In honor of the Super Bowl this weekend, I have chosen as this week's Friday Night video, the best halftime performance ever, in my humble opinion. Of course, I could be biased because the Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl that day and it kicked off a "beautiful" decade or so of sports success in the Boston area. Plus who can ever forget the hauntingly beautiful sound of "Where the Streets Have No Name" combined with the sight of all names of the victims of 9/11 scrolling up behind the band. Just typing this gives me the chills. The timelessness of the band combined with the emotion and the class of the show makes it the best one ever and one that I don't think will ever be surpassed. Happy Friday, everyone!! Enjoy the weekend!!
Guess what? Shockingly, I am going to talk about the weather today. You know why? Because I am from New England and that is what we do! First off, as a New Englander, I never, ever thought that I would say in January, well it could be worse, we could be Atlanta!! And second, it is an absolutely beautiful day out there today, sunny, not a cloud in the sky, lighting that's just gorgeous and snow that still looks relatively pristine but yikes is it cold out there!!! I have had a running disagreement with my mom about days like this for years. She thinks that they are wonderful and maintains that all she needs in the winter are sunny days like this. I couldn't disagree more, I think that they are so deceptive that it borders on cruelty, it looks beautiful and warm but it precisely the opposite. To me, days like this are a figurative slap in the face (and sometimes a literal one if the wind is blowing strongly enough).
Speaking of the cold, yes I know I speak of it often (ok, incessantly), have you ever noticed that the words hot and cold also have negative and positive connotations? Hot is positive. For example, if someone is attractive, you might say "Wow, he's hot!" (not me though, I would only say that about my hot husband, ha). But cold? Not so positive. Someone that is unfeeling is cold as ice or an ice princess. I don't know about you but in words, as well as in life, I would much rather be hot than cold. Plus, they never had a Cheers episode debating the shivery-est movie ever while they did have one debating the sweatiest, just saying.
In the small world category, the mother of one of my closest friend (and my best blog reader) posted this the other day on my recent sneak peek, "I couldn't believe it when I saw this picture! I worked with Marilyn (Girl whose Anniversary it is) for 30 years at Blue Hills Regional!! What a small world!!" I love things like that, it is always so cool when we realize just how connected we are to one another without even realizing it.
In the Jolley kid anecdote category, my kids and I were talking in the car today and my daughter says, "I told my friends that I was going to start a business and hire out my boy cousins for anyone that needs a prom date." Since she does have a multitude of cousins that are both male and extremely good looking, I told her that she should go for it. Then I suggested that she could talk to the cousins and offer to split the fee. Then my other daughter says that she should charge by the hour. Horrified, I said, "No you can't do that, they aren't prostitutes." Quick as can be, she says, "No, they'd be prom-stitutes." And then she tells her sister that is what she should name her business, you know like this is something that will actually happen and we weren't just kidding around. That was one car ride that I actually enjoyed!
So as I mentioned the other day in their sneak peek, I had the honor and the pleasure of taking some pictures for the extended McGibbon family as they were on their way to celebrate their 50th anniversary. It was cold out on Saturday so we were not able to meet outside but they were such incredibly good sports that we made do with what we had, with pretty good results, I feel. Although with a group as attractive as this, it is hard to go wrong!!
There was one spot that we could pop outside for pictures so we took a few minutes to brace ourselves and fix ourselves before heading out into the cold.
When it was time to for the guests of honor to go outside, they were teasing me about forcing them to go outside. We had a lot of fun with it, especially when I pointed out that I wouldn't have to if they didn't decide to get married in the winter!!
After I was through freezing them to death, we moved inside and tried to get all the various combinations:
Grandparents and grandchildren, check,
the "boys", check,
the "girls", check,
each family, check,
and let's not forget the "kids".
We finished up with some more group shots as well as a few more of the happy couple. I also managed to get a couple of candids while I was at it (c'mon, you knew that I wouldn't be able to resist that!!)
Happy anniversary!! I wish you all the best in the years to come. Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to attempt to capture the love and warmth of your beautiful family and to share in your celebration. Please click here if you would like to see the rest of the McGibbons pictures.
Last Friday night, we went to a concert at our church. It was a wonderful, entertaining and special event that made me laugh, made me dance, made me reflect and spanned several generations of attendees. But sadly, it also served to emphasize just how special our church is. I say sadly because as I wrote a couple of weeks ago, our church is facing some unwelcome changes and these next couple of months are going to be really tough. But although I could easily fill a blog post with this topic (and am sure that I will at some point in the future), that is not my focus today. Before the concert, I delivered some pictures to the mom of the incomparable Jenna. By the way, these are the pictures that Jenna and her family chose to have printed.
When I chatted after the concert with Jenna about the picture, one of the girls that was standing there said to me, "I told my mom that you are the one to go to next year." This makes me incredibly happy for two reasons: one, I really love it when it is the kids themselves that request for me to take their pictures and two, this will be my daughter's graduating class so I will probably know (and will have known for a long time) a lot of these kids. I have absolute blast with seniors that I just meet, imagine how much fun it will be when it is kids that I have known for years! Who knows, it may even be as much fun as I had with Jenna!!
So I mentioned in my post yesterday that I was really excited to meet with and take some pictures of a family. I know I say it all the time but is is so true, I really do have the best job ever and yesterday proved it once again. This family was on their way to a party celebrating a very important milestone, 50 years of marriage!! How wonderful is that??What an honor and a privilege it was to be able to share in just a little bit of this family's joy on such a sweet and special occasion. Please enjoy this sneak peek, I promise that I will have more to share sometime this week. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, too bad that it isn't a long weekend like last weekend!!
I know that you all are done with the cold theme but I had to share this one because it is a little weird. I was kind of at a loss for what to use for a Saturday morning cartoon so I just put in cartoon in the search field to see if it would inspire me and honestly this was the 2nd one listed!! But you know what, this is the digital age, you don't have to just take my word for it, I can give you proof. Here is my search as well as the results.
I can't decide what is the funniest part of this cartoon, when he sticks his head out and his beak gets icicles and turns blue or the foreign subtitle. Never mind, it is definitely the subtitles because now with the subtitles, it is now possible to not understand what Donald is saying in 2 forms - spoken and written. Plus after sub-20 temperatures all week, the icicle thing just isn't that funny!!
Have a wonderful Saturday, I know that I will because I have a family to photograph today!! It's a family that is getting together to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary so I am really excited about it!! Stay tuned, maybe I will have some actual new pictures to share with you this week, wouldn't that be a treat??
I know, I know, you are sick of hearing me talk about the weather and how frozen I am. Well guess what? I am tired of living with it!! So if I have to put up with it, so do you (thank you for that, by the way)!! On the bright side, the animation in this particular Disney movie is just stunning. What an incredible job they have done on this one. Maybe if our winter looked like this all the time, I wouldn't mind it so much. Nah, I'd still mind! Happy Friday, enjoy the weekend and stay warm. And if you happen to live somewhere warm or are going somewhere warm, can I come and visit??
I officially hit the winter wall yesterday. You know, that wall where you say, I am so all done with the winter, well at least that's what I say. Yeah that is the wall that I hit yesterday. And since it has been no higher than the in the teens for temperature lately, that wall hurt!! You know how they say that only a few things are certain in this life, like death and taxes? Well there is one other one for me, hitting that winter wall. It may not always be the same date but it's always there, every winter!! And since as my daughter said yesterday (with such concern in her voice), "Oh Mom, there is still all of February and most if not all, of March to deal with", I know that I am in for it. By the way, my daughter was right to have concern in her voice because my family is in for it too!! I never really take any pictures in the winter because I am too cold to force myself to go outside. So I become really bored and restless and I am also cold ALL the time, all of which translates into me just not being any fun to be around (contrary to what my kids may claim, I am fun to be around on occasion at different parts of the year). This is always the time of year that I question why in the world do I live here. I was asking myself this question and I happened to come upon a post that I wrote a couple of years ago. Hey if I copy myself, is that plagiarism? Or just laziness?? I'll put in quotation marks just to be safe. Anyway, I wrote the following in February 2011, "Around this time each year, I ask myself, "Why do I live here?" I HATE this time of year and I seriously wonder why I put up with it. This year, I tried to think of some reasons that I live here, beyond the obvious that all of my family and most of my friends do. Here are some of my reasons and, just like me, some are logical and some not so much:
So there you have it, there is a partial list of why I subject my family to my winter self. I gotta tell you, as I sit here freezing and bored and restless, not one of these reasons seems very compelling to me at this moment. Stay warm!!
We have another snow day today, that makes 2 off so far, yikes it is still only January. Last year, we had only one entering February (and that was a hurricane day) and ended up with 4. I don't really mind, I mean I hate getting out later at the end of the year but there is something to be said for the excitement of a snow day. Although I was off anyway today so the fact of the snow day just means more people in my house today. Oh well, it's nice to have everyone here, safe and warm. Although warm is somewhat debatable, my house is never really that warm. As a matter of fact, the dishwasher just finished and I emptied it mainly to warm me up!! It is kind of funny that we have a snow day today since one of my most memorable snow days involves a work friend and I was just talking about how special work friends are the other day. One afternoon, our bosses sent us home early because of the snow and instead of going straight home, we went out for a drink or two. It wasn't quite as irresponsible as it sounds since we used to commute together and we live in the same town so we went out close to home. But probably not quite what the bosses had in mind when they let us early, either.
One of my own favorite snow days ever was the Blizzard of '78. And it was snow days, not snow day, because it was about 3 weeks long. Is it any wonder that it's my favorite? I was 10 years old, the storm happened on a Monday, February 6th, we did not return to school until after February vacation and the Governor declared a State of Emergency so we didn't even have to make it up!! Now that is my kind of snow day(s)!! What 10 year old wouldn't love almost a month off with about 2 feet of snow? And cars weren't allowed on the roads for about a week so we had the run of the streets. I remember too that we had to walk to the grocery store with a sled to get food. It was heaven for snow loving kids! Interestingly enough though, that storm taught me more about community, working together and making the best of things than any month in school ever would have so it wasn't even a total loss educationally either.
My own kids love a snow day too. Although now that they are teenagers, it is more about the fact that they get to sleep in rather than the fact that they get to go out and play in the snow. Although they are a pretty good workforce for getting rid of the snow (once we can get them out there), I do miss the days when they would go out and play!!
Hey this is shaping up to be a random thoughts - snow edition!! One more, these snowmen pictures make me think of a book that we listened to in the library this week called Martin MacGregor's Snowman, it's a cute little story. It is about a little boy whose only desire is to build a snowman but all winter long, no snow (he comes up with some pretty inventive snowman ideas to satisfy his snowman craving) and then on the first of April, a blizzard. This is so funny to me because this actually happened one year. It was the year we moved into our house (and had our oldest child). We moved into our house in February and did not have a single snow storm until a freak April Fool's Day Blizzard. We weren't quite as excited as the boy in the story since we didn't even have a snow shovel, my husband tried to shovel us out with a garden spade (I delivered my first baby 10 days later so I was in no position to help). Luckily we have the best neighbors ever and the husband came over with his trusty snow blower and dug us out. It was funny to read the story and add my own memories in. I have to go join the snow removal task force, I hope that you all have a great day, stay safe and warm!!
This weekend was pretty cool. Without even really meaning to, I hung out with several of the friends and family groups in my life. Friday night, I spent with my work friends. Wow, I have work friends! As you can see, I am pretty excited to have work friends. I know that seems like a silly thing to be excited about but I haven't had work friends in about 15 years. I stayed home with my kids for 10 years and then I was a substitute teacher for another 5 so no real work friends for a long time. Imagine how disappointed I was last year when I finally had a job again and we never really went out. I was joking with some of them the other night and told them it's a good thing that we started going out on occasion because I almost quit at the end of last year since the only reason that I even got a job was to go out after work. Well semi-joking anyway.
Then on Saturday, we met with this group of friends for a fun-filled night down the Cape. We brought the kids and had a blast hanging by the pool, playing games and chatting. It was so nice to have an opportunity to spend some time with them because it seems like we are all so busy these days that we don't have as much time together as we would like and I miss that and them. We had a lot of laughs, as always, and it served as a nice mid-winter recharge. We also took the time to wish these 2 guys a happy birthday. They are both such special guys, it is just perfect that they share a birthday and I am so glad that I got to share part of it with them!
Then yesterday, I watched the Patriots game with some of my family. Funny story, my son and my dad have a rather checkered past as far as watching the games together (put it this way, they watched the last 2 Patriots Super Bowls together). Well anyway when I asked my son if he wanted to come to Grampa's house to watch the game with me, he immediately said yes but then thought about it for a moment and said, "If the Pats are getting blown out, will you drive me home? You know, because of the luck." Of course, I said yes immediately because we all know how important the luck is. But then he was having such a good time hanging with his cousin and uncle and of course, Grampa, that he didn't want to go and I didn't make him. Because having fun and enjoying family outweighs the luck, right?? Maybe?? Although we did try bringing in our own Ramsey for the second half (my brother-in-law, Eric is just like this guy) but it didn't really help :(
The only thing that was missing from the weekend was hanging with my college friends, had I done that, I would have had pretty much all my groups covered. I think I need to work on that!!
In honor of Martin Luther King Day next week, I am going to share this animated short of his life. I showed this to my students all week and they really liked it. It's very well done and I thought it was an excellent way to introduce children to his legacy. Plus I learned something new while watching it. Martin Luther King, Jr. was not born Martin, he was born Michael (he was named after his father, just that name was Michael, not Martin). They both changed their names after a trip to Germany when Martin/Michael was 6. See that, you learn something everyday!! Happy Saturday, if you are lucky enough to have Monday off, then have a great long weekend. If not, well then it sucks to be you. Just kidding, my husband has to work on Monday, I feel bad for anyone that does. Although my kids are also home on Monday, maybe he's actually the lucky one??
2 videos this week, what a bonus. Well not really because I really like one but the other, not so much (huge understatement right there). And liking one and not the other makes me want to talk about perspective. Perspective is such an interesting thing. The reason that I say that is that one of my daughters loves music, it it is playing constantly in my house. If I like the song, then I'm okay with it, no actually I am happy that the music is on because it livens things up but if I don't like the song, well then I am not so happy about it, as a matter of fact, it is like nails on chalkboard. And recently, this seems to be magnified because I really like one of the songs that she plays incessantly and I really (really, really, really, ok, you get the point) don't like the other one. Here's the one that I like:
And the not so much one (again, huge understatement):
\Oh well, the way that I look at it is if this is the one of biggest issues that I have with my teenager, then I am doing okay, I hope. Happy Friday, everyone! And go Pats!
Last week a lunch, one of the teachers asked me what my favorite book was. I immediately answered that it was To Kill a Mockingbird. But then she clarified that she had meant my favorite book to read to my kids. This was much harder because I didn't really have one book that I loved to read over and over, we had a whole variety. But when I thought about our favorites, I remembered one that was not my favorite to read but it was my kid's favorite to listen to. I actually kind of hated it, so much so that I vowed to give a copy to the brother's family that gave it to us so that one day, they could experience all the fun of Burt Dow: Deep Water Man (I didn't really hate it, it was just long, really long). Hey, I can't remember if I ever did that, I may have to look into that. But it was crazy, just answering that simple question brought up a storm of memories of reading that story over and over. It is about Burt's adventures when he takes his old boat and his trusty seagull out on the water and gets caught in a storm. Sometimes when we would read it, the kids and I would all pile on my hammock and read the story and pretend we were on the boat with Burt. My kids were so obsessed with this story that when we went to Bar Harbor in 2004 for a wedding (the height of Burt Dow popularity in my house), my husband pretended he was putting a band-aid on a whale statue while I took a picture because that was in the book and we knew the kids would love the picture.
Anyway the point of this post is not really about Burt Dow but rather the power of books. It's about how that simple question about what my favorite book to read to my kids was brought me back to those long, lazy days where the kids and I could spend an hour on the hammock reading a story and just spending time together. It's about how it can make me realize how much I miss those days. It's about how it reminded me that when my children are old enough to have children of their own that the first thing I will buy each one of them is their own copy of Burt Dow: Deep-Water Man. That more than any other reason, that power to bring me back, is why I love books so very much.
All morning, I have been trying to think of something profound to write about but I have to say, I got nothing. So let's be random instead!
I have been really thinking about it since I saw the movie Frozen and I want a Snow Queen. At the very end of the movie, she conjures up a fabulous wintery scene and they all go skating. This is what I want, to just be able to conjure up winter when I want it (and at no other time). How cool would that be? Want to go sledding? Boom, there is some snow and a hill. Want to skating? Boom, ice and just the right temperature (I really only like skating outside, I feel kind of claustrophobic when I skate indoors). Anyway, winter on my schedule and only when I am in the mood for it, that is not too much to ask, is it??
I am off from my library job so I am home today but I am working on projects for a couple of friends so I still feel like I am working but I get to do it in my pajamas. Double bonus! There really is nothing better than working in your pajamas, I must say. Although I am really glad that I have a job outside the house as well. Mainly because in the winter, I have a tendency to stay indoors. Without an outside job, who knows what kind of pajama wearing, never leaving the house kind of hermit I would turn into? Although there still would be the constant driving around of the children but that doesn't help since sometimes I wear my pajamas to do that (you may remember when I got caught in pajamas one morning by my son's teacher).
I was listening to Felger and Mazz* yesterday afternoon and at one point Felger says that they are going to beat the dead horse on a particular story. So Mazz says, "A Bronco?" I chuckle, because I love puns, and then groan, because seriously how bad was that, and then wait for Felger to rip him for the lame pun. Well nothing, which if you listen to Felger is shocking because that is right in his wheel house. Then the guy in the booth comments that Felger didn't comment and Felger says that he doesn't get it. How can you not get that? Classic! You know what I also find classic? Using a saying without having any idea why it is a saying? Am I the only one that does that? How many people know why we say beat a dead horse? Not me, but I am going to look it up now**
How sad is that a second grader telling me that I look really skinny is the highlight of my 2014 so far? Although I think that the credit has to go to the dress I wore yesterday since I got a bunch of compliments on it, one of my good friends even texted me to ask me why I looked so fancy. Not bad for a dress that I bought off the clearance rack at Kohls. The only reason that I bought it was it was cheap, it was comfortable and it had some charm to it. The compliments were just a bonus!! Clearance, cheap, comfortable, charm, compliments, that is one capable dress. Sorry got carried away with the C theme.
I added the picture above because a post is always better with a picture. It was such a pretty morning out there today with the sun and some fog that this is just what it looked like. I didn't take this today though, it is from last year. Taking it today, that would have required me to actually leave the house and gasp, change out of my pajamas.
See I wasn't exaggerating when I said I had nothing profound to say, I started with Frozen and only went down from there. Have a great day everyone!!
*If you aren't from around here, they are a Boston sports talk radio program that is on in the afternoons. More importantly, how exciting that I have readers that are not from around here!!
** Click here to see the meaning of the phrase beating a dead horse. Or never mind, it doesn't really mean anything because as it turns out, it is one of the rare sayings that actually just started out as a saying, who knew?
My youngest daughter is a gymnast. If you know me personally (you know in my real life, not just this blog life), then you know this already because she doesn't really walk places, she flips. If you don't know me, then what are you waiting for? Introduce yourself sometime! Ha!. Anyway, this is how much of a gymnast she is, last week she had to make up a family for her Spanish homework and her family consisted of Nadia Comaneci as her mom, Bart Conner as her dad, Aly Raisman and Shawn Johnson as as her sisters, and Jake Dalton as her brother. She also asked my husband last week if it was weird that she would sleep at the gym if she could? She just lives for it. But I bring it up because I wanted to talk a little bit about choices. After much debate over the years, my husband and I decided to hold off on signing her up for a competitive program. We just felt that with 4 kids that the intense commitment of gymnastics would cut into our time as a family too much (not to mention, be too expensive) so we waited until she was 10 before we allowed her to join a gym and to be put onto a track for a team. Life is full of choices and this is a choice that we made that we felt would be best for our family. I am fully aware that there are people out there that make different choices and they will completely disagree with our choice. To them, I say that is your choice to disagree. I make choices for my family based on what I think is best for my family. I also fully acknowledge that they may end up being the wrong choices. Hopefully I have not kept her from achieving all that she could by not signing her up until she was 10 (I shudder to think that any kid is too old for anything by the age of 10) but there is a chance that I could have. But I choose to believe that I made the right choice. I think that unless everything works out perfectly, your choices can go either way. For every Michael Phelps that feels that his mother was supportive of his dream because she allowed and helped him to push himself more and more, you have a Jennifer Sey who feels that her mother did not do enough to reign in her competitive desires. In a perfect world, the choice that we made to hold our daughter back will only serve to make her want it that much more. My hope is that after waiting for it, she is not about to let any opportunity slip through her fingers. That she will be driven to persevere and to succeed. That she will not resent our choice. And that whether it was the right choice or the wrong choice, she'll know that we had her best interests at heart. Although really, at the end of the day, she would probably choose Nadia and Bart as her parents because then she really would get to sleep in the gym.