1. 12:53 17th Apr 2013

    Notes: 1

    Kate Napleton wrote - It’s hard not to be horrified and saddened by events like this Monday, April 15th at the Boston Marathon. It’s hard not to give into the pain and cry your eyes out. And as runners, it’s hard not to do something. …
     
  2. 20:27 2nd Feb 2013

    Notes: 219

    Reblogged from officialdad

     
  3. 09:24 2nd Dec 2012

    Notes: 1

    Karen.

    My mom’s best friend is Karen Fox.  They traveled the world together, stood up in each other’s wedding, sent letters and spent countless hours on the phone.  Growing up I used to think that Karen and my mom were sisters.  In a lot of ways they were, except for blood relation, they were as close as you could get.

    Karen has always been involved in my life.  Some of my favorite memories include visiting her either in Colorado or Florida.  Karen came to visit us over the holidays.  She and my mom would some how have the same hat or jacket they were always so fashionable and in synch.  If Karen couldn’t come to visit I remember waiting patiently for her Christmas package to arrive and the signature “Karen” smell that would engulf the room when it was opened.  She always sent the most thoughtful gifts. 

    Looking through a particular box I began to realize that I was looking through pre wedding/wedding photos.  There is one large photo album of all my parent’s wedding photos.  I also found photos from wedding showers and my parent’s honeymoon.  I realized that there was a subset of photos that seemingly did not fit with the rest.  I decided to email the photos to Karen and ask her about them.  I was certain that she did not have a copy of the first photo because it was a keepsake from a bar in Florida with a polaroid photo inside.  It was the only copy and I knew she would love to see it.  I also found a postcard my mom wrote my dad while she was in Florida.  I find it adorable because people do not send postcards anymore.  My mom always did thoughtful things like that.  

    After talking to Karen she told me that these were photos from a special trip my mom took to visit Karen to tell her she was engaged!  What a special memory I came across!  It got me thinking, what if my best friend moved away and I got engaged?  Assuming I didn’t blast it to the world on Facebook, how exciting would it be to keep such a HUGE secret?  Even more exciting would be planning the trip to go down and tell her in person.  That’s the kind of friendship they had.  Getting engaged wasn’t something my mom wanted to tell her over the phone, because of course she could.  She was thoughtful and excited and wanted to “ooo” and “aaa” over the ring together and share the details of how it happened and celebrate it like best friends should.  I honestly do not know the story of how my parent’s got engaged.  Somehow the story of my mom going on a trip to tell Karen is more interesting to me.

    Karen has always been there, whether it’s sending a text to ask how I am doing or taking me out to dinner when she is in town.  She’s listened to my stories of my exiting life in the city and men I have dated.  Throughout the years we have formed a special bond and I can see why my mother loved her so dearly.  I am blessed that we are able to continue the friendship and bond they shared. 

     
  4. Being bilingual makes you smarter and can have a profound effect on your brain.

     
  5. "1st" PrizeOfTheDay:

    Not kidding, this is the first time I have ever seen a picture of my mom pregnant.  I wonder what my mom was thinking during this time in her life.  Recently buying her first home, expecting her first child…  

    Without a doubt she wanted to be a mother.  I like to imagine she was excited and nervous.  What would her first child would look like?  What color eyes would he/she have?  I wonder if she and my dad decided to find out the sex of the baby before or did they want it to be a surprise?  How did they come up with my brother’s name: Nicholas Michael?  The middle name is my father’s first name, but I wonder if she thought of something else before deciding.  I wonder if my brother would be the same if they named him something else like Brian or Christopher.

    The way our mother loved us, she must have been elated to start a family of her own.  My mom was one of two children and my dad is one of five.  I wonder if they wanted more then two kids.  How did she know she was “ready” for a baby? I wonder what life would be like if I had another sibling.  Would I suffer from middle child syndrome (as dramatic as I can be sometimes I’d assume so)? I wonder what it would be like now that she has passed away.  How would they have dealt with it?  Would they have inherited my mom’s green thumb and artistic ability?  I suppose these questions could go on forever.  

    It makes me wonder about my life and my desire to start a family.  I feel like there are so many things I want to achieve first like finishing school and starting a new career.  Times are so different now, to most people it would be crazy to say I am ready for a baby but sometimes I think I am.  A 90 year old woman I x-rayed the other the told me I’d make a wonderful mother.  After she left I cried, big alligator tears (thank God I work alone!).  I’m not sure why but her comment truly effected me.  Maybe it’s because the thought of raising a baby without a grandmother scares me.  Who am I going to call at 2am to ask if my kid is dying or just hungry?  I know so much of that will be instinct and I will not end up in the ER every other night until I realize I have a colicky baby but knowing she won’t be around is really hard.  I know she would be thrilled to become a Baba and would be calling me every day to see how I am feeling, and sharing stories about when she was pregnant with me.  It’s a lot to miss out on, it’s a lot you don’t think about until you get older that you need your mom more then ever.  And she would have been the best Baba my kids could hoped for.  I know she’d teach them Ukrainian and take them to the park and let them paint on the walls and play in the dirt.  She would make sure they were educated, well feed and most importantly loved. 

    "2nd" PrizeOfTheDay:  

    We lived on the corner of Odell and had a big backyard with an above ground swimming pool.  This picture must have been taken in the late 70’s before my dad, uncle and grandfather built a huge deck, added landscaping and re-shingled the roof.  Our next door neighbors were Jim and Judy Cantino.  Jim was a Chicago Police Officer, he eventually became a detective and his real life partner moved on to Hollywood many years later to become an actor.  He appeared on Law & Order as Detective Lorenti (white/gray hair & mustache) and he attended my 1st birthday party in that backyard.  Judy was a baker, once Jim retired, they opened Bittersweet bakery in Chicago.  I’m fairly confident her and my mom’s quiche receipt are the same, juries out on who came up with it first.  Our neighbors across the street had two girls.  I can’t remember anyone’s name but they really loved to babysit me and my brother.  I remember the pantry in their house ALWAYS had blow pops and as a kid I would eat the whole thing not realizing that the center was bubble gum.  

    I hardly remember living there.  My room was the smallest and it was difficult to open my dresser drawers because there wasn’t enough room between them and the bed.  I remember getting splinters on the back deck and sitting in the kiddy pool with my cousin Michael.  I also remember the basement where all the Nintendo games were kept.  I remember a sliding glass door and the kitchen table (when we moved to the suburbs it became the desk in the basement).  I remember how my mom decorated the house for Easter, Halloween and Christmas and remember her baking.  

    I remember when we moved I cried for hours and begged to “go home” to “my house” with “my wall paper”.  My mom reassured me that we could hang the same wallpaper in my new big girl room, but I wasn’t having any of that.  We moved the day after my birthday (I share it with my dad, uncle & aunt) and at the time I remember it being the WORST birthday present ever.  

    Looking at this picture I realize how much it must have hurt my mom is leave that house behind and build a new one.  All the important events and memories made in between those walls. Bringing home her baby boy.  All the first’s that happened there.  My brother walking, talking, reading his first book, first day of school, riding his bike into a tree and coming home bleeding, first holy communion, preschool and kindergarden graduation… Bringing me home and my first steps and words…  

    I didn’t realize that until just now.  It was a very important and wonderful place for my family, especially for my mom. I’m so grateful to my parent’s who made so many memories for me to look back on.  I wonder if anyone ever thinks of those things when buying their first home.  What memories were made there, what memories will be made?  And if you were to move and leave it all behind, what would be the first memory that would come to mind if you were to find these photos 20+ years later?

     
  6. Today I felt the need to blog. To sit down and write about why I’m doing this.  Why on earth would I willingly choose to scan EVERY single family photo ever taken?  Seems tedious to say the least.   Especially when these photos have been kept in boxes for literally decades, unorganized, unlabeled, uncared for.  What was their intended purpose?  Was there not enough time to put them in albums?  My mom had a habit of making duplicates or triplicates of the same photo to hand out to my Baba (grandmother) and other family members.  Essentially everyone in my family as the same set of photos.  Is that why these were left in shoes boxes and envelopes from the photo shop?

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  7. 12-01-10

    This is a short video of getting a tattoo of “All my love, Mom” on the 10th anniversary of her passing.  I took the signature from a letter she wrote me and my brother in March 2000.  In it she wrote about her hopes and dreams for us every time I read it I smile (and cry).  I didn’t want to get a traditional memorial tattoo and thought that if I got this I would be able to always look down and remember how much she loved me and that she is still walking with me…

     
  8. Life isn’t supposed to be all sunshine and roses. Without the rain nothing would be fed and grow into something great. Think about the trees in the rainforest that started as a single seed. Without the rain they wouldn’t be as great as they are the same goes for all things in life. Without the bad we wouldn’t be able to celebrate the great.
    — Andrea Iwaniuk
     
  9. image: Download

    Mission: digitize all my family photos dating back to the 1960’s and find a new perspective on my family members. Then select the best find or “prize” of the day after scanning photos and write about it.

    Mission: digitize all my family photos dating back to the 1960’s and find a new perspective on my family members. Then select the best find or “prize” of the day after scanning photos and write about it.

     
  10. Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
    — Booker T. Washington (1856 - 1915)