Looking back…

It was nine years ago.

A routine Monday at the office, slaving for my corporate overlords. Five o’clock rolls around and I can finally quit slacking and go home. I pack up, leave my cube. I get about 10 steps away and my phone rings. Probably a server emergency or something. Why I went back and answered it, I have NO earthly idea, but doing so changed my life.

On the other end was the cute intern from another department. She said, “Why don’t you take my roommate out for dinner? She’s nice, and I need the apartment to myself tonight.” It being a Monday night, I had nothing else to do, and getting a real, live date was a hard thing to pass up. I said I’d do it, and then made my way from Broomfield down to Park Meadows in record time (especially at rush hour, pre-TREX!).

Andrea met me at the mall, and we went over to PF Chang’s where my nervous self talked her poor ears off, and then we went to see Shrek. It was totally awkward, but I apparently didn’t completely creep her out, because we met again the following night. And the night after that. Then we did an afternoon doubleheader date, with the Rockies, followed by Aida.

Six weeks later, I was moving to Kansas City to take a job with a new corporate overlord, and she followed me out here (obviously, she was insane!). We’ve now been married almost 8 years and have two (usually) adorable daughters.

My 5-year-old is very perceptive…

She just built a large structure out of Lego, and it has a bell.

She was explaining that it’s a school, called "Zoo" (it has a piece above the door that says so, presumably from a zoo set), and that it was a high school.

Sounds like she has a pretty good grasp on what high school really is.

What I did on my summer vacation!

This past weekend had the family taking a quick trip out to Connecticut to visit my grandmother for her 90th birthday party, a surprise celebration my dad and aunts have benn putting together for a couple of years now.

We flew up to Hartford on Saturday and rented a car to drive down to New Haven/Orange where I scored a room at the Courtyard Marriott for about 35% of the regular rate, thanks to Moreno’s tips on how to make Priceline work for you.

We met my dad who was holding a spot in line at Frank Pepe’s while the rest of the gang showed up. After some waiting, my aunt and grandmother showed up. I walked across the street and asked my grandmother if I could help a little old lady across the street :) After about half a second, it registered who asked her, and I got a big hug for my troubles after we got to the sidewalk. She had no idea we were coming to visit. A little later on, my brother showed up as well, on his way to Dublin. We got a table and had some great apizza. After the meal, our waitress got up and announced to the whole place that it was Bev’s 90th birthday and had them all sing. My grandmother told them all that her brother was one of the early customers of the place, and that she and her cousin were sitting in nearly the exact same spot when the radio came on to announce that President Roosevelt had died. Turns out the waitress was Frank Pepe’s granddaughter and that it’s still very much a family business, and they were honored to still have some one of their early customers. My grandmother promised to be back for her 100th.

The following day, more extended family gathered for another surprise at the Norm Bloom & Sons quay. My grandmother had been told that we were going to visit a “maritime museum”. After a little resistance from her and some convincing on my aunt’s part that she REALLY needed to come with us, she saw the extended family all wearing matching T-shirts for the occasion. As she’s digesting this and more family are trickling in, we take her around the back of the building where she sees the Catherine M. Wedmore, her grandfather’s oyster boat, set up for a Sunday afternoon cruise and picnic. The last time she’d seen the boat was 1951. It was sold by the Wedmores to the Blooms in the 1960s. 84 years after her maiden voyage, she’s still working the bay dredging for clams and oysters.

We have family footage of a similar sunday afternoon picnic, from 1940.

A reporter from the Stamford Advocate came along and wrote up a story.

Once out in the bay, we dropped one of the dredges and scooped up a bunch of fresh oysters, which were shucked and eaten. In one shell we found a small crab about the size of a dime rooming with one of the oysters. The girls had lots of fun meeting their 2nd cousin Adam (my Cousin Jeff’s son), and my cousin Catherine and her hubby gave my grandmother one more surprise, that she was going to have a fourth great-grandchild in February.

Lots of pictures were taken. Pics to follow.

I knew this day would come….

My eldest, Faith (who will be *gasp* FIVE next month) showed from a very early age (6 months?) that she was probably going to be one of these extreme-sports adrenaline junkies.

Today, she proved it. She begged us to go on the EuroBungy ride at the Stampede. 10 bucks later, she was harnessed up:

And not too long after, she was flying:

She absolutely loved it, and followed it up with a trip on one of the kiddie coasters. She’ll be moving up to the big stuff before too long. We’ve been saying for years that she’ll be a coaster junkie by the time she’s six.

Day at the Farm!

Shatto Milk was having an open house today at their farm up in Osborn, MO, and we thought it would be a fun thing to do with the girls. While Andrea was up at Troost Elementary for COR’s Bless The School missions project, I took the kids up to the farm.

They had a bounce house, hot dogs, beans, samples of their milk (and requisite cookies to go with, provided by Midwest Airlines). The girls got to see the bottling plant, the bottle washer, and the milking parlor, and got to pet some cows and some of the new calves (a few weeks old!). A good time was had by allĀ and the weather was absolutely perfect: low 80s, sunny, with a breeze.

It was nice enough to go up in my car instead of the minivan (My car has been referred to by some as my “Dave Ramsey Car”). My car’s air conditioner is currently out of commission, so summer trips in it with the kids are rare. Luckily, it’s highway most of the way, so it’s easy to get a good breeze going in the car even with the windows shut. I filled up before I left and when I got back. Total round trip: 158.7 miles. Total fuel consumed: 3.8 gallons. Yes, you saw that right. My $1700, 16-year-old Corolla got 41.7 mpg on that trip. Take that, Prius!

I’ll edit this post later to add linky goodness and pictures!