Monday, July 31, 2006

Chris and Ruowen are married!

In typical Chris & Ruowen fashion, their wedding was an absolutely magnificent affair. With a NY theme to the event, pictures were taken in Central Park and the ceremony and reception took place on a boat which cruised around Manhattan (and the statue of Liberty!). It was a beautiful celebration.

Some of the weekend highlights...
  • Staying at the gansevoort hotel (pool, late night parties, great views)
  • Brunch with Brian McKenna at Pastis
  • Ruowen's dress (by Carolina Herrera)
  • Ruowen's hair - she had a stylist that shadowed her throughout the day giving her three different looks!
  • Catching up with all my favorite BC friends

But the greatest highlight of the weekend was to see this couple, my two very dear friends, so happy and so in love. xoxo

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


One fabulous thing about summer is that it brings people together. The warm weather draws us out of our little shells and we come together to celebrate the long, sunny days of what is definitely my favorite season. Whether it be chilling at the lake or pool, meeting friends at the beach, enjoying outdoor BBQs, sailing, ... it's about enjoying the outdoors with others. I love it!

A few good times are shared below...

Here are Max and Drew enjoying an afternoon in early July. We met at Cafe Zog on Wickenden Street. The weather was perfect...breezy enough to enjoy being in Providence. We had a lovely walk, stopped by the park for a brief swing, and shared lunch with the Ferreiras.

A wonderful visit in Danbury! Finally we were able to meet little Violet Lifford. She, along with her parents Rob & Cheris, lives in Austin, TX. We've watched her grow through emails and photos, but the real thing is so much sweeter. Dave and Michele Jonas hosted us all at their house - arranging wonderful baby accomodations (baby pool, bubbles..) and preparing delicious treats for the adults (dips, salads, grilled shrimp & asparagus,..). It was a nice opportunity for old high school friends from Smithtown, NY to reunite, reminisce, and celebrate.

The Flackes come to Rhode Island! Melisa, a med student at UVM, came down with her two little ones Ellie and Owen. We spent the afternoon watching the three toddlers run around the yard, play on the swingset, splash in the baby pool, and have fun! Melisa has been a dear friend to me for many years. We first met in Boston at the Samaritans, where she was the director and I was a volunteer. We've remained close friends ever since - despite the miles between us.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Back to "Normal"

Finally, life seems back to normal. The past two weeks have been absolutely insane. Let's retrace the days a bit...

Tuesday (6/27) Mom awaits the news of her mammography with much trepidation
Wednesday (6/28) Mama has abdominal pains and is rushed to the hospital
Thursday (6/29) The x-rays and catscans are inconclusive while Mama's pain escalates
Friday (6/30) Dad has surgery to remove a hernia
Saturday (7/4) Mama has to drink the awful drink for her contrast catscan making her very sick
Monday (7/3) Mom goes to the surgeon regarding her knee - continues wearing brace while I take Dad to the walk-in clinic for the infection which developed around incision
Wednesday (7/5) Mama has a colonoscopy and is tested for colon cancer
Friday (7/7) Mama's surgery is scheduled - Dad gets the gout in one foot
Saturday (7/8) Our dog Marley dies of lung cancer
Sunday (7/9) Dad's gout moves to both feet
Monday (7/10) Mama has her surgery

Today, Tuesday (7/11), it seems everyone is on the road to recovery. Family updates:

Mama - did very well in surgery and has been transferred to a new building. Her prior care was awful (too many sagas to even write about!!) so hopefully this location will offer more attentive staff. She sounds good and is looking forward to getting out in 5 - 7 days! Yippee!

Mom - no cancer and no plans for knee surgery (yet) Horray!

Dad - back to the surgeon today but appears to be on the mend. Yahoo!

Me?!? How kind of you to ask. I am grateful to have such a wonderful family...appreciative of everyone's support...and overjoyed that things are looking up. Although my family still morns the loss of Marley, I pray her sweet soul will return to us. Her kind, loving, gentle nature made her a special dog who will not be forgotten. I am proud of Mama's courage and strength. I can't wait for her release. It's been a long two weeks!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Anyone that knows my mother knows she is a saint. I'm not using that word lightly - it's true.

Mama said to me last week, "Kristen, you are a carbon copy of your mother."
I replied, "I'm not as good as her."
To which she replied, "No, you're not. But you're getting there."

A good example of Mama - telling it how it is. She likes to keep it real.

Last night, the night before her surgery, she said I'd become as good of a daughter as my mother was. She is so proud of me. With the bar set so high by my saint of my mother and the usually unrealistic expectations of Mama, it felt so good to know I made her proud.

I think the last two weeks have changed me. The serious condition of Mama coupled with the loss of our beloved Golden Retriever, Marley, has forced me to re-assess my priorities. I am definitely putting family first. In addition to being a support for my mom and Mama, I am realizing (once again) what an amazing husband I have. I am not only praying out of need, I'm praying in appreciation. Chris has been so wonderful: caring for Drew, taking care of things around the house, listening to my worries, and comforting me. He doesn't have any answers to make things better, and he doesn't pretend to. He just listens and loves. Such an incredible man.

I went to church this past Sunday too. I think Marley's death pushed us all a bit closer to the edge and I am reaching out for something/anything that might help. I told Mama I went to church to pray for her and she said, "I've been praying to the blessed Mother that you'd return to church (for the baby)." And I said, "Your prayers to the blessed Mother are always answered! I hope mine are too!"

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Time to go night, night

Drew started something new this week: standing in the crib! As soon as we put him down, he'll roll over, scoot back, and pull up on the bars. He's quite adept at getting on his feet these days. I have tried putting him in the sleep sack, but even that can't stop him. So, after saying "night, night" and giving hugs & kisses, I leave my son weeping behind bars. Soon these tears disappear and the playing begins. After about 30 minutes, and a bit more whining, he will settle back down and go to sleep. Has anyone else experienced this?!?


My grandmother, Mama, has always been like a second mother to me. She and my mother are both only children; perhaps that is why they value their family so much. It could be because she was born in Italy and maintains a more traditional way of thought. Or, also quite likely, maybe it's because as she immigrated to the United States in 1927 she clung to the only people they knew in this land far away: family. Whatever the reason, she taught me that Family is the most important thing.

Now as Mama lays in the hospital, I find myself praying. Praying that the doctors can discover the cause of her pains; praying that it can be treated; praying for a little more time with Mama. I don't consider myself religious, yet I find myself praying to the blessed Mother ("never known to fail") as my grandmother has done faithfully for years. I feel rather helpless, but my visits to Mama and my prayers provide me with comfort because I know I am doing all I can do.

A woman bold and strong
Intelligent and fierce
Daughter, mother, wife, grandmother, great grandmother
Loyal friend
Stubborn a times - because she's always right
Graduate of RISD
Buried two husbands
Ran her own businesses
Delicious cook
Entertainer, Hostess
Generous to all
An inspiration

I want more lunches at Papa Razzi. I want to see her light up as she watches Drew. I want to see her win more nickles at the slot machine. I want more holidays, birthdays, Sundays at my mother's. I want more stubborness. I want more laughter. I want more "sticky macaroni and cheese." I want more time. I want more...