Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Summer's End

Ahh, the first day of school... Fantastico!  I'm doing the 'happy dance' and running around the house naked!  It has been an eventful and unforgettable summer, but I am so thrilled to be getting back to my quiet, boring, normal.

Josie started 2nd grade this morning.  She was up early and ready to go on time - Josie is fanatic about being late.  Worse. Thing. In. The. World.  Really.  We walked to school with BFF Katie - which will be our new routine (the walking) at least for the first few weeks of school.  The school parking/traffic situation is terrible, so we enjoyed the 15 minute walk and avoided all the craziness.  I was talking to the crossing guard while waiting for the girls to be dismissed, and the stories she told me nearly turned my hair grey!  She personally has been full-on hit by cars twice in the past 3 years!  She also shared that she had been 'tapped' by cars more times than she could count!!  Unbelievable!  So, all of you reading this: SLOW DOWN!  Give the nice crossing guard lady a friendly wave.  The drive (or walk) to and from school is the funniest and most informative time of day - at least for me it is!!!

Here's a few more photos from our first day of school:

Katie (4th Grade) and her proud Mom, Jenny

Josie and Katie - First Day of 2012-13 School Year

Abigail, Italy, Charlie and Josie - Hey, They're getting the band back together!

We saved our vacation days until mid-August, heading back to the East Coast to have some beach time with my parents.  It was a relaxing week at the Delaware shore.  The girls and I each got to do our favorite things:  Josie had her Grandmom's undivided attention - so they played cards, played with Grandmom's jewelry, cooked together and just had a ball 'hangin' out'!  Maddie hung out with new friends in Dewey Beach, played Bingo with Grandmom, me and all the ladies at the clubhouse, and even found time to hit the outlets in Rehobeth.  The highlight of my week was getting back on my old riding mower and taking care of the lawn for my Dad.  I really miss that mower!

We left the shore and headed up to Pennsylvania for a long overdue visit with our former neighbors in Exeter Township (Reading, PA).  I hadn't seen my dear friends DeeDee and Odette for 8 years!  Obviously, all the kids have grown - but how wonderful to see that they all turned out to be NICE kids who still got along famously.  My girlfriends did a great job raising them!  And while I'm discussing the girls, I'll just give a congratulatory shout-out to Odette for getting her 2nd (!) Master's Degree and for starting her new journey up at Penn State getting her Doctorate!  DeeDee is also doing great in her job at Reading Hospital.  Even though both the ladies are quite accomplished, when we got together it was all laughs and giggles as the years melted away!

L-R: Maddie, Karlie, Odette, DeeDee and Josie

We left Reading and made a short drive toward Philadelphia to have lunch with my Uncle Phil and Aunt Mary.  Suzanne and Liam joined us and we all had a really lovely time.  It had also been quite a while since Maddie and I saw Uncle Phil and Mary.  Fun part was introducing them to Josie - who is still scratching her head over the fact that Uncle Phil is her PopPop's brother!  Uncle Phil is a retired Philadelphia Police Officer, who was on duty during some of the city's most turbulent years.  Both he and Mary look just fantastic and it was great to spend the afternoon with them.

That's Liam standing behind Josie and Uncle Phil, Suzanne and me behind Aunt Mary and Maddie

We continued on to Philadelphia where James was waiting for us, having flown into PHL after a business trip to Portland, OR.  There was no way he was going to miss moving his daughter into her dorm for her Freshman year of college!  After picking James up downtown, we headed back to Suzanne's house for a dinner of cheesesteaks and hoagies.  Heaven.  Plain and Simple.   It took us about 10 minutes, at the end of the evening, to pack all of Maddie's dorm contents into Suzanne's mini-van.  Move-In was between 12-2 PM on Saturday.

I wish I could say that moving-in day was fun.  But, it wasn't.  Way too overwhelming.  Maddie's roommate and parents were already in the very, very, small dorm room once we arrived.  There was little room for us to unpack Maddie's belongings so did the best we could and then made ourselves scarce.  Not how I envisioned things going, but I took a lesson in 'letting go' and let Maddie make her own way into her new environment.  Only got one photo: below is the view from Mad's dorm room window...

We picked Maddie up later in the afternoon and brought her to Suzanne's house to share a celebratory dinner with the rest of us... Suzanne prepared an awesome dinner, followed by birthday cake, for me and my sister Claudine.  This month Claudine and I are marking Milestone Birthdays - She turned 40 yesterday and I turn 50 at the end of the month :-(  We both have a lot to be thankful for at our advance (ing) ages.  So happy to have the celebration with my sisters, my brother-in-law, my nephews, my daughters and my wonderful husband.  More happy years ahead, I'm sure!

James, Josie and I left Philadelphia on Sunday and headed to Maryland.  My final visit during our vacation was to get together with Auntie Karen and my friend, Julie to discuss plans for a multi-year HS reunion that we were all involved with.  Julie and I were bridesmaids for each other in both our first  marriages. (ahem, we won't go there!)  So, it had been 24 years since I had seen her smiling face... and I had the opportunity to meet her husband and three of her incredible kids.  Wow! Wow! Wow!  Just about covers how wonderful an afternoon it was.  Looking forward to more fun times in the months to come!

Looking good at nearly 50!  Me, Karen and Julie after a running dash in the rain!

That's the wrap-up of "What I Did on My Summer Vacation".  I have a number of trips planned to the East Coast in the next few months. I'm hoping to spend less time running and more time enjoying my loved ones in the weeks ahead.  Hope to see everyone again real soon! xoxoxox

1 comment:

  1. It was wonderful to see you and the girls Michele and you did a pretty darn good job as well. Your girls are terrific. I am so glad you made time to see us and hope that it doesn't take use another 8 years. Love from all the Minas