We all need something to smile about on a Monday, especially when there was snow over the weekend (in October no less, oh life in New England, so fun). Well here it is:
Is that not the cutest thing EVER? The best part, he's going to hate this picture when he's twenty. Have a very safe and happy Halloween everyone!!
I had the absolute pleasure of taking some pictures of my nieces yesterday in the hopes that we could get something suitable for their Christmas card picture. We had a family party in Easton for my mother-in-law's birthday last night so my sister-in-law and I decided to make a quick detour and meet at the sheep pasture to see if we could get a a good pic or two. You can't really tell from the pictures but by the time we got there, it was raining cats and dogs. Fortunately for us, the barn had a door with an overhang and a pretty cool porch on the side . We popped open our umbrellas and made our way out into the weather. It was raining really hard but the girls were really good sports about it!
My kids braved the rain to come out and watch and proved to be quite effective at eliciting some genuine smiles. At one point, I think that my son was pretending to eat his foot and I'm pretty sure that there was some mocking of me going on too. Not that I care, mock me all you want as long as we get some quality shots!!
I really love the pink shoes, so cute and so girly.
They are all such great kids with their own wonderful personalities. The youngest is much like our youngest: very much a mind of her own, chock full of spunk and personality. The oldest is very deliberate, you can tell that she thinks everything through. She's also very protective of her sisters. And the middle sister? Well she is just the cutest thing ever. She's a little reserved but she's always quick with a smile that lights up those gorgeous eyes of hers.
I hope that we got something that they like but the weather made us rush so much that I wouldn't mind having an opportunity to do it over again with a little more time and options!
An old, dear friend recently friended me on Facebook and chatted me up a bit. I was thrilled to reconnect and even more thrilled when she kept our chat short. I love to keep up with my friends but my capacity for small talk, online or off, is very small. Some may even say nonexistent and they would be right. As I was thinking about this, I realized that I am way more of a Facebook stalker than a talker. I check on all my friends regularly but I rarely comment and I already mentioned my lack of chatting aptitude. When I mentioned this to my husband, he said that he thought most people were probably like me. I immediately said to myself, "Self, I think I smell a poll coming". So here it is:
This is the pile of laundry that I washed, dried and folded yesterday (this isn't even all of it, there were still another 4 loads in progress). It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well I certainly hope this is true because the words I would write for this pile would be unprintable for this family friendly blog. Happy Friday everyone, have a great weekend!
My daughter and my goddaughters. All 3 have birthdays this week!
Busy birthday week! Yesterday was my daughter's and today is my niece's (and goddaughter) and my mother-in-law's. And on top of that, Sunday is my other niece's (and goddaughter). With all due respect to my mother-in-law and younger goddaughter, my focus today is going to be on my niece that will be 16. 16, unbelievable. 16, that's like a whole new person, a young adult, for lack of a better term. I remember when she was born and how cute she was and how happy I was to meet her. Getting to be her godmother? Well, that was just a huge bonus! Now she's all grown up and beautiful, inside and out. I was going to do a video card but the music copyright issue is so complicated that I have all but discontinued that line of my business. If I did one though I would have used the song "All In" by Lifehouse. I feel that we have definitely not connected as much as I would have liked to in the last couple of years but life is just so busy (too many teenagers involved). But I want her to know that I am all in, always, for whatever she needs, whenever she needs it. Happy birthday, I have really loved knowing the kid, can't wait to know the young adult!
Well it's official, no more single digit ages, everyone is now double digits. You can just imagine how much fun that makes life around here. All kidding aside, this makes me sadder than I thought it would. Almost as much as when I dropped her off at kindergarten all those years ago and shocked the hell out of myself by starting to cry. I NEVER expected to cry. I was so happy for her to finally be able to do what she was dying to do for years: go to school. Since her birthday is in October, she missed the cutoff and was constantly asking when she could go to the "big kids school". We always said she could go when she was 5 so sure enough the morning after her 5th birthday, she came out all dressed. When we asked her where she was going, she said, "To school with the big kids, you told me I could go when I turned 5."
She's such a terrific kid, the personality plus of my family. Sometimes I take advantage of her good nature and I certainly don't her tell nearly enough how awesome she is.
This picture is one of my favorites and it almost wasn't taken. Someone offered to take this picture (sadly I can't even remember who) and I said no but they insisted. I am so very glad that they did!
Funny side story: Today when we were looking at this picture, she said "I liked your hair like that, I don't like it now, no offense". Umm, how am I supposed to respond to this? Usually I would say none taken, but hey this time I said, offense taken. Just kidding, well I did say that but I was only kidding when I said it.
Happy birthday, I love you loads!
Yesterday I was blog stalking (confession time: I am a serious photo blog stalker). One of the blogs I was visiting was Melissa Jill, a fantastic photographer and advocate for autism. She recently added some terrific pictures of her sister's family which includes 2 autistic sons. Her post made me think of this letter that I read last spring while I was the teacher in a TLC classroom for six weeks. The most amazing thing about this letter, it was written by a fifth grader. How much better would the world be if adults were all this self-aware and together, never mind kids?
Much like the cowbell in this classic Saturday Night Live skit, we always need more Brendan on the blog! Well, he's back to help me showcase a new product. He (or more accurately his mom) has been my human guinea pig for this whole senior picture process. Need to know if I like taking senior pictures, ask Brendan if you can take his. Need to know if my monitor is properly calibrated, print out pictures of Brendan. Want to see what a collage looks like printed, make one of Brendan. Need to know how to submit a picture for the yearbook, ask his mom to find out and let you know.
Speaking of his mother, she has been thrilled with all the results, most especially the fact that Brendan didn't totally hate the process. In fact, some things he has actually liked. When she showed him the collage, he said, "Wow, thanks for doing that." Anyone with teenagers knows how rare a spontaneous, heartfelt thank you is and how great it can make you feel. And if it's a boy and it's for a picture of themselves, well unprecedented.
The football team lost last night and since I was at home sitting on my couch in my pjs (not my pink plaid ones), I cannot take the blame. But I would gladly still be on the hook if it meant they won. Not that I believe in any of that superstitious stuff, anyway. My family has never all sat in the same exact game seats every week, or not let someone go to the bathroom, or not let a different someone even in the room, or turned our rally caps inside out, or forced everybody to wear the same clothes every week. And no one ever blamed the Patriots' loss in Super Bowl XX on me having to go back to college. No, my family would never do that. We're WAY too smart for that.
Anyway, now I can go to homecoming next week without fear of recrimination, and the week after, when Stoughton hopefully will be featured on High School Friday on Fox 25. Click here to cast your vote for Stoughton.
I have 3 daughters and 1 son. Guess what he's decided to be for Halloween? A girl, like we need more of those around here. He's got the whole thing planned too, right down to the dress and heels. At least we can pass his "costume" on to his younger sister.
Last night I went out with a friend to a fundraiser at My Brother's Keeper (by the way, we were very impressed with the facility and operation) and then a bar where we had a couple of drinks and ate bacon cheese fries. So let's see, fundraiser = really good thing, bar and cheese fries = maybe not such a good thing. I think that anytime that you can balance good and not so good all in one night, then it has to qualify as a perfect night.
Driving along yesterday, I saw a beautiful spot on the side of the road. Luckily I had grabbed my camera before I left (LOVE when that happens) so I was able to capture the picture up top and these pictures:
A while back, a friend and I were talking about photography. Much like me, he loves photography and is pretty good at it. Anyway we were talking about how discouraging photography can be at times because there is too much emphasis on gear and stuff. He said that he used to read photography magazines but doesn't anymore. Then he said something that really stuck with me. He said that he doesn't want to be a professional, he just wants to take great pictures of his kids. While I agreed with him about the gear issue, I realized that his goal wasn't my goal, for a couple of different reasons. One, I'm bored with taking pictures of my kids. Two, once I take the pictures, what do I do with them? And three, no one in my house appreciates them anyway. Appreciates them, ha! I'll settle for not getting yelled at every time I try to take a picture or two. We are also currently in a bit of a milestone free zone around here so we don't even have any events on the horizon. So I decided to do the next best thing: take pictures of other people's kids. And since people think you are weird if you just randomly take pictures of their kids but a professional if you charge them to take the same pictures, I guess I will also be making a little bit of extra money. Speaking of other people's kids, this is my goddaughter, is she not the cutest thing??
This picture pretty accurately represents how I felt yesterday when my day was finally over. This is an actual account of my day: drive to one school to drop off my daughter, drive to another school to teach 3rd grade (I'm a substitute teacher). Finish work then drive back to first school to pick up kids, then drive home. Kids fight incessantly making the 2 minute ride seem more like 2 hours. Drive to friends' neighborhood to pick up kids for CCD. Teach 6th grade CCD. Drive everyone home. Go home for 45 minutes and eat dinner (luckily my husband made dinner). Drive back to same neighborhood and pick up different kids for next class of CCD (my night to carpool, I don't always have to do this, thank God). Drive home. Pick up kids at CCD at 8:30 and drive everyone back to same neighborhood. Arrive home and crawl into bed. I know that many moms are right now nodding along and saying yup sounds about right. Well I say pat yourself on the back for a job well done, or better yet, pour yourself a big glass of wine!
Also a big pat on the back to my awesome friends. Otherwise I would have to add a trip to the high school to pick up my daughter at practice AND do this every single week.
So for all those that asked (well, just my mother in law): yes, the football team won but no, I didn't go. Although I heard that I got blamed for a lightning delay but I refuse to take the blame for bad weather, the games I went to were beautiful. Anyway, I didn't go, they won and I got thanked on Facebook for not going. Good times. At least I'm not banned yet so I can still go to homecoming. But if they start losing the game, then I'll leave. Promise!
Speaking of rain, if you are excited that it is raining out because you think that you can get some really cool rainy/muddy pictures, then maybe you are becoming more than someone that just snaps pictures. My friend and I were talking about this the other day and she told me she has started thinking like that too. As in, I'll have to bring some gallon bags to the game to help Suzanne keep her camera dry so she can get some good muddy shots. Glad she's thinking that way since I already had it planned that she would hold the umbrella for me.
Funny side story about weather: when my nephew was in kindergarten or first grade, he had a neighbor that was a little, um, overprotected (coddled!). Anyway one drizzly day, my nephew was being an itch so my sister said, "Why don't you go see if Paul* can come out and play?" My nephew said, with total disdain, "No, he doesn't go outside in weather."
*name changed to protect the coddled
Okay I want it noted, I am not bad luck everywhere. Yesterday, I went to the football games of 2 of my nephews, Michael and Danny and I saw not one but two victories. Each team needed a win to keep their respective playoff hopes alive so it was must win games for both teams. Michael and Danny each played a huge part in their teams' victories. I think I heard each of their names about 856 times. The good news for me is that if I get banned from our games, then at least I can still get my football fix! And you know how I love my football fix.
It was perfect weather to take in a couple of games too, just the right amount of crisp to the air. I got there during the third quarter of Michael's game and they were losing. They came back in the 4th quarter to ultimately prevail 16 -14. He's a captain of the team and takes a lot of pride in his game as he should because he's really good and more importantly, he plays the game right.
Last night we had dinner at the restaurant of an old friend. He's been in business for 17 years and it just keeps getting better and better. If you are in the market for a delicious dinner with plentiful portions, then you need to get over to Gennaro's Eatery in Quincy. It's like an old fashioned family restaurant. Not everyone who works there is family, but they have been there so long that they might as well be. Our waitress last night used to wait on us before we were married. The last time she saw our youngest daughter, she still looked like this:
Of course, the gang at Gennaro’s has seen all of our kids at a similar age. They’ve catered all of our Christenings and First Communions. We even had our wedding rehearsal dinner there. I would love to show a picture but since it happened in the dark ages before digital cameras, I can't find any!
Last night, we spent just under $100 for 4 people: 3 adult beverages each, 2 entrees, a pizza, a kids meal, a slice of chocolate cake, a piece of tiramisu, and 2 cannoli – not to mention the giant chocolate chip cookies that the owner let the kids pick out as we were leaving. We had enough leftovers to feed all of us for lunch and dinner the next day. It's kind of a small place so sometimes there can be a wait, and the waiting area is a little awkwardly placed, but he provides complimentary pizza and assorted breads as you wait. Once you get to your table, it will definitely be worth the wait!
He just started a Facebook business page so I would love it if everyone would take a moment to "like" his page. Better yet, go have dinner there, and like it real life, too.