Last Saturday, Allison and I were sitting out on our front porch enjoying the first warmth and sun that we have had in a while. There were a few clouds, but there was more sunshine than clouds and the temperature was in the mid-seventies.

As we were sitting there, we thought that it would be a nice day to go downtown and walk along the Rose Kennedy Greenway. We hatched a plan to stop at Haymarket and pick up some fresh produce and then walk down to the James Hook Lobster Company and by a couple of lobsters. We would then come home and after Justin went to bed, have a nice lobster dinner on our front porch.

So we packed up Justin’s diaper bag, put little man in the stroller, and headed downtown. Justin, as usual, had everyone’s attention on the train with all his smiling and flirting. We got off at Haymarket Station ready to have a nice walk and pick up the things that we needed for dinner.

As we came out of Haymarket Station and looked up, the picture that you see in this post was what greeted us. There was absolutely no sun and the temperature was approximately 10-15 degrees colder than on our front porch in Jamaica Plain. Now, for those of you who are not familiar with Boston, Jamaica Plain and Haymarket Station are only 4 miles apart. There was a strong wind coming off the ocean and as we walked both Allison and I wished we had brought a jacket. By the time we got home, it started raining again.

This has been an absolutely awful June in Boston. The temperature has been perpetually stuck in the mid-sixties and it has been cloudy and rainy for almost the entire month of June (this is no exaggeration). Our adventure on Saturday was just one of many days that have been complete washouts.

I only bring this up because in a week and a half Allison and I will be bringing Justin back to Michigan for our first family vacation. I am so excited to come back home and visit and introduce Justin to everyone. I can not wait to stand on the shore of Lake Michigan and feel the warmth of the sun, because it has to be shining somewhere. Right?!


Just to prove that there’s more to our life than a baby (probably more of an issue for us than you!), I thought I’d get back to our second love: food!

We made this for Justin’s baptism party and a couple people asked for the recipe. It came, originally, from Giada DeLaurentis on Food Network.

Corn and Black Bean Salad with Basil-Lime Vinaigrette

2 ears fresh corn or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 limes, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Peel back the corn husks. Remove the silks and replace the husks. Soak the corn in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and place on the grill for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool completely and remove the husks. Using a sharp knife, remove the corn kernels. In a medium bowl, mix together the grilled corn, black beans, garbanzo beans, bell pepper, and mango.

For the vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, combine the lime zest, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, basil, and cumin. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss well. Refrigerate for 1 hour, and toss again, before serving.

Our Red Sox themed week culminated with Father’s Day at Fenway Park. Our friends got (some of) us tickets to the game. Those without tickets had an entertaining adventure getting into the park! You’ll have to ask Andy about that escapade… Andy and Darryl went down before the game to have a couple beers and hang out for a while. They got to spend some time in the new section above left field where there is an outdoor bar and table seating. About the 4th inning, Maureen and I came with the boys.

Justin was delighted with all the people and the noise didn’t bother him at all. Whenever he hears a loud noise (hair dryer, loud music, lawn mower) he starts yelling so he can be just as loud. At the Red Sox game every time the crown cheered or chanted “Let’s Go Red Sox” Justin yelled with everyone else. I was a little nervous about having a baby at the game and annoying other people around us with his fidgiting, etc. The solution? Sit near some teenage girls -they love babies and don’t mind all the squirming.

Twice a year Fenway opens up the track around the field to the public, so you can walk around at field level. We had planned on doing that, but the boys were SO tired and cranky at that point that we decided to bail. Plus, there was an incredibly long line of thousands of peple waiting to get in. Just before we left, Annette said, “oh, don’t worry! We’ll get you in and you won’t have to wait. Let me find somebody.” Two minutes later she appears with a security guy and they bring us to the security section at the side of the line. “Go ahead and let these folks through the the front, please!” So instead of waiting or going home, we got our own security escort and bypassed thousands of people to move to the front of the line!! We wondered what other poeple thought about us -did they think we were famous?!

Being down on field level was cool. The grass was absolutely perfect, the dugouts were absolutely filthy and the Green Monster was incredibly tall. Andy says “the grass was so green and thier uniforms were so white.” You’ll have to check out all the pictures and see what you think.

Andy had a great time and thought it was really great to do it with Justin. Pretty cool for a boy’s first visit to Fenway to be with his Dad on Father’s Day.

Justin and I went to the Public Gardens last week with our friends Annette and Maureen, as well as their boys. We had a lovely day riding the Swan Boats and then having a picnic in the Boston Commons. Turns out the boys couldn’t have cared less about floating around the pond, but really enjoyed watching all the school kids there on the field trips.

More importantly, we had a Red Sox sighting. Just as we were finishing up our picnic, our friend Annette ran over to a group of people walking through the park. As Maureen and I packed up the boys, she nudges me and says, “That’s Mike Lowell!! That’s him!” Sure enough, there is Annette chatting with Red Sox third baseman, Mike Lowell. Many of you have heard us talk about how Annette and her husband Dray work(ed) as security personnel at Fenway for the Red Sox games. Annette always worked providing security to the wives of the Red Sox players, so she knows Mike Lowell’s wife, Bertica.

We nonchalantly walked over and Annette introduced us to his whole family (mother in law, two kids, wife and Mike himself). Pretending we weren’t super excited to be standing 3 feet from a Red Sox player, Maureen and I said hi. I wanted to have an intelligent conversation with him, but was completely starstruck, so I did what any normal person would do: talked to his 8 year old daughter. She was extremely chatty and told me they had just been to the carousel. I told her we were headed over there and asked if there was a line. Mike Lowell responded to me, “No! You guys should go over there -there’s no line right now. It would be fun!” Eeeeek! Mike Lowell talked to me! I had a conversation with Mike Lowell! Okay, so it wasn’t really a conversation in the technical sense, but it counts to me…

Sadly, no pictures, but there were witnesses -it wasn’t just a figment of my imagination! As for Mike Lowell, he’s very tall, very slender, and has really nice salt and pepper hair (just like my sweet husband….). They life in Miami and both he and his wife are Cuban. Andy keeps calling him my boyfriend. I have to admit, I do have a bit of a crush on him now that I’ve had a conversation with him!!!

I’m dreadfully late in posting these pictures, but they’re gems! Two weeks ago we had a wonderful family gathering at our house in Jamaica Plain to celebrate Justin’s Baptism. All the grandparents came from thier various parts of the country, Pop (Great-grandpa) and Aunt Deb, Uncle Mark and Aunt Jess. Some had short trips, some has longer stays, but all of us were able to gather for the weekend.

Saturday was a gorgeous day, and we’re lucky enough to live in the circle of our dead-end street, which has a little park in the middle. The Hayes/Record/Uhl family, along with some friends and neighbors, took over the park for the day. We had good food, good wine, and lots of laughs. Justin was delighted to be the center of attention and except for a few bedtime meltdowns, did great with the extra company.

On Sunday Allison’s stepdad, Harold, lead a lovely service in our living room and baptized Justin. Since then Andy and Justin have been working thier way through the children’s bible each night (except for the nights when Justin prefers to eat the bible).

One of the great blessings of Andy’s family is that his sister Jess is a photographer. She took some beautiful pictures of Justin that weekend. Those of us who are not professional photographers took pictures as well, though not quite as polished!

When everyone was here a couple weeks ago, we got into a discussion about this blog and how to view all the pictures. Turns out some of you were (maybe some of you still are?) missing a lot of them. I thought it might be helpful to point out how to look at pictures in a blog post.

When there is a sentence in the blog that is highlighted
, you can click on it. That click will lead you to a series of pictures referenced in the blog post.

If you’d like to look at the pictures later on, you can go to this location: or click on the link at the side of the blog that says Allison & Andy’s pictures.

Let me know if you have questions! As always, feel free to share the blog with anyone you’d like.

This spring Georgina has taken Justin to most of the playgrounds in Jamaica Plain and is now expanding to downtown Boston. She and Justin frequently get together with her friend Claudia who nannies for 2 young kids in JP. A couple times they’ve ventured downtown to walk through the Public Gardens and go to the playground there. The family that Claudia works for has a pass to the zoo, so they’ve gone to the zoo together a couple times.

But, what Just loves best is to swing! He giggles constantly and loves to be pushed as high as he can go. On Tuesday we went to a new park where he was consumed with watching all the other kids run around. Justin gets all excited, flapping his arms, squealing and yelling out with them. Then, we got a chance at the swings….. (careful-might make you a little dizzy!)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry everyone. Can’t figure out why it keeps loading sideways, nor can I figure out how to fix it. Guess you’ll just have to come to Boston to see Jusin swing in person!