Thursday, June 25, 2009

Up North and Fathers Day and Tracy's Birthday

Three of my favorite things!

We headed up to the VanMeter's cabin over the weekend with the Buckley's and the place was overrun with crazy Korean kids. We all arrived late afternoon on Friday and the kids wasted no time getting into the groove.

Karen and Jeff along with Sherra ( Rich was at home with Robbie) and Tracy and I all met in Seoul as we were all there to pick up our kids, how cool is that!

Here is the brood

The kids had a ball we adults had some great fun as well and you should have seen the stick Jeff had at the bonfire on Friday night.

The group is like an old glove and it was fun reconnecting. We had a blast tubing, swimming and Jimmy and Lesia gave water skiing a go and although no one actually got up the kids did great. We had the most incredible dinner on Saturday night with a little Australian influence from our friends Duane and Leanne, a dessert called Pavlova, not so sure how proud we all were when we realized that there were no leftovers!!

The weekend was full of fun, good friends and laughter.

Sunday of course was Fathers Day so we all got packed up and headed our separate ways to be with our families and celebrate the day. Tracy and the kids had a pile of great Fathers Day gifts for me and we had a great dinner but mostly it was fun just being home with the family. To all Fathers everywhere ,Happy Fathers Day.

Monday followed with Tracy's birthday and a pool party reunion with the 'boat people". Nothing says Happy Birthday like a Dairy Queen Ice Cream cake!
It has been over three years since one of the parties actually counted and this was was no exception. The Milbrath's were in town on vacation and along with the Peterson's and Fosters we all reconnected and celebrated Tracy's birthday. The kids, Kay especially went all out and created some great gifts. Happy Birthday Tracy we love you !!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Deep Thoughts - Does Love makes things Real ?

I've been ruminating on a couple deep thought blogs for the last month. Of course I never have time to actually get these on paper, but let me give it a go today.

Deep Thought # 1 - Does Love makes thing Real? What happens when that Love moves on?

We have a number of friends that are currently moving out/ moving on from Bangalore and its got me thinking, a bit sad and overall reflective.

In the Velveteen Rabbit, love is what makes him real. Is that true for our experience in India? (or for our overall life experiences in general?) While we loved our experience: India, Indians, the culture, the food, the history, the craziness .... at the end of the day, the reason we loved our 2 1/2 years there was because of the people, our friends and connections. They are the ones that made it "real" to me.

They also say that friends are the family you choose for yourself.

So, now that many of our "family" members from the last 2 1/2 years are moving out from Bangalore, I am feeling conflicted. My ties to that wonderful experience/reality are moving on. Does that make Bangalore less real to me? I do still have good friends there, but the quanitity that reside in Bangalore are shrinking fast. I am losing my connection to that wonderful time/place in my life. This makes me sad. This close, intense and very "real" experience no longer exists. Maybe I was haboring false hopes that even while we moved back to MN, this reality was still alive and well and available for me to tap into. In a few weeks, that wont be the case anymore (at least it wont be the case with the same intensity).

But, it also means that I now have family all over the world. Brazil, Costa Rica, Bavaria, Quebec, Mumbai and yes, still Bangalore. This is opening a window of new experiences that is cool in and of itself, but not very "real" yet.

I am not sure how this makes me feel. Can you feel homesick for something that doesnt exist anymore? (ie late nights on the deck with red wine solving the world ills, long lazy Sunday brunches, pedicures, martini's on the way home from work, etc)

I am sure that to many people this will sound like ... "well "duh" you are just getting to this NOW?! You moved back to the US in January". Maybe I am a slow learner. But, it makes me sad that the people I love in Bangalore wont be together any more. It makes me hopeful that we'll get new cool experiences with them, but it also feels like the door just closed a little further on our wonderful time in India.

So, what am I going to do about it??? Hold my friends here close, hold my remaining friends in Bangalore even closer and reach out to my family around the world in new ways to stay connect and create a new reality for all us.

Monday, June 15, 2009

MS150 - Recap and THANK YOU!!!

Well, its official, we have completed another year of the MS150...successfully, I might add!
It was a record year on many accounts - Over 3,300 riders (plus hundreds of volunteers) raised over $2.5 million dollars.

I raised over $1,700 and am feeling pretty good today. (Thanks to Wendy and my other riding buddies for looking out for me:))

Day 1 was a race against dark clouds. We spent a cold night in our tent in Proctor and got on our bikes early and anxious to warm up. We rode the Munger Trail the whole day and raced towards the black clouds that were heading north. We did well and escaped riding in the rain. We met with some new friends, George & Cathy, and had an easy 1st day. (Small world, George is from Rochester and knows our friends Heather & Brian - our neighbors in India!!)

Tom, Annemiek and the kids joined us for a picnic in Hinckley in the afternoon. Annemiek rode her bike up from the cities and Tom kept us hydrated and fed with beer, wine, salmon deviled eggs, beef jerky, humus, crackers and cheese. Cynthia also stopped by and gave us some killer massages. Thanks to our support group for your efforts, its great to know we'll end the day seeing smiling faces:)!

After our support group packed up and headed back to MPLS, it started to rain (and rain, and lightening, and rain) Needless to say this put a damper on our partying and we all retreated to our tents and fell asleep for the night. (not that a bunch of 40+ yr old people who just biked 75 miles are a whole lot of fun to begin with.....)

The morning in Hinckley was a gorgeous cloudless day. They changed the ride route on the 2nd day and I have to admit, it was pretty damn boring. 4 county roads, 4 turns and miles and miles of farmland. The way was easy until the post lunch heat hit (lunch being 9:30am since we are up at 5:00am both mornings with a 6:30am start on our bikes). Word to the wise, a balmy 80 when you are not on your bike feels a lot more like 90+ when you are on your bike, have 35 miles of a 150 mile trip left and are on hot black top. The good news.... my friends kept me motivated and kept me going. Thanks to Ned, Wendy, Dick and George for "waiting up" for me when the hills looked a little too long and the cars were moving by a little too fast:)

We ended in Nowthen (really, thats the name of a town in MN, google it...), ate a bit, got a massage and signed up for next year:)

Overall a fun, relaxing, stressfree, injury free weekend. (Another personal accomplishment... I managed to read the latest copy of People, US Weekly and In Touch. Nice.)

Cant wait to do it again:) ...only 363 days until the next ride....

Thanks to all of you for your support of friendship, well wishes, good vibes and of course...the money:)


(I'll post photos soon!)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Summer Lovin havin a blast

The school year has come to a screeching halt, the summer schedule is already double booked and finding time to breath is difficult, why is that I ask?

The Kammans, Greg and Des had us over for dinner, drinks and relaxation and it was a blast, so much so that first Annual Kamman/Murphy Cookoff has been scheduled for August more info as the date rushes up at us...

The last week of school was full of many goodbyes, graduations and in the middle of all that Grandma and Grandpa Hickey stopped by for a visit on their way to Michigan.

Kay was the student of the week for finals week and Grandma Hickey went to class to read a book and to help Kay show her adoption book. Kay of course had to stand in the middle of the book so no one else could see until one of the kindergartners said "move!" and she did and they all responded with a loud "thanks Kay!". She was very sad that she was leaving Mrs. Houston's room and had to bring several going away presents to Mrs. Houston. Kay told Mrs. Houston that she was going to bring a special gift to the picnic and we all were wondering why Mrs. Houston was sick and missed the picnic. I mean who does not think it adorable when a child brings her teacher gifts, all hand made out various used household items like paper towel, toilet paper rolls and chewing gum. Kay received full marks, a diploma and when we picked her up Mrs. Houston announced here is the next group of first graders!!!!

James had a fun filled packed last week of school and interestingly enough there was no homework, what is up with that? Just because it is the last week does mean in my book to teach the kids to slack off, that is for the high school years not in grade school mister... get out a book and start reading, don't give me that look or it will be no, .....sorry just trying to stay in good parenting shape. Jimmy has been looking forward to summer vacation and to becoming a second grader. The morning of the last day he got early to make Mrs.VanBatvia a thank you card which read" Dear Mrs. VanBatavia, thank you for teaching me a whole bunch of stuff. Hope you like your new class next year and I will miss you as my teacher. Maybe I can stop by and see you. Have a fun summer To: Mrs.VanBatavia From: Jimmy 9". It was totally his idea to do this, he's a sweet kid.

Then upon reaching the classroom on Friday he announced " Who's ready to party?!" and party they did. The first graders all got together at a local park for lunch, games and family time. The event was totally chaotic and at point I asked Jimmy " Hey Jim when do we get to eat lunch?" His response " When Mrs. Johnson blows her whistle" and sure enough a little while later a women who I presume to be Mrs. Johnson blows a whistle and all the kids stop what they are doing and run to the basketball court and sit down and then all the parents started to attack Mrs. Johnson because who in their right mind would not want that whistle!

Billy on the other hand has been on vacation since his announcement regarding spongebob ( see earlier post) and has been waiting for his sibs to catch up. He has been doing some art work and working on his channelling skills. He has successfully channeled Charlie Chaplin and recently tried to channel the gate keeper from the Wizard of Oz...

Bill will start gymnastics this summer and is looking forward to playing at the park and riding his bike

More summer loving to follow