Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas is upon us....

Kitchen Before & After
Well it seems like the holidays are now right on top of us.   It has been a VERY busy and hectic last month.  To begin Alex was finally able to move into her newly updated condo.   She/we had a lot of work to do in order to get it fully remodeled.   New appliances, new ceramic floors, and best of all new granite counters have transformed her once drab condo into a new thing of beauty and contemporary style!  She has officially left our house and moved in on her own.   Her old bedroom is now totally empty and in dire need of a new paint job!  That is next on our list of to-do's here at home.
December not only brings the holidays but it also brings with it many birthdays!   Michael turned 15 on the 7th!   Hard to believe.  Heather's children also celebrated birthdays as well, Ella is now 7 and Nick turns the big one-eight today!   We all went out on Mike's birthday to a Japanese Steak House and had the hibachi where they cook it front of you.  It was nice and the kids all enjoyed it.   Ella not so much but she was fun none the less!   

Me?  Well that's a new book.   I was forced to look for new employment after I had been working with my current employer in a contract only basis for 9 months.   It worked out well while I was doing it but I had to look out for my own interests and future so I decided to see what was available in the market.  Well I don't know if I was lucky or if the moons lined up just right but I found a place in Reston, VA that was hiring new account executives.   I applied and they called me back 2 days later and said they thought I would be better fit to another role they had in the Sales Engineering department.   I was very qualified and jumped at the opportunity to get back into that role.  After several calls, and a 4+ hour onsite interview with various execs I was offered the job.   This all happened in about 1 week.  In fact, my immediate boss is in Dallas and I only spoke with him on the phone.  

Needless to say I accepted their very generous offer an started work on the 13th!!!  I am a work-from-home employee, but I do have the ability to be in the office whenever needed as I'm about an hour away.  They just move to brand new office space and are located in the Reston Town Center.   The name of the company is Contact Solutions, Inc.   My title is Solution Architect.   I do a lot of client interaction and work with partners and sales people to sell our hosted-IVR solutions to large call centers.

The new job and the holidays have really taken it's toll on me as I'm really exhausted most nights.  I think primarily the holidays with everything that needs to get done and all that really adds to it.  In any event Christmas is in 2 days.  We're all excited for some time off and relaxation.  Merry Christmas to all my friends and followers....


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bicentennial Post!!!

Kitchen during demolition
Yes this is my 200th post on this blog.   I had 233 posts on the previous blog at so I am fast approaching that number...

Laundry room demo
Well I have been very, very busy recently!!!  With working on Alex's condo and starting up my new job search I have really been strapped for time.  On the condo front,  Tyler has helped out as well when he has had the time and we are slowing knocking out some things to make it move-in ready.  Here's a list of things we have done:
  • Removed all the old appliances
  • Removed the old hot water heater
  • Removed all the old vinyl floor in kitchen and laundry room
  • Laid down ceramic tiles in those 2 rooms
  • Installed/rewired new microwave
  • Installed dishwasher and stove
  • New toe kick and shoe molding in all rooms
  • New faucets in both baths
  • Rebuilt vanity in bathroom
  • New toilet in master bath
  • New ceiling lights
  • New outdoor motion light
  • Located various leaks to be fixed.
New floor and appliances in!!!
We have a few miscellaneous items to go.   The new counters (granite) come in this week along with a new hot water heater.   New Fridge and washer and dryer follow next week!   It's going to look great!   

Thanksgiving was different this year.   For 20+ years we spent the holiday with Chris's family.   The past 3 years the kids and I had packed up and went to Deep Creek Lake which was a nice getaway.   This year, however, we were invited to spend the holiday with Heather's family down in Urbana, MD.   We had a very nice time and had a chance to meet all of her immediate family including her Mom and Dad. 

The week before Thanksgiving Heather and I went to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert in Washington, DC.   It was a great show and I scored some really good seats too!   Really puts you in the holiday spirit.

Friday, November 19, 2010

 Well She did it!!!! After a week's delay from the settlement, Alex settled on her condo today.   She is now the very proud owner of a condo here in Spring Ridge where we currently live!!!   It was a foreclosure so there were some things that had to be done with all the liens on the house and all that but that's over and it is time to move in!!!

Well really we have a lot of work to do on it.  Primarily just the kitchen but a little bit of other stuff too.   You won't recognize it when we're done and it begins tomorrow morning.   Here is the before picture... More to come after that.

There will be a huge party once it is done! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Time Flies!

Time flies especially when you're having fun!  But I've been busy and that's why I haven't written anything in almost 30 days.  To all my hardcore fans and followers "I am sorry"...   but I do find it harder to find the time to write and really, it's hard to put things down on paper sometimes.   But let me catch you up.

Firstly, Alex is moving out!!!  Bitter sweet for sure.   We happened to stumble across a listing here in Spring Ridge for a condo that she really liked.   It was a bit out of her price range so she put a low offer in.   It was turned down but no counter offer extended.  Hmmm.. oh well.  So we then were able to win a small bidding war for a foreclosure condo in the same location!   Ended up getting that for a steal!!!!   It had brand new carpet and paint all through it.   It is 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  Needs a few things and we plan on getting a new hot water heater, appliances, granite counters, and ceramic floor tiles in it as soon as we get the keys.   She is supposed to settle this Friday.   Should only take a week or 2 to do the work.  I've got plenty of time on my hands now so I should have no problem getting to it!   She's excited and did this all on her own.  She is getting her very own mortgage with no assistance from anyone else!   We're all very proud of her and she is as well.

A couple of weekends ago was our annual (now it is) fishing with morons trip!   My good friend Danny started taking me and a bunch of other guys out on the Bay the fall after Chris passed away.   We did it then and had a great time and have done it every year since.  Here's a link to when we first started.

It was cold but we still caught some fish and had a great time together.  It's a friendship that I cherish.   These guys have been my friends through thick and thin and have stood by my side through it all.  They would do anything for me and HAVE.

Heather and I had a very special evening a couple weeks back.  Styx came to play in the Warner Theater in Washington DC.   We did see a small snippet of them this summer at a concert with 2 other bands but this was all them and they played their Pieces of Eight, and Grand Illusion albums front to back just like you were playing them on a turntable!   It was a great concert.  Beforehand we went to dinner at Chef Geoff's which is right across the street from the Warner.  The food was fantastic and we would certainly go back!

Oh yeah!   Well Heather's daughter Ella is in the 1st grade and this year she had the option to do a Science fair project.  Well once she knew that Mr. Charlie liked science she was all over it.   She did something that compared how fast ice melted based it's shape.   Lot's of fun and she got a blue ribbon too!!!!   

Monday, October 11, 2010

25 years....

 This past Saturday was the Frederick Pink Ribbon 5K race.  This year Tyler decided to take a stab at it.   He was pretty confident in himself before the race.  His training consisted of 1 evening running through the neighborhood and then finding as much pink ribbon stuff that he could find.  Note the pink socks and ribbon headband!   Well the weather was wonderful that morning and he came through with flying colors!!!  He finished on the top of his age bracket (15-20 year olds) and finished 17th overall out of 307 runners!   He even had to stop and tie his shoes 2 times!!!  Congratulations to him.  We're all very proud of him.

The week before that Heather and I were able to get away to National Harbor in Washington, DC and saw the Cirque du Soleil show called OVO.   It was absolutely phenomenal.  Mainly because our seats were on the aisle in the 2nd row, front and center.  Just a wonderful experience.  We went early an walked around the area and had dinner at McCormick and Schmidts before the show.    

Alex is in the final stages of hopefully buying her own home!  We have a bid on a forclosure in our neighborhood and hopefully can come in on top!  She's pre-approved for her mortgage already and we just need to get the right property.  Fingers crossed.

Michael is no longer playing soccer.  Very upsetting but his grades were starting to be impacted by the amount of work and he was not having time to finish homework.  I had to say no more and we're now on a plan to get him back on track...  I went to parent conferences last week as well as back to school night before that.   He is doing very well and we look forward to the coming lacrosse season as well.   The school is just a perfect fit for him.
A little update on the old ankle.   I finally had to see a doctor about it and an MRI showed that I have 2 partial tears on 2 tendons on the outside of my ankle.   It will heal but will take a bit of time.  Time which is absolutely killing me.   I miss the activity of playing basketball and my body is feeling it.  I'm not gaining weight but hope that I can keep it that way!  I'll keep you posted on that!

We had a big, big yard sale a couple weeks back.  REALLY cleaned out a lot of things in the house and attic.   The kids helped go through things and got to see some things that are a real blast from the past.  Some of my old report cards and the like were a real conversation!

Lastly, this time of the year brings many dates about Chris that I have to face.  The first year was horrible with her passing on 9/11 and then her birthday on 9/27.   Then on top of that one week later on October 5th is our wedding anniversary.   All of these dates have been very painful to see come and go,  but with the healing process that I've been going through, the most recent ones were... shall we say bearable?   Really they've come and gone without too much havoc on the emotions.  

This past October 5th was a little different.  This would have been our 25th wedding anniversary.  As I see many of my friends begin to celebrate their 25th anniversaries I find it very hard not to put this one aside.  As with many couples we had plans to celebrate that special date that were never able to come to fruition.  

But, life does have to move on.  It does for the kids, and it certainly does for me as well.  My life is turned around and is very good.   It continues to get better each and every day.  My future is bright and exciting!   Time is the only obstacle now...         I leave you all with a wedding picture from 10/5/85...  Thanks to everyone who has followed my blog and for giving me a reason to live.   If it were not for my blog and having an outlet I would not have been found and would not be anywhere where I am today.  

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Moving along...

Well it's been pretty uneventful the last few weeks and hence not much to write about.   As you know I've been pretty active this past year playing basketball and working out (some).   Well 2 weeks ago I was playing here in my neighborhood and sprained my ankle very bad.   It still plagues me today and although it is getting better it is taking way too long for me.   I miss the activity and the my body is feeling it.  

Heather, Alex and I took Ella to the Frederick County Fair a week back.  She absolutely loved it.   I have not been to the fair in many years and must say seeing it through the eyes of a 6-year old is just great!  Really makes you appreciate it.  We did some games and rode some rides.   She also won 2 goldfish in the ping-pong ball toss game thanks to her Mom!!!

Last Saturday was the annual fall yard sale here in our development.   We decided to do it this fall and really dove into all of the things stored in the house.   We got rid of a lot of things that were in storage that really should not have been.     We narrowed it down and kept what was important to each one of us.   All four of us agreed on everything that was removed.  That was nice.    At the same time we were able to look back on a lot of good memories from the past as well.

This past week Heather and I went to see OVO.  A Cirque du Soleil show down at the National Harbor south of Washington DC.   I got her the tickets for her birthday.   The show was just spectacular and the fact that we had seats in row number TWO on the aisle made it even better.   We were front and center!!!  

yard sale  and Cirq8888888888888888888888 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

3 years past...

This week was a roller coaster of emotions for me.    Firstly, Wednesday marked the 1 year date that Heather and I had coffee for the very first time.   We met again for coffee at Cafe Nola and talked about how both of our lives have changed for the better in the last 12-months.    There is a lot more to our future and it is just beginning.  Hopefully the coming year will allow us to move forward in the direction and speed that we want. There are a lot of obstacles that we need to overcome, but I know that we have the desire to get there so we shall see...

So, of course that date was then immediately followed by 9/11.  The 3rd year anniversary of Chris's passing from breast cancer.   Labor Day Monday usually is the beginning of "hell week" as I like to put it.   You can go back to my other blog and read all about it.  It was a very long week that took it's toll on all of us.   Each year starting with Labor Day I can run through my mind what each and every day brought.   Up to and including the final days here at home. 

Emotions were really built up inside of me this year.  I came home late Friday night (9/10) and check my facebook page and of course people were posting well wishes and many started posting their own memories of Chris.   It really overwhelmed me knowing how many lives were touched by her and not just our immediate family.   I cried myself to sleep that night, more so than I have in a very, very long time.   It just needed to come out.  

I woke up on Saturday morning at, you guessed it 6:30.  The time of the morning that Chris passed away.   I've done this before and find it very ironic.   Alex had to go to downtown Frederick early in the morning.   I left the house right after she did.  I stopped and bought some pink roses and took them to the cemetery and put them in a vase that I brought.   I bought pink to represent the breast cancer ribbon that we all have grown to know and support.   I have several friends that are battling this dreaded disease now and it pains me to see that it continues to reek havoc among many people's lives.     I spent about 30 mins at the grave site and simply had a good cry, but my tears were not just of sorrow and despair.  They also were tears of joy and happiness.   I'm so very thankful for the time I had with Chris and the gift that she left me.  Words that are so very special to me that I will never forget them.  These words allowed me to pick myself up and start my life again and find new found happiness. 

I spent the rest of the day in a "funk".   I came home and the boys decided to go off to downtown Frederick for the afternoon.  It was quiet in the house.   I took my mind off of the day by stripping off the wall paper in my master bathroom.   A messy job but one that I've been waiting to do for weeks/years.   Heather dropped in to surprise me and check on me.   She was very concerned for me and wanted to see if I was doing okay.   Seeing her really helped perk me up, although it probably didn't show it.  

After she left I just relaxed the rest of the afternoon.   After the kids all came home we eventually just built a bonfire in the backyard and the 4 of us cooked over the fire, had marshmallows and sat around enjoying one another's company.  

It was a long day, but a day that will come each and every year.   I received so many messages and notes which made me feel so loved and cared for.  To each and every one of you THANK YOU!   I am well, and I miss Chris with all my heart.  Nothing will ever change that.  I have been given a gift.   And that gift comes directly from her.   That gift is the chance to find joy and happiness again.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

Heather and Ella Enjoying Cake
Well this weekend was full of BBQ's.   Saturday the boys and I attended a family BBQ at Heather's sister's house.   It was a beautiful day, albeit a tad bit breezy.   We were able to meet and great a large number of her family members including her mother and father.     There were lots of kids there of many different ages as well!   Unfortunately, Alex didn't get a chance to go as she snuck off to Philadelphia for the weekend.

Ella and I in the Pool
Then on Sunday we turned around and went out to Annapolis to have another cook-out with our close friends out there.   Danny and Brenda always have a bunch of folks over on Labor Day in a last of the summer bash.   We had a great time swimming, eating, and getting in the hottub.  As you can see Ella and I had a good time in the pool together as well!

If you are looking at this blog then you certainly know what this week is all about...  A week that I don't like to remember, but yet will stay with me forever.... we work through it and with the help of loved ones and friends we get through and continue to move on.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Replacement Car

Well we were finally able to unload the old Maxima.  It was a good car but when ya need that much money put into you to stay road worthy then it's time to cut your losses and move on.

While looking through Craigslist I stumbled across a car that was recently taken away from an 83 year old woman.  A 2004 Buick Regal with only 34,000 miles on it.   We pounced at it as they were selling it way below book value.   It's in fantastic shape and came with every option on the book!   The original window sticker was with it and showed the price in 2004 at $28,000 !!!  For a Buick!  Ugh.   After 2 hours at the MVA the car is on the road and Tyler is back at the helm!!

It's funny because back in early July I was able to find Heather's son Nick a used car.  A 1992 Buick Regal  from Buffalo, NY.   It was taken from an old woman who recently went into a home.  It had, get this, 30,000 miles on it!!!! 18 years and 30,000 miles!!!!   It is immaculate condition and it too had the window sticker....   So now we're a 2-buick family!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rains it Pours

Well after 10 great years with our beloved Nissan Maxima it has finally bit the dust!!!  Put a new alternator and air flow sensor in it and less than 1 week later the transmission crapped out!!!   So Ty's been without a car for about 2 weeks now...  It really is not a good time as he's working and back in school at the same time.   So now, we're trying to get anything we can for it and find something else to replace it.   We shall see!

Sunday, Heather and I went to our good friends in Davidsonville, MD for an afternoon cookout.   It was really nice for us to sit and talk with friends that have really grown to know us together over the last year. Every time that we get together with them we have a better and better time together each time.   Summer is winding down so those outdoor picnics will hopefully be replaced by some good indoor ones soon!

2 weekends ago was my friend Danny's annual crab feast.   This was year number 26 and was a special year for us as Heather and her children came with us for the fun.   We all had a great time together and they all met a bunch of new people!  It was a great day for crabs, and the pool and just a whole lot of fun!  Alex continued the DeWitt family tradition and spent the night there this year!!

School is finally back in session.  Tyler went back last week and Mike today.   This is a picture of Michael being greeted by the principal when he arrived for school this morning.   I left with a smile! 

Mike is also playing.... soccer of all things!   He played when he was 6 and never touched a ball since.   He's doing really well on the running and agility and getting used to handling the ball.   Played a bunch in last Friday's scrimmage.   He really is enjoying the support that he gets from his teammates that are constantly encouraging him on.   Here's a great picture of him trying to put a headder into the next last week...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

3rd Annual Keys Game

The Jumbo Tron in the outfield
Last weekend was the 3rd Annual Chris DeWitt Cancer Awareness Night at the Frederick Keys.   They have done such a wonderful job with this each and every year.   This year was no exception. 

Ella getting her ball signed by Keyote
Tyler and I each threw out one of the "first" pitches.   I spoke and said a few kind words of thanks at the beginning of the game as well.   Attendance was just about 7,000 people!!!  The 4th largest crowd this season.

The weather was in fact just perfect.   I gave away about 60 tickets this year to friends and family.   This year several new friends from Spring Ridge came to cheer us all on!!! It was a great event and having new friends in addition to all the old ones made the event even more special than it has been in the past.   Many thanks to Dave Z at the Keys for all he's done for our family!!!
Fireworks capped off the night !

Thursday, August 12, 2010


The dunes in KittyHawk
This year for vacation we kept it simple.   They boys and I (Alex had to work) went to the Outer Banks in NC with our new friends.   We had a great time, we really did! Everyone got along superbly!  Of course ride down was not fun.   It took us 12 HOURS to  ride down.  No really.  12 hours.  We left early and it just took forever.  After that, it was all vacation!

The weather was really pretty good for beach weather.  Only rained on one day and it was hot.   The house we rented was not too far from the beach and also had a swimming pool and hot tub for times we were tired of the beach.   That was a nice addition to have.

The Painted Lady from 2000
We stayed on the far end of the island not far from the Corolla Lighthouse.   It was not very far at all from the house we rented 10 years ago with our 3 close friends.  That was our first trip there and I cannot believe that it was 10 years ago!!!!!   Mike was only 4 then!!  Alex was 12!!!   Wesley is now MARRIED!!!

Nick Mike and Ty
This coming weekend we are preparing for the 3rd annual Chris DeWitt Cancer Awareness night at the Frederick, Keys.   Lot's of people coming to this one!!! More on that next week.

Kids from our trip in 2000

Friday, July 30, 2010

The first of many...

Last weekend marked the beginning of something that will continue for a very long time. My very good friend Danny's son got married to his college sweetheart! He is the oldest of all the kids in our group of many friends and this is the very first wedding amongst all of them! The wedding was in Williamsburg, VA on the HOTTEST day of the year so far. 105 degrees! Even with that though, it went off without a hitch and we certainly had a nice time.

This coming weekend we are headed out on vacation ourselves.   We're all headed down to the Outer Banks in North Carolina!   It's been awhile since we've been there and the boys are really looking forward to it.   Alex unfortunately has a big girl job and must stay home and work.   She will be missed.   We're leaving early Saturday morning and will be gone the entire week spending some quality time together!  

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Harder to post!!!

Man it is really getting harder and harder to keep you up to date on what's happening in the DeWitt household!   We've been busy to say the least.   4th of July came and went.   We went downtown Frederick to see the fireworks at Baker Park.   It was hot but once the sun went down it was nice.   LOTS of people were there.

We took a little day trip out to to Deep Creek Lake a week or so ago.   We went to all our old favorites and squeezed them in in just one day!  We hit Swallow Falls, Herrington Manor, and the Honi Honi!!!!!   The kids all had a great time, especially the side trip to Candy Land!!!
A trip to CandyLand!

This past weekend I went up to NY to play golf in the 4th annual Ryan McPhee Charity Classic!    Drove up on Saturday with a couple of friends and flew back after a business side trip on Monday.   We had a good time visiting Rich and his family as well as playing golf and raising money for Camp Good Days.   It's a great charity that does wonders for kids that are impacted by cancer in their lives.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Anniversary, Dinner, and Awards

Today was a very special day. We held a surprise anniversary party for Chris's parents for their 50th wedding anniversary! It was really nice as many of their local friends and relatives were there to celebrate this special occasion. I can remember when their 25th anniversary was back in 1985. It was right before I got married and all I could think was "god that's a long time to be married"!

Wednesday evening Heather and I spent a special evening away for dinner. She wanted to do something special for me for Father's day so we went to a great restaurant in DC called OYA. It is a very modern, cosmopolitan flair type place specializing in Japanese foods. It was great. We had some sushi and some lamb chops! Delish and many thanks for the recommendation. As you can see from the picture we decided to get ourselves all cleaned up and headed for the big city!!!! We make a good couple for sure!!!

Thursday, the boys and I attended the MD/DC Credit Union Annual Awards Ceremony and handed out the 3rd Annual Christine DeWitt Memorial Award for Marketing Excellence. An award created by the League of Credit Unions to remember Chris and to award one of the many credit unions in the are that excels in the area of marketing their product and name. Something that Chris was very good at. This year the award was given out at a luncheon of about 400 people!!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Last night Heather and I went to Bistrow, VA and saw a concert! It was Kansas, Styx and Foreigner. All bands that I saw about 30 years ago!!! OMG that's a long time. It was her first real rock concert and she had a great time. The bands were really good and the seats were fantastic.

We got home pretty late and for 40-something year olds that can be pretty rough on the body!!!

I've been doing a lot of fix up work at Heather's house recently. Tyler, her son Nick, and I replaced and reworked all of the railings on her weathered deck. It looks much better now and is already for some paint or stain! That's the next job!
All-in-all things are going very well. Alex started a new job at a local credit union here in Frederick. She's a salaried employed with very good benefits! Great for her. She's excited and doing very, very well. Tyler and Mike are both done with school now. We're waiting on grades now. Tyler is working at Holly Hills Country Club and at the Frederick Keys. Both are part time and add up to some decent income for him. That should keep him busy for the summer. Mike is done and will be in NEED of some sort of job or community service so let me know if you need anything done!!!!

2 weeks ago Heather and her kids went with all of us to my friends in Annapolis. They had a pool party and we went. It was a great time, with great friends, and great weather.... Great opportunity for everyone to meet her children as well.

Lacrosse has finally come to a close for the spring season. We had our club picnic last friday and then we had the conference tournament on Sat/Sunday. It was an incredibly busy weekend to say the least. I have stepped down as president of Spires Lacrosse after serving for 4 years. It's been a very rewarding time for me and it has certainly helped me to get through the troubling times that I've had.

Oh yeah, last weekend I had the HONOR to take Heather's 6-year old to her daisy troops backyard campout! It was a very fun time. No rain and her daughter had a great time! She and I get along great and really enjoyed making s'mores and sitting around the fire. It was an early morning and I paid the price the next day but I'd do it again in a heartbeat....