Thursday, July 21, 2011

After 20 Years of Waiting...

...I saw NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK in concert!  Let me tell you something folks, last night was the greatest night of my life.

Someday, I'm sure the memory of this concert will settle into a deserving 3rd place, behind the appropriate 30-Year-Old Mom memories - wedding and childbirth.  But today, and last night, it sits way, way, waaaaaay up there at a soaring #1.  It was amazing.  It took my breath away.  I cried.  And I'll try to tell you all the wonderful details, but they will never do this night justice.  So here we go:

Me, Analese, Charity, Eric and Karen

We started the night in the cheap seats, where we saw the opening act, Matthew Morrison - Mr. Schuester from Glee!  (I often have to remind myself that I do NOT live in a perpetual episode of Glee and that it is NOT appropriate to burst out into song at any given moment.)  We didn't know if there would be an opening act, so when he took the stage, I was beyond excited!  He sang and danced and generally made me warm and happy all over.  We knew immediately that we HAD to get closer.  Analese had a friend down on the first level (not the floor, but one up from there) who said there were lots of seats open, so off we went, and you know what?  W e waltzed our way right next to the darn stage!  We were so, SO close, you guys.  Closer to the love of my life than I ever thought I'd ever be.

When the lights went off, I knew it was going to be good.  I, along with thousands and thousands of other old ladies, started feeling that tingle of nostalgia.  The lights came up, and there they were - New Kids on the Block and The Back Street Boys, standing with legs apart, heads down, on a stage that was spewing fog and ascending into the air!  I started screaming.  Now, I've been to shows and concerts before, and I like to scream and cheer and get crazy, so I know what my normal "hey, I like this band" scream sounds like.  But this scream?

This scream came from a part of my body that hasn't been this excited since she was ten years old.  This was a pure, involuntary, smitten, joyful, manic adolescent scream.  I don't think I'll ever hear it again.

They sang the first song together, and toward the end, they separated so that the New Kids danced their way down the catwalk to the smaller circle in the middle of the floor.  Then this happened, and I cried (you can also hear my aforementioned girl scream at the end):

I mean, I wasn't bawling or anything, but my eyes were filled with tears, and my heart was racing, and I just couldn't believe what I was feeling!  I expected the show to be great, but I did not expect it to whisk me away to my Mom's basement circa 1989, where the neighbor girls and I spent an entire summer perfecting our NKOTB dance moves.  All I could think about was that tiny boom box, my cassette tapes, and my finger pressing the play button a hundred times a day.  I was overwhelmed to say the least.

For the rest of the show, I kept my eyes on Joey.  I did my best to put down the camera every once in a while, but I couldn't resist the urge to catch this experience and hang on to it forever!  Here are some more videos and pictures, but they will never, never, NEVER be able to show you how much fun we had.

Here's my boyfriend singing "Summertime" and showing off his hot bod!  Some of these moves were borderline inappropriate, but then again, I'm old.  I certainly didn't mind watching it!

And here's a video that Eric took from two rows behind me.  Can you believe how close we were??  Clearly, Joe couldn't find me in the crowd, otherwise he would have certainly proposed at this point.  I guess he was too busy flirting with the hussies a few rows up from us.  Psh!

At one point, Danny Wood was standing in that spot.  I waved to him, and he looked me right in the eye and WAVED BACK!  Whaaaa!!!!!  I don't even like him!  But I was so happy!!!

Just a-singin' and a-dancin'!

This is one of the Back Street Boys, don't know which one, but he was just adorable!

I stood next to Charity for the whole show, and she's a Back Street fan (a youngin'), and we agreed that the set up of the show was fantastic.  They would alternate songs so that we heard a few NKOTB and a few BSB and then sometimes they'd sing together.  More bands should do this!  It gave me time to recover from my Joey high while watching her swoon for a while.  Also, Charity wins the luckiest fan award, because when the show was over, we could see them walking behind the stage on the floor below us, and wouldn't you know it - Donnie Whalberg threw his sweaty towel into the crowd and Charity CAUGHT IT!  Oh my word, how awesome is that?!

It was really such an amazing night!  One I will not soon forget.  And just for anyone out there wondering: I haven't been to an arena concert since 2005.  Who did I see?  Nine Inch Nails.  And I loved it!  But not as much as I loved this.  This should hold me over for at least another 20 years.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What a Weekend!

My loving and wonderful husband, along with my loving and wonderful parents, planned a great weekend getaway for us in Lexington.  Mom and Jay met us Saturday afternoon and took Sylvia up to their house for the night.  Let me say that again: they TOOK MY CHILD AWAY FROM ME.  Do I sound mad, or sad, or upset?  Because I wasn't.  I was so, incredibly happy!  I love my daughter more than anything, but taking her for the night, and letting us have some fun, was the world's greatest gift.  I was thrilled!

Before I tell you how much fun I had this weekend, let me give you a little sneak peek at how much fun Sylvia had:

 (I took this video when we went to pick her up today - she did NOT miss me!)

After Mom and Jay took our kid, I found out that we would not be staying at a friend's house!  Instead, Mom and Jay got us a hotel room (as a birthday present) and I almost cried when I realized that I'd be sleeping in a giant, comfy, QUIET bed, without a baby waking me up in the morning.  Here's what we found when we got into the room...

 What I thought was an enormous box of chocolates turned out to be these babies!  Woah, Mama!

When I had a glass of champagne in one hand, a strawberry in the other, and a cozy couch underneath me, I told Sylvain I wasn't leaving the room.  Ever.  I told him to cancel all of our plans, because the champagne and strawberries were more than enough to fill me up for the night.  But then he reminded me why we came - we had reservations at the world's greatest restaurant - Malone's!  I sighed when I realized that I'm very, very lucky.

I suppose there are lots of people in Lexington that can eat at Malone's whenever they want, because some of the patrons were not as dressed up as I think everyone should be.  To us, Malone's is a big deal - for very special occasions - and we haven't been there since December 29th, 2009.  Laura talked me into buying a new blue dress just for this dinner, and darn it, we looked goooooood!  I've been dreaming about this meal for months.  We had the Lexingtonian Salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, I had the filet medallions crusted with bleu cheese and a side of fresh asparagus.  People, there is little in this world that makes me as happy as this food.  It is worth every penny and I savored every bite!  YUM!!!

Sylvain was very cryptic about our after-dinner plans, so I assumed something was up.  I figured we'd be meeting up with some friends to have drinks, but I though there would only be a few, since almost all of our friends have babies.  Well, there were more than a few folks waiting for us next door at Harry's Bar!  It was pretty much everyone I love in Lexington, PLUS a couple of babies!  Yippee!!

 Michael, Sylvain, Pete, Emily, Ben, and Emily.  

John, Megan, Clover, Laura (Ellie in her carrier!), Krista, Emily

 My awesome (and delicious) 80's themed cupcakes!

 Sylvain never smiles with teeth!  I love this picture!!!

 Laura and Ellie, right after she woke up and caught a glimpse of the lights and ceiling fan.

 John and Clover

 Thanks for talking me into this dress, Laura!

We sat outside, had some drinks, and chit-chatted about the good old days for hours and hours.  Then, around 11:30, Michael and I were ready to sing karaoke, or go dancing, or party until the "breaka breaka dawn," in his words.  But then I remembered that I'm old, and I thought about that amazing hotel bed and the fluffy cloud pillows, and I really, really, REALLY wanted to get a good night's sleep.  When everyone else left, so did we, and it was the right move.   I was tucked in and fast asleep by midnight.  We're not as young as we used to be, and I don't mind one bit!  

We checked out this morning and I said a tearful goodbye to our hotel room.  I was excited to get up to Mom's house and see my Nugget, though!  Clearly, she didn't even know I was gone.  She generally behaved like a wild woman, and I'm sure Mom was exhausted after trying to keep up with her.  
Since I'm a sucker for getting stuck with my baby in awkward public situations, I thought it would be a great idea to invite Ann and Cecilia out to a movie.  Ann loves Winnie the Pooh and always has, so as soon as I saw the previews a few months ago, I knew we would have to do this.  It was Sylvia's and Cecilia's first movie, so there was no telling how this would work out.

 Wouldn't you know, those girls sat on our laps and watched the WHOLE DANG MOVIE!!!  I could not believe it.  Sylvia never once fussed, or squirmed or tried to run around the theater.  Ann brought a few Winnie the Pooh toys, and we both smuggled in plenty of baby snacks, so these girls had the time of their lives!  It was a ton of fun.

 Cecilia was decked out in the finest Pooh Bear jumper.  What a cutie pie!

After the movie, Sylvia was worn out, so we popped over to Dad's house to drop of a birthday present for Sally (Happy Birthday!!!) and then we headed on home.  Now for a nice relaxing week or two before our entire world gets turned upside down.  I'll post soon about the house selling details, I'm forcing myself not to think about it for a while.

Friday, July 8, 2011

4th of July and Other Adventures

We've been on the go for over a week and I'm just now sitting down to dump some pictures onto the blog.  Whew!  Here's the lowdown:

Last Friday we visited yet another amazing sprayground!  While Sylvain played a little disk golf, Sylvia and I hit the sprayground and playground for a good two hours.  She loved every second of it!  What a water bug!

My sweet nephew and Sylvia's favorite cousin, Charlie, turned two years old on Sunday!  We had a blast at his birthday party.  Sylvia really held her own running around with a bunch of older kids. 

 Tickle Me Elmo!

We busted out her super cute 4th of July dress one day early.  You know, as a sneak peek.

On Monday morning, we went to the Ft. Thomas parade, which was RISKY because it meant Sylvia didn't take her morning nap.  It was rainy and gross outside, but we went anyway, and she had a blast!  We got there early for a primo spot in front of the firehouse, so there was plenty of room to run around and we were able to stand in the garage to stay dry. 

 Sylvia cannot resist petting dogs (or cats, or horses, or people, for that matter).  Luckily, every dog we've ever encountered has been kid-friendly!

I don't know if you can tell from these pictures, but the girl NEVER STOPS MOVING!  I'm suprised we got any pictures at all!  Once the parade started, I held her and she stayed put, because it was the only way she could see.  She loved the marching band and the dance team!  And she squealed whenever candy was thrown in our direction or whenever there was a dog in the parade.  Good times.

That night we went to Dad's house for supper, and I used my fancy shmancy camera which took terrible pictures.  Since Sylvia was on a food strike (Monday was her second day of not eating anything but cheerios), I thought maybe Sally could work some magic and get her to eat SOMETHING.  Sure enough, after she turned down hot dogs, green beans, and pasta, Sally brought out the one thing no child will ever resist:

An ice cream cone!  Which she devoured in a heartbeat, only taking a quick break to play "Let's All Touch Our Heads," her favorite game to play with Uncle Evan.

We were planning to come home on Tuesday, but decided to stay an extra day to hang out with this guy:

Uncle Evan is heading off to the Army in October (which is another post for another day), and since he and Uncle John were both free on Wednesday, we decided to take our annual trip to King's Island!  It was hot.  Sylvia and I left early.  But it was really fun to see the Uncles and spend some time together. 

So there you have it, our 4th of July adventures in a nutshell.  July always seems to fly by, and with our packed schedule over the next three weeks (weekend vacays, conference in Morehead, trip to Lake Erie, moving into Mom's house) this month will be over before I know it.  Yipes!