Thursday, December 30, 2010

Star Wars, Legos, and Miss Lyra.

Isaac hates Star Wars. So he says. And only because Mama loves it. I have now learned that I should not tell my kid what Mama loves --- as he will only "hate" it in order to be different from me. He "hates" Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings --- and all the other things Mama enjoys --- except that he really doesn't hate them at all.

Anyway, he professed complete hatred for Star Wars UNTIL he got the Star Wars Lego game for the Wii (best game ever as far as I am concerned). Now he says that he still does not love Star Wars --- BUT he DOES love Star Wars Legos (the ones that Mama has been collecting for the moment he turned to my side of things :).

And so he has been making scenes with his Legos ... (notice the carnage in the background)...

... and because only The Hulk can destroy Darth Vader (that is Isaac's story and he is sticking to it) ... he creates scenes such as this ...

But what he did not expect is that our kitty, Miss Lyra (named after the Hulk's daughter I might add) --- can destroy them all --- and ENJOYS it!

Lyra --- Daughter of the Hulk, Queen of our Home, Destroyer of Evil, and the bestest, rottenest kitty I have ever known :)



May the Force Be With You - Always.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

First Snow Storm of the Season.

Snow has been a bit problematic for me for the past four years --- ever since I experienced a somewhat traumatic event that took place during a Nor'easter in late 2006. Slowly but surely I am learning to make peace with snow ... and to even appreciate it again as I did when I was a child (snowball throwing never gets old).

I have a child that absolutely loves snow. And despite his Haitian roots ... he also loves to swim in rivers and lakes just after the ice has broken. This kid loves the cold and hates the heat. Weird, I know. (I guess he was fated to live in Maine!) Because of this aversion to summer heat, I am more apt to get him to play outside in the cold winter weather --- which means I had better make peace with it.

And so --- I grab my camera --- as shooting pics of our daily life always gives me solace.

These pictures are not award-winning art --- but they are my therapy. Toting a camera while venturing around the snowy property --- finding the beauty in the snow --- enjoying my son and his dog as they kick the snow around --- all of this will heal the anxiety I feel when I am surrounded by mountains of Maine snow.

More snow-filled pictures to follow --- as weather permits :)


PS. What do you enjoy about the snow?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An LL Bean Christmas.

We Mainers love our LL Bean. And the flagship store in Freeport? Well, it is totally awesome! I can't believe it has taken me 15+ years to visit it. This series of shops (a village really) is open 24-7 ... year round. And on a recent trip back from Nashua, NH to Bangor, ME ... the kids and I took a break from the highway and shopped at LL for the first time. Good stuff ...

There is a trout pond with live fish!

Stuffed majestic animals everywhere. Museum quality and very educational.

An aquarium where kiddos can get an inside peek of what it looks like to live underwater ...

And Isaac FINALLY got to see what a Grizzly Bear looks like (he has been SO curious about them for a year now) ...

He was mesmerized and quite impressed.

And you could literally hang out here all day. There are two cafes for all your stomach needs ... as well as this (above) "family room" for relaxing, game playing and reading by the fire.

Or one could hang out and read with LL Bear ...

When we were done shopping (for Uncle Jamie, Daddy and Uncle John) ... we were treated to an unexpected and totally "Maine Christmas" treat ... a horse-drawn carriage ride through some of downtown Freeport ... courtesy of LL Bean.

What a great impromptu evening of shopping, learning and enjoying the spirit of Christmas. I highly recommend a stop to downtown Freeport, Maine ... and especially to the LL Bean Flagship store. And if you head another 1.5 hours up Route 95 ... you can pay us a visit as well :)

Oooohhh ... and LL Bean gives free concerts in the summers ... so plan accordingly.

Jodi & Family

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dear Brian,

Dear Brian,

This picture is how I will always remember you ... always staring into the eyes of your children ... always holding one of your babes in your arms ... always a Daddy.

I, however, am really pissed that this is how I have to"remember" you. You were way, way too young to leave this earth ... and your kids are way, way too young to live out their days without their Daddy here. I watched them bury you today. Literally. You went down into the earth as your children looked on. It was one of the worst days of my life. And theirs.

I watched your wife become a widow today. I watched your parents bury their eldest son. I watched your brother fall apart at the loss of you. I watched your Dad nearly throw himself into the ground with you. I watched my husband cry and shake .... and heard him curse God. In fact, I witnessed my husband lose all faith completely ... as this was just so, so wrong.

Your wife had witnessed this entire scene before ... as you well know. She was there when her own mother buried her father at such a young age. She watched her mother become a widow way too young. And like you, her own father left behind 5 children. It was a horrible deja vous of her own mother's life. And now she must raise her children without their Daddy ... just as she was raised without hers.

So wrong, Brian. So wrong.

We miss you already. I wanted you to hug me today ... and everyone else. I wanted you to smile your amazingly huge smile ... and pass around your incredible bear hugs. I wanted you to wake up and make everyone feel better ... as you were so good at that. Your presence was always so much larger than life. You were always so calm, easy-going and fun. We needed that today. We needed you today. But instead - we buried you. And it sucked. And we are sad. And we are angry. And this is all so f-in stupid.

You were healthy, Brian. We still don't know how on earth you died. Apparently we won't know for weeks. It seems your last hours were likely painless. But that is little consolation. Your kids' lives - your parents' lives - your wife's life --- will be far from painless now.

We are not angry at you. We love you. We are angry at something we cannot understand. We are angry at SO much. But not at you. Ok - maybe a little bit at you. Did you feel it coming and not get help? Did you screw up some meds or something? What the hell happened, Brian!? We will eventually find out, and we will forgive it. But right now, we don't know. And we are going to remain angry till we do - and maybe longer.

Brian - this sucks. I am sure you would agree. But here's the thing --- we will pick up where you left off --- as best we can. We will watch over your wife and kids. We will do whatever we can to help them. We will talk to them about how much you love them. We will make sure they take those bi-annual trips to Disney World. We will make sure Suzan does not try to take everything on by herself. We will love them as best we can for you. All of us. It won't be enough - but we hope it is something.

Till we see you again, Brian ... we love you. You were a good, solid man. You worked so hard to provide for your family. You were totally unassuming. Just a good soul who appreciated a good life spent with family. Always smiling. Always generous.

I cannot express to you - or anyone else - how much it sucks that you are gone. I hate this. We hate this. And I hope we can figure it out soon before we all lose faith.

Forever yours truly,