Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugurating a New Year

Today, they had a special event in DC they were expecting a few million people for. Perhaps you heard something about it on your local news station: The inauguration? Rather than fight the crowds in sub-freezing temperatures just to watch the event on a jumbotron, I decided to take advantage of my free holiday by skipping town for a different inauguration. My parents, the big kids, and I left at 0630 this morning for Philadelphia, loaded with presents and a cake so we could celebrate Lauren's third birthday!

It turns out everyone was on the metro, because we flew out of town with nothing to even slow us down. Once we got up there, we all exchanged hugs. The kids were especially excited since it was the first time they had seen Cristi and Lauren since January 6th. Brennan didn't waste any time, though; we came for a purpose, and he was ready to get down to the business of Lauren opening her presents! Lauren had a great time opening gifts. She figured out the gift thing at Christmas, and it was just really special to watch her during that small window of time when it's pure joy and magic to a child.

After presents and lunch, we left Lauren playing with Nana and Papa while Cristi and the big kids and I went to the Narnia exhibit at the Franklin Institute. After the Star Wars exhibit last year, we had high hopes; we weren't disappointed. We started the tour by walking through the wardrobe, past the fur coats, and into a snowing land marked by a lamppost. The exhibit hall had many of the costumes and props that were actually used during the filming. We were quite impressed at the detail. These weren't just any old swords, helmets, and shields. Each piece was intricately made specifically for the movie. For example, one of the helmets had scenes from Narnian battles cast into it. We also got to see a working catapult, sit on the White Witch's throne (it was actually ice cold!), and see how they brought the creatures to life -- from computer generation to high-tech make-up! (For those wondering, while there was some computer generation done, all of the scenery was real.) If you look below, you can see..............wait for it.................the one picture we took. Unlike the Star Wars exhibit, they prohibited photography, so we snagged this one on the way in.

We returned mid-afternoon to the hospital to finish up our birthday celebration -- complete with birthday cake. My mother and Addison worked on the cake together. Lauren liked it because it had her initial on it. We all had a piece -- except for Lauren, of course -- which saddened me. Hopefully she'll get to start eating soon...

Unfortunately, once we had finished the cake, it was time for us to come back to DC...back to the real world for all of us tomorrow: The kids have swim team and school; I have to leave about 0500 to get down to the Williamsburg area for a meeting for the next two days. We had an absolutely fantastic time, though! Can't wait to go back again!

P.S. Lauren's still coughing and has a runny nose, so she's still on contact precautions (meaning she can't leave her room). The rule is that she has to be symptom-free for 5 days before she can be taken off, so she and Cristi still have several days ahead of them of staying in the room. I'm told RSV can actually take 21 days to complete, so she may only be halfway through yet...We could continue to use your prayers for a quick recovery. Thankfully they're taking very good care of her there.


  1. It's funny how we both pick the same pictures (out of 200) to include as our favorites. The one of Lauren opening the ladybug wings was included in my rough-draft.

    We love you!