Peggy, Week #21: Diet Dangers on the Road

The Avagliano Family

This has been a long week emotional week that resulted in some diet slip-ups, but overall I think Peter and I did pretty well. We took a 2,700-mile road trip to drop off our oldest three children at college. The week of scheduled drop-offs coincided with Amanda’s band camp week, so Amanda would have to stay at home.

First stop, Michael at UNCSA in Winston-Salem, NC where he will be studying Design and Production (technical theater). Michael is a 17-year-old freshman. Michael’s move-in time was 8 a.m. on Tuesday. This meant that we had to leave NJ on Monday, and spend the night in Winston-Salem. We stayed at an Embassy Suites hotel, which had a nice breakfast buffet; the eggs were cooked to order. The school ran the move-in better than any other college we went to. We pulled up and unloaded our car, and the RAs moved the stuff to the hallway outside of the rooms! The dorms are definitely old-school, with residents in each hallway sharing only two showers and toilets!

We had the opportunity to meet Michael’s roommate and his parents while moving in. 
A parent orientation filled the day, and ended with a BBQ. We spent another night in North Carolina and checked in on Michael to insure that he had everything he needed.

Next stop, FSU in Tallahassee, where Katie is trying out for the Marching Chiefs. (In High School, she marched with the Marching Braves, so making the marching band in college would be a promotion.) Katie is a sophomore, but has spent the first year abroad, so it was her first year on campus, too. We did not have a lot of room in the car, so we had to buy most of the stuff for her room in Tallahassee.

Katie could not move in until Friday night, so we had all day on Thursday to shop for her dorm. Katie had to go to practice at 7:30 a.m., but her move-in time was scheduled for 8 p.m. Why would a college think this is a good move-in time? Christina, Peter and I spent the time exploring Tallahassee. We picked up Katie at 5:50 p.m., and discovered that we could move in a little early, at 7 p.m. So we ate dinner, and moved her in. We spent the night in Tallahassee, and left shortly after we dropped Katie at practice.

Our last stop was Ringling College in Sarasota, where my daughter, Christina is studying Motion Design. She left most of her stuff in storage, so we simply helped her to move in. It was her first apartment-style dorm, so we stopped at Walmart and picked up a few essentials–plates, glasses, etc.

Our 2,700-mile road trip from New Jersey should have been a good opportunity to stick to my diet. I loaded the car with fruit and celery on the first day, but I soon found myself purchasing a candy bars at the rest stop and eating a whole bagel for breakfast.

After a day of indulgence, I realized that I still want to feed my feelings, rather than simply feel them. Peter and I made an effort to try harder. We did manage to make some healthy choices: yogurt sundaes instead of ice-cream blizzards. Going to the gym at the hotels and even swimming one day in the pool. Not bad, right?

How do you stay away from tempting foods when you’re on the road? Post a comment and tell me here.

Peggy, Week 4: Ready For Our Close-Up

Today was the professional photography shoot for the magazine. We always meant to get professional photographs of our family, but we never did, and somehow, it seemed like we’d have time to get it done. Some day. We brought the kids to see Santa in the mall, and even to the local big store photo shop for a photo, but not the six of us. Either our work schedules or our lack of money or our lack of planning prevented us from getting that big family portrait.

After all these years, we were finally having professional photographs taken in our home as part of the Family Circle Healthy Family Challenge. Unfortunately, our oldest two daughters, Christina and Katie, are in college, so they were not in the picture!

Looking through old photos, brings back the memories and emotions of the day; which is probably why we feel the need to share them:

kids on slide

Having four kids in less than five years, is a great way for any child to grow up, because they always have each other. As the eldest child, Christina has always looked out for everybody else. As the middle daughter, Katie has always been able to bridge the gap between each of her siblings–managing to be best friend to everyone. As the only boy, the girls look to Michael for advice on the “boys’” point of view; as their brother, he places himself in the role of protector, whether they want him to or not. As the baby, Amanda is slightly more independent than the other kids. Two years younger than Michael, but three years in the classroom, due to a change in birthday cut-off dates, placed her in a different school (grammar school v. middle school; middle school v high school) until this year.

Five years difference in age will have no meaning by the time they are 30, and the difference is already starting to shrink.

When I think of my kids, I often think of them as they were in this photo taken in Disney when they were all still in grammar school. Our home only feels “right” when we are all under one roof.

kids at disney

The reality is that they are growing up – as this photo taken 2 years ago shows.

kids at disney now

Making me wonder, where did the time go?

Photographs are memories, so take a few of your family today. (If you have teenagers, they will complain, but someday, they will be glad they have them).

But, I digress….

Today, was the professional photo shoot for the “before” pictures. The team arrived at our house minutes after I got home from work. The make-up artist did our hair and make-up, while the photographer and assistant set up their “studio” in our living room.

By the way, it would be nice to have someone do you hair and makeup every day before work.

We donned our bright orange FC challenge t-shirts; no, we did not chose the color, and smiled for the camera: “happy family,” “look left,” “look right,” “Jersey tough,” “duke it out,” “Congrats, you won!” “Yeah! We won!”

In about an hour, the photo shoot was over, and we went out to dinner; after all, we had our hair and make-up already done. (Yes, we changed our t-shirts first).

Post a comment and tell me about your last family photo.