Sunday, June 27, 2010

How We're Spending Our Summer Vacation

Swimming in Cincinnati.

Pedi-love in Loveland.

Walking a Purple People Bridge across the Ohio.

Finding fishy friends in Newport.
Slugging in Louisville.

Cruising caverns in Kentucky.

Eating Original Recipe at the original KFC.

Speeding in NASCAR country.
Getting hooked in Kansas City.

Looking at Liberty Jail.

Hiking in Boulder.

Snake-hunting in Brighton, CO.

Camping in Little Cottonwood.

The past two weeks have been some of our most fun, relaxing and memorable days ever. Seeing the country at eye-level is fascinating. Spending time with long-lost friends and relatives-- absolutely priceless.

Thanks so much to everyone who has hosted, fed, or entertained our family in any way. You people are amazing. We owe you. Big Time.

Tomorrow will be the grand splash finale--a day on the lake in Uncle Sco's boat.

Next stop: Sunshine Central (or as Brad likes to call it...Satan's Backyard).

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Post I Have No Time To Write

I have this really great Goodbye Pennsylvania post in my mind. Super sappy and sentimental. But, the thing is. I am way too tired to create right now. The kids are STILL in school (which shouldn't feel like work, but it does) and the movers arrive in two days and the washer will be disconnected soon, so it's my last crack at laundry.
I'm just too wrung out to be sentimental. Which is probably a good thing.

All I will say is that PA has been good to us. We arrived just two and we leave a busy six. Dreams have come true. Friendships have been treasured. Memories have been savored.

I am annoyed at how easy it is to disassemble a life. It took ages to hang all the pictures in just the right spots, but it only takes a minute to pull them down. I taught six weeks of summer school math to hyper fifth-graders so I could pay for that chair and sofa. Today they sit sagging on the curb. Sad.

Our friends have been so thoughtful. Parties, lunches out, special scrapbooks and beautiful gifts. It's embarrassing. It's wonderful. I can't think too much about any of it.

Moving is a test of family unity. Lots of opportunities to crack under pressure. I'm proud of us. So far, so good. A few heated discussions and several meltdowns. More to come, I'm sure. But we're hanging tight and I think we'll be stronger for it. After all, once we get to our new home, no one else will know about the Yardley Ice House or care about the Philly Phanatic. When we want to remember Inverness Drive, we'll have to rely on each other.

Am hoping to blog the journey west. Heaven (and WiFi) willing, of course. A cross-country drive is not something I plan to do very often. I think it's worth documenting.

But for now, there are suitcases and laundry piles and a whole bunch of thank you cards to write.

Goodbye, Beautiful Bucks County.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Looking Forward, Looking Back


Relaxes with good friends, cheers for the Celtics, mourns the death of his laptop.

Will miss foliage and naturally green grass.

Looks forward to a new adventure Out West.


Gets her ears pierced, pitches her first softball game, takes a field trip to Pennsbury Manor.

Will miss catching fireflies in the backyard and her best friends.

Looks forward to living near cousins.


Gets his cast off this Wednesday, performs in kindergarten musical, loves hard boiled eggs.

Will miss having a basement and his friends--Danny and Dave.

Looks forward to catching a lizard.


Gets his first softball trophy, was bummed about the Flyers' loss, made an awesome CD for his friends.

Will miss jumping on the trampoline and winter.

Looks forward to scorpions in the backyard.

Thinks his teacher is pretty, skateboards really well, eats nonstop.

Will miss the woods in the backyard and catching toads.

Looks forward to shooting with Papa.


Am enjoying an extra hour of sleep every morning, am cleaning like a crazy woman, have found that denial is my best friend right now.

Will miss driving to the beach and seeing deer (but not the tick-carrying kind) every morning.

Look forward to great Mexican food around every corner.

Friday, June 11, 2010

One Last Bite

We took one last bite of the Big Apple this week.
Seven kids, two moms and one great big adventure.
Ripley's Believe it Or shirts so nobody got lost.

Jake makes a friend...
...and gets claustrophobic.
Subway ride = highlight.
Rock climbing in Central Park.

Great day, great kids, great memories.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ten Days and Counting

I'm heating up a long-ago-purchased Lean Cuisine Thai chicken entree and watching the kids play/fight/laugh/squeal on the swingset. They have just polished off the last of the frozen fish sticks. We are down to the final crumbs of everything. I'm trying to make the Liquid Tide stretch for another week and a half, but I just might have to cave and buy a new bottle. Dang. I hate when things don't come out evenly.

A couple of days ago Danelle and I took our kids into Manhattan and it was a perfect day. The whole New Jersey Transit train ride there we discussed The Last Days Before Moving in an analytical fashion. We decided that right now we are like a couple of pregnant women in our eighth month. Dying to get it over with. Knowing that there will be a lot of pain. Unsure what life will be like on the other side.

I'm totally busy but also kind of bored. There are a lot of tasks to do. Today was our last ortho appointment. Tomorrow's the end-of-kindergarten picnic. I'm putting final touches on my talk for Sunday. Making some going-away surprises for a few special people. Cleaning out closets, drawers and cubbies. But all these are finishing jobs and I've decided I don't like finishing that much. I'm a much better starter.

I am very excited, for example, to start our cross-country vacation. We are going to make a leisurely two-week-long-sightseeing-road-trip out of our move and I cannot wait. Gonna see all kinds of friends and family and places along the way. I love road trips and I'm hoping this one will be the pause that refreshes. We all need a little breather between the deconstruction of one life and constructing a new one.

Last night was my last appointment with my cherished stylist. She has been doing my hair for a decade, which is very long in hair years. I feel maternal towards Ms. D. The first time I sat in her chair, she had a blue mullet and a nose ring. Now she is a gorgeous redhead with a wedding ring. Yep. She's fresh off her honeymoon and her new husband's name is Brad. She even calls him B-rad. So, of course, the two of them are bound to be blissfully happy. B-rads make really great husbands.

I guess I'm waxing a little melancholy and feeling a wee bit nostalgic. It's hard not to get too wistful and overly sappy. But tonight, as I was feeding the kids on the back patio, I remembered something our realtor, Maxine, said a few months ago.

She was bringing us some paperwork before we listed the house. That night we were also sitting on the back patio, eating dinner as a family. She teetered back there on her mile high heels and said, "This is perfect! I wish some potential buyers could see this scene. It's beautiful! It would totally sell your house."

And I remember thinking, "Yeah. But this isn't for sale."

I need to remind myself that even though I'm leaving so many great things behind, I'm taking the most important ones with me.

Note To Self: Moving makes you even more sappy than usual.

P.S. On Note To Self: Never again buy Lean Cuisine Thai chicken. Ick.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Break Up Mode

I think I'm in break up mode with my current life. You know, that point in a relationship when you find every reason to fall out-of-love with the one who captured your heart so completely.

I guess it's my subconscious way of easing the pain.

I sigh and roll my eyes at the snippy school secretary, thinking, "That woman has never liked me. I can't wait to go to a new school with a friendly front office staff." (This, of course, distracts me from thinking about all the teachers, aides and busdrivers who have been living and breathing answers to prayer for the past eight years.)

Luke in The Rubber Chicken Relay

Or I grumble about the moisture in the air, anticipating all the good hair days I will soon enjoy in the dry heat. But, really. Will I ever truly know Good Hair Love again once I leave Danielle (beloved stylist of ten years, in case you haven't been paying attention) and her magic scissors thousands of miles behind? And what is the point of a great haircut anyway if you can't go to the Canal Street Grille and show it off?

Jake and buddy @ DARE graduation

Anyway, we've been eating our way through the frozen food stockpile and cans in the pantry. Last night was freezer-burned chicken wings. Tonight: fishsticks, miniquiche leftover from some long ago bridal shower and Spaghettios. If I wasn't worried about irregularity or vitamin deficiencies, I would stop buying fresh food altogether. (After all, I've never liked that grocery store and their long checkout lines anyway.)

Em's self-portrait (pre-bang-trim) won a spot in the district Art Show.
Today also starts the Big Purge. I don't have to pack, but I do need to clear the clutter. Because why exactly DO I have four Tae Bo workout dvds? A gallon jug of liquid starch? Three half-squeezed tubes of Orajel? It's time to lighten my load.
Nevermind that in a few short weeks I'll be in some desert Target furiously filling at least three red plastic carts with essentials, but, until then, I'm living off the land. (Along with some long-lost tilapia filets I just found under the miniquiche...score!)

Sam--extremely cool --as usual
I keep thinking I should quit blogging for awhile. I really can't justify the time, but this is a historical chapter in my life and I'm sure typing my feelings is good therapy.
More later...I think.
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