Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Graduation

Seventeen years ago, on this date, we were in China. We had had Alexa for a total of 4 days as of June 28, 1998. Look where she is now. Alexa ranked 7th in her class, graduated with honors and is  attending Cornell University in the fall. 

They awarded the class officers their diplomas first then they honored the top ten students in the class by awarding them their diplomas and having them stand together as a group. I don't dwell a lot on what Alexa's birth parents went through in deciding to give her up, nor have I thought a lot about them over the years, but Sunday I wish they could have seen her and known how she has thrived and how much she has accomplished since they entrusted her to our care. I'd like them to know how much we cherish this precious gift they gave us.

Lex and Laryssa

She spared us just a moment for a picture or two

With some of her friends

 Again, with proud Mom and Dad
On to the next chapter...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bad Blogger, Bad, Bad, Bad...

I've been a very bad blogger, It's June and I haven't blogged since January. Technically, however, that's not entirely true. I have been doing my weekly store blogs for Buffalo Stamps and Stuff, but home, not so much, nothing really.

One of my mottos is 'Life is what happens while we are making other plans." and technically that's what has been my "life" for the past six months. Nothing hugely going on except for my daughter's last six months of high school - HUGE, I know, but...I have had other things going on and frankly I've been a bit overwhelmed by everything, certain family issues and health issue particularly. If you know me, you might get that I don't want to talk about them here, I don't want to talk about them anywhere, really, especially if I can't make a funny, joke, or just laugh about it all. So there it is. Enough said.

Instead I'm going to share a few photos of the last six months for your viewing enjoyment and shameless proud parent promotion...

January 2015

This may not look bad at first glance but Abigail is standing on top of snow that's frozen hard enough for her not to sink. Norm had to go out and shovel a path for her to walk out on because the snow was too high for her.

February 2015
Alexa's 18th birthday dinner. I am done with birthday parties, yeah! Russell's eh, not impressed...

February in NYC, Brrrrrrr! It was frigid! Alexa and I went to visit NYU. She ended up being wait listed. I got to go to the Ink Pad and to the 9/11 Museum. Alexa got to shop...



To be very honest, I will never set foot in this place again. It is hallowed ground. It is incredibly moving and powerful and It was too upsetting for me. That's not to say it wasn't worthwhile, it totally was and should be visited by every American. Even though I did not personally know someone who lost their life that day, I'm a born and bred New Yorker, and a downstater even though I've spent almost more of my life outside of the metro area. I am close to people who did lose loved ones and acquaintances. My sister-in-law's cousin is a NYC fireman and by the grace of God was off duty that day and couldn't get into the city. If you go to NYC it must be on your Must Do list and you must take your children so that they see and understand. 

As you go higher in Macy's in Herald Square they haven't replaced the original escalators they are still made of wood!

Alexa before the last winter/spring dance. 

March 2015
Norm's birthday at the Chocolate Bar, Alexa's choice, of course and this is my drink, a chocolate martini. Dad wouldn't go that far!

March Retreat! Go my Scrappin Sistas!

April 2015
Alexa and I took one last trip to Boston in April. Our story was we were going to confirm Alexa's choice for college. Alexa was going to find a prom dress...the Ultimate in Peabody, MA. This place was your typical dress store - ON STEROIDS!! What you can see here is only a fraction of the selection. 

We spent a day at Boston University and then met up her friend Renuka and her dad at Northeastern. Alexa was accepted at both and both put on quite a presentation to get you to say yes to their school. 

I lobbied for the Duck Boat Tour!

That's the Boston City Jail in the background...

Sailboats on the Charles with our original nightlight, the Pru rising from the Back Bay. 

May 2015
But in the end her choice was...

June 2015
Here we are, June. The first big event is behind us PROM! It was not without teenage drama. 


The Big Reveal!



Alexa and her date Simon. 


Some fun photos - the Cornell Crew 

Lex and Laryssa

Selfie Stick time

The Charlie's Angel shot








It was like sending them off to kindergarten the first day! All the parents watching and waving as our kids got on the bus! Then we went inside had a drink or two, nibbled the food they left behind and talked about our kids and college!

Now for the summer! Alexa needs a job and I need a vacation...preferably on another planet.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Buffalo Solid....

I enjoy sports, watching sports that is, I'll never be an enthusiastic participant. From my early days when every school coach took one look at me and thought they had a new player for their basketball team - until I touch the ball...till today when my husband still insists I throw like a girl, well DUH! I like watching sports - I'm a veteran of everything from the PGA, PBA, MLB and NFL. I also enjoy NASCAR, an occasional tennis match, the Wesminster Kennel Club Dog Show and curling when I can find it (I still need someone to explain the rules to me though).

Buffalo is a very sports savvy town. Being a New Yorker, all be it a downstate NYer, who grew up on the Jets, Giants, Mets and Yankees (who never really considered Buffalo part of my NY, yes I'm a snob, I know it). I have been know to switch alliances over the years. I grew up a Met and Jet fan. Oh, the days of the Miracle Mets! I even conned my mother into turning over her World Series ticket to me so I could take my brother to a game during the 1969 series via the Long Island Rail Road. That is a story for another day. Baseball today, I've been turned to dark side as I say - I'm now a dyed in the pinstripes New York Yankee fan (blame my husband).

Anyway, I was also a Jet fan thanks to my friend Barbara who LOVED Joe Namath when we were in high school. My football allegiance lasted until shortly after college. I went to school in New Hampshire and we lived in Boston the first two and a half years we were married. From then till now my football heart belongs to the New England Patriots (a dangerous team to support these days especially in this town!) I'm not a Bills fan and I never will be. That doesn't mean I dislike the Bills, they are kinda endearing in a hapless sort of way. But the one thing I will say about Buffalo is that they LOVE their pro teams. Everyone loves the Bills and the Sabres (hockey). What I especially find admirable is that this love is not just from the guys out there it's from the women of Buffalo also. I don't know about other football towns but how many morning drive djs made up of a man and a woman combo both get genuinely excited about a new football coach coming to town, or a veteran hockey player getting his number retired.

My daughter listens to Kiss 98.5 here in Buffalo and now that she is driving my car radio is set to this station more often than not. The other day the morning jocks were all gaga over Rex Ryan becoming the new Bills coach. They did a remix of a song, plugging in Ryan and his comments from his first press conference. The woman especially knew about his history, the Bills history, what they need, what they were good at, what they were bad at and how Ryan could make the team better! I was impressed.

It goes farther than that. Women in Buffalo love and know their sports teams. My daughter has friends who follow hockey! They know the Sabres players, how they are doing, etc. I have acquaintances at work who follow Bills games and everyone, I mean EVERYONE knows the Pegulas - or Terry and Kim, as they are affectionately know here. It's a very nice thing to see. I'm still a Patriot fan, (love my Tommy boy - hate Belichek, but doesn't everyone!) and will be excited at maybe seeing a game if Alexa goes to school in Boston. But Buffalo has it solid with it's love, loyalty and support of the Bills and Sabres (no matter how awful they are)! You have to admire and love that and I do.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Latest Challenge

There are decided advantages to having a child early in life and the same can be said for having a child later in life. When you are younger you have more energy, you are physically more limber, able to connect to your child when playing and as they grow older it's easier to keep up, physically. There are tons of other things but frankly, I don't have the patience to list them all.

This brings me to the advantages of having children later in life. You are more experienced, you are more established in your career, hopefully you are more financially prepared for kids, you've learned the art of patience. If you are like me however, that doesn't mean you actually have more patience...

As many know I have whip smart, beautiful, demanding, self assured know-it-all daughter.

I say this with love when I'm not beating my head against the wall. 

My daughter has started the college application process. I'm the lucky? one who gets to fill out all her financial aid/parent info/anything else portion of her college applications. Folks, I'm pulling my hair out, even the gray ones that have turned gray over night. 

The number of schools she wants to apply to changes every day. The most current list from her contains 11 schools, at least two of which I don't think she really has any interest in but she considers them 'Safe' schools that she is fairly certain she can get in with no problem, but I digress.

Mom gets to fill out the CSS profile, the FAFSA form, the TAP form and I'm sure several others that I don't know of yet. The acronyms floating around are on par with NASA or the military - 529b, the already mentioned CSS, FAFSA, TAP, plus PEL not to mention the resources I need to have on hand, W-2, 1040, TIAA-CREF, and more! I know  what you're saying - yes, I went to college, yes, my husband when to not only undergraduate but two graduate schools! I worked at a college or two in my time, my husband is a VP at a college! BUT, but! here's the thing. We worked in the academic end of things, NOT the admissions, financial aid, student affairs, etc.

We won't go into how clueless I am about all the terminology used, i.e. my taxes! Hey, I pay someone to do them because I go into a cold sweat and vapor brain whenever someone starts talking figures, dollars, exempt, untaxable, taxable, deferred, income, benefits, investment - you get the idea, to me.
So here is my life right now, at least until February 15 - the latest any and all of this stuff can be submitted is all about the money! So here my desk. I don't expect to see the surface until spring...



Monday, October 13, 2014

Celebration Weekend...

We had a beautiful weekend here in western NY. We had the honor of being invited to the wedding of one the first friends we made when we moved to Buffalo, Lisa Marsherall. Lisa married Jeff Faunce this weekend. It was a second marriage for both and it was a beautiful ceremony, perfect for these two wonderful and deserving people.

Both Lisa and Jeff work at Medaille and Norm got an honorable mention in the ceremony and shares March 11 with the happy couple. They had their first date on March 11 at a Dunkin Donuts and March 11 is Norm's birthday! Karma!

On Sunday I got to go to my boss's daughters's baby shower. We love Jessica and Scott and are so happy for them. They are having a baby girl and everything, I mean everything was pink!





There was also pink wine, tons of pink and adorable baby clothes and accessories and Jessica wore a pink top. Here she is judging the 'How big is Jess's belly?' contest.

There were games, although the dirty diaper game was a bit much for me. Relax, it was little diaper filled with baby food and we had to guess what flavors they were by sniffing them. I passed on that one ;-)

It was a wonderful weekend and to top it off both the Patriots AND Browns won! Fall doesn't get any better than this!