Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Our Anniversary Weekend (On Our Anniversary)

So Taylor took me away for a weekend! My wonderful husband is so good to me! I can't seem to tell him enough lately. Maybe by telling all of you it will help me feel I've said it enough. Maybe not :)  
It's also hard to believe we've been married for three years. It's not a very long time at all, really. Sometimes it feels like we've always been together like this. Sometimes it feels like we were married just yesterday.  Of course, the more we know each other, the deeper our love is, so it's never really like we were just married. We have grown and matured and become closer over the years. Here's to another three years together, my Love! And here's to the rest of what God has in store, too!
We left on Friday after a nice (albeit quick) dinner with our friend Paul (who house-sat for us (to finish his paper)) and arrived at the Inn at Stockbridge around 8:30.  After checking in, we brought our bags to our room and I found a dozen orange roses waiting for me with a nice cozy fire and some sherry!  
(I should write another post about the orange roses story--it's a good one.. and I think I could even make it short-ish, too!)  
The inn had wireless internet, so it was nice to stay up-to-date over the weekend. Sometimes getting physically "away from it all" is enough without disconnecting oneself from everything else, too.  We checked our email and snuggled down for a delightfully heavy sleep... and slept for some 10 hours. Lovely :) 
Saturday was fun, too. We had breakfast at the inn (it is a bed and breakfast) and then drove to the foot of Mt. Greylock--and hiked all the way up! It only took us 2.5 hours for a (roughly) 2,000 foot climb (up). Unfortunately, we forgot to bring lunch up with us, so we were rather starving when we came down (but don't worry, we had plenty of water, which was tremedously helpful).  We were sore the rest of the weekend (at least I was--I think T was fine), but it was a great hike, nonetheless!
We got a late lunch at Subway before heading back to the inn, showering, and strolling around Great Barrington, MA looking for the Mahaiwe performing arts center for a trio concert (piano, violin, and cello).  We made it in time and enjoyed some Shostakovich and Beethoven. The difference between the two composers is astounding. T says Shostakovich sounded "green" :)  (super green?).  Both pieces were very bright and I particularly enjoy that smaller combination of strings and piano. It was nice. 
Dinner at Cafe Adam, a modern, classy restaurant with delicious food and a yummy, chocolate-y dessert (is "yummy chocolate" redundant?).  Back at the inn we had a nice soak in the jacuzzi tub (yes, it was just a soak, Vivian!) and crashed for another deep sleep. Amazing how much "magic" there is to be had in simply sleeping, huh?  
Anyway :)
Sunday was quite an elegant day [even though we got the Mass times confused and were only there for the second half of Mass :( oops].  We strolled through Great Barrington and found some delicious old books at a used book store, had some fabulous coffee, and spent the rest of a lazy afternoon in our room reading and lounging. [I also showed T the crafty project I had been working on in CA. He likes it a lot.]  Dinner that night was at the Wheatleigh Hotel's Library dining room.  Good food, good wine, and tasty deserts. A very relaxed meal, waited on by people with accents, watching the sun set in Western Massachusettes. 
On Monday, we did some more wandering. We saw a pretty dining room set we'd like someday (maybe), had more coffee :D and generally enjoyed the warm weather. We headed to the Norman Rockwell Museum in West Stockbridge, too. We love Rockwell's paintings, but we've come to the conclusion that we couldn't pick just one or two or three to put in our home. It seems they have to go with a certain decorating style that we don't have. We do want a book someday, a big book with prints of all his paintings in it. That way we could really enjoy them in all their nuances :) Someday. 
Home in time for dinner and a movie (As You Like It) on Monday evening. I even managed to get all unpacked before going to bed. It's always nice to wake up to an organized house, especially when you have to go to work right off. 
And for tonight--our actual anniversary--T is taking me to The Capital Grille for dinner. Then we'll hit up the Museum of Fine Arts to see this exhibit. What a lucky woman I am, to have such a delight for a husband! Should be a fun evening. Maybe T will post about some of the surprises I have for him :D
Here's a link to the pictures I took this weekend: 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thoughts on Mourning

I had a dream the other night that Momma called me on my cell phone from Heaven. Strange?  Yes. Who knew they had cell phones in Heaven? :)  The conversation wasn't about anything deep; we didn't talk about how much we miss each other (Does she miss me in Heaven? Since she's with me in a more real way now?); we didn't talk about consolation or grief or what Heaven is like. Oddly enough, I asked her about her sewing machine.  Summer and I couldn't figure out how to do the fancy stitching on Momma's machine [Summer eventually looked it up in the manual and it turned out perfectly].  
In the morning when I woke up, I cried. So much of my day-to-day existence here in Boston did not directly concern Momma (or even the rest of my family), so I don't think about her as much as I did when I was at home. In a way, it's more lonely out here because when I do think about her, I feel that much farther away. 
I cried that morning because I know I can't call her anymore. I won't be able to just call her up and ask her sewing questions, or baking questions, or life-in-general questions. Later on in the dream, I remember trying to call her back (y'know, pressing the "dial last call received" button?) and it didn't work.  It was sad, but even in the dream, I knew it wouldn't work.  She's gone from us in that way.  That will just take some getting used to, I suppose. 
Another thing:  I've gotten more mail at work since Momma died than I ever have before (at work) (and I've been working here for a year and a half).  On the one hand, it's great that BC is supporting me in this way and that so many people are kind enough to remember Momma and my family in Masses and to send their thoughts and prayers my way.  But on the other hand, it's really weird to receive so many cards for such a sorrowful occasion.  In my experience, cards have always been a joyous thing to receive--a hand-written letter from a friend or anniversary cards and wedding cards (boy, did we get a lot of those!), and birthday cards, birth announcements, and graduation announcements, invitations and thank you notes and practical "sending this your way" cards. Receiving sympathy is rather different from all that. 
Now, don't take this next part the wrong way--I'm truly touched by the number of cards I've recieved--but most of the cards have words of comfort only regarding those who are dead. Very few of them have anything to say to those who remain... to those who mourn.  Maybe that is becaus there is nothing to be said. 
Faith tells me (and has always told us) that Momma is happy--far happier than we are (even if we don't factor in our grief). And faith tells me that I and my family will be ok, too.  Don't tell me Momma is happy with God; that death is just a passage to a new life; that there is no need to fear for God is merciful. I already know that. As Christians we all know that--and we believe and truly know that we will meet again at the Resurrection (Praise the LORD!).  
But in the meantime, we who remain are lonely for the presence of those who have gone before us (marked by the sign of faith). It is in this lonliness that we grieve the most. 
And there is nothing to say in the Lonliness but "Rejoice, oh Highly Favored One. You have found favor with God." 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Have Plans for the Weekend?

We do :)
My sweet husband is taking me away for a nice anniversary weekend in the Berkshires (can you believe we've been married almost three years?).  We'll go see the Norman Rockwell museum and T has planned several hikes.  All in all, it should be a lovely relaxing weekend just to ourselves. 
I even took Monday off work so we have an extra day to relax! 
[And, incidentally, it's a good thing we have a relaxing weekend ahead because this past weekend, even though it was a three-day weekend (thank you, Boston Marathon!), was chok full of fun things to do.  Friday and Saturday we had two friend staying with us and they took us to our VERY first Red Sox game (Go Sox! We beat the Orioles.). Sunday we had a St. Thomas party to celebrate Easter with our friends (yes, that involved a lot of baking--Pascha, Springerles, ham, cakes, etc, etc), and Monday I got to go on an engagement photo shoot (as an artistic consultant). Then I invited the photographer, his brother, and the cute couple (all of whom are our good friends) for another Easter dinner of creamed soup and Pascha bread.  So while I didn't get much done to prepare for the week, the weekend was lots of fun. 
But now I'm tired.. hm.]

Thursday, April 16, 2009

365 Lego Photos

THIS is awesome! (maybe next year I'll try a themed year of photos... or maybe just try a month of themed photos? that might be more manageable.)


I promise I've been taking a picture a day--even after Easter! But most of the pictures to update my flickr page are still in CA and I need to have my sister email them to me. 
In the meantime, enjoy my Triduum pictures: 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On The Way...

Went to Mass today. Forgot to remain standing during the Consecration (Byzantines don't kneel during Bright Week). Forgot my camera (so much beauty during Easter).  Sung some of my favorite Easter songs. Prayed a lot. Gave thanks for my new niece. Nearly cried several times.  Received Christ in Communion--where I am now closest to Momma.  Sang Alleluia. Continued on my way... to work, home, life in general. 
It's all part of being On the Way, isn't it? I think I will remian in Holy Saturday for a while--waiting and mourning and hoping.  "Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord!"  Rejoice as you seek. Rejoice in the hope that He has promised. 
Hope always. Rejoice always. 
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus Himself drew near and walked with them...
"What are you discussing as you walk along?" 
"Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?" 
[I can see Jesus' eyes smiling and sparkling as He replies, "What sort of things?" Like a lover about to propose.]
They said to Him, "The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene."  [They share everything. That Jesus was a mighty prophet in word and in deed and that He was betrayed and crucified.  They tell Him their hopes that He was the one to redeem Israel--lost hopes.  They share their confusion and anxiety that Jesus' body is no longer in the tomb.  Despair is in their voice.  And yet I can see Jesus smile, and even laugh a little when He makes His reply.] 
"Oh, how foolish you are!"  [Help, then, O Lord, my unbelief.]  "Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?"  
[And He opened their eyes to the Scriptures concerning Himself.  He gave new strength to their hopes, banished despair, and calmed their anxiety.  He confirmed the events they had experience in Jerusalem and blew away their confusion like dust with His words.]
"Stay with us," they urged Him.  [Mane nobiscum, Domine.]
So He went in to stay with them.  And it happened that, while He was with them at table, He took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.  With that, their eyes were open and they recognized Him.  
They they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He spoke to us on the way?"  
[How does the Lord speak to me On the Way? Does my heart burn within me?]
So they set out at once [in the danger of night--such was their excitement!] and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the Eleven and those with them who were saying, "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon [and the women]!"
They the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how He was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. 
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, "Look at us ... I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you:  in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk."
Walk on the way to Him. 

Dear Boston,

I'm sorry to say it, but I think the end is near. It's not you--it's me. I've changed since we met.  I've grown tired of your cold, stony greeting each morning. I can't take the cold shoulder you offer so often.  I need more vibrance in my life, more color.  With you, everything is shades of gray lately...
We've had our good times--and I'm glad we did! I will look back and remember you with happy memories and warm smiles.  Do you remember the sunny afternoons in the grass at BC? What about clear, crisp walks in the new snow? Or a snuggly evening inside with hot chocolate and tea? 
I cannot foresee the future, of course, and it may be that I have to stay here a little longer.  If that is the case, I hope you won't hold this note against me.  Though I'm warning you now, if I do stay, changes will have to be made.  I'm not talking only about you--I will make changes, too.  
But something must be done!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I Remember Momma

Here is an album of pictures of Momma throughout her life. She had a good one. We will miss her. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Here's a link to my Picasa page.  Check out some of my pictures if you have time :)
Here are some of my favorite albums: