Summer has flown by so quickly and now I am trying to catch-up on blogging all the while playing catch-up with old friends from college…
I was incredibly nervous on the first day of freshman orientation at Trinity University. A new state and a new beginning. High school had been an emotional struggle for me and I was ready to escape. Would I be able to adjust to life in Texas and make all new friends? Alex Peterson was the very first person I met and we have been friends ever since. He was incredibly kind from the get go and we quickly found ourselves harmonizing together in Trinity Choir and eventually Chamber Singers. Alex is the type of friend that no matter how much time has passed since we last made contact, we are able to pick right up where we left off. His wedding ceremony this past month, in New Haven, CT was absolutely incredible. The service was filled with inspiring music and every single word that was shared felt meaningful and inclusive to everyone that was in attendance. Even though it has been nearly 14 years since we were introduced, Alex is still the same sweet and genuine guy that I met that first night of college.
Over the past three weeks I traveled to and from Europe five times (Venice, Shannon, Berlin, Rome, and Geneva). I am constantly asked about dealing with jet lag and red-eye flying and to be honest I don't think anyone ever really gets used to it. I look at it as Daddy Training 101. Casey and I are sure to have some long nights and early wake-ups coming our way, so hopefully my career as a flight attendant has prepared me for what is to come. In addition to the odd hours, my life on the airplane has also taught me how to handle a variety of other scenarios related to parenting. Anything you can possibly think of, I have likely encountered at 38,000 feet (i.e. vomit, poop, crying, hysterics, dietary restrictions, whiners, complaints, anxiety, fear). Given that my office is literally a metal tube being propelled across the sky at over 500 mph, I have naturally become a very resourceful individual. There is only so much one can do to rectify a situation under these limited circumstances. I literally have to "make it work" (thank you Tim Gunn).
Another two great friends from college (also from choir), Colin and Katie Johnson, currently reside in Geneva, Switzerland. Because of my wonderful flight benefits, I have been able to visit them on vacation (back in March) and this past month due to working specific flights… first to Venice (Katie was on vacation there) and then to Geneva. Even though my time with them was short (due to my 24 hour layovers) I can never get enough of their amazing energy and humor. One minute I am at home in New Jersey and the next thing you know it, I am in Europe having dinner with some of my best friends. I am so very fortunate to have these opportunities.
When I wasn't flying across the ocean I was taking advantage of spending time with loved ones locally. I finally got to eat breakfast at the original Junior's Restaurant (in Brooklyn - not the one in Time Square) to celebrate our friend Theo's birthday. I have always loved corned beef hash and Junior's did not disappoint. Theo is currently a designer for JCrew and was recently recruited by the sweater division. I definitely hold his opinion in high regard and will frequently send him pictures of my current projects. Even though he does not have a background in knitting, he obviously knows way more about fashion than I probably ever will! It is my goal to teach him how to knit so that someday we can collaborate our efforts.
Casey and I were also able to catch-up with some of our favorite friends from church for a picnic and an outdoor performance of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. Surprisingly we lucked out with the weather. It has been incredibly hot these past few weeks but that night was surprisingly cool. With the outdoor theater being situated near Morristown Airport, small planes would fly by forcing the cast to pause the play. Amazingly enough, they would always make light of the situation and turn it into a joke before proceeding on with the show. While I cannot say I have ever been a follower of Shakespeare, I did thoroughly enjoy the performances and the company that I was with.
We also tried to make a day trip to Madison, Wisconsin to visit Casey's goddaughter Daniela. Unfortunately our plane sat on the runway for two and a half hours before turning back to the gate and canceling. This in turn allowed me to see another old college friend, Matt Johns, who was in town for business along with his lovely friend Ali (I adored her company). Matt is the Founder and Creative Director of MATTER: a creative studio specializing in experiential design and image management. I really admire how Matt has combined all of his strengths into forming his own unique business. Some people work to make a living but others work because they love what they do. Matt definitely exemplifies both of these aspects.
After I graduated from college, I never really thought I would get involved with a church again. I had a string of difficult experiences dealing with closed minded people and I did not want to subject myself to that anymore. This obviously changed once I met Casey, who was actively employed at a church when we started dating. Casey and I transitioned to Ogden Memorial Presbyterian Church in Chatham, NJ just over five years ago. We have been pleasantly surprised by the progressive and inclusive nature of this congregation and have become very involved beyond Casey's position as the Director of Music. When we first started attending, I was quickly recruited to teach Sunday School for the middle schoolers. Shortly after that we were approached, as a couple, to see if we had any interest in reviving the Youth Group program, to which we said yes. Our relationships with the kids of Ogden have certainly blossomed over the last five years. We have watched them grow up to be stand-out individuals and last week we started a new tradition by taking our two high school graduates out for dinner. Spencer and Cole are headed off to college in a few weeks (Spencer to Sarah Lawrence and Cole to Northeastern) and it was great to converse with them as newly branded "adults". They both have very bright futures ahead of them, Spencer in the world of theater and Cole in the arena of engineering. I wouldn't be surprised to find Spencer directing on Broadway someday and Cole inventing the vehicle of the future. Along with the rest of Ogden's youth, Cole and Spencer help restore my faith in the direction the world. Watching the news can sometimes be upsetting but it is encouraging to witness the younger generation promoting positive changes for our global community.
Finally, this past weekend we attended two wedding celebrations. The first was in Baltimore, Maryland for yet another good ole choir friend Susan Yager and fellow Trinity Alum James Young. What an exemplary couple these two make… so well balanced, both strong yet extremely sensitive. It may sound totally cliché but these two were destined to be together. Casey shared a beautiful rendition of Vaughn Williams' Silent Noon and we both lent our voices to the choir. It was really wonderful getting to catch-up with old friends who I had not seen in a number of years. Even though I graduated from college over ten years ago, I can honestly say the majority of my strongest friendships stemmed from Trinity. As I grow older and perhaps even wiser my focus has turned to quality over quantity. I don't think I worry so much anymore about getting everyone to like me. I am who I am, so if you don't like me, I will just move right along. This may sound a little bit harsh, but I would rather devote my time to the people who matter the most.
On Sunday morning Casey and I made the six and a half hour drive up to the second wedding celebration in Chaumont, NY. This one was in honor of our dad's cousin Betsy who recently got married to Bill in New Zealand. The gathering was very relaxed and the setting was gorgeous. Bill and Betsy are proof that love and marriage have no set age. Both have had very successful careers in life and now their main focus can be on each other. Everything in life happens for a reason and we all must be open to anything and everything that comes our way.
Adoption UPDATE: we are officially APPROVED and have completed our home study with the state of New Jersey. While this is a big step forward for us, we now have to make the huge decision of which agency or attorney to utilize. There are so many factors that will go into our final decision. We took part in a webinar last night with a larger agency and have a consultation with a local attorney in a couple of weeks (this in addition to our previews research, phone calls and meetings). We are trying to stay positive despite all of the hoops we still have to jump through. At this point we could be matched in a matter of months or it could still even be years. There are still a lot of unknowns!
What I love about KNIT FOR BABY is the fact that it keeps us determined and motivated to stay on track. It is easy to get distracted by the busy world around us, but having this project to work on keeps us accountable. I get inspired when I knit and feel excited about the thought of making our own kids their clothing someday. KFB is helping us build a network of support and we are extremely thankful to all of our followers and contributors. With the 2nd Auction just around the corner (8/21/15) we remind all of you to save the date and continue to spread the word. Thank you so much… share, like, comment and continue to send good vibes our way!
David (& Casey)