I mentioned my love for Vera in a recent post about Lavender. It’s such a sweet name, I thought it deserved it’s own post. It’s sweet, simple and means faith in Russian or true in Latin and summer in Albanian!
This name has lots of history, let’s start with its musical history, as that will most interest my husband. It’s a Beatles name, one of the grandchildren in “When I’m 64”. Vera Lynn is a singer known as “the Forces’ Sweetheart” as she was popular during WWII and sang many songs for the troops and toured giving concerts specifically for them. At 100 years old, she is still active both musically and charitably. I could do a whole post on how awesome she seems. The Pink Floyd song “Vera” is a reference to her.
In the movies Vera-Ellen is an actress and dancer best known for her role in White Christmas. Another actress, Vera Miles is best known as Lila from Psycho. In modern day the name also belongs to actress Vera Farmiga.
A lot of literary characters have been named Vera, including Vera Rostov in War and Peace. The first time I considered the name was while watching Cheers with Peter years ago, as it’s Norm’s often mentioned, never seen, wife.
Vera Brittain was a writer, feminist and pacifist. She served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse during WWI, she also lost her fiance, brother and several close friends. This led her to feel very strongly against war, though she still volunteered to help provide for those serving in wars. Her books were typically at least somewhat autobiographical and show a very real picture of life during her time.
Many associate this name with the designers Vera Wang and Vera Bradley. Though I don’t feel super strongly for or against their designs I find them to be inspiring namesakes as they are powerful business owners who followed their dreams. If my next daughter is half the fashionista as my first I’m sure she’d love to share her name with 2 designers.
This is as far as I’m going to go because holy cow, there is a massive list of influential Veras. If you want to see more check out the Wikipedia page.
As I’ve mentioned before, Lennon was born more than 3 weeks early. In my family most babies are born late, so this was quite a shock. What I have not yet mentioned (to my recollection) is that he was born on my Aunt’s birthday, which is also my late Grandmother’s birthday. The day he was born I told my husband I wanted to spend his first birthday at the zoo with my Aunt Kathy, Lennon’s birthday buddy. Luckily, my Aunt Kathy agreed this was a great idea.
Lennon’s birthday happened to be the hottest day of summer so far. But that didn’t stop us! We got to the zoo shortly after it opened to try to beat the crowd and the heat. We all had so much fun!! The kids adored the animals. And thankfully Seneca Park Zoo had several areas where you could walk through sprinklers, a few air conditioned buildings and even a man mad stream for the kids to play in.
Thank you to my Mom and Aunt for spending the day with us. Here are some of my favorite pictures from our adventure.
A Birthday Cupcake!
Watching the Rhino
Lucille’s new buddy!
We all loved the sea lions
Some of my favorite childhood memories are bonfires in our backyard. I loved roasting marshmallows, but hated the taste of them. So my mother ate probably half a bag of marshmallows each fire. And I burned them. Despite her telling me she hated burned marshmallows. And if I managed to make one golden brown I kept it for myself and made a s’more.I was a real peach!
Our most frequent bonfire guests were my aunt, uncle and 4 cousins. My cousins and I shared many ghost stories, laughs and for some reason streaking experiences. We played with sparklers and sometimes my dad even set off fireworks, which my cousin thought were “God’s farts”.
This weekend we had a small bonfire in our own backyard. Lennon’s first, and Lucille’s first since she’s been old enough to enjoy it. (She was present at a couple when she was just a few months old.) It was so fun! The kids ate trail mix and watched the glow of the fire in amazement. Both tried marshmallows, neither seemed to like them. We played bluegrass music and they danced and laughed. It made my heart so happy!
I’m so glad we live in a rural area. Sure, I have to drive over an hour to get to a shopping mall… but I’m fine with that. I grew up on 82 acres of land, with pet sheep and no neighbors in sight. My college friends never understood what I did for fun. But in my opinion, the fun around a campfire beats the fun at a movie theater any day!
I hope my kids feel the same way and grow up loving small town life.
Lately I’ve had really bad cabin fever. I feel sick of all the indoor activities my children and I have been doing for months and I just want to frolic outside in some sunshine!
Last summer, Lucille was so little!
I think it’s particularly bad due to the lack of summer fun we had last year. The beginning of summer was nice, though I was so large I was not very comfortable in the heat. But we had fun regardless. Then most of summer I was recovering from a c-section and Lennon was so new I didn’t want him in the sun or around germs too much.
To make up for it, this year I’m making the most of summer. And spring. And fall! But since I’m still stuck inside for now, I figured I’d make a bucket list for the upcoming season. Some of these things I’m hoping to do many times. So here is our family Fun in the Sun 2016 Bucket list:
- Take the kids to the drive in movie theater
- Take the kids to the zoo
- Visit my dad’s side of the family (they live 4 hours away)
- Have a picnic at Letchworth state park
- Take the kids to a concert
- Use our kiddie inflatable pool
- Take the kids on a walk to the library
- Go to Honeoye lake with the kids
- Take an out of state family vacation (leaning towards Wisconsin, I have an aunt and uncle there)
- Have a bonfire in our backyard