Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yes!!! I am still here!

Yes I know it has been over 2 months since I’ve updated my blog, and YES a lot has been going on.   For my avid followers I have to apologize.   Why has it taken so long?   I don’t know.    For the past 5 years or so I have been writing in this blog and Chris’s blog as a way of letting those people close to me know what was going on in our lives.   There were many times when I would update every day.   What I came to find out was that writing was a way for me to get it out of my system.   I have gone through a journey that I would wish on no one.   It has been a long journey, a sorrowful  journey, and now that I have come through the other side I find I no longer need to “let it all out” in words.    To all my friends and my family, I am well, and consider myself to be a very blessed man.    

Life has certainly had its ups and downs the past 5 years and I NEVER thought that I would ever recover from Chris’s loss.   In fact, I was ready to just make sure the kids were set and ride out life as best I could.   That all changed 2 years ago, when someone I did not know reached out to me in a simple e-mail expressing the following: “I wanted to wish you my best in your journey and hope you find new happiness in your life.”    Well, lo and behold, that new happiness did occur and did come from meeting this new friend.   Heather and I have taken a chance meeting and made it into something that you would only read about in one of those romance novels! 
So what’s been going on?   The new house has taken a lot of  work.  Packing, moving, unpacking, and then multiply that times 2 houses!   The hard stuff is done and now we are in decorating mode.   Trying to get some color on some walls before the holidays.

The kids are great.   All 6 of them!   Alex is doing well.   She has a full time job and owns her own condo.   Not many 23-year  olds can boast that.   Tyler is attending classes at FCC, works at the country club, and finds time to work in his shop.  Check out some of his work.   He’s been buying a lot heavy-duty tools to make work a little bit easier.      

Nick is doing very well at Syracuse University.   Heather, Mike and Marian and I went up last weekend to visit him and got to attend the SU/West VA football game.   Very exciting.   As I am from Syracuse it actually brought back some fond memories.

Mike and Marian (M&M for short) are attending the same high school together.   Marian is working on/for the stage crew for the school play.   That’s going to be taking up some of her spare time and Mike will be getting ready for the spring lacrosse season very soon.   He’s adjusted pretty well so far to the transition from private school back to public.   He knows a great deal of people there and has made new friends to boot.

Ella is a vibrant, energetic, and extremely smart 7-year old!   What can I say, she makes every day a happy one for me and for Heather.    She has adjusted very quickly to her new school very close to the house and is starting to make new friends in the neighborhood.   Halloween is tomorrow night and she cannot wait!  

Heather is very busy with the house and getting the kids to and from school and their events that they need to attend.   She has decorated our new home with  a perfect combination of things from her home, my home, and new things to boot.   It’s really a wonderful setting, and has made the transition for all of the kids a very easy one.  They all get along very well.   No rivalries and a LOT of respect for one another.

Me?   I’m busy beyond all get up.   Work has been absolutely great.   The company is wonderful and doing very, very well.   I manage a team of professionals that support the Sales team in bringing in new business and we are doing very well.   The company holiday party is coming up in about 5 weeks and will be held at the Udvar-Hazy Center in VA.  It is part of the Air and Space Museum and houses many aircraft including  a Concorde, SR-71, and Space Shuttle!!!   It should be exciting!   I travel a bit for work but not too much.  Heather has gotten used to it now, but at the same time we both hate having to be away from one another.

I’ve done a lot of stuff around the house.  Lot’s of things to hang on the walls!!!   I also, had the time to put in a new builit-in desk complete with granite counter in my home office.  The cabinets match those in the kitchen exactly.   We also took the same approach up in the laundry room as well.   In fact Tyler just added a coat of paint to it yesterday and it looks fabulous.  The next 2 projects are a deck/patio and a bar in the basement.   Not sure the priorities yet.    Time is not on my side but both are badly needed.  

Heather and I have committed to one another to make sure that she and I continue down the path that we did before our move.  That includes some very much needed time away together.     We went to 2 plays this past month.  The first was South Pacific in Baltimore where we ended up spending the night and walking around Fells Point all day on Saturday.  The other was Les Miserable at the Kennedy Center (5th Row).  A spectacular show to a packed house in the opera house.   I am not a musical guy but must say it was very entertaining.  They sang the whole thing!!!!   :)  

So what's next?   Well, the holidays are fast approaching and it will be a very special time for us this year in our new home together.   Last year on Christmas eve I made a promise to Heather that we would not spend another one apart.   I keep my promises.    After the holidays, will be a new year.  A new year for all of us and one that is very much looked forward too this time!!!   

Sorry for the time between posts, I use Facebook and post many pictures and comments there so if you want to keep tabs on the day-to-day, just friend request me.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Homeowners!!!

Delivery Day!
 Well we did it!!!!

We settled on our brand new home on Friday.  It's been a whirlwind of activity for many months and it's getting even worse now.

We have to move 2 houses into 1!   It's going to be worth it for sure.  The kids are excited and Heather and I are looking forward to raising our families together.   It will be exciting for sure.

Happy Homeowners
Hard to believe that this house went from nothing in the ground to delivery in just under 90 days!      It is absolutely stunning and we welcome all visitors!!!

We are in the process now of moving in and that will certainly be a daunting task!   However we know that we will prevail!!!

Today marks the beginning for both of us...  a new beginning!!!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Almost Complete!

Not quite complete....
Well it's 3:00 AM on a Friday.   I woke up again in the middle of the night for no obvious reason.   I took a look and of course I am 30 days since my last post to my blog. 

Now many of you who know me realize that if I'm not posting then things are probably going pretty well.  Well this is just the case.   Work is great.   After being promoted a couple of months back I've built up a very good team of employees who all help me support the Sales organization.   Some are young and I like that.   They are very ambitious.    In fact, this past week I was working with a young intern from ASU in Arizona who was very, very good and was extremely helpful in getting out 2 RFPs this past week for a couple of very large clients!  

Measuring the corn in back....
Tyler is working in his shop out in Middletown.  A place where he has all of his tools and such and is busy making cornhole games as well as refinishing tables and making furniture.   He enjoys it and makes a little bit of money doing it.   He's also working part time at the golf course and for the Frederick Keys.   His girlfriend has been traveling a lot this summer so he's had a lot of time on his hands.   He is also registering for classes for the upcoming school year and will be attending Frederick Community College and staying at home while doing so.

Mike's been trying to keep busy this summer.   He sleeps till noon, like every aspiring 16 year old teenager, gets up and then hangs with some friends on our street.   He's keeping his nose clean and that's what matters at this point.    He made a decision for the coming school year to not attend St. Johns.   Instead he is going to go to Urbana High School which is only a mile from our new house.   It's a good fit for him and he'll make new friends pretty quickly I'm sure.  He knows several kids there already so that should not be a problem.   He'll also have that luxury of walking to school each day!   Good exercise for sure.

Kitchen with granite....
The big thing in the house is of course our new house, soon to become a home.   I will be settling on my existing house on Aug 3.   I will be renting back for a couple of weeks and will be settling on my new house on August 12th.   We'll be moving in the following week in a slow methodical approach!   No need to do it all in one day.   The buyers of my house have actually purchased a lot of items (furniture, tractor etc) that they need so I am not going to have to move a lot of big things which will be great.

I've spent the last 4 weekends or so packing up things gradually.   I'm not going to have a lot of time with work so it's best to do it early.   The attic is done as is the storage room.  Next step is pictures and the stuff laying around the house.   It's been tough sometimes going through items that I haven't seen in 20 + years as well as having to go through a lot of Chris's collectibles.   We've kept a good number of them but at the same time we've sold some and given her parents a lot of things as well.   Packing is going smoothly and that's really good.

Ceramic in the kitchen
The house is coming along very well.  It's been great going over there each week and seeing its progress.  It is absolutely beautiful and Heather and I cannot wait to get it.   All of the upgrades we chose really make the house standout.   The location is just perfect for us as well.   We've been very busy looking for new furnishings.  New bedroom set, washer and dryer, family room furniture, and basement sectional just to name a few.   It's amazing what needs to be done!  We are in the home stretch and so very much looking forward to getting in.

The week after we move in Heather's son Nick is headed off to college.  And I am happy and proud to say that he is headed to Syracuse University!!! Looks like I'll be making some trips back up to the great white north for the next 4 years!!! He's so excited and so are we.  It's a wonderful chance for him and a new start for him as well.   He's going to do well.

And of course, Heather and I are doing very well.   The past 6 months or so have been a big change in our lives with me working more at my new job.  Our time together has been reduced.   At the same time though it's brought us closer together and solidified our belief in one another.   We enjoy each others company so much.  Our future is ours to make and we plan on making it the best we can.    Keep your browsers bookmarked to my blog.   Plenty more to come....

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tyler's Moment

 Well at the end of May Tyler was able to celebrate the next step in his life and that was his high school graduation.   It was very bitter sweet as any parent will attest to.   Great to see him mature and move on but yet sad to see him mature and move on.

Heather's son Nicholas also graduated with Tyler as well so we made it a big family event.   We all went out to dinner before the event up in Emmitsburg at the Carriage House Inn.   Great food and perfect location.   Only a couple miles to Mount Saint Mary's where they held the graduation.   Tyler's grandparents, along with Alex and her boyfriend Cory came, and Nick's Aunt and Uncle attended along with his sisters.    We had a nice evening albeit very crowded in the field house and very hot.

Our new house is well on it's way.   In only about 4 weeks we went from a hole in the ground to now they are putting the siding up and the drywall is already in!   Very exciting for all of us.   To say that we all cannot wait is just an understatement.    Rooms are up, cabinets and granite and tile is coming next.

The view out the back is spectacular.  We see corn and lots of it!  I keep joking that we'll make a corn maze this fall for halloween!   We'll charge a small fee of course to help pay the mortgage that month!  :)

Kitchen and Morning room
Our houses are under contract and ready to close.   Just waiting for the keys on the new one.  Lot's to start packing and throwing out still but that's an ongoing work in progress.

As you know writing for my blog has been a tad bit difficult the last couple of months.  I apologize for that but have been very busy with work, moving, my mom, etc.   My mom was diagnosed about a month ago with Stage IV ovarian Cancer.   She started chemo last week and has not tolerated it very well.   She's 80 years old and quite frail to say the least.   I flew out to Indiana last week and spent several days with her.   Very tough as she was suffering from the side effects of her first treatment.     Keep her in you prayers if you would. 

We'll have a black tin roof over the porch and garage.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Moving up!

Taken 6/7/2011
Well the house is just flying up!   The entire house is framed up completely and the next thing to happen is the HVAC and plumbing.

I have a meeting at the site tomorrow at 8 to tell them where to put the wiring outlets for the TV and internet.

Sold it w/o putting it on the market!!!!
Things are looking up in this household!  My house has a full asking price contract on it with no contingencies!  I can stay up to the end of August too!  Most like won't need that at all but nice to have the option.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

House rising fast!


7pm morning room and fireplace
Picture taken June 2nd!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day cometh!

Foundation of our new house.
 ... and the days just keep flying by!!!   Well it is hard to believe that Memorial Day is this coming Monday!!!  The spring is flying by as is all of 2011.  We've been very, very busy.  We're cleaning out the house and getting ready to move.   Hard to believe but yes move.  Lot's of years, 14, here and finally the boys and I felt that it was time to move on so to speak.    It's going to be a beautiful home for us and plenty of room to spread out!   Hopefully sometime in early August will be our move date.

4th annual award
Last week I was honored to once again hand out the 4th annual Christine DeWitt Memorial Award for Marketing Excellence at the annual MD/DC Credit Union League.   An award that is given out to not only honor Chris and carry on her legacy of marketing excellence but to also recognize the single credit union that carries on that dream and desire that she had.   I'm very glad to be a part of the event that is for sure.

Michael's lacrosse season has come to an end.   His team made it to the championship game and played at Towson University.  The did lose but played well.   School for him is over in just about 1 week.  Tyler graduates this tuesday!!!  Hard to believe.   He wasn't even in school when we moved here and now he's graduating.   Sad but true.   He's attending the local community college for 2 years and then moving on to more exciting things I'm sure!    He's also landed an internship (paid) with a master wood worker here in the Frederick area.  7am to 3pm 5 days a week!!! A real job.   That'll keep him so busy this summer it will be crazy.

May 27th 2011
On a sad note, my mother who is 80 years old was just recently diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.  It has spread to her liver.  She starts chemo in about a week.   I'm headed out to visit in another week or so, but please keep her in you prayers.

Heather and her kids are doing very well and thank you to everyone for asking about her.  As with anything pertaining to the future, it is unknown.  But what we do know is that we are going to ensure that we are both happy and that all of our children are happy and cared for as well.  Happiness is a very important aspect of life and we've found that in one another.

Thank you!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tyler's Passion

Well Tyler has started to really take off with his woodworking abilities!   He has his own website at   He's taking orders!!!   Here's a couple of pictures for you to enjoy...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Already?

Well Easter sort of snuck up on us pretty quickly....    This spring has been a rainy one for sure.   Sorry for the almost 2 months between my last post and this one.   I've been extremely busy.  My new job has really been great for me.  I've travelled a little bit here and there, and the boys have been great at home by themselves.  When I'm in a pinch Heather, Nick, and Alex step up and help with rides for Michael which has allowed me to go on trips w/o any worries.   Not what I could have done 3 or 4 years ago.

Tyler has started his own woodshop at a friend's out building near home.   He took many of my tools from the garage to get himself started.  I don't use them much and I know where to find them if I do.   He also started a website at where he's trying to sell some of his more exotic collections and show off his work.    He is hoping to get an apprenticeship at a woodworking shop this summer.   He's had communications with the owner and it may pan out.   It would be some great experience for him and it's something he enjoys doing.  

He also is in his final weeks of high school as he is graduating on the day after Memorial Day.  Hard to believe but he is.   He'll be taking classes this fall at the local community college and then we'll see where he ventures to from there.

Mike is working through classes at Saint John's Catholic Prep.   He is fully engulfed in lacrosse as well.   He's played in every JV game this year and for the most part has played the entire game.  It is a good way to keep him focused on school and dedication to the work that needs to be done.     He will be going back in the fall as we've sent in our deposit.

For Easter Heather and her children spent the day with us and the weather was pretty nice out.  We had an egg hunt for Ella in the backyard which she enjoyed tremendously.   It's fun watching a 7-year old w/o any cares or worries run around the backyard looking for candy filled eggs.   Makes me very envious!  

We've been doing a lot of cleaning around the house....  big changes are coming and we've started upstairs and downstairs.   Getting rid of tons of clothes and items that are no longer used.

My new whip...
Oh, I did breakdown and get another car.   My MDX was acting up so before I had to drop a ton of money into it I traded it in on a newer model Acura TL.  I have a car again!  You can see my RIT0001 tag displayed proudly!

Keep reading and and I'll do my best to add more when I can!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spring Coming?

OBX 2010
Summer seems like such a long time ago...   The weather here in MD has really taken it's toll on me this winter.   I stood on my deck yesterday and realized that I had not walked in the backyard since probably October!   It's been cold, snowy, rainy... you name it.  And on those few days when it has been nice, I've been busy.

Busy at work for sure.  It's a great thing really and I'm still adjusting to everything and everyone there.  It's a great place and I'm lucky to have found it and been selected to be a part of their team.    I went on my 1st business trip this week.  I went to Miami for a quick meeting.  85 degrees really jolted my system!  Hence my flashbacks to the summer at Outter Banks.  Great summer for sure.  This summer not sure yet what we'll be doing but I'm thinking it'll involve boxes... More on that later.

March 1st came and that brings lacrosse.   Lacrosse season has begun.   This year I will not be running the Spires Lacrosse program.   I will miss that a great deal.  In retrospect it was that organization and the duty as President that helped me get through some pretty tough years.   The program continues to run well and I wish it the best success now and in the future.    I am still on the Board of Western Maryland Youth Lacrosse or WMYLC.  We are the league that all the teams (200+) in our area play in.  There's a lot to do and we've turned around a program that was having great difficulties to one that has been running smoothly for the past couple of years.  

Michael has started his lacrosse season at Saint John's.   He has turned his grades around and will be on the team this spring.  I think that the sport actually got him motivated finally and focused on the job at hand.   Tyler is wrapping up his high school career and will be graduating in late May!  Hard to believe.   He started working at a pizza shop delivering pizzas a couple weeks ago.  Not a lot of hours but it pays well and he doesn't deliver to any sketchy areas so I'm okay with that.   Yesterday he started working at Holly Hills Country Club again.   He enjoys that and meeting with the members is great interaction for him.   He'll be attending the local community college this fall. 

Heather's Parents a few summers back.
The last couple of weeks have been tough on Heather and her family.   Her father passed away on Feb 14.  He had been battling a brain tumor for over a year.   Her family is very close and were by his side when he passed.      That week was a whirlwind of activity and came to closure when they laid him to rest on the 19th... It brought back a lot of memories, some good and some not so good.   I promised Heather I would be by her side the whole time and I'm glad that I was.   I only knew Dick for about a year and only after he was diagnosed, but learned a lot about him during that short amount of time.   I saw him on Saturday before he died and he and I spoke in detail about several things.   I reassured him of some things and also made some promises to him that I will plan on upholding on my end.   He was a good man and I personally will miss him as he accepted me into his family with an open mind and open arms.