Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas, Wedding Update, and Happy Birthday Becca!

Christmas 2007 is over, but it was lots of fun! And it was Becca’s birthday, so Happy Birthday Becca, we wish we could celebrate with you! We spent Christmas Eve at Mrs. Parks’ family’s house, eating lots of yummy appetizers, playing games, and opening a lot of presents. Thanks for always going over the top, Mom, and truly turning our home into a Christmas extravaganza. Christmas Day was spent at Mr. Parks’ mom’s house, and his grandmother and step-grandfather were in town from Florida. We had dinner together and ate way too much (again!) and opened up more gifts! Unfortunately, we didn’t get to celebrate in person with Mr. Parks’ dad, stepmom and sister, but we’re planning to make the trip to the West Coast next Christmas. Mr. Parks and I exchanged some gifts (early – he can never keep a surprise!), and then I surprised him with a new media stand from West Elm for our living room. That was really fun!As for the wedding, I think we’ve found our honeymoon of choice…it’s in St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Mr. Parks has never been there before, and it makes a lot of sense to head down there after our Florida beach nuptials. Plus, St. Lucia is really mountainous and beautiful, with a rain forest and great snorkeling. Plus the obvious: beach and relaxing! I’ll have him post a link for those of you who might want to check out a gorgeous resort! As for other wedding stuff, I’ll be down in Marco Island from Saturday through Thursday. There will be lots of wedding appointments and we’ll hopefully finalize a few things. My main issue is choosing a bridesmaid dress. I worry so much about making everyone happy, but I guess I’ll just have to choose. So sorry in advance – I’ll try my best to make a good decision! Oh yeah – Mr. Parks and I have been in bed and sick for the past two days. We have bronchitis – a terribly disgusting cough and just generally feel bad. At least we’re suffering together, and both dogs have been snuggling with us. All in all, it’s not a bad way to spend a couple of days, even if we are sick!! Happy holidays everyone!!! See you next year!!! Oh yeah – Vegas in THREE weeks!!!

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a day i will remember

my first day of classes was last monday, january 8th. i spent that day flying back from my family’s house in naples, where i had stayed with my mom and her parents for the past couple of days. they are in their mid-eighties, and both have fairly sever macular degeneration. my grandpa also had a stroke several years back. i’m glad that i spent the weekend with them, because i will remember it forever. i can’t say the same about what would have been a generic first day of classes.

even more special was the way i spent tuesday, january 9th, my second day of classes. i woke up bright and early and drove to dublin to meet my dad. together, we drove to the coldwater, ohio hospital to surprise my grandpa and grandma. my grandpa was very recently diagnosed with cancer, and he was having a port implanted through which he would be receiving chemotherapy. he is a strong man, tough and stubborn, funny and hardworking. at 78 years old, he had been to the hospital a mere three times in his life (which i think includes his most recent trip). it’s hard to say whether he was in a lot of pain prior to his diagnosis, since he rarely complains of any pain or discomfort. not much can get him to a doctor.

growing up, i always thought that my grandpa was larger than life. he is an important figure in his community. he was mayor, and later, the county treasurer and state representative to ohio’s legislature. he is primarily responsible for bringing the hospital to coldwater, along with a new fire station, among other community advancements. he gave many speeches; mesmerizing speeches. he commanded attention, and was clearly a natural born leader. people want to listen to him, they want to follow him, they want to be in his presence. this is a characteristic that i think my own father inherited from him. all of this from a man whose own mother died of lockjaw, causing him to grow up in an orphanage when his father could not handle the responsibilities that a very young child presents. he is a very strong man with a gentle heart.

my grandfather’s booming voice calls out the christmas gifts every year. “to hedley, from rick” and the present is passed through a dozen people before reaching its intended recipient. i have such fond memories of those times, with my many cousins and a dozen aunts and uncles. it’s as if the holidays take on an energy of their own, filling the room wih something more than a physical presence. it’s magical, and he leads it all.

finding out that he has cancer in an advanced stage is shocking. in fact, the day that he was taken to the hospital, he was up on a ladder, stripping wallpaper. he seems like the guy who would never be affected by anything. prime example: he used to smoke, then quit for several years. when he reached 70 or so, he decided, “what the hell, i’m 70 now and if i want to smoke, i’m going to goddamn smoke!” he has the aura of an old time cowboy.

anyway…to go back to tuesday, january 9th, the day that we were at the coldwater hospital…well, we quickly found out that he was actually at st. mary’s hospital several miles away. so, we embarked on another roundabout journey through the quiet farm towns of western ohio to find my grandpa. after stopping at a funny little balloon shop, run by a husband and wife and their dog (haha) for guidance, we made it to our destination. we navigated the labrynthine halls of the hospital and arrived at room 6 of outpatient surgery. we walked in and surprised them both. my grandpa was soon wheeled away for his procedure – but not before joking to the nurse about whether he could snag a beer in the operating room. she said she wished they could, and if so, she would join him. my dad and i sat with my grandma in the hospital room, in a lopsided circle of makeshift chairs beneath the hospital’s buzzing, harsh lights, and waited. my grandma looked worn out, but was strong and in good spirits. we told stories, and laughed, and waited for grandpa’s return. a young, wiry, articulate doctor entered the room to fill us in on how the surgery went. he explained the impending chemo procedure and my grandpa’s current status. shortly thereafter, my grandpa returned.

for a man who had just undergone surgery (with an inadequate and mistakenly administered numbing procedure), he was in good spirits, and ready to eat. my dad suggested behm’s, a lakeside diner a few miles away. so we set off and got situated for one of the most memorable lunches of my life.

we have a big family on my dad’s side. all in all, there might be up to 30 people at a family gathering. while this makes for lots of fun, it doesn’t allow for too many intimate conversations. the lunch i had with my grandma and grandpa was unlike any time i had ever spent with them. i heard stories and told a few of my own, and laughed and felt loved and happy and hopeful for the future. with all of the support my grandpa has from his family, friends, and community, coupled with his own positive attitude, i think great things can happen. i think the positive energy of all of these people can affect his healing, and help to eliminate the cancer from his body. stranger things have happened, and i am a firm believer in the power of positive thought. i love him very, very much, and i am proud to be his granddaughter. i will never forget that day – especially when we were about ready to go, when my grandpa said, “how about i buy you all one more beer?” well, my dad and i gladly accepted, and we sat a bit longer and shared more. it was a wonderful day.

screw the second day of school. i have the memory of a lifetime. i love you, grandpa and grandma.

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christmas dinner and things that we love…

i thought that today might turn into a disaster of sorts.  well; not a colossal disaster, but certainly something that we might not be able to handle.  mr. parks and i appear to have successfully cooked christmas dinner for his mom and stepdad.  i know, i know, it doesn’t sound like a great accomplishment, but it was the first time we have attempted such a feat.  usually our moms, stepmoms, and various restaurants/caterers have tackeled this challenge.  but today, it was us. 

i truly felt like we did it right – we had the christmas lights up, the tree, candles, and some TSO.  our house smelled right; it really smelled like christmas.  i didn’t know that we were capable of reproducing my childhood memories in our own home.  i almost thought that little kids would be running around, counting down the minutes until gift-opening time arrived.

i don’t mean to overdramatize this whole experience – but something just feels great when you realize that you can carry on christmas traditions.  mom; thanks a zillion – i think i called you about 40 times while attempting to prepare a feast.  all i hoped to do was to recreate the feeling that you give us every christmas; and if we partially did so, i consider it a complete success!!

debbie, thanks for the extra guidance and the fabulous twist on the sweet potatoes; it may become an instant classic.  and doug, thanks for your help with our garlic mashed potatoes – i hope you enjoyed the cheesecake!!

grandma and grandpa – i can’t wait until we go to florida.  thanks for coming over tonight and checking out our home.  i’m so glad that you got to spend a little more time with mr. parks!!!  and beautiful goose, of course!!

and on to the things that we love…

i love stocking stuffers from mr. and mrs. claus; aka marmar and poppy

i love beautiful matching necklace and earring sets from santa and my soon-to-be extended family

i love massages!

i love wine and yummy food

i love time spent with family and friends

i love becca’s birthday!!!

i love how happy gus is when he opens his presents

i love to look at banner, michael!  and to laugh and laugh and laugh

good night to all, and to all a good night!!!!

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Yeah We Always Came Back, To The Song That We Were Singing…

at any particular time [flaming pie]…love you, paul mccartney!!!  i can’t believe that i have been so fortunate to see you live four times.  amazing (including the time that i saw paul with mr. parks).  unbelievable. 

ok…i actually wanted to write a tint bit about being finished with exams, and about christmas!

first of all – i am DONE with exams!!!  i am officially 5/6 done with law school and i can’t believe it.  it’s been such a tumultuous and unexpecting trip (“journey” – haha, poppy!).  accounting for lawyers sucked; big time.  it was a four hour exam, and i actually, truly, wrote 49 (FORTY-NINE!!!) pages for my answers.  i mean; what?!  who has that much to say about anything, really?  apparently i do – about accounting – and lawyers – and GAAP and the model code of professional responsibility, and tax timing differences, and net operating losses and extraordinary items, and even a newly formed LLC, funded in part by a Sub C that is publicy traded and must adhere to SEC disclosure statutes. 

why do i know this?  i’m not sure, really.  i’m not even sure that i know enough about it to advise anyone on what they should do about such subjects.  all i really know s that they exists – and you should watch out for them!  i cannot believe that my 86 year old professor is going to actually read and grade exams over his holiday break – and determine that some of our answers are right and some of them are wrong – he’s really old.  i do like him and respect him; i just think that he should have completely retired about 15 or 20 years ago.

but, this doesn’t matter all that much – i’m DONE!!!  like i said before – it’s finally sinking in.  i wrote a 40 page outline in two days; i memorized problems; i “tried” to read 96 pages of notes – and now it’s all over, thank god!!!  so, today i am off to do all of the christmas-y things that have been put on hold.  i somehow have to squish all of this into about 48 hours; all of my shopping (sorry anyone who gets presents late!!!), cooking, fixing up the house.  mr. parks and i have our work set out for us.  wonder why we haven’t started today already – i guess it’s just a bit overwhelming!

anyway, happy holidays and i’m sure we’ll write some more in the next couple of days, despite the crze.  love you all!!!

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