Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Where I'm At

On Sunday morning I kissed my son goodbye and will not see him again until the last week of July.
It was impossibly heartwrenching as I have never been away from him for such a long period of time in all the 16 years I've been his mom.
He boarded a plane alone yesterday morning bound for Florida (oh, my nerves!) where he will spend 2 weeks with his paternal grandparents.
This weekend we head back to Virginia to celebrate my grandfather's 90th birthday.
Early on Monday morning I will kiss my daughter goodbye as she heads to North Carolina to spend the rest of the month with my mother and grandfather, her brother flying there to meet up with them after his 2 weeks in Florida (alone again...oh, my word.)

I have been a nervous wreck about my son traveling alone, which I find ironic as my own mother put me on a plane alone to Europe for a month and to San Francisco (with plans to drive back home across the country) for a summer when I was pretty much the same age as my son is now.
But the world is different in 2011 than it was in 1990 or1992...and I'm sure you all agree with me on that.

 I am thrilled for my children that their summer will be filled with fun, sun and time with my mother, whom they both just adore, instead of sitting in the house all day watching tv or playing video games while I am working.
But I would be lying if I didn't tell you that it breaks my heart at the same time.

Six weeks after they were each born I kissed them goodbye and headed back to work.
It has never bothered me that I am a working mom, I am a self motivated woman who has always intended to be independent.
But lately I have been feeling a little different.

Maybe it's knowing that my son will be off to college in two short years.
My daughter is growing up faster than I can believe and every day has changed in some little way that never ceases to amaze me.
I see these differences, I feel my own mortality and I almost feel like I am racing the clock to have the time to have them to myself before life just happens and these moments are lost forever.

As I sit here in the beautiful home I had always dreamed of owning, two nice cars in the driveway, photo albums filled with pictures of vacations and weekend getaways that being a working mom has afforded, I find myself longing for the one thing I cannot buy.

Time.

It is crazy that this week so happened to be one that I needed to work overnights, which puts me home all day with my best girl.
So on very minimal sleep, I have been trying to make this last week before she leaves me the best week ever.
Yesterday, we stood in the ocean together holding hands as we jumped over waves then shared a picnic lunch in the sand.
Today we went out for pizza, to the library, ice cream shop and a local museum.
The next two days we'll be back at the beach all day soaking up the sun and the time with each other before we head off for a weekend filled with family and love.

I will try not to cry when I kiss her goodbye.
And I will try to not to cry when I talk to them on the phone.
You can be sure I will be counting down the days until my little family is back home together, under one roof again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Boston, Day Two

Saturday morning we slept in until about 8am which is completely unheard of this household.
For me anyway.
After a big breakfast at the hotel we headed out to Newbury street.
All I can say is that my wallet was thumping in my clutch....the shops....the shops!
The most divine shopping in such quaint storefronts...the perfect way to shop in my opinion.
Fortunately for our bank account and my husband's sanity we just walked down the street.
I did not go in a single shop.

We met up with the Stanley Cup Parade along our travels and stopped to soak in the festivities.
Although we are tried and true Devils fans, it was exhilirating to see so many people celebrating their team.
We found ourselves all caught up in the moment!



My daughter insisted on wearing the same outfit from the night before.
After some arguing I gave in.
She's only 8.
She'll learn.

The Stanley Cup!

Family photo in the throngs of fans.

Off we went headed to the North End of the city.
Where else in the US do you see this?
Historic buildings nestled in the midst of today's world?
Amazing.


Gorgeous architecture and cobbled streets...I have fallen in love with this city.

Mr. Paul Revere
To see the places our forefathers walked was incredible.
I haven't felt such a sense of history since my visit to London.
And that was a loooong time ago!

I swooned for this staircase in Old North Church.

Creepy sign because that is the same name my father and brother share.
First name and middle...Johnston is an old family name on my father's side.

We took the tour of the Old North which brought us up to the bell tower where a 15 yr old Paul Revere rang those very bells.
Then it was down to the crypts that freaked my daughter out ~ she couldn't wait to get out of there!
I on the other hand took tons of photos...I was hoping for some "orbs" in them.
Alas, they all came out "orbless".

Up the street to Copp's Hill Burying Ground.

Stopped for ice cream and to milk a cow at Emack & Bolio's Ice Cream.
Delicious!

We were headed towards the USS Constitution.
A VERY long walk.

See?
THAT'S the city there.
We walked all that way.


The children were not amused when I suggested we reenact Pirates of the Caribbean while on Old Ironsides.
They were mortified when I declared I would play Elizabeth Swan.
Sometimes they are no fun.

After about 8 hours of walking, we hopped the subway back to our hotel where we ate way too much Mexican food way too late at night along with some ice cold beer.
A perfect way to end a perfect day.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Boston Day One

Last Thursday, I dropped the dogs off to the kennel and packed up our suitcases for a quick getaway to Boston.
For weeks and weeks we have been looking forward to this long weekend.
True New Englanders at heart, we have spent most of our time in Maine but have always wanted to explore Beantown.
After hitting dreadful traffic through New York and Connecticut that put us over 2 hours off our ETA (I'm looking at YOU George Washington Bridge!!!!), we finally arrived in Back Bay.
The eldest of my two brothers was waiting for us, having arrived on time with no delays.
Lucky.

We were more than a little frustrated after dealing with the traffic and a carsick kiddo, but within the first 15 minutes of arriving we happened bumped into Adam Sandler and his wife right outside the hotel!
He was incredibly gracious and just as adorable in person as he is on screen ~ an unbelievable encounter!
I took this as a sign that the rest of the weekend would be amazing and I wasn't wrong.

Since we couldn't get into our rooms we hopped a cab to one of the places on the boys must see list.

It was jammed and we would have had to wait almost 2 hours to catch a tour. This wasn't an option as the boys had tickets to Fenway for an evening game and Ryan and I had plans to meet up with a fellow blogger.
 We decided to do what all true Irish folk do.
 Head to the nearest Irish pub.

streetstyle hubby

Doyle's in Jamaica Plain.

Of course we still had to have some Sam.



Doyle's was charming, albeit busy!
Since the brewery runs a trolley back and forth to the pub the place was hopping!
After a few beers and some munchies it was back to the hotel!

Over a year ago I was reading on Judy Aldridge's blog Atlantis Home about an American blogger she met in Europe.
I linked over to this blog and discovered Sarah Winchester the amazing woman who shares my love for Maine and happens to have a sister who lives in the same charming town we had fallen in love with years ago. This is the town we would realistically want to buy a home if a move there is in our future.
Since then, we have bantered back and forth forging a "virtual friendship".

I had been looking forward to this meet up for weeks, for me, this was to be the highlight of the weekend!
Sarah made reservations at a hip new restaurant called The Red Lantern where we enjoyed an absolutely delicious meal (even my finicky daughter enjoyed it!) and fabulous conversation.
After dinner we walked over to Newbury Street to soak in the atmosphere and have a little dessert at Ben & Jerry's.
We had Ryan take some photos of us.

And Sarah even let Ryan try out her big SLR!
I was so nervous that she was going to drop it and I would be buying Sarah a new one, which means I'd be stuck with my little CoolPix forever!
But Ryan handled it like a champ (much to my relief)!
To see Sarah's take on the night hop on over to her fabulous blog where you can also see the results of Ryan's handiwork!

As for me, I felt sheepish breaking out my little dinky camera in the presence of a professional photographer with her professional camera.
Thus, those are my only two photos of the night!

I could wax poetic for an eternity about how much I value these friendships I have built online and how positive and supportive this blogging community is, but for now I will simply say that meeting Sarah after such a long time was better than I ever could have imagined!
She is simply an amazingly talented, beautiful and gracious woman and I am very fortunate to consider her my friend.
It's funny how fate works, huh?

Afte our goodbyes it was back to the hotel where Ryan and I found an awesome surprise:


Talk about VIP treatment!
We have a friend with some clout in the industry who was behind this lovely surprise...so thank you to that special lady too for making this an evening to remember! ;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Virginia


Last Friday we jetted off to Northern Virginia for the weekend in order to celebrate my sweet niece Sophie's 1st Birthday.




My little family stayed at my sister and brother in laws along with my 2 brothers and my mom.
It was even more fun than I had imagined ~ a true slumber party!
There is nothing like spending time with the people we love most.
It brings you back to all the things that are really important in this life.


Who could be stressed spending time with such a gorgeous little girl like my niece Vera.
That smile, her laughter....makes the frustrating things in life...well, less frustrating.


Meeting my cousin Kathryn's son Peter for the first time was amazing.
I feel like I have been like an honorary big sister to her and her 3 siblings.
I have traveled around the world with them, watched them grow from the day they were born.
To hold her beautiful son in my arms felt incredible!
(It was Peter's 1 month birthday!)


And seeing my favorite Aunt with her firstborn grandchild?
I don't have the words....


I got to see my daddy.


My Pop Pop.
Who will be celebrating his 90th birthday in a few short weeks!


And spending time with the 3 people I could never live without.
Who, unfortunately take the brunt of my stresses and patiently endure this crazy life we live.
I love them more than anything and hope they know it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

An Affair To Remember



For the first time in a long time, my 3 siblings, myself and our families will be staying under the same roof with my mom for the next two nights.
I envision it much like a slumber party of sorts, with loads of laughter, lots of cocktails and that warm fuzzy feeling running through my veins as I spend this weekend with all the people I love most in this world.

And yes, of course I am the one rocking the purple jeans and double button ups knotted at the waist and pearls.
Would you expect anything less???