Pete-mas 2007

On Pete-mas, we waited impatiently for Steve to finally arrive. Weather in DC diverted him to Phildelphia, but he finally got there in plenty of time to enjoy the evenings festivities. The rest of us decorated the house and ourselves to get ready for the party. Good times!

beautiful girls
big smiles
Spontaneous Love
spontaneous love
aunt ally
ally and ella
molly and party favor
kate and ella party favor
Another favorite
love it
swing your partner
and dip
Pete ate soup!
PETE ATE SOUP
awwwww
SR and the third

Christmas at the Beach

We headed down to Charleston, SC for Christmas this year. We also celebrated my dad’s 60th birthday and my brother’s 38th. We stayed at a house on Folly Beach and spent 6 days together on the beach, flopped around the house, and out in Charleston. I would say it was an A+ trip. The pictures will speak for themselves, I think.
The girls and I got dropped off at the Manch airport on Sat. morning by daddy. So started our first solo flying adventure. And I would say that we handled the trip like champs. Especially the part where we raced from one end of the Charlotte terminal to the extreme opposite end of the terminal to find out the flight we thought we were going to miss was delayed!!! Picture the three of us flopping on the floor with all our bags falling around us. After a quick flight to Charleston we landed safely and happily and the girls ran to Grandpa’s arms…very excited to see him.
Our first day was filled with excited chatter with cousins, good food, and family. That would set the tone for the next few days.
to the beach
Cousins on the beach
Oh! Sassy!
Sassy
Moo running on the beach
under the pier
matching jammies
Shot up the road from our balcony
up the road
Sunrise from our balcony-We saw this EVERY morning. It was awesome
sunrise from my balcony
Day 2 the oldest girls ACTUALLY went in the water with CRAZY Uncle PETE!
mummies on the beach
Uncle John and the MOO!
uncle john and the moo
ella and her towel
Ally and Kate-I love Kate in this picture-having fun with her Aunt.
ally and kate
uncle john and the moo build a castle
I love this picture, it cracks me up!
lamest tug of war

The weekend that wasn’t…

I went into this weekend expecting one thing and it came out a completely different animal.

Our small little school community lost a bright and shiny soul this week. One of our school secretaries, Dorthea Spencer-Dottie, lost her short battle with lung cancer. I was strong, resilient school guidance counselor for the two days I had to be. On Friday afternoon, I was going to go to the calling hours. And then at the end of the day, I wasn’t going to go…I was so scared of going. I am not so good with death. But as I sat around my office for a half hour or so I finally put on my coat, took a deep breath and walked down the hall and out the door to the funeral home. (which is across the street from our little bubble of safety and tranquility). I was happy I went…well not really happy. I ended up returning to the school and collapsing in the vice principal’s office finally allowing the tears to come in front of my colleagues. It was so sad to see such a vivacious soul so still. But I really know that she is happier where ever she is…at least at peace.

Saturday I was going to go to the funeral but if I went I wouldn’t see Steve. And I really wanted to see Steve. So I stayed home. Saturday night Ella was invited to a Polar Express Party. I was going to drop off the kids and go to my school Christmas Party. Instead, I stayed and hung out with the parents of the other kids there. It was a nice night.
mom and moo
Sparkle the Elf
ella the elf
Molly’s buddy!
drew
Sparkle and Gem
ella and lauren
The Gang
the gang
Sunday we had grand plans to go to Harvard to see The Revels with our friends, The Lamberts. We were going to go to Brunch and then for some cocktails after the show. It was going to be fabulous. And then the NorEaster hit. No go to Boston. But we did get breakfast with Grumpa. And a fantastic relaxing day.
You can pick your nose…
pick your nose
Sledding in the storm
out in the snow
Grumpa doing some shoveling
grumpa and the snow
Rosy Cheeks
rosy cheeks

Women Folk

I am not sure that I am going to be able to totally express my thoughts accurately here.  But this topic has been circulating around my life for the past three months so I am starting to see some need to write about it.  It all started to come to light when I was invited to join Sarah on the Breast Cancer Walk.  Quite honestly, the thought of spending three days with a group of women haunted and worried me as I approached the actual event.

I was one of those girls growing up who hit a wall with girlfriends and decided guys were much easier and more fun to hang out with on a regular basis.  Right or wrong, it is what it is and primarily, my best friends from college are guys.  And oddly enough those friendships have lasted longer then any friendships I have had with women.  One friend, in particular, I am in contact with fairly regularly and regard him as someone I ALWAYS want to know about and be in touch with.  I think I knew that right away about him.  He and his wife are expecting their first baby and I just know he is going to be an AWESOME dad.  So my point being that I think guys and girls can be friends and good ones at that.

And isn’t it funny that I married a guy, who has always had a lot of girl friends.  I am not sure where I am going with that but I find it interesting anyway.

At one point I was so sure that I could not have good relationships with women, I hoped that I would only have male children because I thought that I would not be able to even relate with girls if I had one. I have one fabulous girlfriend who I have gone through so much with and I treasure her more than she probably knows.  We are entering our 9th year (?) of friendship and I have never worked harder at maintaining this relationship after I have let it wither so often.  I am thankful that she forgives me so often for my horrible friend ways.  Now, if you don’t believe things happen for a reason, how amazing that I have not one but TWO daughters.  And something miraculous has happened with their birth and life.  I have come to value and treasure the AMAZING beings that women are.

As I stood looking around during the closing ceremony of the Breast Cancer walk, I felt overwhelmingly PROUD to be a woman.  I had an incredible weekend and felt only positively about the women I met and spent an crazy amount of time with laughing, singing and talking.  Looking at the present, this situation has presented itself to me in work.

I run a Girls’ Book Club at school with the Librarian.  Our last book was despised by all and it was amazing to hear the girls talk about hating the stereotypical girls that were portrayed in the book.  They shared with us how they are so much more complex and yet so much more simple then the characters in the book.  It was a fabulous discussion.  But one girl, who happens to be one of the girls I am rooting for in life, talked about how she just likes boys better than girls.  I heard my own words and thoughts coming out of this 12 year old.  I found myself telling the girls how lucky we are as women to be able to have the drama, the love, the laughter and really we need to try to remember how special women friendships are.

Last night, I hosted my second annual cookie swap.  I know, it is so flippin’ girly. Last year there were 4 of us, this year there were 7.  All women!  And what fabulous women at that.  At one point I was looking around at them and felt so proud to have each and every one of them in my life.  We are all so different, but all grounded with a lot of common experiences.  Not so different after all.  After everyone left, I couldn’t stop smiling.  As I take inventory of the people that are important to me and help define my world, I am amazed to realize the number of women are increasing in that list.  And I am so happy to be showing my girls that women can be friends in very honest, happy, healthy ways.