Happy Valentine’s Day 2013
In working on this year’s photo valentine, I realized there is not one group photo of our family in it from the year 2012. Not a single one. I was hard pressed to find even good photos of us. Where was Thing 1???? Off at college. Harsh! Thinking about it in the middle of the night, reviewing all the photos that were either missing or on my recycled Blackberry, I realized my photo albums are missing some of the best moments of the year. Strangely, I seemed to have recorded some of the worst.
When life is lived at full freaking tilt, there will be casualties.
I have not written a valentine letter for a long time. For starters, who even reads letters these days? What weirdos even write them anymore? Braggarts, for one! “My children, my marriage, and our collective mental, physical, and spiritual health are perfect!!! We are model citizens.”
Or, I could have just sent you a Tweet: #2012 was a lot of fun but nearly our undoing.
Here are some of the moments taken by others or lost to the ages, the life lived in between the other documented moments.
Thing 1’s 18th birthday in Paris – she took a 3 week course there in January on hiatus from Johns Hopkins and I joined her for her special day. Dear friends Mrs.O’Leary and Madame Julien joined us for a night at the Moulin Rouge.
Thing 1’s initiation into my sorority, Pi Beta Phi, in April. This photo is probably on Thing 1’s FB page. While I did not always enjoy my sorority experience, I have to say that, as a mother, this was so worth the trip, crazy as it seemed at the time flying from Madrid, sandwiched between house guests. My Baltimore mother and fellow “sister in the wine and blue”, Baltimore Sue, also attended the initiation which made it all the more special. A trifecta of joy! Baltimore Sue is now Park City Sue – she is sorely missed.
Spring Break in Dublin, Ireland with Poppy and the Radish. How did I not take a picture that night at Johnny Fox’s with our fellow Madrileños, eating Irish stew, and singing pub songs? The Radish was doing the picture taking but I don’t have copies. I think. Pretty sure they are on that recycled Blackberry.
What about the crazy drive up the mountain in May from the beach to the village of Ronda, Spain???? Nittany Kitten and I sang hymns UP the mountain just to reach the top. Nittany Kitten took the photos while I figured out how to get back to the hotel by another route. Next time I am taking the train.
There are only 4 photos from Javier and Hugo’s wedding in the Basque country in June, right after Thing 3’s 8th grade graduation. Perhaps so we would not remember the fact we forgot the mens’ clothes in Madrid and had to run around Bilbao looking for outfits upon our arrival? A gay wedding is not the place to be underdressed. That I nearly had a mental breakdown at the wheel of the Volvo driving over the Pyrenees to St. Jean de Luz, France to visit the Horcajo Rubis after the event?
No photos from those two beautiful days either… or our less than graceful exit from Madrid at the end of June.
How about all the visitors, both here and in Spain???? The guest bedroom in Ohio has hosted someone every month since our arrival.
If you go to Facebook, however, you will see photos from what was recorded:
A visit from MCV and family to Madrid, a quick trip to Amsterdam, a new home in Ohio, an accidental kitchen remodel, Mr. Understanding’s 50th birthday party in Washington, a cross country boys trip through America’s heartland, Thanksgiving with Winnie and Grandaddy here in New Albany, and a trip to Seattle to surprise Poppy for his 74th birthday.
No, we are not “settled”. Our brains are still calming down after a year of being jacked up on adrenaline. Moving is, of course, the hardest on teenagers and ours are no exception. The curse of no social life has been a blessing for the parents who have had the joy of their presence (seriously). They are doing well at school. Thing 2 is loving learning to drive. He is playing soccer for the Columbus Crew Pre-Academy, studying for the SATs, and selling our crap on eBay. He still forgets to take out the garbage. Thing 3 is learning to play lacrosse and dance ballet, helping out with the babysitting at the Hispanic ESL homework club at a local church, and occasionally immerses herself in bad American TV. (Swamp People is a particular favorite – you never know when you will have to wrestle a gator.) Thing1 is President of the JHU Red Cross chapter and radiating with Sorority Girl energy. Mr. Understanding loves working in America, even if he disagrees with it. It was hard to manage the PIGS in a downward spiral. Me, I am still sifting through the debris, loving the American grocery stores, happy to be in my own home.
In conclusion, please have a Happy Valentine’s Day! If you did not get your sweetheart a valentine, have a heart and considering donating to the National Marfan Foundation or the American Heart Association today.