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Archive for November, 2007

Google Images meme

Drea tagged me for this fun meme. What you do is take the answer to each question, search it in GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH and post the first picture that pops up.

Age at my next birthday:
Not for another 11 months, though!

Place I’d like to travel:
Portugal – I’m 50% Portuguese.

Favorite place:
That would be home.

Favorite object:
My pillow!

Favorite food:
My favorite dish is Thai spaghetti from a Thai restaurant in Providence.

Favorite color:
I know this is random, but brown is my favorite color. I like it because it’s beautiful when paired with light pink or light blue.

Nickname:
My dad calls me Jet… he would scream, “Go Jet!” when I was on the starting blocks at swim meets.

Birthplace:
Good ol’ Providence, RI

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8 Things Meme

We’ve been tagged!

Thank you Dawn at Coming to a Nursery Near You!

Here are 8 facts/things/habits about myself:

1. Since my father was married before my mother, and had my 2 brothers from that marriage, my birth order is a bit different… I’m the oldest on my mother’s side of the family. First daughter. First grandchild. First-born for my mother and father together. But I’m the third child for my father. Don’t worry, no complex here.

2. I am obsessed with Danielle Steel books.

3. I have 3 TV shows that are my all-time favorites – Murder, She Wrote; The Golden Girls; and People’s Court. I still Tivo them everyday and watch them at night.

4. I pinch my knuckle. That’s my nervous habit. Been doing it since I was a toddler.

5. The first time I met Matt (my husband) we both were dating other people. But the second I laid eyes on him, I had this “feeling” rush through my body about him. Six months later, both (finally) unattached… we started dating. That was it.

6. I made Junior Nationals in swimming when I was a junior and senior in high school. And I held the all-time Rhode Island record in the 100 yd breaststroke for 14 years.

7. I had major dental and orthodontic work and had to have 10 teeth pulled by the time I was 8.

8. I prefer hot over cold weather.

- Audrey
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Christmas memories are oftentimes so clear. So powerful. So immense.

These memories quicken our senses.

And if it is true that to be able to enjoy one’s memories is to live twice, then my Christmas Angel has allowed me to live over and over again… and again.

Each Christmas, when I unwrap my Angel, swirls of colors and voices and heavenly vibrations enter my head and my home.

It is quite magical.

This is her story.

My Dad was a guy who loved to fix things. He was good at it. He had lots of tools… not too organized, but he knew where everything was. I especially remember the old, heavy metal cases that he had rescued from work at the Navy base, and sometimes even from the side of the road. These cases became storage for his wealth, his tools.

I did a lot of puttering around with my Dad. Interestingly enough, my two brothers didn’t. They loved my Dad as much as I did, but the rescuing and fixing gene was lost on them. Ah yes, they loved to HAVE things fixed for them… like my Mom (yes Mom, you know it’s true!).

So one Christmas season, a few days before Christmas, my Dad needed something or other from our local Benny’s, the place we went to get all kinds of fixing things back in the late 60′s. You know, before Home Depot and Lowe’s. I guess I should give a little shout out to Benny’s here, because we still have our good old Benny’s stores here in Rhode Island. Ah, Benny’s… the place where my precious Christmas Angel memory was born.

With me tagging along, my Dad found what he was looking for. And then he spotted, on one of those innocuous discount tables, a beautiful little angel. She was dressed in a lovely white tulle skirt that had brilliant gold sequins sewn across the bottom. Her wings were the same white tulle, with two sparkling gold sequins sewn high on each side. Her center was a small golden globe. And her arms were white pipe cleaners with lights on the ends that folded toward heaven. Her neck was wrapped with a golden tinsel-type wrap.

But I think it was her face that captured my Dad’s heart. She was so petite. So innocent. Her beautiful blue eyes were looking to the left. Her cheeks were bowls of cherries. And in her blonde hair was a golden bow.

And even though she was plastic… she was exquisite.

But her lights didn’t work. Neither the light in her center, nor the lights at her hands. Hence, her place at the discount table.

Well, my Dad picked her up and said, “I’m going to take her home and fix her lights.”

I was pretty much like, “OK, Dad.” Never knowing or imagining that the moment at hand would permanently be imprinted on my life. In my heart. In my soul.

Well, we bought her. I think she cost less than a dollar. We brought her home. My Dad rewired her. Fixed her. Lit her up like the angel she was destined to be. Then we placed her on top of our Christmas tree.

And she sat atop our tree for many years. Each year as we unpacked her, I thought about how my Dad fixed things. How careful he was. How caring and wonderful.

And then my Dad passed away suddenly in August of 1975.

That first Christmas brought lots of tears as I unpacked the Christmas Angel. The reminiscence was almost too much to bear. But as my Mom watched, I placed our Christmas Angel ever so carefully atop our tree that year.

By the next Christmas, I was married and living in a home of my own. I must note here that my Dad never met the man who would become my husband. But my dad had heard me talk of this man “Barry” during my visits to see him in the hospital after his major heart attack. In this sense, I know for sure that my Dad had given his seal of approval to this wonderful man in my life.

My Mom had also sold her home. And all I needed and wanted were the Christmas decorations.

And this is how I came to have the Christmas Angel.

And on each of the past 31 Christmases, since my Dad passed away, I have placed the Christmas Angel atop my tree. Each time, I see my Dad’s face… his strong and caring hands… his easy manner and beautiful smile.

And although her lights have not worked for some time now, my Christmas Angel still dazzles the room with the brilliant light that comes from that place where memories are born.

Was the memory born at Benny’s? Perhaps.

But I know that my cherub becomes brighter and brighter each time I tell the story of the Christmas Angel. And how my Dad rescuing her allows her to bring him home to us each and every Christmas.

Yes, it is magic. Heavenly magic.

- Sharon
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Skimbaco.com (which is owned and run by our friend and favorite fashionista Katja) is currently having a 12 days of Christmas Shopping Event, featuring daily deals, up to 65% off!

WHAT:
The Skimbaco.com huge Holiday Shopping Event – 12 Days of Christmas.

WHEN:
Going on now! (Ends December 4th)

WHY:
Skimbaco.com wants to make shopping fun for parents and give them lots of fabulous deals!

SKIMBACO’S PRODUCTS:
Skimbaco.com offers several celebrity moms’ favorite brands, such as Tea Collection, Blume Girl, Lola et Moi, Baby Star, Livie & Luca, Avalisa, Gigi Blanki Co and many imported children’s fashion brands like Paper Wings, and Edenstar. Lots of gift items for the whole family, including personalized clothing and accessories, designer jewelry and baby gifts. Also, Twinkle-Kids felt cakes, picked the best toy gift in the Simple Life magazine this year.

* And for two fabulous Holiday Gift Guides, check out Katja’s Skimbaco Lifestyle Holiday Gift Guide AND our 2007 Pinks & Blues Holiday Gift Guide.

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It’s funny to me that in this Internet age, we no longer have to wait until our high school reunions to see what our classmates have been up to since graduating.

I say this because my 10th reunion is coming up next year, and Facebook and MySpace – and yes, straight-up Google searches – allow me to be the total snoop that I am.

What, oh what, did we do before the Internet? And by ‘we’ I mean other snoops like me (come on, I know I’m not the only one).

Oh, yes… we waited until we were forced into the dreaded group situation of The Reunion to find out if:

a) the beautiful girls and the “hot” guys have gotten better – or worse – with age

b) the geeky guy from science class has become a billionaire off an invention

c) karma has gotten around to visiting the person(s) who tried to make your life a living hell

d) the “stars” of high school are still trying to re-live their Glory Days (as Bruce Springsteen would say)

e) the guy who cheated on all his girlfriends has been blessed with 6 daughters

f) the plain-and-awkward girl has morphed into a supermodel

My school experience was a little different because I spent Kindergarten through 10th grade in my town’s public school system, and then transferred to a private school for 11th and 12th grade.

So even though I graduated from the private school, I keep in touch with the people I grew up with in the public schools more … and to be frank, would rather go to a reunion with them.

I still haven’t decided if I’m going to go to my private school’s reunion, which is in May. My senior year wasn’t the best experience for me (for reasons I’ve discussed in my other blog, but don’t feel like getting into right now).

After all, I already know what’s going on in the lives of my classmates (there were only 87 kids in my graduating class), thanks to the power of the Internet.

I know who hasn’t changed a bit (physically and/or personality-wise).

I know who ended up marrying his or her high school sweetheart.

I know who went from being straight-laced to a total party animal.

I know who could stand to quit raiding the pantry at night.

It’s all right there on the good ol’ World Wide Web.

And if they really want to know what’s going on in my life, well… that’s pretty much all here for them to read about, too.

So what did we do before the Internet?

I guess we satisfied our curiosity by waiting until fate or the five-or-ten year mark brought us together again.

- Jane
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williamsharon.jpgI just love the honest and innocent sincerity with which children respond to adults.

Take last weekend, for example.

My entire family of 10 adults and 7 grandkids went to New York City to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. And “spectacular” it was!

But getting to New York City for the 11:30 am show (we got the tickets last April!) from Rhode Island meant having all the kids meet at my house at 6:30 am. Pack into 3 cars. Make sure all the kids had snacks. Changes of clothes for the littlest ones. Etc., etc., etc. (I will add here that Jane and Steve – the only ones with no kids – were the last to arrive!)

And of course maneuver into New York City. Park. Walk a few blocks. Stand in line. Get more snacks. Find our seats.

And then see the wonderful show.

Now after all of this, it is expected that young children would be exhausted.

So when 3-year-old William asked me to please carry him back to our car after the show, I said (in my most poetic grandma fashion and wearing my most exquisite 4-inch heels), “Honey, I will carry you over the tallest mountain. Over the most tumultuous sea. Through the deepest valley. To the highest star…”

To which he just put his tired little head on my shoulder and said, “Grandma, can you just carry me to the car?”

Touché!

- Sharon
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Drive to Pittsburgh with tolls and gas: $95.00

Matching fleece shirts for all three boys: $34.50

New boots for Benjamin: $12.99

Picture with Santa (plus frame): $6.00

Seeing my 3 boys on Santa’s lap: PRICELESS

Ahh… it’s the holiday season!
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Baby’s first Christmas… Santa doesn’t need his nose, right!?

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Sibling Night!

Friday night we had a sibling night.

The four of us kids, along with our husbands and wives, went out to dinner and bowling.

We couldn’t remember the last time just the 8 of us were able to all get together, without kids, to hang out and have some fun.

The night started out at Chili’s for some pre-bowling sustenance and then went off to Extreme Rock ‘N Bowl.

We all agreed that it wasn’t all that “extreme”. The music was kind of low, so the “rock” part was kind of missing.

But the “bowl” was definitely there.

We had a lot of laughs and a ton of fun!

- Audrey
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We took on Manhattan!

Well, our family trip to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular this year was just as exciting as expected!

The show was incredible… the Rockettes’ costumes were incredible, and there were a bunch of new dance routines and segments that were brand new to the show.

Radio City is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, so the show included a little video segment on its history, which was really cool.

The show is about 90 minutes long and has no intermission, but it goes by very quickly. There are tons of children in the audience, but you don’t hear a peep out of any of them because they’re so mesmerized by the show.

Case in point – Alex taking it all in:

We also got to see the tree up in Rockefeller Center, but it’s still getting decorated so the scaffolding was all around it:

We had a fabulous time!

- Jane
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