Monday, September 29, 2008

The First Day of Kindergarten.

It feels like so much of my job is done. I mean, I KNOW they are still little, and there is so much ahead of us. But there is also so much behind us. Playdates now ride the bus home with her, and I probably won't know the parents. I liked it when their playdates were MY friends' kids. It was more of a playdate for me, I admit, but I trusted them with my kids if I had to run somewhere quickly. Now, these parents - gosh, when I send Molly to THEIR house - what if they have a loaded gun in the house? What if they smoke crack? I need to KNOW this. And I won't. Probably ever. It's hard for me to lose that control I have over their lives.

She now comes home with STORIES. Of what they did. Of who said what. Of who did what, and what the teacher said. She and Michael chit-chat on the walk from the bus stop, comparing days, what they ate for lunch, who had what "special" (art, P.E., music, computer lab, library), and what happened to their friends today. I love to hear it, but it sometimes makes me feel so. What's the word? Disconnected?

Tomorrow she brings her first playdate home on the bus. She's SO excited. I wonder what we'll find fun to do...

It can be hard sending small people you love SO SO SO much out into the world to start spreading their wings. I just hope people are kind to them. I think of that when I'm teaching my class, now that I have kids. I know that these little tots have parents who love THEM as much as I love MINE. It has made me a much different teacher. And I do love those tots. Just for that very reason.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lame Blogger That I Am...

I went to our Book Club Reunion and didn't even take my camera with me! I took 2 containers of Creamery Ice Cream with dry ice, but forgot my camera. I truly am a crappy blog friend. But oh well, you can just read Erin's blog.

It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the beautiful drive down to UVA and back - perhaps because I was by myself? Listened to what I wanted to, ate what I wanted to, stopped when I wanted to, drank what I wanted to, and called whoever I wanted to on the phone. The 5.5 hour drive went by WAY to fast!

On the way home I stopped by the Va Farmer's Market off of 522 near Winchester. Yummy pumpkin pie, apple butter, peach preserves, and 3 kinds of apples found their way into my car! Oh, so did a gallon of cherry apply cider...

The book club. An interesting group of ladies. Sometimes they make me feel so OLD even though they totally don't mean to. They are all just having babies, and I was done having babies before I even MET these girls. I feel like they are where I was in life when I met them, almost. I was older. And the kids were older. I could have hugged one of them when this weekend she said "Now, I see it must have been a bit of a struggle to even MAKE it to book club..." And, they realized that I never talked about my kids during book club, because they didn't have any yet. They would NOT have wanted to hear about MY kids when it was a foreign concept, right? But now that they all have babies and toddlers, I just smile when they tell a story and exchange advice. Sometimes that life of mine seems like so long ago, and to be honest, sometimes I don't even REMEMBER that life. That first two years with both kids is sort of a hazy blur.

Or perhaps I just go through life in a hazy blur. But it's certainly a happy life! Can I just tell you how much I LOVE my life? Walking downtown to meet friends for lunch on a beautiful sunny fall afternoon. Watching Michael play soccer with his friends, and having him shout to me from the field "I got hit in the chest. I just kept on playing! And I got hit right here. And I just kept on playing!" So proud of himself. Almost as proud as I am.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thought for the Day


I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.' He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally, just smile, wave, wish them well and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so..... 'Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.'

Monday, September 15, 2008

This is the view of Heidelberg from the castle.

The end of the Europe trip.

So, we left Rome in the evening, and headed back to Germany. We got to Hahn late late in the evening (Or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it...) so we stayed at a hotel there by the airport. The next morning we got on a bus to Ramstein to see Claudia, and to have dinner with DeAnna, another bridesmaid. Here we are, enjoying time together. The three of us haven't been together in YEARS, so it was sort of like old times, but instead of living by Wright Patt, we were hanging out in Germany. It was the same, but different. ha ha

OK, so I didn't like the one of the three of us. But here is one of them that I do like. We were sitting by one of the castles that we saw...but don't ask me which castle.

OH, we went to Triere. We saw a dude with...ummm...warts? I took a picture in the hopes that Erin could help the poor man.

Rumor has it that she's some sort of wart doctor, or something like that.

The highlight of the whole trip? Something I didn't even get a picture of, but I'll do my best to describe it.

We flew back to the States on a chartered commercial flight from Ramstein to BWI. Most of the plane was filled with troops coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. We landed and it took about an HOUR for our bags to come through. The section of the airport was only for military - we had our own immigration, our own baggage claims section, and our own customs. As people were finally getting their bags, we heard the biggest commotion outside of the door to the "real world". Cow bells, whistles, was a little boggling at 11:30 at night. So, when it was our turn to follow the crowd through the door, I was moved to tears. There were over 50 or so volunteers there to meet those troops. They shook Chris's hand and thanked him for serving our country. They hugged me and thanked me for supporting him while he served. The gave the kids baggies with cookies, waters, chips, fruit, etc. And they knew that we were only coming back from vacation. We were loaded down, had the kids, and the two car seats stacked on top. They didn't care - they were there to thank whoever came through that door. None of those volunteers were family members of the troops on the plane. They were just there to say "Welcome Home."

I can't wait until I live in a city and can volunteer to be there for the troops returning from wherever. I hope they appreciate it 1/2 as much as we did.

Monday, September 08, 2008


We paid for a flight to Rome on Ryan Air. That airline is an adventure in itself. But I digress. SO, we get to Rome at about 11:30 at night after a plane, a bus, and a taxi. We ring the doorbell. Whose doorbell, you might ask? Well, Chris's college roommate, Matteo - his parents live in Rome!! They are actually also in charge of the dorm rooms for the PSU study abroad students. And since we went in between semesters, we got to stay in the rooms for free! Good timing, huh?

The location was incredible, right off of Piazza Nervona. Did I even spell that right? Anyway, on the piazza in the evenings there was singing, and one night there was an opera and a string quartet followed that! It was nice to have his mom right down the hall, too. Since we showed up with the kids late at night she already got stuff in like they were her own grandkids...milk, cereal, fruits, yogurt, pastries, juices, a bottle of wine for me and Chris...we were totally spoiled. Here we are in Rome.
This is the view from his parents terrace...

This is the view looking UP to the terrace from the piazza. Cool, huh? See that small statue in the middle of the photo?

Well, it is barely on the upper edge of this picture. Pretty cool, huh?

We went and saw the Vatican, and climbed up to the cupola. Beautiful. Impressive. Awe-inspiring.

We went to the colloseum. Is that spelled right?

Ok, I'm just noticing how incredibly bad these pictures are. I have to check the camera settings, I guess. Why can't a simple point-and-shoot be a SIMPLE point-and-shoot??

I'm on the phone to Heather while I'm trying to post this. Now, I can't remember for the life of me what it is! lol While talking to her, all I can think of is Astrodome. And I know that's not right. Let me see if I can think and talk and type at the same time. Nope, can't do it.

You know, it's where they had the early church, and it rains through the hole, and the kids loved it! Um...palodrome? No....ok, total blonde moment. Sorry.

And I know this could have been taken anywhere, but I loved it. One of my favorites. The kids sharing ice cream cones. Oops, gelato. We ate a LOTTA gelato every day. It was so hot!!

We also went to see the Spanish Steps.

Now, what's missing, you may ask? How about the Sistine Chapel??? WELL, it was CLOSED. For TWO days. And we had TWO DAYS left!! Stupid Day of Ascension....ha ha

We'll see it next time. I have about 300 more pictures from Rome, but have to go catch the kids off the bus. Last post for Europe - Germany!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Some promised pictures.

This is McGuire Air Force Base terminal. The terminal from hell. Lots of these people were SLEEPING in the terminal. For DAYS. With their KIDS. I don't care if I never see it again.

It took us a week to get out of here. We sat in this airport through SEVEN (7) flights over five days to Germany. We did get called for one of them, they checked our bags, we lined up to get on the plane, and THEN we were told there were no seats. After 5 days in the airport, Michael finally had a small meltdown and had tears running down his cheeks, saying "Why CAN'T we get on the plane?..." About broke my heart. We finally said screw it and went down to Dover, DE to try for a flight somewhere on Sat. Anywhere, at this point. We were meeting some really-really nice people in the airports and all, but we just wanted to get somewhere.

So, we ended up that night on a flight headed for beautiful Rota, Spain!!

It is a Spanish naval base right on the ocean. We didn't have a whole nights sleep on the plane, but the kids were excited to be at the beach! The base had a private beach, and after dinner we did head down to the public beach. This is taken at 8:15 at NIGHT. I don't think I've ever seen so many people on the beach so late in the evening!!

No joke, there were people Every.Where. At 8:15 at night. It didn't get dark over there until almost 10, though, so it's not like they were rushing home. Nope, they all were rushing to get ice cream. I think Europeans eat an average of 9 ice cream cones per week. Gelato, excuse me. Michael's favorite flavor was cantelope, and Molly's was chocolate. The chocolate was like eating a spoonful of chocolate icing. THAT rich. And THAT yummy.

The next day we flew to Hahn, Germany and rented a car to drive to Claudia's house. She was one of my bridesmaids and I've missed her so much! The next day we drove back up to Hahn and caught a flight to Rome. I'll save Rome for the next entry because that one is a 3 day-er...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Something is better than nothing. Right?
Here are Chris and the kids in front of the Trevi Fountain.