Friday, April 3, 2020

Flashback Friday: The Great Photo Sort

While both of my parents are retired, neither stay at home all that much...or at least they didn't until the Great Social Distancing of 2020.

Now that they're home all day every day, they decided to tackle a project that has needed attention for most of my adult life: 45 years of photos. They've been taking photos out of old albums, gathering photos that had been pulled from albums already, tossing duplicate photos, and sorting all of the photos chronologically. (For a day or two, my dad sorted photos by person because "it's more fun that way". My mom had to put the kibosh on that illogical system.) My mom purchased new albums so that once this step of the project is complete, they can preserve the saved photos - in some semblance of order - for decades to come.

Their massive photo undertaking inspired me to pull out the actual photos I still have and sort through them. Yet to tackle - but still on my list - are my digital photos...that feels more daunting, so perhaps I'll address them later this spring.

Along the way, my mom has been taking photos of a few she thought I'd want to see and sending them my way. I decided to take photos of a few of mine as well, mostly because I wanted digital copies (and my scanner is broken) but also because I wanted to share certain ones with specific people. But now I've decided to share a selection of them here as well, because as much as I love my High Five for Friday posts, I needed a break from them this week.

So here you go - a few fun flashback photos that likely haven't made an appearance here before.
That's Tom (on the right with the long hair), in a University of
Iowa publicity photo. He's in a brochure somewhere out there!

In honor of our recent polar plunge and swimsuit
snow angel tradition
, here's my dad, snow tubing
down the snow slide we/he builds down from the
deck and across the backyard.

Baby's first bar crawl! Also the night of God's Donut...

A favorite of me, my mom, and my sister.

Throwback to our Backstreet Boys days. (To
clarify, these were costumes for a skit.)

This is how Will feels about online learning.

Prom 1997

Perhaps our best snowmen ever!
(That's me, circa 1981/82.)

Tom and...Will. I was trying to prove my
point - that little babies don't look male or female
based on features - to Tom. I think I succeeded.


I went through some rough years style- and fashion-
wise. My sister, on the other hand, was always cute.

My parents, on the steps of their/our first house. I
have and still regularly wear that shirt of my mom's.

Our wedding!

Will and Duke. They were best buddies.

The flowers and cake at my parents' wedding.

One of my favorite pictures from the first
Christmas after Tom and I were married.

He's always been this case, perhaps rightfully so.

First Christmas!

"I love you, Daddy."

"And you too, Mama."

Ah, to be young (and free to travel) again...

High school soccer spring training in Jamaica. Definitely a
highlight of my high school years and my soccer "career".

Tom climbing onto my roof at one of our college
parties. In a strange way, I feel like this photo
sums him up. 😂

Remember when my mom made matching
Nutcracker baker costumes for Hallie, Kara,
and Avery
? It wasn't the first time she's been
asked to make matching outfits for her
(grand)daughters and their friends.

Will's first french fry. Worth documenting his sweet face.

One of my favorite photos of me and my sister.

Third row for the Indigo Girls at the first Lilith Fair.

When I was a little girl I used to look
at these three pictures all the time. That's
me, taking a nap, and my sister, stealing
my cotton ball (which I rubbed my nose
with) and then my Winnie the Pooh.

I still can't believe my parents let me go on a spring break trip with
friends during our senior year of high school. Clearwater Beach 1997!

Me and my Grandma Geri.

Just about everyone who knows me, my sister, and our kids in
person has agreed that this picture of my sister and me could just as
easily be a picture of our kids, Lily and Will. Genetics are crazy...

Well now that that's done, I guess there's nothing left to do but tackle the digital photos...send help.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Our Nation's Capital

Last summer my parents approached me with an idea: they wanted to gift each grandchild a special trip for their 13th birthday. As Will comes first in the grandchild line-up, he would come first in the trip line-up and the call was ours to make. Tom and I agreed that this was a fantastic idea, and plans began to form.

In Will's birthday card, my parents explained that they would like to take him on a trip, and that the three of them could decide together where they'd like to go. Will seemed enthusiastic, but as he wasn't quite as excited as I had expected, I started suggesting possible locations: the East Coast, Cape Canaveral, the Grand Canyon... He looked up, shocked, and exclaimed, "Oh my goodness, they mean a REAL trip! I thought they were talking about Houston or Dallas!"

The three of them started talking about locations and eventually decided on Washington D.C. during the second week of winter break. But when we moved our Disney trip from summer to winter, the D.C. trip was bumped to spring break.

I visited Washington D.C. during my college years, and while we had a great time and visited quite a few of the city's monuments, memorials, and museums, we in no way saw the city as Will and my parents did. They were in our nation's capital for three-and-a-half full days, and managed to fit an unbelievable amount of fun and learning into that period of time.
  • Monday: after flying into Reagan International Airport, they checked into their hotel and headed back out to the Smithsonian National Zoo. Later in the day they went swimming and had cocktails at the hotel before meeting my cousin and her husband for dinner at Zintanya (where Will ordered and ate octopus). 
  • Tuesday: they started at the Russell Senate Building and then went on tours of both the Capital and the Capital dome. While having lunch at the Supreme Court Building, my dad and Will ran into Ruth Bader Ginsberg. 😍 After lunch and the Ruth sighting, they visited the Library of Congress and National Air and Space Museum, where they flew the jet fighter. After a brief rest and cocktails at the hotel, they sat basically court-side at the Wizards vs. Knicks game...on the last night before the NBA cancelled the remainder of its season.
  • Wednesday: they headed first to the White House (they were in the building while Trump gave a Corona Virus briefing) for their tour and then to the National African American Museum. After lunch they visited the Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and Arlington Cemetery, where they saw JFK Jr.'s grave, the eternal flame, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Later in the day they rode motorized scooters around the park, ate dinner in a tiny bookstore, and watched the USWNT win the She Believes Cup.
  • Thursday: they started with the Holocaust Museum and then moved on to the International Spy Museum. They also rode the trolley past the Jefferson Memorial, the MLK Jr. Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, blossoming cherry trees, the Ford Theatre, and the Peterson House. They fit in yet another swim before cocktails, dinner, and a movie. 
  • Friday: they all got up early to head to the airport for the journey home. 

I asked Will about his favorite experiences, and he listed (in no particular order - he wanted me to add that) the Capitol Dome tour, International Spy Museum, Smithsonian National Zoo, National Air and Space Museum, and Arlington National Cemetery.

I asked him about his favorite meals, and I LOVED that while he gave me a favorite based on food quality and taste, he also gave me a favorite based on experience: lunch at Panda Express, because during that meal he and my parents "just had a really nice, really deep conversation".

This is why we sent him. We don't live close to our families, and while both my parents and Tom's parents do an incredible job of staying in touch and sharing their love with their grandchildren, the fact of the matter is that we see everyone only a few times a year. This trip was an opportunity to develop a closer, stronger bond, and I think the goal was accomplished.