Please excuse the mess. I'm in the process of moving to a new server and new blogging software. It'll be a while before this place gets to be looking like normal again.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Auntie Marianne graduating from nursing school

Before Christmas we lost my Aunt Marianne unexpectedly. She is the first of my mom's siblings to go.

My aunt was a unique person. She was a nurse, she loved to travel, she loved her family and friends.

I have quite a few memories of my aunt. We stayed with her on numerous visits to Cleveland from probably when I was in junior high (or maybe even earlier) though college. I used to get hand-me down clothes from her. When I was in high school, she got on my case about my messy room when we were emptying my closet so that my Uncle Al could lay new carpet. She took care of me the morning after my wedding when the excitement from the day before and the nerves of traveling got to me. We had a really great conversation that day, I wish I remembered more of it.


I had the opportunity to stay with her a few weeks prior when I was in Cleveland for my Uncle Eddie's funeral. My aunt told me while we were waiting to go to the funeral, "you know Kel, God takes you in your most perfect moment." I guess it was her most perfect moment.

Rest in peace, Aunt Marianne.

Kelly • 09:44 AM • (0) Comments
Thursday, December 27, 2007

And Happy Holidays to everyone.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!

We had a relaxing Christmas Eve -- having pasta for dinner, watching a movie, and giving the dogs Frosty Paws to celebrate Cisco's birthday.

Christmas day we headed to West Virginia to celebrate with my parents after opening our presents at home. Along with the typical presents opening and meal eating, we also disassembled a 10 year old Apple Pro Keyboard and put it through the dishwasher and solved other computer issues.

The Alaska Book was a huge hit with everyone. Yay!

Remembering Alaska Alaska Photo Book
Kelly • 07:00 PM • (2) Comments
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Uncle Ed, January 18, 1930 - November 27, 2007 Uncle Ed

My Uncle Ed died yesterday. He was one of my favorite uncles (although they're all favorites for different reasons).

I have lots of memories of my Uncle Ed. He and my Aunt Bernie were the ones that visited us the most growing up. My uncle always knew where he was going and how to get there. He always treated everyone with great kindness and respect. He was very proud of his Slovak heritage and was one of the few people that would tell me how to say things in Slovak (I wish I had payed more attention). I can attribute my love of muenster cheese to him as well.

One of my favorite memories of Uncle Ed was when I was in grade school. Mom and Dad dropped us off in Cleveland and headed to Hawaii. We spent a week exploring Cleveland with my Uncle. Walking around parks and along the shores of Lake Erie with him. We were never in a hurry as we wandered and we had plenty of time to take in the scenery.

My Aunt and Uncle had been married for just over 53 years. They have three children and three grandchildren who mean the world to them. I know he's in a better place. But there's a bunch of us back here that will miss him greatly. I love you Uncle Ed.

Kelly • 07:44 PM • (1) Comments
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Yesterday was Chris' birthday. (Happy Birthday Chris!)

Nothing too special. We tried Vintage 50 for dinner. And I let Chris beat me got beat by Chris in Wii tennis.

Kelly • 07:35 AM • (1) Comments
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Livey Conversation

I'm finally getting around to posting some pics from Mark and Kim's wedding. Here are a few of my favorites. The rest can be found on Flickr.

Friday night we took over the lobby for some wine and lively conversation. My parents brought the wine and my mom managed to borrow glasses from the hotel bar. I had initially brough my laptop down to try and get some work done, but that didn't happen.

Cake Topper Hapiness is... IMG_8145.JPG
Kelly • 08:21 AM • (1) Comments
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Loudoun County Parkway

I can't believe how fast this week went! I found myself on the treadmill tonight thinking about what I was going to be working on tomorrow. Then I realized, tomorrow was Saturday and I wasn't going to work and I was almost disappointed.

The photo to the left was taken one day on my way home from work. They way the rays were shining down from the clouds was so pretty.

The House They Grew Up In

We've been working diligently on painting the board for the teeter all this week. It's gotten a coat a night and should be ready for use by Monday.

The picture to the right is my dad and my aunt in front of the house they grew up in. It was taken in Maysville, OK last week when we were out there for my grandmother's funeral.

Sorry for the randomness. Yup, that's pretty much my week.

Kelly • 12:30 AM • (1) Comments
Monday, October 16, 2006
Grandmother & I

My mom called tonight to say that my grandmother passed away. She was 93. It's sad to hear of her passing, but she lived a good life.

Kelly • 02:07 AM • (1) Comments
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Kelly • 09:20 AM • (1) Comments
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Uncle Al

On July 12th we said goodbye to my Uncle Al. Chris and I drove up Tuesday night for the Wednesday funeral. What we missed at the wake on Tuesday night was the out pouring of love and support of people who knew my Uncle and his family. Mom said that between 400 and 500 people stopped by the funeral home.

The next day, there were about 300 people present at the Mass and the longest funeral procession I've ever seen to the cemetery. My aunt picked out a spot near a tree that reminded us all of the tree that was in their front yard.

My uncle was not only my uncle, but he was also my godfather. I have so many fond memories of the time spent at their house. Either watching TV while my uncle took a nap, playing outside in his well manicured lawn, watching him pick vegetables from the garden, or spending time with him downstairs in his workshop, sometimes I even got to help some.

Uncle Al, you will be missed by lots of people.

My dad has a tribute to Al on the family website. His words are much better than mine. UPDATE: so it's not lost, I've added dad's tribute to this blog.

Kelly • 02:33 PM • (5) Comments
Thursday, July 20, 2006

I just thought this was awesome. Since the family website will change and this won't be there forever, I wanted to give it a permanent home.

Remembering Al...

First off, I don't buy for one minute that Al is "at rest." I'd be willing to bet that somewhere a saw is humming away... I would imagine that heaven probably has to periodically be renovated, and I'm sure Al jumped right in there to help - just like he always did when any of us needed a helping hand.

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away they were meant to be there... Thirty-plus years ago, I was about to marry into this family. There was going to be a "meet the new guy" party in Cleveland. I had never been to Cleveland and, of course, had never net Claire’s family. When we got off the plane at the Cleveland airport, there was a guy and a little girl there to meet us. It turned out to be Al and Holly. I took an almost immediate liking to Al. Before the party, he called me aside and told me not to worry, that these were good people - a few were wacky, but "good wacky." I spent the night with Terry and Al - I remember it being a long night, but a very good night. By the next morning, I was pretty comfortable with the upcoming marriage and - more importantly - I had found a new best friend.

Al was born in 1937 in Cleveland. He grew up and lived there all his life. He married Terry Stracensky, sometimes known as Col. Klink, in 1962. They had two great children - Scott and Holly.

Simple facts. But you don't measure the life of a man by simple facts, simply told. It’s been said that you measure it in the truths he learned, or in the times he cried, in the bridges he burned, or even the way he died.

Al learned much, rarely if ever cried, never burned a bridge, and pretty much knew when he wanted to make his exit.

Al was a man who knew what an honest day's work was and delivered it without fail - ever. He learned to be generous to his friends... he learned that a cold beer on a hot day was one of life's true pleasures... he learned to live life with optimism and enthusiasm... he learned the joy of working in his garden... and he learned that spending time with his family was his greatest pleasure.

I never saw Al cry, but here's how I imagine he knew he had enough of life. He was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness more than two years ago, he suffered a heart attack, he developed emphysema. A lesser man might have caved in - but Al hung on - he convinced himself that there was still unfinished business. In those two and a half years he celebrated two more Christmases, birthdays, witnessed his grandchildren's many achievements, participated in family gatherings and activities, took vacations and got to see Scott and Vicky's wedding.

The last time I was with Al, he gave me directions as to how his doorbell should be installed - he smiled just like the "old Al," took my hand and said, "thanks, Jim." It was a great closing. I think about how lucky I am to have known someone who is so hard to say goodbye to.

I’ve wondered in the last few days what Al would have said had he known that would be our last time together. Knowing Al, it wouldn’t have been a big deal - it would have been pretty simple. He might have said not to cry because it’s over, but smile because it happened.

Kelly • 02:21 PM • (1) Comments
Sunday, July 02, 2006

I finally got around to uploading pictures for Chad and Ashleigh's May 20th wedding in Cincinnati. And this past Friday, my cousin Scott married Vicky in Cleveland.

Chad and Ashleigh's wedding was on a boat on the Ohio River. The day was gorgeous and the weather was great. Right about the time the cruise ended it started to get a bit overcast. It was great getting to meet and spend some time with some of Chris' cousins. Not all the photos in this photo set are public. You'll have to ask to be a friend or family in order to see them all.

Scott and Vicky had a beautiful wedding. They had a lot of personal touches and really did a nice job of including Vicky's daughter Madeline. All of the attendants were probably under the age of 10 and they all did a fabulous job. It was great getting the opportunity to spend time with and get to hang out with my family.

Kelly • 08:51 PM • (1) Comments
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Kelly • 10:21 AM • (1) Comments
Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What a couple of weeks we've had....

I've blogged about my computer issues. Did I tell you about the washing machine? Well, it's broke, they were supposed to come last Wednesday, but I had mistyped the number and They didn't come so Chris rescheduled them to come this Monday. Oh and lets not forget about the day the wires were down across 15, we had no power for 6 hours and it took Chris 1.5 hours to get home.

Now starting on Friday, I come downstairs, walk through the kitchen and walk through a puddle. The puddle is coming from the freezer. I open it and everything has a thick layer of ice on it. I get home from work on Friday, and I have a sick husband and no internet. Sick husband fixes internet for 2 hours until the next storm comes through. Poor sick husband.

Saturday, husband spends the day recovering, while I sit there wondering if I'm getting sick. I think it was the lack of sleep the night before 'cause I do eventually start feeling better, but I didn't make it out to mom's to do some laundry before I had stuff to do. I clean out the freezer and dry everything off before putting it back or throwing it out. Most things survived, the ice cream products did not.

Sunday started out ok (oh have I mentioned, we STILL don't have internet at this point?). After my Sunday plans got canceled, Chris fixed my bike and then we decided that it was time to hang pictures (hey we've only been here a year). Before that we decide we need to hose off the mat under Berkley's house. In the process of turning on the hose, Chris managed to do something to his ankle. So no pictures get hung, he's now out of commission.

So today was the day that the washing machine was supposed to get fixed and our tree was to be installed. I was supposed to work from home, but guess what? No internet. I call mom and dad to come over to be here for the tree and the washing machine and to possibly take my husband to the doctor while I go to work. I get to work. Husband calls, they can only see him early and mom and dad aren't there yet. I go home to get husband and mom and dad come watch the house and wait for people to show up.

Get back from the doctor (yay nothing is broken), and we call the washing machine repair people. Oh we're not scheduled until NEXT Monday?1?!?! What???? I don't even know how my husband managed to get Monday's messed up or what happened. We're not going to be here next Monday and there is now way we have enough clothes until then. My parents leave taking all our dirty clothes with them (gotta love my parents, but I feel so bad for having them do that). The tree people came, yay we have a new tree! And just now we finally have internet again.

And that's not the end of it

Last night I managed to burn my wrist cooking dinner AND I hurt my knee. So today Chris and I are both hobbling around.

Kelly • 11:13 AM • (1) Comments
Friday, May 05, 2006

This hasn't been a good week for pets in my family. My cousin Sue and her husband Mike lost Fuzz Ball yesterday.

Kelly • 03:18 PM • (1) Comments
Friday, April 28, 2006

Last night my cousin Chris and her husband JR came to our house for dinner. They had been in DC all week doing the tourist thing (I never did ask where all they went) and drove out to Leesburg to have dinner with us and my parents. It was great seeing them and spending some time with them.

And then my cousin Sue (who is Chris' sister) sent this e-mail yesterday about her upcoming graduation:

I am asking all of you to say a little prayer that my course substitutions work out and that I make it through one Fall 2006 course in portfolio preparation for which I will have to drive to the Eastern campus.... because I have submitted my Petition to Graduate TODAY 4/27/06 which means I will be graduating after the Fall 2006 semester! (Provided all of the schools records check out that is!)

Sue, I'm sure it'll all work out! Yay! I'm so happy for you!

Kelly • 10:36 AM • (5) Comments

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