Day 19 & 20: Quarterback Sneak

I have a 17-year-old nephew named Adam. He is a senior and tonight he played his last ever high school football game. So yesterday I dragged my friend Melissa with me on a road trip with my kids (and my puppy - which I only mentioned to her after she agreed) all the way to Michigan to see his game.

We got in this morning at 2:30am and we hid in a large box to surprise all the cousins and my mom. (Pics/videos to come.) Then tonight we surprised Adam. We got in the tunnel and when he ran out of the locker room with his team, his crazy New York Aunt was going nutso (as is pictured below.)


They obliterated the other team and it was really special to be there to see my nephew, Adam, during a month where we celebrate the life of his Uncle Adam.  I am going to keep this super short because I want to enjoy this time with my family and my friend... and the quarterback.


Day 31: Capuanolds Teaser

All seven of us are packed in the car and headed back to New York. I am feeling quite car sick trying to blog on the mobile app, so I will be posting Day 31 of #AdamsActs tomorrow. Plus, carsickness aside, I need a solid two hours and a room all to myself to write (and cry through) Day 31. But for your patience, you shall be handsomely rewarded with an ridiculous array of photos and a little visual treat - a video that may or may not be submitted as my audition piece for "So You Think You Can Dance." 

Lets start with our little family theme I like to call The Capuanolds. 


And now... all the cousins and fam! We have a throwback basketball player (note the tiny shorts.) A shark, a dinosaur, soldier, scuba diver, Michael Phelps, an elf and a skunk. Adults coming in as Bobby Orr and a Detroit Lion's fan. 



And now, for your viewing pleasure...  

When sharks attack... tiny grannies.  

When sharks attack... tiny grannies.  

Be sure to check back tomorrow for my final #AdamsActs and an update on what's in store for the future.  

Day 28 & 29: Friends Don't Let Friends Be Regular

If you are new to the blog then you may not know that I broke my rib eating a Rice Krispy treat. I could give you the backstory, but I prefer just leaving this little factoid here to confuse and concern you. But, I think it goes without saying that I have quite a sorted history with the Rice Krispy treat.

The other day, my dealer dropped off all the goods. And by that I mean my friend  brought over all the ingredients to make some epic rice Krispy treats. Thanks a lot Meg, for enabling my habit. I paid her back though by making a batch of the best ever treats and I brought some to her house. The problem was that she wasn't home, and apparently the squirrels helped themselves. I cannot blame them, though, because I behave a little like a wild animal when I am around a pan of these things so I can hardly expect actual wild animals  to show self-restraint.


I also brought some of these  #foodsofaffirmation to the mom who volunteered to host 25 7th and 8th grade cross country runners for spaghetti dinner. I brought the cups and plates and chocolate milk, but I figure that after hosting that many tweens, mama might need to go a little squirrel herself on something marshmallow-based.

Secret ingredient: one ton of Amish butter. 

Secret ingredient: one ton of Amish butter. 

Three tons of marshmallows. 

Three tons of marshmallows. 

Gotta add some last minute minis, to be safe. 

Gotta add some last minute minis, to be safe. 

No wonder the squirrels helped themselves. 

No wonder the squirrels helped themselves. 

My little assistant did a much better job yesterday. He worked hard on his "tunafish attitude." And while I know he meant "selfish attitude" I think tunafishy is a quite fitting descriptor of selfishness.  


Although when we delivered treats to the classroom assistants at school, he did covet just a titch.  


For Day 29, I made a calendar for my friend Regular Ben. Regular Ben is the mastermind behind this new, beautiful website and also the boyfriend to my dear friend and sister from another mister, Lexi. As a thank you gift for all the hard work he did, I joked that I would make him a calendar of pictures of Lexi. Not a dirtbag calendar or anything... just twelve months of Lexi's face.

I peppered in a few gems like this.  

I peppered in a few gems like this.  

This all started as a joke to annoy Lexi.  

Mission accomplished.  

Mission accomplished.  

This girl deserves way more than I could ever possibly do to repay her for every kindness she has shown to me and my family over the years. Lexi is more than a friend, she's family. In fact, my kids call her Aunt Lexi. So when these two jerks sent me a picture of a fake proposal, I was thrilled. Before I knew that I was being punked, I told the kids that they would have to upgrade Ben to "Uncle Ben." When I found out that they were, in fact, the worst... We downgraded back to "Regular Ben." And Regular he shall remain until further notice.

Speaking of further notice... I maaaaay have helped him out with a suggested timeline built right into the calendar! Did you know that you can personalize the dates!? Well, you can. Regular Ben just has to do what's on his calendar and he will be upgraded back to "Uncle Ben" in no time. 

So For Day 29, I customized an #ALATT (All Lexi All The Time) calendar for 2017.  


You're welcome, Regular Ben, you're welcome. 

Day Two: Reunions, Tips and a Toddler Takes Notes

Welcome to Day 2.

Based on the 7,100+ hits on yesterday's post (which you can find here if you are  a deadbeat  just joining in) I think it's fair to assume that some of you reading this are strangers. There is a fairly good chance that at least 83% of those hits are my mother... but even so, I don't know that many people, so it's safe to assume that at least some of you do not know who I am.

I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Lara and I miiiiight be a bit of an over-sharer. #shockingiknow 

I live with my family in New York. (Upstate, not the cool NY.) My husband and I have five children. We are a colorful, adoptive family, so some of my babes came to me via adoption, and some are biological. My husband, Tom, borders on sainthood at all times, so you may find me playfully abusing him a little bit, because you simply cannot have two saints in one marriage. That'd just be obnoxious. We just moved to a new house a week and a half ago, so life is a little hectic, always, but especially while we don't have laundry hook-ups yet, and all seven of us are still living out of boxes. I am going to need all of you to set your expectations of me to a nice, low standard, and let's just go ahead and accept that my not harming any of the children during this crazy season will likely be my greatest act of kindness. 

Now that I have introduced myself and crushed any lofty expectations... let's talk Day 2.

I had a few ideas up my sleeve for today, but I settled on a surprise reunion between my two older girls (Annalee -11 and Marlie -10) and their favorite teachers from their former school. When we moved, we left some really fantastic teachers behind and I wanted to bring the girls by to say hello and that we miss and appreciate them.

Both of my parents were public educators and at one point or another, so were both of my sisters, my brother-in-law, my step-sister and step-brother and step-mom. It goes without saying that I have a healthy respect for what teachers have to do on a daily basis. Teaching is often a thankless job, and I gave some of my teachers a serious run for their money. 

In 8th grade, I refused to take notes in Earth Science because I believed myself to have a somewhat remarkable auditory memory. However, note taking was required and my teacher refused to change the overhead slides until everyone had taken thorough notes. I acquiesced, however, I did so in the most irritating way possible. I did take notes. With my left hand. It took me approximately one thousand minutes to write a barely legible sentence. I remember, quite clearly, realizing that I could technically obey, but still punish him for making me do the thing I did not want to do. So, I took my sweet time, writing like an enormous toddler.

And my teacher did not hit me with a bat.

If I could go back in time and hit that passive-aggressive version of myself with a bat, I would. Since that is not an option, I have resolved to work very hard to build good relationships with my children's teachers, since I sort of owe it to public educators for my generally bad behavior.

We had grand plans to show up with coffee and donuts, but we found out that they had an assembly scheduled so we had to high tail it over there sans treats in order to see them. Still, the teachers and students that we saw agreed that bringing my two sweet girls for a visit was treat enough.

After popping in to see the teachers, Marlie and I left for our Double Digit Getaway. This is a tradition I started in order to force myself to have my Claire Huxtable mom moment with each of my girls.

(Tom can do the guy thing, and I don't want to know anything about any of it, Because, no. Because, gross.) But for the girls, the tradition goes like this: I give each girl an invitation on the exact birthminute of their tenth birthday. This is the moment they hit the double digits, going from 9 to 10. We schedule a weekend away to discuss all the things that are about to go down in the double digits. It is a lot to cover, ya know... everything that happens between ages 10 and 99. So, we talk body stuff, we talk birds and bees stuff, we talk modesty stuff, we talk boy stuff, we talk Jesus-and-daddy-are-the-only-men-you-really-need kind of stuff. I am pretty terrible at it because I am a middle school boy at heart and anatomically correct verbiage either grosses me out or makes me giggle uncontrollably. It's a problem, Still, it is a great kindness to give a child one-on-one time when they have four other siblings vying for my attention.

Even if you make them learn about periods.

We were at least able to give the waitress a generous tip when we got Marlie some hot cocoa. (Chocolate is a big part of a girl surviving the Double Digits, so this felt like it tied in nicely.)

And for my final #AdamsActs for Day 2. I would like to publicly apologize to all my teachers and coaches for being a giant pain much of the time, but specifically to my 8th grade Earth Science teacher.

Mr. Holwerda, I am so sorry. I think you and I both know that I am not left-handed. I am sorry for my behavior and I thank you very much for never hitting me with a bat. 

So, that's that, Day two. I cannot thank you all enough for joining my family and so many others who are sprinkling kindness confetti around the globe in memory of my brother Adam. He was a phenomenal student and, incidentally, could actually write very nicely with both his right and left hands. I often grapple with this feeling of survivor's guilt, like if Adam had lived he would have done so many more important and astounding things than I have done with my life. But, as I see the impact his legacy of kindness is making here in the US, but also in India, Ghana, Japan, France, Australia, Germany, etc. I can't help but be overcome with gratitude. For though Adam's life was cut short, you all have helped me to do something important and astounding. Nothing can bring him back, but for those that loved and knew my brother... this sure does make it feel like a part of him never left.