Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I love weddings. I love going to weddings. Weddings usually make me cry. I get all nostalgic and think about my own wedding, which I loved every minute of. Everybody told me that my reception was the most fun they ever had at a wedding. I was proud of that, because we hired the "one man band" guy we had seen at another wedding because he really knew how to work the crowd. We chose really cool songs for our first and last dances and because it was before Christmas, we chose poinsettia plants as the centerpieces. For the seating assignments, we attached the "Table #__" cards to a Christmas ornament with our names and our wedding date hand-written on them, that I made myself. It's been 14 years and people still tell me they hang their ornament up and think of us every Christmas. I love that!

I remember my brother telling me that he felt like a fish inside a fishbowl on his wedding day, where everyone was watching him and Di and their every move. All eyes on them. I loved that feeling! I know, I know, this doesn't shock those of you that know me well. (My brother also used to say I had a mouth the size of Peru, and my nickname from a close family friend was "Motor Mouth". I am NOT shy.) I still watch my wedding video once in a while. Hubby still has never watched the entire thing!! That was our agreement - he didn't want it video-taped, I did. So, the agreement was that I would never MAKE HIM watch it. Marital harmony!

This coming weekend, Hubby and I are traveling to a wedding in Pennsylvania. The groom was one of my former teens when I was doing the High School Youth Group at Church. He was a sulky, moody boy who showed up at the Mass because his new girlfriend dragged him there. At first I figured we'd see him this once and he'd never return, girlfriend or not. But he surprised all of us by coming back again and again. When we wanted to paint our youth center, he offered to paint a mural on one wall. At one point he was so upset about a youth group issue that he staged a boycott until we heard him and his peers out. His graduating "class" from the youth group are among some of my favorite teens to this day.

After he graduated, we didn't see him as much, but kept in touch with him. One day he called us and asked if we would consider him joining the adult team for the youth group. I was so happy and proud. He wrote a paper for a college class about his experiences with the youth group and how we all helped him change his life around. I have never, ever, been more humbled by someone else than I was that day.

Well, he joined our team and in the long run (and I do mean LONG run, many years and a few parish changes later) ended up running the youth group!! He has since "retired" (as have I) and met the love of his life who he will marry on Saturday. I don't have any younger siblings, and he is an only child, so we are always joking that he is my little brother and I am his sister. I really, really like his wife-to-be, too, and I tell him all the time that I might even like her better than I like him. Typical older sister thing to say, huh?!

I am truly blessed to be able to witness this marriage and I hope they have many, many years of happiness.


- G

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Marathon Start

I feel like I have been running a marathon since I last blogged. (Okay, stop laughing NOW!). The last post was all about our Summer activities. Since then I have gone back to work, Pal has gone back to school, and it is now October. I didn't even have ONE post in September! I will catch you up as best I can:

Pal was at Cub Scout Camp during the week of my last post. He didn't really like it this year because they decided that the Webelos II scouts would go to an offsite Boy Scout camp instead of staying in camp with all of the others. So they would pile onto a bus for a 45-minute ride to the other camp every day. Then on the last day they brought them back into the camp with all of the other kids and it was (to quote Pal) "awkward". Plus this was the first year that I had to be back to work and couldn't go as the "Den Escort". I like to think he missed his Mom. =)

Back to work came early for me this year. Myself and 2 others got a promotion and this brought on a ton of new responsibilities, (it was a whole other job on top of our regular jobs), and boy were we in shell shock. I have never had so much work to do in such a short period of time before. I was EXHAUSTED at the end of each day! I would rather be busy than bored, but at this point I could have used enough time to take a bathroom break!! Especially since I was looking around and it didn't seem like the other 2 had as much work to do as I did. Thankfully they noticed, too, and everyone pitched in to help me when I needed it. When I got home every night it took all I had to keep my eyes open!

Pal started school before Labor Day. He seems to like his new teacher and isn't getting loaded down with homework, yet. This teacher likes them to get as much done IN school so they don't have to take it home. I love that theory, but I worry about next year when he goes to middle school and has to manage his work himself. This is not his strong point! He is also doing Karate twice a week and has decided to keep learning trombone in the school band this year. On top of all of that he has CCD and Cub Scouts, so we are always going somewhere.

In the same week that Pal went back to school, he turned 10! We had a "Lego Store" party with 3 of his buddies, with pizza and cupcakes after. Then we had a family party at the house, which was small this year. And that was just fine with me!! Here is a pic of the Lego Party:

Toward the end of September, one of my cousins from Arizona came to New England with his wife for a short vacation. I'll call them the "Carbs". This is one of my "long lost" cousins that our family never really knew until I made contact with one of them about 10 years ago through email. It was so great to see both of them, and this was her first time to the east coast. She just fell in love with it, and we all got along so nicely. Here are a couple of pictures from their visit: My sisters C & P, with myself and RCarbs

The Four R's
RCarbs, my Dad, my Brother and my Nephew)

My Dad and RCarbs (they kinda look alike, don't ya think??!)

Mr. & Mrs. Carbs and Dad

My family once again did the Alzheimer's Memory Walk as the team "Memory Keepers". Here is a picture of the whole team:

Now we are headed into Columbus Day weekend - at long last! It is also Hubby's 39th B-day next week! He will be spending the following weekend camping with the Cub Scouts (did I mention that he took over their den this year?) Look at how cute he is in uniform:I will be thoroughly enjoying some time to myself (in other words, the house will get cleaned and stay clean for longer than 10 minutes!!!). I have made some plans to hang out with the ladies and I am SO looking forward to it.

Mom's disease is progressing, and she now needs assistance with eating. She looks pretty good though and doesn't seem to be in too much pain. Here is a recent picture of her with 2 of my nieces:

I've caught you up on my life since August (not 100%, there isn't enough blogisphere out there to chronicle ALL of it!!!!). Pretty soon it will be the holidays and we will be saying, "Where did 2009 GO?"!!!

Have a great long weekend!
- G