Thursday, September 28, 2017

Summer was poppin'

So I guess I last wrote in April and had caught us up with life 2016 - February 2017.

Just after Boogie came, we lost Grandma Frances. It was tough on the Ned and has definitely taken some getting used to. Grandma lived a long life and no doubt and because of that, there is an unmistaken hole left where she once was. The phone doesn't ring like it once did and we don't know as much about the goings on at the farm anymore. Her not being here has changed things and we miss her.

Then right after Woogie came, we lost Mabel. I went to see her the day before she died and then drove straight back to Charleston where Woogie was waiting on me. Seeing Mabel so close to death's door and then seeing Woogie so fresh and new gave me an eery perspective on the thin line between life and death. Seeing one so close to it and the other so far away but somehow they seemed so related. It was strange and I was thankful for the healing that Woogs gave me that day. Mabel passed on and I'm reminded daily about all things she taught me when I wasn't looking. A great deal of me comes from her and if I'm honest it's probably the parts of me that I like most about myself.
I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. 2017 has proved to be a difficult one. We've lost close friends of the family, other grandparents of family members, had cancer diagnoses, bad news after bad news, devastating hurricanes and earthquakes and health scares and struggles for friends and loved ones. It's September now and I know I'm not alone in the fact that I'm more ready than I ever remember for a New Year's Day.

In April Lil' talked me into going on a field trip with her SAIL class. It was good to be with her but it was rainy and cold most of the weekend. Sleeping in cabins on a bunk bed and pretending not to care proved to be difficult at times but again, anytime with Lil' is awesome to me.

In May, my Big graduated from middle school. Now that's a real punch in the gut. I have a freshmen in high school and it's tearing me a part. He received multiple academic honors and had the highest GPA in a couple of his classes. He's ridiculously smart and we are blown away by it. My Big is even bigger.

May was busy. But summer was poppin'!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Big Lights Big City

One of the perks of my job at The College is that we get to follow the team around on some pretty fun trips. The "Northeastern Round Up" as we like to call it, came this year in February. Daddy and I decided that while he went on to follow the team to Boston, the kids and I would stay in NYC and get to know the sweetest little yankee we know... SweetS.

She's a doll and truly one of the happiest babies I've ever been around. We had so much fun being with her and her mom and dad. During the weekend we pretty much stuffed our faces with all my favorite NYC foods: bagels and dirty water dogs, cookies from Levain Bakery and pizza. Good Lord the pizza. Oh and the Shake Shack. Holy cats... The Shake Shack. I'd like to give a pat on the back to Mr. Shake and his Shack. Good job my friend. My very favorite was dinner at Frankie Spuntino's on Hudson Street in the City. Frankie Spuntino's is maybe my favorite restaurant in the entire world. It's just a very special place. The food (Roast Beef, Pepperochini and Red Onion Sandwich to start because why not? and the Sausage Cavatelli), the wine (Lambrusco) and the music (always, always Grateful Dead) all together made the little foodie in me simply become... overwhelmed.

Scott does what Scott does and made sure every single minute of our visit was taken up with seeing or doing something new. What I love about being in the City with Scott is that even though he's lived there for over 30 years, he still acts like everything is brand new to him. He's proud of that town and I get that because I'm proud of mine too. 

Scott and Emily live in Hoboken which I guess if I was gonna live in NYC that's where I would live to. The views are stunning from over there.

We took the ferry one day from Hoboken over to the City. I've never done that before and it was so cool to see that view.

When we got to the City that day the first thing we did was walk through the new terminal at the World Trade Center. To say that it is breathtaking is an understatement. It very well may be the grandest building I've ever walked through in my life.

Next we took the kids through Times Square. We went to Hershey and the M&M's store. 

We ended the day by going to Broadway and seeing the "School of Rock". It was fantastic!! Big and Lil' loved it and now I think I'll be able to get them to another show. 

Somehow, someway Scott arranged for us to take a helicopter ride around the City. It was incredible to see things from that vantage point. I'll never forget it and I'm pretty sure the kids won't either.

What I also love about the World Trade Center terminal is that from the outside, it looks like angel wings. See? It's the white thing in the middle.

Big even got the chance to fly!  It was an unbelievable day. We also made sure to hit up Central Park. 

We all missed Daddy and it was so weird without him but this was truly the best trip to NYC we have ever had.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Somebody's Been Here

Christmas. Oh man do I try...

We've spent the last 2 years here in Charleston and I try so hard to make it just like it was in Chapin for my kids. I try to decorate like her and cook like her and wrap like her and find the joy like her. It's just so hard though because well, I'm not her.

If there is one thing Nettie is good at, it's Christmas. It's like her own personal masterpiece. Year after year of absolute perfection. It's a hard line to walk but she doesn't just walk it. She tap dances, waltzes and pirouettes it.  Chapin at Christmas is every Christmas movie wrapped up into one. It's impossible to match it, but I try. Oh man do I try.

We usually start the season by going to see the Festival of Lights. It's tradition that Daddy never wants to go and comes up with every reason why we shouldn't. Then we have our annual Festival of Lights fight in the car on the way to see the lights. But then we get there and all is forgotten.

Another tradition is for Lil' and I to go to the Nutcracker with the Fauci's. We look forward to it all year and it's one of our very favorite things.

I especially loved my tree this year. And of course it's because Nettie came down and threw some ribbon in all the right places. 

I think I also loved it because I could actually see it when I was in the kitchen and the day I made sausage balls while watching my tree twinkle, I felt like I was taking a ride on Santa's sleigh.

The weather never helps to make it feel like Christmas in Charleston. Big and Lil' were sweating in these pictures for our Christmas card but they cooperated nevertheless. 

We did the Christmas party a little differently this year but it was just as much fun as always...

Christmas Eve was spent cooking and playing and then we all went to church. Our church service is one thing that makes me very happy about being in Charleston for Christmas. It's all music and it's beautiful.

Even though Nettie wasn't here, it still very much looked like somebody had been here.