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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Seven Years Old!

Lauren's seven years old today. It boggles the mind.

Happy birthday, baby girl!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thank You

Thank you, Father, for the uncountable and innumerable blessings you've poured into my life.

Thank you Corinne for the love in your eyes and the touch of your hands and your humor and for putting up with mine and for sticking with me even when all seemed lost.

Thank you Lauren for being such a sweet, smart girl and for lighting up so brightly whenever you see us. I dare say I've learned as much from you as you have from me.

Thank you Mom and Dad for raising me, for teaching me the way I should go, for helping me to see the wonder and beauty and hope and humor in this life on God's Way.

Thank you Mikel and Shannon for adopting Corinne and I as surrogate parents, for letting us love you and Richie, Lauren and Sam, for coming home again, for letting Lauren still be such a huge part of my our life.

Thank you Katie for being one of the most wonderful people I know. Come home!

Thank you Ellyn for agreeing to be my only big sister (instead of my aunt), for forgiving me for NOT being there when you needed me a few years ago, and for loving me like only a big sister can. ;-)

Thank you Ben and Mandi for becoming more than "just cousins" to me this year. I love you both.

Thank you also to Lilly for being one of Lauren's best friends!

Thank you Steve for the excellent discussions of the truth and our life in it, for the many hours together on our bikes, for your patient and constant work to reunite something which looks permanently broken to so many others.

Thank you Mark for being there whenever anyone needs you, for always trying to be The Blessing that we seek for our brothers and sisters, and for being one of my oldest friends.

Thank you Darren for keeping me sharp, as David says, "like iron sharpeneth iron!" I've learned things from you, too, that I didn't seem to be learning anywhere else.

Thank you Frank and Bonnie for loving Lauren so much, and Frank for our new friendship!

Thank you Jim and Dee for trying to see past (or ignoring) my foibles, for being our friends, and for always reminding us to keep the Kingdom of God at the top of the list and the front of our minds.

Thank you Eric and Bonny for forgiving me for my temper (which got the better of me a couple years ago) and for everything you bring to our ecclesia.

Thank you Rich for the friendship and the work over the years. 7 ½ years!

Thank you Joseph and Andy for the work and the chance to make something(s) fun.

Thank you Corinne for the love and magic you work in the kitchen, and for how much you love to share it with our brothers and sisters (and anyone else who eats real food).

Thank you Robin for coming back into Corinne's life. She's my best friend, and you've made me happy by making her happier than I could do alone.

Thank you to Kim and Dave and Tiff and Joshua and Jed and Sarah and dozens or hundreds of other people, too many to list, who have brought love or peace or adventures or joy or laughter into my life, who have taught me something, or somehow managed to learn something from me.

Thank you, Father, for blessing us all so thoroughly, and for providing each of us as blessings to each other.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Was a Good Year

The year two thousand eleven has come and gone.

It was a good year. Not perfect, but lots of happy memories. Lots of learning, lots of work, lots of time with Corinne and Lauren, even some solid time spent with Mike, and Richie and my parents. Some very weird stuff happened with a friend who's now gone, and some new friendships were started. I spent less time on the bike and behind the camera, but have more resources to take care of my family and to help out where I see the need.

I've learned I can't do everything, but for 2012 I'd like to shift my personal, work-hobby balance just slightly more toward biking and photography and away from ridiculous and impossible project deadlines. I don't want less work, or even different clients... just more realistic goals that will let me better manage my time. (The cycling was affected as much by the work as it was by going bikeless for six weeks.)

Life with the ecclesia has been good, also. Ups and downs as with everything else. Faith, it seems, is the easy part of spiritual life: relationships are where the work happens. Perhaps that's trite, but perhaps that's why it's easy to forget and let things slip.

I hope 2012 is just as good. Maybe I'll even find a little more time for writing! Hah hah, no silly resolutions, here, sorry.

Happy New Year, everybody.

P.S. This site is in serious need of a redesign. Yuck.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Heading to North Carolina

Mike (Lauren's dad) and I are flying to North Carolina Monday morning to pick up all of their stuff. They moved back up here almost exactly a year ago, but they came with what fit in Shannon's Jeep.

We're flying down early in the morning, renting and packing a small truck, and heading back up here immediately. It's a long drive, but I'm hoping we can be back by early Tuesday afternoon.

This has been planned for ages, but of course it happens to fall on the busiest work week I've had in years. One weekly project has it's annual double-delivery this week, a new module was due for another client over a month ago, and a big iPhone app is due to be beta-ready by the end of the week (it's pretty much there now).

Oh, and I'm teaching mid-week class for the ecclesia for another two weeks.

I've scheduled an hour for breathing on Thursday morning, eating for Friday, but no time for thinking until next Monday.

(Did I mention that we moved in mid-April? Just five miles from the old house, but we love it here. First place Corinne and I have both really liked since we met.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trot Trot to Boston (Trot... with Lauren?)

Kissy Face for Oma I sent a text to Shannon at 8am asking if she could have Lauren's hair "pretty" for Bonnie, and then picked Lauren up at her house at a few minutes before 8:30. She hopped from their deck, past the car, and all the way down the driveway. "Lauren, the car's right here." "Oh yeah, I forgot."

Bigger Than Her Head Our first stop was at Snoopy's Diner in North Kingstown for breakfast with Rich, as I do every week. (Don't worry, I'd warned him that she'd be with me!) We arrived at 9:10, about twenty minutes early. Lauren hopped from the car, across the parking lot, up the stairs, and to her seat in the booth.

When contained in a small space (like the car or the diner's booth), she'd talk non-stop. When not so constrained, she hopped.

Corinne called at 9:30 to talked to Lauren. Lauren was loud, and had everyone in the restaurant laughing at her silliness. (“HELLO OMA!”)

(Thank you, Rich, for being so patient with Lauren's constant interruptions.)

On the Train to Boston Our next stop was the South Attleboro, MA, commuter train station. The commuter lot was FULL so we had to park at the far end of the mall's lot, past McDonalds. I think Lauren hopped at least a third of the quarter mile from the car to the train stop.

Lauren loves trains, and this was her third ride (the previous two were just short, fun trips from Westerly to New London). She watched the land zipping by most of the time, or chatted with our neighbors, or with the conductor. Or me. Or her Minnie Mouse. Or the train itself.

Mixing Up the Water We disembarked at Ruggles Station, and she hopped all over the place while I waited in line to buy a sandwich at Dunkin Donuts ("Opa I'm hungry again!"). After we ate, we went out to catch a cab.

Pat pat pat Waiting for a cab took thirty minutes, five hundred hops, and about twenty loops around the square, raised flower box on the sidewalk that she pretended was a "balancer" (balance beam). In that time I flagged down six full taxis and two police cars before finally finding an empty ride.

Bonnie was surprised to see us! I was sure Frank or someone would have told her we were coming up, but that wasn't the case.

She put a pillow over her stomach as soon as we walked in. I thought she was just being self-conscious, but later I realized it was self-preservation, as Lauren patted the pillow to ask if that's where "she was cut".

Lauren prattled, hopped, pestered, skipped, chattered, and dumped water the whole time we were there. (She wasn't being naughty, just young and easily bored.) Oh, and she kept pulling the dividing curtain further and further, because she couldn't understand that she was also pulling it away from the wall at the other end.

Cheesey Bonnie looked good, and seemed to be rather eager to get out of there and go home.

The original plan had included leaving the hospital for a trip to the observation deck at the top of the John Hancock building. Towards the end of visiting Bonnie, though, I noticed little bags developing under Lauren's eyes. Instead, we visited Au Bon Pain in the hospital lobby (after making one mandatory trip up-and-down the "stairs you don't have to walk on"), and then grabbed another taxi to take us back to the train station.

Where... we waited. For almost an hour.

No, let me rephrase that. I waited. Minnie waited. Lauren hopped. All around the platform. By the time the train arrived there were forty or fifty people waiting with us, but she was oblivious. Hop hop hop around the big bench installation, then lunge for my leg and hang on to it, panting, catching her breath... and hop hop hop to the big, aluminum trash can and back to my leg, pant pant pant, catch her breath, and then back to hopping.

She wasn't the only kid on the platform, and she wasn't being embarrassing. Lots of people would stop what they were doing and just watch her, smiling and shaking their heads. Not once did she ever bump into anyone (though she came very close to ramming her head into a large man's butt at one point, she caught herself just in time). Finally, she hopped back to me one last time and stumbled onto her stomach. She wasn't hurt, but ran straight to me blushing and just huddled with me to warm up for a minute, and then the train was there.

On the Train Home Apparently that stumble came when her gas tank finally ran dry. Five minutes after we boarded the nearly full train, she was fast asleep on my lap.

She didn't wake up when we switched to an empty bench after lots of people left at the next stop. She didn't wake up when we left the train, nor as I carried her all the way back to the car (and thought my arm was going to fall off).

She woke up (a little) at one point on the highway, yelling, "I never want to see that bad train again, it wanted to hurt you!" Seconds later she was out again. Mike came out to get her when we pulled into their driveway, and she barely woke up enough to give me a hug.



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