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Friday, April 24, 2015

T-G-I-F, you can say that again!

I'm so glad this week is over. Between having my first colonscopy ("clean as a whistle" ~ TMI?), and niggly little annoying things at work, I'm maxed out. How long until retirement, again? Oh, yeah...like 30 more years. Blerg.Yesterday I also had a check up with my surgeon/NP, who will now see me once a year for four more years, and all is well. She thinks I'm doing great (and I am!).

By the way, we STILL do not have our new car (I think Mark counted 14 weeks since we ordered), but we are told it should be here by May 1. It better be! To top it all off, it's been a nasty, cold, rainy, snowy week.

Mark heads to Saratoga for the afternoon for Cam's Liberty League race, and he will pick Annalisse up in Syracuse on the way back so she can attend Alex's track meet at St. John Fisher tomorrow. Then, we have dinner plans with friends on Saturday night. Fun!

At this point the weekend looks so busy I'm not sure I'll get my nap in, but you never know. Of course, a little shut eye on the window seat is always a priority!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

That's 56 in human years!

Jasper turns eight today! 
Our lives are so much richer with him as part of our family. He's certainly slowing down a lot, and has weird spasms that make us worry, but we relish every day with him!!

Enjoy your birthday ice cream, sweet boy!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Senior Day at Crew

Senior Day at Crew. Flowers
for the moms.
Yesterday was a great day at RIT crew. In addition to being an absolutely spectacular day weather-wise, Cam's boat left Union College's boat in the dust (on water, of course!), a great race that was followed by a nice ceremony honoring Cam and his crew-mate Katie, the two seniors on the team, celebrating their last home race. At this point, Cam is two-for-four, having lost his first two races, and won his last two.





In a time-honored, tradition, Cam, the coxswain, was thrown into the water after this special race:


The next couple of weekends will be the real test, starting with next Friday's Liberty League race in Saratoga, then the NYS Rowing Championships the following weekend, then the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia on Mother's Day weekend. After that, as they say, "that's a wrap" for Cam's rowing career.  It's been a wonderful experience for him!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Walkin' on Sunshine!

Seventy-seven degrees today. Sixty-ish and sunny yesterday. Could it be happening at last? Why yes, it must be happening because WE SET THE PORCH UP YESTERDAY! No turning back (except for the occasional rouge snowy day that I'm sure we will still have). Even the houseplants are asking: When can we go back outside!

Yesterday's beautiful Sunday topped off a very busy week that took me to New Orleans for the annual NAGAP conference. I had never been, and I think I can now say that I've "done that." It was ok, but very run down and not really my thing. Perhaps if I was a buxom, attractive girl in my 20s rather than a 50-something mother of college kids I might feel differently about the whole French Quarter/Bourbon Street scene, but it was certainly interesting.

I think the funnest time spent in the French Quarter is when my friend Kristen, her husband, Ken, and I took a ghost tour on Friday night. It was mostly ghost stories (with no ghosts in sight - HA!), but a really great 2-hour walking tour of the history of New Orleans and it's storied and tragic past. Another cool thing we did was that the off-site program on Thursday night at "Mardi Gras World," a huge warehouse on the banks of the Mississippi River where they store all the Mardi Gras floats and weird props - it's both fascinating and super creepy at the same time. The conference itself was good, and I was happy to spend time with my NAGAP pals again!

I arrived home around 4pm on Saturday to chilling cold (take me back!), freshened up, then Mark and I went out for dinner. Having arisen at 4:45am for an early flight I mainly wanted to just get home, chill out, and go to bed.

On Sunday morning we headed out to see Cam's race against St. Lawrence University, which was held on the Genesee River near RIT's boathouse. All of RIT's boats handily beat SLU, and it was a beautiful day for a race. Just about every weekend, now through mid-May, will be taken up with either races or regattas. We are enjoying this last taste of crew as it is Cam's last year...it's been such a great sport for him.

So, off we go to a beautiful Monday. Warm temps, open windows, and lots of sunshine certainly make a Monday more bearable!

St. Louis Church

Heads at Mardi Gras World 
Yummy dessert at the conference
Voodoo tourist trap
NOLA at Night
Our coswain (and coxpup)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hoppy Easter 2015

Easter weekend is drawing to a close...it was very nice! The weekend started on Thursday night with a fun happy hour with friends at the Erie Grill. Who wouldn't want to celebrate the glorious turn in weather? Everyone was in such great spirits and it was (almost) the weekend!

Mark and I took Friday off to pick up Annalisse in the morning (her 10:30am class was cancelled so we were able to go to Syracuse fairly early), and to do some Easter brunch running around (including the elusive "Easter Bunny" treats). On Friday night we went out to RIT for an improv festival to see Annalisse's Downstage friends, Blake and Nick. The acts were hit or miss, but it was still a fun night, including being joined by Cam after his crew dinner.

Annalisse and her little friend,
Rowsie
Since Saturday called for rough weather (after the few beautiful teaser days the week before), Cam's race in Ithaca was postponed from 9am to 3pm. We got to the site around 2:30pm, at which point the coaches were trying to decide if the three teams (Ithaca College, University of Rochester, and RIT) were going to race because of the rough conditions and wind. Unfortunately, a women's boat from SU had capsized due to high waves (I'm not sure if that happened on Friday or Saturday), and a couple of rowers had to be taken to the hospital ~ they are all fine! You can imagine what I was thinking, having Annalisse on the SU team last fall (but she was novice...these were varsity rowers). After standing around in very cold weather, the coaches decided to have a small group of boats race at 4pm. Cam's was one of them, and his boat came in a very close second to Ithaca College (by .45 second!!). Disappointing, but they did a great job their first time out this spring. But, what a long day. We had hoped to finish fairly quickly so we could head into Ithaca for some shopping fun, but that didn't work out. Cam didn't even end up getting back until 11pm last night.

This morning we went to church and the kids, including Alex, came along, which was very nice. I left church a little early to get home and put the frittata in the oven and finish getting ready for brunch, which we had around 10:30am. (on Mom's fine china...so nice). After enjoying the frittata, pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit, whipped fruit salad, and monkey bread (Oh! and mimosas), we were cleaning up by 11:30am and getting ready to take Annalisse back to Syracuse as she had a lot of homework to do. (Of course, we had to do a grocery shopping for her before heading back). We got back from that trip around 4pm today, and I am totally chilling and enjoying a Mad Men marathon, sitting on my BUTTOCKS without guilt after a busy weekend. Except, that I have to pack to go to New Orleans for the NAGAP conference on Tuesday afternoon. Well, maybe just one more episode...

Some Easter celebration pictures from our great weekend:










Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Bane of Chemistry

The last couple of weeks have been full of drama and tension around Annalisse's chemistry class. Picture this: a class of 200 student that is heavily math-based + a student with a learning disability around math and processing = a recipe for disaster.

Throw in twice weekly tutoring and you have...a sense that you're "getting the material." Walk into the test feeling very prepared...walk out shaking your head. That's what we've been feeling from Annalisse as she is very upset that she is doing badly in her chem class. Everything else is going well grade-wise, but I'm not sure what's going to happen with this one. She is hesitant to drop it because she doesn't want to go through the trauma of taking it again, but with a grade of "D" at this point that might be unavoidable. We can't fault her, she tries very had and does all the work, plus getting extra help. This stuff just comes very hard to her. I'm sure she feels that if she could just focus on her nutrition courses she could kick butt, but obviously chemistry and biology are a big part of food and nutrition. Heck, Mark and I both failed a course in college, and Cam has dropped two (or is it three?) classes to retake later because he knew he wasn't doing well. We tell her: THIS STUFF HAPPENS.

So, we just try to encourage and get her through the next month. Then she can have a little break before she starts an online course and a bio course this summer. And, unfortunately, we may also have to figure out what to do about a chem course.

How happy will we be when the kids are done with college?!