Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tribute to Amy

Amy Blasinski loved to dance and sing. She loved dogs and her friends and family. She competed in Special Olympics and had a great sense of humor. She died while still a teenager. While I never knew her, her heart was given to Lauren 4 years ago today.

Barb and Ron are Amy's parents and incredible people. We wrote letters back and forth for many months, then first spoke on July 4th, 2006. They came to visit us when we still lived in New Jersey. Their home is here in Chicago. Amy's heart kept Lauren alive for almost 3 years and endured radiation and chemo and rejection and coronary artery disease. These 2 girls fought a hard fight!!

There are many people that come and go in our lives. We cross paths and learn from each other and are never the same. But this family has a greater capacity to love and give and care than any I have seen. I am so grateful to them for the gift of life and the gift of their friendship.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Megan

Megan was born on Feb 4, 1997, 12 years ago. Wednesday was her birthday and it started off with crepes (batter made by mom, but cooked and flipped by dad as per her request) for breakfast. The first gift she opened was tickets to a DePaul women's basketball game that night.

Our evening schedules were packed for the next few nights, mostly with basketball activities, so it was Saturday before she finally was able to open gifts and have cake and ice cream. I spent some time this week reviewing pictures and thoughts of Megan's life. She gets up early, is very obedient, is thorough and organized, always prepared and a bit of a perfectionist. She is funny yet tough, a hard worker, helpful, and is a straight A student. Megan has her dad wrapped around her finger and loves to shoot hoops wherever and whenever she can. She plays clarinet in the school band and keyboard in the after-school jazz band. Megan always gives 100% effort in everything she does - an amazing young lady!

Bishop Holbrook

Have you ever had that one phone call that changes your life? You might not want to pick up when the stake executive secretary calls your house. As of November 30, Blair is now the bishop of our ward. He says he only has 5 years to help facilitate all the miracles that need to take place.
It is inspiring to watch him go about "doing good."

This was after a long Sunday of tithing settlement and visits.

Perhaps the stress is getting worse. This was his Sunday afternoon nap in between meetings last week.

The beauty of California

A few weekends ago, Blair and I took off for California. His good friend decided to get baptized and wanted him to do the honors. She, Diane, lives in Dublin in the ward of my college roommate, Amy, who happens to be the Relief Society President. Small world, huh? It was an amazing weekend including a short outing to San Francisco complete with a ride on the cable car and lunch at Fisherman's Wharf in the shadows of palm trees. We reconnected with some dear friends, relaxed, slept in, and drove with the car windows down.

While Chicago is a friendly place to live, the weather here is crummy. Especially in January. We left -10 degrees for 65 ish. I had forgotten what clean cars and green hills look like. I didn't remember sun actually giving off warmth either. The flowers smelled amazing and we walked around without coats. We put our feet in the ocean - all in all a fabulous weekend and very therapeutic.