Sunday, May 23, 2010

West Point Graduation

Brock and I got the opportunity to experience an event yesterday that I am so proud to have attended.

A friend of ours, our Best Man in fact, John, was offered tickets to the West Point Graduation. President Obama was going to be giving the commencement speech. So he contacted us and our other good friends, Kate and Evan, to join he and his wife, Eileen. So we asked the Durhams if they could watch Leda until Sat night and we headed north on Friday night.

Due to the large number of people who were going to be descending upon the small town of Highland Falls and the security due to the President's attendance, we needed to arrive in town early...this meant leaving the house by 5:15. AM. In the morning. So we got up REALLY early and headed on over. John's plan was to park at his place of business (John runs the West Point Tour company in the town of Highland Falls), we would have a bit of breakfast at the local greasy spoon (oh, and it was greasy, and GOOD!) and then take a nice walk up to the stadium. And I mean UP to the stadium.

It was a nice walk, we got to see the campus (part of the campus) and we made our way to the Stadium (let me say, West Point has a beautiful campus and a wonderful practice facility! Wow!) We were in our seats by 7:10! We got to watch the non-graduating Cadets file in and take their seats in the section next to us. And the sun rise over the Hudson Valley. And read the news paper. And have some coffee. See, the ceremony wasn't set to start until 10AM!

It was a nice morning. The weather was beautiful and we had wonderful company. And we got to watch all the men (and women) in uniform come on in!

At 9:30 the graduating class, all 1,002 of them, began to march into the stadium. What a sight. Shortly after that, the professors and instructors arrived and then the special guests arrived. Well, except for the President. He was just flying in over the Hudson as the Cadets were marching in.

About 10, the President's motorcade arrived. There was about a 10-15 minute wait, during which, the first 5-7 minutes, the stadium was the quietest I've ever heard a stadium be! And then the calls from the stands to the Cadets on the field started. It was quite comical! Then the President was announced, he came in and was seated. The Ceremony began.

The beginning of the ceremony was fairly quick...National Anthem was played, invocation was given, Opening remarks by the Superintendent and then the President gave his speech. It was a great commencement speech which honored the Cadets on the field. We were happy to learn (and us girls, very proud!) that the two valedictorians of the class were women.

The President handed out degrees to the Honor graduates and stayed on the podium to shake every hand of every graduating Cadet. It was quite a site to watch 1,002 Cadets receive their degrees. After each and everyone was called, we were proud to witness the commissioning of the Cadets. It was quite an honor.

Early on in the ceremony it had occurred to me that I wasn't just watching a college graduation...this ceremony was different from my graduation from college in that these students were not just entering their adult life to go off and become lawyers, doctors, business people. These men and women were more than likely going off to fight in the war. It was quite sobering. And made me even more proud to have been able to attend. It was an honor.

After the commissioning, the Cadets were dismissed, at which time, the Hat Toss happened. Now, I knew about this, it's similar to the tossing of the graduation cap at other colleges and high schools. What I did not know is that in this tradition, the Cadet, who no longer needs the hat, as he/she is no longer a Cadet, will place a note, an address, maybe even money, into his/her hat. The school invites children between the ages of 6 and 10 to come onto the field at the time of the hat toss. And when the hats are tossed, the children are encouraged to go get a hat. They get to keep the hat and become pen pals with the Cadet. What an awesome idea. It was a fun tradition to watch!



It was an awesome day. So happy I got to experience it.

More pictures here!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cherry Blossoms

I have been thinking of our neighbor Mrs. Jean this week, mainly because the cherry tree is blossoming and she loved the cherry tree that stands between our two homes. And the flowers are blooming and Jean had a lovely garden.

Her daughter reminded me that it has been a year ago this week that she passed. I am grateful that my memories of her are associated with Spring and rebirth. She was such a lovely lady who deserves to be remembered with joy.

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

And when the cherries are ripe, we will pick some of them (and leave some for the birds) and make something delicious to eat and invite Mr. George over to join us!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

For Grandma

Just for Grandma...pictures of Leda in her new outfit she got for Easter...oh and some funny sunglasses she got for Halloween!



She was just so darn cute in the glasses!



Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Monday

What a weekend. It was absolutely gorgeous.

Saturday we attended our annual Easter Egg hunt and dinner at the Shier's...a large group of friends and kids and good food and just an awesome time. The kids just enjoyed the heck out of the hunt!

Easter Egg Hunters

Leda

Later in the evening, as we sat around the table chatting, Paige came in to tell me that Leda kissed Nathan! Oh really, I said. So I informed Nathan's dad Jim of this little development and proceeded to ask Leda "Where did you kiss Nathan," wondering if it was on the lips or on the cheek. Leda proceeded to walk me out to the patio and pointed to a chair on which Nathan was sitting, "Right there, Mommy." Right, the physical location of the kiss, not the body part that was kissed!

Turns out she had kissed Nathan on the lips. Nathan was looking pretty proud of himself. It proceeded to happen three more times, each time either Paige or Leda let me know about it! Then Leda came up to me and told me she had a secret to tell me..."Mommy, I want Nathan to be my boyfriend, don't tell any other adults!" To which the adults around me and I chuckled pretty loudly about! Very, very cute.

I'm locking her up! ;-)

Sunday was another beautiful day. Spent the entire day outside, after we found out what the Easter Bunny brought (lots of hard-boiled eggs, candy and some Littlest Pet Shop, Polly Pockets and Alice in Wonderland DVD for Leda!)

Easter 2010

We cleaned off the patio, started to prepare the garden, got the fountains installed and running. I celebrated by sitting outside reading a book.

I'm not sure if I overdosed on Vitamin D, but around 4 or so I started getting cold and hot and feeling very achy all over. Ended up with a low grade fever which put me in bed after dinner. Not sure what that was all about because I feel good this morning (other than being tired!)

So, it's back to school for Leda and back to work for me. We are going to be going to the beach next weekend, so this week is going to be VERY long! ;-)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Underwater

That's what I feel like I am...underwater! I was doing well until Monday afternoon and even a little on Tuesday but then the stuff hit the fan...

Work is a bit busy at the moment (not totally a bad thing, just making me crazy!) so I haven't had much of a chance to take pictures or update the blog or even enjoy the sun that made a reappearance yesterday after several days missing!

I'm hoping that after the weekend, things will be a little more normal, at least for a little while. I unfortunately have to work on Saturday, but hopefully can go enjoy the egg hunt on Saturday afternoon and a nice dinner with friends!

I'm really looking forward to a weekend at the shore house with the Durham's next week! I don't even care that we are doing work around the house! ;-)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rainy Spring Days

...don't inspire for good pictures. That and a very busy two days of work make me cranky and not interested in blogging. So, no picture taken today...

Instead, have I told you how much my kid loves sushi? And not that fake sushi roll stuff her mother eats either...nope, she likes the real stuff. On our way home from Grandpa's house a few weeks back, we stopped at our local Wegman's to see what we could find for dinner. They actually have a sushi bar there...a real working sushi bar with real sushi chefs who will make it while you wait! So we stopped there and Leda pointed out what she wanted...salmon sushi - you know, with the big piece of salmon lying on the pod of rice? Yep, and a salmon roll along with it. That's what she wanted.

So we got that home and she dug in...except she really didn't care to eat the rice along with the salmon, just the salmon. Yes, she is her father's daughter!

Eating Sushi

Eating Sushi

Monday, March 29, 2010

Girls Only Weekend

With Brock off playing with race cars this weekend, it was just me and Leda. We had a few things planned for the weekend, to keep us busy. First off was getting dinner on Friday night and since I had to work on Friday and didn't feel like figuring out what to have for dinner, we headed off for dinner at McDonald's. Yes, bad mother that I am, I fed the kid fast food! Good thing it's always treated as a special treat and doesn't happen very often!

We got home and made popcorn and sat down to watch Where the Wild Things Are. We were really looking forward to seeing this movie as it is one of Leda's favorite books. It wasn't a bad movie, just depressing. Not as uplifting as I hoped. And both of us were in tears by the end. It is hard to comfort your kid when you are crying as well! [Spoiler ahead]

I tried to explain to Leda, who was almost as uncontrollably upset as she was when she watched Marley with us, that it was a happy ending, that Max got to go home to his Mommy. She was very upset that he left the Wild Things. I told her that he could go visit, I am sure that his Mommy would let him visit, thinking that might make her feel better. I added, that if she wanted to go visit the Wild Things, I would let her. She matter-of-fact told me, "Mommy, it's not for real, it's pretend." She had me there. And she was calm enough to go to sleep.

On Saturday we shopped. We straightened up and cleaned part of the house. We played in the backyard. We had a really nice day.



Knocking 'monkey balls' out of the sycamore tree - thank goodness she doesn't have allergies:




Saturday night we watched the Kid's Choice Awards on Nickelodeon. Leda really wanted to watch and really wanted iCarly to win best show (which it did). It was an interesting experience. My kid was so cute, dancing around to Rhianna and Justin Bieber, even though it was my worst fear realized - she's interested in the preteen music scene. Oh well, it could be worse, NSync could still be around!

She was jumping around and she all of a sudden said, "Mommy, watch this..." and she jumped up and put her legs out in front of her like she was going to land on her butt on a trampoline. Problem is, she was over the hard wood floor of the living room! She landed with a thud before I could stop her. There was crying, and there was complaining that her butt hurt - she probably bruised it pretty good. But luckily she's okay. Okay, I laughed. After I found that she was okay. 'Cause, well, it was kinda funny!

On Sunday we met up with Paige and Aunt Jennifer for some lunch and a visit to the nail salon. Leda's first pedicure! She was very cute and had a great time.

Paige and Leda

We came home to veg out in front of the TV to watch the new Free Willy movie with Bindi Irwin. Again, there was some crying at the end by both of us (okay, so I am a big fat sap!). Afterwards, made ourselves a nice little pasta dinner and had a fun banana and pudding parfait that I made for Leda.

All in all, a great weekend. Even with the chilly and overcast weather. We are looking forward to temps in the 70s next weekend for the Easter Egg hunt on Saturday!

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