Sunday, February 09, 2014

our last day in Boston

Our last day in Boston was sunny and warm and beautiful and we spent the whole day out in the city, seeing Bunker Hill, the Paul Revere House, and inside Old North Church for the first time, while visiting several others (as the Stay family puts it) "One Last Time!"

Here's what I wrote on facebook about it, "Thank you Boston for giving us one more sun-soaked day. And thanks Bunker Hill, Red Line, Green Line, Orange Line, Paul Revere wearing a Boston Strong Bruins jersey, Mike's Pastry, Boston FD, Old North Church, Haymarket, Greenway, sail boats, and last but never ever least, the Charles River for being so gracious as we said goodbye today." I definitely teared up several times during the day, but mostly I just soaked it up, being grateful for one last beautiful day.



Paul Revere wearing a Boston Bruins jersey


Cannoli and cream puffs from Mike's Pastry




The firemen at the station right next to the Paul Revere Mall were out with the boot collecting donations and letting kids climb in and on the trucks. They gave Anna and Levi suckers.



I was pretending to take a picture of the kids, but really, I wanted a picture of these ladies. They all lived in the neighborhood. They talked to all the locals that passed and gossiped about them after they walked away. They all had perfect Boston accents and it made my day to see them and listen to them. 


graduation pictures

Before Sam turned in his robes, we took a few pictures around MIT.


In front of our apartment at Westgate



On the Tech Shuttle (or "MIT bus" as the kids called it)


The Sloan School where Sam spent a lot of his time, and below, a few real life with kids moments...






In case you can't tell, we're spelling out MIT






The old Sloan building


A view of the LGO office- one we saw often.


Running along Memorial


Finally, in front of the Dome!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

graduation

I have been avoiding writing about this. I'm not really sure why since it was so significant to both of us. But, in pursuit of a goal I set, I am biting the bullet and getting it done.

The day of convocation was beautiful and warm, but the day of graduation was cold and rainy. Really rainy. It started drizzling in the early morning and by 9 when graduation started it was a steady rain that lasted until just after graduation ended. Of course.

But I was just so happy and pleased for Sam I didn't mind so much.


Here's Sam walking from the Z-Center along Mass Ave and Memorial to "THE DOME!!!" (as our kids would always shout when we drove by, which was at least three times a week)


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And here's me when we were still dry-ish and enthusiastic

The commencement speaker was the creator of DropBox. I'm sure it's a great tool and he's clearly been very successful, but his speech was poorly written and he gave off an air of entitlement and self-importance. Thankfully, MIT's new president, L. Rafael Reif gave a great speech (watch it here) which redeemed the event for me. 

Sam's diplomas were presented near the end of the morning by which time the ground looked like this:


I think I must have forgotten my camera since all I have are cell phone photos. I tried to get as close as I could when I thought his name would be coming up, and I made sure I was near a screen to see a close up. Here's a very blurry shot of him walking down the ramp with his diploma (on the left). You better believe I cheered and clapped my heart out for him, even though he couldn't hear it.


Sam was polite and stayed until everyone's diplomas had been presented and by the time we were done, everyone and everything was soaked inside and out. We came home and changed and hurried over to the LGO (Leaders of Global Operations- the dual MBA/Masters of Engineering program) reception where everyone seemed as exhausted from two exciting days as we were. I found a quiet corner with the kids and we ate cupcakes while catching up with just a couple of our closest friends. Levi enjoyed himself.


Here's Sam with an LGO cookie inside the stinky LGO lounge. 


The further I get from this experience, the more grateful I am that we had it. Sam worked so hard before and during his schooling to make it successful and we were blessed over and over again with the time and energy and support we needed so we could both accomplish what we needed to get our family through that time. We were blessed with wonderful friends and explored a whole new region of the country while challenging our own ideas about ourselves. I have a feeling we'll always look back on those two years as a formative time for our marriage, our family, and our purpose in life.

Thanks for making it happen Sam. I love you and I'm so proud of you!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

a revelation

We had a super busy week this past week with me and Sam passing kids and keys back and forth in hallways and driveways in the mornings and evenings. But then during the day I'd have long stretches of time with nothing that had to be done. I'm glad we don't have to do that all the time. It was jarring and physically and emotionally wearing.

Today I went on ahead to an event while Sam finished up some work. Then he took the kids to get a treat and come meet up with me. Afterward, we both did some work on our computers and I ran to Staples to get some copies made. In the car, I found a receipt for the treat. We'd had free coupons, but Sam didn't know where they were so he just paid the $3.

I was SO MAD. The coupons expire Feb 1 and I didn't want to go back. He could have called. He could have asked Anna where they were. How could he be so thoughtless? I mentally went on and on as I fumed over dinner. I was tired and worn out and losing my patience with the kids and they're going to remember me as such a grouch. Why am I even bringing another life into this world when I'm just going to be a terrible mother?

At some point in my fuming I glanced outside and saw Levi very carefully poking the ground with a stick. Anna was dancing barefoot to her own singing. I got out the camera and filmed almost 2 minutes of them just being kids in the backyard. Then Sam got home and went outside and played with them for an hour. 

I went back to my thoughts, a little calmer now. I thought longingly about how good I felt before I got pregnant. Which was just what I wanted. I wanted to be physically and emotionally healthy before embarking on this again. A new bed and a new chair and lots of walks have fixed the physical health issues, and going off hormonal birth control fixed the emotional ones. I had ups and downs, but they didn't drag me into despair like they used to. I felt alive again. Like a world of possibilities were open to me. I was so excited to be getting pregnant again. 

And that's when it hit me. It was my hormones doing the talking. Honestly, Heather. You're mad about $3? You're mad that your husband took your kids to get ice cream so you could go volunteer? Look at them out there! They're silly and funny and creative and happy and Levi's starting to read and Anna's starting to understand other people and your husband loves them and plays with them and provides for all of you. In a few months you'll have a sweet little thing to hold and rock and you won't feel guilty for just sitting and holding and rocking and singing because you know how fast it goes.That's what I told myself and dinner went better and I could smile at everyone in my family. 

I'm not looking forward to more of these days. I know they'll happen and as much as I'll try to remember this revelation, it will always take some time and will have already taken a toll. But at least knowing it's the hormones' fault will let me forgive myself and others a little quicker and maybe will help my family be more forgiving to me.

Friday, November 22, 2013

convocation

The day before graduation, the Sloan School had an MBA convocation. It was at the beautiful Wang Theater. We only had 4 tickets, so Anna came with me and Sam's parents while Joe (Sam's little brother) stayed with Levi.

I'm really glad we had this event before hand because we got to be close and see Sam process in with his class mates and feel the excitement of graduation in a smaller setting. It was exciting and bittersweet and I shed a couple tears thinking about how hard we both worked to get here and about what we'd be leaving behind.




I told Sam to wave when he saw the camera






 Anna saw her friend Karisma there who had come to see her daddy Abishek graduate. Her little brother Ayush was asleep on his mom's shoulder. We lived one building over from their family and were so glad we got to become friends. Before we left we all got together for one last delicious Indian lunch that Deepna prepared for us.

Later that night there was a Sloan School reception at the top of the Prudential Tower.



A view of Fenway and the Citgo sign


Harvard bridge over the Charles and the MIT Dome (to the right of the bridge in the photo). We lived along the river at the far left of this picture.

scooper bowl!

Every year in Boston the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Jimmy Fund hosts the Scooper Bowl. You pay a flat admission fee and eat all the ice cream you want with the money going to support cancer research. It's great fun and I'm sad that we only caught it one year.

In preparation, Anna made some dessert faces with her magnets


Levi was the first to call it quits with the ice cream



I was not able to eat this much ice cream. I have Levi's three cups on there too. I had some really cool flavors but of course now, 5 months later, I can't remember what they were.


Sam was a little disappointed he couldn't comfortably eat more.

After we left, he went to the airport to pick up his parents for graduation!