Monday, May 31, 2010

this one is cute too

Not as cute as the black one, but it does confirm that it's been a while since I shopped for a swimsuit.

~~Available at Nordstrom's and only $186.

~~Oh wait, if I want the bottom too, I'll need to fork over another $102.

The black one is still my favorite but not just because the price is less. More because it reminds me of this photo. Isn't she stunning?

another mother's day

Mom and I went to the cemeteries yesterday. Not her usual Sunday activity, but she didn't think she would have time to go today because she planned to go to the temple at 7:00 a.m. to gather up a bunch of "gorgeous" (and free) pansies--pink! purple! and other colors!--that would be dug up and tossed out.

Mom always has a plan for the mum-giving holiday. (If that isn't a bit of commercial genius, I don't know what is. Seriously, don't you think the geranium growers and potted rose growers are beating themselves about the head for not seeing that opportunity before the mum growers? How and when did we decide that the convenience of buying the same mums that everyone else buys--3 for $10 or $12--was better or more acceptable than a bough of lilacs or snowballs or an iris or peony picked from our gardens?)

Mom is not always completely forthcoming with her plans. (Note previous recent post about dad's party that mom scheduled on my calendar from 1:00-4:00 but other people were told anywhere from noon to 6:00.)

Yesterday was no exception to her less-than-full-disclosure rule. I did not know we have family buried in the city cemetery until we got on the freeway and headed north. But when she called to ask if I'd accompany her yesterday, someplace in me decided it was time to go with her flow and enjoy the ride. And I did and she did, all the way from the cemetery on the hill to the other three cemeteries we visited. We were together for hours as she told me stories and histories, and she was in heaven even as she tried to find the final resting places she and dad have chosen.

You know, the older I get, the more I see her in me. Her gestures and glances pop out of me regularly. But yesterday, as she talked and I listened, I was fascinated by the tremendous difference between us in the basic way we view life. She prefers to acknowledge that life is full of all sorts of events, and all events in life are to be endured, accepted, and moved past, because there is no sense in agonizing over that which you cannot change. Her concept of living is foreign to me. I don't know if I feel more deeply, but I certainly agonize over much that I cannot change. I always think I can change events. I think I can control all. Obviously, I cannot control most events and thus circle back to fretting and stewing.

As I type this, I wonder if we are really so different after all. Maybe the thing we both want is to be in control of our feelings and emotions and lives. She finds control in moving past while I find control in lingering. I suspect that neither of us has any too much control over most of the events of life. But we keep trying, we do what we do, and we are different yet the same.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

but then today

Yes, I've been a bit down of late. Okay, maybe more than a bit.

In an effort to count my many blessings, I offer these:

1. Yardsailing with Sugar this morning.
2. Road trip to the cabin property with Jack and JoJo.
3. Side trip to Jessie's on the way to the cabin property.
4. Much wandering and driving and pondering and planning with Jack in an effort to determine the best possible future cabin location on our lot.
5. Said road trip with JoJo, the amazing dog who did not, even one time, barf or poop in the truck on said trip.
6. Bravely releasing Jo from the truck at the property and realizing that she does come when she is called, she has quite the nose for sniffing out all kinds of scents at the property, and she will very likely remember exactly where she left her blue squeaky ball at the property. And she is not about to back down in a barking contest with the property neighbor's old collie. (There is seriously no comparison between the high pitched yelping of a collie and the deep wolf-like howl of our Jo.)
7. Watching the dad and his three little boys in the car in front of us on I-15, doing their best to get the semi drivers to honk, and seeing their joy when they were successful.
8. Returning home to find that Jr was in the mood to clean, and my bathrooms, carpet, and kitchen are shiny clean and/or vacuumed, and my grass has been cut to perfection.

Friday, May 28, 2010

what? more whining?

If you'd worked for your boss for six years,
You just might find yourself with sad tears,
On a day like today
Packed his stuff, on his way--
Forced out--more than i can endures.

hm. let's try that again.

honest attorney
lover of treats and so smart
is management nuts?


today, i watched my boss empty out his desk, clean off his bookshelves, and walk out the door for the last time as my boss far too soon. this man is the most honest, decent attorney i will ever know. i have never once questioned his legal opinions or his integrity. he supported and encouraged me in any educational endeavor we dreamed up, gave me countless assignments that were huge learning opportunities for me, and answered my constant questions whenever i walked through his always open door. he was funny and fun in the office and regularly brought in fresh fruit or donuts to share. he is married to an amazing woman who is astoundingly upbeat who regularly stopped by the office bearing treats from local cupcake shops and bakeries. together, they have endured more, worked harder, and lived life more fully than most of us ever will. i hope they are headed off to great new adventures that will last for many years.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

i want this

So, I read a certain fashion/style blog (see link to cardigan empire and please close your gaping mouth. I said I read it, obviously I don't necessarily follow the advice. But I might.)

So. This swimsuit was recommended on the fashion/style blog. It's from Anthropologie.

Isn't it perfect? Boy shorts legs. Scrunchy belly. Adorable tie around the neck. And black.

If it were possible to be in love with an item of clothing, this swimsuit would be the object of my affection. I would snuggle up with it and watch movies and drink diet coke.

But. Um. Excuse me, maybe it's been longer than I realized since I bought a swimsuit, but do swimsuits really cost $148? But if they do cost that much, wouldn't this one be totally worth it? Even if I never wear it? Um. I think it is. I mean, look at that criss-crossy top. Adorable.

still crazy after all these years

Stu asked me the other day how my parents met and I realized I didn't know that story. Or I've stored the memory in some part of my mind that I cannot access anymore. So I asked my mom and this is her version of the story:

Mom said that she was engaged to a guy she knew in high school. Gramma sent my mom to stay with an aunt for a month during the summer after she graduated from high school, and while mom was away, the fiance dated someone else. Of course, mom's girlfriends told her all about it when she returned, so she broke the engagement. (Dad had also been engaged to someone else and broken the engagement).

Mom said this was all shortly after WWII, and not many people had cars because of the rationing that had gone on during the war, but dad returned from the war with his buddy ("Gears"), who had been injured during the war, and dad and Gears both bought their own 1947 Oldsmobile--dad's was blue and Gears' was brown and cream and had been outfitted with hand controls so he could drive it. Mom said the guys drove those cars all over town every day after they got through working at the smelter. She knew dad, but at 27, he was a confirmed bachelor. She knew his friends and his family and had even gone to a dance or two with his youngest brother. Everybody knew everybody.

Mom said she asked her friend, JoAnn, to tell her boyfriend, Erk (yeh, I know, these names sound made up, but they are real)--anyway, she asked JoAnn to get one of Erk's friends to ask her on a date, but to make sure it wasn't that Billy J. JoAnn came over to mom's house one night and when JoAnn opened the door to see who was there, it was Erk with Billy J.

The guys came in and they all sat around and talked and apparently flirted a bit because dad pocketed a $5 necklace mom had bought and was wearing and he wouldn't give it back. He left with the necklace. A week later, she saw dad and told him she wanted her necklace back. Of course, he said she could have it back when she agreed to date him, so they set a date to go to a movie and he returned the necklace.

Mom said that dad started dropping by her parents' house after work and often they would go to eat at a local restaurant that had "really good chicken sandwiches." It was a place that dad liked to go to for a cup of coffee and it was the place where he talked her into drinking coffee by adding plenty of cream and sugar.

After a few weeks, mom told dad that if he wanted to see her, he could at least call to see if she was busy. A few days later, another guy asked her out on a date and she said yes. As mom prepared to leave with the new guy, Gramma asked what she should do when Billy showed up and mom said she'd told him that he needed to call her first. Dad showed up and was "furious" when she was out with someone else. They didn't see each other until she stopped at the SilverBell gas station that he worked at part time. They sat in his car and talked and listened to the radio. (She told me the name of "their" song that came on the radio, but I can't remember what it was--something about how much somebody missed somebody.)

I guess the rest is history. They started dating around Halloween, got engaged for Christmas (he put the ring in the pocket of a robe he bought for her), and were married on March 14, 1952.

I guess the amazing part to me is they are still together after all these years. On dad's birthday, my aunt (who married dad's youngest brother) and I were in mom's kitchen with her, and mom was telling my aunt about the most recent disagreement between mom and dad (the argument because she planned a surprise party and did so much work for it, which caused him to leave as the guests were arriving--yeh, I know, crazy). Anyway, mom said he was mad at her, and I said, yeh, they're fighting again, and my mom said they weren't fighting, and I said they fought all of the time, and mom said no we don't, and my aunt said yes you do, all of the time, and I said, yep, all of the time, and my mom said, "Fine Deal."

And that is the best example I can give of reality in mom's world.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

what a day. even for me.

I'm not going to lie, today was a busy one. And in a completely unrelated note, the new masthead is a shot of the mother's day roses from Jack that I found on my camera, and this is one of my favorite recent pictures of me:

Today is my dad's 85th birthday. My mom came so close to pulling off a surprise party, but dad figured it out shortly before guests began arriving and decided it was the perfect time to have my brother and his grandson, Brayden, take him to Ace Hardware to buy a magnifying glass for Brayden. By the time they got back, dad had calmed down and seemed to enjoy seeing his brother, sisters, nieces, nephews, kids, grandkids, neighbors, and friends.

Stu got this shot of dad explaining something critically important to Brayden and his mom, my niece, Emily.

Dad's beef about having such a big deal for him is that mom works too hard putting it all together, and she does. She won't let anybody help. Not even my cousin who offered to bring a fruit tray (since her husband is a local produce guy). She finally agreed that my sister-in-law could bring her favorite pasta salad. And she agreed that I could bring pies after I told her I had planned to give dad a pie for his birthday (although she also bought a huge chocolate cake, a berry cake, and a heap of sweet breads).

Dad's other complaint is that mom has to be telling everybody what to do. I have no idea what he is talking about, but I did find this picture was on my camera today--it's a shot of a sticky note that is taped over one of the light switches in my mom's house. (In case you can't tell, it says, "Don't Touch-Shuts off TV")

When I woke up around 5:30 this morning, I got up and started making pies, until Sugar texted to see if I wanted to yard sail. Of course I wanted to yard sail, so Jack agreed to swap baked for unbaked pies in the oven. I got back home, calmer and happier, just as Jack was preparing to go to the instacare for antibiotics. Poor Jack.

And, in another unrelated note, I found this shot on my camera of the drummer with his girl and one of sweet Audrey--

Mom neglected to tell me she'd told people the party/open house would begin at noon and end at 6:00. At some point, I realized there was no way she was going to be able to get all of the leftover food she'd bought and prepared collected and back into the fridge, so my brother and I started hauling it all back into the house and after only two hours, it was all safely in the fridge and the massive quantities of bowls and serving platters and silverware were washed, dried, and put away. The pie was all gone. Except for the one I put aside in the house for dad.

Then it was time to go home and play like I was Paul McCartney and Janey was John Lennon.

Can you see the resemblance? You may call me Sir. Just don't wake me for a while.

Friday, May 21, 2010

falling. again.

I may or may not have mentioned before how very much I do not like it when I fall down. And I'm not talking metaphorically here, although the whole emotional fall down is a bummer too.

Let me recap. The past few days/weeks/months have been a series of ups and downs. This week, for example, was good because of the frequency of visits with the adorable girlies. The always entertaining Audrey and little Ms Ellie came home with Jack and me after work on Wednesday evening and it was delightful. We played outside, we ate McNuggets, we played princesses, we played ball with JoJo, we watched Ms E as she stood, alone, debating in her mind whether or not she was ready to make the effort to walk from the doorway to Jack's chair, marking her first possible steps (she wasn't), and we laughed as she played dog games with JoJo (dog slide, dog tasting, dog patting, dog kissing on the lips, etc.). The girls were happy and funny and cuddly and wonderful.

Jack and I had lunch yesterday with Jessie and her girls--Ms Jane, who seems terrified whenever another kid comes near, but speaks so very clearly and adorably and yet had the biggest issues with spillage of chocolate milk we've seen in a while, requiring a stop for a new outfit before heading to the aquarium. And Breanne who is now big enough to climb all the way to the very top of the play area at McD's, making sure other kids know she is coming down the slide and questioning why they are coming up the slide, all the while keeping her arm straight, protecting her bandaged elbow, which had been scraped in a fall on the steps, just before leaving their house, releasing her wailing, "BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD bloodbloodblood!! Blood! Mom! Blood!" She also pointed out that she had spilled cookie crumbs or something equally messy in her lap that would require purchase of a new outfit for her as well.

And through it all, Sweet Cailin slept, because morning is her best nap time.

Then last night we got some bonus time with Jessie's family after a trip south to a meeting of property owners in the mountain subdivision where our cabin property is located--a discussion about revising articles of incorporation and improving the water system and such. The highlight of the evening came later at Jessie's when I read one of my favorite books, "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back," to the girls. Years ago, I read that book and its forerunner over and over while waiting in the doctor's or dentist's office with the drummer or Jr.

Ah, but, of course, there were the downs--learning that my boss, my mentor, my friend, is leaving the company. Next Friday is his last day. I can't really post much about it, but it has been a painful situation. Painful enough that I even considered leaving the best job I've ever had.

But then this morning, I met with the new guy who plans to keep me around, doing the job I enjoy, keeping the remaining staff in tact and adding a new attorney.

And now that things at work are decided, and settling a bit, I know my boss will be okay. Of course, we'll have to train the new attorney when he or she arrives, but still.

After the meeting with the new guy, on the way down the stairs back to my office, it happened--The Fall.

Yes, I fell down the stairs at work. Not all the way down, just down the last three steps. Just? Just? It was like being in Jr High again except I fell down instead of up and there weren't dozens of teenagers laughing at me.

But it was the same slow motion movie--everything is going fine and then all of sudden, my brain realizes my foot has made a serious, perhaps fatal mistake and my right hand grips the rail tightly, somehow misunderstanding that even though I have pretty substantial wrists, one of them by itself is really not strong enough to hold up the rest of my carb-diet-sized body.

Good old reliable physics takes over and there I am, twisting and grasping and slamming into solid surfaces because-hello!--a body in motion stays in motion. Before I knew it, my knees were pretending they were feet, landing at the bottom of the stairs, and my face somehow, miraculously stopped its high-speed rush, just a breath away from the metal handrail, saving my beauty and my freckles and perhaps even my brain from damage.

I knew instantly that my left wrist was the body part that stepped up and took one for the team. The wrist contacted the rail, or at least, I think it was the rail. In a stroke of luck or good fortune (really?) it was more of a broad slam than a pointed contact, so nothing broke. Not the wrist, not the rail. I'm thinking this is a good indication of my bone density and the strength of steel.

Now, nearly 12 hours later, I'm becoming more and more aware of all the parts that were involved in the fall. And I'm pretty much convinced that even though there was no outward indication of blood associated with my fall, there is definitely somewhere inside of me that is wailing, "MOM!!BLOODBLOODBLOOD!!!"

And I need a bandage. Everywhere.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

on the one hand

I'm back. But not so much.

On the one hand, my sinus infection/strep throat is almost all better. On the other hand, I've adopted the "if under stress, eat carbs and gain weight" mentality.

On the one hand, I planted five or more varieties of ground covers, adding blues and pinks and purples to the yellows and whites of spring out back. On the other hand, I haven't had time to plant the lilies, peonies, dahlias, or gladioli that Jr picked out.

On the one hand, I have a job that is interesting and pays well. On the other hand, over 200 more employees will be laid off tomorrow, which will almost cut in half my company's work force since last year at this time. Almost half--several thousand people--in just one year.

On the one hand, I realized today that if I were laid off, we would have to cut back on the eating out and such, but we'd be okay. On the other hand, I realized that I'll likely keep working until the day I die, trading money for moments.

On the one hand, it was very freeing to realize I have options. On the other hand, it is such a downer to realize I'll probably not exercise those options.

On the one hand, I talked to all of my kids and the drummer's girl yesterday and I spent precious time with all of the girlies last weekend. On the other hand, the drummer is once again halfway around the world, or perhaps just halfway across the country, and I miss him already.

On the one hand, my glass is far more than half full. But on the other hand, how can that feel so empty?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

how sick am i?

Remember when I went to math class and took my final and got an A even though I was starting with some headcoldishness?

I thought I had not only earned the A in math but also overcome the headcoldishness. Oh, but I was wrong.

I am feeling so sick that I--

1. Am taking antibiotics.
2. Have been home from work all week.
3. Feel worse today than yesterday.
4. Had a weird sickness-induced dream this morning that included me feeling unable to wake up, Jack helping me to the shower, me wetting myself, me waking up to the screams of the girlies who were startled by a little green lizard, me naked outside, and me struggling mightily to get away from the massive hoards of little brown devil lizards that were everywhere~Everywhere!~ in my parent's home with me.
5. Couldn't enjoy the chinese food Jr brought me for lunch.
6. Got the fortune cookie that says, "YOUR DREAMS WILL BECOME REALITY."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

if ever there was a good mother's day

It was this year.

I was a bit concerned because there was a lot of pressure on Mother's Day this year around here. But it was all good and included the following:

1. Warm tea and pink tulips early in the day. Plus washing of the adorable car.
2. 516 new sudoku puzzles from Jack (in addition to a couple of other books).
3. Easy as pie study group. With pie. And pie making. With the drummer and his girl. And Jr.
4. Speed food prep with Jr that should have been videotaped because we.were.amazing.
5. Hugs and kisses and more "GRAMMA, You Here!" than anybody deserves. Well. Almost anybody.
6. Friendly new perennials and welcome old favorites for the gardens.
7. A sweet card from an adorable girl.
8. A delightful new bag, made specially for me, from my own girl.
9. My own glittery gold crown from my princesses.
10. The Beatles--Rock Band game for classic rockin' out in the theatre.

Jack also picked out the most magnificent bouquet of roses I've seen in a long time. Not sure if he bought them because I'm such a great wife or to show how much he loves the mother of his children or if he was simply overwhelmed by their deep red/creamy white beauty and familiar scent. May have been all of the above.

Or maybe it's my newly identified math skills?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

the emotional nature of motherhood

How is it that as a society, we have agreed to pick one day out of every year to acknowledge mothers and shower them with public displays of our love and appreciation for them?

How can one day possibly live up to the expectations put upon it?

How can we children of our mothers find the perfect expression of our gratitude for our mothers?

I don't have any of the answers. I do know that the journey along the road of motherhood/daughterhood can be smooth or bumpy, curved or straight, uphill and down. Sometimes, it is a bright sunny day and sometimes it is a dark scary night. And sometimes, there are spills and accidents. But hopefully, more often than not, it is a great ride with amazing views and we can find everything we need on our journey.

I don't know what's going on, but in recent months, I've noted that I have my gramma's soft, saggy cheeks, my mother's thin-skinned hands, and in photos, I tilt my head to the side just like my mom does. I'm sure those are only a few of the similarities between me and the females who came before me in my family. I still occasionally find myself pushing back against the moments when my mother's words spurt out of my mouth and I wonder, "Did I just say that?"

And while I'm sure there are things I've done that my mother would never do and there are things she's done that I'd never do, and the same holds true for my gramma and my daughter, but there are many more things that we have in common. I am of them and they are of me.

The best job I could ever have had is being a mother. It is my best work. And I love these women every one.

And now I think I'll go watch Steel Magnolias. Or make dinner. :)

Happy Mother's Day to all.

Friday, May 7, 2010

you are so proud of me

Yes, you officially know a Math 1010 A student.

Oh yeah. Me! MEMEMEMEMEME!!!!! An A. IN MATH! A. Go ahead. Say it out loud. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

For the first time ever in my life or yours, I got an A in math. Which replaces the C+ I got in the class nearly three years ago, just before I got the crazy.

Wait. Maybe that's it. You need a bit of crazy (or in my case, a bunch) in order to get math?

I am, as the kids say, down with that.


And in case you wondered, I got 83% on my final. 25 correct out of 30. With no extra credit and no essay. And now I get to take another math class next semester.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

and now we are home

I had hoped just the tiniest little bit to have more photos to post today. Last night Jack and I discussed whether we should go to Valley Forge or to Ocean City to visit the boardwalk. Valley Forge was considerably closer, but Ocean City has, well, the ocean and a boardwalk.

Sadly, though, we did neither. Poor Jack has come down with a cold, which I suspect is the one I suffered with last week, but, obviously, his is worse, because a) we were on vacation when he got sick, and b) he's a big strong man.

I think I would like it better when he gets sick if he'd just whine and whine. But he doesn't. He becomes stoic, sniffling and clearing his throat and toughing it out. Even with a sore Achilles tendon, which he also is very stoic about. Unlike me, the one who whines and carries on so that everyone knows I am sick. You wouldn't even know he has a mancold if it weren't for the sneezing and coughing and sniffling. Seriously. Poor guy.

So instead of driving around the eastern countryside, we slept some more. And some more. And while photos of the countryside--greenery or beach--would have been lovely, resting as much as we did in the past few days was a delicious rewarding vacation.

ps. One other thing about Philadelphians--they love their napkins. Lots of napkins. Doesn't matter where you are eating, you get a big stack of napkins. Or you can help yourself to a big stack of napkins. Kind of funny in an oddly entertaining laughing at the locals way...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

philly part 2

This is what Philadelphia looks like--we are always on a bridge.

or by a bridge

Or missing the exit before the bridge and ending up in New Jersey.

The other thing that Philadelphia looks like is brick--lots of great old brick

or this architecture--Georgian I think we were told

We went to this place, you may have seen it--Independence Hall

This is the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed--

And this is the room where the Constitution was hammered out.
Big states wanted more representation, little states didn't like that idea.
So they came up with the idea to have two senators and representatives based on population.

This is a device that was used to keep track of slaves, who, obviously, were not originally included in the group of people given certain unalienable rights...

And this is another familiar symbol--yes it has a big crack and hasn't been used for a long time. The crack was considerably smaller until someone tried to repair it.

We were going to check out the Constitution until we realized it costs $11 to see it.
Isn't that one of our rights? To see the Constitution free of charge?
Nope. Which is another reason we all love the internet.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

philly part 1

Jack and I have slept and slept and slept.

We ate at a Burger King today. (Yes, Burger King.) If I based my perception of Philadelphians on our fellow Burger Kingers, I would think they were all aging stars of Jersey Shore--with the accent, skinny kids but really big adults, lots of complaining at the lack of quality/service at the Burger King, and lots of exposed, tattooed skin. Yikes. I guess that's what you get if you choose to eat at Burger King? I just felt sorry for the young skinny girl taking orders and abuse at the Burger King. Apparently people really think that if you go to the Burger King, you should have it your way. Now. Loud. Poor kid.

If you watch any tv here in Philly, you will quickly realize that Joe Sestak is running against Arlen Spector, who was a republican until recently. Sestak is a true democrat (according to his ads) and must have something fishy going on in his past (according to Spector's ads). They debated each other yesterday and excerpts have been all over the tv in addition to the ads they constantly run. The amazing part is that they both admit to supporting the president. Not something I've ever heard my senator say about the current president.

Amazingly, it was almost 90--degrees and percentage of humidity. Seriously, as much as my skin loves the humidity, the rest of me is so glad for our dry heat. And finally, remember that warm chocolate cake and ice cream shared at the hotel is very good.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


My baby is 21 today. Jr is 21. I can't believe how quickly the years go by. I can't believe what a great kid he has grown up to be.

Jr has always been a curious, sensitive, loving, tender, explosive, bright, fun, funny kid. The past 21 years have been a delightful ride with him directing from the back seat. Before he was three years old, we knew he would be in charge, from the moment he announced, from his carseat in the back seat of our Ford Bronco, on the way home from a road trip to California, that he was "The Rule Miester" and he would be making the rules from now on. We all exchanged amused glances, but he was serious. We'd never talked about rules in our house before that, but we soon realized that rules were important to Jr and he has been very good at making sure everybody obeys the rules.

Jr has been very curious about the way things work and has never hesitated to do whatever was required to figure things out. He has also enjoyed cleaning of all types especially if chemicals or specific equipment is required.

Jr is very sensitive to the feelings of others, especially those who can't always fend for themselves, and he has also been fiercely protective of me. I love him so very much.

Last night, Jr and I headed to Old Navy to shop for things for him and also to find some summer clothes and a new purse for me. Jack and I are at the airport right now, about to board a flight to Philadelphia for a work/pleasure trip, and while I was hesitant to book a trip that leaves on Jr's birthday, he was perfectly okay with it. Especially when he found out we were going shopping at Old Navy, because another trait of Jr is a love of shopping. Who wouldn't love to spend time with a kid like that?

So, Jr picked out a couple of pairs of pants and a couple of shirts and a jacket, while I scored big with a new bag and several lightweight tops--brightly colored for summer and perfect for packing and sightseeing in Philly. Downsides to the trip are that my back is still a mess and the Flyers (the NHL hockey team) are playing in Boston until the evening of the day we come home. Upside is I have some amazing medication for my back and Jack has scoped out some great sites to see.

Jr, hope you have a great birthday. Keep the party guests under control--no visits from the local police, please.

Oh--one other thing, dear readers. I fear I did not adequately describe one of the pictures I posted earlier this week of my sweet baby jo, because no one commented about it. So, I'm posting it again.

Please note, this is not a posed picture. It is JoJo's normal stance while she's waiting for something to come her way-whether it's a cat or a ball. She slinks around the corner, peers around the corner, and stealthily waits. It really is hilarious...and very cute!