OK we’re finally all back home in our house in Pasadena. Harrison hadn’t been home since we flew out to Michigan on December 15th. He’s had quite a Christmas vacation. He and I went to stay with my mom and dad in Grand Rapids for 9 days, and on Christmas Eve, we had 37 people (my sisters and brother and their kids) in our basement to celebrate Christmas.

It was beautifully decorated by my mom and dad…noisy ,fun, exciting, exhausting and the very next day Harrison and I flew in an ice storm ,actually Christmas eve night, to Vegas to meet Tim at Stratosphere Hotel to stay overnight than drive 6 and a half hours to Fresno,Ca to be with his family. But the morning of Christmas eve I had the privilege of singing at my friend/director/producer Alan Hartwick ‘s funeral. He died of lung cancer at age 52 and never smoked a day in his life.He would continually bring me back home to make what I thought were homespun children’s tapes on the Rosary, Prayers, Christmas, the Eucharist…and as it turned out ..they sell nationwide and are in every religious bookstore and publication. And little kids have recognized me in the strangest cities around the states. All because of his dreams. May God bless him as I know he has truly blessed me in the way he lived and died. the last song of the funeral was a dulcimer fueled, gospel version of ‘I’ll Fly Away”. It set the whole tone as a celebration.

Leaving Michigan was an event. My sister has the job of security at the airport one of her responsibilities being stopping and braking the truck on the runway. She kept driving up to our plane and I had my phone off, naively thinking we were ready to go in an ice storm. I thought maybe she was warning me to get off..so I turned my phone back on..but she said she had no idea why they de-iced the plane 2 times and took an hour to head to Vegas…When we did finally take off..we had to wear our seat belts for almost 2 hours of bumpy (terrible) weather. I was trying not to appear to Harrison that I was scared to death..but he was pretending to fly the plane and with each bump he’d yell”there’s something wrong with this ship!!” All in fun to him.. just my end I thought..But than peace and smooth riding for the remainder of our flight, and we had been up so early for the funeral and got in our hotel at 3 30 am GR time and Harrison never even napped, let alone flew our ship to safety.

He has grown so much and become so confident ..and having cousins all over sure helps. He still wants a sister he tells me..and I say I want a house on a hill, and to be 5’6..even tho I ‘d love to have a little girl.. He’s suddenly into football?? and thought Tim played for the St Louis Rams as all his shirts, hats ,etc..have the logo… He ‘s earning good behavior/homework points for shoulder pads and a helmet.. He already got a DSI thanks to his points, grandma and grandpa in Florida and Santa.. Anyway that ‘s it for now.

Thank you for everyone I know who sent such lovely greetings, and unexpected and wonderful gifts for me and Harrison. I hope your New Year brings you good health, joy and happiness. and WORK>> and wisdom to know how to live in the moment.

6 Comments so far

  1. Courtney on January 5th, 2010

    Love the pictures, I think he’s starting to get your huge smile — so cute! Glad you enjoyed your time in MI, even with that scary airport security on the 24th. I’m so happy you arrived safely to be with Tim and spend Christmas day with him.

    I can’t wait to hear about what’s next for you and the family…you never know, just maybe those “little sister” feet will start to patter their way to your door! Love to you all!!!

  2. Wanda on January 5th, 2010

    What a story girl! You had an incredible trip with a little bit of everything involved. So glad you got to sing at your friend Alan’s funeral, I know he means a lot to you. Glad all went well with the awful flight to Vegas! At least you have Jody to let you know what’s really going on before you take off!! LOL!! So happy you loved your gifts girl, enjoy, maybe Harrison will pick out a book on football with his gift cert! I’m sure I’ll love these pics that I can’t view until I’m on my home computer, work blocks everything! Can’t wait to see you soon! Love and miss you so much! Wanda

  3. Howard on January 8th, 2010

    Happy 2010, Jennifer. Those pix are beautiful.

    Sorry to learn about your friend’s passing and at such a young age. Unfortunately we never know what’s around the corner.

    I too lost a great friend over the holidays, and thank the Lord for Facebook (seriously). One of my best friends and neighbors with whom I went many, many places passed away suddenly in her home, and her daughter, whom I had met knew my name but not much else. So she quickly sent me a message on Facebook and I was able to grieve with my friend’s family. On a lighter note, though, I had always thought my friend was 5 months older than I am, born in Sept., 1950. When I concluded to her daughter, “So Janice was only 59″, her daughter acknowledged, “No, my mom was 66″…so in a time of sadness, we had a little bit of humor.

    Take care, Jen, and we’ll be in touch soon.

  4. Faye on January 12th, 2010

    Hi Jen,
    from a million years ago at NYU. Your son looks so cute! I have a son as well now, and I’m a cook. I go all the way to Italy and France to teach cooking, but still live right here in NYC. Wishing you well and lots of love, Faye

  5. Lori on January 18th, 2010

    Hi Jen!
    Love the pictures, and wow 37 people!?!?!? Thats a lot! I thought my Italian side of the family was big =) Glad Harrison had fun! He is so precious!
    Most of been hard to be away from Tim that long!

    Glad to hear you had a great time though.
    Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your family :)
    I hope you come to NYC soon for a visit. Miss you lots!


  6. Lori on January 18th, 2010

    Oh and sorry to hear about your friend, thats awful :( I lots my Uncle to cancer back in September too and its rough :(