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    This is our space on the web to help us keep in touch with our family and friends.   Leo and Ian's Blog. (Password Required) Leo is 6 years old and his brother Ian is 2.   GREAT BURNIN' BLU-RAYS! My favorite backup solution for 2014.   Some of our favorite trips currently and over the years.

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    Remembering My Dad 1937-2015

    It's taken me a while to post this. My father, Ed McLaughlin passed away back on July 7th, 2015. He went peacefully, in his own home, surrounded by family and friends. I was so fortunate to have had the chance to be there at his side, able to talk to him for 2 full days before he passed, and be right there for him as he left this world. I'll treasure the last words of wisdom my Dad imparted to me always. I wanted to honor him here on my blog by re-posting the tribute that his long time employer NBC 12 WWBT in Richmond, VA produced in remembrance of my father. 

    Also, his obituary from the Richmond Times Dispatch on July 8th, 2015:

    Pioneering WWBT reporter Ed McLaughlin dead at 78

    Former WWBT-TV reporter Ed McLaughlin was among the first black on-air television correspondents in the Richmond area and helped to inspire a new generation of journalists. Mr. McLaughlin recognized his role as a pioneer in the television news business, but “it was more important for him to be recognized as a good journalist,” said his wife, Kay McLaughlin. Mr. McLaughlin, 78, died Tuesday after battling cancer. He had worked at Channel 12 from 1969 until his retirement in 2000.

    “I can almost remember how I felt when my little brother called me from the other room and said, ‘Look, there’s someone that looks just like you on television,’” said Diane Walker, now an anchor at the station. “As a kid, I can remember holding a brush pretending to be a reporter. He was always teasing me about it. When it actually happened where we saw an African-American reporter, it was just amazing.

    “That was an inspiration that sealed my dream that it was possible to pursue a career in television journalism, and I felt honored eventually to end up here working alongside him,” she said.

    Colleagues remember Mr. McLaughlin for his commanding voice, collected presentation and as a stickler for grammar and diction.

    “It’s weird, I can hear his voice,” said the station’s news director, Frank Jones. “Ed just had this amazing voice, and he really knew how to pick the right words to tell a story.”

    Mr. McLaughlin kept a dictionary and thesaurus on his desk at all times and had a penchant for using big words, much to the dismay of some news directors and producers. “When someone would call him out on it, he would say, ‘My job is to educate these viewers,’” said Sabrina Squire, who joined the station in 1981 and now co-anchors the station’s nightly newscasts. “Ed wouldn’t hear it.”

    Walker and Squire said Mr. McLaughlin mentored young reporters.

    “The most difficult thing as a reporter is deciding what to leave out, and I learned that from watching him,” Walker said. “I remember him being extremely serious, but never taking what he did too seriously. One of his famous lines was, ‘This isn’t brain surgery.’”

    For years, Mr. McLaughlin served as the newsroom’s institutional memory — “what happened in Richmond and why it was important,” said WWBT’s general manager, Kym Grinnage.

    “He was an old-fashioned journalist, and I mean that in a good way,” he said.

    He was inducted into the Richmond Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2000.

    After retiring, Mr. McLaughlin traveled with his wife to the Caribbean, Mexico and France. In addition to traveling, he loved to garden and fish.

    The couple met in 1974 when they were neighbors.

    “He loved the news business — meeting people, going interesting places,” Kay McLaughlin said. “I think he did an excellent job at what he loved.”

    No public funeral service will be held, as was Mr. McLaughlin’s request.

    In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Harry McLaughlin.

    We were so fortunate to have my father and his wife Kay visit back in April of 2015. They got to see their grandsons Leo and Ian and spend some quality time. We had a feeling then this may be the last time my father would visit California and see the grandkids (and my Dad certainly felt so, hence he wanted to make the trip in the first place) but we didn't realize of course it really would be. Now I'm just so grateful for every moment I did get to spend with my father. 

    I'll miss you greatly, Dad. 🙂

    Thanksgiving ’12

    Katre, Kadri, Leo, Leila and I had a great Thanksgiving once again. We spent it with our friends the Milos, at the home of our friends Jonna and Jeff where it's been our tradition to go for many years. Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!

    Leo is 1

    We celebrate our son's first birthday today. He's brought so much joy into our lives that I can hardly believe it has only been a single year. My parents, aunt, family and friends have made this a very special day with gifts for Leo (I think he must think Christmas happened again today) cards and kind wishes. A very big thanks to you all! Tomorrow we will host a birthday party for our son at Kenneth Hahn Park overlooking the city of Los Angeles. I can't wait to see many of our close friends and Leo's little buddies and families there. We love ya lil' Leo! Here's to your first year!

    Our little factory



    Here’s the product, both in raw form and packaged for the mules to strap to their bodies…

    Okay, it’s really just gingerbread made fresh in our kitchen by Leila and Katre, but its funny how it resembles a whole other type of enterprise.

    Sister-in-Law and Niece in LA

    It's been great having Leila's sister Katre and our niece Kadri visiting us from Estonia. Today, Leila, Katre and the kids went to Santa Monica and the Third Street Promenade. 

    As it happened, the Estonia vs. Ireland soccer match was on TV at the local English Pub. No word if these two would have been carded or not. 

    Ready for Visit

    Leila and I are so excited that Leila's sister Katre will be coming to visit us starting tomorrow, bringing with her our little niece (and Leo's cousin) Kadri!

    While Katre and Kadri are here, Leo will be in our room. On Sunday evening,  Leila and I moved his crib into our room and then rearranged Leo's room as the guest room. (His crib just barely wouldn't fit out the door of his room and into the hallway, so we had to take it apart to move it.)

    We should be picking up Katre and Kadri at the airport tomorrow. We're both looking forward to having them here. It's been quite a few years since Katre last visited us with Artur and Iti Mina. (I think it was 2005).

    And we’re off…!

    … to visit my folks in Virginia for the 4th of July holiday. Leo will get to meet his grandparents on my side. We'll be on an airplane by 7am tomorrow headed for the east coast. 🙂

    Family Outing

    Long Beach 5-13-11

    Out on a little trip to Long Beach with Leila, her Mom and our son.


    Finally finished a third volume of letters- this one is massive, covering our lives from 2002-2009 via letters written home to my Mom, and Dad. I didn't write home as often as I should have during that period, so rather than individual yearly volumes, the final one is a massive double-sized volume of the years combined.


    I didn't intend to make a book out of a letter I wrote my Mom about our trip to St. Maarten last summer, but my printer went on the blink and it became easier just to layout the letter in book format. Plus I like having a little memoir of the trip this way.

    Let's face it, it's the digital age, (and some day every last byte of all our digital stuff is going to go *kapoof!* whether we realize it or not) but nothing beats good ol' fashioned hard copy.

    Leo Jeffrey

    Leo Jeffrey was born at 10:30pm on May 4th, 2011. He weighed 8lbs, and was 20 1/4 inches.

    Our son is a healthy, beautiful baby boy!

    During labor -which had been going perfectly- Leila developed a fever and infection and we and our doctor made the call to have an emergency c-section. As it turned out, that decision saved our son from much trauma so it was 100% the right call. On delivery he needed some immediate medical attention, but he was quickly doing well on his own and we were holding him minutes after his birth. Leila was awake and aware during the whole thing, and I was in a state of 'amazement overload'.

    His first day seemed to me like a week!

    Leo is in the NICU unit here at the hospital- his doctors say he has been showing excellent signs, and he's alert, even feisty, and happy and seems very content. Normally, we would both be worried about him being in the NICU, but he is so obviously happy and peaceful in his incubator, and he's with such good caregivers, so we're very reassured. Our doctor's plan for him is to monitor him for a few days- the type of infection that could possibly strike often 'hides out' for a few days before it shows up. If there's any chance of that, he is in the best spot possible to combat it, with a team of pros looking out for him.

    The NICU is so state of the art it's amazing. There's a 3 minute scrub down in a secure clean room before you can even enter it. Leo has his own little environment-controlled room, and a little dry-erase board on the wall reads "Plan for Leo" and his charge nurse.

    We've been in every few hours to see him, and Leila has been feeding him at his regular intervals. Meanwhile, she is resting and recovering from the c-section. She is healing fast- in typical Leila fashion, she's already questioning her need for a wheelchair when we go down out from our room to the NICU, but she is also taking her recovery time seriously and trying to get her rest. We both got a good night's sleep last night, though Leila still went to give Leo his regular feedings at each 3-hour interval.

    We're overjoyed! I feel like this is the start of the 'montage' stage of our lives! So many inspiring scenes all rolled into each other are on the way.

    Our thanks and gratitude go out to our family and friends that have added so much to the joy of this time. Thank you all so much!

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