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Archive for the ‘husbands’ Category

My husband and I love to travel and explore new places. We rarely begin any journey with an itinerary, and yet we always end up having the most remarkable times.

Yes, we have our “Bucket List” of places we’ve yet to visit, places both near and far… but this past Friday night we stumbled upon one of the most amazing “near” places imaginable – WaterFire.

The night began when Jane asked us to join her and her husband for dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant in Providence. I hadn’t been to this restaurant since November, so I was up for the best vegetarian Thai spaghetti anywhere. We also “BYOB”, and relaxed over dinner, wine and beer. The night was my favorite… warm, with a warm wind.

As we were leaving the restaurant, the owner asked if we were headed to WaterFire.

We weren’t. But we immediately changed our minds. Yes, it was kind-of a long walk. And I did have high heeled clogs on. But hey, my husband and I hadn’t been to WaterFire in four years.

So what is WaterFire?

WaterFire is the most stunningly beautiful, award winning work of art that I have ever seen. WaterFire was designed by sculptor Barnaby Evans… where one hundred bonfires are lit on braziers installed in the three rivers of downtown Providence. The fires are ceremoniously lit, one at a time, at dusk. Soon the bonfires that sit on the water are sending delicious scents and crackling flames up and down the rivers.

And it’s free. Families, teenagers, lovers, senior citizens… people from all walks of life converge in the center of the city as enchanting music fills the air, vendors sell the wares, and fires delight.

I have always loved Providence. I love its history. I love its name. I love its diversity. I love its recent renaissance.

And I fell in love all over again Friday evening as I strolled with my husband and Jane and Steve… with the sparkling bonfires dancing on the river.

Yes, sometimes we don’t have to look further than our own back yards for the most special things of all.

Please tell me about the special things in your back yard!


An artist ignites the fires at Waterfire

– Sharon

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What can get me OUT of bed at midnight…

Slip on a fabulous pair of Manolos…

And say, “Hello, lovahs!” like I mean it?

Yes… Sex and the City.

There is nothing quite like Sex and the City. Funny. Flamboyant. Fabulous!

And I got to see all the fabulousness at a sold-out midnight show at our local Showcase Cinema with Audrey, Jane and my husband Barry last night. Or more accurately, this morning!


Me, Jane and Audrey waiting in line at the theater

You see, I have a history with sex and the city. No, not THAT kind of history… (or at least I ‘m not telling.) But a real history with the show.

I became good friends with Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte back in the summer of ’99, when Audrey and Jane were both living in New York City for the summer. Audrey was interning at ABC’s The View and Jane was taking an acting course at NYU. They shared a dorm suite at NYU right in the heart of Union Square. I drove into NYC at least once a week to visit (and bring them on shopping sprees… food shopping, that is). OK. We ventured to Soho and Madison Avenue more often than I told my husband (!)…

But I found myself by myself during the days, exploring the great city of New York. It was on these days that I met my four new best friends. Right across the street from the dorm, there seemed always to be so much film activity. I would grab a morning coffee at The Coffee Shop, sit outside in Union Square, take in the city sounds and sights… and decide what to do that day. But first, I would watch the makings of what would become my favorite HBO show. Sex and the City. Being created right there in front of me in Union Square.

I did not know then how much fun and fashion and fabulousness my new friends would bring to my life. And to the lives of my daughters. I know that little game where women say which Sex and the City friend is most like them. Well, I know that as women grow and age and develop new relationships, that identity can change a bit. But it is always so refreshing to have Carrie philosophizing, Samantha lusting, Miranda balancing and Charlotte nurturing. This is exactly what they are still doing (without giving too much of the movie away!).

And last night at midnight, wearing my Manolos and surrounded by my own beautiful all-grown-up daughters and my own Mr. Big… I was in Sex and the City Heaven.

So when I arrived home at 3:00 am and kicked off my Manolos, how did I feel?

Fabulous. Of course!

– Sharon

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Last night my husband and I took my mother-in-law out for dinner. This was not how the evening was supposed to go… but that’s what I love about life, because the night turned into a lovely golden thread of beautiful memories for all of us.

Actually, my mother-in-law was scheduled for surgery this morning but plans changed when she was diagnosed yesterday with an infection. With a round of antibiotics, the surgery will be on again, probably next week. But of course she was very nervous, then frustrated, so my husband and I eased her angst by taking her out for her favorite dinner at a little gem of a place here in Rhode Island. Yes, the Alaskan King Crab Legs, sweet potato, spinach, and tons of bread and buttah (as she calls it) were just what the doctor ordered, and soon she was cracking up with laughter at my husbands’s jokes and antics. He knows just how to make anyone, especially his mom, feel bettah.

My mother-in-law is 89 years old. She drinks beer. Tells jokes. And still bakes treats for her kids, grandkids, and now great-grandkids. So I wasn’t surprised when she brought along a gift bag of her famous cinnamon twirls to drop off at Audrey’s home. Yes, she not only remembered Audrey’s birthday, but spent the day before her supposed-to-be surgery baking Audrey’s favorite cookies. She placed them into a Tupperware container that she remembered Audrey loving as a child, and birthday wrapped them in a beautiful presentation. But remember… this is all on top of being worried about the surgery that was canceled at the last minute.

But anyway… Flo got to talking about the baby shower that she “threw” for me when I was expecting Audrey, the shower that happened to be 30 years ago yesterday. Yes, the exact date as our little dinner last evening. She reminisced about what she baked that day, who was there, what I wore… and especially about how I carried things up and down the stairs that day as she warned me that I would be having that baby sooner than I should.

Well, she was correct. The shower was on May 21. Audrey was due June 26. I went into labor 30 years ago today, May 22.

I knew something was going on when I felt a whirlpool-like swish that woke me up from a sound sleep. I knew something was going on when I saw a little pinkish-ness on the morning toilet paper. So as soon as I arrived at school that morning (30 years ago today!), I rushed to our school nurse and told her of my “condition.” She smiled and said, “Honey, you’re in labor.”

“But I can’t be! The baby isn’t due for 5 more weeks!” I said. Well, cried.

So began my day. Me in total denial. But my denial was not something Audrey was considering, so at 10:00 am, as I stood up to teach a class, my water broke. I was so huge that I couldn’t see my legs and feet, so I asked my team-teacher if there was water… or blood… on the floor. She saw nothing, so I knew the liquid had to be clear. Thank God.

Thank God, too, that my husband and I taught at the same school, so I sent a student from my English department to the Math department to PLEASE get my husband.

My husband was there in a heartbeat and off we went to the hospital. I was admitted immediately. My husband made all the important calls. His mother said, “I told her not to be going up and down those stairs.” And we waited.

And waited.

But it seems that Audrey had changed her mind.

I had contractions all that day, 30 years ago today. But none so alarming that the baby seemed imminent.

At midnight my husband was sent home to rest up for the next day, when I would be induced further.

I remember staring at the night sky and the stars from my hospital window. I knew my little baby was a bit too early to be coming, but I prayed and prayed for a healthy baby. I thought of all the shower gifts that were piled into a corner of the un-prepared nursery. I thought of my dad who had died three years earlier, and who so wanted to be a grandpa. I knew he was smiling from above.

The next morning, May 23, was a spectacular warm and sunny May morning. And I labored that morning, that afternoon… until a cesarean delivery was “ordered.”

My husband was allowed into the delivery room with me… and I watched my husband’s eyes as he watched our baby be born into this glorious world. And at 5:53 pm our little girl made her beautiful appearance. She weighed 4 lbs. 9 oz. and measured 17 inches. She was the most beautiful baby. She was whisked away for all the necessary premie things… and I woke up a couple of hours later in recovery.

As I opened my eyes, our pediatrician was standing over my bed. He told me that my baby was perfect… and he wanted her name so the nurses could put it in big letters across her incubator.

That moment defined my baby girl. I had thought Allison Audrey was a lovely name. My husband LOVED Audrey Allison. And at that moment, I knew just how loving and special and perfect this daddy was for this perfect little baby girl.

I whispered, “Audrey Allison.”

Our Audrey Allison has always loved her name. And each time I say it, I think of my husband’s eyes as he watched her come into this world. His first daughter. His first little baby girl.

And I think of my mother-in-law… scolding me for walking up and down those steps on the day of my baby shower.

And guess what? She was still scolding me last night! Ah, yes… we had such a wonderful time talking and smiling and laughing and being scolded about those days when our precious little bundle of joy was making her way to us.

So Audrey… happy almost 30th. 30 years ago today I was thinking of my baby… you!

And thanks, Nana Flo… for all the wonderful memories of that special, special time.

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On turning 30…

Tomorrow I will be 30 years old.

30 years old.

I’ve never been one of those people who “dreads” certain ages. I have always embraced each birthday with a sense of excitement, contentment and gusto!

30 will be no different.

My 20’s have been good to me. 10 years of growing… learning… dreaming… reaching… loving and moving in a forward motion.

I met my husband at 20. Graduated from college at 21. Got married at 23. Had my first baby at 26. My next at 27. My next at 28. And conceived my next at 29.

I lived 7 of the past 10 years in New York City working for Donna Karan. I pursued a life-long dream to not only live in New York City, but “make it there”… just like Frank Sinatra sang. And I did, along with my husband. We were able to create a “perfect” little life for ourselves there. And it was wonderful.

I bought my first house in my 20’s. My first house. A place to call home and know that I won’t be handing in my keys at the end of my lease.

I wrote and published my first book, Preconception Plain & Simple. I started Pinks & Blues (soon-to-be named Mom Generations) with my mother and sister. And I’ve watched our business grow…

I have met more and more beautiful people. And have made more and more wonderful friends.

I have had the pleasure of getting to know my parents and grandmothers as an adult woman and mother. I have delighted in seeing my brothers become fathers. My sister meeting the love of her life. And my parents become grandparents.

I have lived. And I have loved in my 20’s.

I have my husband to thank for the deep love that I not only feel from him, but have for him.

And I never imagined 3 (almost 4) little men entering my life and changing it so profoundly.

Not all before I turned 30.

It’s quite amazing to me.

And so… as I embark on my 30’s tomorrow… I can’t help but think and smile about the next 10 years and what they will bring me.

Where will I be 10 years from now? Will there be more children? Will we still be living in this very home where I am typing away in at this very moment? Will the gray hairs eventually pop out? 🙂

This is the exciting part about life… and I’m excited and energized for the ride we call “our 30’s.”

– Audrey

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We expected rain all week in New England for Mother’s Day.

So you can imagine my delight when I opened my eyes at the usual 6:45am and sun was peeking through my bedroom windows!

But where was my husband?

Downstairs making coffee, breakfast and (gasp!) cleaning the kitchen before bringing up the boys and the news that I could sleep “as long as I wanted.”

But all I wanted was to gather my boys, my belly and head to one of our spectacular Rhode Island beaches!

This is what my morning looked like…


(Me and my boys – William and Alexander – pushing Benjamin… getting ready for baby Henry. Thanks BOB Strollers for this amazing stroller! Can’t wait to use it more this summer, and for getting into shape after Henry!)

*I just wanted to update – I’ve gotten a bunch of emails this morning from people asking where I got my polo shirt (in the photos on the beach). It was a gift from my husband from Motherhood Maternity. The color is aqua. The style is button-down polo. And it’s that ultra-soft cotton.*

– Audrey

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I have a bone to pick with this guy:

You know him, he’s the Dyson Vacuum inventor. Sir James Dyson, to be exact.

But I like to call him Sir D, because it makes him sound like a rapper, and that’s cool.

Not so cool? Sir D has led me astray in my domestic duties.

I first started to hear a lot of good things about the Dyson about 4 years ago, right around the time I got engaged and was starting to think about my our wedding registry.

I’ll admit that I was wooed by the hoopla surrounding the whole “no bag” thing. I would always forget to replace the bag of my old vacuum, and by the time I remembered, it just wasn’t a good scene.

Besides that, I would always forget to buy new vacuum bags (things like food and other basic human necessities were at the top of my shopping list, shockingly) so if I actually did remember to change it, I would be out of luck (well, more so my dirty rugs than me, I guess).

In the commercials, Sir D would say that sure, the current vacuum models were great and all, but (and this was the important thing) they had ONE design flaw – they lost suction.

But because of his innovation – the bagless vacuum – all would now be right in the world.

Plus, he had a British accent, which automatically meant he knew what he was talking about. And that Sir title didn’t hurt his credibility. (I’m easily impressed like that.)

So, pretty much convinced that Sir D had solved the world’s big puzzle – and already addicted to registering for just about anything and everything at Target – I put the Dyson on my our registry.

I mean, he had solved THE vacuum design flaw, right?

And I we did receive the Dyson as a shower gift, thanks to my mother-in-law. I was all gung-ho about using it at first, and I was pleased with how it worked, although carrying that heavy sucker up and down the stairs was no easy task.

However, with two big dogs, which equaled big time shedding, which equaled increased amount of vacuuming, I started to notice that it just wasn’t living up to its suctioning promises when it came to the dog hair.

Lo and behold, around that same time, they released a Dyson specifically created for use on pet hair. Unwilling to shell out $500 for a new vacuum when I we had just received one, I sucked it up (as it were) and only cursed Sir D internally for not coming out with the pet hair model before I we registered for our wedding.

But hey, if they already mastered that ONE design flaw, I thought, why would they even need a whole ‘nother vacuum just for pet hair?

Just sayin’.

OK, so a few years have gone by now and I’ve been mildly happy with my Dyson.

My husband and I did have to send it back to Dyson once because it wasn’t picking anything up… when it came back, it worked better for a few weeks, and then went to being so-so. Which was better than picking up nothing, but not great.

Honestly, though, it was too much of a hassle to get people back on the phone and have to send it back/wait for its return again.

I had just kind of resigned myself to the fact that it seemed everyone else loved their Dyson but me. But what could I do? Sir D had made THE FLAWLESS vacuum!

So imagine my surprise when I heard Sir D’s voice from my television the other day, talking about how for hundreds of years, vacuum cleaners have had, “ONE fundamental design flaw.”

Old news! I thought.

But nooooo! He was talking about a NEW fundamental design flaw… the fixed axle that only allows vacuums to go in a straight line. So he has now created the Dyson Ball vacuum, which operates with one big ball – no wheels – allowing the vacuum to “pivot on the spot.”

He compares it to a computer mouse, which has a ball on the bottom so it can easily travel anywhere.

OK, I get that. But the absolute kicker in this commercial is when he says this line: “I mean, you wouldn’t make a computer mouse with wheels, would you?”

Of course I wouldn’t, Sir D. That would be silly!

But YOU DID make a vacuum with wheels. Remember that one!? The one that was supposed to be the be-all-end-all of vacuums.

I mean, I understand that things evolve and the need for new things comes about… but I remember in one of his original commercials, he said that he had gone through about 5,000 vacuum prototypes before he finally cracked the code in creating the perfect cyclone for his bagless vacuum.

Never once during those 5,000 failures did his team think, “Hey! Maybe there isn’t just ONE design flaw to be working on?”

I mean, going through 5,000 prototypes must have taken awhile.

I’m just thinking that maybe a light bulb could have gone off in someone’s head a little sooner.

OK, end rant. Consider bone picked.

Thanks for listening. I’m off to vacuum some dog hair.

– Jane

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We took the boys to Philadelphia this weekend. William is obsessed with anything and everything Star Wars. My husband read online that the Franklin Institute was holding a Star Wars Exhibit through the first week of May, so we decided to make a weekend out of it.

Oh, yes. William. Alexander. Benjamin. Pregnant me, all 7 months. And Daddy.

Quite the crew.

The Star Wars Exhibit was great. William loved it. Alexander loved it. And even Benjamin seemed to get a kick out of all the costumes.

After we were done at the Franklin Institute, Matt and I thought it would be cool to take the boys to see the Liberty Bell. And really any other historical landmarks I could physically walk to.

The Liberty Bell was all I could do. Not only was it tough chasing the 2 older guys around, it was an amazing 82 degrees! Just gorgeous.

After waiting in the 30 minute line to see the Liberty Bell, and taking the appropriate family photos in front of it (you know, with none of the boys looking in the direction of the camera at the same time!)… we decided to let the boys run around and let loose on the grass field in front of where the Liberty Bell is housed.

And that’s when it happened.

There was a group of about 50 tourists from Korea visiting the Liberty Bell when we were there. I could tell they were getting a kick out of our boys waiting in line and taking some photos in front of the bell. They were smiling and laughing at the antics that went into getting them to pose. (It’s never easy!)

So imagine our surprise as we were letting the boys run free on the grass and the whole group starting snapping photos and taking video footage of them and Benjamin, who was watching and laughing from his stroller.

Their translator approached me and told me that they thought the boys were adorable and they couldn’t get over their big blue eyes, and asked if my husband and I minded. I could that they were just getting a kick out of the boys (believe me, I would never allow anything that I didn’t feel comfortable with), so I said it was fine. After all, my boys seemed to rather like the attention! They even started playing “tag” for photogs. It was hilarious.

But it got even better. The boys eventually wanted some water, so we packed everything up and started walking… and they followed and kept snapping photos! Of ALL of us.

I heard one woman say to her her husband, “I wonder who that family is…”

Oh yes, “that family” was us.

And this continued until we came to a little cafe down the street. This is when we parted ways… my little family and the “papparazi.”

We even had another woman see what was going on and she started taking photos of us too, probably thinking… well, they have to be “somebody???”

I kept saying to Matt, “Oh my God, where are these photos going to turn up?”

At first it was funny… but then it got to be a bit too much. Especially for the kids. They are not used to having people in their faces with cameras like that. You know, besides Matt and I! 🙂

So Brad and Angelina… I feel for you. I do. I don’t know how you guys do it day in and day out. Hats off to you. Bravo.

Because as different as it was for us, and as crazy and as silly as it got, I knew that once we got away, that was it for my family.

So, the force was with us on Saturday, just a little bit of a different force than we thought! But it was all good… and quite filled with memories to last a lifetime.

– Audrey

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