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Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2006

Dear Friends and Family,

It’s been a busy year for the Holmes Family. We have all been traveling a lot—particularly Jim. Business took Jim to Bangkok, Tokyo, Moscow, Bratislava, Taipei, San Diego, Newport (four times), and Delhi. [Photo of Jim in Delhi] Work took me to Denver for a conference in May and to St. Louis in July. I also spent a long weekend on the Mayan Riviera near Cancun in April. I got together with 20+ friends from my days at St. John’s School in Belgium. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort and just ate, swam, sunbathed, and talked for three days. I hadn’t seen some of these friends in 28 years! It was amazing how we were all able to reconnect after so many years. There was a lot of conversation about how tough it was to move back to the States after living in Belgium. [Photo of my Girlfriends and at at dinner on the beach]
We also had a new addition to my extended family—my sister Kate gave birth to fraternal twins on January 4 in Baltimore—so I flew up there twice early in the year, and then we all went up in June for their christening, followed by a visit to my Dad, who had just moved to Snow Hill, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. [Photo of the twins and Emma] Of course a year isn’t complete without a trip to Stone Harbor, NJ to Mom’s beach house. We all went this year, including Maggie, who miraculously is still with us after 12 years (the last three with cancer). In October I was able to accompany Jim on a business trip to Bratislava, Slovakia. I explored this former communist city for two days—it has a neat restored downtown. Then Jim and I spent three days in Vienna, which is only 30 miles away. It was fantastic to have so much time together—just the two of us. We mainly explored the city and looked at gymnastics classes and ballet classes. We limit her to two outside-of-school activities, just to keep us all sane. At home she loves to dance and act and is really into the Cheetah Girls and the Disney movie High School Musical. She also loves to play school and restaurant. She had her first sleepover at a friend’s house this summer and has had one of her friends sleep over with us. She is definitely not my little pre-school girl any more, but it is neat to watch her learn and grow. She’s also fun to talk to, and we enjoy mommy/daughter time together.

This year we got season tickets to the Gym Dogs (UGA’s women’s gymnastics team), mainly because Emma is so interested in gymnastics. However, Jim and I were surprised at how much fun it is to watch and attend meets—and how much we got into it. The team is popular and often sells out the coliseum here. The Gym Dogs went on to win the NCAA championships, and they are ranked no. 1 this year. We can’t wait for the season to start on January 6.

I’m still working at the University of Georgia Law Library as the Cataloging Services Librarian. The best things about my job are the flexibility to take time off during the workday to do things like see Emma do a class presentation, and my terrific co-workers. I would like to work less than a 40-hour work week though. I’m always busy. I am still having a great time singing with the Meridian Women’s Chorus. I’m also on the vestry at my church, and of course driving Emma around takes up time. I started taking a Pilates class twice a week and I absolutely love it. It makes me feel so good and strong.

Jim is still a Senior Research Associate at the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia. He took over responsibility for their student programs this year in addition to doing research, writing and presenting papers at conferences. He also enjoys serving as a mentor for Honors Program students. It was very exciting early this year when Jim’s first book Theodore Roosevelt and World Power: Police Power in International Relations was published. It will be available in paperback this February, so we expect you all to buy a copy! Books no. 2 and 3 are in the works for 2007.

We hope 2007 treats you all well. Please come and see us in Athens some time—it’s a great college town.

I am Galadriel -- who are you?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Read more about Galadriel

Monday, November 13, 2006

Our Man in Delhi

I'm the worst one to go off on a trip and return home with no photos of myself, so I prevailed on a couple of German tourists--Delhi is crawling with them--to photograph me here, before Humayun's Tomb. After spending an afternoon here, I no longer regret not having time for the Taj Mahal, as the Tomb predates the Taj by about a century and reputedly was the model for it. Other buildings at the site include lesser tombs and a mosque. A lot of India's finest buildings date from the Mughal period, when a Persian/Muslim dynasty ruled much of the country. The Taj Mahal and the Red Fort (previous post) date from the 17th century.

Fascinating country; probably the most "different" place I've been thus far, despite our common English language (which isn't very widespread among the Indian populace). It's been interesting to be here during our elections. The main concern for the Indians, of course, is whether the changeover in Congress will scuttle the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal. The Times of India, India's leading news outlet, seemed pleased about the Democrats' victory, although it also editorialized that President Bush "has been a great friend to this country."
[Posted by Jim from India]

Stillbirth and Grey's Anatomy

Imagine my suprise while watching "Grey's Anatomy" this past Thursday evening -- to find myself watching another women and her doctor and their stillbirth experience. My first emotion was to be thrilled that the issue of stillbirth is being shown on one of prime time's most popular TV dramas. It's a topic most people don't even know about let alone talk about. Stillbirth definitely could use the media exposure. Then the second emotion hit me -- wow, I lost my baby Sam who was stillborn at 38 weeks. All the sadness came back again almost 5 years later -- just for a minute or two -- but if was there. Not much to say about it other than it sucked, and was awful. Most stillbirths happen with no warning and as many as 50% have no identifiable cause, so in some ways the Grey's Anatmony story isn't as poignant as it could be since the baby died because of a fall -- but the pain would be no less for the parents and their doctor. The episode showed stillbirth for what it is too -- giving birth to a baby just like other mothers. They showed the mother going through labor and then Addison (her doctor) placed the baby in the mother's arms and she and the Dad cried together. The experience was not sugar coated. So, if you have a chance to watch in re-runs (or download it from the web site) the episode was called "Where the Boys Are" .

Here's the relevant part of the episode write-up
Addison and Callie both assist a pregnant woman who fell in the shower and broke her arm. She's refusing all meds to spare the baby, but the ultrasound reveals that the baby died in the fall. Addison leaves the room abruptly and Callie follows her into the women's room, where she finds her crying. Addison says she doesn't know why it's affecting her so much, except that they're such a happy couple and the second she tells them about the baby, they won't be anymore. Callie urges her not to tell the couple right away. When she finally does tell them, they fall apart.

Well, back to reality on the home front -- aka get Emma into bed.
Thanks for listening!

New Twins photos

Here they are eating dinner or lunch -- who knows -- in the living room -- apparently Mommy (Kate) is watching the View on TV. I don't know if its food or a boo boo on Nik's nose.

Emma gave Nikolas and Amelia her old Lego Duplos and here they are having fun playing with them and scattering the pieces all over there house (as opposed to my house). I can't believe how much older Nikolas in particular looks -- than he did in August.

More photos from Delhi, India

Jim sent a few more photos. He didn't have much detail to report other than that he is suffering dreadfully from jetlag, but did get out to do some sightseeing in Old Delhi over the weekend. The photo immediately above is of the Red Fort, in Old Delhi.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Photos from Jim in India

Jim sent these and the following e-mail to me yesterday and I thought I'd share them with you. He is in Delhi, India for two weeks as an exchange research fellow at a think tank there.

"Have attached a couple of photos. Heckuva good camera. No grand buildings or so forth, but I very much like the cow watching the cricket match.

Busily planning my weekend. As I told you, have been bushed, and USI is sort of out in the middle of nowhere, so haven't ventured out for sightseeing or shopping. Planning to spend the weekend tending to that. Not planning to go out to the Taj Mahal, which is too far for meaningful day trip. (Tours are available, but you spend about 11 hours on the road to get a couple of hours there.) There are other sights here in Delhi that look equally cool and were built in the same Mughal period. Have some shopping recommendations as well. Evidently clothing is dirt cheap, which explains why even the poor women are gorgeously dressed."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Librarian Will Save You

Found this will browsing around wasting time on Flickr -- yet again. It's another librarian with pugs so I couldn't resist. Actually they left a comment on one of my photos of Maggie, so I went to look at their stuff. I wish I could find one of these bumper stickers! I love it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pugs doing what they do

Pugs doing what they do
Originally uploaded by Robb Nickell.
I've been playing around with the photo sharing web site -- Flickr -- and found this wonderful photo of these two pugs named Mocha and Java. It just captures the essence of Pugs.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

St. John's Girls Dining on the Beach

Wow, don't we look glamourous. This was taken during our private St. John's Reunion dinner on the beach on our last night at the El Dorado Royale resort south of Cancun on the Mayan Riviera (April 2006). Pictured from left to right are: Frances Yankie, Maria Host Steen, me (Beth Geesey Holmes), Tomi Griffin, Marianne Ludka Hulsey, Jennifer Devlin. As you can see it was windy out there, and we had a bit of wine to drink! It was really just a grown up version of an 8th grade party. We used to have dances on Friday evenings every other month in the cafeteria which we decorated and found a way to dim the lighting in. Grown up is better since we could serve wine and we are over that 13 year old angst (well mostly anyway)!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

At the Boardwalk in Wildwood

We just returned from a week at the Jersey Shore in Stone Harbor, NJ. It was a great vacation and good to get away. A Summer isn't complete for me without at least a long weekend at the Jersey Shore. My Mom has a house in Stone Harbor a block and a half from the beach and she doesn't mind us staying there as much as we like! Too bad I don't have more vacation time. One of the afternoons we were there we all headed off to the Boardwalk in Wildwood which is the town next door on the neighboring coastal island. It has a Boardwalk complete with rides on three piers and lots of unhealthy food. It was a big day for all of us as Emma is now tall enough to ride the real big roller coasters including the Great White. She and Uncle Ron and Daddy (Jim) had a great time riding both of the coasters. Emma even sweet talked Uncle Ron into riding the log ride with her. My sister Kate's 7 month old twins also had their first carousel ride.

Emma thrilled to be tall enough to ride the big roller coasters! Below is a photo taken with Daddy right after she got off the roller coaster

Emma and Uncle Ron on the log ride right after the last big drop

The twins: Amelia and Nikolas -- Riding in style in their new double jog stroller

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ponies on Asateague Island

Here are some of the ponies hanging out in the parking area. Posted by Picasa

Asateague Island, Maryland

I just wanted to post a shot of the National Seashore at Asateague Island. We just spend almost a week with my Dad at his new home in Snow Hill, Maryland on the Eastern Shore not far from Asateague. This is a lovely unspoilt beach which is part of the National Seashore. The weather was just perfect on this day. Not to hot, not too cold and the water was wonderful and not too cold to swim in. There were wild ponies in the parking lot and on the beach too. Posted by Picasa

New photo of Emma and the twins

This was taken last Monday, June 12th, the day after the twins Christening. We were hanging out in their bedroom entertaining them before we all went out to lunch. At five months they are cute and fun and really starting to engage you. Nikolas is on the right and Amelia is on the left. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 18, 2006

St. John's School reunion at the El Dorado resort near Cancun

Isn't this a spectacular photo. It's a picture of my former classmate Andy Hogenson's room. He paid the big bucks for a fancy "swim up" Casita room. You can see his private lounge chairs in the photo. Also if you cross over the swim up lane on a little bridge you get to a large shaded area with tables which is by a small pool for this group of Casitas. His was a salt water pool which I liked so much better than chlorinated pools. It was great to float in it and to hang out by the swim up bar with half submerged bar stools and drink margaritas. A short walk from the pool and we could be at the beach or hanging out under Andy's private beach bed. This was a large mattress size cushion and headrest on a shaded raised platform. You could lie on it and feel that terrific ocean breeze and just look out to sea.

For those of you who don't know ... I got together on April 27-30 for 3 days and nights of R & R (at the El Dorado Royale a Spa Resort about a half hour south of Cancun on the Mayan Riviera) with 17 of my former classmates at the St. John's International School in Waterloo, Belgium. Yes, some of us also got together in San Francisco in October, but I just had to go again because more people were coming for this one including my best friend from 5-8th grade who is Danish and lives in Norway now with her Norwegian husband and son. I may have time to write more later -- but it was a great time and worth the stomach ache I had for several days after returning home to Georgia.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

April in Athens

Things have been very busy, but I wanted to share some photos. Here are some of Emma from Easter Sunday and one of her in her Georgia Cheerleading costume. We were about to head out to the NCAA girls gymnastics championships which the Georgia Gym Dogs won. They went on to win the national championship as well.

The others are of my wonderful Lady Banks rose. It was particularly glorious this year.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Walk the Line

Well, we watched the Johnny Cash movie last night, Walk the Line, and it was excellent. I can see why Reese Witherspoon won an oscar for her performance. I highly recommend the movie. I am not very familiar with Johnny Cash's music so I have nothing to compare the music in the movie with, but it seemed to me that they did a really good job.

Before watching the movie we enjoyed a lovely meal outside in downtown Athens at Depalma's. We sat at our sidewalk table and watched the people go by. Last night that included some high school students all dressed up for their prom. I just love the European feel of eating outside at a sidewalk cafe. It was a bit warm for April last evening, but we were in the shade and there was a nice breeze so it was very comfortable.

Downtown Athens

Friday, April 14, 2006

My Law Librarian official photo

I'm posting this here so I can link to it from somewhere else. It's a few years out of date, but then I look much the same.

Photos from Fall St. Johns reunion in San Francisco

It seems I never posted photos from the San Francisco reunion in October. So here are a few. First, here are the "girls" after our Saturday afternoon cruise on San Francisco bay. From left to right: Donna (Cowl) Salmont, Lisa Tunstall, Jennifer Devlin, Frances Yankie-Marsh, Tomi Griffin, Beth (Geesey) Holmes, Debbie (Ostrowski) Setzke, Barb (Ruhlin) Verrett, Marianne (Ludka) Hulsey.

Here's Fran and Arthur Veenendaal in the pub next to the hotel at Happy Hour on Friday.

Here's Jenny Devlin and Matt Chuchman enjoying the cruise.

Lastly, here's Chris Geurden and Tomi back at the Irish Bank Pub.

Mexico here I come and Easter in Athens

So, now that it looks like there won't be a Delta stike and I will be able to fly to Cancun I am getting excited about a few days of R & R at the beach south of Cancun with a bunch (21) of friends from my school days at St. Johns International School in Waterloo, Belgium. I saw some of them last October, but others I haven't seen since 1978 when we were all in 8th grade. We are staying at the El Dorado Adults only resort -- the photos on the web make it look fabulous so I hope it lives up to them. Here's one above. I've never been to Mexico or an all inclusive resort like this so it will be a new experience -- I know must people my age did this on Spring Break at one time or another, but I've always preferred cooler climates and am really going now to be with the people -- I confess though that I love swimming pools and having drinks by the beach -- I just hope it's not TOO hot. I was just outside here and it is really very hot in the sun with temps near 90. Much too hot for April 14 in North Georgia. In fact the temperature is two degrees COOLER in Cancun today than it is here.

The Holmes Family, Athens branch, has no special plans for Easter weekend. There's an Easter egg hunt at church and special music at church where Jim and I will be singing in the choir, but other than that no plans for anything other than a quiet weekend. Emma is going to parents night out tonight and Jim and I plan a dinner on our screened porch following by a viewing of our latest Netflix movie "Walk the Line." I'll be sure to let you all know what we thought. Jim and I are big fans of Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix so are looking forward to it.

That's it for this Friday -- time to get back to work.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Twins at 3 months

My sister Kate just sent me these photos of Nikolas and Amelia at three months. Their proud Aunt thinks they look adorable and can't wait to see them again. Nicky is in the blue and Amelia is in the green.

Friday, February 3, 2006

What color are you -- cool personality test

Well, this was fun... My favorite color is blue and the write up is pretty accurate in my opinion. Of course it is based on answers I gave so I probably should agree with it. Anyway, go ahead and take it and share your color with me. Some fun for Friday.


BLUES are motivated by INTIMACY, seek opportunities
to genuinely connect with others, and need to
be appreciated. They do everything with
quality and are devoted and loyal friends and
employers/employees. Whatever or whomever
they commit to are their sole (and soul)
focus. They love to serve and will give
freely of themselves in order to nurture
others lives.
BLUES, however, do need to be understood. They have
distinct preferences and occasionally the
somewhat controlling (but always fair)
personality of a confident leader. Their code
of ethics is remarkably strong and they
expect others to live honest, committed lives
as well. They enjoy sharing meaningful
moments in conversation as well as
remembering special life events (i.e.,
birthdays and anniversaries). BLUES are
dependable, thoughtful, nurturing, and can
also be self-righteous, a bit worry-prone,
and emotionally intense. They are like
sainted pit-bulls who never let go of
something once they are committed. When you
deal with a BLUE, be sincere, make an effort
to truly understand them, and truly
appreciate them.

What Color Are You?
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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Nikolas and Amelia in person

Wow, these two babies are even cuter in person!! They are so small compared to my 9 lb 9 oz baby Emma who is now 6. I have gotten to change and feed Amelia and hold Nikolas too. They sleep a lot and seem to be perfectly happy to go right back to sleep in their crib together when they have finished eating. They don't always like being changed, though Amelia was good for me. Kate and Ron are doing great too -- though tired of course.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

The twins have arrived!!

My sister Kate had her twins via C-section (Nikolas was breech) yesterday afternoon. Here are some photos of the babies and proud parents. Nikolas is the one with no cap or the stripped cap, and Amelia is in the yellow cap. The other folks are the proud parents, my sister Kate and my brother-in-law Ron.All are doing very well and expect to come home on Sunday. I am excited to be the Aunt of twins and am going up to visit and help next weekend. Emma is thrilled to have a second and third cousin and she and I are planning a visit over President's weekend in February when she has a couple of days off from school. Enjoy the photos.~Beth

The twins have arrived -- more photos