Uncle Tom’s Visit and Memorial Day Fun

We have had two weekends involving nice family visits :).  Last weekend my brother Tom came to visit as he will be unable to attend the boyz graduation/party and likely will not see them for quite awhile :(.  I am so grateful to him for going out of his way to visit and love how much the boyz enjoy being with him.

 

My mom and Tom drove up from Albany Saturday afternoon and we had a great visit with snacks then had a delicious dinner cooked on the BBQ -despite more crappy, cold and wet weather :(.

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Not sure what Tom was talking about but we all seem captivated!

Sadly, I forgot to take pics the night he was here so these were first thing in the morning – he was showered and very awake but the rest of us were not really ‘picture ready’!

Of all of my brothers, I look the most like Tom…..and here he is trying to look taller with his Godson, Bear

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Uncle Tom and the boyz

For Memorial Day Weekend, we went to Binghamton for the Rugby State Championships. Rangers had an amazing season but sadly did not fair well at the tournament.

Steve, Brendan and Casey stayed at the hotel with the team while Seamus, Ava and I stayed with my incredible niece Erin and her family. I just love  visiting them – they are gracious hosts, so much fun to chat with and the kids are ADORABLE!!! (&energetic!)

 

Seamus and Ava doing bubbles with the kids

 

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Ava, Addy, Connor and Seamus at the rugby game

Tim’s dad, Bob used to play rugby for Binghamton so took a trip down memory lane watching the Rangers . It was so nice of him to come and support the team

 

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Bob, Tim…and obviously Seamus and Ava

Despite the fact that they did not win – they played their hearts out and put on a great game

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Brendan in a line out

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Casey had one of his best games ever on Monday

A little exchange with Coach/Dad on the field

The weather on Sunday was rainy and cold but Monday turned out to be gorgeous. Erin and Tim generously offered for us to come out to their cottage (which I am in absolute LOVE with!!!) so the boyz could jump in the lake before the 4 hour car ride home (thank you Er and Tim for not making us drive home with stinky, dirty bodies in the car!)

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Addy is swimming great and likely to give up this swimmy by summer’s end

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Connor’s not too excited to be boating! 😉

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Not sure a paddle boat is meant for that many!

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Connor loves his mommy…Oh how I miss those snuggly days! 

 

Uncle Greg is temporarily in Corning blowing glass so he came up for the championships. He and Steve had a nice visit – I think they shared the King  bed a the hotel – how cozy!

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Uncle Greg and Steve lunching it

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Summer picnic….sandwiches, watermelon, grapes, chips…before getting on the road

I feel truly blessed to have family who are so phenomenally good to us and who we absolutely adore being with. We are all spread out which is so different from the way I grew up – with all cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents in the same town and one cousin family less than an hour away (which allowed us trips to ‘the country’ which I loved!). It is amazing that the boyz have been able to feel connected and truly loved even with the miles between us.  Guess it just goes to show what can happen if you keep feeding the love 🙂

Much love and many blessings.

Suzanne

Honoring Intuition

For awhile now, I have been looking back at the past few years with some regret, frustration, anger and sadness.  I have come to a new level of awareness around how I ignored my intuition, how I fed my ego/fear instead of my spirit, and another familiar fear pops up – ‘what if it is too late?’ So what is intuition? It is that gut feeling we talk about, an inner knowing not based on anything rational or conscious. It is our subconscious trying to tell us something because it sees the bigger picture and is not attached to anything in particular.

“Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.” 
― Malcolm GladwellBlink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

My gut, my intuition have been telling me to write this blog since our return from India in 2011. I began writing but then thought I needed to have a definitive direction, theme, name etc and I felt stuck.  Life of course kept going and was filled with boyz activities and mom responsibilities, a very intensive and demanding work situation, Steve’s pedal cab company and other projects, pups, chickens, and various reptiles, house stuff etc …you know the drill. So I would sometimes have a strong desire to write the blog but then be stuck on a name or something….and other times I would feel relieved I did not have that pressure as I felt like I could not handle another thing. But the latter was fear and kept me small and contracted. It kept me from using my voice and being true to myself.  And that is what I feel regretful and sad about. That is what I feel angry about and frustrated with. For I know now that I had the time. That when you do what is in your heart, you expand and with that so do the time and resources you need to continue on that path.

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I have a choice now-  I can stay stuck- in the past,  creating more of the same or I can  move forward with a focus on what my heart calls me to do now. I can write here…I can create from my heart, and I can live my intuition instead of ignoring it time and time again.  I may allow a little time when I am triggered to feel the sadness…but then remind myself of my intention to be present and know my power to change, tap, meditate, talk with my go-to people for things like this (thank you Steve, Mom and Mare!)  and ultimately re-set my mind to creating a current reality that feels joyful and alive.  It is in feeling the love that is within me and longing to be expressed each and every day that I am true to my own spirit and truly free.

So if you feel contraction in your body…if you feel sadness or regret…know that it is part of life…for if we look back with some level of sadness or regret (though that is a strong word – for if we were to do it differently, we would not be who we are today), it is because we have grown – we have become a bit older, wiser, with broader perspective and we can start today from that place.

In honoring my intuition, I will feed the love.

Much love,

Suzanne

Spring Break..a bit delayed

We had an AMAZING Spring Break..thanks to many wonderful family members who are beyond generous to us.  Right after school on Thursday 3/29, we drove down to Baltimore, arriving late and sleeping for a short bit before getting up for a 6am flight to Phoenix. We arrived, so happy to see the sun and feel the warm air – it has been a long winter in the Northeast!  We visited for 5 days with Steve’s sister and her family. We enjoyed lots of chill time together…warm weather…their unbelievable gym which was so big and had anything and everything you could ever want to work out…

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DSC_5946Very happy to be grilling and eating outside:)

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Life is oh so rough in Phoenix 😉

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Andrea and Brian -our generous hosts!

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Annie and her dad

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Matt, Ben and Brendan doing dishes

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Thanks so this wonderful lady, clean up is easy as she has much of it done before you blink an eye!

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The Easter Bunny came for all of the kids…and left a big bowl for the adults to share 🙂

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Uncle Brian let the boyz drive his car…Ohhhh…they could get used to this! 

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A little basketball at Life Time Fitness – the most unbelievable gym we have ever seen!

Steve’s brother Greg and his girlfriend Shawna have been staying in Phoenix for the winter but had been out of town until Tuesday. Fortunately, we were able to fit in a quick visit before they had to leave again. They are amazing artists and travel to do shows and work on their art.

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We got to see Uncle Greg and Shawna before we left..meeting for breakfast at Whole Foods

On Monday the Scotts had to go to school and work so we took the opportunity to drive to the Grand Canyon by way of Sedona…

DSC_5986 Cathedral Rock-boyz don’t look so big here do they? 😉

We were able to meet up with our friends from home who also happened to be out there for Spring Break.

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The Stone/Anderson crew – a little bit of home in AZ!

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The mandatory family photo

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Cairn building contest

And we drive back to Phoenix via Flagstaff where our nephew is a Freshman at NAU. We asked him where he would want to eat and he said there was a nice sushi place he went to with his parents. Well, some in our family would not find anything appealing in a sushi restaurant (and Liam then admitted that he does not like sushi either but they have good chicken!). So we went to a brew pub thinking burgers fries etc would be good. We got in there and it was a dive bar with plywood tables.  Ended up being great food though and we had the room to ourselves so we could visit and be crazy and not worry about offending or bothering other diners.

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West coast Faughnan cousin visit

We flew back to Baltimore on Wednesday, arriving at our nephew and his wife’s home late that night. They were very gracious hosts as well – they had a pizza for each of the boyz (Maura said ‘Andrew can eat a whole pizza – so I know…), and stayed up chatting til midnight despite having work the next day.

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Murphy, their pup, is all about the photos!

We headed to Wm and Mary for a tour – what an AMAZING school! Casey’s first pick but ultimately too pricey for out of state students who have a teacher and social worker for parents!

We stopped in Baltimore to explore the harbor a bit and eat dinner at Steve’s mom’s favorite Italian restaurant (we missed her being there). Casey was also considering Loyola and had been to accepted students day but had not seen the harbor since he was little.

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Boyz are big Forrest Gump fans (who isn’t?)

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A little calamari ap!

From there we headed to Steve’s parents, arriving late and spending the next day helping them out with some jobs around the house….

 

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Casey painted

 

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Brendan and Seamus set up the new master closet.

 

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And I (twist my arm) brought Jeanne (who treated me) to get pedicures…I had the toughest job I am sure :)…truly though I did help with some organizing and unpacking in their dining room!

The next day we headed out early to a USNA crew race in NJ so that Seamus could meet the coach and some of the team. It was great to see some parents and Seamus especially enjoyed hearing some positive things about USNA as lately all he is hearing is how hard it is going to be -which he knows but it does get a little old hearing that.  We then headed to my brother and his wife’s house in RI.  It was beautiful and we were able to go for a nice walk, look at a couple of houses they are considering buying and they treated us to a wonderful meal out!

 

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Aunt Mary, Faolan and the boyz

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In the morning just before we left – Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary have been great to us and have hosted us several times as we have been touring colleges near them!

 

 

 

We headed out Sunday morning for Boston College accepted students day…our last official college tour!

 

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Brendan and Casey giving Seamus a hard time about his height

And Casey ultimately decided on BC so despite the cold weather, it was a great visit.  They tracked and realized we traveled 55+ hours over break – so lots of quality family bonding time in the car ;)…after leaving as soon as school got out and getting home Sunday night and having school the next morning…we were all ready for a vacation from our vacation!

Thanks so much to all of our family who hosted us and we just  loved the chance to spend short but sweet time with so many people who we love and do not get to see as often as we would like being so spread out all over the country!  So much gratitude for them!