Saturday, June 29, 2013

Uncle Matt in Ireland

Back in the day, when my love for Tony was only a crush, I would cringe every time he was late for something. During our senior year of high school, we had first period together. Every single day, I would sit and watch the clock nervously awaiting his arrival. Most of the time, he made it in seconds before the bell rang with soaking wet hair and wearing sweat pants. Some of the time, he was late and rewarded a "tardy" slip.

On Sundays, we would go to the same church in the evenings. Our group sat in the back row. I would look over my shoulder a hundred times waiting for Tony to show up. Once in awhile, he'd show up before Mass began, but sometimes he got there just in time for Communion. But he always did show up. Always.

I was raised by a dad who taught me what his dad taught him: if you're on time, you're fifteen minutes late. You can imagine how Tony's tardiness drove me to the brink of insanity. Especially when he was late to pick me up in Boston after I'd traveled across the country to visit him.

As my love for Tony grew (because he was always worth the wait), I subsequently got to know his older brother a little better and realized that he was even more late for things. Even more of a lollygagger. It was just a family tendency. I had to accept it. I've even learned to count on it. The Blaine boys might be late, but they always pull through. They never drop out because they lost track of time.

Now, our son is the biggest lollygagger of all, but that's not what this is about.

This is about Uncle Matt, who, after three years of receiving invites from us to come to Italy, finally, in true Blaine boy fashion, set foot on the same continent as us.

We met him at the Cliffs of Moher.

He got to meet his one and only niece for the first time. I think she likes him.

He gallivanted around Ireland with us for a bit.

He helped Graham become friends with a cute, Irish lassie.

His presence was wonderful and we enjoyed every second.

Graham, especially, enjoyed the shoulder rides.

But now, we're back in Italy, and he is in Brussels visiting friends with the promise that he will meet us here on the third of July.

I'm sitting here eating my pasta and drinking my wine with only a few weeks left to live in this country. I'm watching the clock, looking over my shoulder, and waiting on another Blaine boy to arrive just before it's too late...

This is the story of my life.

Friday, June 28, 2013

back home

Just bopping in to let you know we made it home. It might take me a few years to sort through these pictures and report back to you on our Irish experience, so please be patient.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Just wanted to let you know that we're taking off for a vacation in Ireland in a couple of hours.

We'll be there for two weeks or so!

We're meeting up with some family from Spokane!

I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

missing Lauren

Well, it finally happened. All of Lauren's visa paperwork was finalized and they allowed her to go back to Sudan yesterday.

My life will never be the same.

She already sent us a thank you note, because that's just the kind of person she is. 

But we're the grateful ones. We should write a thank you note to the universe for giving us a good friend and somehow aligning all the stars just right so she could stay with us for an extended period of time.

Who knows? Maybe one day everything will fall into place and we'll be neighbors again just like we were several moons ago in the Welch dorm at Gonzaga University....

One can dream.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

these babies

Someone dared utter the all too sad but true statement that this might just be the last picture with these three babies together... I'm still crying... I hate goodbyes.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

our magical weekend

We loaded the car and drove to a villa in the region of Umbria. We dined on world class deliciousness with world class friends. We lounged by the pool. We watched the sunset and gazed at lightening bugs all night. We held our babies. We played croquet... Probably the most classy, the most relaxing, and the most magical weekend of my life.

Monday, June 10, 2013

today, we celebrate

Graham wonders why we call her "Aunt Lauren," because she is "not really in our family."

Lauren explains to him that we have "blood families" and "soul families."  She tells him the definition of "soul." Then, he understands. 

Alaina also seems to intuit and to understand what Lauren means to our family.

Aunt Lauren offers many gifts. I've been friends with her for years because she has always encouraged me, listened to me, understood me, and brought out the best in me. Her greatest gift to me and to the world, the one I've been noticing time and time again as she stays and works remotely from our home, is her ability to read energies. To enter a situation and see where everyone is at, how they are feeling, and what she can do to help. She helps quietly, humbly, and assertively.  It's a combination only she can manage, I think. She's a perfect role model for our children on how to be fun and loving and kind, but also serious and strong when necessary. I'm so glad they will always have her as an example, a friend, and an aunt.

Cheers to you, my soul sister. I'm thankful for every one of your birthdays and I love you with my whole heart. You inspire me and allow me to see the best parts of myself. You help me find confidence and strength and courage. My world is right when we unite.

Happy 30th.

Let's go celebrate. TOGETHER!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

school's out for the summer; school's out forever

I was chopping carrots and I was crying.

The carrots were for Graham's "secondo" (the meat and veggie plate you eat after the pasta in school in Italy).

I cried because I realized my son's last day of "Kindergarten" is fastly approaching (um, tomorrow).

I also cried because I realized that it is my son's last day of Italian school.

So, yes. Beginning tomorrow, school is out for the summer. School (in Italy) is out forever.

Graham doesn't seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. He's just excited to sleep in, swim, and travel during the summer. Maybe it won't hit him until he begins school elsewhere and isn't greeted by thousands of kisses from his teachers and "Ciao Grahams" from his peers and lunches full of pasta from the school helpers and after school snacks of gelato from his dad...

On the other hand, because I don't/can't/won't plan or think ahead, I was blindsided by this gravity in the midst chopping carrots for his "secondo."

Sigh. Tear. Cry. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

enjoying the scenery

Enjoy your Monday.