Archive for the 'Family' Category

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My Love Gets Older

Happy Birthday to my beautiful wife, Melissa!

To celebrate we had dinner at Angelo Brothers, a small Italian restaurant up the road. Seeing as Italian is Melissa’s favorite and there is no Olive Garden around (which I am kind of thankful for) we decided to give this place a try. I thought the food was excellent, and in my opinion, better than the previously mentioned chain. Not only was the main course excellent, but the homemade cannoli we had for dessert was also exceptional. After dinner we took a trip over to Best Buy where I purchased Melissa a new Dell Inspiron 11 3000 in Bali Blue to replace the ASUS Tablet that I had originally purchased but was defective. Afterwards we came home to configure her new laptop, watch some TV, and relax together. I look forward to many more years with you, my love. Happy Birthday.

Riverdance

Riverdance-20years

Today we went out to the Wharton Center to see Riverdance, and it was amazing! It’s hard to believe that this show has already been performing for 20 years! Kylie loved seeing the dancing, and when she realized that they were doing Ballet, Pointe, and Tap all at the same time, she loved it even more.

We purchased a program on the way in, and because Kylie was with us the guy at the souvenir stand gave us the heads up that the woman 2016-04-02 16.21.20(Natia) we had purchased the program from was one of the dancers, and that if we asked she would sign it for us! So off we went to have it signed, and in doing so she pointed us to another dancer (Mariia) who also signed it! Then Mariia gave us the heads up that if we went around to the stage door after the show that we could have the program signed by the cast of the show!

So after an amazing show we asked the Wharton Center staff and they directed us around to the stage door out back and we waited, in the snow, for the performers to come out, and we are super glad we did! There were only two other families who were waiting so we got to interact with many of the dancers and crew, get autographs, and even a couple of pictures. They JONeill_Tweet were all so kind, happy, and thankful that we waited out in the cold and snow just for the opportunity to meet them. The highlight is this picture of Kylie with Jason O’Neill (Twitter), the principal dancer for the show! We even tweeted him after, and he replied! I can’t overstate how incredible it was to see this show live. If it ever comes through the area again, and we have the opportunity, I am certain we will go! We weren’t allowed to take any pictures inside of the Wharton center theater, but we were able to take a few outside in the main area, and those pictures, along with the one above of Kylie and Jason, can be seen in the gallery here.

An Evening with the Stars

I’ve been a fan of astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson for a long time now. I frequently listen to his StarTalk Radio podcast and I absolutely loved his Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey series. I think very highly of Mr. Tyson and am inclined to stop and listen whenever I hear his voice, as I am certain what ever he is going to say is going to be both educational and entertaining to me. So it should come as no surprise that I was very happy that Melissa got me some tickets to see him live for Christmas, and even less of a surprise that I am very happy that tonight was the night that we finally got to see him at the Fox! It was an incredible night listening to him talk on many subjects as they relate to astrophysics and us as people. I have already decided that I would love to see him again if he ever comes back through town. Thank you Melissa for such an awesome gift and an incredible evening.

The Tooth Fairy Retires

A little over 5 years ago (February 4th 2011 to be exact) Kylie lost her first tooth. I can still remember pulling that first tooth out without her even realizing it, and how excited she was that the Tooth Fairy was going to come to Daddy’s house and visit her. Those days of excitement have sadly come to an end. I found out today that Kylie no longer believes in the Tooth Fairy. She told me that she was working on Mommy’s computer and found a typed letter that the Tooth Fairy had left for her on the computer. I not sure of the exact circumstances, it could be that the file was accidentally left open. Regardless, she saw it. This lead her to ask Neil if the Tooth Fairy was real. Knowing she was just on the computer he figured something was up, this wasn’t the first time she had asked any of us this question, but this time it seemed different. So he asked if she wanted the truth and Kylie said yes, so he told her. She was slightly upset but also liked that we had all done this for her.  I knew this day was coming, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still feel a little sad. While we all want to witness our children grow, mature, learn, and be successful; it’s still sad when these large events take place as they are key indicators and turning points that parents can point to as specific moments in their child’s life when they took another step out of childhood and into the next phase of their growth. As she takes this step away from being a child and moves forward in her evolution into a young woman I take great comfort in knowing that no matter her age, she will always be my Little Bit.

An Evening with the Orchestra

Melissa and I had a unique opportunity tonight to listen to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a small intimate setting in Southfield at Congregation Shaarey Zedek. I have seen this building from the road almost daily for the past 2 years now and while my thoughts were that it was a very attractive building that clearly had a religious affiliation, I did not know what it was until this event. It is as beautiful inside as it from the outside, and now that I know what it is, you can see images of it on Google. For their part, the DSO, was amazing! This is the first time that I can remember hearing a professional orchestra play as a standalone event, having heard that before with plays and musicals, and I have to admit that it is a completely different experience when what you are focusing on is the music and the players and not what it is accompanying. The acoustics within the building were a lot better than I had thought they were going to be as well. This experience has made me more aware of how enjoyable going to an orchestra event can be, and as such I am going to try to keep an eye on what performances they are doing, perhaps next time we will go see them at Orchestra Hall.

Turkey Adventures, Round 2

I just returned from what might very well be my last hunting trip of any kind for a while. My brother and I tried our hand at turkey hunting again this weekend, and it was miserable. My brother’s coworker let us come up to his place to hunt on some land near him that he said he sees turkey on everyday. It sounded like a good lead, however, once again, my brother did not have the time or opportunity to go and scout the area. The lack of scouting is something that is a huge problem for me, I do not like going into land that no one in the party is familiar with in any way beyond looking at a google map view of. As such, much like our last trip almost two years ago, we were not very lucky. Actually, this trip was much worse than that one. For starters, this time we were sharing a tent that my father-in-law lent us whereas last time we stayed in his father-in-law’s house. So the accommodations were much worse this time in every way possible; We shared a queen sized air mattress, had individual sleeping bags, thankfully his friend lent us a tent heater because it was extremely cold, to top everything off (and the main reason it will be a while for my next trip) is that my hunting boots literally fell apart. They separated from the sole, and the inside of that area was basically all dry rot. My feet were hurting so much by the end of this trip! I will need to do some research for the next pair, as I thought these were supposed to be a good brand, but they only lasted a few years, and realistically they were only worn maybe 20 days. Also I will need to set aside some money for the purchase. Needless to say, we did not see any sign of turkeys on this trip, though it certainly wasn’t from lack of trying. In the end though, all the negatives aside, it was still really fun to spend some time with my brother again. Who knows, maybe the third time will be the charm?

Bring Your Daughter to Work Day 2015

Today was the first time that Kylie and I have gotten to participate in bring your daughter to work day, and I have to say it was pretty cool. Kylie and I arrived at work a little later than I normally do, just because of the timing for when the day’s events were scheduled to start, but still early enough that I was able to show her around a bit. As always, she was very interested in my white board, so I thought she would get a huge kick out of our technical engineering room, which is a room where three of the walls are floor to ceiling whiteboards, and man was I right! Thankfully the boards were empty and the room wasn’t in use, so she had a blast drawing and writing on the walls for about fifteen minutes, and then it was time to start the day. The day began with us going to have breakfast together, which consisted of a catered buffet of french toast, pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, juice, and toast. During this time some of the committee members gave a small presentation outlining what the day was going to consist of and telling the kids how to find out what group they were a member of. Then she joined her group, met her group leader, and went off for a day of adventure. The day was broken down into about 7 activities that the kids rotated through. Each activity was presented by a member of our staff and the topics ranged from learning to code, to building wooden cars depending on the age range of the groups of kids. We then all went back to the meeting area and met for lunch, which was the always popular pizza. Kylie told me about some of the things she had done so far and that she was having a really fun time, and then ran off to her next set of activities. About 3:00 we met back up again for the end of the day and I got to hear all about the fun that Kylie had. Even though she had liked all of the activities and said she had a blast at all of them, her favorite part remained the “drawing room!” She is already asking if she will be able to come back next year! I’d say today was a pretty successful day, and I hope I will be able to bring her again next year!

Daddy-Daughter Dance

Today was a great day because today was the Daddy / Daughter Dance at Kylie’s school! I think I may have been looking forward to this more than Kylie, but only because I realize the significance of these events. I know it won’t be too long before she will not want to go to these types of events with me, so I cherish all the moments that I can get. Unlike past years, this year I actually had a suit that would fit properly, so instead of just dress pants and a nice shirt, I went all out. Considering I knew I was going to be able to wear my suit, I even pre-ordered a matching wrist-corsage and boutonniere for us! Some pictures of them can be seen in the gallery. It was a great night and I had a lot of fun watching Kylie interact with all of her friends. While we didn’t actually dance together because she was more interested in running around with her friends, it was still an excellent evening. I truly love watching my daughter have fun, seeing her smile and hearing her laughter are the highlights of my days! I love you Kylie. Thank you for spending a great evening with me!  

New Year’s Eve

Melissa and I decided to try a new restaurant tonight for our New Year’s Eve Dinner, and there is no shortage of those to choose from now that we live in a new area! For tonight we choose Hayden’s, which is only a few short miles from the house. It’s technically a bar and grill but it feels more like an upscale restaurant when you are there, though we may have been slightly over dressed. The atmosphere was very nice and relaxed, the staff was attentive and polite. The food was just ok in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, it was just ok. Considering the price of the entree’s I thought it would be a little more than it was. I will most likely give them another chance sometime down the road, once we explore all the other new places as well. Afterwards came home to enjoy a relaxing evening and our first New Year’s Eve in our new home.  

Christmas Choir

Tonight was Kylie’s Christmas Choir concert at school for her fourth grade class. The kids all did a great job and it was very enjoyable to see them all up on stage doing all the motions that went along with their songs. I’m a big proponent of the arts in schools, so I really enjoy watching  her participate in these events, and seeing that she genuinely enjoys them herself, also makes me happy. I am hopefully that, as the years go on, she will continue to participate in and enjoy the arts in various forms.