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Tag Archives: la familia

A short backtrack

Day 17 – a picture of somethingone that has been an influence in your life recently

Dear Jen,

The first thing on my blog to-do list is to write a thank-you letter to someone who influenced me.  Of course, you suggested I write a thank you note to you for being awesome.  I’m gonna guess you didn’t know that I already planned that. 😛  Here’s the problem:  I’m not sure words can say just how awesome you are.

I’m not sure I can put a finger on exactly when our friendship began, but I’m pretty sure it really took off when I started trying to steal your babies.  You were even foolish enough to leave me alone with your first-born son.  Lucky for you, I knew better than to try and steal a sleeping baby.  You have to get them when they’re awake and happy and full of candy.  Or milk.  Duh.

When I came to visit you for a few days in June two summers back, I didn’t expect to end up staying all summer.  Bribing me with not one, but two babies, was a stroke of genius.  I also didn’t expect the kind of friendship I found.

Over the last few years, you have been one of the only people I can turn to with any problem.  You didn’t judge me when I left teaching, even when I was judging myself.  Instead, you opened your home to me and let me move in when I didn’t know what was next in life.

When I agonize over the plight of singledom, you tell me stories to make me laugh about your own dating adventures, sign me up for singles websites, and try to pick up guys for me at the farmer’s market or on the dance floor.  It amazes me the way you can spot my insecurities before I even mention them, and you always manage to find a way to make me forget my doubts.

Your faith has also been an immeasurable influence on me.  I watch you turn to God every day, in the good moments and the bad, and it inspires me to do the same.  Your relationship with the Lord makes me strive to know Christ with the same intimacy.  Not only have you been an inspiration, but you have pushed me to learn why I believe what I do, both personally and as a Catholic.  Your hard questions make me think about my own relationship with God on an individual level.  Catechetically, you challenge me to delve into the Bible and the magisterium to find answers to doctrinal questions I can’t answer on my own.

More than anything else, Jen, you’ve made me feel like family.  When I have a bad day, I know I don’t have to go back to a house with a roommate who is a stranger and nobody to talk to.  If I ever need a hug (or a piece of chocolate), I know you’ll be there with open arms and a box of Godiva.  We’ve taken each other to the ER, shared countless cups of coffee, mocked endless hours of children’s programming, and made more polygamy jokes than most husbands would be comfortable with.

So, my dear wife/big sister/best friend a girl could ask for, thank you.  For being awesome.  And for being you.

Muah!

photo credit to baby bird #1!

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Even the most minor celebrations call for some bubbly.

The really big ones call for fancy bubbly at fancy restaurants.

So for sister-girl’s graduation, we went to a fancy restaurant (where she works most other days) and partied like it was going out of style.  Mostly by gorging ourselves on delicious food and guzzling the complimentary sparkling wine, which was accompanied by a hand-written history of the vintage & vineyard.  Because stuff like that happens when they like you at work and you get fancy degrees.

Don’t mind my funny expression–the waiter taking our picture said to say something funny, and I was just yelling our last name.

This post is for the dogs.

Day 36 – a picture of your pet.

My family had two dogs when I was growing up.  The first dog was Sparky.  He was a spitz, which translates to “ball of white fur” in modern English.

This isn’t actually Sparky, but looks like how I remember him.  Sparky was also a really picky eater.  And epileptic.  It was very scary when he had seizures.  My mom would take him to the basement when it happened so we didn’t get too freaked out.  When we moved to CT, Sparky was put down.  He was about 11, I guess.

Our next dog was named Prozac of South Windsor.  True story.

We got Zack when I was in 7th grade, and he lived a VERY long life–he was about 14 when my mom finally had him put down two years ago.

I also just remembered about the fish my sister and I had when we were little.  I think the baby-sitter gave them to us.  They looked kind of like this:

They also led lonely lives in separate bowls, until one day Rose Red made the magical journey from the toilet to the big sea in the sky where all good fish go.  The other fish, in case you were wondering, was named Blue Bell.  I think mine was Rose Red, named after one of my favorite fairy tales at the time.

One day I will have my own dog.  I’m thinking the second from the left.  Or the one on top.

Or the smooshy looking one in the middle.  Or…

My hometown may be hazardous to your health

Day 35 – a picture of your hometown

Virginia likes to brag.  I’ve learned this after 5 years of college and 6 years of living in the state.  Excuuuse me, commonwealth.  Sheesh.  As I was saying, Virginia’s all about, “I’m a commonwealth, I’m special.”  Or, “I birthed eight presidents, beat that.”  Or, “I have plantations and tobacco and even have a tobacco scholarship.”

To which Connecticut responds with, “My tobacco’s better than your cheap-o tobaccy.”  Wikipedia, the world’s most reliable source, told me that 100% of Canadian cigarettes are made from Virginia tobacco.  Cuban cigars are wrapped in Connecticut’s shade tobacco.  Quality over quantity, my friends.

So with that brief botany lesson, we come to today’s picture.

I drove past this tobacco barn every day on my way to work. It’s ramshackle and sad looking, and if you pass it just after the tobacco’s been harvested, it looks like somebody walked down the inside of the barn kicking out every other slat.  That’s just the vents.  Shade tobacco is delicate.  It needs special treatment.  Got that, VA?

That being said, my hometown is not just a giant cancer pit.  It’s pretty suburban.

This is my other hometown, in P.G. County.

Boys, please don’t mess with me.  I played on cannons growing up.

True story.

All stuffed with fluff. . .

Day 09 – a picture of the person who has gotten you through the most

Oh Piglet, you’re so sweet.
Don’t let him fool you, Brownie!  He can be saucy, too!

My stuffed animals are pretty awesome. So are their names.
I was really a very imaginative child.

The people who put them in such a warped and loving home
are pretty awesome-saucy, too.

See? Also saucy. 
You’ll see Dad has the same smirk here that the bear he
gave me 25+ years ago has in the photo above.