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Happy Birthday, Allie!

This has always been one of my favorite photos of Allie.  Although you can’t see her face, you can see her spirit!

Ever since Allie was born, she’s been independent.  She hated having her hair stroked when she was a baby (much to my consternation), and would screw up her face and jerk away.  When she was about 2, she observed how I operated the door locks, waited until I went into the bathroom, then let herself out of the house and went down the street to the elementary school playground.  We found her on top of the twister slide.  When I picture her as a little girl, I see her in my mind’s eye with her hair flying, a big smile on her face, and a twinkle in her eye.  Even as she’s grown up, she’s always had a handle on running her own life.  We’ve rarely had to remind her to get homework done, get ready for an event, get up at a certain time, or anything.  She’s just always enjoyed being competent and in charge of her ownself.

Maybe it has something to do with Allie having been born on Independence Day?  Plenty of people who saw me being wheeled up to Labor and Delivery that day or helped with her birth joked that she’d be our “little firecracker,” and frankly, she really is!

Anyway, happy 18th birthday, Allie.  Don’t get too many piercings today, okay?

There’s Bears in Them Thar Woods!

A few weeks ago, Sean and his girlfriend, Anna, went on a camping trip with Anna’s sister, Amy, and Amy’s husband, Andrew. Amy got ridiculed a bit for being worried about bears in the woods. And then, lo and behold, when the group arrived at their last campsite, they saw a bear loping away, and there was evidence that the previous occupants of the site had left behind food that had attracted the bear. So the group left the site and headed home, cutting their trip a bit short. Apparently my son was the only one in the group who voted to stay anyway. Oy!

Last weekend, Sean went camping with some buddies in Red River Gorge.  He came home safely.  And then today we read this story in the paper:  Bear Mauling Closes Red River Gorge.  Yeah.  Some poor guy hiking along one of the trails got mauled.

Amy gets the last laugh.  But I heave a sigh of relief!

Face Plant

You missed the excitement at my church this morning, gang–courtesy of my son Danny, no less. Buddy boy was one of three servers this morning, and we got to the part of the mass where the servers walk over and kneel at the side of the altar. Next thing I know, Dennis is trying to push me out of the pew. “It’s Danny, it’s Danny!” I look over to see Danny lying flat out on the altar platform, head turned towards me, eyes closed. I guess my mind was wandering, and I didn’t hear the crash, which Dennis later likened to the sound of a bass drum falling.

So naturally, Dennis and I blast up there, along with numerous other concerned adults. By the time we reached Danny, he was coming to, and we stood him up–probably too fast, but there’s a tendency to want to get the person who passes out away from the curious eyes of onlookers and out of the main church. But we definitely caused a commotion, because we didn’t make it too far before he started to go down again. At that point we laid him out across some empty upholstered seats along the back wall and ran to get him a drink and a cold compress. He was sweating like crazy under the server’s robe, although fortunately he did have on a short-sleeved polo shirt underneath. Eventually he felt better and we walked him to the back, got him out of the server’s robe, and left.

We’re home now, and although Danny feels a little tired and shaky, he seems fine. Other than a minor cut high on his forehead, he is unscathed. Didn’t break his nose or his glasses! We aren’t sure why he passed out, though. He’s never done it before, and he did have breakfast before we left. All we really know is that he stayed up until 3 a.m. reading (not cool), and may not have gotten much sleep. Plus, it’s been very hot and humid here for the last few days, and he’s mowed our lawn twice this week and played disc golf yesterday with his dad. I’m wondering if it’s dehydration, or perhaps a virus coming on? Or may it’s just high altitude sickness (Danny seems to be growing about an inch a week lately)? Dennis asserts that he himself passed out on two occasions as a kid while serving at mass, and that it’s probably no big deal.

But I’m a mom. So Danny got a milk shake to get his blood sugar up, and I’m trying to force him to take a nap at the moment. Because naturally, we are expected at a family event in a few hours.

Take my mind off this, friends–please! Anyone else have a good story about passing out in public? Why’d it happen? Did you ever figure out the reason, or was it just one of those inexplicable things that never happened again?

Catch-Up Post, Part II

I should probably be calling these posts, “A month in the life of someone who can barely shoot a decent photo.”  Anyhoo, the saga of memorable events and celebrations continues with Danny’s 6th grade graduation on June 2.  Mind you, the pictures of the actual ceremony are pretty awful, due to lighting in the auditorium being horrific.  But I am including a couple of those anyway, just so you can notice that Danny is the tallest one in his class, pretty much.

See that good-lookin' tall kid in the front? He's kinda blurry, but that's my boy!

The after-party

Noah, Kyle, Danny, and Luke

Sure, next year they'll be mature middle-schoolers, but does that stop them from climbing the walls like monkeys? Nope.

Ryan turns a quarter of a century old.

Dennis turns . . . well, let's just say it was his birthday. And I had forgotten to change the camera settings from flourescent to regular. So everyone in all of the photos was yellow. But hey, at least we have a photo to commemorate the occasion, right?

Just as we were supposed to leave for Sean's graduation, he discovered that his cap was so huge that it spun on his head when he moved. So here I am, trying to figure out how to make the thing tighter. Again, I'm sewing things at the eleventh hour. Who raised these kids? Wolves? You'll be glad (not to mention surprised) to learn that we had a spare graduation cap, black, just Sean's size, hanging about the house where we could easily access it. So he wore that one instead. I'm not even going to try to explain why we had a spare. It's a Connair thing.

Shoemaker Stadium (indoors). It was pouring outside. Buckets. Everyone in the place was soaked, and it continued to storm and pour the whole time we were in there. But no one cared. We were watching our kids graduate!

Just watch a minute of this video from commencement.  Sorry, but the focus stinks. However, the music was incredible.  University of Cincinnati boasts a College Conservatory of Music that provides a band to do the commencement music.  They totally MADE the ceremony.  Pre-program music included the Holst Suites, and they played the good version of “Crown Imperial”–the one Dennis and I performed when we were in college band together. You might think the processional is recorded music, but it’s not. We had a live group playing. Awesome, right?

Processional, UC Graduation from Jan Connair on Vimeo.

At graduation. Can you guess where Sean was sitting?

Handsome lad with a B.S. in criminal justice, newly minted.

Danny, Ryan, Sean, and Allie. Molly didn't want to be in the picture. Why, you may ask? Well, remember how I said it was pouring down rain outside the stadium? We had to walk through that rain to get into the building. And when Molly stepped out of the car, she hit a muddy spot in the grass, her feet flew out from under her, and she sat in a mud puddle. She ended up wearing my black raincoat as her "dress" throughout the ceremony. Never complained once. But she wasn't anxious to commemorate the disaster by appearing in a group photo.

I think that brings us up-to-date, as far as events in June.  We did attend a couple of graduation parties for Sean and for Allie’s friends.  All fun occasions.  But frankly, it was sure nice just to have a weekend (last week) where we didn’t go anywhere or do anything special.  Although every occasion was a joyful one, I think we all needed a little rest from the celebrating.

So what have you been doing so far this summer?  Graduations?  Birthdays?  Vacations?  I’d love to hear what everyone else has going on!

Catch-Up Post, Part I

I won’t bore you with too many details, but here, in mostly photo form, is a run down of the last month.  It’s been quite a whirlwind of events!

Molly's birthday cheesecake

Birthday girl!

Me, Allie, my nephew/godson Ben, Dennis, at Allie and Ben's graduation party

Allie and Ben with their UC sweatshirts. I had them lettered on the back to read, "A. Connair" and "B. Connair." They thought that was highly amusing.

Me sewing Allie’s graduation dress 20 min. before we had to leave!

Before the ceremony

The big moment

Allie and Grandpa Connair

Allie and Chris. Chris is definitely the strong, silent type.

There were other events in May, like the Senior Breakfast, the Senior Picnic (with slip ‘n slide action), Mother’s Day, etc.  But I didn’t want to go crazy on you with too many photos.

Next post:  June birthdays and graduations galore!


Lest you think that it’s boring working at the library, I present Exhibit A:  BananaBrarian.  This is Katheryn, our Children’s Librarian.  She goes all out for the weekly story hours on Wednesdays.  She plays music.  She sings songs with the kids.  She gives them maracas and tambourines!  People, she’s awesome.  How many librarians do you know who would be willing to dress up as a banana, just to make Tedious George Curious George more interesting?  Unfortunately, I usually take it upon myself to clean up the children’s room after the two sessions of the kids’ program are over.  The carnage is severe.  But getting to take photos of a coworker dressed as a banana makes up for a lot.  Just sayin’.

Silver and Diamonds

I wish I were reporting that Dennis bought me some gorgeous jewelry last night.  But I’m afraid we spent our “fun” money on a new washer.  After much research and debate, we went with a Samsung.  It has diamond-shaped dimples or square dimples or something in the drum that are supposed to help clean better with less wear on the clothing, and it has that Samsung silver sanitzing cycle, where silver ions are released into the rinse water to sanitize your clothing, if you so desire.  That’s as close as I’m going to get to silver and diamonds for awhile, because these machines are hardly inexpensive.  It’ll be delivered on Thursday, by which time I should have a good 6 loads of laundry piling up, so I can learn to use it and give it a good workout right off the bat.

Now I just hope the delivery guys can get the old washer out of our basement and get the new machine in there.  Believe me, it’s a tight fit with some nice right-angle turns.  Wish us luck!


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