Friday, July 10, 2009

4th of July reunion in Boston!

A "Welcome to Boston" cheesecake from Finale Bakery was the chosen way to welcome my family to Boston for the 4th of July! We realized that it had been since 2003 when my little brother left on a mission that all of us were gathered together in the same place at the same time! So, this reunion was long overdue... but I am so glad everyone sacrificed what they did to make it happen!

Even though I have moved from Boston, we were very fortunate to all stay in Juliette's house, which isn't going to be rented until August! The house lacks furniture and many amenities, but it was perfect for us! I had brought over linens, paper products and other things to make it livable to my family for four days. We survived without the internet and cable. And, just really enjoyed each other's company!

I feel very blessed to even have arrived in Boston. 7 of the 9 delta shuttle flights for the day I flew were canceled because of the terrible weather in Boston. I knew my flight had been canceled but went to the airport anyway. It didn't look good. But, HF truly blessed me that day by allowing me to be in the right place at the right time. As I waited in one long line to see what my new flight options were, I noticed a Delta flight was boarding for Boston (on of the two going that day). I walked over there and just stood close by waiting. As it turns out... they had extra seats because many had thought the flight would never take off and had left or re-scheduled their flight (since the flight was three hours late taking off). I got on!!! But, my luggage didn't since it was so last minute. FORTUNATELY, my luggage did make it on the other flight that made it to Boston that day and I was ok!

The weather in Boston STUNK on the day I arrived. Bad storms and such, but the rest of the weekend was BEAUTIFUL. Evan and Justin and his family arrived on Friday. We played games and just enjoyed each other's company at home... but then at night my mom, Justin, Becca and the boys went to the Children's museum while Evan and I (along with two friends visiting from DC as well) went to a Red Sox Game! I LOVE THE RED SOX!
There is just something special about Fenway stadium. For those of you who have never watched "Fever Pitch"... you MUST! It will help you understand a little behind the feeling Bostonians have about the SOX. The movie presents REALITY in a hilarious way!!


My FABULOUS and WONDERFUL little brother and I at the stadium. As you can see our seats were up in the sky, but we still had an incredible evening. The weather and sunset were beyond describable. I could have sat there forever enjoying just that. But, the game was exciting as well :) Boston ended up losing in the 11th inning, but that was ok. It was just great to be back in the stadium singing "Sweet Caroline" with all the other die-hard fans!

Saturday - I went on an incredible run as I thought about how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful country where I have the privilege of having freedoms and opportunities to make my own choices and practice a religion I believe in with all my heart. I also contemplated about how lucky I am to have two brothers who I admire and respect, parents who love and support me in any way imaginable, a sister-in-law who I love talking to and spending time with and nephews who bring a smile to my face. :)

Justin, Evan, Becca, Riley, Jace and I decided to go canoeing while my mom helped move my grandfather from rehab to a hospice facility during the day. I wish I hadn't been scared to bring my camera on our canoe because I would have pictures to share of the beautiful nature we saw and the Old North Bridge where we disembarked and got a little history tour. We all piled into one canoe... which I REALLY appreciated because that meant Justin and Evan did most of the paddling! The way there was down river... but the way back was going against the current and the wind was pretty strong! Evan made the comment once "I don't think we're moving at all" even though Justin and him were paddling pretty fiercely! The staff had given Riley a mini paddle to share with Jace and they both did their best to help!

We went to my favorite lunch place together (Panera Bread) and enjoyed eating outdoors. Then it was off to the hospice center to spend time with my grandfather, mom, two uncles and extended family. I had never been to a hospice center before, but I welcome the chance I have to go to another one. Everyone was so friendly. The atmosphere was peaceful and generally quiet. It was like a retreat center in a way. You can read the post above for more info. about my grandfather, but we were so lucky to have this special time with him as it was one of the few days within the past month that he has been coherent and able to have a good conversation.

After leaving there we went to my uncles for an even larger family gathering and dinner. All of my mom's siblings and their families were there except for her sister. Of course, sports and eating were the focus! We had a fabulous time together.

By the time we returned to Boston it was 9:30 at night and I was beyond exhausted! I didn't really have much of a desire at all to see the fireworks simply because that meant I would have to put one foot in front of the other to walk there, but I couldn't let my last Boston fireworks show to pass me by. Evan, Justin and the boys went down to the river, but I decided to just walk to Mass Ave and watch them there. Not as great a view as going to the river, but definitely good enough! What a fabulous day it was and seeing the incredible fireworks topped it off!

I really wished I had taken more photos of these cute boys... but here is Riley and I before the fireworks.

And, Jace and I before church. I don't know why he's not smiling in this picture! Riley and Jace are such happy and energetic little boys! They're always on the go! I also have to say how impressed I continue to be with Justin and Becca as parents. In my opinion, these two boys are in the top 5% of the most well-behaved, obedient, and good-natured kids I have ever known! I truly respect Justin and Becca for their parenting skills and hope to someday follow in their footsteps!

Finally, this is one of the pictures we took before leaving my grandfather at the hospice center. What a blessing to all be together with him only a few days before he passed away.

It was a wonderful weekend. I LOVE time spent with family! Nothing can compare with it!

1 comment:

josh, erica, nora, wells, evie and stella said...

What!? You were in Boston and you didn't call me??! Just kidding, sounds like you had a truly BUSY and wonderful time. Best wishes to your family in the wake of your grandfather's passing. What news about your new job?? We really need to chat.