Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I run because some cannot.

Many years ago, I met a friend at the Nike store on Newbury Street in Boston after work for a group run.  At the time (not sure if they still do it), the Nike store did group runs from the store.

Nike had Lynn Jennings (US Olympic runner) speak before the run.  She also led the group run which was along the Charles River.

One thing that Ms. Jennings said that night has stuck with me.  She said that whenever she had a choice between taking an escalator and stairs, she took the stairs.  Because she could.

She took the stairs because she could and because others don't have that choice.

In conjunction with a road race I am doing in the coming days, I am fundraising for an organization which benefits children (and adults) like my daughter Anna who have Spina Bifida.

If you would like to donate to the cause, please email me at for information on how to donate.  (For privacy purposes I prefer not to put the information on the blog.)

If you don't know Anna through my postings or my wife Sarah's blog, she did a post today which illustrates one of the many challenges Anna faces.  Here is the link to  Sarah's post.

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Steppin' Out With Adorable Triplet Girls

I'm not going to attempt to do a "catch-up" blog post.  My posts are much too infrequent and we've had a ton happen as family - mostly good stuff, fortunately.

Most of my followers follow Sarah as well.  If you don't follow Sarah's blog, head on over - you can get an idea of what my adorable daughters have been up to.

June was busy.  Last days of kindergarten, my job search, Sarah's work schedule, plus the girls had  two shows - dance and gymnastics.  Video cameras were not allowed at the actual recital, but I was able to capture one of their routines at the rehearsal:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cry babies.

Almost two months since I last posted!?  I shouldn't be that surprised...

Been working - on a project at the corporate office of a bank in Boston.  This is through a temporary agency so no benefits.  But a paycheck (albeit small).

Been running - a little, anyway.  Falmouth is less than 9 weeks away and I have some training to do!

Been feeling the love - Allie, Anna and Emily fill my basket.  EVERY DAY.  Hugs, kisses, laughs and smiles.  Times three.  It's awesome.

Been looking for permanent employment - exhausting, frustrating, and draining.  But necessary.

Been feeling proud - of my girls.  Their work in school.  Their dance recital.  Their gymnastics show.

Been stressed - Sarah's work has been unbelievably taxing (no pun intended) on her. And us.

Been crying - tears of joy and sadness.  Abigail's birthday was last week.

Been thinking how the cries of a baby have taken on a whole new meaning to me.  How it hurts so bad that we never heard Abigail cry.

Friday, April 26, 2013

I'm So Sorry.

Eleven days have passed since the Boston Marathon bombings and today was the first day since the attackers were captured that I had the opportunity to walk back to Boylston Street.

Not interested in the media craze nor spectacle of people, the draw for me was from within.

Out the building I went.  Cold today.  A breeze too.  Glad I wore my vest.

I should have some lunch before I go any further.  Rebecca's Cafe.  Some soup.

Found a seat at a small table with a partial view of Boylston Street.  Outside, against a building, rested several pieces of crowd-control fencing/barricades left from the marathon.  Other than that, people bustled by, going about their daily business (just a block form the marathon finish line).  I became quite reflective and thought about how events like the marathon bombings and Sandy Hook shootings can be supplanted every so subtly.

I want to visit the memorial.  I should go to the finish line also.

Four or five large media trucks lined Boylston Street at Copley Plaza (the site of the memorial). As I drew closer to the memorial site, my attention turned to the large number of items left there - flowers, hats, sneakers, notes, flags, shirts...

For the most part, the people moved about the memorial in silence.  Many were taking pictures or videos.  Everyone seemed to be reflecting.

I didn't think I'd become this emotional. As my eyes scanned the uncounted messages that had been written, tears started to form.

A hand-written message written by a child caught my eye.  It read:

I'm so sorry.

So true, Emma.  So true.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Marathon Monday 2013.

Monday of last week started like many of the Patriot's Days have for me over the past ten years or so.

I was working in the Back Bay section of Boston.  This particular job happens to be a temporary consulting position.  The other two jobs I've held in the past ten years were permanent, but also in Back Bay.  I was an Accounting Manager for companies located in the John Hancock Tower and The Prudential Center - both with views of Boylston Street.

I have completed the Boston Marathon twice, but I haven't run Boston in over 10 years.  But, as the saying goes, once you run Boston, it never leaves you.  If I get an opportunity to be "part" of the marathon, I take it.  My part for the past ten years has been as a spectator - whether I watch it on television or whether I take a break from the office and walk down to Bolyston Street.

Last Monday, at about 12:30, I left my desk and walked down Clarendon Street to the corner of Bolyston Street and watched as the runners who had completed their 26.2 miles did their cooldown and walked in the direction of the Public Gardens and Boston Common.  They had just completed the premiere marathon in the world.

Before heading back to the office, I decided to try to get closer to the finish line.  This meant walking back up Clarendon and then taking a right toward the Boston Public Library.  I walked behind the library and started right on Exeter Street toward Boylston, but it was packed with people.  And there was no sun and it was chilly (even for April in Boston).  I decided to head back to the office.

I spent the next hour and a half or so preparing for a 3:00 meeting while also checking on marathon news via  Sarah was keeping me up to date on Joey McIntyre's progress.  LOL.

In hindsight, I heard the explosion at 2:50 while at my desk.  But, at the time, I thought it was an 18 wheeler driving by on the nearby  Mass Pike.

While meeting with this individual, his phone was buzzing off the hook.  Then, at about 3:30, he said "excuse me, I need to check my phone." He turned to me and said there had been an explosion at the marathon.  That is when the talk and speculation started.

I returned to my desk to 6 missed calls, a voicemail, and an email from Sarah.  Having told Sarah that I would likely walk down to check things out at the marathon, she wanted to know I was okay. She was relieved to hear my voice when I called her @3:50 pm on Monday, April 15, 2013.  It was about one hour after the moment our city would be changed forever.

It has been a week since.  What a week.  Too much to digest.  Too many emotions.  Too many questions.  Although difficult to do, I have been trying to focus on the goodness over the evil.  MOST people are good.  Most humans are kind.  Most humans love.

The gentleman in the blue jacket below has been in charge of the finish line for the Boston Marathon for the past 17 years.  He was also my senior year high school homeroom teacher.  He is one of the countless individuals who reached out to help those in need last Monday.  Thank you God for the goodness in the world.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Daddy - Daughter Dance.

Our town holds both father-daughter and mother-son dances each year staring with kindergarten-aged children.  So...this was the first year my girls got to take their daddy to the dance!

It was exhausting, and at times a little stressful (trying to keep an eye on 3 six-year olds), but a ton of fun. I couldn't have been more proud being the father of these girls!

It was also fun to watch each one of the girls connect with at least one friend during the night.  Simply adorable.  Especially Emily and her friend "S". "S" is a peanut like Emily. And they adore each other!  I think they held each other's hand all night long.

Here is a picture Sarah took before the dance.  She insisted the picture be taken outside (for the lighting) = why we look a bit chilly.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Just call me stupid?

Yesterday was the day which marked the one year mark of me leaving my former employer.  Maybe that is why I was so down (and still am).  I also received my grade for the fourth part of the CPA exam which I had taken late last month.  I did not pass.

I texted Sarah telling her I am an idiot and that I wanted to cry.  The whole job search and exam situation is wearing me down.  BIG time.

I am trying to be positive.  I want to provide income for our family (and my retirement).  I have over two decades of experience in my field and I feel like employers many times put me on par with someone with 3 - 7 years of experience. And they expect me to take a 25 - 30% pay cut.

Believe me, I am grateful for what we have as a family - not only financially, but in terms of love for each other.  Sarah works her *ss off each and every day, whether at the office or at home. She is good at her profession and gets compensated accordingly (thankfully).

Am I a loser? A loafer?  No, I am not either of those, but sometimes it just feels like I am.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stillbirth. Help Break the Silence.

I was out running errands that Saturday morning when Sarah called me and asked me to come home.  She was a week beyond her due date and we were both anxious to welcome our first child into our lives.

Looking back, the drive to the hospital that June day in 2006 seemed to be a long one.  I honestly don't remember the conversation between Sarah & me. I do remember Sarah being tense.  But at the time, I figured it was just a "normal" nervousness.  I know now that it more was than that.

Within an hour of our arrival to the hospital, we were told our baby had died.

"The baby's heart stopped beating."

"I am so sorry."



There must be a mistake.

Shock, disbelief, anger, grief, sorrow, more anger, followed by intense sorrow and depression-like feelings have been with Sarah and me since then.

Sometimes the feelings are overwhelming. Sometimes faint. But the feelings are always there.

We learned about stillbirth.  We found out it happens more than one would think.  BUT no one talks about it. NO ONE. It makes people uncomfortable.  People say some absurd things.  It hurts.

First Candle shared a video (link below) which I hope you will watch and share with your family friends.  I think it may help those who have not delivered a child sleeping (and those that have for that matter). 

Since Abigail, neither Sarah nor I have known anyone in our close circle of family and friends who have experienced stillbirth.  However, coincidentally enough, I received an email from my brother a day or two after I started to draft this post.  A friend of his, whom I had met on a couple of occasions, had lost his son to stillbirth.  His wife was in the hospital preparing for labor and their son died.

Please take a few minutes to click on the link below and watch the video.  And please also remember Abigail Ruth (June 4,2006), Robert and all the other children born sleeping.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blizzard of 1978

If you live in the Northeastern part of the United States you are well aware that a storm described as possibly "epic" is churning over us as I write this.  And if you are over the age of 40 you may remember the historic storm of 1978 which occurred at about this time 35 years ago - February 6th and 7th, 1978 to be exact.

I was living in a section of Boston called West Roxbury at the time, and I am fortunate to have fond memories of the Blizzard of '78. We were without power for a few days and our street was not cleared for days as well.  But, unlike some others, none of us were left stranded on any of the impassable roads.  There were many people who were not as fortunate  - stranded during the hurricane force winds and freezing temperatures. Schools were closed for 2+ weeks and everyone was using sleds, toboggans and skis as their transportation!

The town I live in now is one of the towns which could see up to 30 inches of snow before Nemo leaves the area on Saturday.  That is a lot of snow!  There are a few differences between the Blizzard of '78 and Nemo, however.  The biggest difference is that everyone has known DAYS in advance of this storm.  Meteorologists were predicting 6 inches of snow before the Blizzard of '78 - it caught everyone by surprise!  Most people didn't have snow blowers back in 1978 either - we just used good 'ole muscle power!

My dad (God rest his soul) and mother got a few brief video clips from the Blizzard of '78.  In this clip are my two younger brothers Chris and Don, my dad, my mother and myself:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A gorilla, Gaston, a hippo and Duffy.

I think this may be my final post on our December Disney trip - it just seems "old" at this point.

This video clip includes some of the animals we saw at Animal Kingdom.  It was pretty cool to see an enormous hippo swim underwater (through a window).  The gorilla exhibit was also great - one of the gorillas was hanging out directly in front of the glass-enclosed viewing area!

When you watch the gorilla video clip, listen for the cast member (CM) saying " will have nightmares for the rest of your life!" Some kid went under the rope and climbed up on to the ledge of the window, which was a definite NO-NO.  And, despite more than a couple of stern warnings by the CM for the kid's parent(s) to get him out of there, the CM basically warned everyone that if the gorilla gets mad, ALL of us will be sorry and "have nightmares for the rest of our lives".  I believe him.  The kid's parents finally pulled him away from the window....

Also in this video is Gaston, albeit briefly.  He surprised us we were having a snack outside of Gaston's Tavern so I wasn't able to get it all on video.  He did comment on the fact that Anna was focused on sipping her lemonade though!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It Was Electric.

Another "must do" from our trip was to see the electric parade which runs down Main Street (only on specified nights).  Check. I will say it was well worth staking out a curbside spot two hours before the parade was to begin. Both the parade and the light show on Cinderella's castle parade were simply awesome.  Sarah and I have always said that Disney knows how to put on a show!

Here's some more clips from our trip.  Check it out - it has some cute clips of Allie and Emily holding hands with Tigger! Anna wearing sunglasses is pretty darn cute too!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

One snowflake, three fairies. The girls meet Tink and Periwinkle.

This being our third trip to Disney, we had a good idea of what our "must do" and "definitely skip" items were going to be.

We knew we were definitely going to check-out the new Fantasyland (Belle's castle, etc.) and we also planned to spend AT LEAST 2 of our 6 days at Magic Kingdom.  We would also skip Hollywood Studios this trip (and maybe the next couple of trips as well).  We passed on going to Hollywood Studies because, in comparison to the other parks, there are few very attractions  for the girls.

Another must -do was to see Tinkerbell again since Allie missed seeing Tink last time.

I cannot believe I am even going to say this but...Tinkerbell has become a fave of mine. I guess I previously just couldn't get passed her high-pitched voice.  BUT, after seeing the character in person, seeing the girls' reactions to her, and catching some of Tinkerbell movies/shows, I like her! 

Here's Allie, Anna and Emily meeting Tinkerbell and Periwinkle:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Art of Animation.

Having just taken (today) the Audit and Attestation (AUD) section of the CPA exam, I may have a few pockets of time to do a few posts.  I hope the results of the AUD section are better than the previous two sections I took!

So back to our Disney trip.

Both Sarah and I were stressed about flying to Disney this time, given this would be our first time flying with the girls.  And, since renting three car seats can be costly, and there would be no guarantee of getting three when we arrived at the airport in Orlando, we decided to take our (new and pricey) car seats with us. 

Sarah had heard horror stories of car seats getting beat-up bad when checked-in, so we planned to take them on the plane and have the girls sit on them.  We had no idea how that would work - how do you get three car seats from our van (which we needed to park at the airport) gate?  From the gate on to the plane?  Along with the two strollers and carry-on bags? How 'bout getting the car seats (and the six suitcases) from the baggage claim in Orlando to our rental car?  Remember, it was me (the one guy) and Sarah, three 5 year-olds, and Sarah's mom.

We arrived to the airport well in advance.  And our stresses over the car seats were pretty much wiped away by the super-courteous JetBlue agents at the check-in counter.  Thank you!  They convinced us (mostly Sarah, actually) to check-in the car seats - telling us it would be much less of a hassle.  And JetBlue offers a no-fee check-in of car seats.  Again, thank you!

Here's some clips from our first 24 hours of vacation:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Surprise - we are going to Disney!

So, yes our trip to Disney last month WAS a surprise to Allie, Anna and Emily.

I captured their faces while Sarah broke the news only hours before we were to leave for the airport: