Thursday, June 27, 2013

Visiting Ash- June 2013

We spent the weekend visiting Ash, and we had a super busy fun three days of action. Friday we got there a little later than expected because James was not being super cooperative, but thanks to some creative GPS routes we managed to avoid rush-hour-Friday-in-the-summer traffic which is unimaginably bad. We made it to Ash's in record time. Ash made us dinner and then we went to check out the summer concert in her town.

Visiting Ash- June 201
Me and Ash at the outside concert

Visiting Ash- June 201
James dancing and having fun running through the crowds

Saturday morning, Kevin got up for a short hike that was on the other side of the Hudson River as the one he did on Father's Day.  All of us spent the afternoon at the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery. I went back in November for Girls' Weekend, but since it was the winter it was less crowded so we stayed inside, did a tasting, and listened to some music. The atmosphere in the summer is totally different-- like going to an entirely new place. You can order drinks and food outside or inside, the music is set up outside, and there are people celebrating summer all over the winery. James had fun too, but he got so unbelievably dirty rolling around in the dirt.

Visiting Ash- June 2013
Sangria with Ash- yum!

Visiting Ash- June 2013
Kevin and James cheers beer and orange juice.

Visiting Ash- June 2013
Backlit timer photo, oh well, still cute.

Visiting Ash- June 2013
Family photo in front of the vineyard

Visiting Ash- June 2013
James and Ash are besties. Not so with Harley, Ash's cat.

In the evening, Ash and I were free for some girls time, and her town has one of the few historical drive-in theaters left in the country. Kevin and I have been to another one in Wellfleet, but I thought it would be fun to check this one out. People actually get out of their cars here, and Ash and I parked backwards so we could open the trunk area of her car. We had the brilliant idea of going to a double-header and picked possibly the two worst (or best depending on your view) comedies possible: This is the End, and The Internship. Sometimes we had to laugh despite ourselves. My favorite line delivered by Jonah Hill playing Jonah Hill, "Something not that chill happened last night."

Warwick Valley Winery- June 2013
Warwick Drive-in

Ash and I got in late from the movies, and James had a lot of trouble sleeping that night so Sunday we were all exhausted. But that didn't deter us from our plans to see Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York. James has never had so many tantrums over such a large and beautiful area of land with so many inspiring art works. James must hate nature, freedom, and art. But don't worry, he looks super happy and art-absorbing in the photos.

Storm King Art Center 2013
James heading towards "Mozart's Birthday" by Mark di Suvero

Storm King Art Center 2013
Interacting with art, yo.

Storm King Art Center 2013
Ash, James, and I walking past the circuitous Storm King Wall

Storm King Art Center 2013
Ring it, James.

The first time I visited Storm King I was on an enrichment trip in middle school, maybe in 1993. I loved it. I was still young enough that the whole place felt like an imagination playground. Some of my favorite works there are the same works I first saw that day. I went back in 2005, after Cate and Matt's wedding nearby. This time there were a number of new pieces along with my old favorite ones that stood out. For example, "Three-Legged Buddha," was created in 2007 and installed in Storm King in 2010. The new artworks really change the terrain and the experience of visiting and make me want to visit more often.

Storm King Art Center 2013
"Three-Legged Buddha," by Chinese artist Zhang Huan(partially concealed here)

Storm King Art Center 2013
Kevin, James, and Ash on the observation deck

Storm King Art Center 2013
"Suspended" by Menashe Kadishman

Then we got a little silly...

Storm King Art Center 2013
Me: Copying Sleeping Boy I by Thomas Houseago, 2012
James: I don't sleep! I photo-bomb!
Storm King Art Center 2013
This is how it feels when we don't sleep.

Storm King Art Center 2013
Sitting in Isamu Noguchi's "Momo Taro"

Storm King Art Center 2013
"Pollito" relives his hatching.

Ash, thanks for an awesome visit full great memories! I will remember it for both of us, or you can re-read the blog post sometime... if you remember to do so.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Nana Drops In- June 2013

We visited Ash this weekend, and while we were there Nana came over to visit briefly. Ash even made her a mango rum drink! Look how nice the photos came out.

Nana Visits- June 2013
Smooshy faces

Nana Visits- June 2013
Kisses from Nana

Nana Visits- June 2013
Returning the kisses

Nana Visits- June 2013
And a big hug!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Father's Day 2013

We had a fun little Father's Day here. I let Kevin sleep in and made breakfast for the boys. Kevin was awoken by the fire alarm signalling that I was burning said breakfast. Such is life. It was still tasty. James got Kevin a Father's Day card and a t-shirt to commemorate their first trip together to Montauk in 2011. Then Kevin went off for a hike, and some much needed leisure and nature time. Someone on the trail, probably noting the look of blissful freedom on Kevin's face, wished him a Happy Father's Day. He was home early enough to enjoy a Red Sox game from start to finish, and we capped off the evening with Thai food and Mad Men. A very good day!

Father's Day 2013
Father's Day breakfast

Father's Day 2013
Stealing Dada's water

Thank you, Dada.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cate and Matt Visit 2013

We were lucky that Matt's good friend from school was getting married on Long Island. We got a quick visit with their family! We have haven't seen Cate, Matt, Phoebe, and Vivi since last summer, and we even got to see Cate's mom Gay who we haven't seen for almost 3 years now. We met them in Ronkonkoma and got some medium-crust pizza (is that a thing?) which is a different than the New York-style pizza in my part Long Island. Then we got some ice cream at the slowest Friendly in America.

Lefebvres- June 2013
The Clous and the Faves

Lefebvres- June 2013
Accessorizing Grandma Gay

It was wonderful seeing everyone and the children have gotten so much bigger and lovelier in the last year. Phoebe vogued for my photos, and I am obsessed with Vivi's red curly hair. I have requested that James marry her so that I can have red-haired grandchildren. He's taken my request under advisement, but hasn't made any promises.

Lefebvres- June 2013
Vivi and James peaking out the windows

Lefebvres- June 2013
Flip-side

Lefebvres- June 2013
Phoebe vogues

Lefebvres- June 2013
Pointing out the moon to Grandma- in the daytime!

Lefebvres- June 2013
Ice cream makes all women happy

Lefebvres- June 2013 
Either extreme joy or a "slush rush"

Lefebvres- June 2013
James says to stop pressuring him for grandkids, He's only 2.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Shout-out 2013

Happy Father's Day to Kevin! I don't even have to tell you all what a wonderful father Kevin is, because most of you have seen him in action yourselves. In fact, people often tell him what a great dad he is when I'm there. His work schedule allows him to be home a lot and James benefits from it greatly. Dada is always taking him to the park, reading him books, trying to interest him in the Red Sox, and changing countless diapers. All this while juggling me. Tough job!

Jones Beach- May 2013 
Kevin and James at Jones Beach

I always miss my dad on Father's Day. I see cards that would be perfect for him. I want to call him and say hi. I feel really lucky to have had him in my life and to have had him love me so much. I feel really grateful that he helped make me who I am. I also feel lucky that his example led me to expect someone as smart and  patient as my spouse. This year is a little less hard, not because time has weakened my love for him, but the opposite-- because year after year I see that the love he gave me has not disappeared or dissipated.

Happy first Father's Day to our friends John K, Jon S., and Jeff M! I hope you're being spoiled today. Here I will blantantly repost the photos from my Mother's Day Shout-out because it's easy.

Meeting JJ 2013
Teresa, JJ, and John

Visiting Ben 2012
Jon and Becky at home with Ben

2013 03 Michalowski
Inga, Silas, and Jeff

And more happy Father's Days to our friends who are veteran dads: Jim S (1 girl), Marc (1 girl), Ben C (2 boys), Mike S (3 girls), Matt L (2 girls), Casey (1 girl, 1 boy), Tim D (1 boy, 1 girl), Jason V (1 boy, and 1 girl), Mike S (2 girls), Pete C (1 girl), Rob P (1 boy), Trey (1 boy), Dan M (1 boy), Donald (1 boy), Ed T (1 boy), and Patrick P (1 girl). Happy first Father's Day as a dad to two children to Jason V!

On Mother's Day, I talked a little about what a hard time Chrissy is going through with her 3-year-old son Owen being treated for cancer. Well her husband Jason is also an amazing parent who has been doing everything he can to make his little boy as healthy as possible. They are all home from the hospital this weekend, and were able to throw Owen a little half-birthday party. How amazing is that? They've been at the hospital a lot over the last two months though and Jason is there day in and day out. More than that, he even shaved his head to make Owen feel good about losing his hair during chemo.

2013 05 27 Jason and Owen
Jason and Owen enjoying Memorial Day in Cincinnati

It's strange growing up. Now Father's Day isn't just about the amazing men who raised us, but it's also about the amazing men in our lives helping to raise our children. We love you and depend on you. It's even about our children themselves. (Isn't everything?)

In case you're curious: last year's Father's Day Shout-out.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Great-grandma Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013

Grandma Ruth had a big party to celebrate her 90th birthday! Her four children who all adore her worked together to make the party the best ever. Having four children who love you so much and spend so much time with you is the greatest success imaginable.

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
Ruth and her children: Mary, Nesie, Kathy, and Dick

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
Ruth poster for the party

All her grandchildren were there too which is quite a feat. Her children all live in Massachusetts, but her grandkids came from Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, and even Florida!

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
Ruth and her grandkids: Kevin, Chris, Katie, and Andrew

Even her sisters were there! Her sister Phyllis and her sister Barbara looked like they were having a great time celebrating their big sister!

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
Ruth talking to her sister Phyllis at the party

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
Ruth and her sister Barbara

All in all there were about 50 people there to celebrate how much we all love Ruth. She's smart, funny, kind, loving, and generous. We are blessed to have her in our lives. Her son Dick gave a very moving speech where he expressed just how lucky we all are to have her. And a old friend who used to be her tenant wrote a funny and touching poem about great she is. Ruth moves people to poetry!

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
Dick giving a speech-- very moving!

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
An old tenant and friend reading a poem she wrote in Ruth's honor

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
Laughing at a joke about how little Ruth payed them for collecting the eggs from the 
chickens- it's funny because it's true.

Her kids surprised her with a (second) birthday cake, but they thankfully refrained from sticking 90 candles in it so we wouldn't burn the restaurant down.

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
Blowing out her arbitrary number of candles!

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
Eating cake- Kevin is laughing because James was already on a sugar high

It was a great party and it was a lot of fun to spend time with all the wonderful people that are a part of Ruth's life. Happy birthday Grandma Ruth!

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
Party mingling

Ruth's 90th Birthday 2013
The Clous at the party

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