Sunday, October 30, 2011


After the kids go to bed we talk about how funny they are and the things they said to us throughout the day. Ellie has been cracking us up with her bold and commanding tone.

Exhibit A (hopefully this does not offend anyone)
Lately, if someone catches her eye she say to me, "what's him name mom?" So I took her grocery shopping with me on a recent Sunday afternoon. We were in the bread aisle which is sort of a corner area that leads to the peanut butter/jelly/cereal aisle, it's in a kind of open area. As I'm putting something in the cart and looking over my list she yells out and points, "Where's your mom and dad! Where's the mom of him, mom!?"

I looked up and there in front of us was a Little Person.


She stared at me and he stared at me. It felt like time had stopped and then he turned on his heel just as his wife also a Little Person met up with him. This sent Ellie into a rant, "where's they mom and dad? They kids lost?"

Oh my God. She stared them down as I moved us to another part of the store. Of course we saw them in every aisle and thankfully she kept her mouth shut. I tried telling her that all people are different, and that they were not kids.

Exhibit B
Luke goes to a Catholic school and they say Grace before they eat lunch. We always said Grace growing up so it's really sweet to see him take ownership of it at dinnertime. Recently John was home to share dinner with us and as we all held hands and began the prayer, John closed his eyes as he recited the words. Ellie yelled out, "Wake Up DAD!"

So funny. So we laughed and she cried that we made her sad. Poor girl.

Ellie you make us laugh so much, thank you for being you. Even though you embarrassed the crap out of me in the store.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Ellie was born on John's 33rd birthday, which is fitting since she takes after his side in the looks department. In celebration of her 3rd and his 36th year, we partied it up with our closest friends and family in a swarm of pink tissue paper.

Three years ago we were here, trying not to panic.

Her first birthday was spent at Gram's house.

Her second birthday is where she discovered Strawberry Shortcake, Polly Pocket and was given her first horse trailer.

Her third birthday was all about sparkly pink, horses, and princess dresses.

26 years before he was here and one of his friends who was at his 10th birthday party was celebrating with us on his 36th.

A successful weekend for sure.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Evening feedings

Remember when the children were just newborns and feedings seemed to take up all hours of the day and night. Funny how that stage comes back to haunt you.

Yes, I bribed her with an ice cream sandwich, however, apparently hummus reigns over dessert and homemade chicken noodle soup.

Just a note

Luke's class learned about our postal system last week. He was so proud when his letter arrived in our mailbox. I am so proud that we are loved more than his fish.

Fall Fun

So we have finally traded summer for fall in the Adirondacks. Last weekend we climbed (the car did the work, not us) to the top of Prospect Mountain with both grandma's and Aunt Hannah.

Today we dropped off John and Luke at Glen Lake for a little fishing and then John jogged home with Luke in the BOB.
Ellie and I went grocery shopping and charmed the pants off the other Hannaford shoppers with her antics and fearless commentary. I realize our excursion is much less fall-like than John and Luke's.

The three of us did take a pre-dinner jaunt around the block, tromping through leaves and mugging around like only these two can.

We're ready to hibernate and hunker down.

Pony Up

My mom and I surprised Ellie with a trip to the Farmer's Market that included a real, live pony ride. We waited in line for quite some time and the closer we got to the pony the more excited and a little bit shy Ellie became. They strapped the riding helmet on her head and she barely let go of me, but did happily, although with very quiet excitement, sit atop the pretty pony. She carried my iPhone around the rest of the day looking at herself so perfectly poised on her beloved and favorite animal in all of the kingdom.

Pecan Piiieeee

Remember this moment from When Harry Met Sally? These are the things I teach my children. They're pretty good learners.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mountain climbing

So you have a crazy weekend. Your kids kind of push you to the brink of insanity. Your husband peels and cuts apples for a pie, actually more than enough, so you make a pie and make up a recipe of apple turnover/pie with all of the extras.

You cut into it with the knife you used to cut your wedding cake. Suddenly all is right with the world.

Being right where you have always wanted to be is as rewarding as it is challenging.

Thank God for pie, husbands, cute kids, and good friends who "get" it.

However, I will have to break the news to Luke first thing in the morning that the crawfish (crayfish, how do you say it?) he brought home today has now passed on to a better world. We were going to set him free tomorrow in Crandall pond, so sorry crawfish, you were loved. Possibly too much (the poor thing was poked in the eye repeatedly along with being man-boy handled to no end).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shipmate you stand relieved

I went because my father couldn't. I went to uphold his name and be a reflection of his life. I went to support my mother. I went for myself.

One of my father's closest Navy "brothers" retired last Saturday after 30 years of serving our country. He and his wife were there with my parents when my father tragically and somewhat quietly left this world. They followed the ambulance my mother and father were in, in another ambulance, and when my mother emerged, alone, they were standing there. Her guardian angels she says. They stayed in the hospital with her until my brother and I arrived at 3am, the morning of March 3. It was cold, the weather, the hospital, the morgue where I almost threw up. Bone-chilling and blurry is all I can remember.

This past Saturday was quite the opposite. There was as much sympathy as there was kindness in all of their warm and friendly faces. They talked of my father, remembered him with an empty seat during the ceremony. Steve's speech began recognizing that empty seat, thanking him for his duty, his friendship, and loyalty. I remember them reading The Watch during my father's service, the tone and the tradition gets me right in my core. I honestly love the pomp and circumstance of the military. The tears were unstoppable until one friend told the story of how my father became known as "cheeks". Laughter, hugs, and fawning over my children happily took place.

We drove from Scotia to Delmar, stopping to indulge the kids in a small toy along the way. During dinner Luke shucked his dress shirt to parade around in his "My Grandpa Was a Seabee" shirt, he was met with many smiles and lots of "awwws, look at him!" We were there as they all sang the Seabee song, a boisterous and bold anthem that I remember four of my father's "brothers" singing at the end of our wedding after all four of them danced with both me and John in a huddle/embrace. Luke proudly carried his Chief coin that (I believe, unless I'm making this up) my father had commissioned shortly before he died.

I am proud to have been a part of this day. And even prouder of all that my father accomplished during his lifetime, 8 years later and his presence is still a void even to his Navy family. I can only hope to influence my community in such a way.