Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time."- Steven Wright

The day after the wedding, one of my brothers and his wife generously opened their home so that we could all get together. It was a beautiful day, and it was so nice to relax and talk to everyone. The kids had a great time with their cousin too! Thanks Jimmy & Lauren!

The hosts with the newlyweds

We also celebrated Meg's 30th

She was very surprised!

My cousins from PA & IN. I got to talk to them a little at the brunch.

I miss these get-togethers when I am away.

I want these guys to know each other well as they grow up!

They definitely have fun together.

The newest one!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Uncle B & Kerry's Wedding Day

Although we did many things on our trip to New York, the reason that we are here this week in particular is to celebrate Kerry & Brian's wedding. What a day. I was so happy to see them so happy. I was so glad to see my extended family. Everyone had a great time and the whole reception went off perfectly.

Some of the highlights included: a gorgeous bride & groom, a humorous, detailed, toast by the best man, my sister's concert from the speaker, Richie's round off into my sister knocking her down, my sister's quick recovery and continuation of the concert, amazing mini hot-dog & hamburgers hors d'oeuvres, and some kind of molten chocolate cake!

The ring bearers. In the end, they pulled it off. As did my nephew who booked it down the aisle in style ahead of these two.

Bridesmaid Jessica making way for the bride.

The joy of seeing his bride in her wedding dress.

Escorted by her Dad.

With the bridesmaids

Just Married!

Sorry guys, no reception. It's off to Miss Mary's for you!

I LOVED the flowers! So beautiful, just like everything else from the day.

I believe this was some sort of Springsteen jam out.

Best Wishes to the happy couple!

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success." Alexander Graham Bell

The night before my brother's wedding, the families and wedding party did a walk through of the ceremony. My sister and I did readings, the kids practiced their ring-bearing, and the wedding party learned where to stand, walk and line-up. Afterwards, my parents hosted a dinner at the home of a family that has been in catering for years. The Egans in Rockaway have a beautiful home where they will cater special events. It was perfect. Cozy and elegant.

The best part of the night for me was getting to know Kerry's family and friends. I have met her parents, brother and grandmother and they are wonderful people. At the rehearsal, I got to meet some of Kerry's cousins, friends, aunts and other grandmother. Since I missed the bridal shower, and the engagement brunch, I felt way behind! It is no surprise that Kerry comes from an amazing family and surrounds herself with great friends. I have to say that I could have sat and talked with her grandmother for hours. We are so lucky to have Kerry join our family!

Jimmy delivered a very thoughtful and sincere toast to his brother. It was really nice.

It was so nice for the bride and groom to include the kids in their wedding. It was very special for them!

Trish and Kerry talking about the big day.

The Best Man with two Groomsmen, KG & Pete

Meg's first time away from her baby for a night out. A difficult moment for all new moms, but she handled it very well.

The Groom with his Godson

Dad toasting the Bride and Groom

My Brother Mike and his awesome girlfriend Joanne

Me and my new Sister-in-law!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Outings are so much more fun when we can savor them through the children's eyes."- Lawana Blackwell

Tom: "See honey, we have the best of both worlds. We can visit New York, have a great time and go back before we get sick of it."

Me: "I was never sick of it, I still love it here."

I din't feel the pangs of homesickness (for NY) that I felt on the last trip, but I was really happy to be there. While I am in Dublin, I don't feel homesick for New York very often, but I do miss seeing my family. I am still very happy to be living in Dublin, and I know how lucky we are to have the opportunity to live here. I guess I see my husband's point.

The kids were so happy to see their cousin, and so was I. He has grown so much and the little time we have with him is never enough!

Aunt Tricia was so nice to babysit while we went out with some friends.

They were so glad to play with the girls again, it was like we never left!

Playgrounds do seem a bit more accessible in NY.

I love being able to go to the docs & dentist that we are used to seeing. Healthcare here seems a bit complicated and kids are only referred to a pediatrician as a specialist. Pediatric dentistry is hard to come by as well.

Monday, March 22, 2010

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.” - unknown

Happy Birthday Terri!

For many years now (I don't even know how many!), my friends Terri and Michele and I have celebrated each other's birthdays. We thought our tradition was going to have to end when I moved away, but since we were in town in November (for mine) and again this time for Terri's, I am going to have to come back for Michele's in June!

It was so nice to see the girls, and Miss Mary too! She came to stay with the boys while I went to dinner. I really love Dublin but never want to lose the friends I have in in the U.S..

"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses." ~Joyce Brothers

Every year, about a week after St. Patrick's Day, my hometown puts on a St. Patrick's Day Parade. It always seems to be a really nice day, but this year was so nice, that I had to get new shoes and clothes to wear or I would have fainted from the heat.

This year my sister was very involved in the parade committee, so it was extra nice that we were able to be there. There are so many people that I knew who still live there, or have moved back. It always makes me feel connected and grounded in some way because I run into so many old friends.

The parade committee marching

Of course all of the local volunteer firefighters and trucks were the big draw for my kids!

It was also the first day of this trip that we saw my parents, my sister, my brother & a couple of sisters in law, and my nephew!!!!

The hardest part about living so far away is missing my family and getting together with them. It makes these times so much nicer though!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"True heroism is... not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." -- Ron Dicianni

One of the things we HAD to get on the calendar for the New York trip was a visit to Uncle B's Fire Station. The kids are so into Firefighters, Fireman Sam, Firetrucks etc. that I knew it would be a highlight for them. I have to say, I hope Disney is as exciting for them because they were so happy!

They love their toy ride-on Fire trucks, but c'mon. Ain't nothing like the real thing baby!

Sliding down the pole- for real!

Uncle B is like a Superhero!

The truck came back, just in time for the boys to climb in.

Thanks Uncle B- we re so glad to be here for your wedding!

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." - Richard Bach

You can't see him in this photo, but the little guy in the stroller is my newest nephew! He was 6 weeks old when I finally got to meet him and it was wonderful. He is so darn beautiful. He and his parents were doing great. I love to see KG & Meg with their baby, they look like pros. And they seem so happy. He looks just like his Dad (my brother), he was a cutie too!

It was about 70 degrees when we arrived in New York, and I was not prepared. I was packin' boots and sweaters and had to run out for some warm weather gear. This was our first day out on this NY trip and we made it productive!

The kids were great travelers once again, slept most of the way on the plane!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

May St. Patrick guard you wherever you go, and guide you in whatever you do-- and may his loving protection be a blessing to you always. -

Although we had great plans to take the kids into town (Dublin) for at least the beginning of the parade, I was convinced by various people that it might just be a little too crazy. We ended up going down to the festival and parade in Bray with our neighbors and it was a great call.

It was festive, Irish, and the boys had a great time on the rides and bouncy castles. St. Patrick's Day in Dublin is still on the list- maybe next year?

Monday, March 15, 2010

"I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from."- Eddie Izzard

We just had a lovely visit for Tom's sister Joan, or "Happy Joan" as the kids call her (their attempt at happy birthday as 2-year-olds stuck). Joan and I always have a nice time, I am lucky to have in laws that I really like. She is an American History teacher and an avid reader. We always talk about books that we like, and don't like and she always leaves me some great recommendations.
It was great to have her here, to see where we live and spend some time. Thanks for making the trip Joan!

Lunch at Powerscourt Gardens

On a walk with the boys

We met Tom in town for lunch (town is Dublin :))

Brother and Sister time

Happy with Happy Joan!