Thursday, August 4, 2011

Extended Vacation Month of August- Blog 1: Letters from Mom & Mimi

Hello My Elle-Belle,

For the past few days, life has been very busy.  Your cousin DR is getting married so you get to see NYC this weekend!  But now I’m getting ahead of myself…  I didn’t finish telling you about the end of our trip in State College because we concentrated on Kyle’s 5k in last week’s blog.  And our State College trip was unexpectedly extended…  So your Mimi and I can write together again over a quiet cup of tea this evening (so she’s in italics and I’m in regular font).

Yeahhhhhhh Ellie!  What a wonderful surprise to see you here when we got back from Cape Cod! My heart was broken when I had to say good-bye to you last Sunday and what I thought was our last morning together, but then to come home from a weekend trip and find out that you and your mommy are staying… well that is truly icing on the cake for me!

So let me back up and tell you all about the Penn State Nittany Lion… yes, that’s right- you met the Nittany Lion!  You see, your Poppy won an hour with the mascot at a silent auction last summer and he has been waiting for you to come home to use it.  He bought it for you Ellie-Girl.  We booked him at 8am because it was HOT here.  We dressed you up in a PSU white with navy and light blue polka-dot dress.  You looked like an angel but you acted like a bear that morning before we left.  You were such a grump-a-lump, but then again it really was warm!  As soon as we arrived at the Nittany Lion statue on campus and you met the actual Lion mascot, you got so excited and wanted him to pick you up… the poor man inside couldn’t let you down for the hour because if he tried you screamed!  You loved him! 

You are in his arms in everyone’s pictures!  And we got some really cool family pictures!  

What did you think Mimi? 

I too thought the morning was unbearably (not liony) hot Ellie!  But even so, what a memory your Poppy gave to us all.  I know the Nittany Lion Mascot was really for you, but for the rest of us to experience your moment was the absolute best!  As soon as he walked up to our group, your tiny arms reached out for him to scoop you up into his.  Ellie, for you to go to a complete stranger is so out of character for you.  The only thing I can think of is that because you love animals so much (way more than baby dolls), the disproportionate size and shape of the mascot made no difference to you as it still had hair, big teeth and a doggie style head!  (I hope rodents never join your lovable, cuddly and furry house-pet friends!)  As for the photography pictures… we’ve got some priceless ones!

And then there was more traveling around Pennsylvania.  We saw your Daddy’s side of the family in Plymouth and Dallas.  You met your Great-Grandmom

And then we saw a lot of your aunts on your Nana’s side and your Great-Grandpa and aunt on your Pop-Pop’s side.  It was a bit overwhelming for you and you stayed close to me but everyone enjoyed meeting you.  We had a wonderful dinner at your Great-Grandpa’s house and you yummed up the creamy noodles and chocolate cheesecake that was served for your Pop-Pop’s birthday.  We headed back to your Nana’s to stay and you played with her, Aunt Gena, and their two dogs.  They took you on the swings and you loved running around their big backyard.

And then for a small portion of our visit, your Mimi and Poppy weren’t here (we did catch them right before they left and your Mimi and Poppy played their favorite games with you).  But they had to head to Cape Cod for a wedding (I saw the dress that she was going to wear and I bet she looked like a million dollars!  Mimi looks so gorgeous in blue like you Ellie).  So we hung out with your Great-Pop and Great-Gigi.  You leapt into their arms as soon as you saw them.  Gigi was so happy that you let her hold you all day.  You would have thought she won the lottery!  In fact, she wrote me an email yesterday that said the time with you in her arms was better than a Pineapple Sunday at Meyer’s Dairy (which is her favorite ice cream at her favorite place!).  And do you know what?  While hanging out with Gigi, she took you to that amazing place for ice cream and I think you have the same sweet tooth as we do!  You loved that homemade dessert!!!  

We spent some time at her house and she took out a doll that belonged to your Great-Aunt Joanne and then me (the doll has to be at least 45 years old).  The doll’s name is Patty.  You took off Patty’s socks and shoes and put them on your feet (and they were too big but you wore them anyway).  Despite Patty’s size, you tried to bully her (I think you were upset that she wouldn’t play back) and you hit her over the head and pulled her hair.   

So Mimi, while we were here in Pennsylvania, how was Massachusetts?  Tell us about the wedding!!!

Oh the wedding was beautiful!  It is the first time your Poppy and I traveled to Cape Cod Ellie and as pretty as it was, it will also probably be the last time we travel to Cape Cod.  We chose a hotel right on the beach to make our reservation, and 3 of our 4-day stay had perfect weather.  Looking out over the Atlantic Ocean was like looking at perfectly polished glass lying on its side.  The other day was cloudy and quite windy with rougher waters.  While there we played the true tourists.  Poppy is not very good at just relaxing on the beach so our second day stay we drove to Hyannis Port to tour the JFK Museum.

From there we traveled north to a quaint town called Chadem to have some lunch and browse through the unique novelty shops that filled Main Street.  Once we had our fill of sight seeing, back to the hotel we went to hit the beach for the last bit of sun the day had to offer.  And for me, that would have been thoughts of you.  Ellie, all I could think about was how much fun it would be to watch you with a bucket and shovel in hand digging in the sand while periodically taking breaks to put your little toes in the icy cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean!  OK… back to my trip.  The next morning we attempted to spend time on the beach but it was so cold Ellie, I bundled myself in towels from my toes to my head.  If I had a Parka coat that I day I would surely have worn it!!  

Later on we hopped in the car and traveled north again to a town called Province.  I am not exactly sure how to describe this place to you Ellie so maybe I should wait until you are older.  One thing I will tell you though is that we saw some interesting individuals and one in particular had shapelier legs than any I have ever seen…. For a fleeting moment many women (including me) thought about the word “exercise”.  Remember I said “fleeting moment”… that is less than a nano second and then I passed a Fudge shop!

Saturday was the wedding and it couldn’t have been a more beautiful day!  Everything was perfect, from the bride and groom saying “I Do” to the reception; it was almost fairytale like Ellie.  I think because Cape Cod is all about quaint little cottages with picket fences, gorgeous hydrangea plants in deep shades of purples and blues and of course sailboats, kayaks and canoes!  And instead of serving the traditional wedding cake, our friends went with something out of the ordinary… yummy homemade pies!... and lots of choices to choose from!  

Oh… I almost forgot, the reason I said that our visit this weekend to Cape Cod may be our last visit there was because the one thing I really missed visiting a seashore village was the anticipation of arrival.  You see Ellie, when your Poppy and I travel to the Jersey shore such as Ocean City or Cape May, there is nothing more exciting than to smell those wonderful shore scents miles before you get there…. Such as the sea salty air, ocean breezes, and faint aroma’s of netted fish fresh off the boats.  I did not experience any of this in Cape Cod Ellie.  And even though that was ok, I missed it.  So I am glad I had the wonderful experience to visit Cape Cod, but I think I much prefer a way shorter drive to the Jersey shore where my comfort level is just that.  Comfortable!

We got to say our farewells to Daddy’s friends and mine here too when we went to Jenna Senior’s beautiful new home.  You ran around like you owned the place and I was afraid you might destroy something but you were content playing catch-me in the sunroom.  And then we had a final lunch (or so we thought was final) with Uncle Ryan who makes you laugh.  We stayed in Mimi’s house and you ran around looking at the pictures and saying Poppy and Mimi when you saw their images.  And you played with the number boxes (Poppy’s game that he played with you), you would say “no, no, no, no Poppy” just like he hid when he was here!   

And I can’t forget to tell you that we got to play with Mimi’s neighbors Natalie and her son Evan.  He let you share his toys and play outside.  You were as rough and tough as he is!  I think you will be good friends for a long time!  

We were supposed to have a very late flight home to Denver last Thursday but guess what?  Mechanical problems held us back… We decided to stay in State College for a few extra days and drive to NYC with Mimi and Poppy (your Daddy had a wedding on the west coast and had to go back to work so he will meet us in the city later).  So we got to attend your cousin Ryan Patrick’s third birthday party (and it was a pool party!!!  You were in heaven and a fish in the water as usual).  And the cake was delicious!

Our original plan was to come home on Monday, but the group we were traveling with chose to shorten our trip by one day and come home on Sunday.  I will tell you right here and now that I couldn’t have been happier Ellie as that meant I was one day closer to coming home to play with you!  And coming up the driveway when we returned home, seeing your face made me excited- we had four more days to play!

Oh Ellie I could write a dozen more stories here but I will try and keep it somewhat short by sharing two more.  The first is quite funny.  You, your mommy, and I were running some errands around town and while conversing with your mommy I made a comment about what and who makes a “perfect fit” friend.  After telling your mommy who would be on my “perfect fit” friend list your mommy wanted to make sure she was on it too so she yelled out “And me, don’t forget me!”  Ellie, while I was explaining to her that she was always on it, you yelled out “And Me!” too!  You my precious peanut will always be my “perfect fit to everything in life”!  And again, if you continue to hang out with your mommy and me through the years ahead Ellie, you will surely come to understand what a true friendship really is!  The second story is another quick one that will confirm how incredibly smart you are.  While we were all sitting: by your demand, on the living room floor and by “all” I mean Poppy, your Mommy and Me, you had us watching you play with your toys.  When you stumbled on the wooden clock with the 12 empty number shaped slots you went on a mission looking in the whicker basket to hunt some of those shapes down.  Ellie, can I just tell you that the first 4 shapes you found, you carefully selected the slots to put them in and turned each piece until they slid in perfectly!  OK Ellie, yes your Poppy and I think you are genius material so now just be little and have fun!  Oh… here is one more story for you.  One night Poppy filled up your pool and your Aunt Sammy and Uncle Ryan came over to watch you play.  Well, the weather turned ugly and with the threat of thunder and lightening, we made a minor adjustment in your “water” time play hour.  Your mommy went to fill up the tub and in the blink of an eye slipped you from one body of water right into the other (where it was safer).  Your Aunt Sammy sat on the floor right next to the tub and poured water over you with a large cup.  You giggled and giggled, and then proceeded to show off for the 5 of us who were crammed in that little bathroom to watch you!  Talk about a captured audience… how none of us had claustrophobia is amazing!  But I guess that was because we were so enthralled with your tub antics… you were kind of like a turtle on its belly, a splashing fish and a clown in the circus all wrapped up in one!  You throwing the little yellow washcloth up in the air for it to land on your head was quite impressive…. (hibachi chefs could learn a few tricks from you!).  Anyway Ellie, entertaining seems to be a distinctive trait to your many characteristics so I hope you always remember the importance of making people smile!  You’ve got what it takes little one!

The more days we had here, the more running around with Mimi, playing in the pool with Poppy, getting to know Aunt Sammy, goofing around with Uncle Ryan, eating with Great Pop-Pop, having slumber parties with Gigi (who’s company I enjoy most late at night over tea or wine and we share lots of stories), and overall enjoying family.

That is what it is all about.  The miles between us may be far Ellie, but the love we share with you on a daily basis will keep us close in heart forever and always!

And now it’s time for me to sign off because I need to get packing for our final trip of the summer… NYC (although since I’m living out of my suitcase here, I need your Dad on the phone so I can tell him where my heels and accessories are at home to pack for me!).  Does NYC have any idea of what it’s in for with our crew?!

Honestly Kim, I don’t think so!  New York City along with D.R. and Laura’s wedding may give us a memory to write about, but I do think we too will give New York a memory the city shall never forget!  OK Ellie, I also have to pack because I am the worst packer ever.  When it comes to filling my suitcase, I usually just dump in whatever is in my dresser drawers, as I can never decide what to wear.  Then I have to take half of it back out, as my suitcase is usually too heavy to pick up!  Whatever!
Maybe I should start with the shoes!

Kim, how about next weeks blog we share our thoughts and experiences of New York!  It may be tricky because we will be saying our goodbyes on Sunday, but let’s try to write this one together too, even though you and Ellie will be back in Denver and I will be here in State College.   Maybe we can write it together over a healing cup of warm tea while on the telephone (the reason I chose the word healing was because the hurting from missing you both will still be fresh in my soul).  I love you two.

One last thought Ellie.   Your mommy and I think the lesson to be learned here is that “things” happen for a reason, such as your flight being canceled and your stay here lengthened.  There is a Bigger Plan at work Ellie in each of our daily lives, one we may not understand but should always trust.  Enjoy the journey!

Till next time Ellie-belle,
Love, Mom & Mimi        

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