This blog is no longer being updated. Our adventures continue back in the US, here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

He would be 18 today...

My brother James, that is. My mom had James when I was 7 years old, and he came three weeks early - seemingly the picture of health. After a short while the doctors realised something was wrong and whisked him away for tests. They found out he had a serious heart defect that would require open heart surgery when he was a fragile two weeks old. He died on the operating table that day, but in his two weeks of life he was loved and held, sung to and rocked by his mom and dad and sisters.

It's best not to try to understand why things like this happen, but to hope that one day we'll meet again in a better place.

Happy Birthday, little angel!

My dad, the hero

I know - another post about my dad so soon after Father's Day! But the following event is just too amazing not to share... in my dad's words....

"Last week a friend and co-worker came in to work and had a heart attack at the time clock. It was a team effort, but I placed the pad of the AED on him. He was in fibrillation. I shocked him once, then did 4 cycles of CPR. Thank God he came back to us. Stressful, but thankful of how it turned out. They e-vacted him to GR, inserted a stint and is doing well now (except for the crack ribs) Just did what I was trained to do."

I'm so proud of him! Not many people would be able to be so calm under pressure.... Also, hats off to the other guys responsible for helping to resuscitate the heart-attack victim.

Here's another picture of the man of the hour. This photo was taken at the Grand Rapids Airport when my dad returned back from his time in Iraq.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Date Night

It had been a while since the Hubs and I had a designated date night at a nice restaurant so we decided we would start dressing up and going out the last weekend of every month (haha, that's when payday is). Last night was the start of our new tradition; we decided on Hugo's on Marion Row. We've passed by this quaint restaurant with the light turquoise front multiple times, and have been meaning to go for a while. Oh - I should also tell you what I wore, because I had it planned out for the whole week!

Royal blue Banana Republic shift dress
Black tights
Cream heels (tall mary janes) from Topshop
Long string of pearls

Nice, no?

So, back to Hugo's. We stepped inside and were very impressed by the "old world" atmosphere. In fact, it was so old world that it was literally boiling in there! No air conditioning (per usual in Dublin). We didn't complain much about that, though, and enjoyed the chilled white wine, which cooled us down a bit. We both had the calamari to start (which we agreed was the best part of this visit) and then hubs had the steak and I had the duck for our mains. We weren't blown away, but it was pretty tasty all in all. We didn't linger in the restaurant too long because of the heat, so we got the check and went for a stroll through Stephen's Green and down Grafton St.

At this point, we were so satisfied... we were full of yummy food, enjoying the wonderful weather and each other's company. And then... as we were coming up Dawson St. past Hodgis Figgus (a great bookstore) Justin got stopped by an older Irish gent who started talking about one of the books in the window. After about 15 minutes, I walked over to gather my husband and move on, but this guy would NOT stop talking! We tried to leave, by saying politely "we better be going..." etc. but he would keep us there by saying "oh, just one more thing." He mentioned how he loves Americans, probably because they are too polite to say "SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE, MAN!" Like an Irish person would no doubt do. So, after listening to this man's monologue for about 50 minutes total we were finally able to escape. What a pleasant end to our date night!

Friday, June 26, 2009

One with Nature

After a two+ year hiatus from practicing yoga, I am back at it. And let me tell you, it feels great. Yoga is the best way to relax naturally and relive tension you didn't even know you had. The best part about this particular class is that it is outdoors! What better way to meditate than breathing in the fresh air in a gorgeous setting. Also a bonus: the instructor, Matt, is wonderful! He does classes at both Herbert Park (very close to my work and home) and Stephen's Green (in the city centre) a few days a week and on Saturdays. I am standing taller and breathing easier already :-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Most Valuable Husband - I mean Player

Congratulations to my super athletic husband for winning the title of MVP for his season of American Football at Trinity College. I am so proud! My hubby managed to balance a full time PhD, 2 part time jobs and a [sometimes needy] wife for 8 months straight!

Love you baby!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to the best Dad I know. A dad that just married married off both daughters within 9 months time. A dad that has been mercilessly picked on by a female dominated household for 25 years (Even our pets were girls)! A dad that taught me to horseback ride, how to defend myself (using ME as the test dummy!), how to survive in the wilderness... and countless other life lessons. Here's to you Dad, thank for all the great memories. I love you :-)

St. Patrick's Day at Z's 2008

The boys enjoying a Christmas Cigar in 2007

A family Vacation to Yosemite, 2000(?)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Chasing Sunshine

If you didn't know already, Ireland has been basking in the glorious sun for about a week now. That's 7 DAYS without rain. Or clouds for that matter! Some say that was our summer and to prepare for a June, July & August of rain and mist. Well, I'm not quite ready for summer to be over, so if you need me I'll be chasing the sunshine to Michigan, USA. 

P.S. Yes, it is 4:45 in the morning here. I am too excited to sleep. In a matter of hours I get to see some of my favorite people on Earth:

If you're wondering why we're wearing the same shirts
This was my mom & dad's 25th anniversary trip to Chicago
(Picture taken at Train Station in Battle Creek)