Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quick party recap...

How can  it be that weeks have passed already, since this post. I told you I'd let you know how it went....

And all was good. It did rain, for about half the day. There were tears from Helena, when, after 5 minutes, the pretty party streamers we hung indoors sagged with the intense humidity. But then the guests began to arrive, mayhem by-way of 12 children and as many adults crammed into our little home ensued, and the fun began.

The cake turned out just right...all thanks to daddy's decorating skills. I think she will remember these cakes and how much love he always puts into them, when she's grown :-)

 Sharing the birthday with "Papa" and having uncle Dave, home briefly from the Appalachian Trail (to recover from Lyme disease, and sporting a beard!), was a special treat.
Halfway through, the sun came out, the day became hot and bright, and the much anticipated water balloon fight ensued. And, thankfully, we were able to eat cake and ice cream OUTSIDE, quite a boon to this very pregnant mama. 

Through it all, someone or other, and one dear friend in particular, was on hand every time I began a sentence such as, "it's time to," or "I really should," or "I need to," to cut me off with, "OR YOU COULD DELEGATE." 

And so I did. And you know what? Despite the fact that I didn't manage everything and nothing was perfect, everything was just's that for a good life lesson in the form of a party?

As I lay here now, very pregnant and writing this from bed with a pinched nerve, not doing all those last minute things on my "before baby arrives," list, but resting as my body truly seems to want, I'm pretty sure that, whenever this little one chooses to arrive, no matter what's done or undone, everything will be just wonderful anyway.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Front Page Coverage!

As a follow up to This Post, Patrick is on the front page of the Ithaca Journal today!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bragging Rights....Energy Auditor Training for Teens in Ithaca

Have I mentioned before how awesome my husband is. If not, let me do so now, and give you one example.

Two weeks ago, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) and some other amazing and dedicated individuals, offered an Energy Auditing Training course for young people in our area (Ithaca, NY), with Patrick instructing (this is what he does).

14 young people, mostly high school age, but with one student in 8th grade and several being recent high school and college grads, took a week long BPI Building Analyst Certification Course, resulting in the opportunity for professional certification when testing requirements are met. The program was grant funded and all student were given 100% scholarships to attend.

The Building Analyst Certification will aid these students in entering the Green Jobs work force, and allow them to provide much needed auditing services in our area. We've already heard that one student who had been working as an intern, was offered a paid position in the field after completing the course.

In brief, an Energy Auditor evaluates homes and other buildings for energy loss, and makes safe and cost effective recommendations (recommendations that will pay the homeowner back in $$ not spent on heating, cooling and electric costs, in a relatively brief period of time) for changes to the home to save energy. Safety is a key factor in the training, because when you tighten up the air space in a home, it's critical to determine that all combustion appliances (those that can produce carbon monoxide) are installed, functioning, and vented properly.

Many New Yorkers qualify for a free energy audit through NYSERDA's Home Performance with Energy Star Program. Look HERE for more information. Small businesses and not-for-profits may also qualify. Details HERE. If you live in another state and are aware of a similar offering, please let me know. I'm working on content for Patrick's newly launched website and would love to add information about programs that other states are offering to our links page.

Regardless of your thoughts and feelings on the state of our global environment, (and I won't pretend mine aren't strong) an Energy Audit makes sense. Why not make some improvements and pay less for utilities. It's greener, and who couldn't think of a better way to spend that money?

The program was a success, and there are plans to repeat and expand it. I had the honor of helping in a small way with some of the administrative details involved in pulling this training together, and it was an altogether lovely experience. And I'm ever so proud of this husband of mine and the gifts he has to offer.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Different Approach.....

Today we celebrate my daughter's 7th birthday, and my father's 70th. Her birthday isn't for another month, his, another week.

But there's a baby on board, and things are getting rearranged to accommodate this new arrival, due in just 4 weeks, give or take.

Part of preparing for this new little person to join us, well, in person, has been a significant amount of mental rearranging on my part. I'm not "all there yet," but moving in a good direction, I think.

This pregnancy has been very different than the first, but then my life is also very different, much fuller now, than before. My energy level is low, my body hurts, often. The baby, growing just fine, the mama, dragging along through the process with as much grace as possible. And, that, it seems, is the key. Moving through life with grace.

I've begun to think my real goal in life is just to move through each day, with as much grace as possible, despite whatever circumstances surround me. I've tried it the other, trying to make the circumstances okay, but that doesn't always happen. Working to be okay in spite of the circumstances is not always a simple task, and I don't always make it, but I have a much better shot at this, than at trying to control through whatever means, what is happening around me.

I cannot seem to control my fatigue with this pregnancy...resting more certainly helps, but doesn't seem to alleviate it significantly...I can currently fall asleep sitting up, in most locations, with very little notice. I can't control the fact that my mom is working through breast cancer, but I sure can be grateful that the treatments seem to be working.  I can't help that a good friend lost her mother this week, however the timely, and that I'm far away and cannot offer much comfort. But, I can offer what comfort I can and pray that some peace is offered there too. And be slow enough to breath through it all and be grateful, and learn to just be.

Today we're hosting an event for these birthdays, and inviting guests into our home. I love to host a good to cook, love to invite people into our home. I also love to make everything from scratch and have everything ready well in advance....haha! Not this time!

In seven years, it's never rained for Helena's party. This year it looks would think August would be a better bet for weather than September, and it's been a hotter, drier summer than average. Today it's going to rain, in all likelihood. Gone are the plans for the water balloons, the wading pool, and the with the new party, indoor crafts and games...

I bought food I could make myself, because I just can't this year. The house isn't as tidy as I'd like it to be...the guest list...somewhat incomplete as I barely got invites out on time, and missed some altogether. 

The handmade favors still need finishing....

The gorgeous CSA flowers need arranging.......

The cake needs frosting and decorating.....

 The cheesecake (for dad!), despite cooling in the oven slowly...cracked...a lot!

There's still much to be done today before guests arrive. Once upon a time I would have been up at dawn (I am, but not because I chose it today), dashing around frantically and getting "it all done." Not today. Today I chose to sip my tea, and sit and reflect on how I'd like to remember this day....

I'd like to remember the smiles, the people who came, just the right mix, somehow, and just enjoy them all.

I'll let you know how it goes...