Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The movers are here, and little by little all our stuff is vanishing. We really are moving. Wow. It's another bleak mixed-up weather-day in Illinois today. It snowed a bit this morning, then started raining ice, and now it's hailing and sleeting. Just another reason I'm glad to be on vacation for a few weeks in beautiful places. Texas sunshine, and Costa Rica beaches!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Bells Are Ringing

The semester is so almost done, it's unbelievable. I had a demo with my professor and he said I needed to tighten up a few screws and then I'll be done. So with a mad dash, I'm going to crank it all out this week so we can move into the holidays without any loose strings.

We had our ward Christmas party and we dressed Brooklyn up in her santa dress. She looked really cute. We went for the whole Santa's lap thing, but she wasn't having any of that.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


So a few other things happened recently that we want to shed some light on.
First things first,

We're having a BOY! We found this out the week before Thanksgiving, but just haven't gotten around to making a general post. So there you go! Now we're trying to figure out some good boy names. I pulled out a few crazies that I kinda like, but they haven't caught on yet. Cid, Gervais, and Tristan. Celeste likes a few as well: Hunter, Ian, Liam, and Chase. We're still thinking it over though.

The other major thing that happened is our recruitment in the galactic battle against the Empire. Clearly we're skilled at this sort of thing...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in Utah

We had a wonderful 4 days in Utah for our Thanksgiving celebrations. The most exciting moments were the baby blessings, big feast, and seeing everyone again. My particular favorite was seeing Aaron and Kristin again and their 2 boys. It's been about 2 whole years!

Although the "big events" were quite nice, my most enjoyable moments were the hours between 6:00 am to 10:00 am. These were the hours when the kids woke up and forced their parents to get up, and since everyone was still groggy and waking up, we just sat and talked and played with the kids. It seemed very quotidian and made me feel close to my siblings.

Being with them made me also realize how distant Maryland is going to seem. But I have no regrets about our decision.

Playing Guitar Hero is a Baillio tradition now, thanks to my genius. I introduced it to my family a couple Christmases ago, and now everyone is gaga over it. My dad even bought a PS2 and all the games. So we rock out every time we get together. Playing board games is a Barrand tradition, and this trip was no exception. We spent a nice half-day with them on Friday and ate some delicious food and played some raucous games. Dave, Bryce and I rocked it at Heroscape. It was very fun, and good to get back into it. Celeste and I were a little burnt out. Celeste played Empire Builder and WON! She actually beat her dad, which doesn't happen a lot. So it was a great week, and tons of fun. We very much look forward to Christmas with Mom and Dad Baillio and the new year with the Barrands in Costa Rica!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Pros and Cons of Life

So we've been in some turmoil this week. It's a good kind of turmoil, but it's turmoil nonetheless. We were really excited that after all my interviews (which were quite numerous), I finally scored a job offer. This was in China Lake. We had already been fretting having to make a decision, and thought things would just be easier if no one else made us an offer. But, we were super fortunate to have another company make us an offer! So, here we are with the pros and cons of life. Getting to choose: PRO! Having to choose between 2 great things: CON!

So we've been making our pros and cons of the jobs, and praying and fasting. Today was our capstone day. And we feel good about our decision.

Maryland starts at higher wages, and is a better job overall. It is a great starting job and opens the door for career opportunities in the future. China Lake is definitely closer to family and is in an area full of members. It has the friends and family network that makes home life great.

It was a very difficult decision, but we're choosing Maryland. We're giving it a day or so to sink in and to be sure, but that's our decision. We couldn't be happier! We know it is gonna be another big adventure for our family, just like moving here to Illinois has been.

Other news this week: Brooklyn started nursery today! She absolutely loved it. I took her and she practically ran the whole way there. She knew we were going to the room full of toys and fun. She did really great too. I think she's hooked! It was a big day for Celeste too, who finally got to sit through Sunday School and pay attention. Brad didn't notice the difference since he's teaching the Sunbeams anyways. Also, I am getting super close to finishing my thesis work. I actually accomplished what we agreed upon at the start of the semester, but now I'm supposed to add another chunk onto it. The timing is terrible, (AHHH!), but I'm hopeful I can get it all together before I start work. Forget about December graduation, but at least I'll get my work done before starting my new job.

So this week is a big one, as we have another ultrasound on Tuesday, my sister is due this week, I've gotta crunch down on my work, and Thanksgiving vacation is next week! And we're all too excited to see my family again! We're all gonna be there! Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Job Travels

So last week was a crazy one for me. I went to Maryland for a job interview on Monday. And then I went to California for a job interview on Friday. In total, I was traveling/away for almost 4 full days out of 7. Crazy.

The Maryland job is located in Westminster, a small country town. Driving there I really liked the area. Hilly with lots of fields and trees, all in their resplendent fall glory. I was there interviewing with General Dynamics Robotics Systems. The job interview was a lot shorter than I expected. But that wasn't a big deal. I had a panel interview and I thought it went pretty well. The work sounds about my level and it is fun robotics work. A big plus is that the weather isn't as atrocious in Maryland as it is here in Illinois. I'm still waiting to hear back from them.

I went to Ridgecrest, California on Thursday. Interview on Friday. The area is practically a desert. It reminded me of Moab, UT. But it was a wonderful sight to see the mountains stretching the horizon. I sure missed those. China Lake is the naval base where NAVAIR employs all the best engineers to develop weapons for the Navy. They mostly design missiles and rockets for aircraft and warships. The interview was not much of an interview. It was more of a full-day presentation of a bunch of cool projects they are working on. The hiring manager that invited me out was a member of the Church, so it was nice to get that input about the area. All in all, it sounds like a good job with amazing benefits. Maybe not as involved in robotics, but still interesting stuff. And since some of the missiles are "smart", there might be a little robotics overlap after all. The day went well, and an offer is on its way. I'm grateful I at least got one!

To wrap up the job hunt, the NJ job (Lockheed) turned me down. They had a more qualified candidate. I have to say I'm not surprised. Even while I was there, I felt like I needed much more experience to fit in there. So no big deal. After going to MD and CA, I liked the benefits and atmosphere better.

Also, there were a couple San Francisco jobs that fell through too. Not the right fit, or not enough experience. Not too sad there either since San Fran would have been crazy expensive.

We are just patiently awaiting a response from MD. Once we get that we will be able to make our decision. Right now, we are both fully satisfied with going to China Lake. It will be a great area, closest to family, and great benefits.

The final battle for me: FINISH MY THESIS!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Woes

Get ready for a Socialist America.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


We had a smashing "chili cook-off / trunk-or-treat" at the church for Halloween. It was great. It's one of the few times we see these straight-laced Mormon folks go wild. Everyone generally goes all-out in choosing a themed costume for the family. We went as Peter Pan, Wendy, and Tinkerbell. The chili was delicious, especially the Sweet and Spicy. My fav!

And this year's haul was astounding. Brooklyn was struggling to carry her bucket around by the end. Last year it was too cold so most people ditched the trunk-or-treat. But this year PLENTY of people got into the spirit. I must say, having a new car with a hatch back makes the trunk-or-treat portion so much nicer. I got to sit down and pass out candy and set up some spooky decorations.

For a night-cap, we went to the Thorpe's house to watch Dark Water. It was one part scary, two parts lame. But that's ok. It was fun to at least try to be scared for Halloween.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friends in Philly

So I got an on-site job interview in Philly (Cherry Hill, NJ) last week, and remembered that I had some good friends that just moved out there, the Paynes. I emailed David to see if they wouldn't mind getting together. Here's a snippet of our email conversation...
That would be awesome! I usually take Tuesday evenings off anyway.
I’ll talk to Bethany about it and I’ll give you a call tonight.

I forgot to ask…Will you be bringing HeroScape? It does affect the decision...

Well my polite reply was that my Heroscape gear would require a second suitcase, and then I'd have to pay those ridiculous check-in baggage fees, so I wouldn't be bringing it. Well, they weren't kidding when they said it would affect the decision.

Worst. Trip. Ever.

They decided to show me the town. The company gave me a rental car, so I was able to drive out to my hotel and get settled before I met up with them. Why didn't David warn me there's a toll to come from NJ into Philly? $4! Luckily I had $5 cash on hand. David told me to meet them at the 30th street Train Station. They usually have good parking available. I parked in short-term parking, which was expensive. I figured we'd only be out 1-2 hours, so I didn't mind paying $12 or so.

We started our evening outing with a crazy-long drive through the ghetto of Philly to the other side of the city to have some cheesesteaks. What? They sell those EVERYWHERE! Why did we need to drive for 40 minutes to go to this particular restaurant? Ok. It's supposed to be the best. We got there, and had some fun eating and talking. The food was pretty decent, especially the pickle.

From there we headed back to the city center to check out the famous Rocky steps. They made me run all the way up those steps! At least they were kind enough to take my picture with Rocky.

Their daughter Angelique was hilarious. She was jumping around at the top singing the Rocky songs.

After our Rocky retreat, we drove around some more trying to find a creepy jail/museum. Now they had a GPS device, but I think David was intentionally ignoring it. We drove around for 10 minutes just to wind up back at the Rocky steps. Then we took a left and 1 minute later there was the jail. Sheesh. It was a pretty cool looking penitentiary. It was all old and brick and towered. Fun stuff.

We finished off the night with the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. It took forever to find parking on the street. But I was stoked to see the Bell. We get there and I start asking about its history. IT'S NOT EVEN FAMOUS FOR ANYTHING! They used to ring it. That's it! People rang it once upon a time. I'm pretty sure lots of bells are like that. Do we find cracked bells that entertaining? Independence Hall was pretty cool, too. I tried to salvage the evening with another great picture. We tried to look philosophical, but I don't think it worked. (Thanks a lot David)

So to top off the evening, they dropped me off 3 hours and 10 minutes later to my parked car. Did I forget to mention it was in short-term parking? Well, 3 hours is only $20. I could have swallowed that and been fine. The extra ten minutes you ask? That cost me $12 more! So $32 dollars later I sulkily drive my way back to NJ.

The interview went pretty well I think. I certainly enjoyed myself, and the job sounds amazing. We'll hear about it in a few weeks. The final part of my trip ended in hysteria. Remember how I only brought $5 cash with me? Well, I haven't remembered my Debit Card pin since I opened my account. I never use cash anyways. Who does anymore? Oh yeah, TOLL BRIDGES do! So I ended up begging at a gas station for $3. A nice lady gave me the money and said she knew where her blessings came from. Amen sister. I was praying for a kind soul just like you.

I'm hopeful for the job. It'll be interesting working there and living on the east coast again. And at least if we move there, I'll have my Heroscape stuff close at hand. That way we can still be friends with the Paynes.

The Cheerleader

Grandma sent this costume in. Brooklyn didn't quite get the whole pom-pom thing. Maybe I need to cut them in half or something. We're working on her cheers...

Go Cowboys!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Kitty

We saw this costume at Old Navy, and thought she'd look cute in it. She received so much attention at the store, that she didn't want to part with it. She screamed bloody murder when we took it off her. So we decided to invest. Now she doesn't take it off....

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Celeste's Books and a Ode to the Dollar Store

So I'm addicted to the Dollar Store. It's right across the street and I feel comfortable to let Brooklyn roam around freely, knowing if she'll break anything its....... ONLY A DOLLAR!!!! Ha Ha the power!!! So embarrassedly I go there about 2-3 times a week.
If you want to know what's at the Dollar Store- just ask, and have the WHOLE inventory in my head. String? Nope. Shoelaces? Yes!
You can even start building your 72-hour kits and get a gallon of water for.... A DOLLAR!!!
Sooooo... I have another passion... decorating for the holidays. Especially if I can MAKE a crafty thing for the holidays. So combine these two passions and what to you get..... TOO MUCH MONEY SPENT AT THE DOLLAR STORE!!!
So Here on the few things I've boughten this year to decorate and make....

These garden-steak-post things were really ugly at the dollar store, so I repainted them. Spiderwebs of course, and a creepy gravestone, with mummy hands coming out.!! Booohhaaa!!

A Halloween tree- Only $6 to create this look. (plus an old pot)

Wreath- Walmart ($3), All others- Dollar Store........for a grad total of $6!!!

Haunting Witching Tree- ($4) 4 witches for a buck each!! Fantastic!!

I'm worried that it's only the 5th of the month and I have 24 days to go till Halloween. Sooo I'm glad I get paid on the 15th because there is still so much more the dollar store has to offer!!!

On to Some Reading

*** Loved it
** Liked it

** Time Paradox- Mix in some more fairies and skipping around in time and you have some more Artemis Fowl fun. Enjoyed this more than previous Artemis books.

**Year of Wonders- A womens courageous struggle while stuck in a village during the black plague. Good historical fiction.

** Mysterious Benedict Society- Children who are more brilliant that for their own good, are inducted to a society where they must solve adult problems. Very fun- and keeps you guessing.

*** Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey- Fun mystery adventure where the characters you've grown to love, are faced with more challenges and puzzles. I liked this better then the first one.

*** The Pillars of the Earth- Read the whole 1,000 page book in 5 days. Couldn't put it down. the characters were my friends and I couldn't' just leave them hanging- I had to see what happened! Its a depiction of the Dark Ages, while trying to build a cathedral sooo.. Warning- some scene are pretty "R" rated, so you might want to skip a few pages.

**Poison Study- Romance, adventure, action, this book has it all. Young girl is condemmed to die, and is offered to be the king's food taster for poison. Brad even suggested the book to me, and I was so surprised cause the protagonist is a girl! Shocking!! (I think he mostly like it cause the girl was hot on the front cover.)

** Magic Study- 2nd book in the series. Still as enjoyable with a little more fantasy elements.

** Fablehaven- Grip of the Shadow Plague- 3rd book in the series. These books just keep getting better! Excited for the 4th book!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Animals Attack

This weekend was all about animals for us. We went to Outback Stakehouse on Friday, and I ate a chicken while Celeste ate a cow. That place is d-e-licious.

Then Saturday morning we visited a pet fair. They brought in animals for a petting zoo, and some big tigers, and some owls and hawks. It was really fun to see all the different animals. Brooklyn really loved seeing them all too.

We stopped by the bookstore and saw a bear!

Later Saturday afternoon, while Mom was doing a Women's Conference presentation, Dad and Brooklyn went to the Borders Kids' Party. We met more animals there, and Brooklyn couldn't put them down.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hum Drum Dolldrum

Not alot has been happening recently. I mean, we are back in the ho-hum state. But we have managed to get out a bit and do something fun.
Celeste went berry picking again! Brooklyn fared well with the strawberries last time, so how did she do with the raspberries? Marvelous. She got so excited she took off her pants and ran around shouting, "I love berries!". Well, maybe not that last part, but she did jump away from Mom when she was changing her diaper. What a cute little bum!
We also went to Curtis Orchard, which is a "pick-your-own-high-priced-apples" place. They have some other pricey activities for kids, but we just stuck with the simple free stuff. Brooklyn loves driving them tractors!

It was a relaxing weekend. It doesn't compare to our Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Boston summer. Don't worry. We're coping.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Got Me A Car

So we finally were able to make a decision on a car. We got a Saturn LW2. It's a wagon with 73800 miles. The dealer told us after the sale that we "beat the dealer". He bought the car for only $600 or so less than our final price after taxes and fees. We took the car to a garage to get it checked out, and it has some problems. The air conditioning was the biggest problem, and it'll cost quite a bit to fix, but we'll tackle that next summer. Besides that, we need some new tires, and we've got a pretty fair deal. We're excited to take great care of it. And pray it lasts at least as long as the Camry, and hopefully more.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Everybody Say "Cheese"!

So we've been back for a week now, and the whole car situation is getting closer to a resolution. We're waiting on a guy to get back in town so we can finish checking out his Hyundai Elantra. It looks like an ok deal. 2000, 46k miles. $4300. It's either that or a 2000 VW Passat, 151k miles, $4850. I actually want the Passat for some crazy reason, but Celeste (and everybody else I talk to) tells me the Elantra is the way to go. So we'll see how that pans out.

For the weekend, we went with our good friends, the Thorpes, to the Arthur Cheese Festival! It was a good way to kill the Saturday. We entered Brooklyn into a Cheese Eating Contest for youth 12 and under. Sadly, she didn't win. :( However, she did get a free T-shirt as a consolation prize. I also entered a cheese eating contest, but didn't win either. I was more in it for the culinary delight of eating cheese for a pastime. After the cheese eating contests, we entered a Cheese Curling Contest. This was a much tougher competition. Matt Thorpe was our "sweeper". Celeste, April and I all rolled our 10 lb. Baby Swiss Cheese Wheel down the course, and Matt tried to guide it into the target. Unfortunately, we didn't fare very well in this event either. But no matter. In all the competitions, we got to keep the cheese! So we came home with about 6 lbs. of cheese! We celebrated our cheesy heaven by eating fondue at the Thorpe's house that evening.

It was a marvelous way to spend a Saturday! And the weekend is still not over, thanks to Labor Day! We'll see what other mischief we can get into on Monday...

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Nitty Gritty

So, now that we are safe and sound in our home in Illinois, we can share our last grand adventure from our Boston days.

The last week was spent at a friend's house. Celeste babysat their 2 girls along with Brooklyn. When I got home the first day, she looked exhausted and irritated and said to me, "Let's go home tonight." Needless to say, going from 1 little child to 3 in a day wasn't the easiest transition. But the following few days went by without a hitch, and we got all set to head home.

Celeste picks me up from work on Friday, my last day at Kiva (which was a great last day!), and on the way home she suggests we leave that evening to start our treck home, instead of Saturday morning. "We'll get there earlier, and can go to church on Sunday and see our friends. Plus Brooklyn will sleep through an entire leg of the trip." Ok, I said. That sounds like a good idea.

So we packed everything into the car and headed out Friday night. We wanted to see Niagara Falls on our way out, so we drove into a rinky-dink motel in Niagara at 1:30 am to settle for the night. As we pull into our room, there are about 8 miscreants drinking booze and looking real scary sitting around outside the room next-door. I was a little worried about our stuff, but too tired to give it much thought.

The next morning we got up early (thanks to Brooklyn) and got ready for a long trip home, but first an amazing view of the Niagara Falls. It was a really gorgeous view and pretty fun to see. I thought it was going to be much taller than it was, but the volume of water cascading down was impressive. After seeing the falls we happily started our 10 hour journey home. Little did we know then, what a journey it would become!

After only about an hour, maybe hour and a half, the air conditioning started blinking, and it came out warm. I thought that was odd, so I turned it off temporarily. The rear-view mirror was getting all fogged up. I thought that was weird and couldn't explain how it happened. Then the cruise control turned off, and we started slowing down. I tapped the brakes a little and hit the gas. We revved but no tension. The transmission was acting up. Then the check engine light came on. I attempted to brake down to a lower gear and try again, but to no avail. Then all the lights possible on the dash lit up, the car turned off and we coasted with the hazard lights on to the side of the road. What just happened! I saw the temperature gauge, and it was as hot as can be. Oh. I hope we're just overheated. We'll wait for a while, let it cool down, pour some water into the reserve tank, and hopefully be on our way.

So here we are, eating lunch on a little blanket on the side of the road, in the middle of no-where, praying that the car is just overheated.

About an hour later, we called 911 to get a tow-truck to pick us up. The car did indeed cool down, but that didn't fix the problem. When the tow-truck guy got there, he looked at it and said the timing belt was thrown. So that's why it isn't starting. He also thought something like the water pump probably broke and that's what threw the belt. He called a few garages in the nearest town, but no one wanted to work on Saturday. Even if they did, they certainly didn't want to work on a timing belt. That's serious stuff. So he started taking us to his shop in Ripley, PA. Well, we weren't sure we wanted to wait until Monday to get things fixed, so he called up Firestone in Erie, PA. They said they would look at it! Hurray! Well, Erie, PA was about 40 miles away. That turned out to be a $275 tow. Yikes!

So it's now about 1:30 pm or so, and Firestone gets the car and for $99 will do a 2-hour inspection to see what's wrong. They tell us we better hope it isn't the timing belt, because when that goes, it usually does major damage to other things. Luckily, the Firestone was located in a Mall Center. So we got some real lunch in the food court, and went to a pet shop and looked at clothes. It was rather relaxing given the stressful turn of events of the day. About an hour later, Firestone calls us back. They said we were lucky, because it was just the water pump and timing belt. Just like the tow-truck guy said! Yeah! But, to fix both things was $800. What! Celeste pushed them down to $700 and we said, OK. Fix it up and we can continue our trek home. To kill time, we saw Iron Man at the dollar theater nearby. It was fun to see the movie, and it certainly killed the time and made us forget our miserable day. At least at 6:30, we would be on the road, and that much closer to home.

We returned at 6:30 and they tell us they made a mistake. There's more damage to the car than they thought. It seems the internals of the engine are messed up. That's a 9-hour inspection, which would cost $500. And if something IS wrong in there, it'll be $1500 and a week to get the parts fixed! You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Well, we had to start talking options, and Firestone was closing. We needed a hotel room. I must be grateful for the kindness of our Firestone guy, Joe. He was so nice and helpful during the entire ordeal. He offered to drive us to a hotel. We checked some hotels nearby the Mall, but everything was booked solid. One of the hotels told us about a hotel downtown that had availability. So we went there and got settled for the night. A wedding party canceled, so there were available rooms, and they were discounted from the regular $120/night. Only $99/night. We reserved a room for 2 nights, just in case.

The hotel was a godsend after an awful day. It was large, they had a pack-n-play for Brooklyn. They had free internet access. And a King sized bed. It was heaven in the midst of our personal hell. We went through our limited options, and decided to rent a car one-way and just finish the drive on Sunday. An 8-9 hour trip, and we'd finally be home, where we have friends, and connections and resources. So I reserved a car for $200 that night. Since the rental place was at the airport, the hotel called us a cab, and paid for it. That was another great thing about the hotel. (Plus it made Celeste feel better, like we really only paid $80 for the night).

Sunday was as you would expect. We picked up the rental, drove to Firestone, transferred our things to the rental, said goodbye to our Camry, and hit the road. Firestone was very generous and only charged us the initial $99 inspection fee. Our drive home was uneventful, and very normal. Just how it should have been. Celeste pulled the last leg from Indianapolis to Champaign. We were all weary of being in the car, and especially so close to home. But Brooklyn felt it the worst, I'm afraid. Celeste shed tears of joy, relief and frustration as we pulled into Winfield Village. We were all so exhausted from the horrific weekend, but all so glad to be home.

The worst part of the tale is that we just had $450 worth of car repair done to the Camry in July. So when we finally got home, we returned $1200 poorer, and missing our only car. So our next big adventure is buying another car.

I have to put at the end of this tragic story, how grateful we are that we are alive and well. So many things could have gone much worse. We are grateful that we are back home, that we had money in savings to absorb this impact, and that we have friends and family who are loving and supportive. And some day, we'll see what God intended us to learn, and how we were to grow through this whole thing.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Are we there yet?

We'll update you all about our final week in Boston and the trip home as soon as we get home. It might take us a little longer than planned however...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Barrand Grandparents

So first things first. Everyone is clambering for details on the pregnancy, so I'll give 'em to you. Now when people said details, I figured the mechanics of the thing were pretty familiar with most, so we'll skip that part. Celeste is about 7 weeks pregnant and should be due April 6th or so. I say "about" and "should be" because we've been a little confused by it all. Let me explain...

Celeste thought she might be pregnant about a month ago so she bought a 3-pack pregnancy test. She took one that night and it came up negative. A few weeks went by and when she was late, she took another one. In despair, she tossed it away. Another negative. Finally, this past week she started feeling a bit queasy and wonky, just like she did with Brooklyn. So she took the final test and again, negative. Confusing but sad. She really wanted to get pregnant soon. Later that same day, when I got home from work, we were browsing the blogosphere, and we happened upon the Nye's blog. And we found out that Julie was pregnant! And topping off the blog post was a picture of the positive test results. Celeste says to me, "Wait a minute. Two bars means you're pregnant?" So she runs to the trash, finds that morning's test, re-reads the instructions, and sure enough, she was pregnant. Turns out, Celeste had been looking for a plus sign the whole time, but they weren't plus sign tests.

So there you go. Exciting news! And on top of that doosy, we had Celeste's parents here for the weekend! So it was a great time all around.

Celeste took them to Concord on Friday morning, which they all loved. It's such a fun place. Celeste's Dad commented that the fascination lies in being able to connect a monumental, cataclysmic change in world history with a physical place. Indeed! In the evening when I joined the group, we ate out at Gregory's House of Pizza. It is this delicious pizza place close to the house. We have gone there almost every Friday since being here in Boston. It is really tasty and reasonably priced. To commemorate our devotion to the place, I bought a T-shirt!

Saturday was filled with Boston tours, by foot. Grandma and Grandpa went off in the morning to catch the Freedom Trail while we stayed home and Brooklyn napped. Then we joined them downtown at Fenuil Hall for some delicious food and a tour of the North End. It was really great. The food was superb, and the North End was interesting. It is practically Boston's Little Italy, it is home to the Old North Church and Paul Revere's House. The church steeple housed the lanterns that signaled "one if by land, two if by sea".

This officially concludes our Bostonian adventures....for now. We've only got one week left here and then we're driving back to Illinois to start my final semester of school! It's been a fantastic summer. Celeste and I commented how this ranks the third best summer since we've known each other. Let's have a Huzzah for Boston on the count of three.