Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Hames family update

Happy Holidays!
Everyone likes a photo card these days for the holidays, it seems the days of just signing your name are over and with that in mind, I thought I might take a moment and try and update you on where this particular Hames family is in our life.

As you know, we moved house from Buffalo to Hamilton, NY. Hamilton is a small town in Central New York (as opposed to western NY) with a population of about 3,000 people and roughly 1,500 deer (most of who trod across our lawn at one point or another in the day).  This town is gorgeous… as you can likely imagine- we have a village green where the farmer’s market and summer concerts take place and just enough restaurants/bars/shops to keep us satisfied.  We are surrounded by hills and covered by greenery and these days treated to the smell of wood fires all day long. The people here are exceptionally kind, considerate, helpful and friendly.  Matt and I are making new friends and the kids have transitioned beautifully.

We moved from an old house built in the early 1900s in Buffalo to a new house built about 11 years ago with nothing needed except for the painting of walls. We have a huge yard (1.8 acres), a big ol’ rock called Mount Hames, a fire pit, a swing set and an invisible fence to keep our 10 year old nutty dog, Lucy, safe and sound. I have to revisit the deer for a second… I have been here since February and the deer have not become any less amazing to me… add to that Mr. Fox who comes sauntering around whenever he feels like it… it is lovely.

The families. 

Thankfully, we have had lots of visitors from friends and family already and we hope this trend will continue. The whole Hames family had a reunion of sorts here this summer with Nanny’s brother, two sisters and spouses spending time with us and of course, Grandpa came to help with the birthday month of June (who knew he was a cupcake master?!). Perhaps our cutest visitor this year was our new niece/cousin, baby Ellie Hames…can’t wait to watch her grow! As you may be able to tell from our address, we live very close to a lake, Lake Morraine,  where there is canoeing, swimming or kayaking… not to mention bike riding which the kids are both doing now without training wheels. 

Matt is really enjoying his job at Colgate University, and he is well-liked and well-respected by the community here. He works hard, but thankfully is not expected to put in ridiculous hours. He has joined a group of guys who play soccer on Saturday mornings which has been fun for him both physically and socially. He joined the Utica curling club and as of last week won the club championship… qualifying him for the next big tournament. He spent time in Switzerland last year as the coach of the US National Men’s team and this year played with that team for a short time considering a run for the 2014 Winter Olympics. After several months of intense traveling and competing, Matt and the team parted ways allowing him to spend more time with us here at home… needless to say- he is the best curler any of us know and I admire him for going for his dream of trying for the Olympics!


What can we say about our little six year old. She is not shy, let’s just say that. Although she is the smallest student in first grade (possibly also kindergarten), she is the fastest runner, the best climber and the most impressive monkey-bar swinger the school has.  She just participated in the local production of the Nutcracker as a gingerbread dancer and will likely start gymnastics classes next year. She has shown us many talents some of which include; memorizing and singing all lyrics to songs, confident hip hop dancing, creative story telling and bottomless pit eating of slice after slice of cheese pizza (hold the cheese, please). She and Gavin play well together, until they don’t… but we are very proud of the little girl she is and tell her every chance we get.


Four years old. The most popular boy in Pre-K according to his teacher. When not being chased by his many girlfriends, he can be found trying to keep up with his big boy friends. He loves playing with Autumn and has almost perfected the writing of his name… he is a daredevil and can often be found jumping with abandon off things far too high for my comfort. There is no doubt- the expression ‘Mama’s boy’ is telling of my relationship with Gavin as I seem to let him get away with more than his fair share of mischief… but can you blame me?


Well, I quit my job a couple days ago after I was offered a part-time position with the Hamilton Initiative. I will be working to highlight some of the many gems this town has to offer. I think this may be the perfect job for me at this time.  Our family will definitely benefit from the flexible schedule and part-time hours and when you come to visit, as a professional I can ensure you will see ALL the best stuff and be treated like royalty J .  Matt and I celebrated our ten year anniversary with weekend with a romantic weekend spent in NY wine country including a sunset sail ride and gourmet meals… did I mention the wine?

Rhona, Matt, Autumn, Gavin, Lucy and Little Ms. Scarlet (our black cat).

Bonus shots: 


Friday, October 14, 2011

at the science museum

Gavin and daddy day
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Monday, October 03, 2011


This says happiness is family. Awesome.
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Thursday, September 08, 2011

The decade since

It has been ten years since 9.11. 

Back to 9.11. 

The ten years after 9.11 have not been the best ten years for my new country. They have been besieged by fear, a little craziness and a lot of money. A. Lot. Of. Money. 

William Goldman wrote these wise words for Vizzini in the Princess Bride: 

"Never get in a land war in Asia." 

Right before he drops dead. 

I think there are a lot of people in America who don't connect the dot from the battle of wits, and the battle's being waged by America. To many people in America, Afghanistan and Iraq aren't in Asia, they're  in the Middle East. I've learned that by quoting Vizzini to blank stares. 

The stated goal of Al Queda was to draw the US into a lengthly battle in the desserts of Asia in an effort to bankrupt the world's only remaining superpower. 

As the wars continue to escalate, America continues to amass a staggering debt. This doesn't mean the terrorists are winning. They aren't. America is a strong country that will find its way. Eventually they will get out of the middle east and begin to spend money at home. It will take time, but on the tenth anniversary of the thing that started it all, real change can't happen fast enough.  

BTW, this last ten years saw me: 

Meet a girl. 
Get married. 
Move to a new country.
Buy a house. 
Get a dog. 
Have some kids. 

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The first day of school

I've gone on record as saying that it drives me nuts when people say "you should really enjoy it, time really flies."

Time crawls. Slowly. 

Then one day, it is the first day of school. And not some sort of a pre-school. This is really, really school. With teachers and lunch and recess and all that.

So I made a movie about it. Not because I think time has flown by. More because I think it is worth capturing these moments. I'm still working on it, but this is version #1.


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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Likes, Autumn and Gavin

For the record, here are some likes:

Color = Blue.  (Of note: when asked for favorite color, she actually answered; pink, black, yellow and blue. when pressed, she picked blue. I didn't see that one coming.)

Song =  Firework

Person = "My family", followed by a hug

Food = Long, skinny noodles

Animal = Horse

Color = blue

Song = Ghostbusters

Food = Pizza n mac n cheese

Person = Ray Parker Jr. (Of note, he doesn't know the guy's name, but when asked for his favorite person he said "guy who sings ghostbusters").

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The beach house.

We were so lucky to spend a week at Waverly Beach for the last week of July. We had visitors almost everyday.... Uncle Simon and Turner, Grandpa, Grandad and Nanny and loads of friends including Rachel and Erdene, the whole Testa family, Ms. Janet and six kids, Pam and Jessica and Lucas and Jody. It was great fun and allowed Matt and I to relax and not ponder the worries of the day... we just had fun and enjoyed the days. Here are a few images to reflect our time on Edgemere Street in Fort Erie, Canada.

rainy day activity- playdough making... or some facsimile thereof ?@!!

The boy likes his squirt guns...this pump style gun was great for getting Daddy, Mommy and of course, Autumn.

This next shot is the shot of the week in my humble opinion.
The girl has PAZZAZZ!!!

No wait... this shot is the shot of the week...

No.. .THIS is the shot of the week, seriously.

A Dad gets thirsty battling all day :)

Again with the gun, one did break after day two (thankfully)

The queen city from a different vantage point.

another view of the city.

A boy on the run.

A shaky start for our dog Lucy... but she warmed up to the whole concept of beach running.

Oh Yes we did...on that rainy day.

every good beach house has a good bathtub. These guys spent a ton of time in and out of the tub.

What the heck can I say about this lady?

The ol' self-timer family portraits. If you pay close attention, I always look a little winded in these family images, because I am the one who literally RUNS into the shot.

He loves trucks... he is at that stage where he just plays by himself quite happily.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Random Images, part deux.

ps- keep in mind I have more images of Gavin as Autumn is at school during the week... hopefully this summer I will catch up on capturing her pure loveliness and amazing spirit.