Pictures from Florida

When we went to Florida, we had family photos taken by Kelle Hampton.  We also did a balloon release to honor Mara during the photo shoot.  It was a lovely and very sacred hour of my life, and I’ve treasured the memories of it since then.  Now, I have the photos, too!

I’ll do a separate post with the balloon release photos.  This will be just family photos.

New York City, Part 1

We’ve come to this area of Pennsylvania several times in the past, but I didn’t realize until afterward that it’s really close to New York City!  Visiting that city has made its way onto my bucket list, and knowing we were going to be three hours away and had a weekend with nothing to do added up to a big, fat opportunity that was too good to miss.  We originally planned to go into the city Saturday morning, stay overnight and come back to Pennsylvania Sunday night, but after considering how many logistics we’d have to deal with (which luggage to take overnight, finding a place to park, taking the train, hauling said luggage through the train and city) we decided to make it a day trip.  Which was good; perfect, really.  While I enjoyed the city, once I was there I didn’t have a burning desire to stay forever.  When toting a five-year-old anywhere other than Disney World, day trips seem to fit the bill!

We got up early and took off in our car to Trenton, New Jersey, to catch the train into the city.

Check out Gabe’s tired eyes!  He did pretty well all day, mostly whining about not wanting to walk any further, but woah!  Did we ever pay for the lack of sleep the next day!  We’re trying to get back on track, which is a little tricky in hotel rooms.  But we’ll get there!

Sometimes I feel a little sad when I look at these photos.  When the three of us are off on adventures, it’s often Tahd and Gabe doing their thing while I tag along.  They don’t purposefully leave me out; usually Tahd is trying to give me a little break and Gabe is thrilled to be getting some daddy time.  But it makes the whole “one child” thing ever so poignant.

We had NO clue what we were doing when it came to catching the train, so I asked some other passengers, who kindly explained what we should be doing.  We had hoped to catch an earlier train, but due to a later start and a few uncertain turns, we arrived a little bit late, which was nice because it gave us a few minutes to sit and breathe!

I think this might be my most favorite picture from the whole day.  We were waiting for the train and I just happened to catch a natural smile on Gabe’s face.  I don’t catch those very often!

My outlook on the world became very clear to me on the train.  As we boarded, I noticed there were a few seats near the exits that had individual seats.  While most rows had seats of 2 or 4 spots so travelers could sit together, there were just a few solo seats.  Where did Gabe go immediately?  To the solo seats, the spot for the introverts.  I chuckled because I’ve long wondered whether I’m an introvert or extrovert, feeling I land pretty close to center.  That moment, however, indicated otherwise to me.  The solo seats?  Look lonely and sad to me.  I would never choose to sit there if I had the option to hang out with someone I knew!  Gabe?  Relished the “solo-ness” of it all!  He played on my itouch for a good portion of the trip.

After about an hour and a half, we arrived!  Penn Station!  New York City!  I tried to take a picture of the sign as we disembarked the train, but the rush of people moved too quickly and this was all I could catch as the crowd carried me toward the escalators.

We found our bearings, found the exit, and walked out into the daylight to see… this!




I looked around, expecting it to sparkle or something.  But it didn’t.  Not one bit.  In fact, I thought it was pretty dirty and smelly.  And then we saw what I assume was a prostitute walking down the road, oblivious to the fact that her




was completely see-through and I could observe the way her lower cheeks shook beside her g-string while she walked.

And I giggled.  And decided to go along for the ride and enjoy the day.  Because even stinky and dirty?  NYC is still NYC.  And skyscrapers are really cool any way you slice it.

We made what I consider to be the best decision of our lives, or at least the best decision of the day.  We decided to get bus tickets to one of those double decker buses – the ones where you hop on and off at your leisure.  The tickets cost a small fortune, but I really believe the bus enabled us to see far more of the city than we could have otherwise seen.  And they were a lifesaver as far as Gabe was concerned.  That child walked 30,000 steps in 14 hours while we were at Disney World, but within 15 minutes of arriving in New York he expressed positive devastation over the amount of walking we were forcing him to do.

Ironically, we ran into Mickey while we were in New York.

But I’ll be honest – this was gross Mickey.  He didn’t look right, begged for tips, and screamed of “I’m-a-pedophile-under-here-trying-to-make-a-buck-and-get-a-cheap-thrill” at the street fair.

And don’t you love Gabe’s gangsta hat?

But I digress.  Back to the bus.

Guess where Gabe sat again?  Yup, alone.

Until some random guy got on the bus and sat in the tour guide’s seat and she – the same tour guide who talked ad nauseum about all the cheap goods and cheap labor in NYC and who also told us where “the gays like to go so they can find more of their kind” – berated him publicly over the loudspeaker and he moved and sat beside Gabe and then Gabe came to sit on our laps.  I pretended it was because he missed us and just wanted to be together, but I know it was really because although sitting alone is most preferable, sitting with someone you know is more preferable than sitting with someone you don’t know.

He and Tahd spent a lot of time on the bus like this.

I spent a lot of time taking crazy photos.  Like this

and this

and this.

Part 2 later so I don’t implode my computer (and probably everyone else’s) by trying to link to too many photos at one time!

Stream of Consciousness

1.  Scrapbooking

For a long time I’ve been wanting to try my hand at digital scrapbooking.  When Designer Digitals had their Christmas in July sale I picked up a few templates and overlays on sale.  I didn’t have a chance to try it out until this week, but so far I’m generally pleased with the results.

This page was made from one of Ali Edwards’ layouts.  In all the pages, most of the overlays are things I purchased from Designer Digitals, and the papers and accents are things I downloaded for free, probably from Two Peas.

For the next ones, I made my own templates based on some Ali Edwards’ template designs.

We have a road trip coming up, and I’m looking forward to completing a few more pages while we’re traveling.  My hope is to upload them to Shutterfly to create a bound book of our Florida trip.

2.  Hoarders

Dude… I SO need to go clean my house.  Why am I watching this show on tv?  I do not want to turn into one of those people!  Perhaps I should take this sign I noticed on our trip to Champaign as inspiration?

3.  Sleep

I have the best husband in the world.  He has let me sleep approximately 47 out of the last 48 hours.  Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration.  But he did let me sleep until noon both days, and yesterday I took an afternoon nap!  My sleep has been a bit erratic lately, and it has felt good to get caught up.

4.  The Rest of My Days A.L.O.N.E.

I successfully painted my bathroom vanity, my bookshelf, my entryway, and my living room.  I started the dining room but didn’t finish it, and I don’t have plans to finish it until Gabe starts school.  The colors left me a little uneasy at first, but as I’ve lived with them they’ve grown on me.  I can’t wait to get the dining room done!

Instead of painting, I spent the rest of my days doing fun things like shopping with my sisters and helping my mom set up her new iPod Touch.  Painting is fun, but family is better!  And let’s face it – a little Anthropologie does a body good.

Gabe had a great time at camp.  I loved getting him up and having an “official” breakfast each day rather than snacking.  Here he is reading his magazine while he eats.  He looks so grown up!  Be still my heart!

I loved packing a lunch for him, too.  I didn’t think of it the first day, but the second day I tucked a note in his bag along with his food.  It was quite a hit!  I pilfered the notes out of his bag each night and tucked them away for safekeeping – not before taking a photo, though.

5.  We Love Daddy

Tahd came home late Thursday night, and once he got here it seemed like everything was okay again!  Not that the week had gone poorly – it hadn’t.  But I’m always a little out of sorts when he’s gone, and Gabe and I both love it when he comes home.  Gabe especially loves bedtime with Daddy!

It’s just so sweet!

The One Where I Freak Out

So I’m pretty much in freak out mode around here.  I’m making a valiant effort at holding everything together, but on the inside I’m a silly mess of quivering nerves!

  1. Tahd went away and left us at home for the first time since we lost Mara.  He has been around daily since that weekend, and this is a little unsettling.  I relearned how to be okay, but it was all contingent on him being around.  (Codependent much?) Now I need to be okay on my own.
  2. We could have gone with him, but Gabe wanted to sign up for a sports camp through our church.  It is ALL day, EVERY day for the entire week.
  3. Which means we have to get up early so I can take him to camp.  I hate mornings.
  4. And means I’m going to spend the bulk of my day A.L.O.N.E!!!!!!!!
  5. I thought this would be blissful.
  6. But I’m already feeling a little lonely!
  7. I thought it would be a good dry run for us – he’d see what a full day of stuff is like and I’d see what a full day of being alone is like.  I’ve been looking forward to it all along.  Now that it’s here?  Whew!  I can’t tell which end is up!
  8. To busy myself, I’ve been listing projects I could complete.  First up?  Paint the bathroom vanity.  I have 90% of that job complete already.  Up next?  I DON’T KNOW!  Because I’m too anxious to decide!  Hopefully I didn’t use up all my initiative today on the vanity!
  9. What I really want to be doing?  Writing on a project I’ve been working on.  But I can’t. Because when I’m alone I keep the tv on a lot, and it’s hard to think straight while Rob Drydek is demolishing people’s cars and “skateboarding” with a small motorized vehicle.  Or when Candy Crowley is carrying on about the state of the world.  I know.  I have eclectic tastes in tv programming.


You have been my voice of reason for 14 weeks (longer, but especially these 14).

You have done every stitch of laundry, every bit of heavy lifting, without one complaint.

You talked sense into me.

You let me be me.

You didn’t overreact.  But you took me to the hospital anyway.

You fathered our son through tremendous pain (yours, min, and his) elegantly.  Honestly.

You grieved for me.

You told me I deserved more.

You grieved with me.

You opened yourself wide and bared your soul.  In the hospital. At home. At the hospital again. At home again.

You let me see where I had hurt you.

You forgave me.

You never left me alone.

You signed your name next to mine, the hardest signature I’ve ever signed.

You let me say horridly scary things to you and didn’t freak out.

You still hope.

You have been my strength when I have been beyond fragile.

You have been broken with me.

You were there for me.

You are there for me.

You are my life.

I could not do this without you.

I love you, Tahddie.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...