Monday, February 29, 2016

Planes, Danes, And Automobiles

Last week started out like any other.

No, wait.  No it didn't.  Me dropping Bill off at the bus depot is not a normal Monday.
Let me back up and explain why we were doing this.

Billie Jo is a blog friend of mine.  We had never met in real life, but have communicated for years through our blogs, emails, Christmas cards, etc.  She is, for all intents and purposes, my friend.
When she reached out and asked me to do her a favor, of course it was a no-brainer.

Her daughter Madison would be returning from a trip abroad and landing in JFK airport.  Billie Jo lives many hours away from JFK.  We are significantly closer.  The plan was for me to pick up Madison, take her to our house overnight, and put her on a bus home the next day.

When we realized my Bill would be returning from L.A. the same day Madison was flying in to JFK, he came up with a brilliant plan.  He scheduled his flight to land at Newark airport, I would pick him up, we'd go to dinner at my favorite restaurant, and then go pick up Madison.

And that's what we did.   

After work, I got my coffee and started my drive to Newark to pick him up, and the adventure began.

We went to the Chart House for dinner (calling it our belated Valentine's date).  We sat at a window looking at the New York City skyline.  Sun shining at first, then sunset.  Perfect timing for the best of both views!

We trekked over to JFK after that and were a little early.  I haven't been on a plane in 17 years, but I do have a fascination with planes and airports. I was loving all the happenings there.  We sat in a perfect spot to see planes lift off and people-watched for a bit before Madison's plane landed.

When we finally saw that sweet girl, we were so happy she was there and safe.  We got in the car for our long ride home, trying to balance getting to know her with trying not to tire her out too much.  Coming from Denmark, it was 4 a.m. for her!

Earlier in the week we realized the bus trip to get Madison home was going to take too long.  We decided to make a day of it, drive out to Penn State and meet the rest of the family.  I was a bit giddy  with excitement that I'd actually get to meet my long-time blog friend.

When I tell you that it wasn't like a first-time meeting at all, I mean it.  It was like meeting up with an old friend.  We fell in love with each others kids, the husbands got along fantastically, and it just ended up being a happy afternoon all around.  Their family treated us to a great lunch out and spoiled us rotten with gifts and all!  They were a family that were just easy to be around.

Mom and daughter reunited :)

The time came to say our goodbyes, but it wasn't without making plans to meet up again real soon.

If you know Billie Jo from her blog, she is as sweet as she seems.  Such a kind, beautiful person, as is her husband and kids.

Before heading home, we stopped at Penn State's campus for some photo-ops, ice cream, and the 4 o'clock mass.

A big shout out to Bill.  He did all of the planning and driving.  He surely was tired from being away and getting in late for two nights, yet he did all this - not only without complaint, but with a smile.  He is the BEST.  I hope he knows how happy he makes my heart.

To read Billie Jo's post on the weekend, check it out here. Oh, and one last thing.  This is how thoughtful she is....remember my post about about my love of Gene Rayburn?  Well, she got me this book.

Now, that's a good friend.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

LOVEly Weekend

How sweet it was that our Valentine's Day fell on a 3 day weekend for Bill and a 4 day-turned-5 day weekend for the kids and me.  There was snow and ice on the ground this morning, so we are off today.

Our weekend was a fun one.  We traveled to see Bill's 95 year old grandmother.  She's as beautiful as ever.  Oh, that smile lights up her whole face!

Afterwards, we went out for pizza back in our hometown of Upper Darby, Pa where I grew up.  Pica's is the BEST pizza.  Just ask Tina Fey.  (She too, is an Upper Darby girl)

We asked Bill's brother Tim and sister Jenny to join us. 

Saturday night we hit the roller rink.  The only picture I got was this one of Bill, but it's a gem.

Sunday morning before mass, we enjoyed pancakes and the kids opened up their Valentines.  Candy was replaced by clever religious tees. 

During the day we kept finding little notes left by Mary.  She's so sweet, that girl.

Bill and I decided to buy a new mattress for our bedroom this Valentine's Day.  I suppose that could be considered either very unromantic or very romantic, depending on how you look at it.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Everyday Happenings

It's hard to believe that the first month of 2016 is over!  I wanted to share our January happenings.

The year started off with a bang.  Bill's cousin Carrie was married on New Year's Eve.  It was a lot of fun, to say the least.  The wedding was held at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.  I purposely didn't take pictures there so I could enjoy the moment.  And I did.  It was a beautiful ceremony.

The reception was held at the Please Touch Museum.  Check out this picture of the bride and groom during the reception.  Isn't it magical looking?

Since it was a black tie optional event, Bill was able to brush the dust off the tux he owns and get some use out of it.  Here are some other shots from the night.

Bill's siblings...Mike, Joe, Kate, and Tim.

Sister in law Christa and husband Joe, with Baby #4 in that belly :)

Sisters in law

My awesome Father in law

Brother in law Joe and wife Ali

Cousin Carrie with sister in law Jenny

You may have heard, further into January we had the Blizzard of 2016.  Our area had 31 inches fall.   I love being stuck at home.  I even love to shovel.  But if that's all the snow we get this year, I'd be happy.

The girls are usually pretty good at entertaining themselves.  Balloons and science experiments filled part of their weekend and the following 3 days off from school.

Speaking of the girls, the three of us had a few hours on a Saturday with nothing to do.  We drove to the outlets to shop a little. 

Ann is NOT a big fan of shopping, but she found some fun things to do while waiting for me and Mary.

Not much more to report other than sharing these cute (to me? to everyone?) pics.

Matt helping Billy try out goal-keeper gloves before he invests in them.

Vader napping on the couch he's not allowed on.

Tommy watching TV in a unique way.

Not sure who took this shot.

Games on the tablet

Bus stop

Speaking of the bus stop, time to go get them.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Follow You, Follow Me

This past week I have lost 8 followers.

Just to be clear, I didn't have many follower to begin with.  Losing any amount is painful for someone with a small blog like mine.

To be double clear....out of the small group of followers I had, one of them is ME!  (Hey, don't laugh.  If a presidential candidate can vote for himself, surely I can follow myself.)

Another follower I have is my daughter.  ( I made her.)

Two other followers are my one friend who for some reason followed me twice.  She must have felt bad for me seeing those measly numbers on my sidebar.

I'd like to think this sudden loss of followers is a glitch of some sort.  It seems kind of weird to lose them all at once like that. But that's not all.  People that I followed have turned their own blogs to private.  They don't want me to read their blogs.  That can't be a glitch as well, can it?

I started wondering what I could do to make my blog more popular?  Here's what I'm thinking.

--Join Facebook and post the link for TJM on there.  But no.  For me, the ends does not justify the means.*

--Reply to my commenters.  I usually don't reply back to the comments people leave for me here, but it is a kind gesture and it would show my appreciation of them. 

--Be controversial.  Yes!! Controversy always draws people in.

Some of my ideas for controversial posts would be:

1. Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album is way better than Thriller.
2. Paul Newman is more handsome than Robert Redford.
3. *Facebook is evil.
4. Bruce Springsteen is over-rated.
5. Gene Rayburn from Match Game is sexy.

{Side note: During my writing,  I let Billy read up to this point and he told me, "Mom, I feel if you publish this post you will lose more followers"}

{Side note #2: While writing this, I lost one more follower.  It's true!}

I may never get back up to 50 followers.  In fact, I better wrap up this post before I get to negative numbers over there ---->