That one time we spring breaked….

This morning, I rolled over in bed and pretended to still be asleep so I could squeeze in a little social media time before having to confront the day ahead. It was only 6AM and David had already gone downstairs with the boys. It was only going to be a quick 5 minute review of the latest friend posts. Then I saw my friend Becca’s latest blog post about that time she nearly died while we vacationed in Daytona Beach for Spring Break. It made me laugh out loud reading through the deadly story she shared only because that trip was doomed from the start! We were a couple of still too good for our own good Sophomores at BC when we decided to try our first big Spring Break getaway to none other than Daytona Beach. Now you might be thinking, this is the destination of choice for co-eds. Except BC’s break was at least 3 weeks before springtime temps so we headed to Daytona in February. While most coeds would immediately hit up some hostel near the water where college kids were guaranteed to find underage drinking, boys in high supply, and parties all hours of the day, we settled down at my grandmother’s boyfriend’s condo about 15 miles north of Daytona in Ormond Beach. Aside from our group of 8 girls, the next youngest resident at the Surfside North Condo must have been a snow bird from Canada spending retirement down south. It was a quiet, slow, and very low-key spring break. We baked cupcakes, watched TV, read books on the sand, and did homework! Not your typical Spring Break vacation but we were also pretty naive and I think we still are and I like that.

The wildest thing we did was we hung out with a couple of Embry-Riddle boys. My high school boyfriend, Vinny, was attending Embry-Riddle, and Becca fell for one of his friends, and we all went out a few nights to hang out with the boys our age and dance at a club. Becca was super sick & still trying to get some time with her boyfriend, Kellyanne was trying to take care of Becca and be her wingman, Kaelin wasn’t interested in the boy nonsense and frosted our cupcakes with neon green frotsting, Laura was ready to drag Kaelin out to the club with us come hell or high water, and I was interested in getting some solo time with Vinny. It was all a bit silly and dramatic and the condo was decorated like an old man bachelor lived there because oh yea one did for at least 6 months a year! Vinny and his friends entertained us with fashion shows of Bermuda shirts and golf pants from Mr. Mueller’s wardrobe which he had left behind in the closets.

Then one night, Becca went to the hospital and I was held up at gun point. I was coming home from dinner with Vinny. We pulled into the parking garage and just when Vinny turned off the car, he turned about and shouted “Duck.” Now, in a crisis, some people are born with the natural ability to follow orders or the ability to take the lead. In this moment, I heard “Duck” and immediately whipped around and saw a car had pulled up behind us, and a man was leaning out of his window with a gun beckoning us out. My immediate thought was, “This is how I die,” time to freeze up like a goat. Somehow Vinny made a move towards his car door and as he opened the door to follow the orders of the assassin, the car alarm went off and the driver hit the gas and sped away. Shaken and confused and sick to my stomach, I dialed the police and gave a rambling description of what happened and where we were. What felt like a lifetime later, the police arrived and escorted us into their car to identify the suspect who had been pulled over down the road for speeding. It felt like a daze and we saw the person again this time from behind the safety of the police car’s spotlight. He was apprehended and the police drove us back to the condo. We were given the card for the sergeant and told we would be hearing from a lawyer and going to court and coming down for depositions and going to trial, and my mind was racing. We walked into the condo to see our friends and I immediately burst into tears.

It has been over ten years since this happened, ten years since we botched our Spring Break which had some of us hospitalized and others of us mugged, but after the PTSD settled down for me, the silver lining to this wild tale (which I have never written down) is that I have never had jury duty and might never since my status is “victim” and so maybe something random did come out of that odd and funny friend vacation. It’s funny how despite all of our good intentions to have a mild Spring Break we still ended up with a hospital visit and crime checked off for our accomplishments. Interestingly, neither Becca nor I stayed with the boys who were present during those daunting times. Why did I add that? I am not sure, but I guess I always thought after experiencing something like that, something like an armed attack we would be linked forever, but not so much.

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36 weeks & counting

How is it that every month has roughly 30 days and then the last month of pregnancy has 5,435 days! I am not a patient person and this wait killed when it was Henry’s turn and it is just as hard the second time. You would think I would have learned?

And it’s Spring Break which is such a blessing and curse for this mama. Clearly the timing is amazing because I should be relaxing and taking some time off my feet because before I know it this house is going to be VERY different. But I really struggle with empty space. I am notorious for filling up my calendar with a dozen errands and chores and trips and visits. The first day of spring break alone I plowed through most of my two week long to-do list by tackling the basement clean-up, Henry’s closet organization, baby room set-up, and hospital bag packing. I guess the bright side of this is that now there is very little to do and I am forced to confront my free time as it stands…free time. Seriously, this is not a problem because it is such a glorious gift but I need to really practice some mediation to help calm my frantic energy that wants to go go go. I am going to dedicate this time off then to centering and spending quality time with Henry without racing him from one thing to the next. These may be our final weeks as a mama, papa, kiddo triumvirate so I better savor it now before it totally passes me by!

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Here is a little glimpse at the room all set up and ready to greet our newest member!

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Is he really going to be this tiny? It feels so good having the hospital bag packed just in case, although NO ONE thinks I am going to go early except for me (and maybe my OB). That is what happens when baby 1 is so delayed, everyone around you just keeps reminding you of it.

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I probably can’t afford a daily Lush bubble bath until baby, but I can squeeze in a few  between now and baby. It was a glorious reminder that when I can shut down my brain there is beauty in the silence.

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But, I am so excited to start the next few days home with my littlest man! It is going to be great to just snuggle this peanut and maybe even sneak him off to lunch with Daddy downtown (yup, there I go again planning out our days!).

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And then this little one joins the party and it is SO crazy to see him because I feel like I know him and yet he is our greatest mystery.

 

four years.

I woke up this morning and happily welcomed two things about today: Spring Break begins at 2:15PM and four years ago, David asked me to marry him. Spring Break is clearly exciting especially as we have a BIG family vacation planned in 7 days {pictures and updates sure to follow} but this morning I am blissfully reminiscent of what happened four years ago.

We had just landed in Rome and settled into our hotel. After a quick shower from the flight, we headed out to explore the area around us. Our hotel was located one block away from the Colosseum. The day was clear, bright, and warmish for March and we slowly walked up to the massive ancient ruin. David seemed quiet but I just thought that was due to jet lag. I started to share my nerdy love of history and that’s when David grabbed my hand and rushed straight pass the Colosseum! He said he wanted to go into the gardens that dotted the hill overlooking the ruin.  A little taken aback that he would just “skip” the Colosseum for gardens, I followed along, besides it was his first time in Rome after all. We headed up to Appian Hill and then it happened, the proposal, the “Yes!,” the tears, the joy, the hugs and kisses, and the “wow this is real!” It was wonderful and has been wonderful since.

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But this morning wasn’t just about remembering that moment with deep joy and fondness, but David and I also spent time this morning reflecting on all that has happened in these past four years. It is amazing to see our lives in that moment and how they have grown and changed to today. We are just so grateful for each other and for the many blessings we have shared and continue to share on this journey together. He is my sweetest friend and I am just so happy to have such an amazing individual to share my life with.

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David & Melissa Zippin October 2010

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spring break

March has become my favorite month of the school year. Why?  It is a month of excellent transition. Not only from Winter to Spring, but from the second trimester to the third. It is a clear turning point in the school year. When March begins Winter engulfs Boston, yet by the last week of the month, Spring’s arrival is upon us and the tempo of life shifts in the city as Bostonians come out of their hibernation.  School becomes exciting as Seniors look forward to their graduation and as underclassmen are convinced that summer vacation is just around the corner. Sandwiched right smack in the middle of the month is our two week Spring Break. It is a decadent, luxurious time that I look forward to every year.  It gets me through the dark, cold winter of Beantown and rejuvenates my outlook on the end of the school year.  Its timing could not be better.

This year, I went to visit my family in Southern California.  After getting 12 inches of snow dumped on us, I packed my suitcase with summery items and boarded a plane for So Cal. IMG_3423 IMG_3427

The flight was an easy 5 hours or so and I upgraded to a “select” seat which meant that I sat directly behind the first class cabin and soaked up the free food, drinks, and wifi all the way there.  Of course, a first class upgrade would have been ideal on such a long haul, but I was content especially when it landed me in a row all to myself.

The best part of the visit though wasn’t the location (although So Cal is beautiful), but rather  seeing my niece, nephew, brother and sister-in-law for a full week was the real treat. I wish in 2013 we had the ability to teleport so that I could visit them more often.  By the time everyone has let their hair down and gotten reacquainted and playful with one another it feels as though the trip was a blink of an eye. I really miss the opportunity to live closer to family and I take for granted that we do live in a modern world, despite our lack of teleporting, and we can visit one another from across the country with a fair amount of ease.  Although even this is never enough!

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It is amazing how fast a niece and a nephew grow. Most of my visit I am just awed that they even exist let alone that they are flourishing! I just want to cuddle and play with them all day long.  And, of course, I secretly, and not so secretly, want to steal them away with me to Boston.

Each time I visit, I am inspired by the loving, empathetic parenting I see my brother and sister-in-law committed to. They set their limits and enforce them but within those limits there is much freedom and constant love. It is clear that my niece and nephew are developing into confident youngsters as a result of the support, love, and independence that frames their daily lives. David and I can only hope to model this when our time to grow our family arrives.

This trip was full of exciting moments coupled with endless quiet times in the home when we got to “just be together.”  My niece turned two, we went to Disneyland, I had the opportunity to visit my niece’s school and tumbling class, we explored the culinary world of So Cal, we shopped, we went on afternoon adventures, and we just existed together and appreciated the closeness of family. I wish so much that David could have joined in on all of the fun, but someone had to stay home to work and take care of the pups. We definitely have to get him out there for a visit next time. Nevertheless, the trip was heartwarming and was truly the best place I could have been for my Spring Break. Planning my next visit out to the littles will consume the last days before school begins agains…