It only happens twice a year and I mark it on my calendar the minute it is announced. It is the Bag Sale at West Village Clothing! I have written before about how much I love to shop “vintage” and this is my favorite consignment store around! The line gets pretty long for this cute little store during the bag sales, but if you are lucky enough to be the winner of a golden ticket like I was….you can go in 30 minutes before other shoppers. I felt like Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as I waited outside the door this morning with the other winners!
This shop is tiny but it is filled with treasures. I filled two bags today and came home with jeans, sweaters, shoes, boots, tee shirts and a great jacket! A whole new wardrobe. For this bargain shopper, it was the deal of the season!
I love to stop in all year long because I can always find something new. Restocking has begun for Spring and I can’t wait to stop by and see what’s waiting for me to scoop up next!
My treasures from today!!
I took some time today to reflect on some of my Thanksgiving blogs from the past and found the one from 2013, the Thanksgiving after my mom and Francine died. So much of it is still true today. The people I am most grateful for are still a huge part of my life, but I have so many others in my life that I can now include. We still have my 101 year old grandma here with us and tonight, I will share Thanksgiving dinner, one of my favorite meals of the year, with her and many of my relatives, each of us cooking at home and bringing the food to her house to make it easy on her. Tonight there will be 16 of us around the table – a rather small gathering for us – but still a fun one!
I have been texting with friends all morning letting them know how grateful I am to have them in my life. We are sharing cooking tips and our similar thoughts on politics…knowing full well they will stay OUT of our conversations at dinner where so many of our family members have opposing opinions!
I am grateful to have DJ home from college, knowing that he is thriving on his own and creating his own friendships and relationships for which I know he is grateful for. I am grateful that Drew is finding his way as a freshman in high school. Never playing a game of football in his life, he found himself on the varsity football team at 5 feet tall and 95 pounds! That story is a blog in itself…for another time!
I am most grateful for Dave this year. He has been going through his own personal struggle with depression and with some health issues, and is finally on the road to recovery. He has found a new job and is so filled with life and energy. He is happy which makes for a much happier home. I couldn’t be more grateful to all of the people who have helped him get through this difficult time. He’s like a new person and for this, I am forever thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Find reasons to be grateful not just today, but always.
School starts for teachers tomorrow. Most of us have already been back for weeks, preparing our classrooms for the kiddies to arrive on Thursday. Our two days of professional development begin tomorrow.
It was a busy, fun and productive summer. We celebrated my grandmother’s 100th birthday, (the “real” day is actually this Thursday.) Our cousins from all over the country came to New Jersey and we celebrated for nearly three weeks! I think I wound up seeing more of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York with my Western cousins than I would have ever done had they not been here!
We took a “historic” tour of Greenwich Village, visiting the places Grammy grew up, the apartment she and my grandfather lived when they were first married, the church my grandparents were married in and another church where my father and his brothers were baptized.
We went to the beach – so incredibly close, yet for some reason, a place we hadn’t gone in over a year, and to the Poconos with a trip to Bushkill Falls. We got to see another one of our cousins play in a performance of “Rock of Ages”. We went bowling, to a trampoline park, to the zoo and to the pool. We watched a Mandala be constructed in my own home town!
All of this happened in just those three weeks! The rest of the summer, I worked at Camp Maple, where I have worked for the last seven summers, so although we were outside and having fun with our campers….it wasn’t quite “my summer” yet.
On Friday, we take DJ to college. He is one of the last of his friends to leave for school and he is ready to go. Dave and I….maybe not quite so ready to have him leave, but we are excited for his new adventure. That might officially end summer for me. A new batch of Kindergarten parents, leaving their babies with me as I leave my “baby” in Massachusetts. It is going to be a week filled with bittersweet tears for all of us!
Drew said something sort of whimsical to me today as we drove to the local diner to have dinner with my dad and brother. He said, “It is kind of funny. When you live far away from your (extended) family, you wish you could see them all of the time, but when you live as close as we do, sometimes you wish you lived farther away.” I knew exactly what he meant. We all love spending time with our extended family. The boys see my dad nearly everyday and I know they appreciate all that he does for them. A typical dinner for our family on the weekends especially, usually consists of thirteen or so people so only five of us was a rarity!
I get it. I know what he means. Living in the same town that I grew up and having most of my family nearby is very special to me. There are so many advantages to living and working here. DJ always jokes that everywhere we go, I see people that I know. He laughed on our drive up to Connecticut saying, at least in there, we could go places without being recognized. He was wrong 🙂 We saw a family from our town who was dropping their daughter off at the University of New Haven while we were there! Even tonight, at dinner, we wound up sitting next to a family from my school. I have taught two of their children – but I love that! Seeing families and friends when we are out brings me joy. I can’t imagine myself in a big city where I wouldn’t see familiar faces all around me on a daily basis.
But back to what Drew was talking about in the car, sometimes it is nice to just sit back and do something with “just us.” I think that is what we enjoyed so much on our quick get away to Connecticut last week. Just three of us in the car talking about everything and anything. Tonight, although Dave isn’t home because he is playing soccer, the boys and I are about to make popcorn and watch a movie. Just us. No cousins, no friends, no other family. A quiet night together and although we delighted in the last few weeks with so much family around, it is nice to kick back in our pajamas and share some quiet time together.
Today is Labor Day. For me though, it is the last day of Summer. School starts for teachers tomorrow. No more lazy days, late dinners and sleeping in. It is a bittersweet feeling. I love getting back to work and beginning a new school year but I still long for the lazy, relaxed days that Summer gives our family.
Although “officially” Summer didn’t begin until mid June, we started our Summer in the Poconos by going there for Memorial Day Weekend so we figured that the perfect way to for us to end our Summer, was to spend Labor Day weekend there as well. We headed up early evening on Friday and came home today. It was so relaxing and despite some stormy weather on and off, we all had a great time. We have television there, and our iphones and ipad, so we weren’t roughing it by any means, but we played board games and got in another minor league baseball game in those few days. The kids did some fishing and played some tennis. Drew and Dave got to do some canoeing before a big storm came rolling through. The big storm that passed through last night during the Iron Pigs game was exciting and even though it brought an end to the game, we got to splash through the puddles and drive back to the house during a spectacular lightening show!
Unfortunately while we were there, my sister wound up in the hospital having emergency gall bladder surgery. She had her gall bladder removed and will have a few of the stones removed tomorrow or Wednesday. Today is her birthday so she is celebrating it in a hospital bed. She has had lots of visitors for her birthday though – even more than if she was home so I guess if there is a bright side of this story, that is it! She doesn’t have to go back to work at the nursery school she teaches at for another week so she’ll have some time to recover without having to take time off. Her mother-in-law came up to stay for a few days to help with the kids so she can take it easy for a little longer. She has earned a few more days to relax this summer.
With video games, smart phones, on-demand movies and all the new technology out there, I cannot remember the last time Dave and I sat down with the kids for “Family Game Night.” During the school year, our nights are filled with homework, sports and late night meetings. Weekends are spent trying to catch up on everything we didn’t get to during the week. Life just seems to take over. Fortunately, in the summer, things slow down a bit.
Tonight, during dinner, Drew asked us if we wanted to play a game when we were done eating. Surprisingly, all four of us agreed, although deciding on what game we would play was a challenge. Since it was Drew’s idea, we went with his choice, The Game of LIFE. We have had the game for awhile, it was thrown in the back of the game closet, but we had never sat down and played it all together. Dave and I remembered playing it when we were kids and we laughed over the differences in the game board from then and now.
I don’t remember the last time the four of us spent nearly two hours, just sitting around the coffee table in the living room having so much fun. We were laughing, joking and just having a great time. What a great family memory of our summer so far. It was a great opportunity for us to interact with the boys and even to talk about their future. They joked about the paths they were taking in their “lives” during the game: education, families, careers…. It gave me a lot of insight of where they might be headed in their real lives as they grow up, and even opened some pathways for discussions. I know that Drew is very interested in making “LOTS OF MONEY”, in his words and DJ is happy just being content and stable in his career. It is funny how much this matches their personalities -DJ my mellow kid and Drew my adventurous, action packed kid!
Family Game Night helped our family unwind tonight. It gave us a chance to bond and enjoy each others company without any interruptions. It really was a perfect ending for our day.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads – especially to my own dad and to Dave.
We spent Father’s Day rather quietly. Dave plays soccer on Sunday mornings, so this Sunday was no different. It is his favorite way to spend his Sundays!! We then met up with my dad, brothers, grandma and sister’s family at a local pub for brunch. Then Drew, who is bat boy for The Newark Bears, had an afternoon game, so we got to spend our afternoon relaxing at the ballpark. Tonight, Dave had a softball game. He’s been playing on a team with a bunch of guys he’s known for years. The team has had numerous members over the years, but it started when he was a senior in high school, and a bunch of the same guys still play. While he had his game, I took the boys to my aunt and uncle’s house, where the rest of the family met up again for pizzas and some swimming in their pool.
For my dad, I am sure it was a sad day without my mom around, but he was kept busy with brunch and dinner, plus he got so see my niece in her recital so he spent the afternoon with the other two grand kids. His favorite thing to do is spend time with family. That has always been what is most important to him…”Family Time”.
What better way to spend for Dave and my dad to spend their Fathers’ Days – doing what they love and being with their family. It is a day that is well deserved.