Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wedding Joy

Here is the happy couple on their wedding day -- May 29, 2011. It's been a long wait for the photos but I guess that's not unusual. The photographer has recently posted 100's of them on her site and we're patiently pouring through them finding our favorites to relive that incredible weekend.

That said, Adam and Laura's wedding blog site is still up and (relatively) active. I visited it today and there is a countdown clock on its home page. It used to announce the number of days "until" the wedding. Today it announced the number of days "since" the wedding -- which is 46 days! For those of you out there who are married, do you remember Day 46 of your marriage?

On another note, in recent years, since Laura and Adam have been together, we have been sharing their Winter Holiday vacation weeks between Laura's family (in Boston) and our family (in Michigan.) This year is "our" turn and we arranged two years ago to go to our favorite place in the world -- our vacation timeshare in Princeville, Kauai.

We have two timeshare units and we've reserved them both -- one for all the kids (Adam, Laura, Evan, Marika and any of their invited guests) and one for Gil and me. Our dates are December 24th through the 31st. I can't believe we're all going to be able to vacation together for a week. It's unheard of!

Since Adam and Evan are both 4th year medical students, they will be "cast to the wind" next year for their residencies and fellowships. They have no idea where they'll be. I doubt that in the near future -- during their final years of training -- we will ever have a week together where we can ALL be together. So this coming December holiday is going to be one to remember.

Thanks to Adam for quickly jumping on recognizing the need to arrange and purchase our flights, we are all flying together across the Pacific and back again at reasonable costs. I usually wait until it's too late to get flights or seats together. Kudos to him for his proactive thoughtfulness.

Evan was just in the Bahamas for a good friend's wedding. He's now in Washington, DC visiting a friend from high school. And he flies to NYC to do a medical rotation at Cornell the last two weeks of July.

Marika is in Traverse City as you know, competing in four weeks of hunter/jumper classes.

I'm headed to Kentucky next week to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday and visit with family and friends.

Gil is in Denver this week at an international conference delivering four talks at the Annual Scientific Meeting of SCCT (Society for Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.)

July has been another busy month for the Raff Family. How about you?

July's been busy.
Summer is always that way.
Best months still ahead.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Week at the Waterloo Hunt Club Horse Show

Summer greetings! We're starting the Fourth of July weekend and it's been a busy week for the Raffs.

Gil just returned yesterday from a week in Hong Kong where he was moderating a panel on cardiac imaging for Seimens. He added a day of sightseeing and is now back home adjusting to the 12-hour time difference. His summer schedule includes a trip to Denver this month for the annual Scientific Meeting of the SCCT (Society for Cardiovascular Computerized Tomography.)

Marika got home from Santa Barbara after spending 10 days in Honduras with the Global Medical Brigades. I will ask her to post photos and give a summary of her trip since most of us will not have the opportunity to travel there where she and her fellow volunteers set up daily clinics for the local villagers.

She just completed her first week of horse showing for the summer. We drove back from Waterloo last night (about a 40 minute drive from here and just west of Ann Arbor) where she competed as a rider with Fox Meadow riding facility in Temperance, MI. She has her "old touch" because she won (almost) every class she entered -- from Adult Equitation to the HJAM (Hunter Jumper Association of Michigan) Medal classes. Additionally, she was Champion and Reserve Champion in her Adult Division. Most of you won't know what that means but it's all GOOD! All this on a horse she had only ridden for two days prior to the competition and having not ridden but a few times in her four years at college!

She came home from Waterloo for a short 48-hour turnaround before heading up north for the next show of the season. She's spending today washing "horse show clothes" laundry and repacking for her upcoming four weeks in Traverse City. She will be staying with her friend, Lindey, in a camper in Traverse City and the girls always have a great time together. Marika is lucky in many ways: she is riding a horse which is extremely capable and kind, she is being trained by some of the best trainers at a well-run facility in the region, and she is getting to "decompress" from the past four years of intense preparation for medical school admission (grades, MCAT preparation, clinical extracurricular activities, etc.)

She will be starting her biomedical research position for the next year at U-M when she returns at the end of July. By then, she will have gotten tan, gained muscle mass and lost weight (How can you NOT lose weight when you are riding those 2,000 pound beasts?)

Adam and Evan started their fourth year of medical school early in the summer. They worked hard during their third year training and were each rewarded with receiving "Honors" in 5/6 of their clinical rotations. That designation will help them toward getting the residencies they are applying for after medical school graduation.

I am having a wonderful summer of gardening. My tomato garden from last year was an overwhelming mess of too-tall-plants and out-of-control tomato production. So I am growing them in containers -- the pots are on wheels and I wheel them around the driveway catching the sun as it moves around the house. My raised-bed tomato garden which was created for me two years ago has become an herb and lettuce garden and it's much more manageable. And filled with garden art.

I'm also spending time with our dogs -- taking them on outings as I do errands and walking them along the Milford Bike Trail. I'm also doing a lot of cooking and using the fresh produce from our farmers' markets. Tonight it's Asparagus Soup.

I also go to watch Marika at the horse shows and will spend the last week of July with her in Traverse City.

My favorite mom is turning 80 in two weeks. My brother and I are meeting in Louisville to take her and other family members out to dinner to celebrate.

No wedding pictures yet. Will put them on the blog when we get them.

Summer's lazy days
Cold gazpacho. Iced coffee.
Hammock time for all.