Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Baby Sam

On our way home from Massachutes, and our quick stop in D.C.  for dinner we made our way down to Winston-Salem where we saw our friends Crystal, her daughter Caroline and their new son Sam. The children had fun playing at Chuck E Cheese and the we hopped over to Cold Stone before making our way to the hotel pool.  Sam was so squishy. He is such a good baby and I am happy that Caroline got a baby brother.  We can't wait for them to come down to Atlanta, so we can see them again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jersey Shore

Years ago we went on a business trip with Frank and while he was at work the children and I headed to the beach with our then nanny of the time Laurel.  Laurel stayed with us the whole first summer Roman was born as we didn't know exactly when his surgery was going to be and we needed someone who could be there for the other two boys.  My mom didn't live near us at the time and we needed to be able to pick up and go at a moments notice.  Poor girl was only with us less than two weeks when I had to race Roman down to the children's hospital because he was in cardiac failure. Having her with us that summer was such a blessing. All these years I have been dreaming of going back. The one thing I wasn't so fond about in Jersey are the roads as they are kind of crazy. I had very found memories of Ocean City. The Jersey Shore as it is called by some has some of the best pizza I have every tasted. I had a slice of bianco pizza, my mom has just pepperoni, which we followed with custard ice cream, and corn dogs for the kids. A visit to the beach was definitely worth the little detour. While we didn't have time to hang out on the beach because we needed to be in Connecticut by night fall and were spending the night with my cousin Teddy and his family, we had just enough time for a walk along the boardwalk and a slice of pizza.  Have you ever been to the Jersey Shore?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Knowing Where You Come From

I am a firm believer that to really understand who you are you need to know where you have come from.  I have talked many times on this blog about doing family genealogy and what I found in the process.  In researching my family history, I have learned a great bit about my ancestors who traveled to the United States on my father's side from England after being born in Ireland.  My grandfather was born in England; however, his mother and his father were born in Ireland.  They left Ireland due to the poor economic situation caused by the Great Potato famine.  They were weavers and working in the mills making textiles.  One ancestor before working in the factories made baskets that were used on ships.  Working in the mills was hard work and many people died of lung disease caused by the fibers getting into their lungs.  Many died from accidents caused by the machines used to make the fabric.  I am so grateful for their grit and hard work.  I took the children to see the factories where my ancestors worked when they came to the states.  Today the factories are now converted into apartments, shops, and used as business space.  Walking around Lowell, Mass is like walking back in time.  I love it!  Today we are losing so much of our past to renovation, but I suppose this is how it is suppose to be. I also showed the children where there grandpa lived as a young child and an adult.  Except for a few years in California and a few years in Turkey with the airforce my dad pretty much lived in the same house his whole life until he retired and then moved to Arizona and now lives not to far from me in Atlanta.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

BBQ in Kentucky

As you read this, I am driving home to Georgia.  It has been a wonderful two weeks and I am so grateful we had the opportunity to visit family and friends.  At the same time it is bittersweet as it was my father's last visit back home.  He was born and raised in Massachutes, and this is where most of his family still lives.  My father has Alzheimer's it has been getting progressively getting worse over the last two years and despite medication is slowly slipping into a state of loosing memories.  At the moment he still has his long term memory, but he has no idea who the president is or who is running for president, what year it is, what day it is, and doesn't remember his grandchildren's names.  I know he was thrilled to see his family, eat clams, but at the same time I think this trip was hard on him because he can't remember the little details of where we are going or where he needs to be at times. Today, I noticed he was stressed out.  Anyway, back to Kentucky.  Our journey began in Kentucky at the home of our friend Stephanie.  She adopted her daughter Abby at the same time we adopted Avery.  We have kept in contact these past two years and we are glad we were able to stop by and visit her family on our way up north.  Stephanie threw a bbq for us and invited a few other families who have also adopted children from China around the same time we did.  It was so fun to see all the children together.  8 adults and 17 children were there that evening and it was anything but boring. Amazingly, there were no tears and everyone got along really well together.  Can't wait for the next gathering.

Friday, July 22, 2016

York Beach, Maine

Traveling Back and forth between Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts is really common as the states are so close to one another.  Many families along the eastern seaboard have homes in Maine and will head up for the weekends during the summer months.  We don't have a summer home in Maine, but it is sure fun to explore and play.  After dropping my father off at his cousins house, we headed to the beach stopping first to eat lunch at the Blues Restaurant.  The light house is also a fun to see!  Roman enjoyed exploring the rocks looking for baby crabs and the girls had fun digging in the sand.  The water in Maine takes powers of superhuman strength to endure at the water is freezing even when it is 95 degrees outside and you are dripping with sweat from the humidity.  I felt like I had taken the polar bear challenge.   Nana bought the girls glass starfish to remember their wonderful day at the beach.  Before we headed back to the hotel we finished our day off with ice cream at the Golden Rod Restaurant.  We have one day left here and then we head home to Atlanta.  We have had so much fun exploring this great nation of ours and most importantly visiting with our family.