Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve 2008

So we woke up on the 26th of December and decided that if Brad was going to go to Florida with me and we were going to have time to see my Dad and Doris that we needed to leave the next couple of days. So after a few phone calls and lots of luck, off we were to MA. Jenny Wideawake drove us to Nancy and Peter's house, where we stayed for 2 nights to have Xmas with them. Then Nancy took us to the airport on the 30th and off we were to Florida. My Dad and Doris were generous enough to let us stay with them for the week. We had tons of fun in the sun and at the flea market.

New Years Eve was one to remember! We were getting ready to go out when Brad got a call that Caitlyn was going to the hospital. Thank goodness it turned out to be nothing. The rest of the evening was spent at a dance at the club house where Dad and Doris live.

All smiles for me! We had lots of entertainment watching the retired couples party down.

If you ADDED our age together we were the average age of each person in the room. But their age didn't seem to matter because they could have won any dance competition against Brad and I. We certainly had LOTS of laughs that night, at OURSELVES!

My Dad and Doris, certainly know how to cut a rug!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Our Christmas

This year for Christmas we got to have Cait with us. She was here for the week before and Christmas as well. Brad was finishing up his last few days at Manchester and we were busy playing with the puppies and all the company that stopped by. We got to go see my parents on the 22nd and Brad's family came here on the 23rd. Christmas day we had to a BIG breakfast, and opened LOTS and LOTS of gifts. Brad had to leave for work at 2:30, but by then Cait and I were ready to veg and watch a movie. It truly was a VERY special Christmas for us.

XMAS 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

New Job

After 6 months wading through a hiring process like I have never been through before the news came. At 10:00 am on December 24th I received the call from Lt Geno of the Rutland City Police Department that I had been given the job of Communication Operator there. I think the whole neighborhood heard my yell of triumph. I was in Manchester within the next few hours tendering my resignation with the Chief.

Of course Donna and I celebrated that night with a bottle of champagne!!!!
I had been a dispatcher for the Manchester Police Department for over 18 years 15 of that full time. After moving to Rutland City the commute was getting long and the schedule at Manchester allowed little time to be with Cait.
The news could not come at a better time, what a Xmas present. Also It allowed Donna and I to sure up our plans to vacation in Florida and attend her National conference in Tampa between jobs.

Our Visitor

This little gem was a guest for one night before christmas. Our friends Paul and Shelly got this little girl for their son for Xmas. She is a English Mastiff just 8 weeks old and already heavier than our Lola who is 7 months old.

Here they are picking her up to take home. She was to stay with us until christmas eve but they could not wait and took her the next day couple days before Xmas. Merry Christmas!!

Extended Family

This is Vince and I with our Godson, Jelani. Hard to think that he is already 8. It just seems like yesterday that Mark and Tina asked Vince and I to be his Godparents. I LOVE being his Ninang (means Godmother in Filipino). He is just one of the sweetest young men you could meet. Mark and Tina have done an amazing job teaching him to be a gentleman.

This is Jelani's mommy, Tina. This is where
Jelani gets all his sweetness from!

Here is Mark, Jelani and Vince. Jelani gets all his athletic ability and smooth talking from these guys!

Vince is one of my longest RutVegas friends. I can't tell you how many times my phone has called his number to help me in some way. I know that I can always depend on him!!!

These guys couldn't be anymore family then if they were of the same blood!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Pia's Cookies

Who is Pia you ask? Pia is my adopted german daughter. She is a wonderful 21 year old blue eyed 'strassenkouterblond' which literaly means street dog blonde or dirty blonde. This gem stayed with my family for three weeks in 2004 on an exchange trip from Luedinghausen, Germany. And as luck would have it we visited her in Germany in 2005 for 4 weeks. To let everyone know Pia loves american chocolate chip cookies with nuts. I send some whenever I can.

Before christmas this year while Cait was staying with us we decided to make a batch of cookies to send over as Pia is attending University in the Netherlands and every college students needs care packages from home.

The results of Cait's and my labor are below

Lots of chips and nuts and a whole bunch of LOVE

After cooling we packed the cookies into a tupperware bin each individually wrapped. It weighed over 4 pounds. I have heard back from Pia who is the envy of her mates for having an american dad who bakes her cookies. I hope she shared them!!!!

Just a note here....usually with divorce there is a lot of negativity, but luckily I have been able to do alot of these little projects and spend time with Cait more than I did before the divorce. I love you Cait.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Hale's

The title I hope explains these shots. This is my famn damily. Donna did a portrait session for us so I could give them to our mom for Christmas. Little did Greg and Tanya know they would be recipients also. So in the back is myself and Greg, in the middle row is Caitlyn, Richard and Tanya and in front is Ranae and Rachel (twins).
You could not have asked for any better models for this session. everyone took direction from Donna without hesitation..even Greg.

This shot here was my idea. Quite a few years ago my mom had given us some of the family portraits for ourselves. It includes the photo we are holding of Greg an myself some 38 years ago. Knowing I had this photo I wanted one taken of us now with it. My mother claims we have not changed since just a little older.....I think her eyesight is failing..... I am very glad to have this photo taken. A lot of our childhood my brother and I were at odds with each other being so close in age and the standard sibling rivalries that everyone one goes through. But its been the last several years that Greg and I have had the best relationship. Must be the getting older thing. Anyways, thanks to Greg and his family for doing this for me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Our Family Portrait

For the last 14 years I have made sure that at least once a year I put myself in the shoes of my clients. It really helps me know what they go through with the stress of clothing and everything that else that comes with having a portrait done.

This year Brad, I and the girls made the 2 and half hour journey to Newport Vermont. I got it into my head that I wanted to have Bella the cat in the image too. You see the three of the them play so much together, that I really thought we had a chance getting a good image. Well, I wish all of you could have seen Mr. Whipple's face when I told him that we had the cat too.

As you can see Don did it! Not only did he get a good image, he got an AMAZING image. We could not be happier with our portraits. And the memories that I have from watching the 2 dogs and the cat sitting in the back seat of the Jeep playing, I will always treasure!

Fall Session

Monday, October 8, 2007

My new Helper!!

Handsome and he can work a stamper too, doesn't get much sexier then that! Brad helped out MUCH this fall when Lori THOUGHT she wanted to work full time at an office. Brad did GREAT but boy was I happy when Lori came back!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Caitlyn playing hockey

My daughter Caitlyn had decided to try her hand at field hockey this year. I was proud to see trying a team sport, you learn a lot of life's lessons playing team sports. After gathering equipment she needed including prescription goggles she set out to play. I made it to a few of her games. She played hard whenever she was on the field as you can see here as she defends in front of the goal against Hoosick Falls, NY

Most of the games, Cait had many spectators including our dogs Kodiak and Lola. As you can see we are all watching her play or were we looking at the concession stand across the field...I don't remember..haha. But we were intense rooters for the team. GO SALEM!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Grandma and Grandpa Madden

Look at ME with my Grandpa Madden.
He let me get up on the chair and sit on
his lap. My Daddy doesn't even allow
me to do that.

My Grandma wanted to brush me. She thought my hair was too wild. My Mommy warned me not to let her. Mommy remembered how much it hurt when she was little!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Brad's 40th Birthday SURPRISE!!

September is a very busy time for Donna, so I figured my birthday would come and go. The day before my birthday Donna had a wedding shoot for our friends Besty and Eli. I had to work a midnight shift that night. We got home late after the reception and I headed to work. After making my stop for coffee I made it to work only to find Donna there with a small ice cream cake and a few presents and her explaining it was all she could do being so busy. Not a problem for me, I'm not that big on my birthday anyways.

After making it home the morning of my birthday after work, I was very tired. While getting ready for some rest, Donna asked if I would like to go to brunch a little later, "sure" I said. So I slept for an hour or so. When I awoke, Donna made some remarks about not going and just staying home, which would have been fine with me, but we did end up heading to The South Station for brunch. We arrived at the restaurant and I headed to the back room where brunch is usually served but Donna said to follow her into a side room where we found my parents, my daughter Cait, my brother Greg and his wife Tanya, our friends Gordon and Amy and Lori and Terry. That was pretty cool I thought. We had brunch and I opened some presents which included an orange foam hat that looked like a traffic cone that said "caution, turning 40"

After eating I noticed a large white SUV limo pull up outside, WOW someone is coming to brunch in style I thought. Little did I know it was for me. Donna had arranged for the limo to take us on a trip that day. Donna gave me an envelope and inside was an itinerary for our day. This would be a 40th birthday brewery tour. COOL! After saying goodbye to friends an family, Greg and Tanya and Donna and myself loaded up and headed out. Our first stop was Middlebury, VT. home of Otter Creek Brewery. We had a small tour and a TASTING! Loading up again and heading out we landed in South Burlington at Magic Hat Brewery where our friends Bob and Mike serenaded me from the tower with a rousing verse of Happy Birthday. And again another TASTING! Bob and Mike joined us in the limo and we picked up Mike's wife Lisa and headed to Switchback Brewey....only to find it not open...Off to the next.

We landed next at The Vermont Pub and Brewery in Burlington meeting Ed and Gillian with grandson Anthony. A fabulous dinner was had by all with lots of conversation and laughter. My beers were compliments of the staff there. My kind of place! You can see the group in front of the limo above. Saying goodbye to Bob, Mike, Lisa, Ed, Gillian and Anthony, the rest of us headed out again this time to Waterbury finding The Alchemist Pub. After sampling new varieties and being bought one by a patron we headed home. What a day...worked all night, slept few minutes,brunch,limo ride, brewery tours and home again around 10:30 that night. Do I have the coolest girlfriend or what!!!! Thanks Donna, guess I have a renewed sense of my birthday, wink wink......

Birthday Brewery Tour

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

PPANE 2007 Convention

The calm before the storm is what you see here! Some how I convinced the boys to get a pedicure with me while we killed time waiting for a judges plane to land. All was going good till Brad and Ken went to get a beer while my toes dried. Brad being the great boyfriend he is offered to pay.

As I was sitting there waiting for my toes to dry, I seemed to notice the workers talking rather fast, a little hostel and of course in a different language. I suddenly got the feeling that maybe they didn't get a tip. I made a phone call to the boys to find out and sure enough, NO TIP!

One of the best parts about PPANE is catching up with friends you don't get to see every day. This year was particularly special. Here are the roomy's with RICHARD! We all graduated from RISP and have kept in contact for the last 18 years. Gosh, that is more years then I want to admit to!

Like all convention for ME, a job comes with it. This year was one of the biggest jobs I have had to do. I was the Convention/Programs chair. The work going into the convention was tremendous but all and all at the convention was a breeze. That could be because I had my Superman by my side to help!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Girls

The Girls......

This is Kodiak. Her Uncle Peter named her.
She was one of Ellie's puppies. Yacky Yack Kodiak!

Meet Bella the CAT. I have to tell her she is a cat all the time because she really thinks she is a dog. Her sister Annie, lives with her Aunt Lori and Uncle Terry. I am not sure who enjoys playing with who more, but these three play together ALL the time.

Here is LA LA Lola. Her name really says it all. The newest member of the family and she fits right in. Brad thinks she is Ellie reincarnated. Which is very possible being that she was born on the day that Ellie passed.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Birthday Queen Slide Show

The Birthday Queen

If you KNOW me you know that I am the BIRTHDAY QUEEN!!! I LOVE my birthday. We all get ONE day a year that is OURS and I do the best I can to make it a GREAT day. A great day to me is having my friends from near and far to share my day with. Ever year it gets better and this year was no different. If it wasn't enough to have one of my favorite musician's, Todd Thibaud there I still had many surprises to follow. My dear dear friend Heather and her husband Rob came from RI. Heather and I went to photography school together and she was the closest thing to a roommate without paying rent. LOL

Another special part of my birthday was Mary coming in all the way from Cincinnati. Considering how much she travels it meant a lot for her to come all this way. She got to meet Brad and give her OK! And lets not forget about my Jeep being stolen at the dealership. It made for a very interesting few days!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Meet LOLA!!

My name is Lola! My Mommy and Daddy got me in New Jersey. I am a Jersey Girl! Mommy got my name because her friend, Uncle Markie calls her Lola. Funny story you should ask my Mommy sometime. I am a GoldenDoodle!

The first couples days in my new home were tough. My Sissy, Kodiak didn't want much to do with me and I wasn't sure I wanted much to do with Bella the cat.

But I knew I was in the right home cause my Daddy would take naps with me. And Daddy gave me my first bath.

This is my Sissy, Kodiak and me. Mommy and Daddy told me she was very sad when her mommy, Ellie died. My job was to cheer her up!!!

Did I tell you my Daddy likes to take naps with me?

Me and Mommy at the Beach!

This is me and one of my Grand-pa's.
I am the luckiest GoldenDoodle EVER!