5 Generations

My older sister, Sally and niece, Jo visited last week from Memphis.  (I’ll write a separate post about their stay here at our house.)  While she was in town, we decided to take a trip to State College, PA with our parents and grandparents to take a 5 generation picture with my 106 year old great-grandmother.

106 and 8 months actually.  We call her Grandma Ruth.  She’s an incredible woman.  She is my dad’s dad’s mother.  She has lived in State College for pretty much her entire life.  She drove until the age of 100!  The greatest thing about her is her memory.  She doesn’t forget things!  It’s so fun to listen to her tell stories from when she first met Pappy Bruce (her husband) to when my brother was a toddler and basically told her that she was sitting in his chair.  She remembers all of her grandkids’ birthdays too.  That’s not even an exaggeration!!  She’s got 5 children, about 20 grandchildren, and…let’s just say we have a huge family!!  (I’m not going to try to count the great-grands and so on.)  We have been so incredibly blessed to have her around for so long with such a sharp mind.  You can read a little more about her in this article from her last birthday (which she celebrated AT a Penn State game!!)  1-DSC03223Me, Clark, Grandma Ruth, my dad – Don, and my grandpa – Jack (Ruth’s oldest of 5).

1-DSC03228With my sister – Sally and her daughter – Jo.

My dad’s aunt, June was there with her husband, John and we all visited for a while and watched the kiddos wrestle around.1-jo.hugAfter an hour or so, we knew Grandma was getting tired so we headed to my grandpa’s hunting camp just outside State College for some lunch.  It was Clark’s first time there and Jo hadn’t been there since she was about 3 months old.  1-jackscamp 1-clark.jo.woodGE DIGITAL CAMERA

I am so so thankful we did this!  I mean, not many families are able to have 5 generations all in the same room together.  I am so blessed to be part of this huge, amazing, loving family!  And I’m so lucky to actually know my GREAT-grandmother!  Love you Grandma Ruth! 1-May 26, 2013



Birthday Week

My birthday was a week ago yesterday (May 8).  I turned 28, which is one of those birthdays that isn’t all that exciting.  I don’t really make a big deal out of my birthday, but I always insist that Bob recognizes birthday week, so that I basically get my way for an entire 7 days.

This year, however, Bob surprised me with a couple of date nights to celebrate!  I posted this screen shot on Facebook a few weeks ago.


Yea, he tries to trip me up with these random things that I should “have prepared”.  (Nightcrawlers?!?!)  Remember the hints he gave me for my Surprise Weekend to DC??  And yes, he pretty much always signs his emails to me “Sincerely”.  Silly hubs!!

Anyway, he told me that he had plans for both Monday and Wednesday nights and that he had already arranged for sitters for Clark.  I was really excited!!  We don’t often go out on adult-only dates.

When Monday rolled around, I found out that my little sis, Ellen was coming up from Bethesda to spend the day with me and then watch Clark while Bob and I went to dinner at La Scala, our favorite place in Little Italy.  There’s an indoor bocce ball court that you can play on while you wait for your table.  Funny thing…Ellen had given us a gift card to La Scala and a home-made coupon for one night of free babysitting for Christmas back when I was pregnant!!  So this particular date was long over-due!!

Before we left, I opened my present from Ellen.  Look how creative she was with the bag!!1-image_1A couple of tanks and a new VT shirt.  I could ALWAYS use some VT clothes!  Go Hokies! 🙂

Ellen took a couple pictures before we left, and we headed out to enjoy the evening.photo-43We were halfway there when we realized, OOPS!!  Neither of us grabbed the gift card!  HA!  Thank goodness it was a Monday night.  We didn’t have any problems pushing back our reservations so we could head back to the house and pick it up.  Luckily, that wasn’t a precursor for the rest of the night.  Our food was delicious as usual and we had a great time chatting, people watching and enjoying some adult time!

On Wednesday, my actual birthday, Bob and Clark gave me some very appropriate cards!1-bdayI think Clark’s handwriting is really improving, don’t you? 😉 Update: I accidentally posted the card Bob got me for Mother’s Day first.  whoops! 

I also got a sweet surprise when I checked my email that morning!1-imageCannot tell you how excited I am to schedule THAT!!!

My mom had made arrangements to come have lunch and spend the day with me and she already told me what she got me for my birthday:1-image_2A butt-load trunk-load of plants!  This was so thoughtful and creative and HELPFUL because I have a less than green thumb and a half-bare garden in our back yard.  Remember our backyard beds?  Because Bruno has started using those beds as his toilet, I decided I’m probably not going to plant an edible garden this year.  My awesome mom got me plenty of colorful perennials to fill the empty space.

We planted them on Thursday.  And by “we” I mean my mom and Clark, while I took pictures and gave words of encouragement. 1-bdaypicsHere is a slightly better “after” photo:1-DSC03191

It’s going to look even better once we mulch and they grow out a little bit!

Okay, so back to Wednesday!!

Bob told me the event called for me to wear a gown!!!  Obviously he doesn’t know what a gown is because we were NOT headed to prom OR the Oscars!!  Glad I double-checked with Ellen while she was here.  (Bob let pretty much everyone in on the secret, except me!)  Even as we were headed out the door, I had no idea where we were going.1-image_3I was thrilled when we arrived at the Hippodrome Theatre!!!  It’s a former vaudeville theatre in Baltimore built in the early 1900’s that seats about 2300.  image_4

I snapped these photos of the theatre with my phone before getting reprimanded by an usher.  In my defense, I honestly didn’t know that photos weren’t allowed even before the show started. 1-bdaypics1 The show playing on Wednesday was Green Day’s American Idiot: The Musical.  Bob got us great seats in the balcony.  The show is more than a little risqué and there’s a lot of language, so make sure you know what you’re going to see if you plan to buy tickets to this show.  (No joke: some older people exited after the first few scenes!)  Not-so-secret Secret of mine: I had a thing for punk rock for a while!  As evidenced by this picture of me from Halloween 2005:


Needless to say, I loved the music!  Plus it was an evening spent with Bob!  We had a great time and now we’re even thinking about getting season tickets through the Hippodrome to see some other musicals that come through.

Thanks to everyone who made my birthday week so special!!  Especially Bob!  Love you and your surprises!

Now I have to think of something really good for him!  Any suggestions?  Hurry, his birthday is June 30!!!!

Sleeping Cuties

I was going through pictures on my phone and realized I take a heck of a lot of pictures of my baby boys while they’re sleeping.  I thought I would share some of them.  Aren’t they just adorable when they are in dreamland?

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1-sleeping cuties2


Can’t handle the cuteness!!!  So much love for those boys!

2nd Annual Clark Jackson Invitational


About a year ago, right after we had Clark, Bob’s brother Brian was coming to visit (and meet Clark for the first time) from Florida.  He went to Virginia Tech also, so we have a lot of mutual friends that live in the Baltimore/DC area.  As he and Bob were discussing his upcoming visit, they decided to get some guys together to play golf.

One thing led to another and the Clark Jackson Invitational was born!

Last year they played 2-man scramble with about 12 guys and while the men were on the course, the ladies came to hang out with me and Clark and get ready for the BBQ after!  Some pictures from last year:


Original CJI golfers


Bob’s cousin Paul and brother Brian with Clark


Receiving the winning cash


Winners! Jeff and Bob’s cousin, Dave

Because everyone had such a great time last year, we decided to do it again this year.  And we weren’t messin’ around!  I mean, Bob even got a trophy made with the winners of last year engraved on it!DSC03182But we’ll get to that…

This year there were 16 guys and they played 4-man scramble, with some other challenges like longest drive, etc.  We have a really good friend who works as a golf pro in Florida.  He wasn’t able to make it last year or this year, but he has officially been name the commissioner of the CJI and he made awesome score cards again this year using photos of Clark and all the guys playing.  nonameThe girlfriends/fiancés/wives came to our house to hang out with me.  We basically had a baby/dog play date with margaritas!  Seriously, there were 4 girls (and one who came a little later), 4 dogs, and 2 babies.  And we lost count of the margaritas :-)!

We could not have asked for a better day for the guys to golf.  It was just gorgeous!  When they got back, the winners were announced for each of the categories and the 4-some that took it all.DSC03172 DSC03169DSC03174 DSC03179

Oh the winners?  Yea, it just so happens that both my hubs and my little brother were on the winning team.  The 4-some from back left: Andrew Atman, Ben Grossman, Sam (my bro), and Bob.  We’ll get the winners’ names engraved on the trophy each year, but keep it at our house for safe-keeping.

Then we ate!!  DSC03166We had all kinds of BBQ foods, and one girl even brought Georgetown Cupcakes from DC!!!  Those were obviously a hit!

Once the BBQ started and the keg was tapped, I didn’t get a whole lot of pictures.  We had an awesome time hanging out in the beautiful weather, watching babies and dogs play together, and catching up with old friends.  Not to mention eating large quantities of food.

In the end we had 26 adults, 4 babies, and 9 dogs who made appearances at our house at some point on Saturday.  It was a blast!  Let’s just say we were exhausted on Sunday, but we can’t wait till next April for the 3rd Annual Clark Jackson Invitational!