Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Soccer Starts and Zoey gets a Lollipop

So, Evan is playing soccer. Like the tons of Bucior's before him, and also his Aunt Becca (who had a short career of games before she tried to kick the ball at the same time as another boy, fell down, and never returned).

As you can imagine a group of 4 and 5 years act, well that's how it is. He is on a team with two of his best girl friends from preschool, and there is lots of hugging and giggling and general mayhem. I take lots of pictures and the story they tell is, well, very varied.

Some of the pictures make it look like they are ACTUALLY playing.

 Though the truth is, they spent most of the time being goofballs. Observe.

And then we have Zoey, trying to stay busy with lollipops and her size 1 soccer ball. Usually she gives up and asks Grandma to take her to the playground.

All in all, Evan mostly likes it. And we like anything that gets the kids running around and in general tiring themselves out. Hooray for that.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Look who's almost 30!

Holy moly, my youngest sister is almost 30. Turns 29 today. The three of us, we are no longer young, not that it stops us from acting like ding-a-lings when we are around each other. It just now sometimes involves alcohol not KoolAid.

So, to my baby sister Jessie:

You started as this, a weird looking head at the bottom of the picture.

...a sweet baby girl at Easter time...

...a fish...

...then you grew up, letting us take photos like this...

...and this...

I love you for all of these things. But mostly I love you for pictures like this:

...Evan's very first elephant ride...

...and Zoey's precious sleeping face at one day old, having slumbered on your lap all night...

I am so proud of everything that you do, but over the last few months I love you most for who you were for our dear Helen, for staying overnight with her at the hospital, for being her confidant, her friend, for helping her to feel safe and loved. I am beyond thankful that she was able to be at your wedding, clearly she was so happy to be there. 

Happy Birthday Jessie.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's the Little Things

Ah the joy of having two kids in one bedroom. Their beds are set up caddy-corner to each other; when we moved Zoey from the crib to the toddler bed she didn't like being on one side of the room by herself. Every once in a while they attempt to sleep together but Zoey usually ends up getting in her own bed before they fall asleep.

But last night, as I sat on the chair in the hallway waiting for them to fall asleep (cause if I don't they run around like crazy people and I hear sentences such as "Zoey, jump? Hahahaha"), I watched Zoey climb over her headboard, over an almost asleep Evan, and cover herself up in his bed.

And they slept there together all night.

When they woke up this morning they were tickling each other; here is their "Pits Up!" picture:

Shortly after this picture, Zoey peed on the potty for the first time. The look of surprise on her face was hilarious. And then Evan proceeded to dress himself. Correctly I might add.

What has happened to my children?

Oh yea, they are growing up. Sigh.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What's Happening in the Space World....

We just finished our two-week 24/7 Pluto Rehearsal on the New Horizons mission. We are gearing up for our arrival in July of 2015 which seems so far away yet so close too. At the end of the rehearsal Alan Stern had a great presentation on how New Horizons happened in the first place and where we are going. You can watch it on YouTube here.

Or here:

During the rehearsal, we turned New Horizons to take a long-range picture of Pluto and Charon. Though teeny-tiny, you can clearly see the distinction. I mean, this is from 550 million miles away! You can read more here.

Want to see what you look like from space? Both the Cassini and MESSENGER missions took some time to look back at Earth and take our picture. Somehow I missed this piece of info until AFTER it happened so I don't have a geeky picture of me waving HI, but you can see the side by side picture below. I can just make out the Great Wall of China. Right? Haha, right.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Losses.....and Gains

I had meant to write this post a few days ago, and even in that time some more things have changed. My beloved Grandma Helen passed on June 27th in hospice; her obituary is here. She was an amazing woman and I want to write a special post for her with lots of information about her life, so it will take a bit longer.

I am reminded sometimes of the circle of life; we are so saddened to hear of someone's passing and then sometimes in the next breath the miracle of birth explodes onto the scene. My starkest memory of this happened on the day after Christmas six years ago.

I had just received a phone call that Helen's younger (and only) brother has passed. He was a great big guy with a booming voice that made us girls laugh at every turn. We loved when he would pretend to pick us up by our ears (which really was us clinging to his forearms in desperation). He clearly loved his lot in life as the younger brother to a house full of sisters; the friendly teasing was always abundant when he visited.

Less than a half an hour later I got a call from a good friend that their daughter had been born, at home and healthy. The excitement in his voice was so healing (and I was also thrilled that I warranted a phone call! This was pre-facebook era of course).

Welcome to the world Holly

And so it has been these past weeks; Helen has gone and new babies have come (Rick and Emily, Ryan and Kayla) and the promise of those almost here (Rachael and Jeremy, I can't wait!).


I received news yesterday of the passing of a colleague that I worked with for many years at Goddard Space Flight Center. Louis was an amazing man; I never saw him fail to light up a room.

For Louis,

For the times we laughed,

For the times you told us wonderful stories about your dog Tiffy,

For never letting us look at fanny packs the same again,

For bizarre and interesting stories about growing up in the south, where the fried chicken sat on the counter top all day in the summer for snacking and no one ever got sick,

For being the life of the party at my wedding, how could I have forgotten that you caught the garter,

For being my friend,

For being a friend to so many others,

For all this and more,

Thank you. You will never be forgotten.

Louis' Obituary

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Wedding of Hockey Proportions, and a 'What The Heck'

I love weddings. They are a great time to laugh, celebrate, eat and drink (wahoo!) and in general have a great day. Especially if you didn't have to do any of the planning. 

But for me they also give me time to think about the people I know that are getting married and all the events between my life and theirs that led to this moment. I thought this post would be about the happy couple, but sorry Elizabeth it's mostly about Walter. Partially because I've known him so much longer, and, well, he never thinks I think he's important enough. :)

The oldest picture I have of us playing hockey together is from 2004 (and ironically I'm not even in this picture cause of a broken ankle). This was actually at the Verizon Center played after a Caps game. I have always loved playing with you, despite the fact that you make me look like a slug going through molasses. 

And the fun trips we've had, where you make me ask the hotel from desk for more cookies 5 times a day.
Jimmy, Walter, and Matt in Pittsburgh before a Pens game
I mean you must know we care immensely right? Despite the fact that we have pictures of Michael all over our house? You know, because we borrowed this awesome-sauce picture from your mom:

...and our entire hockey team had t-shirts made so that everyone knew we were members of the 'Walter Bender Jr. Fan Club'.
Matt modeling said shirt
Most of all I am happy with the time that you spend with our kids. Walter and Evan and noodle-stuff, definitely in need of some wet wipes.

And then Elizabeth showed up and you became even happier that you were before. 

At Evan's 2nd Birthday Party, 2010
You even tried to match on Halloween:

But most of all, the fact that the both of you chose Evan to be your ring bearer is the greatest of all.

Rehearsal Dinner

At the Wedding

Anyways, congratulations to you both. I'm simultaneously happy for your marriage and furious that you are moving away. Even if it is for a few years. We can't wait to come visit though (course that might be my stomach yearning for the bakery in Oakmont, haha).

Of all the billions of pictures that I took over the last few days, this one is my favorite. It's ridiculously blurry, and Walter your head got real skinny, but it was the first time you were introduced to the room as husband and wife. And it was amazing.

And now I'm crying. What. The. Heck.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

5-minute Magic

Alright this post isn't really what it sounds like. :)


Look what I made in about 5 minutes. Plus a trip to the store for materials, but you may already have them in your home.

Tools: Scissors, some ribbon, a brad, and a hook to hang on (not pictured).

I hung a Command Strip hanger on the wall (I *love* all of their stuff and use it to hang things all over our house). Then I cut a long length of ribbon, found the middle and folded it back on itself, cut a little slit with scissors, and used the brad to hold the two pieces of ribbon together.

Then I snipped the ends in pointed shapes, and added all of Zoey's cute hair clips that we always forget about. And tada!!!!

Though she never keeps them in her hair, but it's nice to display them all the same.

Note: I got the inspiration from Sherri over at Young House Love here though. I love them.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tons of Bathing Suits and a Goodwill Score

It was a beautiful weekend, and since we didn't get slammed by the 'Snowquester', the kids got to run around out in the sun. The ground was a little smooshy, but eh, who cares.

At one point, Zoey busted her lip on the slide. She cried for about 2 seconds, and then started right back up the slide again, tears brimming in her eyes and blood seeping down her chin.

She might just grow up to be a hockey player. :)

Evan had a friend from preschool come over on Saturday evening (he has been waiting forever for her to come and was ridiculously excited), and even though we have about a bazillion toys what do they want to do? Play dress up, with all the clothes in the room. Including Zoey's clothes. He will be forever grateful that I did not take pictures. But poor little Zoey wanted to be in on the fun, and since she can't really dress and undress herself, she resorted to putting her arms through the holes of the clothes and stacking them on her arm. Like 10 bathing suits at a time. :)

She was at it again this morning, so I got a picture.

Notice Evan's swimming trunks on his head.

And on Sunday afternoon we decided to visit the Goodwill in Westminster, it being much larger than our one here at home. I usually don't find anything really that I'm looking for, though Evan usually comes home with a Matchbox car or two and Zoey finds a few Little People. But lo and behold this:

A wooden kid's sized table and chairs, similar to the set we already have, but with nice curved chair seats. The table was $7 and the chairs $3 a piece.


I'm pretty sure our other set cost around $100.


I mean, is that crazy or what? We also got a battery powered Jeep for pretty cheap and a tricycle too. We will definitely visit that one again. I'm still on the search for a small wooden doll cradle for Zoey, but I didn't see any there.

Next time. And also when we go, we will take a bigger vehicle. Without crap in the trunk. And bring some tools.

Just try to imagine what my Passat was like with 3 adults, 2 carseats with kids, a table, two chairs, a stroller, a trike, and a kid sized Jeep. But we made it home, and only with a few tears. :)