Flat Stanley came for a visit

Keegan is in second grade this year. Since her big sister Brynna started school in 2010, I have shared a special bond with these girls. I LOVED seeing them each day at school. Now I miss this every single day. I miss seeing them grow up. I miss seeing them do new things. Now I just get to take selfies with them at Christmas.

When I got a message from my cousin, Erica, asking if I would mind spending some time with Keegan’s Flat Stanley, I couldn’t say “Yes” fast enough. I was bummed though that I couldn’t fold Keegan up and put her in the envelope with him. Having her here for two weeks would have been an awesome time. I would have loved that so much but I made due with hosting Flat Stanley.

What Keegan didn’t realize was that I was going to make this the best Flat Stanley trip ever for her and her classmates. I will not forget when her momma asked me, we were on our way to Boston from NYC and I was bummed that Stanley hadn’t made it in time for our trip. I quickly got over that though and started researching areas around us and the places that I wanted to take him. (I actually learned something about the area too, which was kind of awesome!)

Where did we take Flat Stanley?

Church for the Lenten Mission.
The Conowingo Dam.
Chesapeake City to see the C&D Canal and Winbak Farms.
Baltimore  to see the sites.
Fort McHenry’s entrance.
U.S.S. Constellation.
Work with both Sean and myself.
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It was an awesome time! We had so much fun having him around. We had a great time showing him around and taking him to places that we visit often. Pictures weren’t enough in my book for this project though. Keegan and her class were getting a box full of goodies. We included 4 different snacks local to the area and a couple of books about the Battle of Baltimore and Maryland. We also included some oyster shells. I had so much fun creating the book for them to look through. I tried to incorporate their entire curriculum into the binder. It was a fun challenge for me!

100 years of Marriage in 5 Days

This week is always big for our family. My mom and dad celebrate their anniversary followed five days later by my grandparents (my mom’s parents). Talk about two awesome examples of what marriage should be in one week. I really do love that it all happens within one week too.

Let’s start off with my mom and dad. They celebrated 34 years of marriage on April 4th, this past Saturday. They have been married for longer than they were single and mom has been are Marking for longer than she was an Anson now. Actually she has for a while now. 34 years is a long time to be together and really you don’t see that many people that last that long any more. It is becoming more and more rare by the day.
EarlyMomandDadDSCN3551Mom and Dad got married in 1981. Four years later I came along with my two brothers following in 1988 and 1993. They created a very happy place for us to grow up and become the close knit family we are today. Even though we are spread between three states and hundreds of miles I still feel like our family is right there and will always be right there any time we need them. My mom and dad created that feeling. Their love and support through the years has provided us with many happy memories  and many goals that we should be setting with our spouses.

Mom and Dad are that example of love that you can only hope that we can replicate in our lives. Their love and respect towards one another, their faith in God, and their continuous support of us kids are only a shaving of the many aspects that are visible to many of the people that are around them. I only hope that Sean and I can be as happy as them in their marriage and be that example for our kids someday. I also hope that someday my brothers find that person that will help them to be as happy in a marriage as what my mom and dad have together. I know from only a couple of years of marriage that it is a lot of work to be married. I now appreciate my mom and dad even more for the work they have put into their marriage over the last 34 years. It means so much more to me today than it ever has and I am thankful for such an awesome example that they have been to us.
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My grandparents celebrate today 66 years of marriage. Now we really get into great examples (no offense mom and dad). Can you imagine being married to someone for 66 years? These two are the real deal too.
Sean&Emilylr-2641Sean&Emilylr-2694Sean&Emilylr-2696When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents after school. I didn’t have practice until 5:30 somedays and would spend an hour to hour and a half with them after school. Somedays I would work on homework, other days my grandma would do my nails (she really is very good at this), and other days I would just sit and talk about life with them both. Grandma always had great advice about what was going on and grandpa always had good stories about the war or college or just life. That time with them are some of my favorite times with them.

When I left the house and went off to college I started to realize what my grandparents had together. It really is amazing. I will never forget during high school when I was there on their anniversary and my grandpa told me the story about the roses. Grandpa started getting my grandma roses on their anniversary from the beginning. Each year on their anniversary, he would get her one more rose. On their 50th anniversary, grandpa decided that he was going to have to start getting one for each decade and then one for each year. (In case you weren’t counting, she got 12 roses today.) I was blown away by this. To me this is such a romantic gesture and one that shows his dedication and love for my Grandma.

On their 66th anniversary, they are 91 and 90. I only hope that we live that long and get to celebrate that many anniversaries together. I know that these days are not easy as grandma may not remember and grandpa may not hear you. Their commitment and love still shows though every time I am home to see them. It amazes me. Look how happy they look. This was at Christmas this past year. I had to take this because you could see the joy in their eyes to have their entire family together to celebrate Christmas.
DSC_3771In one week we celebrate, in 2015, a total of 100 years of marriage. Wow! Keep it going Mom and Dad & Grandma and Grandpa! Thank you for the wonderful examples that you have shown your kids, grandkids and many generations to come. We love you all!

 

Parish Lenten Mission

When I was a freshman in high school in 2001, the National Catholic Youth Conference was held in Indianapolis. I attended as part of the Holy Family’s group that was part of the bigger group from the Archdiocese known as Region 16 and the cow region. We stayed in a really nice hotel downtown close to everything. It was a great time and one that I have very fond memories.

Fast forward to 2007 when I met Sean. After talking about many aspects of our life early in our relationship we discovered that we actually stayed in the same hotel at the same conference even though he was attending with the Diocese of Wilmington.

Fast forward to about a month ago, St. Margaret’s, our home parish, was advertising the Lenten Parish Mission. I was so excited to see that Steve Angrisano was going to be doing the mission. Back in 2001 when I attended NCYC, I distinctly remember many of the songs he sang and a few of the things that he talked about during the conference and I knew that I really wanted to attend the mission. I knew that the hard part would be convincing Sean that we should attend. Not that he isn’t up for attending this sort of thing, it just takes some convincing.

I talked him into the first night. He convinced me to go back the other two nights. Needless to say, we really enjoyed hearing Steve speak each night. It wasn’t just speaking either, it was more like Catholic Aerobics (as he called it).

These are just a few of the songs he sang over the 3 day mission.

Sacred Silence
Lean on Me
Yes, Lord
J-E-S-U-S

Singing some of these songs brought back so many memories but created new memories with my husband by my side instead of just in the building someplace. It was a great way to end the Lenten season for 2015.

Steve’s website.

 

Oh and Happy Easter!

Spring Break 2014 – Boston

You can tell by the pictures from the Acela Club Lounge that we were both exhausted. We both woke up not feeling great and completely, utterly exhausted.
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We were hoping to have a very productive day after our ride from NYC to Boston but we got to the hotel and pretty much crashed. Not completely, we did walk around for a little bit but quickly realized that we were much better off chilling out for the day. We think that a) the bed in our hotel in NYC was not comfortable, b) we didn’t sleep well, and c) we just did too much in NYC.

We went to dinner that night and we didn’t even eat it all. Part of it ended up in the refrigerator for the next morning.

It turned out to be a great thing that we rested. Tuesday we woke up refreshed and ready to go. We did accomplish one thing on Monday, that was the purchase of a Hop on Hop off Bus Tour ticket. The awesome thing was that we got three days out of the ticket. We hoped on and rode to the Boston Tea Party Museum where we went on the hour long tour.DSC01850

Edgar Allan Poe

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Row homes that are super crazy expensive.DSC01853

Where the outside of the show “Cheers” was filmed. The inside of the bar was filmed on a set. DSC01856DSC01858DSC01861DSC01862DSC01864DSC01867

The Boston Public Library. It is beautiful.DSC01869

The church of Scientology.
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The Boston Orchestra. Cool thing about this building, if you are inside the building you can’t hear anything that is happening on the street. So if sirens go by in the middle of the show, you can’t hear them. Pretty cool.
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The oldest fire department.
This would be in my little brother’s opinion, “That other stadium”. This is the outside of Fenway.
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More row homes.
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Frozen harbor.
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MIT campus.
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DSC01885This building was crazy. It is the computer science building and the inside has doors and stairways that lead to absolutely nowhere.
DSC01887DSC01888Gas lamps on the streets. All of the lights like this are all still powered by gas.
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DSC01896Potato Famine memorial.
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This is where the pictures from the Boston Tea Party Museum start. DSC01898DSC01899DSC01902DSC01903
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We also bought some tea while we were there. We had to, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time!

The bus tour took us all over and we were able to see many of the places we wanted to see just from the outside. We didn’t have enough time (or energy) to get out and actually visit all of the places. (AKA there will be a next time when it comes to Boston)

Lunch was at the James Hook, a little shack that had awesome lobster rolls(well at least according to Sean) and clam chowder.
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It was also St. Patrick’s Day so we had to do a little drinking. Cheers was the choice bar for drinks. Sean really enjoyed it.
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After a little rest, it was off to dinner at an Irish Pub. I know everybody told us to go have Italian but for me that is hard due to eating Gluten Free. When in Boston on St. Patty’s day, we felt it was better to go the pub route and it was really good! We had a great time.

Wednesday it was up and moving early. We had se out plans to walk and see the Union Oyster House,  the Bell in Hand, King’s Chapel and the cemeteries near that area. Well in true Boston fashion it was 26 degrees with a wind chill temp of 19 degrees. Needless to say we decided to ride the bus one full route. Walking from the hotel to the bus stop alone, my legs went numb from the cold. I couldn’t do almost to miles in one direction.

It was great though. We learned even more about Boston on the full tour and we enjoyed the warmth. Arriving at the train station, we were even more appreciative that we hadn’t walked all that way because the train station was not really heated much. Stone benches and cold weather don’t go together. I think it took me a full hour on the warm train to actually warm up.
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This is where JFK proposed to Jackie. Had it been warmer I would have wanted to walk in there but not quite with the cold.
DSC01923DSC01924DSC01926DSC01930DSC01931The largest tea pot.

The way home took a little bit longer than we expected but it was a pleasant ride with some of the very best service we have ever had on the trains.

We ended our trip with the sun going down on Philadelphia as we went through that area. It was very pretty.

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Only about another month until our next adventure, off to the Biltmore with both sets of parents. We can’t wait! It should be very enjoyable.