Friday, July 22, 2011

Vacation Month of July: Blog 4- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Our Dearest Ellie Bean,

So you, your Mimi and I are together again but this time we are in Pennsylvania.  So we will write you this letter together and tell you all about your travels here as a conversation (your Mimi will be in italics and I will be in regular font).  And of course as we are creating this for you, we are enjoying a delicious cup of tea (you are in bed sleeping). 

And I am in heaven Ellie.  Having you here is better than a fudgenie!  And you know how much I love them!

Really Ellie, there is nothing better than going home.  Even though I am not a fan of the Wizard of Oz (although Wicked might be one of the best plays ever), Dorothy was right when she clicked her heels together and said, “There’s no place like home.”  And I hope you think of both Philadelphia and State College as your home because our family has that special knack of making you feel like you’ve never left.  When I walked into Mimi and Poppy’s house, it looked like Mimi had another baby.  Your Poppy had set up the pack-n-play, the highchair, a wading pool outside, and about a million toys that were spread from one end of the living room to the other end!  He got the best car seat and stroller too- I think he wants you to come back Ellie Girl!

Last night, when I came outside after unpacking I found you and him in the wading pool Ellie… yes, your Poppy was sitting fully clothed in the tiny pink wading pool spitting water at you.  You were giggling so hard and waiting for him to do it again and again.  

You love your new playmate… age doesn’t matter!  But let’s start at the beginning of your trip when I picked you up from the Philadelphia airport.

Oh Ellie, you were an absolute angel on the three and half hour flight.  As soon as the plane touched ground I quickly called your Mimi to come and pick us up.  It didn’t take her long Ellie and as soon as she pulled up, you just about jumped out of my arms to get to hers.  And you haven’t left her side since.  Oh how your Mimi adores you!

That I do Ellie-bean!  It was such a joy to watch you meet all of your Philly family.  And there are lots of them… aunts, uncles, cousins and friends!  Seeing you go from watching them to interacting with them was quite entertaining!

Aunt Phyllis is always the gracious hostess!  She opens up her house to us and spoils us with all of our favorite things- soft pretzels, jersey tomatoes, hoagies, kosher pickles, a game of UpWords and of course endless cups of tea!  Because of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she has what seemed to be an infinite supply of toys of which you were quite enthralled with Ellie!  

We spent the second day of our stay with your Great-Great Aunt Midge.  She had a wonderful day planned out for us that included a yummy lunch, delicious dinner, a huge backyard that hosted a swing set and swimming pool!  You also met more of your Philly cousins here.  

And you know what?  Some of your Green Bay family drove in to be here for this very special week too.  Your Great Gram Bubbles, Aunt Sheri, and Stephanie drove to Philadelphia to see us and also attend your Aunt Sammy’s bridal shower.  And then, they got back on the road to State College for all the weekly events, especially Kyle’s Walk.  You had a grand time in Philly Ellie-bean, you fit right in!

I had to laugh Kimberly when you said Ellie fit right in!  I couldn’t agree with you more.  Gram Russell would have said that Ellie would have made a great “Wheeler Street Kid” as she not only loves to be on the go, but also to be in the center of whatever is going on!  Just thinking about Wheeler Street brings back so many fond memories.  It was a street like no other.  All the neighbors were like family… each watched out for the other.  It was a unique street Ellie, with a fascinating story to tell, but I will save it for a later blog.

The reason we flew into Philadelphia was because your Mimi and I had a bridal shower for your soon-to-be Aunt Samantha (although she already is part of the family) there.  Look at how much fun it was:

It was a kitchen themed party- guests brought their favorite recipes with an ingredient and signed an apron with words of advice (some were pretty hilarious)!  

You and your cousin Colin got a chance to know each other since you are going to walk down the aisle side-by-side (that’s right, you and him are going to be the flower girl and ring bearer!).  The two of you were having lots of fun with Poppy while the ladies had lunch and watched Aunt Sammy open up her gifts.  

I think Poppy was teaching you both how to chase each other… not sure how the ceremony is going to go with you two but it should bring many laughs (I just hope you don’t steal too much attention away from the gorgeous bride)!  Aside from that, you absolutely LOVED the cake that Marie brought as well as the homemade white chocolate favors from Aunt Midge…

Ellie, your Aunt Sammy looked like a picture of happiness!  You could tell how genuinely appreciative she was of the shower itself, the family whom attended and the wonderful gifts that she opened.  She is now officially part of our Philly/Jersey family.  You can see from the pictures that Jackie took (Jackie always documents all events so beautifully with her camera) that Aunt Sammy is a perfect fit!

It really was a weekend of celebrating, as Sunday was your Great-Great Aunt Phyllis’ 70th birthday.  She sure is loved as she had about thirty people come over for delicious strawberry shortcake that your cousin Jessica brought.  And yes Ellie, you yummed that cake up too!

Ellie, your Great-Aunt Phyllis is one very amazing woman.  She is confident, head strong, kind and caring almost to a fault, intelligent and can tell captivating stories!  

It is quite easy to be drawn instantly to her as she has a positive energy that surrounds her, even though the last few years have been difficult ones.  Just this weekend she humbly stated that the reason she had so many birthday cards was because she was old but that’s not true… she has so many birthday cards because she is loved by so many.  You see your Great-Aunt Phyllis has touched many lives throughout the years, one being mine.  And no matter what life throws at her, she never forgets to sit down to have a cup of tea especially with her guests and enjoy the moment that will hopefully turn into a forever memory!

And then it was back to State College and you had some quiet time…

Maybe not quite Ellie as we went here, there, and everywhere and here are some pictures to prove it!  I thought you were hysterical in the Lion’s Pride Store.  While we were trying to find you an outfit for a Nittany Lion Mascot Portrait, you were running from one end of the store to the other as though you owned the place!  Poppy even said you talked more in that time frame than you had done all day… and you did it in a very authoritive voice!  (Heaven help the people you may be in charge of some day!)  Oh, and stopping for ice-cream at the Penn State Creamery was an experience in itself too!  You seem to love your ice-cream almost as much as you love to be independent!  I couldn’t stop giggling when you pulled your spoon out of the ice-cream cup and half of it flung across the table just missing your Poppy and Mommy!

Now we are getting ready for your brother’s big day tomorrow- the 5k in his memory.  The Green Bay gang got here on Tuesday, your Daddy just flew in yesterday, Aunt Ally, Joanne’s crew, the Philly family, and the Jersey bunch are all arriving today.  Kyle sure was loved and so are we because we are incredibly supported.  Your Uncle Ryan, Aunt Samantha, Poppy and Mimi worked really hard to make this more professional this year- we have a runners’ clock, bibs, and cool gifts.  I can’t wait to tell you all about how it goes in next week’s letter.

Oh Ellie, was organizing Kyle’s walk hard work?  Yes.  Was the week somewhat exhausting?  Yes.  But I wouldn’t trade this time with you and your mommy, nor Kyle’s Cause for anything in the world for we are not only preserving Kyle’s memory but we are teaching you too the importance of making a difference in another’s life.  I guess the lesson to be learned here Ellie is to LOVE.  Love yourself, love your family, love your neighbor and above all, Love God.  Good things come from Love.  You definitely did!

Till next time Ellie-bean,

Mom & Mimi

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