Monday, February 25, 2008

Times Like These

It's times like these when I understand why people live in the same town their entire lives. They stay close to all they know and love. Often, I wonder why people don't get out of their hometowns and see a part of the world. Even if it's only a few hours away, there is so much to gain from living in other places.

However, as I sit here tonight, I wish I could be in my hometown. A wonderful woman is sleeping in the hospital tonight and her husband is wondering if she will ever make it back home. Bonnie is the kind of woman who knows something about everything. She can knit pretty much anything and she can give a detailed description of different types of rocks. She can make her own yarn. She enters the Westmoreland Fair every year. She records the weather. She is happy talking to a 95 year old or a 5 year old, and treats them pretty much the same.

I love this woman. She's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. She and her husband never had children of their own, but she's as much a mother as any woman can be. Her husband, Jeff, has been my family's home teacher--the only home teacher I can ever remember. They have spent holidays with our family, I send them cards for Mothers' and Fathers' day. I love this woman.

And yet, she lays in a hospital and I am 275 miles away. I wish I could go and sit at her side, although doing so would be more for my sake than for her own. I want to spend every moment I can with her, in the hopes that I might become a little more like her. I don't know if I will see Bonnie again in this life-- I hope and pray that I might.

But if not, I know she will know of my love, respect and admiration for her. And I will just have to become more like her on my own.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


OK, so maybe the cake was a little sad... err... REALLY sad, but it tasted great! Peter had his 25th birthday this week and we celebrated with cake and ice cream. Bobby, Amanda and Lillian Doran and James Aston came to join in the festivities.

Despite my best intentions, planning and timing, the cake obviously did not have sufficient time to cool. As I handed the icing to Pete to finish decorating the cake, I went to feed Caleb. Moments later I came back to see that the cake had become a lost cause.

It was however, completely fixable by sprinkles and ice cream. We all had a good laugh and enjoyed the evening. Pete gets to celebrate his birthday with new shoes and racquet ball gloves.

Happy Birthday Peter!


This past week a group of my friends and I went out to Bird in Hand and Intercourse, PA. They are two quaint Amish run towns which draw tourists in from all over. We figured that while we were in the Philly area, we should take advantage of the day trips and head on over.

The nice part for me is that Pete's parents live about 20 minutes away from these Amish towns. Unfortunately, we weren't able to go to visit Grandma and Grandpa Knickerbocker on this trip, but I'm sure we will take advantage of it in the future.

Amber, Heather, Amanda and I headed out with babies in tow for a day of quilting materials and 50 pound bags of wheat. Everyone stared a bit when we entered with four babies ranging in ages from 2 to 18 months, but we had a great day and enjoyed our time in the great outdoors (complete with fresh air and manure).

Amber has inspired us all to quilt and she has promised to help get us all started. We plan to make our outing a monthly event. I think the people in Bird in Hand, PA might object to our plans, but we are having a great time and it gives us a chance to get out of the house with the kids!

Trips and Travels

So much has been going on in our little family of late. Well, really, not THAT much has been going on, but I feel like it has! I made it back from Pittsburgh without any huge disasters and Caleb was an angel. He slept the entire flight (all 38 minutes of it). I'm excited to get my pictures back from the trip so we can scrapbook! (Pete is laughing at my good intentions... he knows that scrapbooking is talked about more than done). The flight attendants all loved him. And we were able to get a picture with one of him for his theoretical scrapbook.

Caleb was able to meet so many people during his trip to Pittsburgh. On Monday, we were able to meet up with two of his cousins, Makayla and Sam, and Aunt Christen. We went to the Carnegie Science Center, which was way over Caleb's head, but completely entertained Sam and Makayla. I loved this Science Center when we lived in Pittsburgh, so it was great to go back and see the displays again. My dream job would be working as one of the demonstrators at the Science Center. How cool would it be to do science experiments for little kids all day long? Anyway, Sam was able to see the trains and Makayla and I made a fish and dinosaur out of Kinex. We had a great day!

Most importantly, he met two of his great-grandmothers and one great-grandfather on our trip.

While in the Pittsburgh area, we were able to celebrate my Bala Reddy's 91st (yeah, that's right) birthday. She looks fabulous and is doing well. She'll tell you that no one sees her on her bad days, but I tell her that no one sees me on my bad days either. The whole family was able to get together and celebrate the life of this amazing woman. It was great to see everyone and take some time to catch up!

He loved being held by so many people who love him and wanted to spoil him. They, however, did not have to deal with him for the week after we came home. He threw a fit every time I put him down. He's starting to get back to normal, but normal for a two month old still requires a lot of mommy time.

Another exciting part of the trip was getting to meet his cousin, Dean Matthew Cammarata. Shayla and Sean had their baby while we were visiting, which I thought was very nice of them. Caleb slightly over-shadows Dean, considering he is about 5 pounds bigger, but I think they have the potential to get in a lot of trouble together. Shayla and Sean are falling into the parent role well and I'm so excited that they are going through this at the same time we are! Caleb was able to try out all of Dean's toys and swings and crib before Dean joined us, so everything got a trial run! Even Norm (the dog--who was, by the way, an excellent dog with all the babies) was able to try out having a baby at home. It worked out well.

Tracy and Hanna are expecting at the end of March, so it'll be great once everyone can get together again. I can imagine the face of the hostess when all of us walk into a restaurant with our babies... We'll bring a sympathy card with us.

Phew... that's not even all we got to do while in the 'burgh! Last, but not least, I was able to catch up with two great friends, Bethany and Gina while in town. Beth is working as an assistant manager at Pearl Vision and is thinking about becoming an eye doctor. She is doing really well and is pretty dang brave to have a real job! Gina is finishing her degree at Duquesne University in May and then starts a Doctorate in Physical Therapy program this summer. Their big plans make having a baby seem easy! We were able to go out to eat before I left town and they had a chance to meet the kid.

Caleb and I had a great time on our trip and we can't wait to go back to visit all our friends and family again.

Wow, this post was long... sorry about that! We love you all and hope you are enjoying our stories.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Drumroll please.... He's here! Yup, that's right. Shayla and Sean got to meet their little surprise on Wednesday. And even though everyone (including me) swore up and down that they were going to have a girl, Dean Matthew Cammarata was born on Wednesday, February 6 at 4:14 pm a whopping 7 pounds, 5 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

He's a whole pound lighter than Caleb was at birth! Mom, Dad and baby are looking fabulous (a little too fabulous if you ask me) and come home from the hospital today. Caleb looks huge next to his new playmate, but I think they have some good times ahead. I'm imagining Christmas with the two of them running around everywhere... I need some anti-anxiety medication.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tribute to Gordon B. Hinckley

Tomorrow is the funeral for President Gordon B. Hinckley. As many of you may know, he was the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and he passed away this week. Whether or not you are a member of this church, or believe him to be a prophet or not, Gordon B. Hinckley, was a good person who inspired many to better their lives. With his death, the world has lost a fabulous, humble man who wanted only to help enrich the lives of others.

Glenn Beck had a short commentary on his show regarding President Hinckley this week. And whether or not you like Glenn Beck as a person or not, his words capture some of the emotion many felt when they learned of the death of this great man. The video can be seen by clicking here.

I add my respect and admiration of this man to that of millions of others. Not just because I believe him to be a prophet of God, but because he lived his life as I wish to live mine. It's really as simple as that.