making of simple moments are helping to shape a lifetime of pride.
And this guy, driving this old truck is the same man that drove us in his old Model T on our wedding day.
Cousins hanging on the curb.
GF Nation

Father to son

This picture reminds me of...

this one, taken almost 4 years earlier.

Lots of father-son talks and laughs have happened so far, so many more to be had.

Everyone's your friend in New York City

John's brother Timothy came to visit from Seattle in late May. We hadn't seen him since our wedding which was 6 years ago. He has two boys, one who was born a few months before Luke. We had a big family party to welcome him home and he doled out Seattle t-shirts to all of his nephews and spared one little lady shirt for Ellie, the lone girl in the sea of boys.
He showed Jack and Luke pictures of their cousins Milo and Liam and the things they do around Seattle, like the bubblegum wall. They thought that was hilarious, I thought it was kind of nasty.

He read Luke bedtimes stories and they bunked together for two nights.

We took the train to NYC with him for a quick day trip as he was leaving for home via Newark airport.

We strolled through the High Line and marveled at the green space that literally hovers over the city.

We ate lunch at John's Pizzeria on Bleeker Street. This here is their "money shot". Two peas in a pod, these two.
We high-tailed it back to Penn Station in a crazy cab ride. Luke was both terrified and thrilled by the whole thing.
And then it was time for the good-byes. There were some tears, big hugs and wishes for less time between visits.

Then we contemplated a subway ride but were about to meet-up with an old friend and former roommate of mine so we opted out of that and just as we were heading to meet her, Luke fell asleep.

It was a successful trip for sure, but Luke has told us that he much prefers Glens Falls to New York City. Although he does know all of the words to the song. Thanks for enjoying the ride with us L-Train.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Proud mama

In the morning I bring Ellie to the sitter, we have about 10 minutes of alone time, just the two of us. We blow kisses to the house and talk about all the "red cars" we see on the road. We recently became a two car family (woot woot!) and our "new" used car is red, so now every red car she sees she yells, "nother one red car Mom!"

In the afternoon I pick up Luke first from school and then we get Ellie from the sitter. With him I have about 20-30 minutes of alone time, we pack up his things from his locker, go potty, say goodnight to all of his friends and then drive to the sitter to get Elle. Yesterday as we got in the car he said, "how was your day Mom?" I told him how I was working on some things for the coffee shop and then he got a little sidetracked and told me something about one of his classmates. A few minutes later he said, "Mawmmmm, please will you tell me something about your day and your work?"

Seriously, I love this kid.


Has this happened to you? You're giving your kids a bath, playing in the water with them but thinking to yourself about how you need to get to the gym, or why didn't you get up early and run on the treadmill like you swore you would the night before...and then all of a sudden your almost 4 year old looks at you and says, "Mom, we need to build a gym to attach in to the house for you. Right mom? Then you won't have to go to workout class, you can have it in our house. RIGHT HERE FOR YOU." He proceeds to smile from ear to ear with his hands illustrating the "right here" part so proud of himself for thinking this up.

Then I think, wait, was I talking out loud to myself? How does he know what I was thinking? So I ask him and he just smiles and says, "Mom, we need to get you a workout place in our home for you, right mom?"

Is this normal or is my kid clairvoyant?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jack Stevens

Six years ago today we lost my father-in-law to esophageal cancer. He died on his daughter Kim's second wedding anniversary, almost a month before our wedding and a week before Father's Day. My brother took John out for a drink the night of his death, a rite of passage as a new member of the club if you will.

Jack Stevens was a dapper man, a pillar of Saratoga Springs, a legend. He played a bartender in the movie, My Old Man, which was set in Saratoga Springs in 1979. For seven years his father, "Big Lew", was in long-term care and Jack visited him every day. Every day. According to John, when they went on vacation he would hire a friend to bring him the paper and talk with him for no less than 30 minutes. That is loyalty and compassion. I only knew him for two short years and after my father died I was comforted in knowing that I was about to have a father-in-law to guide us through big decisions and hold our newborn babies.

We shared stories on Facebook tonight and this is what has ensued:
Hannah Stevens Christopher ‎:) Let's share nice/funny memories of Dad. I'll start. I went "the lake way" home tonight (6/12/11) in memory of him. He would always suggest this way and say it was the best, most direct route. He would even remind us which roads to take!!! That part used to crack me up. Like I didn't know the way home:)

Jane Oh Hannah, thanks for sharing that--means so much!

Amy I remember him sitting in the old kitchen at the table and as John and I were leaving I rubbed his bald head! We both were kind of surprised, I don't know what prompted me to do that but I was sooo embarrassed, he just awkwardly smiled at me. Ha!!!

Hannah I loved that old kitchen. Remember his pile of papers used to be so neat and organized?

Hannah I hope John has a nice/funny memory to share.

John I loved his stories. His friends stopped into the Colonial Tavern to have a beer while dad hid in the car. The friends talked to Grandma Blanch and told her that Jack was up at school studying and it was too bad that he couldn't come on the trip to Indiana to to see his school in the basketball finals.

Hannah Hahaha! I never heard that one!!!!! I believe it though;)

John He also had his friends answer the pay phone in his hall way to say, "Jack's in the library studying Mrs Stevens." When he really was on the trip to Indiana.

John I always like his Polo Grounds story with Leo Quinn. Dad was like 11 or 12 and fell asleep during a NY Giants (baseball) game. Dad loved baseball. Leo not so much, but dad fell asleep and missed a game-winning home run. He also always bragged about riding the subway from Rockaway Beach to the Polo Grounds at such a young age. They stayed with Leo's aunt.

Hannah Never heard those either. You really need to think of more and share away:) I always liked the Race Track stories from the summers he worked there.

John How about working at the Gaslight? He said wives would call looking for their husbands and they would ask dad to lie for them. He never would. He would hand them the phone and make them deal with their situation.

John How about driving by the West Side Field. He always said the same thing, "That's where I struck out 16 Greenwich Witches. I really had my curve ball going that day." Then I would ask him, "Did you ever get any hits dad?" And he would s...ay, " I had a double my first game of the season that hit the back fence on one hop, but I only had a few singles the whole rest of the season." He was only slightly disappointed by his hitting but was always really proud of his pitching!!

He would have loved the string of grandchildren that have come along and they would have loved him. RIP Jack, you are missed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


The night John told me he loved me was only three days after my father had died and two weeks into knowing each other. We were parting ways in the parking lot of my apartment building in Saratoga, he was in his car and I was in mine, as I put the car in drive he swung his car around so that we were facing each other in opposite directions. His car was playing Magic by Ben Folds, and as the words of love and loss hung in the air he said something about not wanting to leave me. Ever. We were crying and laughing at the craziness of what was happening before us and then he said it. Whenever I hear that song it brings me right back to Regent Street in Saratoga Springs.

We went on a hike Saturday and while it was quick it wasn't easy, we were both like, um, what? Really, are we that out of shape? It was steep and rocky but we loved it and the view was unbelievable. There was a little gazebo at the summit and as we gazed at the view I grabbed my iPhone and said, "we should dance up here!"

Magic. It was the first song on the playlist.

You're the magic that holds the sky up from the ground
You're the breath that blows these cool winds 'round

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fish and chips in the park

Luke loves Thomas the Train and coincidentally Thomas and Friends love to eat fish and chips. Thus Luke also craves fish and chips. He's also pretty much BFFs with his walrus who he believes "lives in the cold world and eats fish too!" He asks daily if we can have fish and chips for dinner and at first I thought, um, he will never eat this and then on a whim (with the plan for John to actually be the one to eat it) we ordered it for him and he devoured it.

Tonight we indulged his wish and ordered ourselves up some meals from Adirondack Seafood Co. However, he didn't want to just eat it at home or at the restaurant, he wanted to have a picnic in the park. And so we did.

We found the perfect spot in the grass and as we sat down on our blanket Luke declared, "this is just the best spot for a picnic. I suppose. Right Mom?"

Oh I suppose Luke. It was perfect.
He shared his fish with Ellie who really would rather not venture there, she was happy with her leftover mac-n-cheese and applesauce.

We walked across the bridges and around the pond. We even went to the playground.
It was monumentally epic in the eyes of my Luke.