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This whole college thing is brand spanking new to us.Since I still have the memories of how hard it was to schedule a college visit last year in August, I thought it best to secure a hotel room for move-in weekend. Who plans this far ahead?
Last year, we tried to visit a college in New York state and our days magically corresponded to move-in days for the new students so we wound up staying 1/2 hour away because that was the closest we could get to where we wanted to be. Booking a hotel room for a different reason, it occurred to me to ask about the rates for rooms during the move-in weekend in August. Figuring we could work on planning what we were doing. While I didn’t think I needed to book a room in April for August, obviously I was mistaken. Evidently, lots of other people plan well ahead, since most of the hotels were already booked.
A lot has been going on in the past couple weeks. While I have intended to write here and there, something else always seemed to take priority. Yesterday, at a Rotary meeting (yes incidentally that is one of the things that has been happening) I was asked to speak about myself. Who am I? What do I do? What would I like others to know about me? These are all interesting questions and came out in a brief 10-15 minute talk. Naturally, I spoke of my professional background, what kind of legal work I do, what areas of the law interest me and explained the different types of things that I do. I mentioned writing, my blog and of course my family.
While lying in bed during the wee hours of the morning this morning I thought about all the things that I didn’t say (and maybe should have). After all they are a part of me too. I didn’t mention that I love to cook and bake (cinnamon buns in the oven as I type this–a perk for those men of mine resulting from my insomnia), I didn’t mention that I love to garden. I didn’t mention where I hoped to be going in five or ten years or a whole lot about where I’d been. They know a lot about me (enough for the purposes of why I was asked to speak) but they really don’t know me. They don’t know that hearing my son sing makes my heart swell about 100 times its normal size with pride and seeing my boys interact with one another, joking, laughing –sharing brother things does the same. They don’t know that I like to take pictures and since I’ve been doing that more regularly I view the world through a different lens (pardon the pun). They don’t know that it took me most of my life to come to appreciate and live with my curly hair and that we peacefully co-exist these days.They don’t know that the person that looks back at me in the mirror is completely different than the image of me that resides in my mind. They don’t know the things that keep me awake at night or the things that can bring me to tears from just the thought. When they asked who am I? It was way more than I could explain in a few minutes and in fact it might take me a lifetime to figure that one out.
Thinking about who you are, where you’ve come from and where you are headed is a good thing to do, whether you have to speak about yourself in public or not. It lets you take stock and see those things that you like about yourself and those things that you want to change. It definitely lets you see where your priorities lie and gives you a really good sense of all the things and people in your life for which you should be thankful.
Last night we celebrated the last confirmation in our family. Tim celebrated the conclusion of his religious ed classes with his, as he puts it, long awaited confirmation. It was a beautiful ceremony and in keeping with the family tradition, Bishop Matano once again singled out a Heffernan boy to speak with after he confirmed him. First it was TJ, who was the last in line to be confirmed. The Bishop kept him there an extra minute or so, talking to him. Last year, Tyler (who had TJ has his sponsor) also had a little chat with the Bishop during the confirmation process. This year, the Bishop took the time to pause to compliment Tim on his reading during mass and have a few words with him. Seems that tradition comes when you least expect it.
Here are some pictures from the evening.
My gerber daisies are blooming. It was a nice treat when I walked past my plant stand and noticed the little stalk blooms the other day.
Today, there are two flowers, two different colors.
We have a few touches of grass poking through but mainly there is still 6 to 12 inches of snow. So definitely, it was nice to see something flowering — even if it is indoors.
Eighteen years ago today, my world changed drastically and permanently. I woke, a little earlier than 6 a.m. and went to the bathroom. Nothing unusual about that since most very very pregnant women do that multiple times a day. On this particular morning though, my water broke and we were off to the hospital to bring our first child into the world- whether we were ready for it or not. The kid that decided he might be ready to take a glimpse at the world about 4 months prior, putting me on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy, stuck it out past his due date of March 30th and past April Fool’s Day. He outlasted every other baby in the childbirthing class that I was so confident we would not finish. And, it would seem by the length of labor, that this child was in no particular rush at that point to make his appearance, since he arrived almost sixteen hours later at 9:47 p.m.
As soon as I saw his adorable face, everything that I had felt up to that point and all the pain that I had endured for the previous hours were all gone….a distant memory. It was so very hard to believe that this little human being belonged to us and we created him. We walked into the hospital that morning a very apprehensive couple and would leave 24 hours later, a family. It is so very, very unbelievable that in the blink of an eye (or so it seems) 18 years have flown by and today, that little baby boy is now a grown up young man.
No matter how grown you become, you will always and forever be my baby. You gave me the best gift of all …motherhood –when you came into this world. You made us a family and it has been amazing to watch you grow through all these years and see you become the handsome, witty, intelligent young man that you are today. It is so hard to believe that you are 18 today. I remember the day you were born as if it were yesterday. I know that the future holds wonderful, incredible opportunities for you and you will rise to every occasion that is presented to you in the years to come. You make your father and I very, very proud.
All my love,
Join me in wishing my very first baby a very, very happy 18th birthday!
It is always a fun evening, wherever the group lands. The insight and commentary is always lively, even when the book isn’t exactly my own personal cup of tea. Generally, host chooses the book. This month, I chose “Breakfast with Budda”. I am thankful for the fact that they invited me to join their group and call myself their friend.
Last week and weekend, Tim auditioned for and was selected to participate in the New England Music Festival in Burlington, Connecticut. He and a few of his fellow classmates from Mill River (11 in all) traveled down and were hosted by local families. They worked for several days rehearsing music that they had been working on for months, since they found out they had been accepted. They performed a concert with other students from the New England states under the direction of a conductor from Michigan State University.It was a whole new level of experience for them. The kids appreciated the scope of what they had been chosen to be a part of and learned a lot. The music was beautiful. The experience for them was extraordinary.
Almost 17 years ago to the exact hour, as I write this, our second little boy slipped into the world. Bearing no resemblance to his brother, Tyler came into the world weighing a whopping 10 lbs 12 oz. He was such a big baby that newborn diapers didn’t fit and the nursing staff had to get diapers from pediatrics since he exceeded the newborn 10 pound limit. He has grown like crazy and now stands the tallest of all the boys, very close in height to his dad.
All the boys were baptized right around a month old. So, believe it or not, this is Tyler who looks considerably older than one month at his christening.
Here is a picture of Tyler and his friend Anna playing with chopsticks at dinner in Burlington last night. Tyler has grown into an intelligent, handsome and funny young man.
We love you, we’re so proud of you.
Happy Birthday Tyler!
Despite the fact that spring arrives this week, winter is hanging on tight here and not letting go. In fact, we woke to a winter storm warning for 9-16 inches of snow starting tonight. Mind you, if you travel into town, there isn’t a speck of snow on the ground, this is all elevation snow, although according to the weather service, that is about to change for a lot of people with the impending storm. We laughed when we went into town and pallets of mulch and displays of bulbs are everywhere. We have no use for them yet. You folks posted the cute pictures of crocuses peeking from the soil, not so much where we are located, unless they are very strong and very tall crocuses and can get through feet of snow.
Here are some pictures that I took last weekend of the snow around the house. Things haven’t changed much in a week and since it’s only 3 degrees here this morning, I doubt anything will be melting today.
May those that love us, love us
And those that don’t love us
May God turn their hearts
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts
May He turn their ankles
Nanny Smith celebrating her 90th birthday.
Often, we don’t really get it until much, much later. Usually when it’s too late. Each generation tries to instill in the next what they have learned to listen, watch, learn, absorb it all before it’s gone–but sadly most times that falls on deaf ears. St. Patrick’s Day always brings to mind my father’s mother, my Nanny. She had a long life, many friends to the end and a very loving family. I have fond memories of Irish music playing on her hi-fi stereo when we kids attended one of the many shindigs she held at her house before she moved into the senior citizen center. There was barely a gathering that Nanny was chasing someone around with the fork, usually my dad, my uncle (her sons) or her nephew. All in good fun, gatherings at her house, were characterized by lots of music, lots of laughing, food and drink. My grandmother made an awesome lamb but we all were sure to steer clear of her meatballs (which resembled golf balls).
Here are some pictures from her 90th birthday party –she threw it for herself mind you, planned the whole thing which she held in the recreation room at the senior citizen center where she lived. The party of course was only after the mass she had said by one of her favorite priests where she sat in a chair in the aisle and took it all in. I told you the woman had spunk. Looking back, I realize that she would be very proud of her great-grandsons. The youngest, she would be especially proud of, he is traveling to Ireland this summer to take a class there and I am sure that if she were still alive, she would be filling his ears with everything and everyone that she could think of to see and do while he was there.
TJ, delivering Nanny a bouquet of birthday flowers.
Nanny and some of her great-grandkids checking out the birthday cake.
My brother and my cousin posing for a picture with her.
One of the newest great-grandkids, Tyler having some “Nanny” time.
And no Irish celebration (or funeral) would be complete without the bagpipes.
Hanging in Nanny’s kitchen for all those years was a plaque that had an Irish blessing. There were a few of them around her house. Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day and I am thinking of her, here’s a wish to all of you ~ May your home always be too small to hold all your friends ~ Happy St. Patrick’s Day!