Tuesday, April 30, 2013

it's finally here...

...warm weather. (if you live south of me, please stop laughing). 

In Maine, we survived an especially long winter this year.  Or maybe it was a normal winter; I don't even know anymore, but it felt record-breaking-long to me. So when the forecast showed up with an entire weekend of sunshine and high 60s, I felt like I was bursting out the end of a really long, cold, dark tunnel.

I have so many nice things to say about 60 degrees. Every single year that I see the cold, grey earth start to green up and the leaves unfurl, it feels like an actual miracle.  A miracle!

BREAKFAST on the deck?  So good.  

I finally got my bike out for the first time, and I had forgotten how much I love it. I just went for a quick 16 miler to work out the kinks and find my biking legs again, but it was enough to remind me about that particular satisfaction that comes from cresting a hill and flying down the other side of it.

The rest of my weekend included (besides the awesome 5K on Saturday morning) dinner with my dear friend Jenn, time to read, deck sitting, gardening with Tim, Red Sox, a motorcycle ride, and waterfall watching. Once I got my kids back Sunday afternoon, we added in catch in the backyard, burgers on the grill, corn on the cob, and ice cream cones for dessert.  Also, I wore flip flops all weekend, enough of a reason to get emotional right there.

Thank you, thank you. 

"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness." ~John Steinbeck

Okay, fine, Mr. Steinbeck.  I guess you are right.  WELCOME, sweet sunshine.  Please stay.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Great Day and Race Report: Erin's Run!

 On Saturday morning, as the Bangor waterfront park filled with more and more people wearing purple and the signature butterfly that represents Erin, it was hard not to feel Erin's huge presence.  I also kept wondering what she would have thought of all this.  I can see the exact expression she would have made, a smile that meant she was kind of embarrassed but overwhelmed with pride.  

More than 400 people turned out for Erin's Run 5K.  It was a beautiful day and a joyful celebration of Erin's life. 
This is Erin's mom.  She said she thought the event was going to be really difficult emotionally, but that once she was there, she didn't want it to end.  There was so much love in the air. 
 I had so much fun checking people in at the registration table and getting to see so many friends and former students.  These girls were my FIRST students 12 years ago.

more students! Love for the Huber girls. 

my mom came out and walked too!
As for my running, I have one thing to say:  I'm not getting faster anymore.  I'll have to do something about that.  

Ben, my friend and a former class mate of Erin's,  (standing in front of the microphone) did an amazing job (understatement) pulling this event together.  400 people and more than $12,000 raised for the first year?  Just imagine next year!

Besides all the love for Erin, I was struck by what it means to live and raise kids in a community like Bangor.   I feel so lucky that I chose this as home, a place where we take care of our own, honor our friends, and rally around each other for a good cause.  Seeing the many students that came through my classroom and now work and give back in the world, I just feel so lucky to be a part of it all. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring Break, part two.

When I got home from New York, I had four days ahead of me with my kids before we went back to school. Pretty soon, the days took shape and filled up with plans of day trips, hikes, picnics, friends, and road races. I love it when that happens.

Thursday = hiking.

silly faces and trail mix.

my friend Ange, each of us with a cute boy. 
Friday = Day trip to Bar Harbor with my mom, and then exploring at Wonderland.

Saturday = bonding with Hillary,  basketball with Tim, a road race, and burgers on the grill.

So much love for Hillary.

And the Healthy High 10K at UMaine.  Everyone wore blue and yellow in honor of Boston.

Geez, Hill.  Why don't you look like you just raced 6.2 miles?

Sunday = 7 kids set free in the woods.

And a glimpse of Reed's perseverance:  trying to shoot baskets with Tim, set to Reed's favorite song.

Tim and Reed Sunday hoops from Emilie Manhart on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New York in 40 photos

Oh hey, handsome.  I'm coming with you

to Spring in New York. 

We found sunshine and blooming flowers and bagels and art and all the crazy, frenetic, vibrant energy that is the people of New York. 

Tim's mother Ansley gifted us with this trip, and put us up in an apartment, so we really and truly got to move into this city together, to try it on, to create a little routine that even after the first day felt natural.  Both of us have New York in us, and it was so good to tap into our city parts together. 
Our Midtown home for 4 nights. 
Central Park on morning one, springy green, and rock sitting in the sun. 

We ran a bit but mostly we walked.  And walked and walked and walked.  We walked about ten miles each day. 

and we sat in the sunshine and looked at people and listened to all the languages and smelled all the good smells. 
Metropolitan Museum of Art.  We were there for hours and didn't even make a dent. 


Jackson Pollack

Not pictured:  Cuban food at Victor's with adorably charming Spanish speaking waiters and my favorite:  fried PLANTAINS
Dad telling child to flap her wings.  She was thrilled to be photographed by a stranger too. 
We subwayed to the Bronx for a Yankees game, where we sat up high in the grandstands in the wind and I felt guilty about being there, but I'll admit it was pretty cool.  (Go Sox). 

popcorn, of course. 

I have a THING for New York bagels, especially the salt variety.  It's so chewy-doughy-crispy-salty and it was everything I'd hoped and dreamed.  Wasn't there something about a juice fast last week?

Times Square never changes, but it's good to check the pulse of the city from here, and to sit and marvel at ALL THE HUMANITY. 

just taking a quiet moment to check in at home. 
yes, that IS a big smile on my face.
I took this photo for Reed.  When he saw it, he said:  "WHAT THE...!?"  It turns out Batman wears fanny packs and Captain America was actually Russian. 

Tim's mother Ansley has quickly become one of my favorite people.  You should see how she owns that city. 

It was just after these photos were taken in Times Square that we got word of the bombs at the Boston Marathon.  I quickly got in touch with Kristina who was a block away from the explosion after she finished the race, but was okay.  Just like all of us, I'm sure, I couldn't stop thinking about it or checking the news.

Not Pictured:  Amazing meal at West End Grill with Ansley, and then Peter and the Star Catcher, which I totally loved.

It was a fitting yet emotional time to visit Ground Zero.  We started on Wall Street. 
Two park rangers looking at George Washington looking at the New York Stock Exchange. 

We watched tourists, one after another, make their hand like George Washington. 

Trinity Church, in the shadow of the World Trade Center.

The new tower going up, just beyond Trinity Church

Waterfall memorials in the footprints of the old Twin Towers.  Incredibly moving and somehow very soothing. 

Phew.  It was big and emotional, and we ended the morning with walking walking walking back uptown, to breath in the warm air and flowers. 
And our last night brought us to the West Village and Washington Square Park.  I could live here, yes.

And dinner with my Marjorie at Otto's Pizzeria (yum) where I got to sit at a table for hours with Tim and Marj and watch my worlds merging together.  LOVE and FOOD and FRIENDSHIP in NEW YORK.  Drag me away.  I didn't want to go.

I love you New York, so sweet and salty.  
And I felt even better about New York by seeing how they responded to what happened in Boston, linking arms and singing "Sweet Caroline" at the Yankees Game on Tuesday night, and this:
taken from the train.  Goodbye New York.  We'll be back. 
I am proud of us, how we squeezed every drop out of our time there, how we navigated subway lines and walked block after block, soaked up art and baseball and everything in between, and how even early this morning, Tim agreed to go BACK to the bagel shop for another hot half-a-dozen for the road.   Thank you, Ansley, for a trip to remember. 

Back in Maine now, and one thousand hugs and kisses later, my kids are sleeping upstairs.