Archive for the 'travel' Category

Travels with Lucy, 2010 summer edition. Part 2

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

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And the adventure continued!

After saying goodbye to Eben, Lucy and I spent a little more time in Hallowell and then headed south. We got to have lunch with Allyn in Boston (on her birthday, no less!), and then I tried to convince Lucy to take a nap in the car. It didn’t really work. She was too excited about finally getting to go to a museum. Poor Lucy had been looking forward to going to the museum since Friday (and now it was Monday). She’d been promised a visit to the Children’s Discovery Museum with Grammy Peg on Saturday, but so many other fun things came up and they didn’t make it. It’s an experience I know well. And on Sunday it was closed. Lucy seemed to take it well. From time to time should would say “no go to museum today, museum closed, go tomorrow.” So we really had to get to a museum on Monday. The Boston Children’s Museum or the Museum of Science would have been fun, but they would definitely have interrupted nap time. So instead, we drove to Providence, RI. I was excited to go back and visit the Providence Children’s Museum since I’d turned down an AmeriCorps position there in 2003. Wonder what life would be like now if I’d taken that job?

We had a lovely time. It was a quiet day there and Lucy had many of the exhibits all to herself.
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(a kid-sized woodstove and lots of food to pretend with!)

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(a great toddler area with a cozy spot for Momma to snap pictures and rest a little)

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(and a steamroller to sit on!)

It was smaller than I remembered, but a great spot to explore and such fun for Lucy and for me.

From there, we went to Little Compton, RI, back to the farm where Jesse and Bridget got married on Saturday. Lucy and I stayed there for two nights – enjoying making new friends and spending time on a sandy beach.
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how did she get sand in her neck?

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On Wednesday, we left RI, drove through CT and hopped on a ferry to Long Island. But first, we stopped in Mystic, CT for a spontaneous trip to the Mystic Aquarium. When I asked Lucy if she wanted to go to an aquarium, she didn’t miss a beat and said “like the monkey.” Took me a minute, but I realized she was talking about Curious George. So we stopped, paid A LOT for tickets, and wandered in. It’s a lovely space with a good mix of outdoors and indoors exhibits. Lucy was especially taken with the sea lions. And she wanted to know each one’s name. I might have made some up….
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THEN we went on the ferry. “Lucy take boat, go to Katie’s house.”
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(yummy snack on the ferry. Gotta love that yoohoo – I remember drinking those as a child while watching the fireworks with my dad.)

Lucy was very excited about a) the boat and b) seeing her friend Katie whom we haven’t seen in a few months. They skipped town and moved to Centerport, NY So we were both pretty excited to see our friends. We played in the sand, ate great food, and really enjoyed catching up with Katie, Jenny, and Chris. When we arrived, Katie was saying “Lucy come, Lucy Katie’s FRIEND!” So sweet.
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there they go!

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From there, we drove through New York and headed to Philadelphia, were we picked up Uncle Duck (Justus). It was a bit of a random detour, but Justus was headed to DC, and we were able to give him a ride most of the way. Lucy was beyond thrilled to see him again, and he made being stuck in traffic entertaining. (No pics since I was driving the car the whole time.) Sadly, she fell asleep not too long before we arrived at Justus’ stop, so she didn’t get to say goodbye. When she woke up, she was so sad and then she realized that Uncle Duck was gone. “Where Uncle Duck go?” Sob. Heartbreaking. It was a LONG driving day, but we stopped in Frederick, MD for dinner and then agreed to keep going so that we could get to the lake house – Deep Creek Lake, MD. Lucy fell asleep not long after dinner, and I had an easy drive to the lake.

Safi was very excited to see us! And Lucy was happy to see Grandmommy, Granddad, Aunt Bethany and Ryder too. Aunt Robin and Uncle Dwight joined us for some of the visit too.

(Meanwhile, Eben hopped on a plane and went to visit friends in San Francisco for the Labor Day weekend.)

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Lucy did some good driving (she just spun the wheel and we went around and around and around)

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Lots of sitting on the swing

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cutie pie!

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whoopie pie!

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And then, 24 days after leaving Pittsburgh, we headed home. We stopped at the airport to pick up Eben. It felt good to all be back in the same place again. We dropped him at work and went to see Lucca. When we walked in, Lucy shrieked and exclaimed: “Lucy’s house! Lucy’s baby! Lucy’s chair!” She was so excited to be back among familiar surroundings. We all were.

Now the question is – Where will we go next?!

And, if you haven’t seen enough pictures, check out the whole vacation collection.

Travels with Lucy, 2010 summer edition. Part 1.

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Perhaps the most anticipated part of this summer was our multi-week trip North. It was epic (just as this post promises to be).

After a slight delay, we left our home on August 14th for points East and North. First we traveled to Winchester for a short visit with Grandmommy and Granddad and to drop Safi off with them.

Safi was not amused but had it pretty good with milk-bones everyday and all the dog toys she could steal from Cody and Cheyenne.

Then we headed North, stopping in Philadelphia for a short trip to the Please Touch Museum.

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(Lucy in the Alice in Wonderland exhibit)

We piled back into the car and drove to Milford, CT to visit with Auntie Deb, Chris, Michele, and Maya and Morgan. Lucy really loved seeing the girls again and they were so great with each other! The next morning we drove up to Worcester, MA to meet Lucy’s cousin Jack and visit with Aunt Emily, Uncle James, Uncle Duck (Justus), and Emily’s mom, Maryanne. It was a short visit, but so great to see everyone.
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Back in the car, we drove to Maine – something I had never done with Eben. We made it to Hallowell, ME – Grammy Peg’s house. While there, we got to spend some time with Grammy Peg and Aunt Nana (Jana) before heading farther North (or DownEast as those funny folks in Maine say).

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Then we got in a visit with GG Bop in Damriscotta, ME and made our way to Flye Point, ME. We were lucky enough to get a week’s vacation there – staying in a lovely cabin just up the hill from Bama and Bampa’s house.

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It was heavenly! Compared to the 90 degree heat and 110% of humidity of Pittsburgh, it was actually cool there – the crisp, coolness that some would call delightful. As soon as we arrived, Lucy took a page from her current favorite bedtime book (Blueberries for Sal) and picked blueberries outside our cabin. She spent days carefully avoiding the seaweeds on the rocks so as not to go ka-sploosh and took a trip to Bucks Harbor – just like Sal did in One Morning in Maine. Grammy Peg and Lisa showed up, and we even took a hike up Blue Hill (which may or may not be “blueberry hill”).
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Jana was along for all of the fun so that we could get a little more Aunt Nana time before she headed across the Atlantic to Marseille – check out her blog for more on that! Jana was such a great help, and Eben and I also got a little alone time when Bampa collected Lucy and took her for a trip to the beach without us. Talk about a perfect vacation!
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I was amazed to watch Lucy spend long stretches of time just exploring the rocks and looking at all of the snails on the beach.

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She adored the boat ride and the picnic on Goose Island.

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She loved running in the grass.

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And she ate her weight in blackberries and blueberries.

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Eben got away from work.


I knitted up almost an entire sweater (Lucy sized).

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Also, we ate a lot of lobster.

On Sunday we went to Bampa’s church. His congregation was welcoming and his sermon was in some ways a conversation with Lucy (and her parents). Later in the day we had a visit from Cecile, Taylor, and Zoe. Lucy had been looking forward to this for weeks! As with Asa, it’s hard to know if Lucy truly remembered Zoe, but boy was she excited to see her. After a shy start, the two were happy to wander along the water’s edge together.
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Our friend Jake joined us too for our chilly walk out to the Hub and back.

On the 25th, we celebrated Bama’s birthday with her and a trip to Lily’s Cafe – a favorite spot and the place where we got Lucy’s very first birthday cupcake last year.
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While there, we ran into Sally – or little Sal as we knew her. Lucy seemed unsure at first that this woman could be the same big girl who lost her tooth while digging for clams and followed little bear’s mama up the mountain (of course I know that that the real Sal may not have actually done those things). But, after we walked away, she said: “Sal over there. Grownup.” So cool.

Reluctantly, we left Flye Point and drove back through Damariscotta (not that we were reluctant to visit GG Bop, only to leave Flye Point). Before we got to Damariscotta, we stopped in Belfast to visit with Eben’s old RA – Fang and her two kiddos – Axel and Poppy. Axel was great about sharing his toys and his backyard, and Poppy was such a contented 5 month-old. Back in Damariscotta, we visited with GG Bop again and also saw Anna and Uncle Thomas. Lucy was shy, but quick to warm up and willing to get to know more of her family.

Back in Hallowell, we spent more time with Grammy Peg and Aunt Nana,
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(same expression!)
then Eben and I left to go to a wedding in Little Compton, RI. We had a lovely time visiting with friends from college and celebrating the happy couple.
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Sounds like Lucy had fun too. On Sunday we called to check in, and we had an entire conversation with Lucy on the phone – a first for me!

Sadly, Eben had to return to work, so we drove back to Hallowell, and then he and I got up VERY early in the morning so that I could drive him to the airport in Portland. Back in Hallowell, I crawled back into bed to get a little more sleep before Lucy woke up and the day began.

With Eben back in Pittsburgh, Lucy and I embarked on our next leg of the trip. For more, check out the next post!

To Asa’s house!

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Way back in July we got to take a nice trip up to Middlebury, VT for the yearly Swattie mini-reunion. It was great to see Robyn and Grant, Xiang Lan, Kara and Eli and ASA! It’s hard to know if Lucy really remembered Asa from last year’s reunion,
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but we’ve been talking about Asa all year long. Lucy’s been sleeping under the quilt that Asa’s Momma made (sorry Kara, apparently you’re mostly still “Asa’s Momma”). And she really wanted to know what Asa’s daddy’s name was. And then we saw Asa, and Lucy was very excited indeed.

Although truth be told, we were all pretty excited to see our friends.
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(photo from Xiangy’s flickr set)

Lucy had a great time on all four flights – apparently paying for an extra seat really is worth it!
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It’s such fun to watch our friendships grow and to consider how much we’ve changed and how much we’ve stayed the same since 1997. I look forward to these trips all year long, and I can’t wait for next year’s reunion!

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A wedding!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

While in Maine, Lucy got to attend her first wedding!
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(Lucy found the programs very exciting!)

James and Emily were married on June 6th in a beautiful ceremony.  Lucy and I watched from the pew and Eben stood up as one of James’ Groomsmen.

Lucy enjoyed herself royally, and wasn’t shy about piping in when the mood struck her.  But, Emily and James seemed not to mind too much!  Lucy’s favorite part was the song that Brian and Jake played during the ceremony.  She danced and danced and danced.  But she was confused as to why her Daddy wasn’t dancing with her.  Eben said he had to maintain some decorum.

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After the ceremony and pictures, we drove back to Flye Point to hand Lucy off to Grammy Peg and Jana.  They had the heroic task of feeding, bathing, and putting to bed a tired and slightly sick Lucy so that Eben and I could enjoy the reception and what would be our 7th time out alone since Lucy was born.

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The reception was beautiful, the food was delicious, the music was entertaining, and the fireworks were over the top!  We had a fantastic time celebrating with James and Emily and it reminded us how much we had enjoyed our own wedding not too long ago.

We don’t have many pictures of our own from the event, but there are plenty out there to look at – for starters, Heather took a bunch!

Happy Birthday – only two weeks late!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Well, we’re behind again! Eben is busy testing out our super-fast internet to upload lots of photos and videos to flickr. We’re trying to get caught up! So, I think we’ll write a few posts to catch us up on all that’s been going on here!

And of course that first post should be an official Happy Birthday to the Goose who turned 1 year old two weeks (and one day) ago! She was busy hanging out with family and friends in Maine and her parents were mostly without internet to properly update the blog. (Apparently we have yet to upload the birthday pictures – I will modify this post once they are up!)

We were so lucky to get to spend Lucy’s birthday with family and friends – new and old!

(Listen for Asa saying “Lucy” at the end of the video.)

Lucy got to try her very own chocolate cupcake.
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Surprisingly she enjoyed the chocolate cake part, but wasn’t overly enthused about the frosting. It was a lovely little party and would have been lovelier if Lucy hadn’t been sick. I think it was all the flying and staying up late that did her in. She had a fever, a cough, and a runny nose on Tuesday (June 9th), but she was feeling much better by Wednesday.

On Saturday, we had another birthday celebration with Jana, Peggy (Grammy Peg), and Justus. Cheesecake was on the menu that night. And Lucy had no trouble deciding that she wanted some of that!
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For her third birthday party, Lucy had more friends and family over the following week for a party at her new house. This time I baked – making the infamous carrot cake from our wedding into nut-free birthday cupcakes. We have LOTS of icing leftover.  Lucy seemed to like this cake the best (not that I’m biased or anything) and she was a great host for her three small friends and many growed-up friends too.

Lucy is a great one year old – crawling everywhere, pulling herself up to standing on the edge of the couch, the edge of the bathtub, the edge of the laundry basket, the edge of the suitcases, you name it…..  Wonder what she’ll do next!

So Miss Lucy, I just want to wish you happy birthday one last time.  We’re so lucky to have you with us.  You’ve reminded us how easy it is to be happy and delighted by the world.  All it takes is a wide smile, a few waves and some claps!  I love you, I love you, I love you!
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Catching up – a visit to Rochester

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Well, somehow we are very behind in our blogging!  Must be because we’ve been busy visiting with friends and keeping ourselves entertained here at home.

A few weeks back we FINALLY made it up to Rochester to spend time with family and friends up there – many of whom Lucy had never met before!  We were so lucky to have such great hosts in Heather, Jeff and Madeline -
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Look how happy Maddie is – that’s her new “smile for the camera” smile!

We had quite the busy schedule, although Lucy’s early bedtime (she’s still going to bed around 6:30) meant we were back to our homebase before it got too late.

On Saturday we visited with Amy and Julia!  It was absolutely wonderful to see them both, and we’re hoping to visit more with them when they come to Pittsburgh in a few weeks!
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Then it was off to visit Elliott and Audrey (well, Erin and Pete and Jen were there too..).  Maddie and Heather even joined us there for fun with kiddos!
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four kiddos at play!

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Reminds me of an Education Department meeting…

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sweet little miss Audrey!

Boy were we tired! You’ll notice that Lucy is chewing on something in one of those pictures. Well, we didn’t get much in the way of naps on Saturday and she was fussy and hungry and tired all at the same time. Baby Mum-Mums – her new favorite treat – saved the day! They are “rice rusks” that she can feed herself and they dissolve almost instantly upon touching your tongue. They are actually quite tasty!

We had a lovely dinner with Heather and Jeff and Maddie, then off to bed! On Sunday, we got to the Highland Park Diner for breakfast – Eben had a heart attack in a bowl (also know as the Highland Park Skillet and it is worth every artery-clogging bite!) and I had cream cheese and banana stuffed french toast – such a splendid treat!

The we were off to visit with Jackie and Debbie – two friends from the RMSC and Jackie’s dog and cat too! We had a lovely lunch and it was great to catch up with both of them, but we didn’t take the camera out! Jackie – I know you have pictures – send me some so I can post them!!

Then it was off to see Uncle James before heading back to Pittsburgh.
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It was great to catch up with James and to hear how his final few months of med school are going.  Lucy especially liked that he had a basketball game on the television – ohhhh TV!

All in all it was a lovely, though speedy trip! It did, however, remind me that I don’t miss everything about Rochester (just the people and my beautiful kitchen). They had SNOW! I mean a lot of snow that wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As I write this it is raining outside and in the mid-forties. No snow here. I don’t miss having so much snow that you can’t see the ground for months on end. I like the ground, even if it is all muddy and dead grass.  I can’t wait for spring!

A Well-Traveled Christmas Goose

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

This was quite a holiday for our family. We traveled to Winchester, Deer Isle, and Hallowell to see family, with short stops in Freeport and Manassas to visit friends. On one day, Lucy saw all five of her grandparents (three different households in two states). On another day, she spent time with nine (9!) different dogs. Lots of visiting.

Lucy was a trooper through all of it, smiling and charming everyone she met (including an aunt and uncle and a great aunt whom she had never met before). It was exhausting, but it was really great to see everybody. We’re sorry we didn’t get to see everyone (there’s only so much time, and weather/sickness put kinks in the plans).

All pictures and video are on Flickr now, here and here. Some highlights:

Opening presents at Grandmom and Grand-Dad’s house

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Lucy’s first Christmas present from Santa

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Dinner (for Goose anyway)

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Playing while Bampa reads

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Bonding with Uncle James and Aunt Emily

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Hangin’ out with Grandma Alice

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Yay Christmas Eve Carrots!

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“I love you and your carrots, Uncle Justus.”

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First Christmas morning ever

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Christmas morning with Grammy Peg

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Reading about hexaflexagons with Aunt Jana

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“I love you and your sweet potatoes, Aunt Jana!”

Uncle Justus makes the Goose squeal

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First time in the snow

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After falling over in the snow

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Having a conversation with Great (Grand?) Auntie Deb

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Getting fed by Aunt Bethany

Fascinated by Asa

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Playing with Asa and friends in Manassas

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A short hike at Sky Meadows on the way back from Manassas

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Four generations of Titus/Reidt/Farra/Myers women

All-in-all it was a great trip. Thanks to everyone for their hospitality! Have a Happy New Year!

Gratitude

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

It’s now been a week and a half since Thanksgiving, but I wanted to take a minute to post some things that we’re thankful for… (and, of course, pics from our Thanksgiving holiday in VA and MD)…

Laura says that (according to Real Simple magazine or the NY Times or something else she was reading) it’s important to be thankful for the small things along with the big ones. There’s all the little things that make our lives a little easier or a little more fun like Grilled Stuft Burritos from Taco Bell (which are remarkably compact and easy-to-eat in the car), bubble baths, knitting needles, public transportation, the Times on my Blackberry, eggnog, good gas mileage, the internet, etc. There are many more, but these are a few of the things that come to mind tonight.

For my part, I am thankful to have a job that I love, working with smart and talented people on projects that challenge me to learn and grow. And I am especially thankful that our family has had the good fortune to have choices where many people have none.

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Most of all I am thankful for the family that surrounds us. It is wonderful to have supportive, generous, loving parents (we love you, Mum, Dad, Alice, Rick, and Barb) and siblings (we love you too, Beth, Joe, Justus, James, and Jana — and soon, Emily). And we are so lucky to have three wonderful great grandparents for Lucy (love to Bop, Grandpa, and Grandmom aka Great Granny). And aunts, uncles, cousins, and everyone else; we love you all. Of course, we are also thankful for all of our amazing friends who enrich our lives in so many varied ways. And where would our family be without Safi and Lucca?

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Having a happy, healthy Lucy Goose in our life is cause for major gratitude. I feel so lucky and happy when I come home and see Lucy watching for me in the window (I feel even luckier when she waves her arms in recognition and excitement). And then when I get upstairs, to be greeted by a warm house, my daughter, and my incredible, beautiful, generous wife, I feel like the luckiest man alive.

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Thank you, Laura, for being an amazing partner. You are my love; you are my family. I love you, and I am thankful for you most of all.

A Well-Travelled Goose

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Well.  Beside her first tooth, Lucy now has inter-state flight under her belt. We took a short but lovely trip up to Maine this past weekend (plus a couple days). Many, many pictures and videos are now on Flickr.

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Lucy weathered all of the flights (4 in total) very well, sleeping, eating, and playing. She fussed a bit, but was generally a very good Goose.

We used Mum and Jana’s place as home base and had a nice visit with them.

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We took a little trip up the coast to Felicity and Brian’s house where Lucy was introduced to a large swath of her extended family including Great Grandmother Bop (G.G. Bop), Grand Aunt Felicity, Grand Uncle Brian, and First Cousin Once Removed Anna.

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Below: Four generations of Myers women!

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A great time was had by all.

Then, Dad, Alice, and Grandpa (now Great Grandpa, I suppose) very generously made the trip down to meet us at Mum’s house for a visit. It was too short, but still good to see them (and to introduce Lucy to her Great Grandfather Ernest).

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And then we rushed back to Pittsburgh to rescue the pets.

Thanks to everyone for being so wonderful to us on this visit. Mum and Jana, thanks for letting us use the house and for all the great food (and for your bed, Jana)! Thanks to Felicity and Brian for being such wonderful hosts and opening your home to us! Dad, Alice, and Grandpa, thanks for coming to us and saving us lots of driving (and for the delicious lobsters)! Thanks to Anna for driving up to see us, and thanks to Bop for visiting with us twice! It was great to see you all, and we can’t wait to see you all again soon.

And now… Here’s a bonus video featuring “the baby in the mirror”:

She really likes that baby.

What a difference 4 nights make!

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Before I left for LA, Laura handed me a stack of envelopes and made me promise to follow the instructions on each one. I opened one per day, as directed, and found to my delight that each envelope contained a picture and a note “from Lucy.” It was wonderful to have that connection with her while I was away, and it made me miss her that much more. To combat the distance, we also tried a video chat one morning. The signal was pretty degraded, but it was still neat to see Lucy move (from the other side of the country, no less). Despite all that, I was very happy to come home.

I’ve been home for a week and a half now, but when I got home from my trip to LA, the difference was remarkable. Lucy felt heavier, more solid (based on her general growth rates, she probably gained about 5 or 6 ounces while I was away). She’d gotten quieter and did less random squealing or screaming (though she’ll still “talk” to me with little vocalizations). She slept better and longer. She’s growing and changing at a mind-blowing pace and stepping away for a few days made that even clearer and more evident.

Lucy continues to amaze me. She’s an incredible girl.

PS. Laura is also amazing. To be greeted by the smell of warm apple pie when I arrived home from my trip was so nice. Thanks love!