September 28, 2011


As I was finishing the lawn yesterday and blowing off the driveway, I heard a little tinkle over the blower and looked down to see a penny, it made me smile a little but I decided to pass it by and continue working.  Not 10 seconds later and about 5 feet away I then see a nickel on the ground.  Again I pass it by and continue working, only to shift my eyes again and see a dime on the ground less than 2 feet from the nickel.  At this I laugh right out loud and say "Ok, ok, you have my attention."  I bend down and start to pick up the coins, finding two more pennies in the process.

You are probably thinking, "What's the big deal about finding 18 cents in your driveway while mowing the lawn?"  To answer that question we have to go back more than 15 years.  When Jasey was 15 his grandfather in London passed away.  Not long after that odd little things started happening around the house to Jasey and his parents.  One of the most notorious was nickels showing up out of nowhere.  I don't mean there would be a random nickel on the counter, I mean a nickel falling to the floor out of a towel half way through you drying off with it.  Crazy right?

It was usually nickels but it would deviate to other coins at times.  So this went on for a few years and then Jasey's dad got sick and passed away.  Nickels started showing up more frequently and to other people, myself included.  The first few that showed up for me I mostly thought 'how sweet'.  It was before Jasey and I were married, heck it was before we had split up and got back together, so I thought it was just a happy coincidence (though Jasey does not believe in coincidence).  After we got back together they became a bit more frequent and oddly enough Jasey and I would both have a nickel story from within a few days of each other.

One time when Jasey was still at his old office, we did yard work on the weekends, so we were there working.  (We never wanted to be wasting our weekend doing this but that day was  particularly crappy and we had to force ourselves to go.)  I passed by the front door and there was a dime on the ground.  I smiled picked it up and kept working, a few minutes later I passed the same exact spot and there was another dime, I picked it up and kept going.  Now I'm doing things like sweeping and blowing off the sidewalks, I'm very thorough, the sidewalk was spotless and nobody had walked by.  I kid you not I walked past a few minutes later and there was another dime in the same spot.  I picked it up and went an told Jasey about it we both had a little 'huh?' moment and were quiet, then smiled and went back to work.  I walked past the spot a few more times but there was nothing else, then about 20 minutes later I was passing by and there was a dollar bill on the ground!  I picked it up but never saw anything there again, that day or ever.  But every time I passed that spot I thought about it.

So these sorts of things happened over the years, we never searched for random coins or nickels they would just always kind of appear.  We didn't expect them on big days like our wedding day or when the kids were born, but they would show up around those times, like an early wedding gift or a belated birthday card.  No matter when they show up they make you smile all the same.

This past year in May marked 13 years since JC passed away.  (A side note:  May 2008 was 10 years since he passed and on the exact date is the day that AJ started walking.  How cool is that?!)  So this year, on the day JC passed 13 year later, Jasey and myself both had multiple experiences with random nickels.  It was a particularly low point for the both of us.  We were fast approaching the one year mark of living with mom and being out of work.  Our money was running out and everything was just closing in fast.  We were both cranky and down and having trouble picking ourselves back up even though we needed to.  Enter the nickels.  That day, Jasey had one jump out of his wallet even though he doesn't carry around cash and had on pants that were just washed so there was nothing in the pockets.  He also had one jump out of his lap when he got out of the car, again where did it come from?  That same day I had one fall from a towel that I had taken out of the dryer and already begun to fold.  Another one fell from a roll of tape as I was walking across the kitchen, and I can tell you it was not attached to the sticky part of the tape when I picked it up.  Later that same day as I went to do more laundry there was a dime sitting on the ground in front of the dryer, it was not there earlier when i had picked up the nickel and I was the only one home.  We exchanged stories that night and talked about the possibilities.  For the next week or so I had 4 more random nickels show up.

It happened a couple more times over the next 2 months, each time just when Jasey and I were starting to feel frustrated and hopeless again we would each have a separate nickel story, usually on the same day.  Then, Jasey got a job!  The nickels haven't stopped but they aren't as frequent as they were becoming.

 We went to DC for Stacey and Don's wedding over Labor Day weekend.  We got there a couple days early and had a day to go be tourists in DC with the kids.  As we were heading to the Smithsonian, there on the ground was a heads up penny, we pointed it out to AJ and had him pick it up and put it in his pocket.  The rest of our time there, right up until we were walking through the airport to come home, AJ found 4 more pennies on the ground.  I made sure to save two of them and put them in each of the kids wallets.

I never met Jasey's grandfather but we were both Aquarius and he is AJ's namesake so even though I always assume that it is JC sending them and not Jasey's grandfather, I guess there isn't really anyway to tell.  It's been almost a joke over the years but every time one shows up Jasey and I tell each other and then wonder what it is JC, or Tony, is trying to tell us.  It could be 'Congratulations', 'I'm so proud', 'I love you' or 'Don't worry, it will all work out'.  Whatever it is, it's nice to know that someone is out there looking out for us, they love us unconditionally and they would do anything to let us know.  Even throw nickels at us.

September 22, 2011


Over Labor Day Weekend Jasey, myself and the kids hopped on a plane and headed to DC for the weekend.  I posted the one picture of the 4 of us about a week ago all dressed up pretty, it was a good picture and we don't get gussied up very often so I had to share it.  But that picture didn't do justice to the rest of our weekend.  Site seeing, spending time with family or the beautiful bride we were there to celebrate (Don was very pretty too :)  So I will share all that now.

We left Thursday after Jasey got home from work.  It was the first time flying for both AJ and Ryan.  I was fairly certain that they would both do just fine and I was right.  Ryan sat in the middle on the flight there and could see over AJ so they could both look out the window.  I had plenty to keep them occupied and the trip went smoothly.  On the way back they both had a window seat which was nice.  They also both fell asleep immediately after take off which was even nicer.  

Friday we spent the day walking around DC.  We took the Metro to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and let the kids lead the way.  They had a great time.

Then we walked across the street and let them run on the Mall so that mommy could get some more touristy pictures.  The Capital and the Washington Monument

Last year for Memorial Day AJ learned about Arlington National Cemetery or as he calls it "the place where all the soldiers are buried".  So we hoped back on the Metro and headed to Arlington.  It was the first time Jasey and I had been there also.  It was pretty late in the day so we didn't go see all the tombs, this was about as far as we made it.  We didn't want the kids to have a breakdown in the middle of the cemetery so we took some photos and headed out.

Saturday we packed up and headed out to Stevensville, MD to where the wedding was going to be held.  That night was the rehearsal dinner at a place called The Jetty.  It was a very laid back place, sand on the ground, beer flowing and even this cool old boat filled with sand for the kids to play in, AJ and Ryan were there all night.

Then we had a feast of Maryland Crabs, mmmm.  This whole tray was for the four of us, that's a lot of crabs, but a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do.  :)  Ryan even liked playing with them, that's my girl!

Stacey and Don, the Bride and Groom
Don, Stacey, Me, AJ, Ryan, Jasey, Jodie, Dan, Lyla

AJ striking a pose
Sunday arrived and we had the afternoon to fill, we ended up walking around the local outlet mall and then trying out a local place that was serving brunch.  Then we just let the kids relax and take a bit of a nap before we got ready for the wedding.  We are an exciting bunch, I know.  The wedding was held at a place called the Silver Swan.  We had directions and also Jodie and Dan's GPS but we ended up having a heck of a time finding the place.  We drove around in circles a couple times before taking a different turn and there it was.  As we pulled up the valet guy says "first of all, let me congratulate you on finding the place."  At least we weren't the only ones having trouble.  The wedding was wonderful and of course the bride was absolutely gorgeous.  AJ and Ryan were a bit antsy in the beginning but they both had a great time dancing, playing, coloring and even watching a movie in the kids area, awesome.  They were completely exhausted by the time we left which was before the night was over and of course we didn't make it to the after party :( but tired babies beat trump everything else.

We had an amazing weekend, it was so wonderful to see Stacey, Don, Jodie, Dan and Lyla and for such a fun reason!  Congrats to the newlyweds!

You can check out all of the wedding photos on the family site '2011' then 'weekend in DC' and 'DC wedding'

September 21, 2011

what is wrong with people...

So the other day after I drop AJ off at school I stop by Walgreens to get some packaging materials to ship a photo and frame to Nan in London.  As I pull into the parking lot I have to stop for a couple people crossing the road to their cars, no big deal.  These people are still in the middle of the road and this silver pick-up truck comes tearing around me.  All I see is a guy with blonde hair, he blows past the people and comes to an almost screeching halt in a parking space.  I mutter something like 'sheesh dude, chill out', calmly pull into my parking spot right in front of the door and head inside.  I don't even see this guy get out of his car.

I look at what I need to look but decide to not get anything and head for the front of the store.  I hear a cashier saying 'Ma'am, you can't be back there' and I see a head back almost behind the cash register.  The head belongs to a customer and the cashier was fixing something on one of the aisles.  Instead of saying oh sorry and ducking back out this lady keeps doing what she's doing and yells back at the cashier.  I don't know exactly what she said, but come on you are behind the counter lady, what idiot doesn't know they shouldn't be behind the counter.  So the cashier, who is walking to the counter, says something to her again.  I turn down a different aisle and can't hear anything else.  I'm just thinking what is wrong with people?

Until I get to the front of the store and the lady is now at the register and the cashier is ringing her up.  The lady all snotty says "I'm from the northeast where we know how to use manners."  The cashier replies "That's nice."  Haha. awesome!  I decide to glance over at this lady for a quick peek.  Tall, skinny, jean shorts and a polo shirt, short blonde hair...  "What? No!..."

So I get in my car and fiddle fart around with my purse.  I wait a few seconds till this lady walks out of the store.  Then I watch as she walks across the parking lot and gets into the drivers seat of the silver pick-up truck that whipped around me when I pulled in!  That was some nice manners she displayed when she almost hit my car and nearly ran over two people crossing the road!

This lady was behind me for about two miles on my way home till she turned a different way and the whole time was driving crazy, riding peoples butts and swerving with impatience.  Do they teach that in the northeast too?

The Wizarding World...

For my birthday this year Jasey bought me two tickets to Universal Studios.  I’ve been trying to convince Nene to get down here so we could go together (which was the original plan before she moved to South Carolina).  :(  But as we know plans don’t always work out the way we would hope.  Since the tickets were going to expire the end of the year and I was going to start getting into lots of blackout dates with the holidays, mom and I decided to head on up to Orlando and go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!! Yippeeeeeee!

(I will try to keep my excitement to a minimum, but I really can't promise anything)

We drove up Saturday night after mom got off of work, checked into our hotel which was literally right around the corner.  It took longer to walk to our car then it did to drive the car to the park.  We went to City Place that night and had a couple Cheeseburgers in Paradise.  Before we were Potter Watchers we were (and still are) Parrot Heads.  Next day we got up earlier than we expected to, checked out and got to the park before 9:00.  We went in and headed right back to Harry Potter!!!
Entering Hogsmeade!!!!
I proceeded to spend the next few hours gasping and squealing and jumping up and down clapping my hands (I actually did this a few times).  I took tons of pictures, it's a good thing that everything is digital now, I would have been lugging around rolls and rolls...and rolls of film.  I took more pictures than any person approaching 32 should ever admit to taking at the Harry Potter park...and then I took some more.
There are no pictures of this but I cried like a 12 year old, love crazed, Beatles fan.  Well, that may be a bit of a stretch, mom probably would have walked away from me at that point, but there were some teary eyed moments involved during all the gasping, squealing, jumping, picture taking madness.

Oh, I had so much fun.

Hogwarts!!!  It's so wonderful!
 The park was pretty empty and we weren't sure how quickly it would fill up so we headed straight back to Hogwarts for the Forbidden Journey ride.  If you look really closely at the sign it says there is a '10 minute wait', awesome!!!  We walked right in and traveled through the castle.  The dungeons, the greenhouses, classrooms, hallways, common rooms and offices.  I of course took pictures of almost everything the whole way through, squealing and holding up the people behind me.  There was actually a guy in front of me taking pictures of everything too so I thanked him for making me feel like not as much of a doofus.  Then we hoped on our brooms and flew off into the air (see, told you, big dork, that's me)

Pumpkin Juice and Butterbeer outside of Ollivander's
 After the ride we headed back into Hogsmeade and decided to stand in line at Ollivander's to see a wand choosing it's wizard.  We got a Butterbeer and a Pumpkin Juice while we were waiting.  Yummy.
Hogwarts Express
 The rest of the day we wandered around and visited all the shops, had lunch at the Three Broomsticks and tried to catch a ride on the Hogwarts Express.  We went back to Hogwarts one more time and with a wait of only 20 minutes this time I took another ride.  It was even better the second time.  Yes, I squealed some more, laughed out loud and clapped my hands.
Lemon Drop!
Mom and I had an amazing time and were not in the least bit disappointed.  Every little detail was thought through and put into place.  The only problem we had was deciding which trinkets to buy.  I can't wait to go back (maybe with Nene this time ;)  and even if you aren't as big of a Harry Potter dweeb as I am you will still have a great time! 

Check out the rest of my pics, click on '2011' then 'WWHP' 

September 10, 2011

May I...

...gloat for a moment?

This is my family.

There isn't really much more to say.

Well, I lied, there is a lot more I could say, but I don't want to gloat too much :)