Thursday, December 23, 2010

Some pre-Christmas cheer

Esther has learned to read beautifully in Kindergarten. Here she shares a book with her sister:

The next video needs no introduction. Pure Esther.

Finally, Robert instructs the girls in how to catch a ball. And threatens to withhold chocolate milk from CC. Who does he thinks he is?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Once upon a time a Yankee whisked me off to NYC. . .

I have always loved NYC, but the adventures I have had there since giving birth to offspring have taken on a lovely fabuliciousness of their own. To this mother of three, New York means escape, adventure and freedom. Therefore, when my husband and fellow escapee announced a surprise getaway to the Big Apple I was beside myself. He had arranged childcare for the weekend (thank you to girl-keepers, Granny and Papaw, and Robert-keeper, Joe and Brad!!!!) so that we could be footloose and fancy free in NYC. In typical Rob style, he had also mapped out culinary destinations to highlight our 36 precious hours in the city that never sleeps. But I digress.

Above: the spread at Champignon Madison- my breakfast destination around the block.
We stayed at an Episcopal retreat house which was converted from an Upper East Side mansion. None of the homes on 95th have courtyards, except House of the Redeemer. (see above)
JP and Megan came into town on Saturday. I spent a warm beautiful afternoon with them on 5th avenue.
Friday night Rob took me to a small hidden bar in the Flatiron district called the Raines Law Room. We sat outside and chatted. View from the garden there:

Handsome guy I met inside.
Then we went to an Asian tapas restaurant called Zengo. Paul Edwards and Joe Alley joined us for dinner there. :)
To crown our culinary weekend, Rob led me to dinner on Saturday at LE BERNARDIN!!! (Celebrity chef Eric Ripert's restaurant).
If you watch Top Chef, you have seen Le Bernardin featured in season 6 and you know Eric Ripert as a guest judge. It turns out that Le Bernardin is also the highest rated restaurant in the 2011 Zagat guide to New York City. How do I know? Because they gave us a copy on the way out!
Rob really knows how to spoil a girl. Our meal was spectacular with clean fresh seafood flavors at every turn. My favorite- Hawaiian escolar with carrot and ginger puree. And the desserts were plentiful and yummy. See below.
A very happy couple.
Then we met JP and Megan at London, one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurant/bars.

On the way home we stopped for a photo shoot of 2 St. Thomas boys at their alma mater.
Thank you Rob for a spectacular celebration of 10 years with YOU!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

As Mama's gumption rises, the kids' temperatures rise

The past few weeks have been full of ambition (mine) and contrition (that of my offspring).
Quick summary- a week ago CC was diagnosed pneumonia, Esther followed with a feverish cold and just as both girls seemed fully recovered Robert got a fever too.
Despite the health hardships of my family, I have been hard at work procuring a studio for myself. A studio? you might ask. Well, yes. You see, I love to do all sorts of creative things. But there's a problem. My kids get in the way. They touch my stuff and bug me when I am trying to do creative things.
So I cooked up a solution: I approached the church around the corner from me about renting an empty unused room in their educational space. They said yes and also said, Hey don't worry about paying for it. :)
So, in between taking temperatures, chest x-rays, endless doses of Tylenol and refilling the humidifier, I moved all the stuff that I could carry myself to my new studio. Done!
In the meantime I have sated my creative thirst with some collage projects-
I love the idea of this collage I found on Etsy, by Laura Prentice-

So, duly inspired by her work, I created one of my own:

Then, I took a good look at the logo from the kids' school:
And decided to recreate it, collage style. I think that if framed it would make a nice teacher gift. Any thoughts?
Also, one week ago Rob and I had a brief and fabulous trip to NYC to celebrate our anniversary (again!). Post coming soon. . .

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A trip to Rhode Island

The Burlington kids love to travel- especially on a plane! My father-in-law, Big Daddy to me, gave us a wonderful reason to do so- he retired from the priesthood on 10-10-10. We celebrated his service, my niece Rebecca's 5th birthday and our 10th wedding anniversary. And we just had a lot of fun.
CC and Esther with their growing cousin, Laurence.
My very generous in-laws sent Rob and me to the Hotel Providence on our anniversary. The view of Grace Cathedral from our room:
In the hotel lobby next to massive jade sculpture that I loved.
We enjoyed a LOVELY dinner at Chez Paschal so much that we tracked down the food cart run by the same folks and bought lunch there the next day. :) I love a good food hunt.
So does Rob.
Rebecca celebrated her birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. Really people, how do they grow so fast?

Uncle Dickie, in town for the party weekend, Stephie and Laurence.
Esther models her new boots later at Tante Jen's house.
Now, what can I say about the fabulicious, glorious and heartfelt send-off tribute that St. Luke's gave Big Daddy? Well, let's start with the red beads that everyone wore for the service. Ron Clement models here:
One of many many gifts, a quilt inlaid with photographs from BD's tenure.
Quilt detail.

BD and LM listen to a musical blessing.

Viewing a bound album of their lives, another gift.
A signed framed photo. Did I mention the gifts?

Following his formal retirement service, there was a reception at the parish hall. And then, lunch at the club. I think St. Luke's loves BD and LM.
Rob and Meghan at lunch.

Jen and Rebecca.

Looking dapper in his Austrian jacket, the man of the hour.
Esther drew a picture of 'Esther airlines' for the pilots on our return trip. I think they liked it.
Other trip highlights: we finally got to see Stephie and Larry's house in Walpole where they have done an extensive and beautiful renovation. I LOVED their light-filled and well-organized place so much that I threatened to move in. Also we rented a car for the weekend which turned out to be a guilty pleasure- a red Chevy Suburban. Wow. That puppy was huge. I could get used to driving around with that much space- enough room for 9 people! And a huge trunk! I am starting to gush. . .

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

seeing red

Red has been the color of the month for the Burlingtons. First, Robert and Esther's school, the Main Street Academy, held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the birthday of their brand new school. Everyone was encouraged to wear red. Robert represented the second grade by reading about one of the core values of their school, courage. Watch it here:

He did a great job- way to go Robert!
Here he is with classmates at the ceremony.
Below, a drum circle of students played before the festivities began.

Here is Esther with her classmate, Emani.
Later Esther and CC were cuddling in the big yellow chair. Why this picture on this post? Because CC is wearing red shoes, you just can't see them. :)
All Saints' choir recently performed a Broadway revue entitled Love Among the Saints. As you can see, the performers wore red.
The revue was a blast with top notch performances by members of the choir. I loved listening to all of the solos, duets, and trios. I also loved doing some singing of my own. :) I sang 'Til there was you from The Music Man and Rob joined me on the last verse. Sweet.
Another VERY IMPORTANT post about red is coming soon. You see, my brother-in-law, JP, got married this summer. The color of the wedding was red. Naturally, an event of such magnitude deserves a post of its own. Coming soon. . . .

Friday, September 17, 2010

Things that have happened lately that don't fit into any blog on their own so I lumped them all together.

Last month I had the pleasure of spending the evening with several members of my dad's family that I haven't seen in about 20 years. Back l to r- Kathy, my second cousin, me, Karen, also a second cousin, Scott, Gloria, mom. Front l to r- My 1st cousins once removed, Bill and Barbara Brock, Esther, CC, Dad and Robert.
CC spends time with Rybolt Miller every week now that Erin and I have arranged a baby swap when we would normally need babysitters. They are very good friends.
Robert and Esther help dad with breading the fish, above.
Do you think that CC looks like Delaney Mitchell (on her dad's shoulders here) ? We do.
Dear mom, when you leave your make-up on the stairs I like to play with it.