My whole family is getting together for my Grandfather’s 80th Birthday tomorrow. It should be a good time. The photo above is from Easter of 1985, and I love that all the girl cousins are wearing our Buster Browns. And my little brother looks so cute in a bow tie. We always had a good time running around with each other. There will be lots of little ones under the age of 5 scampering about tomorrow. It should be good.


I had some time this morning, so I pulled out the two dolls that my mother had saved from when I was a kid. One is an Annie doll that my aunt made and the other a doll that my grandmother made to look a little like me. She has blonde hair, and once had blue eyes (they’ve faded to look greenish-yellow). At one point, my cousins and I all had matching dolls. They all had Annie dolls and ones from our grandmother made to look like them. I wonder if they all still have theirs.

Annie got a change of clothing, just because her outfit never really stayed snapped. And the blonde doll got some mending in the armpits and a new outfit. Her original baby outfit has these old school bloomers that have a plastic lining. I guess so the cloth diaper wouldn’t leak through.

I think Bridget thinks they are pretty neat. She’s also got one of Brendan’s old Cabbage Patch kids to round out her vintage doll collection.

my stars

Brendan is on this mission to find an old laptop bag so we have something to take the Wii in when we go to Texas at the end of the week. It might be tucked away in a closet in the office, there are boxes in there from when we moved. Sort of random crap that didn’t really have a place, or we never quite needed so it didn’t get unpacked.

One of those random things was a box of letters that I’ve saved. At some point after we got married — or were close to getting married — I threw away all the letters that I’d saved from high school boyfriends, but I did not throw away the two that Brendan sent me. I just finished the first one. He’d probably like me to throw it away. It’s seven pages long. Mostly about how he misses me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. Awwww. The second actually has an exclamation point in it! I don’t think that my letters to him got saved, though there probably are emails and IM conversations somewhere. He’s more of a pack rat about those things than I am.

We really were just two crazy kids in love. It’s almost strange and hard to recall. Some things have changed, and some haven’t.

choo choo!

Since we didn’t have anything going on yesterday, I thought it might be nice to take Bridget to a train garden. I just assumed that it was a common thing everywhere. Apparently not. It seems like it might be a Maryland/Baltimore thing. I could not find a single one in Virginia. I just thought it was something Volunteer Fire Departments did. Not so much. We’ll have to hit up the AVFD when we go to my parents’ next weekend.


This isn’t too different from the idiotic game my brother and some of our friends used to play in high school: Dammit, that hurts. Basically it consisted of them hitting the crap out of each other with plastic hockey sticks, noodles, sticks, whatever was around until someone said, "Dammit, that hurts!". I didn’t get it then, and I don’t get it now.

sweet memories

Ran across this article in the Post about Praiano, Italy, the little village we stayed in Italy when we were there for Vince and Kate’s wedding in 2003. The article is spot on, and brought back the memories of the entire trip. It mentioned everything: Bar de Sole, the language barrier, the stairs, Padre Pio…

It’s funny, I was just thinking about our trip not that long ago.

What’s particularly interesting is that the Details article that accompanies the main article mentions the market we frequented. Given what happened to me on our last day, well, you decide if you want to go shopping there. I don’t think I will again. The trip as a whole was amazing though and the village was just about perfect.

[Relive our whole trip in the travelblog and the gallery.]


Happy Anniversary!

Five years ago Brendan was busy trying to shake off a hangover and find our wedding bands, while I was trying not to sweat too much before putting on my gown. Then we were off to Switzerland.

We had planned to go back to Lucerne (pictured above) this year because it was our favorite place, but someone changed those plans.


Yesterday I said goodbye to my Jetta and hello to a 2004 Vibe. As excited as I was to get the car, it was a little sad letting the Jetta go. When Brendan was thinking about getting the Jetta, I wasn’t too enthused — we were doing just fine as a one car household. So I gave him a list of things that I wanted: black, manual, sunroof etc. I didn’t expect him to find the exact car, but he did. But now, with my shoulder on the fritz again, I can’t really drive it. I was always terrified that when I shifted into 5th gear, my arm would just keep on going. The truck isn’t exactly practical for my future use, either. So that meant replacing the Jetta with a car I could drive easily, had a nice backseat, and a hatchback.

I suppose though that just about anyone who has kids has to make this sort of adjustment. At least we didn’t have to go the minivan route like my brother did. My father always laments trading in his Monte Carlo when I was born. I imagine it looked something like this. I know he had the swivel bucket seats. Ah well, the first of many sacrifices for the offspring.


Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

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