The April That Was…

So much has happened I’m ready for April to be over.  Or am I?

In keeping up traditions: The first Monday in April started with Opening Day – friends, baseball & a Curly W!  Does it get any better?


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The next Monday I turned 40 brunching the day before with dear friends and loving family members. 

I thought 40 would feel different and be such a big deal, but I think my making a big deal out of birthdays is over, finally!
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My dad’s birthday is just after mine – I came home from the hospital on his 30th birthday, so that means if it was the big 4-0 for me, it was the large 7-0 for him!  We threw him quite the party with a few friends from far away and his brother as an added surprise!  That was fun to pull off!

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But on my dad’s actual birthday, I was with my mom’s dad, my dear Grandpa, as he passed away peacefully at his apartment with his wife, his daughters and I (and helpful hospice folks, who can’t go unmentioned) at his side.

I cannot believe we are now busy chronicling a life of 90 years well-lived and will be celebrating them on Tuesday, May 2nd.

The obituary my mother and I wrote for his local paper, the Falls Church News-Press can be read here:  FCNP on Trollinger


Us!

Proud & Happy Grandpa @ U of M Convocation  Go Blue!

Last weekend I traveled to Providence, RI to become a god-mother for the second time.  My oldest god-daughter has turned 18 and gotten into college and is about to graduate from high school.  Where does the time go?  She was born when I was in college!

One of my friends had a baby girl on December 30th and I was honored to be asked to serve as her god-mother.  I was introduced at the reception: “This is Lauren, she’s my oldest friend!” What?  Because we go way back or because I’m 40!?  Anyway, her daughter, my god-daughter, is just an amazingly beautiful porcelain skinned babe who didn’t flinch a bit during the baptism.  I tried to celebrate the great circle of life, and it was nice to get away, but…

Closing out on a high note, I ended this last weekend of April participating in my 7th Congenital Heart Walk.  I exceeded my fundraising goal of $4000 (40 and some additional zeros!) thanks to people from just about every walk of life.  Friends, relatives, friends of relatives, Grandpa, and even my aunt’s friend whose daughter just had heart surgery in California.  We’re all in this together.  I walked with AGC, a friend’s daughter who is now 5 ½ (not 5, not 6, “5 and a half!”) and no longer in a stroller, but walking, alongside me, thriving, living and loving life – even after several open-heart surgeries.  Tick Tock We Don’t Stop! (OK except to take a pic or 2!)

The world is small, see the good in the bad.  Hug tight.  Smile.  Be present. 

Love with your heart.

 

 

 

A Quick Wrap-Up of 2016!

Those of you who know us and read my blog may know most of this, but for those of you who just want a fancy piece of paper to read by the fire in your most comfy winter socks, here’s a quick run-down of my (ooops, our) farewell to 2016. 

In May, Ja & I went on our honeymoon to London, Windsor and Nottingham.  It was a jam-packed & fun-filled few days.  We thoroughly enjoyed every minute and totally spoiled ourselves. #BetterLondonThanNever Click for pictures here.  

In June, I road-tripped to a little slice of heaven, right here on the East Coast: Bald Head Island. I met up with friends from Texas and crashed their family vacation for a few days and nights and it was great to see them all and play in the sand!

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July ended quickly with a lot of activity.  Thanks to NBC4’s promo on the DC Animal Welfare League’s Clear the Shelters weekend, we found ourselves an already TV-famous four-legged friend.  His name fits as he is a complete mix of shar-pei, basset hound and something else …or a few somethings, Rhino!  #Rhino2016

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Rhino bonded with Ja for a few days while I headed to Philadelphia to volunteer as a suite bouncer at the Democratic National Convention.  I worked hard, made new friends, saw old friends and most importantly:  witnessed a lot of history up close!  I’ll leave it at that, you can read this blog for wayyyy more details and pictures!

We took in a lot of Washington Nationals (NLDS Champions!) baseball, headed to Edisto Beach for a week, saw Molly turn 10 and even built an almost life-sized Tower Bridge out of Legos!  

All in all, life is good, but bring on 2017 already!!!

For the Facebook official year-in-review you can click here!  Fun Times!

 

A Thing With Numbers!

I have a thing about numbers, I don’t know why.  No one else in my family does, and they all think it’s a little strange.  Truth be told, I hate odd numbers.  The fact that we got married on 9/19 still seems weird to me, but it was so collectively odd, even with a 2015 at the end, that the alliteration of “nine nineteen” all but made up for it.  What fun we had.  View an even number of four albums here on our wedding website: https://www.weddingwire.com/laurenandja

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Today is “Ten Ten” which was a runner-up for wedding weekend, before quickly whisked away by my (baby) cousin Spencer, who will marry his high school sweetheart, Sarah, today.  They were engaged just a few days before we were and it’s been fun following their love story for so long. (Sarah’s shower, the weekend after our wedding, is when it hit me that the fun of wedding planning was all over for us.)  This will be the first wedding since ours, the first we’ll attend as a married couple and the first I know Ja is looking forward to because I will not be whispering “I want that at ours” in his ear the whole time! My cute cousin’s wedding website is here:  https://www.theknot.com/us/sarah-eber-and-spencer-hayes-oct-2015

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It was Spencer and I who drove together all through the night to Atlanta, Georgia for the NCAA Championship Final Four games in 2013.  It was so much fun having the cousins together, and will be fun to be together again today for such a fabulous occasion! Go Blue!

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Here’s to more happily ever afters!

A Bronx Tale

It’s all been said, “Mr. November brought October to September,” when “Captain Clutch” came to the plate.

And yeah, yeah, yeah, so he threw an error the first time the ball was hit to him in his last game in Yankee Stadium (“the house that Jeter built”), but really, he’s flawless.  By far the best man to strut out onto the diamond, in the Bronx and stand between second and third base in pinstripes in my lifetime.

Never a bad anything from the guy, no DUI’s no fiancé beatings, lots of girlfriends, but never cover of People magazine-making drama, just class in a jersey with a 2 on the back.

There’s been a whole lot out there about Derek Jeter this week and that’s been super-fitting for my family.  (I was brainwashed by my father at a very young age, chanting “Reggie, Reggie!” with my navy plastic batting helmet on, to love the Yankees.  But this fan of the National League East Division Champion Washington Nationals simply claims, “The Yankees are my favorite American league team!”)

My stepmom, Anna, was a huge fan (& that’s a ginormous understatement) of Derek Jeter.  This week, sadly, we marked some firsts without her as Derek was celebrating a big last.  Wednesday would have been her 57th birthday.  We celebrated and the Yankees played a day game.  Thursday, she and my dad should have been at Yankee Stadium for Jeter’s last trip around the bases celebrating their 21st wedding anniversary together.

On their last road trip together they went to the Bronx for a game, if not for the win, then to simply collect their Mariano Rivera bobble heads!  All for the love of the game…and each other!

Anyway, it’s been fun to overflow Dad’s inbox this week with memories of Anna and accolades to his beloved’s beloved, Derek Jeter.  Here are just a few I thought I’d share…

Jeter’s dilemma: To play or not to play?
NEW YORK — Throughout his career, Derek Jeter has been famous for never wanting to take a day off. But is it possible he’s contemplating taking at least part of the weekend off in Boston, especially if the Yankees are eliminated from the playoff chase?

http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/yankees/post/_/id/80615/jeters-dilemma-to-play-or-not-to-play?ex_cid=null

Pinstripe Pantheon
Derek Jeter has just four games remaining on the schedule in his storied, 20-year career with the Yankees. He’s served as team captain for a franchise-record 12 seasons. Jeter will retire as the club’s leader in career games, hits, and at bats, and has played more seasons in pinstripes than any other Yankee in history.

http://espn.go.com/espn/sportscenter/story/_/id/11583650?ex_cid=null


Red Sox: ‘Respect’ for Jeter
The long-awaited Fenway finale for Derek Jeter is Sunday, and the Boston Red Sox plan to mark the occasion with some type of ceremony — but don’t expect it to be an over-the-top affair.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11586050/boston-red-sox-planning-low-key-derek-jeter-ceremony?ex_cid=null

Stadium Signage

http://www.sbnation.com/2014/9/25/6847475/derek-jeter-yankee-stadium-final-game-signs

WTOP:  CoreValues

http://media.dev-cms.com/wtop/36/3623/362369.mp3

Never ejected from a game!

http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/11582355/derek-jeter-umps-make-call-captain-career

Taking The Field Alone…

http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2014/9/7/6118043/derek-jeter-day-takes-field-alone-video

Billy Crystal on Derek Jeter!

http://www.grab-media.com/premium-videos/5340228/

I hope Boston does Derek justice is all I can say.  I’d hate to see him not play just because they’re in Fenway for the grand finale!

Enjoy & GO Nats!

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& last but certainly not least:  

 

 

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:11590962

Top 10 for 2013 – 5 Good & 5 Not So Good!

1)

On the good list:

I spent a month in New York. For work. Doing Yoga with Hollis!

On the bad list:

I had to go to the emergency room while in New York. 

Yoga Hollis & Riverside Art!
Yoga Hollis & Riverside Art!

2)

On the good list:

I drove all night to attend the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta, Georgia with my cousin, Spencer Hayes, my mom & two brothers!

On the bad list:

Michigan lost in the Championship game, but it was still soooo awesome to be there! Memories for a lifetime.

Go Blue!
Go Blue!

3)

On the good list:

My baby brother graduated from the University of Michigan with a double major:  Economics & Political Science.  I could not be more proud! Now he’s a trader on Wall Street and works facing Bryant Park! 

On the bad list:

I attended the 125th Anniversary of Elon College homecoming festivities (13 years later) and we still lost our football game. But, I saw old friends & bought a brick and that’s pretty cool.

Proud!
Proud!
Long Live Elon!
Long Live Elon!

4)

On the good list:

A dear friend had a gorgeous baby boy, Liam, on ¡Ocho de Mayo!  He is the best boyfriend hands down!  And a pretty cute elf, too, don’t you think?

On the bad list:

A client, who of course became a friend, suffered a traumatic brain injury on Friday the 13th of September. Please keep the Shultz family, Taylor & his girls, in your thoughts. 

Elf Liam
Elf Liam!
Taylor's Gals & I. Tanks in Texas in October!
Taylor’s Gals & I

5)

On the good list:

I have my health, happiness and most importantly, family & friends!

On the bad list:

Two days before Christmas, Monday, we lost my stepmom, Anna, after a courageous year with cancer.
She was surrounded by family & friends in her final days.  What more can you ask for? 

Merry Christmas, friends.