Archive for the ‘dad’ Category

This picture is from December 1994, and it’s (left to right) me (Jane), Mom, Dad and Audrey. It was taken before our high school Christmas dance, before our dates arrived to pick us up! Mom, could you have maybe suggested I put a little make-up on? Can you say “pasty white!?”


This next one is from June 1992, on the day of my brother Adam’s high school graduation party. The fam (left to right: Dad, Keith, Audrey, Me, Mom and Adam) is posing in front of our house, the house I lived in from birth to almost my 18th birthday. Lots of memories there!


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It never ceases to amaze me just how small the world really is.

When I was a freshman in college, my friend Claire came to visit. She was a senior in high school at the time, lived in Boston and worked part-time at a coffee shop there.

We were hanging out in my dorm room when Bret, one of the guys who lived across the hall, came in. I introduced them and Bret commented on Claire’s t-shirt, which she had gotten at a concert in California.

“Were you at that concert?” asked Bret. “I was there, too!”

Then they both kind of looked at each other funny, sensing a deja vu moment.

It turned out that they had discussed this before – the past November, when Bret had traveled to Boston to spend Thanksgiving break with a friend’s family. He had walked into the coffee shop where Claire worked, she had been wearing that same t-shirt, and he had struck up the exact same conversation.

And somehow, they had both landed back in my little dorm room at the exact same moment, all those months later, with Claire wearing that exact same t-shirt.

OK, that’s one example. How about this one, which happened just last week.

We were on vacation in Maine. While Mom, Steve and I were sledding, Dad was standing at the bottom of the hill taking pictures and video (his hip replacement last year makes sledding kind of a bad idea for him).

A man and his two young sons joined us on the sledding hill. They had three sleds and we only had one, so the man offered me his sled, saying his was too tired from snowboarding all morning to trudge up and down the hill.

So he and my dad chatted at the bottom of the hill as Mom, Steve and I had sledding races with the two young boys.

At the bottom of the hill after one of our races, my Dad said to my Mom, “Guess who this guy lives three houses down from?”

The man’s neighbor ended up being my Mom’s Uncle Bob. My Dad and this man had just been talking about where they’re from, and the man had mentioned the town he lives in, which is the same town in which our Uncle Bob lives. My Dad had asked (thinking it was kind of a long shot) if this man knew our 80-year-old uncle, and it turned out that he did, indeed!

This next example of how small our world is really takes the cake, though.

Last month, Mom, Dad, Audrey and I went to see Cyrano de Bergerac in New York City. Driving down the Henry Hudson Parkway on the way into the city, we saw a huge billboard sign advertising Ouidad hair products.

Ouidad is a hairstylist based in NYC who specializes in curly hair. She has built an empire with her hair products and books for people with curly hair.

But before she became famous in the curl world, she was a high school student of my father’s in the 1970’s. He has followed her career through magazine and newspaper articles, and I actually remember visiting her salon in NYC in the early 1980’s during a family trip to the city.

So seeing her huge billboard on the Henry Hudson Parkway that day last month was pretty cool.

After we had seen the play that day, Mom, Dad, Audrey and I wanted to grab a quick bite to eat before leaving NYC and heading home. Audrey had lived on the Upper West Side when she lived in the city, so she wanted to take us to an Italian restaurant in her old neighborhood.

We drove up to 58th St. and found a parking spot near the restaurant. As we were walking on the sidewalk, all of a sudden we heard Dad, who was walking in front of us all, exclaim, “Ouidad!”

And right there, on the sidewalk of a busy street in New York City – a city of over 10 million people – we had run into Ouidad, the very person we were talking about earlier that day.

She was with her husband and another woman, and it took her a minute to recognize my Dad (hey, it had been over 20 years!)… but she was so surprised to have run into her old Math teacher right there on the city sidewalk, too!

We were all in such shock that we forgot to even mention that we had seen her billboard earlier that day, and had therefore been talking about her.

But it just serves to show you… you never know who you’re going to run into, no matter where you are!

Has anyone else had any serendipitous run-ins similar to these?

– Jane

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A few pictures from our vacation in breathtakingly beautiful Rangeley, Maine

The view from our condo’s deck:

The view of frozen Rangeley Lake, covered in snow:

The snowy mountains, seen from a trail on Saddleback Mountain:

A view of Saddleback Lake from Saddleback Mountain:

Yes, my doggies came on vacation… and they played…

… and slept:

They weren’t the only animals there, of course… here was the view out the window one morning as we ate breakfast in town:

Chopped wood outside our condo (no, we didn’t do the chopping):

Yes, it was cold… and here are the icicles to prove it:

A boy (OK, my husband) and his (OK, a borrowed) sled:

Steve, me and Mom snowshoeing (tons of fun… tiring fun!):

A church in the snow:

And finally, a video of Mom sledding:

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I’m on vacation this week and I forgot to scan pictures for Throwback Thursday before I left home! But I did have some old pictures that I had used for TT on my other blog (but never before used on this blog!), so rest assured, TT is still on. 😉

This first photo is circa 1983 – Dad, Audrey (in the middle) and me. We were hanging out in either my bedroom or Audrey’s bedroom. Doesn’t Dad look like a ’70s porn star!? (and yes, he was wearing shorts!)

This next one is from December 1997 – it’s (left to right) Dad, Mom, me and Audrey, posing as we were getting our Christmas tree at a tree farm. I was a senior in high school here and Audrey was a sophomore at Brown.

Pinks & Blues Girls Blog is your Throwback Thursday Headquarters!

Join in on the Throwback Thursday fun! Sign Mr. Linky so others know you’ve participated and can check out your Throwback Thursday photos on your site, and don’t forget to leave a comment to let us know you participated!

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I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I absolutely love wrapping Christmas presents. It’s actually one of my favorite parts of the holiday.

I love looking at each present before I wrap it, thinking about what the recipient of the gift means to me, and smiling as I anticipate the look on his or her face upon opening it.

This love of wrapping goes back to my childhood, when I would help my Mom wrap Christmas gifts.

She always, always gift wrapped right on her bed, spreading out the wrapping paper, the scissors, the tape, the ribbons and bows, the gift tags – and, of course, the presents – all across her bedspread.

I would help my Mom as much as I could… handing her the scissors, writing names on gift tags, keeping as many pieces of tape on my little hands as I could until she called for one.

Mom would tell me the stories behind the gifts… how she had remembered my Dad mentioning how much he loved something, and so she couldn’t wait to see his face when he opened the gift and saw she had found it. Or the traditions behind gifts for other relatives, and how those traditions began.

I remember marveling at how meticulously she creased the gift wrap when she folded the ends into a perfect “V”… and trying to memorize exactly how her hands worked their way around the gifts so that the finished product looked so neat , so even and so perfect.

Even now, as an adult, after years and years of trying to get my gift wrapping abilities to match those of my Mom, I am still in awe of just how quickly and perfectly she can wrap any gift.

With each gift purchase during the Christmas season, I think about how I will wrap it. There are some gifts that come in their own boxes, so wrapping is pretty easy to determine.

But then there are the gifts that you can play around with a little… try to keep the recipient guessing with the type of gift packaging you decide to use.

There is one gift that I am absolutely giddy about giving my husband, Steve, this year. In the off chance that he reads this post (admittedly, the odds are comparable to the odds of us winning the Powerball jackpot), I won’t say what the gift is right now, but I just know would never expect it – and he’s going to love it.

I wracked my brain to come up with the best way to wrap it without him having any clue as to what it is. Of course, Mom helped me come up with the perfect idea.

I rolled the gift up and put it in the kind of tube that holds pictures or posters. When Steve saw me put it under the tree (and I told him it absolutely was not a picture or a poster), he was completely confused. Which was precisely the reaction I was going for.

For me, it really is more fun to give than it is to receive.

I couldn’t wait to wrap all my gifts this year, which I do right on my family room floor, with the wrapping paper, the scissors, the tape, the ribbons and bows, the gift tags – and, of course, the presents – all spread out around me.

And now I can’t wait for tomorrow night, Christmas Eve, which is when my entire family gets together at Mom and Dad’s house for a big dinner and gift opening.

That’s when I get to enjoy one of my other favorite parts of the holiday – seeing my family (innocently and unknowingly) show complete disregard for my meticulously-performed gift wrapping effort and tear into their carefully and lovingly chosen gifts.

Cross-posted at New England Mamas

– Jane

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Cyrano de Bergerac.

One of my all-time favorite plays.

I remember in high school, during my senior year English class, we had to choose a play to dissect in front of our class.

My mother knew I was “obsessed” with love stories, so she recommended I read Cyrano de Bergerac.

It quite honestly changed my life.

I fell in love with the story. With its characters. With everything.

And there I was, this girl of 17, terrified to speak in front of my class about anything… and something changed within me when I read this play. I wanted to speak in front of class about it. I wanted to recite my favorite line:

“To sing, to laugh, to dream,
To walk in my own way and be alone,
Free, with an eye to see things as they are.”

And from that day on, I was never afraid to speak in public again. Crazy, huh?

Just to further prove the magic of this play, I even went on to get my degree in Theatre Arts/Public Speaking at Brown University 4 years later.

I had never understood falling in love with a character. Or lines. Or a make-me-believe place – until I read Cyrano.

So it was a TRUE dream come true when my father surprised my mom, Jane and I with Cyrano de Bergerac tickets for Sunday’s NYC Broadway production!!

And get this… starring Kevin Kline.

Yes, Kevin Kline.

Jennifer Garner (minus Ben and Violet – I scoured the audience).

And Chris Sarandon.

The production was flawless.

OK, except for the 30 minute technical difficulties mid-show. But, all the stars came out and answered questions with the audience because they felt so bad that we had to wait.

Kevin Kline was genius. Jennifer Garner was adorable.

Everything was just perfection.

To see this play on Broadway… it was unbelievable.

We spent a great evening in the City. And a delicious dinner at Angelo’s on 57th Street.

And left with that longing feeling of missing the City.

Aww… all from Cyrano de Bergerac!

Also, check out Jane’s run-down of the play at New England Mamas – today is New England Mamas’ official re-launch date, and we’re giving away lots and lots of prizes!

– Audrey

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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.

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

Good ol’ Providence, RI

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