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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adios Short, Long February

I am so glad to say goodbye to February. I was sick for most of the month, and just plain sick of cold, dark days. With the way I've been feeling lately it's hard to believe that I'll ever feel happy and cheerful again, but somehow I always do. Boring routines, chill, slush, burn out, and no vacation in sight makes for a very down and out Judy.

On the bright side (see?!), Annalisse got tuition exchange from another school, Lycoming College, which was not a real contender for her, but thrilling nonetheless. Today we mailed all her "declines" to let the schools know she wouldn't be attending, and tomorrow we are mailing her enrollment deposit to Mercyhurst. That page is turning and now we start on the earnest path toward the end of her senior year and getting ready for college.

Speaking of college, Cam has been home for a week-and-a-half for his mid-winter break (and not doing much, I might add). He did ok this quarter ending up with four "Bs" and -- wait for it -- one "D," in Discreet Math. Arrrgghhh. So close. He's taking the math course again in the spring quarter so hopefully he'll be more successful this round. He'll have a very heavy course load so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good end to his second year. I do have to give him a lot of credit for doing mostly okay in a really difficult curriculum.

That's all the news as February wraps up. Another positive: in 10 days we "spring forward." Just call me the eternal optimist.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Bonnie Lass Returns

That girl loves to shop.
Last night our little traveler returned from her week in Ireland, right on time at 6:15pm. Exhausted? Yes. Cranky? Not really but there was real potential there. After filling us in on the ride home and looking on her camera viewfinder at the hundreds of pictures she took, it was into the shower and to bed. She woke up at 3am this this morning, a victim of jet lag, and I expect she'll have a rough week of adjustment. Eve's family was wonderful to her, and she really enjoyed chatting with Eve's mom, a homeopathic doctor, about her digestive issues.

Highlights of her trip included visits to:
  • A visit to Trinity College and Christ Church, Dublin
  • Christchurch Cathedral at Christchurch Place
  • Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
  • Cork Cinty and Blarney Castle (Yes, she kissed the Blarney Stone; she said it tasted like soap.)
  • Queenstown Story at the Cobh Heritage, Center Charles 
  • Fort at Kinsale
The kids also spent several days attending school with the Irish kids.

Now, we are back to reality for the homestretch of her senior year. Keeping her focused is really proving to be a challenge!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Who's that 20 year old?!!!

Cheesecake all around!
A Happy Birthday shout out to my "big kid," Cam, who turns 20 today. I know! How the heck did that happen?!

Because Cameron tends to be very black-and-white, it's actually not quite his birthday. We have about a 1/2 hour left before we can officially celebrate at 5:09pm. By that time we'll be having dinner with him at The Cheesecake Factory, then it's back to school for another night or two while he finishes up finals.

(Of course his sister is not here to celebrate as she continues her Ireland adventure. A funny aside: Justin Beiber was on her plane on the way over to Dublin on Saturday night. Of course, the 20 teenagers in coach didn't know this until the pilot announced it after he had deplaned!)

So here's to Cam, who is no longer a teenager, but still not old enough to legally drink alcohol. We love you and are so proud of you!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sick of Being Sick

What a hellish week it's been. After Annalisse had her little 24 hour stomach bug last weekend and Mark spent the whole weekend sneezing and coughing all over everyone, by Tuesday afternoon the chills and achyness had settled all over me. By 1pm I couldn't take it anymore and went home, leaving the evening chores to my trusty daughter (since Mark is on the road). Wednesday I woke up not feeling much better, but by Thursday I felt like the worst of it was over. That is, until I started sneezing in the afternoon and whatever flu bug I had weathered transitioned into a crazy cold. Although I went to work,  I was still not feeling super great on Friday, and got progressively worse throughout the day. Today, I felt downright terrible, so have been mostly laying low all day EXCEPT FOR

Seeing Annalisse off for Ireland

I pray she did not catch the crud that Mark and I have been heaping on her all week. The kids are currently in Newark from which they'll take an overnight flight to Dublin and have a full day of activities awaiting them when they land. Lucky kids! Oh well, the best I can hope for is an open calendar and lots of naps between now and Monday.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Surviving Nemo

First of all, who calls a snowstorm "Nemo?" You know it had to generate some pretty obvious jokes like:


Unless you've been living under a rock you know the name Nemo is associated with the very popular Disney movie "Finding Nemo":



But I actually like "finding Nemo" this way:


That being said, we survived the BIG STORM this weekend, which really didn't start kicking in until Friday night. It was a most beautiful sight and great since Mark was home safely and we really didn't have anywhere to go. When all was said and done, here's what our house looked like:



He could lay in the snow all day

Yes, it was a lot of shoveling and treacherous travel, but magically beautiful. There is talk of another storm coming our way, which I hope lands and moves on before Annalisse travels to Ireland this weekend. We wouldn't want the the kids to be stuck in the Newark airport like last year's trip!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Six for Seven

Yesterday, Annalisse heard from the last of her colleges, Dickinson College, and was not accepted. That was really okay...she had pretty much ruled them out anyway and we viewed Dickinson as her "reach school." We plan to send her deposit into Mercyhurst at the beginning of March and then she will be "on her way!" It's been a really fun process and we learned a lot!

As a follow up to my previous post, Mark made it home safetly at around 6:30pm last night. As for Rochester, no snow yet!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Blizzard Baker

If you've been following the blog, you probably recall that Mark is now working out-of-town four days a week on a project outside of Boston, where he'll be until next March. He's on the road Monday morning by 4am, and leaves to come on Thursday nights sometimes as late at 6pm, arriving home near or after midnight (although most Thursdays he's home between 10:30-11pm). As you can imagine, there's a whole new level of worry and anxiety associated with him traveling so far in the winter, not to mention the fatigue that goes with traveling such long distances so often, especially in the dark of winter and after a long day's work.

And now, NOW, comes the news that there is a blizzard approaching that will affect the Northeast starting around BOSTON and getting really tricky with snow and wind through WESTERN NEW YORK. Well, that just about covers it, doesn't it? I've called him a couple of times today begging him to try to get on the road as soon as possible tomorrow to try to beat the worst of it. At this rate of worry I'll have to start coloring my hair every four weeks vs. every six weeks to hide the rapidly growing gray. 

Definitely not an ideal situation. As soon as he gets home safely we can all look forward to hunkering down for the weekend and hope the weather is clear for Annalisse's trip to Ireland next weekend. 

WAIT! WHAT?! MORE WORRY?!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Six more weeks?

Stay the heck out of that darn hole!
Yummy GHD bread
It's here! We've almost made it through another winter! Six weeks until spring! That's a lot of !!!!!'s!

I'm sort of bummed that Groundhog Day falls on a Saturday this year and I can't celebrate the actual day with my work pals. Oh well. On Monday we have hour GHD picnic to look forward to, a celebration that everybody seems to look forward to more every year. This year I even scored GHD bread when I went out to the Twelve Corners to get my supply of bagels. Cool stuff!


Such a day of hope and anticipation of warmer, sunnier days!