Monday, September 18, 2017

20th Annual S.S. Weekend

Flashback to Summer, 1998.  My lifelong girlfriends and I were planning our first annual overnight get-together.  Most of us were married or on our way to be, but we thought it would be fun for a girls-only get away.

Here we are, 20 years later, still keeping up with that tradition started long ago.  We usually stay at one of our homes, but this time, we went "on location" to a place we borrowed from one of the girls' family members.  It was a sweet home in the Pocono Mountains. 

We did our usual planning of the menu and drinks and stuffed ourselves silly all weekend. 

We visited nearby Jim Thorpe, PA, a cute little town with many adorable shops to see.

We even stopped for a wine-tasting break.  (Ok, not really a "break" since it was our first stop)

One S.S had a family gathering and missed this fun part
There was a small beach and lake a block away from the house that was beautiful.  Mary Alice and Peggy went kayaking. 

As always, it's hard to say goodbye at the end.  So many good memories each year. 

 What a gift to have these girls in my life all these years.
And you can't put a price tag on that.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Piccolo Solo

As you know, our Mary is part of her high school band.  She plays the piccolo.  It has been a dream of hers to perform the piccolo solo during their rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever.  The piccolo solo is usually played by someone in the senior class.  The piccolo soloist for this year was going to be unavailable for the first home game.  As luck would have it, she asked Mary to fill in for her.

She had been practicing for a month.  Her grandparents drove a long way to cheer her on. The kids were given strict instructions not to disturb me during the performance.   Ann was given the important duty of videotaping.  We were all set.

And here she is:

Isn't that the BEST??  Oh my goodness.

Proud to the MAX!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Avalon Vacation 2017


Just saying that word makes me smile.

There is just something so special about being at the shore.  And Avalon is my favorite.  It is so pretty and peaceful there. The homes, whether they are the big palaces on the beach, mid-size "mansions", or quaint cottages, each have their own unique design and decor.  I never tire of looking at them. Late night walks allow me to sneak a peek at what they look like inside when they're all lit up.  (Wow, that sounds creepy now that I write that out loud.)

We had our usual highlights such as bike rides, shopping, arcades, pizza dinners, morning doughnuts, Carmen's restaurant in Sea Isle City, and an afternoon trip to nearby Ocean City, NJ for the boardwalk and rides.  The night before we left there was a huge storm which caused the beach block to flood!  Kids were actually swimming in the street!  Crazy.
My brother John and nephew Johnny went in on the house with us again and I honestly don't know how the two of them put up with the 7 of us all week.  Bill's brother Mike and family were also in Avalon the same week and having them with us at the beach definitely makes it more fun.  Plus, their kids are the cutest ever, so there's that.

I made my vacation video, like I usually do.  Definitely not my best work, but you'll get a glimpse into our week. The song was longer than the amount of video and pictures I took, so I had to get creative. I took stock photos of some of the places we visit there and added them in.  Lame.  Oh well.

Until we meet again, Avalon.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

July Jewels

July was good to us.

We spent a weekend at my in-law's vacation home in Rock Hall, Maryland.  RH is a cute town on the Chesapeake Bay.  If I remember rightly-- (gosh, I sound like my mother when I say that!)-- it had been about six years since we last visited there.  We enjoyed hanging out with my mother and father in law, Bill's aunt and uncle, and also Bill's brother, Tim.

My mother in law is an incredible host.  In fact, it felt like we were at a Bed and Breakfast.  That woman has a gift, I tell you.

My father in law moved the heavens to get two kayaks into his van so the kids could enjoy 2 days on the water.

Pool-time and dinner out, too. 

Later that week we spent the afternoon with cousins and sisters in law at the community pool.  My sister in law Kate hosted us and treated us to a fun day.

The "big" kids

I'm pretty sure the kids would say this was one of their best summer days so far.  Thanks, Aunt Kate!

The following weekend we celebrated my niece Julia's high school graduation.  Here she is (front, left) with her sister Amanda (back, left) and some friends.

Congratulations, Julia!!  You are one awesome graduate!  Love you!

And lastly, we sent Billy off to his annual Quo Vadis retreat at DeSales University.  This was his third year going.  He loves it.  They have mass and lunch for the families before we say our goodbyes.

This year tugged on my heartstrings a bit because two mom friends from my parish were sending their kids off to the retreat as well.  Watching our kids grow up over the years and now sending them off to discern their vocations was a bit mind blowing.

There was one more special event that happened in July, but that will be in a later post.

But to give you a hint, it starts with an A and ends with an valon and I will have my annual video to accompany that post soon. (I hope)

Hello August!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Everyday Happenings

My last Everyday Happenings post was way back in May.  We left off with Billy's 17th birthday, so I will be starting this one with our Sweet Sixteen's birthday.

1. Miss Mary Kate turned 16 in May.  She asked if she could invite a few of her close friends over for junk snack food, an ice cream sundae bar, and a movie. (They watched Nanny McPhee.)

Her darling sister made them a cake, too. 

She made beautiful roses out of fondant.

Mary's best friend, Riley (middle) gave her the sweetest gift.  It was a box with little trinkets inside....16 of each....such as paper clips, push pins, band-aids, pencils, candy, post-it notes, etc.  The best part was a journal where on each of the first 16 pages she wrote 16 reasons why Mary was her best friend.  Truly a gift from the heart. 
 Happy 16th Birthday, Mary.  You are the true meaning behind the word "sweet".

 2. The girls and I have a tradition of going to a doll show when it comes to our town each year.  (I'm always on the lookout for a vintage Bionic Woman doll that I remember fondly from my youth!).  Anyway, we came across this Charlie McCarthy doll that I just had to have.  Charlie completely freaked out Matthew to the point of tears when he saw him sitting in his bedroom.  We all had a good laugh with Charlie, using the next few days to prank each other by hiding him in weird spots throughout the house.

3. Our friends John and Mary hosted their annual dinner party for our prayer group. There were a few missing, but we still had a great time.

4. Last day of work/school for me and this guy.
 4. Mary started her volunteer hours at a local urgent care facility. She'll be done her required hours by the end of the summer, but has a goal to do more before she graduates from high school.
#overachiever  #shegetsthatfromherdad

 5. Shopping with the girls is always an adventure with lots of laughs.

6. Bill's fun to shop with, too.

In other words, we are rolling along.

I hope you're all enjoying your summer as well.

Thanks for visiting us.