Saturday, June 25, 2011

Take *THAT*, 179 inches of snow!

Yes, we yet again won the Golden Snowball award for the most snow this past year.  And, yes, we followed that up with the third soggiest spring on record for our metro area. But in case anyone had begun to lose faith in the sunnier-side of Syracuse, here are a few pictures of our visit to the sprayground at Seneca Lake State Park last weekend.  We’ve gone at least once a season the past three years and it has never failed to make it really feel like summer.


It didn’t take Katie nearly as long to warm up to the water features as it did her sisters’ their first times.  Within minutes she was batting at fountains and shoving her finger down the little holes.


Since we were already suited-up, we decided to walk over to the normal swim beach too.  As someone who learned how to swim at Lake Ann, I am embarrassed to admit the girls were not impressed with the whole concept of swimming out in nature.  I eventually persuaded Amber and Robyn to hold my hands and walk almost up to their knees in the water, at which point Robyn cheerfully asked, “are there fishies in the lake?”  Misreading her enthusiasm, I excitedly told her that, yes, there were fish in there.

Bam!  You have never seen someone out of the water that fast!  Upon hearing that she was sharing the lake with fish Robyn, literally within an instant, grabbed my upper arm and pulled herself up until she was suspended with her toes dangling above the water.  She also let out such a blood-curdling shriek that every life guard on the beach was staring our direction.

So much for the beach.  Good thing the sprayground was such a hit.


Thoroughly exhausted from swimming, we rounded out the adventure goofing around on the playground equipment and licking giant icy pops. Summer -- I can already tell it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to you when autumn rolls around again!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Time Capsule

A Pillsbury Dough Boy key chain...a stuffed fortune cookie made of felt...House on the Rock memorabilia...

Group picture at Green Lakes State Park in NY.

We apparently expected to open the time capsule in 2003 as recently minted college grads.  Instead it took another eight years beyond that (and a reunion in upstate New York) before any of the trinkets and letters we’d so earnestly stashed away saw the light of day again. 

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Posing with a giant chicken in high school.  (Chickens 4 Peace!!)
Last weekend three of the AMAZING girls that I graduated from high school with (and their husbands) came to visit.  I still can’t really believe that we were all able to get together like that, especially a thousand miles away from our hometown.  It’s even harder to believe that our escapades in middle school and high school are now literally half a lifetime ago.  Weird.  And while a lot has certainly happened since the “good old days” of AP classes, all-night Halloween parties, and silly road-trips, there were still moments Sunday night where it seemed like we were just teenagers again, giggling and scheming and putting-off writing D.B.Q.’s for US History.
...a Newsweek magazine with Saddam Hussein’s face on from prom...a can of spam with curly hair and googly eyes...

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Ball o' Twine '99!!
The highlight of the evening, though, was definitely opening up the time capsule we had put together just a few weeks before heading off to college.  It was actually kind of strange.  While I remember sitting in Kirsta’s basement filling out questionnaires and tossing in all sorts of strange items as if it was just a couple summers ago, almost everything in the time capsule was at least initially completely unfamiliar.  I don’t think any of us even recognized the college-pennant-plastered box it was stored in, let alone some of the bizarre pieces of memorabilia hiding inside.  (That doesn’t mean we’re getting old…does it??)

...Winterfest buttons...Rio Bravo matches...the key to a 1985 Ford station wagon...

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Dying togas for homecoming and partying like it's 1999!
Perhaps the best surprise, though, was discovering that rather than being a discouraging confrontation between old hopes and current realities, the whole experience was largely a serendipitous walk down memory lane.  Twelve years later and  we’re still friends.  Twelve years later and each of us has accomplished many of the things we so optimistically predicted for ourselves.  Twelve years later and coupons for the “Stick Emporium” carefully produced using ProShop still make us laugh hysterically.  

...guesses for who would marry for money and who would have kids first...stick-figure drawings of all of Amber’s expected future hair styles...multi-page surveys detailing bizarre moments in our friendship...

At the end of the evening we committed to putting together more letters, pictures, and predictions to make yet another installment of the time capsule (which we actually first did at the end of middle school) (yes…we might be nerds…).  I’m not sure where we’ll all be when we get around to having another time-capsule-weekend; hopefully it won’t take a decade-and-then-some this time.  (And hopefully some of our other high school friends who couldn't make it for this trip will get to be a part of the grand opening too next time.)  Whenever and wherever we all are when the stars do align, though, I’m sure of a few things: 1. these girls will still be doing AMAZING things with their lives, 2. I’ll still feel almost like pinching myself that I ended up with friends like this, and 3. the VHS cassette from…um, never mind…will still be the funniest thing in the time capsule.

About to open the time capsule.  (And hoping it really IS  the time capsule: when it looked so unfamiliar there was some momentary fear that Tammy had been hauling around ten pounds of bank statements and recipe cards on the trip instead.)

Savoring the silliness.

Reading all of the letters and questionnaires.  Can't wait to do it again in another decade!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What are Grandmas Made of?

What are grandmas made of?

and toys,

and hug-snuggle-joys,

That’s what grandmas are made of.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What do Bryan and a flask from a chemistry lab have in common?

They're both graduated!


 When I met Bryan nearly seven years ago he was just starting his freshman year at BYU.  Now, more than five years of marriage, four apartments, three kids, two wards, and one massive radar proposal later, and we're done with school!!

To help celebrate the occasion, Bryan's folks came up from Maryland and Bryan's sister Jennifer made the trek from South Carolina with her kids.  I'm pretty sure Robyn and Amber were convinced cousin Maddy was a long lost sister--they loved having another little girl to play with for the weekend!  And we grown-ups loved getting to spend time with Bryan's family: having them there really made it a special event for our family.  Thanks for coming!!!!  (And thanks for the kind graduation presents...we never knew how incomplete our life was without a gigantic red gummy bear!)

The massive stroller brigade we maneuvered around Cornell.  I wish I'd gotten a better group shot than this...I may need to shamelessly steal pictures from my sister-in-law (an amazing photographer) at some point.

Robyn all ready to graduate.  Only 14 more years until our family's next graduation.  (Other than Joy School Graduation...that's next week... :)

It was especially neat to be able to take everyone down to Ithaca and explore Cornell a little bit the day of the graduation ceremony.  Of course, as we were walking into the engineering building, I nearly panicked as I realized that Bryan had a plaid shirt collar poking over his robe instead of a dressy white one.  Much to Bryan's consternation,  we ended up making him stop so I could frantically shove his collar inside the robe where it wouldn't be seen.  I shouldn't have worried so much: all the other graduates in his department were just as bad. In fact, there were probably more plaid collars than not.  Gotta love engineers.  :)

Anyhow, after countless long nights working on projects and papers and weekends lost studying for tests and finishing homework, we're excited to think of how much more time we might actually get to spend with Bryan now.  Congratulations, Bryan!  You deserve it!!