Thursday, August 28, 2008

a non-baby related post

I want to share something about myself that many of you don't know about. This is non-baby related so if you're not interested, stop reading now and check in another day or two when I post about the next phase of our vacation.

I have a passion...actually it's more of an obsession. A healthy one at least. I am a drum corps junkie. "What is drum corps?", you's marching band on steroids. It's a bunch of musical athletes who tryout and pay to tour, rehearse, and perform all summer long. All these kids are high school or college age. What they can accomplish is insane. It's beautiful. It's loud. It's poetry in motion.

Simply said...I love drum corps. I have since 1990 and while I have never been to the world championships, I still try every year. This was supposed to be the year. It was Indianapolis and I had tickets. BUT a couple months before our vacation (which was timed so I could go to finals) they changed the venue to Bloomington, IN because the new Colts stadium wasn't ready yet. So knowing how little time we already had with family and friends, we decided another 2 hour drive wasn't possible. So again, no finals.

I haven't seen drum corps live since 2003. I buy the cds and dvds every year but it's not the same as experiencing it live. When we decided we wouldn't go to finals this year, I looked at the schedule to see if there were any shows within a couple hundred miles that maybe I could go to. Luckily, there was one.

My favorite corps is Phantom Regiment. They have been since 1990 when I heard them play Camille Saint-Saen's Bacchanale (look it up, it's awesome). Year after year, they continually put down emotional shows with tons of power and passion. I've watched this year's show evolved online and couldn't pass up the opportunity to go watch them rehearse in Toledo and then perform that night.

I drove out by myself in the morning so I could be there by 10am.

I could go on and on about how amazing this day was but I won't do it here. It was like a dream all day. It took me back to my high school and college years when I would go watch corps rehearse in the hot sun. I was always amazed at the volume they can produce. It can't be described..or duplicated. You HAVE to experience it live to understand.

This is the hornline going through some of their warm ups prior to the show. have no idea the volume. It is borderline painful but it's so ..... perfect. I LOVE it!!!!

You just can't understand the volume!

I had purchased the best seat in the house but didn't attend any of the show. I am so obsessed with Phantom, I ran back and forth between the hornline and the drumline while they warmed up before the show. As soon as they were done, I literally ran up to the stadium and found my perfect ($35) seat taken. So I just stood on the top row behind everyone and soaked it in.

I was beaming the entire show. Knowing the show pretty well from watching it online (a subscription that costs $65 a year...obsess much?) and watching them rehearse all day, I was able to just take it all in and really enjoy the moment.

You see, Phantom has been known for a long time as the brides maid. They've come in second place more times than anyone else and the only championship they have was a shared one in 1996. I never care about placements because I always love their shows, regardless of where it ends up at the end of the season. But this show was special. They were doing a theme from Spartacus. It was very theatrical...but very emotional performance.

Watching this show one week before finals...I knew they had the potential to win it all.

Here is the drumline warming up. Those of you who don't know...I am a drummer. I don't have many regrets but one of them was not pursuing drum corps. I think I had the chops to do it but never tried.

This last video is one of the features they play during the show. They spread out and rehearse some of the drill since it adds some difficulty. Listen to how clean these guys are. It's insane!!! Listen to the clarity between the 9 snare drummers.

I left the stadium the minute Phantom was done and drove the 2 hours back to Dayton...arriving at 1am, still with no voice from all the screaming. Yeah, I said I was a bit of a fanatic.

So how did it end? Phantom scored really high that night but was still 3rd overall heading into finals week. Quarterfinals, they were 3rd place. Semifinals, they moved up to 2nd place. Finals night??? THEY WON!!! They scored 98.125 to the second place 98.100!! Closest margin of victory in DCI history. Oh man I wish I could have been there!!! It would be eating me up more if I hadn't gone to Toledo that day.

Lisa has always recognized my passion for music and drum corps so it wasn't a surprise to me that she gave her blessing for me to take off for the day. I have thanked her many times for that.

Thanks for letting me share a little extra part of me that many people don't know about or may not understand. I still feel like I need to grow up and move on sometimes and then there are days like that day in Toledo. What an awesome day!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

back to Ohio

Back to Ohio just in time to meet Lisa's life long friend who drove all the way from St. Louis to spend the weekend with us. Amy (who is a real trooper at 8 months pregnant), her mom, and Amy's 3 year old son Jacob. We had a blast during the weekend...lots of laying low and letting the kids play.

...except when everyone went to the Air Force Museum. I actually stayed home with the girls to let them get a good nap.
Looking gooooood!
Future pilot....Jacob.
Back to the ranch to enjoy some cool Ohio evenings.

One of Alyssa's many new tricks...hiding in a bucket.

We took a walk every day around the neighborhood.
This is actually the best of 5 pictures we tried to take. The girls just couldn't keep it together. Jacob was Mr. Photogenic.

Suddenly, babies started dropping out of the sky. I caught this one.

Our last couple of days in Ohio, we spent with Uncle Keith and another life long friend Renee and her family. This is our evening at Uncle Keith's new house in Dayton. AWESOME house!
RENEE!!! For those of you who don't know, Alyssa's middle name is Renee. This is who she is named after...a very dear friend. Her husband Scott fits perfectly into our family of friends. He is always so much fun. Renee's two kids, Emma and Spencer, were a hoot. The 4 of the kids had a ton of fun together that evening.
Emma...looks SO much like Renee.
Katy going for the camera.
Another great twin shot. Katy was having some separation anxiety. Look at the panic on her face.
This is a great series of pictures. Spencer went over to show Alyssa something and accidentally....
poked her in the eye........but Scott swooped in and showed Alyssa the proper defense against the eye jab.
What a BLAST!!!! We had so much fun. There were several people we didn't get to see that we really wanted to (LAURIE IN OH!!! to name one). The good news is we'll always have family and friends in the Dayton area so we'll return soon enough to have some more fun.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Next stop on the vacation....


The drive to Indianapolis was a bit more exciting than we were hoping for. We got off to a much later start than we were planning on. We thought, well at least they will sleep all the way down to Indy...nope, after 45 minutes they were wide awake and hungry. So on top of a late departure, we had to make an unexpected stop to feed the girls. Already running late, we go out to the van to make a quick change of diapers and in the middle of the diaper swap, Alyssa peed. So now we had to do a complete outfit change in the parking lot. I immediately saw the humor in all of this and grabbed the camera for a quick couple of shots. Lisa had to warm up to the idea that it was funny.

On to Indianapolis where Lisa's Dads side of the family was anxiously waiting our arrival. We were able to visit with many members of the family that we haven't seen in years...and some I hadn't met before. It was a short visit but fun-filled. The girls warmed up really fast to Grandma Boroczk and everyone else. They were on the floor in no time showing off all of their tricks.
We all gathered at Aunt Judy and Uncle Bob's house just outside of Indy.
Grandma Boroczk even got to feed the girls.

One of the things we were a little worried about going into the trip was how the girls would handle all the new places and people. There was always a 20 or 30 minute warm up period but they really surprised us how fast they were running around and playing.
More twins in the family! Lisa's cousins Stacey and Stephanie.
Breakfast the next morning. Alyssa had a hard time getting to bed that night but after she finally fell asleep, they slept like champs. We had to wake them up at around 9am.

Stephanie works for the Indy PD with a drug sniffing dog. She brought him by the next morning and let him sniff out some drugs that she hid around the cars. Pretty amazing.
The girls came out to watch the demonstration.

An awesome side trip. I know I've said it before but I wish we had planned this vacation differently. It would have been nice to spend more time in Indy. We had a lot of fun the 20 hours or so that we were there.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I have to share a story with you all

I should preface this my current mental state...I just got home after working an 8 hour night shift. I took an ambien to get myself to sleep as soon as possible but wanted to try and post this first. So I'm already feeling the affects of my prescription sleep aid...I just don't know how long I'll last and what exactly I'll say. I guess I'll find out what when I wake up.

The story goes...the city of Anchorage butts up against millions of square miles of wild, untamed Alaska. Anchorage is an amazing place to live...not because you are in the wild, it's because of the close proximity to wild Alaska that most people will never experience. Sometimes, that close proximity overlaps when the wildlife gets a little too friendly with one of the outlying neigborhoods. This happens a half dozen to a dozen times year. It makes the read move on.

This latest story is a little different. A 700 pound grizzly bear followed one of the smaller trails all the way into midtown Anchorage. At 3:30am, he darted across one of the busiest streets in the state and was struck by a pickup truck. He was hurt and agitated so when the police arrived, they had to put him down.

Again, it's a story we've heard dozens of times before but this was the first that really caught our eye. This encounter happend IN Anchorage...on a main street that would have been clogged with traffic a couple hours later.

So you can read the article if you want more details.

Pretty amazing, eh?

I think some of you who have visited us would know that this is the exact spot where we watched the iditarod go through town. It's also on the trail that we walked for the March For Babies!!

You might be wondering how this affects us. Will we still take the girls on walks in the park? YES!! Absolutely. This is such a rare and unprecendented case. I can't imagine a bear hanging out where we walk. If we are going into bear country, we'll be prepared for any encounter. That's why God gave us two babies.


I'm going to bed. I'll get back to the vacation photos later today.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

let's go back to the beginning

...of our vacation. I don't have any good stories to share tonight. It's getting kinda late and I was up at 5am this morning so I'll just share some photos from our first stops.

As you can see, the girls were anxious to help pack up for the trip. I think I mentioned it before but we checked 5 bags plus one of the car seats. We also carried on two diaper bags, a backpack, the other car seat, and our stroller. We had a TON of luggage for the 4 of us.

First stop...Fairborn, OH...Uncle Keith pictured below reading Alyssa her bedtime story. I think I was already asleep on the floor at this point.

The next morning we were off to see the girls great-grandparents...Granny Lou and Grandpa John in South Bend.

Alyssa suddenly warmed up to her sunglasses. She kept them on for the longest time...posing for pictures.

Katy looking like she was ready for a day at the beach...didn't like the sunglasses as much.

Breakfast with John III...Lisa's cousin.
Grandpa John with the girls.
A highlight of the trip was the girls meeting their Great-Great-Grandmother who is 97 years old and doing great. The girls warmed up to her very quickly. The time with her was really special.

One of my favorite pictures.
More family in South Bend.

The girls loved their first cousin - once removed (I think that's right...she is Lisa's cousin's daughter). I think it is a big part of why they started experimenting with walking...seeing Haley and her little brother Tyler running circles around them.

Two cute pics of Katy.

Tomorrow, we move on to the next stops on our vacation...Indianapolis.