Friday, March 30, 2012

First Trip to the Cinema

Actually, that heading is not entirely accurate. I took Liam to a "mommy & me" movie in Dublin when he was about 6 months old, but that was more for me than him. I can't even remember the title of the film, it was a Spanish one, I think....

So, at 23 months old, Liam had his first big screen experience! Everything I read online said: "You're crazy - DO NOT bring a two year old to a movie, fool!" But... My sister and I were going nuts in the house with the kids on a very dreary afternoon so we said, "What the heck? Let's do it!" The worst that could happen is we have to leave the movie early.

So we packed everyone up (including the 2 month old baby) and headed to see the 4:40 showing The Lorax.

And guess what? They loved it! It was a great first film. It was amazingly vivid and colorful and had loads of silly songs. Liam loved the whole experience. He was wide eyed, chomping popcorn, and laughing at the funny bits the whole time. Definitely a success!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Coincidence?

I've been thinking about the few days before my dad passed away pretty frequently. My little family was getting ready to move back to Michigan from Dublin. We were stressed about the little details and packing up/throwing away/donating the what was left in our apartment. Gearing up for another long flight with a toddler.

The week before was beautiful. On a Wednesday morning I had plans to go for a walk with a good friend who lived in our development. At 10 am I walked over to her place with Liam in tow to collect her for our stroll to the park with our boys. I was greeted at the door by an unfamiliar face who informed me that her mother had passed away unexpectedly from complications of a stroke. This news took me by complete surprise, as I knew her mother to be in good health. The whole family had just returned from a lovely holiday in Spain. I left, and went for the walk anyway, my head spinning and heart breaking for my dear friend.

Later that day there was a knock at my door - she came to apologize for not being home for our scheduled walk. Isn't it silly the things we worry about while grief stricken? I remember just holding her hand and letting her talk about her mom; crying with her. She kept repeating, "it's just awful..." and is was. It is. When she left I couldn't help thinking about how horrible it would be to lose a parent. So incredibly sad for her, but relieved that I was fortunate enough to have still mine.

Crazy how life works, isn't it?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Visit

We've been meaning to make a a trip to see my Uncle Pete (my dad's brother) for quite a while now. He had back surgery earlier this week so it was a good excuse for us to finally get our butts over there. I am so glad we did. It was such a nice visit, though hard at times, because my dad and him looked so much alike. Not to mention they had the same mannerisms and diction.

My grandma, grandpa, and aunt were there too. Dad's whole family... as hard as it is to be around them, it's comforting and absolutely essential. I feel like Dad's going to come through the door any minute and slide right into the conversation, not missing a beat. On second thought, he was probably there all along...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Birthday Party #2: Inspiration

* Spoiler alert, for those of you attending!

The invites have been sent out, and my vision is in place (in my head)! We're having the party a week early as my mom will be out of town on his actual birthday. So, here's what I'm thinking:

I am keeping it simple, first of all - trying to make the party the best it can be on a budget. I just want lots of COLOR! Bright, vibrant color everywhere. Basically the theme revolves around the cake I'm going to attempt...

I don't think I'll do the purple layer though.
Isn't it pretty? Try not to think about all the food dye involved.

I'm really excited to try my hand at my first pennant banner. I've already picked up several sheets of colorful, patterned scrap book paper from Michael's (can I just say that crafting is a MILLION times easier in the US?) I'm going to use the dye cut machine at the middle school (where I've been subbing) for the letters.

My inspiration. Picture it with brighter, bolder colors and patterns. 

Other decorations will include those hanging paper fans, like the one below, and lots of balloons.

Colorful fans! Hung by fishing wire. I got the idea from my lovely sister-in-law.

I want to keep the food simple so that I can actually enjoy the party and not spend all of my time in the kitchen. We'll do some simple finger foods for when people arrive - my go-to's are usually guacamole and chips, hummus and veggies, etc. I'll be serving dinner too, penne with my grandma's famous pasta sause, and Italian sausage on the grill with sauteed onions and peppers.


Drinks for the adults will be margaritas - because how do you get through a child's birthday party without a little alcohol? And I think I'll have juice or punch for the kids. I haven't decided yet. There actually will only be a few kids, as the party will be pretty small - mostly family.

Is your mouth watering yet??

Ok... let the actual work begin!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Not Suicide

I was completely blindsided the other day when suicide came up in conversation with an acquaintance. I brought it up actually, discussing a student who disclosed this information to me. After I relayed this information the conversation went something like this:

Me: I am not qualified to deal with something like this!!
Her: Yeah... especially after what you went through with your dad.

Wait. What?! I was caught completely off guard. I'm sure it's not her fault that she thought my dad committed suicide. I know about the rumor mill. And I know what people think about people who die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Well I am here to say that carbon monoxide poisoning can be accidental. First of all, my dad would NEVER kill himself. If you knew him, you'd know that. He would view that as giving up, and he NEVER gave up. Second of all, He was looking so forward to retirement and his golden years. Playing with his grandsons, enjoying his wife and family... Justin, Liam and I were going to be moving home four days after he died. He was going to surprise us at the airport. He told everyone that would listen about it, and how excited he was.

Just wanted to defend his honor. God, I miss him.