Saturday, June 27, 2009

Semper Fi

Semper Fidelis is the United States Marine Corps' official motto. Translated from Latin, Semper Fidelis means "Always Faithful." This week a new class of ever faithful Marines graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Richard Alex Laszok was among those proud few who have spent the last four years devoted to studies, hard work, and perseverance. He is also a member of my family through my husband Christian and I am proud to call him my cousin.

Friends and family refer to him simply as Alex. Well, most of the time we do, although there have been those moments when other names have seemingly been more fit. Names such as, human-garbage disposal. I don't know if its just the military lifestyle or not, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone inhale banana after banana, much like how a chipmunk inhales nuts before the winter, and still he has room for two helpings of dinner.

We've also lovingly called him beast, or monster, or freak of nature. Again, I have to wonder about the military influence and if the 5 am physical training sessions Alex routinely and religiously does, plays a factor in this, but he is built like a brick! Solid, strong, and unstoppable.

But for me personally, I've always called Alex my Buddy. He has a heart of gold, and will do just about anything to see a smile on the face of his friends and family. No matter what job Alex has been given, I have never heard the slightest peep of complaint from his lips. I've seen photos of him covered head to toe in grease and oil when he worked in the bowels of a huge transportation barge. He told me it was over 100 degrees and the smell sunk into every pore, and yet in the photo, there is Alex with a huge grin on his face, loving every minute of it.

So it gives me the greatest joy to share with the world my buddy, the families freak of nature, and bottomless pit, and truly a man who is and will be "Always Faithful",

Second Lieutenant Richard Alex Laszok!We love you and are truly proud of your great accomplishment!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our Dads

Christian and I have been blessed by the love of our Dads. They mean so much to us that we'd like to share with the world how truly wonderful our fathers are.

Christian's Dad has always been a wonderful provider. As Christian and his three younger brothers grew up he often worked two jobs, with little side gigs here and there. He selflessly gave of his time to insure that the family had a roof over their head and food on the table. He coached all his boys in various sports and taught them the true meaning of teamwork. He is the first one to offer help, no matter how big the task or how difficult the chore. He's a Captain of the Jersey City Firemen, and has saved lives, help bring lives into the world, and had shed tears for those he could not reach in time. Christian has told me, "My dad is always there when I need him. He loves his family. He's a great Dad!"
My Dad was given lemons in life, yet he always has a way of making lemon-aid. My Dad raised me as a single father, a task that many men would find to be too much. But my Dad never gave up on me or our tiny little family. He is patient and kind, and has always led by example. He is a dreamer, an idea man, and has helped me grow the talents of my imagination. He supports me in everything I do. He is calm, and loving. Because of my Dad I share a love of music and theatre. He brought me up in a world full of culture, art, and the beauty of nature all around us. My life may not have been a cake walk growing up, but with my Dad by my side, it sure was fun and beautiful.
Happy Father's Day to our Dads!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dad's First Adjustment!!!

I am still playing catch up with the blog. So much has gone on in the last few weeks, and I've wanted to share it with you all, but simply have not had the time. So here is yet another entry from my father's visit last month that I sadly, never got around to sharing.

For those of you who have never met my father, he was born with only half of a hip. He's had several surgeries throughout his life, starting as a child, and running through his adult years, to attempt to build a hip for him. Because of this abnormality my father has always walked with a limp, and in these past twenty years or so he has walked with the aid of a cane. He's also the type of person to not complain when something physically is bothering him, because well, he's lived with discomfort his whole life, and so he knows how to deal with it.

That being said, he has NEVER been to a chiropractor! For one reason or another he felt he didn't "need" it, and so he never went. Well, his daughter fell in love with and married a chiropractor, so I'm sure you can imagine how frequent in the past four years he's heard me say, "Dad, you should get your spine checked!" So when he came out for a visit last month, Christian and I brought my dad back to office after we had closed up shop and Christian gave my dad his very first chiropractic adjustment!

Dad couldn't get over how easily his neck turned, and a pain in his lower back, which he had been "dealing" with was lessened to the point where he couldn't even feel it. But what truly blew him away, was that his whole life, walking with a limp, and with a cane, Christian balanced his hips and his leg lengths evened out!

I'm so proud of my Dad for allowing us to go outside his comfort zone to do something positive for his health. Needless to say, he was adjusted several times by Christian while he was here in New Jersey, and his daughter (me) went out of her way to find a wonderful chiropractor in Oregon so that he can continue care and enjoy what he said makes his body "feel like a teenager again."

Dr. Christian checking out Dad's posture, then showing him what it looks like. (Remember the office was closed when we did this, hence Dr. Christian's super chill clothes. hee hee)
Happy Dad having x-rays taken.
Dr. Christian palpating Dad's neck to show him tender spots that really shouldn't be there.
Dr. Christian checking Dad's leg lengths that have balanced out with the aid of S.O.T. blocks (Its a Chiro thing. hee hee)
Dr. Christian using A.K. to find subluxations in my Dad's spine. (A subluxation is a misalignment of the vertebra in the spine.)
Dad just chilling out, totally relaxed and really loving his adjustment!

For those who wish to learn more about Chiropractic, or to find a chiropractor in your neighborhood check out our office website.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Popoolie's Visit to Jersey

This entry has been delayed due to my Aunt's passing. I wasn't really in the best mindset to post about how much fun my dad and I had while he was visiting Jersey a few weeks ago. So without further delay here are just a few images of what we did for the way too fast week that we spent together.I took my Dad out to West Caldwell and he had the chance to walk through the house that Christian and I are in the process of purchasing. (This is big news for many, I know. We haven't really talked that much about it because we've had a track record with our offers of falling through, but we're almost finished with the process and in the next few months we will call this house our home.... after it's been fixed up of course. Trust me, a lot of work will be done, but it will look beautiful when it's all done!)

I took Dad into Chinatown in NYC. We spent the day walking through crowded streets, rummaging through tiny little shops, and eating authentic Chinese food. Then I took him to Grand Central Station for a photo op, followed by Time Square for another photo location, and finally we caught the train home at Penn Station right next to Madison Square Garden.
Dad waiting for the subway in Chinatown.Looking for my ticket for the train, which we almost missed, at Penn Station.

Several months ago Dad was watching the Food Network, and saw a show titled, "Dinner's, Drive-ins, and Dives." The host was in a little hot dog place called Rutt's Hut, which is just five minutes from where I live. Dad had to stop in and see if their hot dogs were really as good as they claimed to be. Meanwhile, I had a hamburger. (Not too fond of the good ol' dog on a bun)
As a surprise for Dad, Christian and I took him down to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and spent a day visiting the Amish. We toured an Amish house and farm. We had a history lesson on how they began, how they live, and what every day life is like for them.
We saw several Amish buggies on the roads. It was pretty nifty.Christian and I posing as Amish farmers. I think Christian would still be pretty darn cute in plain Amish clothing.
I had transfer day at Seton Hall University. Dad attended with me and spent the morning walking the campus grounds as I spoke with academic advisers trying to set up classes for my Speech Pathology/Audiology and Deaf Studies degree. (However, after all this, I'll be attending a different university in the fall. But it was still nice to have Dad see a campus, even if it wasn't the one that I'll be spending my days on in the fall.)

Dad spent an afternoon taking the ferry over to Ellis Island. (I was at work while he did this, otherwise I'd post a photo from his outing. But he said it was pretty cool!)

Finally, to cap off the trip, my father-in-law John spoiled both my Dad and me by getting us tickets to a Yankee's game. We got to spend the evening cheering on the Yankee's in their brand new stadium, while they played the Oriels, and won by a landslide 11-3.
My wonderful Father-in-law decked out in Yankee gear!

The other cool thing, when we arrived at the stadium, we were unaware that it was a give-away night. The first 18,000 people to the stadium received Yankee's Baseball hats. Dad had already purchased one several days earlier, so here he is wearing the one he bought on top of the free Yankee Stadium hat.
It was great having my Dad visiting. I love having him around.