Category Archives: Family

My best friend’s birthday

A (sort of) reposting.

Dear Kel,

You are my oldest and best friend.  The first of all my Kelly’s :) We went from checking out bugs, to drinking gross concoctions on dares, stealing textbooks (albeit discarded ones), to pre-teenhood.  Then came training bras, and boys, and o-my-gah – periods.  And high school. And boyfriends. and broken hearts.

And,then, your marriage.

After all this time I’m glad we chose not to be roommates in college.  It would have likely ruined our friendship.  I was in a very different place than you at the time, and I may have felt too constrained.  (Although a little more constraining might have done me some good!)  You saw me go from conscientious student, to college slacker.  Saw me through lost innocence, lost faith, lost sense of self, sense of worth.  You kept true to your own path, setting your sights on things beyond my vision.  Focusing on your goals,  and your calling.  Keeping your own circle of friends.  But you never let me out of your sight, or off your radar.

You never gave up.  You continued to encourage me, love me, plant seeds of faith and hope in my heart.  Even though I pushed them (and you) away.  Even though I asked you to kindly keep your Jesus to yourself, thankyouverymuch.  It took a few years (ha!) but your seeds found roots and are finally flourishing into a garden of my own.  And now he’s my Jesus too.  (and Kira’s, & Erin’s)  Who knows where your influence will end?  I know I’m not the only set of ripples you’ve sent out over the waters.

You let me know that you thought the world of me, and that I had value to add to this crazy world.  Even if it’s just my amazing Cranium skills!

You have always amazed me.  You are a bright and shining star in a gray world.  You are brilliant, talented, a hard worker.  A caring, insightful doctor.  A beautiful woman.  Funny friend.  Enthusiastic laugher.  Loving wife. Generous stepmother. I want to be just like you when I grow up. :)

Here’s to us on our 24th birthday together.  May we have 100 more.  I love you more than words could express.

love,

jules

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Filed under Family, Friends, NaBloPoMo, Things I heart

Joy Ride

Last night I took my dad to the Tigers game.  My girlfriend, and co-season-ticket-holder, had to work and couldn’t attend.  It was a good opportunity for some father-daughter bonding. We’ve been able to hang out only a few times this year when it was just the two of us.

So all afternoon I was looking forward to catching the game with him.  Then it started raining. Hard.  Highway traffic on the way home from work was slowed due to the heavy downpour.  I called dad and we decided to wait an hour or so and see what it was like then.  The rain stopped and we made the call to get down to the stadium.  As he was on his way to my place to pick me up, I started to wonder what car he would be coming in.

You see, my dad works for GM and he gets to drive fleet cars.  He gets a new one every 6-8 weeks or so.  He usually has trucks, or sedans, and the occasional SUV.  But not this summer.  This year he hit the lottery and has been tooling around in a brand new Corvette convertible since late June.  That’s right:  all summer in a brand new burnt-orange sports car.

It was this color, but had the black soft top.  Sexy, yes?

It was this color, but had the black soft top. Sexy, yes?

I knew he was due to return it soon, but I was *SO* hoping that it would show up in my driveway in a few minutes.  And it did. 🙂 But, friends, that’s not the best part.

The best part was when my dad got out and asked if I wanted to drive it down to the city.  Me.  Driving. A. Corvette.  The answer, of course, was YES!  Let me tell you, that beast has the sexiest sound when you start it up, and when you accelerate.  A true, deep-tiger-purring Vroom!

Of course I was a little paranoid about getting a ticket, or getting into an accident, so I was extra-careful on the way down.  But that didn’t stop me from enjoying every minute of it.  On both the drive down, and the drive home.  yee-ha!

Oh yeah, and the Tigers beat the Angels too.  A pretty good night in my books if you ask me!

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Filed under Family, firsts, Sporty Spice, Things I heart

She’s on my team

The other night before we went shopping for school clothes, my niece and I spent some quality time together, just the two of us. After hitting the playground and finishing dinner – we just hung out and talked.

Kira decided that she wanted to do my hair – she had some great ideas on how to style it. I was willing to give her a second chance, even though her previous attempt looked something like this:

Picture this in a brunette look.  Only slightly more tangled and with less colorful accessories.

Picture this in a brunette look. Only slightly more tangled and with less colorful accessories.

Plus, I LOVE having someone play with my hair. Ever since I was a kid – I can still recall the tingly feeling all over my scalp while someone brushed or styled my hair. In college there was this really mean, rude girl in my sorority. But I have at least one fond memory of her just playing with my hair while we were sitting in a long meeting. So I tried not to speak badly of her – she must have had other redeeming qualities, right?

Okay – sorry about the tangent there…. I get a little ramble-y when it comes to some things. 🙂

So – back to Day two of my niece’s attempt at hair styling. This time she’s just going for a good brush-out. No fancy twisty/braidy/pony-tail things all over the place. After she finished the back of my head, she walked around in front of me. Pausing for a minute, she put her hand on my shoulder and said, “I’m on your team, okay? We’ll use teamwork!”. As she started brushing again, I replied: “Thanks, what does our team do?”

She stepped back and looked at me, “Well, we are going to get a boy for you. Because you’re not married yet, right?”.

“Um, no, not since I last checked.”

Returning to brushing my hair in front of my face, Cousin It style, she continued, “Okay then, I’m on your team.” She brushed my (growing out) bangs in my face and then put the brush down. Using her hands she created a small part in the middle of them, so I could kind of see. She was thoroughly concentrating on creating the perfect “style”. With furrowed brow and a serious voice she finished, “Trust me, THIS will do the job”.

Okay, Mr Right. You better watch out – because here I come. And I have the right team to get the job done!

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Filed under Family, Fashionista, this random life

School Shopping

My mom & I took my niece school shopping last night. It was our last girls night before my parents drove Kira back down to my sister in NC. I really am going to miss the punk.

We pretty much just hit up The Children’s Place for our mix & match looks. Is it just me, or does anyone else out there get jealous of all the great, funky outfits that we get to put together for kids? I only wish that these came in grown up sizes too.

Like this combo:

I can totally see myself running around town on a sunny fall day sporting this number.

Or this:

Sundays? Casual work days? Hanging with the girls?

And we can’t forget this:

Hello: matching purse and shoes? Don’t forget that purple knit hat above could add a little sparkle to this. Of course, maybe it has enough sparkle already?

I think we walked out of there about $176 later with 3 pants, skirt, jumper, tights, socks, sweater, several shirts, leggings, headband, and two pairs of shoes.

Makes me wish I had a place to go and get a whole new wardrobe for that amount. Heck – I’d even pay a whole lot more! You did see the matching shoes and purse, right??

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Filed under Family, Fashionista, Things I heart

Lesson not learned

Apparently I didn’t learn a thing from my lobster-fest a few weeks ago. Or maybe I did learn, but then subsequently forgot. Here’s the thing: I’m a pasty, fair skinned girl who loves being outside, loves swimming, but often forgets to put on any sunblock. Pale skin + the earth’s yellow sun + SPF 0 = trouble.

Just when I thought I was safe from any further damage – I went and spent 4.5 hrs at the pool with my favorite little punk. 4.5 hrs with no sunblock on. Granted I was in the water for most of the time, but even that won’t shield you hardly at all from the UV’s.

Luckily – it doesn’t hurt a lick this time. Which is apparently surprising to most people because it guess it looks kinda painful. But at least I suffered for a good cause. It’s hard work being the world’s best aunt. We played Marco Polo and swimming-dolphin-riding (hint: I was the dolphin), had swimming races, underwater-breath-holding contests, and shoulder diving. We even had a dance contest to the tunes from the restaurant speakers. Three generations of dorks enjoying some wicked dance moves never before seen, to the tunes of the Rolling Stones. A good time was had by all.

Especially by my favorite punk.

Not as innocent as she looks...

Not as innocent as she looks...

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I Scream 08 – delayed post

I know – I’ve been so bad about updating things lately.

I feel like I’m still catching up from vacation two weeks ago!

But let me share with you one of my favorite things about Cape Cod.  I love this place so much that I will drive 30 minutes just for the experience:

I was so excited about getting my ice cream that I couldnt keep the camera still!

I was so excited about getting my ice cream that I couldn't keep the camera still!

Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville, MA.  They’ve been in the biz for a few generations now.  My uncle remembers going there as a kid. (although, he’s really not that much older than me.)  I found out about this place on Food Network’s Unwrapped program.  When I was staying in nearby Mashpee a few summers back, I drove around Centerville until I found this place.  True to television, the line was out the door and around the building.  (Just look at the pic above for glimpse of the crowd.) But the summer staff kids are PROS!  The line moves at a wicked fast pace, and you never have to wait too long for some great, HOMEMADE ice cream.

The house specialty is their frozen pudding.  But that has raisins in it – so I passed.  I can’t remember what I had the first few summers I stopped by, but I remember that it was good enough to bring me back for more.  My first trip there was to de-stress.  I was on the verge of a vacation management meltdown, and the only thing that could save me was some frozen goodness.  Last year, I took my niece for her first visit.

This year, I met up with my auntie Alicia, uncle Matt, and wicked cool cousins: Ken, Emily, & Stephen.  It was a 1/2 way meeting point between us (perfect!).  It was HIGHLY recommended that I try the Coconut Ice Cream.  And it was worth the drive, let me tell you.  Cool, creamy, with just enough “roughness” in the ice cream to get some of the shredded coconut texture.  Wow.  Thank you, Mercer gang for recommending what is a new favorite.

If you’re ever in Centerville, MA – you simply must make the detour on your way to or from Craigshead beach to check out the place locals go for the best ice cream around.

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Filed under Family, getting out of dodge, I Scream 08

Numero Ocho

8.) I visit Cape Cod just about every year.

beautiful cape cod beach shot

beautiful cape cod beach shot

I love vacations! But I guess that’s not too special about me. Everyone loves vacations, right? I just rolled up to my cottage in Cape Cod this morning. This is my third summer in a row here and I. LOVE. IT.

It’s not just the beach (great). Or the sand (yay) or the Sunshine, and the smell of salt water in the air (yummm). It’s also that my parents are here, My aunt & uncle are 4 cottages down, and my great-aunt and great-uncle are right across the street from them. Lots of other family & friends will be invading over the upcoming weeks and crashing at one pad or another.

The Doherty’s are the new Kennedy’s. We have our own flippin’ compound here. 🙂 And I have a feeling that it’s only going to grow in the coming years.

And then there’s the seafood. (Can I get a w00t w00t! for Lobster Rolls?). And the unique architecture. The grassy dunes, and a Dunkin Donuts on every corner. sigh. It really is a piece of heaven….

This is the first year in a long time that I haven’t had a least one girlfriend come out with me. I love traveling with my girls. And it’s not just because I’m chronically single. I really do have great girlfriends.

p.s.: does the title of this post remind anyone else of the movie Dodgeball? ESPN-8, “The Ocho!”

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