Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Hard Day

Its been a BAD day...... much like my 29th birthday (when the Senate approved HR 3590 - aka Obamacare). Although I had prepared myself for this moment (during many-a-conversations with Darin, Jana and Tiffany discussing my hunch that Roberts would side with the left to uphold Obamacare), I was not prepared for the full emotional turmoil of today.  I felt COMPLETE elation when CNN reported the Supreme Court had struck down the individual mandate. CNN was wrong – for a good two minutes. Allowing me to jump and scream and celebrate. Then, when the correct reading of the court’s opinion was relayed, I felt defeated.

There is much to read and interpret from the decision, specifically the distinction of the mandate as a tax. John Roberts is alone in this interpretation – that the mandate does not hold under the Commerce Clause, but is effectively a tax and therefore permissible under Congress’ taxing authority. The conservative justices argue the mandate was not presented as a tax, is not permissible under taxing authority or the Commerce Clause.  The liberal justices differ from Roberts in their belief that it is permissible under the Commerce Clause.  In any case, Roberts’ interpretation provides a political victory for Obama.

I respect that the Supreme Court ruled on constitutionality. Justice Roberts, however, makes certain to emphasize that the court’s decision does not rule on whether the law is sound policy.  I do not believe it is.  This ruling will most certainly rally the Republican base, but it is yet to be determined what impact it will have on independents and moderates (key to winning the election). Whether, as CNN contributor David Gergen says, the court’s decision will likely sway independent voters to back away from Obamacare repeal ‘time to give it a rest; let’s get our focus back on the economy’ or whether independents will recognize that the health and sustainability of our economy is inextricably linked to the repeal of Obamacare is yet to be seen.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ortho Grad

Friday night was ortho graduation night. Congratulations Darin and his fellow residents. Such hard work and you make me proud! The completion of Darin's third year and the beginning of year four. What the heck!? Year four? How can time fly by so fast?! If you have chatted with me or read this blog in the last three plus years, you will know my deep and abiding love for Hershey. So it is mostly sadness to know time continues to wind down. Only two years left and we don't know what is in store beyond that! But at the same time, much happiness for Darin that he is one step closer to completion of his residency. The next few months will be critical decision making months and I have faith and confidence we will follow our hearts and find our path.


Me and Leslie ya'all!

These dudes

No shortage of dessert breaks! This is at Sweets at Hotel Hershey. What is the deal with macaroons? They are AMAZING!!! You spend like $2 on one little cookie and you feel all ripped off until you take a bite, and it changes your life.
Lunch at Houlihans!

Pretty much what I wake up to every morning. Sweetie pie.

Hershey Pantry!

Such excitement to get hero capes in the mail from Aunt Alyssa!!!! Thank you so much!!!!

Beau has been stamping/drawing all over the place lately. Yikes!

We Love the Heiners!

So much fun to have Drew, Monique and family in Hershey again! What a great way to start our summer!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hersheypark with the cousins!

Tate has been sooooo excited for his cousins to visit Hershey again! We love having them here! Tate even rode a major roller coaster with Nick, Olivia, Sophia and Uncle Drew. He said it was 'kinda good and kinda scary'. I'll tell you what wasn't good- Skyrush! It was so totally uncomfortable because the harness is just over your legs, not over your torso- painful! I think it's a real missed opportunity for awesomeness!

Friday, June 1, 2012

NYC Dessert Tour - May 2012

Dessert #1 - Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity

The strangest thing happened a couple weeks ago. I totally forgot that Darin had vacation scheduled for the third week of May. Don't worry - my agenda was filled with the most important scheduling details (such as the time of body pump class or when to sign up for story time at the library), but missing was a week blocked out 'DARIN VACATION'.  So, 2.5 weeks into May when Darin made some comment about his vacation, and I responded 'cool - when is that, like August?' and then realized my oversight - I went into last minute vacation planning overdrive. It was a little hectic.  Do we stay here and do house projects? I really really need to organize the basement. And we really really need to organize our computer. But, nahhhhh. When so many fantastic destinations are at your fingertips - one must go. Go for adventure!!!! The question is where?

Hershey is ideally situated with easy access to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, NYC, Washington DC and so much more. The true desire of my heart was to visit my dear friend Amber in NYC. And within my heart lived the hope that it would be possible to do it on such short notice. I can not thank Amber enough for letting me come and hang out with her and her daughter Eliza for a few days. It was so much fun to catch up and see an insider's NYC. It was dreamy, and refreshing in a way only New York can be. And thank you Darin for letting me go solo, while you took the boys camping in the rain. :) I might feel a little guilty, but then I know the boys were also living out their dream scheme and Darin was heading solo to Florida at the end of his vacation for a brothers trip.

We set the plan: our family together for the first weekend in Philadelphia, I would then take train from Philly to NYC, Darin would take boys camping. After a few days, we would rendezvous back in Hershey for a couple days, and then Darin was heading to Florida for a brothers trip the concluding weekend. (Florida had been in the works for a while but somehow didn't register in my mind that it meant Darin taking off the whole week prior). Planning and packing for all said trips in 36 hours is CRAZY, but it worked out surprisingly well. We reserved a hotel in Philadelphia for the first couple days of vacation, did a tad of research on things to do in Philadelphia, reserved a camp sight for Darin and the boys, packed for camping (I will never know how packing for camping takes soooooooo long), reserved train for me to NYC and just went for it. I didn't have a plan for NYC - other than to play with Amber and maybe go to the Met. 

Started off Monday morning with a run through Riverside Park. Beautiful. Then, it was off to the first and only item on the agenda: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was Monday and the Met is closed on Monday. (No worries, we went back the next day and it was radical). Another thing to remember, most Broadway shows are also closed on Mondays. So, our rainy Monday turned into best day ever = NYC Dessert Tour (with shopping mixed throughout).  A crazed New York woman who stole our cab did not cramp our style. Amber is super saavy with NYC transport, so we zipped around from place to place on the buses and on the subway.

Bloomingdales with its warming embrace from the torrential downpour outside.

Nice selection Eliza, Kate Spade is always classy!


We then walked a block from Bloomingdales for lunch at Serendipity.


Dessert #2 - Candy at Dylan's Candy Bar 

Dessert #3 - Cupcakes at Crumbs. Ummm, what to choose. What to choose.

A dessert break - shopping.  This random building by Nordstrom Rack with what appears a wizard exterior.

Lovely dress in a boutique window.

Another dessert break - Pizza at Big Nick's. The picture is deceiving. The box was actually much bigger than it appears. I had to tilt it vertically to get it out of the restaurant door.

Another dessert break - a swear I grabbed some veggies at the neighborhood grocer.

Now that is a cheese selection!

Dessert #4 - Magnolia Bakery. Check out the red velvet cheesecake.

Dessert #5 - cookies at Momo Fuku Bar. Really tasty and unique cookies (think cornflake or blueberries and cream).

Don't worry, there were more desserts the next day!