Friday, June 26, 2009

A Brother Abroad

As I write this, our bags are all packed and we are ready for an early morning departure to North Carolina by way of Virginia (burglars* take note!).

Anyway, I couldn't be more excited for a weeklong vacation (something my husband and I have not done since our pre-children days!) as well as some quality time with both my immediate and extended family. I can already hear the blender.....

But there is one thing that will make this trip particularly sweet in addition to the fact that it includes Paul's much anticipated leave. The house we are renting is not only unbelievable in location and amenities, it is also owned by a pretty great guy.

What makes him great?

When learning that a Marine on leave would be among the guests at his house during the most expensive rental week of the season, he decided to charge us only the usual rate for a non-holiday week. Oh, and he threw in an extra day for free.

God Bless America!

Now, what's the over/under on my newly acquired freckles???

This is Day 148.

Something Familiar About That...

I have probably taken about 3 million pictures of my O in her four years, and this is the first time I have ever seen anything in her that even remotely resembles me....

In Bloom

I have finally managed to bring a little bit of the South to my South Jersey home....

Magnolia blossoms!

Song of the Day

Spending the day doing endless loads of laundry, packing a thousand mismatched socks, and hoping with all hope that I don't forget anything of great import, I am almost ready for our trip to North Carolina.

Of course, my journey south would not be complete without a mixed CD of my all time favorite country songs.

Now, before the eye rolling ensues, consider this: country music is the contemporary oral tradition of rural Americana, much like hip hop (dare I say it) represents the story telling of urban America. Like the folk stories and songs that have become the fabric of so much of the American quilt (stop me, stop me now), country music is the tapestry of our grassroots and, for that reason, it produces some of the best music....

Before the outcries begin, let me present to you one of the best country songs representing exactly my point. It is a personal favorite and will be on the CD, along with a lot of Rascall Flatts, Tim McGraw (shout out to Tug), Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood, Keith Urban, and, of course, Garth.

And, yes, that's Ricky Schroeder in the video:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Brother Abroad

As is the case in almost every instance, posts regarding my brother personally after the age of 18 are more accurately spoken through the voice of my sister-in-law.

So, as we all wait anxiously to learn when Paul will actually land (military air travel does not include ETAs), I'll defer to her blog for today's installment.

Oh, and this is Day 147.

Parenting 101: What Would You Do? Meets I Couldn't Make This Up

DISCLAIMER: I am not a mother of teenagers yet, (praise the Lord), and so I am writing from no point of reference other than my own life as a teenager, which I have largely blocked from my memory.

That being said, here's the story:

An acquaintance of mine (who has given me the go-ahead to tell her story so long as I do not reveal her name...and, no, it's no one you know), has three children: a daughter and son in college, and one important daughter who not only just graduated from high school, but who also serves as the subject of this very true story.

The aforementioned daughter is beautiful, popular, successful in school, and even manages to stay out of trouble (and, despite what you might be presuming, she does not require batteries). Her hard work and various committments had even earned her acceptance into a very competitive school with a nice, fat scholarship to boot. Her future is bright.

But then.....with the last few days of school trickling by, she kind of messed up.

Just a little.

Or, not so little, though her mother would not divulge the details of her dastardly deed....leading me to imagine all sorts of scenarios that I never would have managed to get myself into at her age (shout out to my Mom and Dad). Anyway, it must have been a whopper since her parents bestowed on her a strict grounding for an entire month: no car, no phone, no social life whatsoever.

The lesson began May 1st and it would be a tough one.

However, it turned out to be far tougher than even her parents anticipated for the month long grounding included May 29th, the day of her prom.

That's right, so bad was her crime that she was not allowed to attend her senior prom or any of the raucous festivities that predictably follow it. She was devastated, but her parents were bold enough to make a point that many parents would not be able to.

Good for them.

But, it doesn't end there. Are you ready for this?

Her prohibited phone rang the entire night of May 29th with calls from friends that were no doubt calling to update the detained damsel on all that she was missing. For once, she was glad she wasn't allowed to answer, so sad was she for having missed what some consider a high school milestone.

It wasn't until the next morning, however, that the reason for the calls would reveal itself.

As she and her parents enjoyed a Saturday morning breakfast together, the house phone rang with a call from her best friend who was desperate to speak with her.

What prompted the desperation?

It seems that the grounded girl not only missed her prom, but also the rather rare designation of being crowned prom queen.

It was instead given to the runner-up, who danced with her would-be date.

Oh. my. goodness.

As mother and daughter cried in disbelief, the father only said what every father would, "Well, I bet you learned your lesson."


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lessons in Futility #983

Never, EVER take a two year old boy to David's Bridal.

At least that's what the saleswoman said when Joseph completed his 14th lap through the aisle 'o dresses, sticky hands and all.

A Brother Abroad

My brother Paul's tootsies will soon be touching ground in the good ole' USA.....and I am pretty sure I'm the first person to refer to a Marine's feet as such.

This is Day 146.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Brother Abroad Meets Lesson of the Day

As a civilian, one of the favorite lessons learned by my husband when he entered into a military family was the Military Phonetic Alphabet. I have no idea why, but he actually uses it whenever possible.

And here it is:

A: Alpha
B: Bravo
C: Charlie
D: Delta
E: Echo
F: Foxtrot
G: Golf
H: Hotel
I: India
J: Juliet
K: Kilo
L: Lima
M: Mike
N: November
O: Oscar
P: Papa
Q: Quebec
R: Romeo
S: Sierra
T: Tango
U: Uniform
V: Victor
W: Whiskey
X: X-Ray
Y: Yankee
Z: Zulu

Which means my name is: Charlie, Hotel, Romeo, India, Sierra, Tango, India, November, Echo

This is Day 145.

Real Housewives?

I realize I have totally slogged on the consumed am I by mommyhood, work, and planning birthdays and the big vacation....that I haven't had a second to comment on Real Housewives of NJ.

There is simply too much to discuss, too much to ridicule, that I am truly overwhelmed.

BUT I must make one comment as I watch the reunion special:

If Don Vito Caroline is truly the matriarch of New Jersey, I am moving.

A Brother Abroad

This is Day 144.

And Paul will be home with his family in days, we'll get to see him in less than a week, and good times will be had by all.

Of course, unless the weatherman keeps insisting that the entire week will be scattered with thunderstorms.

Could whomever offended the gods, incurring all this rain, please just say your sorry?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Brother Abroad

This is Day 143.

To My Sweet Baby Boy

Who is 2 today!!!

Happy Birthday, Joseph!!!