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On Sunday, Little S got married (I guess she’s not so little any more!)  Since I was the matron of honor, I gave one of the toasts of the evening.  I really liked it a lot, so I thought I’d share it with you guys as well.

First of all, I would like to say congratulations to the happy couple – Little S and JT.  From the day you met, you could see that you two had something that you can only find in fairy tales.  I am so proud to be here today, taking part in your happiest day.  And I also want to thank you for giving me a moment to share some of your stories with all of your friends, family and loved ones.

On December 25th, 1985, my life drastically changed.  At that moment in time, I was not a happy camper.  It was Christmas Day and I was living an idyllic life with my parents as the only apple in their eye.  Oma and Opa were in town and we had just celebrated Christmas as a family.  As a three-year-old, I didn’t comprehend what it meant when my parents hurriedly grabbed bags and disappeared from the house for hours.  The next day, Dad picked us up to meet the new addition to the family.  I remember it like it was yesterday – here were my proud parents holding their new bundle of joy.  Their eyes and faces were lit up with pure happiness when they introduced me to Little S.  My eyes on the other hand were dull with boredom as I had been waiting for hours for my “special” Christmas present. I looked down at my new sister for a second and turned to them and said, “That’s great. Can we go home now?”  Our first meeting was a little rough, but as the years progressed, I realized that my sister and best friend, Little S, was the best gift I could have ever gotten.

Being Army brats meant that we moved around a lot when we were younger, which I know helped strengthen our sisterly bond, especially when we moved to America from Germany in 1990.  When we were new in town, I always knew that I had a friend by my side.  Even after we finally got settled and started making our own friends, nothing changed between us.  We were still like peanut butter and jelly, our circle of friends blending just like it still does –  sometimes sweet, sometimes a little nutty, but forever stuck together.

As you all know, Little S is not one to sit still.  She always had to be doing something – whether it was bouncing the ball off the side of the house endlessly for hours, playing a mock softball game in the driveway (to this day I’m still surprised that no windows were ever broken…), or creating exciting new lives for our Barbies and building crayon roads in her bedroom for our Matchbox cars – she was ready for anything.  Her enthusiasm always ended up dragging me away from my 90210 marathons outside to the imaginary world waiting for us on the other side of the door.  Little S always did end up being much better entertainment than Tori Spelling ever could be.  And that is something that I will always thank her for.

Speaking of our younger years, Little S used to be quite the little tom boy.  My image of her as a child is of a small, freckle-faced girl in a Braves hat with a softball glove glued to her hand. Wait, that’s not much different than it is today, is it?  Anyway, she lived in that hat – Mom had to pry it off her head from time to time so we could actually see her face.  Now when I look at Little S, I see a beautiful mature woman, who occasionally still sports that glove.

It might be hard to see now, especially after she’s had a couple of beers, but Little S used to be so quiet and shy.  Luckily, I was there to be her mouthpiece until she found her own voice.  Now she is a sure-footed, strong woman, who knows want she wants and won’t quit until she achieves her goal.  That is always something I admired about her.  I get frustrated and tend to want to give up when something doesn’t go my way – Little S on the other hand will keep at it until she is successful.  Whether it was being a softball all-star or being the only girl on the snare drum line in marching band to finding the absolute perfect man for her to marry, Little S is one to set her eyes on the prize and get it.  Even though you are younger, I look up to you for your can-do spirit.  If you take that same attitude that you’ve always had, I know you will make a great wife to JT and a wonderful mother to your future quarter German, American, Chinese and eighth Thai and Laotian children.

Speaking of JT, I still remember when you called me after your first few weeks at your first job to tell me about the “cute boy that you worked with who was so nice and sweet and kept inviting you to office outings.”  The second I heard your voice, I knew that you had been bitten by the Love Bug.  Even though I couldn’t see your face, I knew you were smiling and your eyes were shining.  And when I met JT for the first time, I knew my predication was true and I could understand why.  When I was around you both, I saw a happiness that I had never seen in you before, and it made me smile.

I liked JT from the moment I met him, even though he is a Florida fan.  He is a person who exudes happiness.  He has a good heart and spirit and is someone you know you will have fun with.  And I knew he had staying power after I heard the story about your very first date.  Put together first date jitters, beers on an empty stomach, and a dinner consisting of a crepe filled with ham, cheese, and strawberry jelly (I still wonder what you were thinking when you made that selection…) and you end up with an unforgettable evening.  Since JT is a true gentleman, he walked you to your front door.  As you were standing there, trying to unlock it, you turned to him and said, “I think I’m going to be sick!”  I know JT had to feel slightly dejected since you’d had a great evening together, but he did the right thing and said, “If you don’t want me to come in, I can leave.”  As he was finishing his sentence, you shoved him out of the way to Ralph in the bushes.  Poor JT had no idea that was coming, but he was so worried about you that he stuck by your side for the rest of the evening – holding your hand and your hair.  That right there is how you know that you found “a keeper.”

On New Year’s Eve 2010, I pulled JT aside to chat.  After a few champagnes, I’d worked up the courage to tell him that I thought he was perfect for you and I could see the two of you together forever.  He fit right in with the family – he was the older brother I never had, and he was like a son to mom and dad.

Just imagine my happiness last August when JT pulled me aside to “talk to me.”  As we snuck away to chat in secret, he told me he was planning on proposing to you.  When he told me, it was all I could do to keep from screaming with joy for you two.  It was hard to keep my game face on for the rest of the evening when I knew the happy surprise waiting for you on your two year anniversary.   And by the way, I totally spilled the beans to everyone about five minutes after you walked out of the door.

And here we are today, a year and a little less than a month later.  You two have exchanged your vows and are now your own family.  And I couldn’t be happier.

You are my sister, and I will always be protective over you. No matter how old we are, I always feel the need to watch over you and stick up for you.  I know that feeling will never fade, but it’s nice to know that now you’ll have an extra set of eyes looking out for you for the rest of your life.  Today, I am officially passing the torch of being your guardian onto JT.

Little S and JT, I am so happy for the two of you!  I love you both so much and am glad that you found each other.  If I had known that fateful Christmas Day that my “special present” would be a gift that keeps on giving, and that not only would I have received a sister, but one day gain a brother, the look in my eyes would have been much more excited.

So let’s raise our glasses to the special couple and offer them a toast for a long life filled with continued happiness because their love is truly a gift.  Congratulations to my sister and my new brother!!!  Here’s to Little S and JT!!

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Hello bloggy woggy, sorry I’ve neglected you.

Can you believe the holiday season is practically upon us?  I don’t know about you, but it drives me insane when I see Christmas decorations out before Halloween.  The retail industry has taken some of the magic out of the holiday by making it all about gift buying.  Before you know it, Christmas trees will start popping up in July.  Anyways…

Here are some random thoughts and ramblings.

Halloween has come and gone.  JD and I threw another successful Spooktacular.  I can’t believe this was our fourth one!  T and I went with a 20s theme for our costumes and dressed as a flapper and a gangster.  I’m not going to lie, but I thought we looked really cute!

My 28th birthday is on Monday, and I will officially be in the back end of my late 20s.  It’s crazy to think about.  I was flipping through a photo album last night and stumbled across some old photos of Little S and me, and we were so young.  Then I found ones of T and me, and we were such babies.  It’s funny to see how much or little you’ve changed over the years.

~

In honor of my birthday, T and I are making a weekend trip to Asheville.  I am really excited.  We will see leaves, stay in a cute B&B, go out to a nice dinner, and just have an all around amazing time.  I. Can’t. Wait.

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Since I will be out of town on my actual birthday, I’m getting together with some family and friends on Friday night for a birthday dinner.  We are going to Abattoir, and I can’t wait to check out the menu.  I’ve heard a lot of really great things about the restaurant, and T and I have been meaning to go for quite some time now.  I’m glad we’ll finally get to experience it with friends and family.

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I swear I’m not a total birthday whore, but we are also going to see Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo next Tuesday.  Every review I’ve read about it says that the show is amazing.  I love that Cirque always happens to make a stop in Atlanta right around my birthday.  It’s so convenient.

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After three years of growing out my hair, I finally decided to cut it shorter again.  I like the convenience of having long hair and being able to pull it up easily, but I like the way short, layered hair looks on me.  My hair is just too fine and thin for it to look stunning long.

2-year anniversary dinner - hair at its longest

New shorter hair

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And finally…you all know how much I like to cook.  Well, the other night I was chopping up some parsley for the spaghetti we were making and thinking to myself, I have pretty awesome knife skills, when the worst possible thing happened.  I sliced into my finger, pretty badly.  I cut into the side of my finger, then sliced through the nail.  Yeah, I know.  It was not pretty.  My poor left hand and arm keeps bearing the brunt of my knife-related injuries.  The worst part of it all, I had just honed the blade, so it was extra sharp.  My poor little finger.  So much for getting a birthday manicure this weekend…

I almost cut half of the nail right off =(

Can you believe that summer is officially over?  I don’t know about the rest of you, but this summer was hot, hot, hot.  In August and September alone, Atlanta reached 90+ degrees for 38 out of  59 days. That is just ridiculous.  I don’t even know what the numbers in June and July was.   Don’t get me wrong, I love hot summers, but I am really digging this crisp fall weather that has arrived apparently out of nowhere.  Cool mornings turn into warm afternoons and chilly evenings.  We can sleep with the windows open and turn off the AC.  It’s awesome!

As I say goodbye to summer until 2011, I’ve begun reflecting on some of the cool things I’ve done this summer that I’ve never tried before.

Flying High

The first really cool thing I did was participate in an aerial silks class.  If you’re not sure what that is, it’s basically the cool acrobatic stuff you see in Cirque du Soleil where the girls are wrapped in bright-colored silks and flip and twirl through the air.

CGN, JD and I all signed up for this really cool introductory class in Atlanta at Sky Gym. The class was small and we broke into three teams of three or four, and we all learned the basic moves that eventually are woven into the advanced tricks and routines.  Watching the instructor made everything look so simple and elegant, when in reality it took some serious core and upper body strength to master the moves.  CGN was the best out of the three of us.  Apparently JD and I need to work on our core strength just a little.  If you do pilates or yoga and have ever done dance, you will love it.  Even if you haven’t, like me, it was still a lot of fun!

Dirt in the Skirt

Growing up, we always played softball.  I only played one year on an organized team, but constantly played with the neighborhood kids or Little S.  This summer, we joined a co-ed adult rec league, and I had so much fun!

I played second base (which scared me at first) and could actually still hit – during one game I actually got 4 RBIs, making me the MVP of the game! 🙂 It’s fun to run around at night playing a game from your childhood with friends, followed by drinks with friends.  We weren’t the best, but we enjoyed it so much that we are playing again in the fall.  Tonight is our third game, and hopefully we will win!

The best part about playing is coming up with a team name.  Ours is pretty ridiculous – Avoid the Clap – which comes from a quote from one of Little S’s and my favorite movies.  Do you know what it is?

Floating On

Late in the summer, a group of us decided to rent some floats and spend the afternoon floating down Atlanta’s Chattahoochee River.   It’s really chill and so much fun, even though the water is freezing.  It’s probably only in the low 60s, even in the summer.

Everyone rents some floats for themselves and their coolers, you string yourself up, and hit the water for a few hours.  The first time we went, there were only 6 of us, so we floated in a flower-like formation with our cooler being the center.  We drank beers and cider,  snacked on chips and grapes, and had an amazing afternoon floating for two hours.

Since it was so much fun the first time around, we decided to go again on Labor Day.  That time we had 18 people and probably about 22 floats (including the ones for the coolers), and we opted for the four-hour trip.  Since we had so many people, we were able to get a shuttle to take us to and from Little S’s place, so no one had to worry about driving, which was a really good thing because we were all a little tipsy from drinking in the sun all afternoon.  I wish we could have taken a picture of our giant formation because I’m sure it was pretty impressive!

Rough Rafting

Sticking to my theme of new water adventures, a group of us went whitewater rafting in early September. Thanks to Groupon (I love that site) we were able to get a really sweet deal on rafting tickets, so a bunch of us decided to buy them.  Since the rafting place was in Tennessee, we opted to make a weekend out of it and rent a cabin.  We ended up finding the most amazing cabin in Blue Ridge, GA, about an hour from the rafting spot, and 10 of us headed north for the weekend.  It was a random amalgamation of kids (we’re in our 20s and early 30s) and grown ups (the 45+ crowd), but we had a great time.

Our cabin had an amazing view of the mountains, numerous patios (and we all know how much I LOVE patios),  and a hot tub.  What more could you want?

The morning of the trip, I was pretty nervous.  I was convinced that I would fly out of the raft and be washed down the river in the class three and four rapids never to be seen again.   Luckily, I stayed in the boat, and I managed to have a ton of fun.  It was a little scary because we started and dove right into class four rapids, but after getting rid of the initial nerves and fear, it was such a blast.  If you’ve never been before, I totally recommend it.  And, the water was a lot warmer than the Hooch!

Smiling while the rapids aren’t too rough

It got a little crazier

The view from our awesome cabin

So, did you go out there and try anything new this summer?  Are you planning on getting into something cool in the fall?

My next adventure…belly dancing lessons!

A couple of weeks ago I received some news that made me so happy and made me beam from ear-to-ear…

Little S and her boyfriend JT got engaged!  I am so excited for the both of them and can’t wait to welcome him into our family.  From the second they started dating, he’s always gotten along well with T and me, as well as the rest of our family and friends.  Even though they’ve only been dating for two years, it feels like we’ve known him forever.

I’m so excited to share my sisterly perspective and wedding advice with Little S while she and JT plan their big day.  I’m glad that I’ve gone through it all before so I’ll be able to offer her guidance and assistance along the way.  She has also asked me to be her matron of honor (which makes me sound so old, haha),  so I know I have some big speech shoes to fill.  She rocked the house with the speech she wrote for my wedding – everyone was cracking up or tearing up.  It may have quite possibly been the best speech ever!

It’s so weird to me when I stop and think about it.  This year, Little S will be 25, and on some as of yet undetermined date between May and October 2011, she will be married.  I can remember the day she was born.  I was not a happy camper.

My mom and dad rushed to the hospital on Christmas Day and left me at home with my Oma and Opa.  Since we were in Germany, we’d already done our present opening on Christmas Eve, meaning that I had many new toys to keep me company.  But after a while, the absence of the parental units was starting to take its toll on me.  I wanted my mommy and daddy, and they were nowhere to be found.  Hey, I was three and had been the only child in the house up until this point.

Finally, on December 26th my dad came and picked the three of us up to take us to the hospital (Oma and Opa can’t drive) to meet my little sister.  Let me tell you, I was less than thrilled.  I took one look at the pink baby in my parents arms and asked when we could go home.  No one paid much attention to my lack of enthusiasm at the time.

As the months and years progressed, Little S began to grow on me.  The older we got, the closer we became.  We were like peanut butter and jelly even though there are three years between us.  We were always running around outside playing when we were younger.  Then when she got older, she’d accompany me to my high school parties and hang out with my friends.  She even came to my senior prom because one of my guy friends said he couldn’t image her not being there since she was apart of “the group” – so she became his date.

In college, I took her to get her first fake ID saying that she was 18 so she could come out with us to the dance clubs when she visited me in college.  I was so excited that she was going to be a freshman when I was a senior, and we’d get to spend more time together hanging out.  That’s just the type of bond we have.

Even though she is my sister, I am as protective over her as I would be over my child.  No matter how old we are, I always feel the need to watch over her and stick up for her since she is my little sister.  I know that feeling will never fade, but it’s nice to know that now she’ll have an extra set of eyes looking out for her for the rest of her life.

Little S and JT, I am so happy for the two of you!  I love you both so much and am glad that the two of you found each other.

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Well, I can’t believe how quickly the summer has flown by.  It feels like just yesterday we were in the throes of winter, wishing for warmer days.  Now we’ve had weeks of 90+ temperatures and the end of summer is creeping around the corner.  The older I get, the quicker time seems to fly by.

I know I’ve been a little MIA this summer, but sometimes it’s hard to focus on writing when I’d rather be outside soaking up the sun!  You know how it is…

Speaking of soaking up the sun, T and I just returned from a week at the beach with his family.  We were in Hilton Head, and had an amazing time.  Unfortunately the vacation wasn’t as relaxing as I wanted it to be due to Murphy and his stupid laws throwing some major kinks into the trip.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon, and spent that day lounging around our private pool, having cocktails with the family.  Since it was already a bit late in the day, we opted to wait until the next day to hit the beach.

Our pool – my jellyfish free happy place

Sunday morning we were greeted by rain showers, which pushed our beach time into the early afternoon since no one wanted to sit in the sand in a torrential downpour.  Once the sun broke through the clouds, we hauled ourselves to the beach and into the water.  I was happy as a clam, until about 1.5 minutes in the sea when I was viciously attacked by a jellyfish.  I shit you not when I say attacked.  It wasn’t just a mere sting, it was a full on assault.  My poor leg welted up instantly and was shaking so badly from the pain.  I had to limp out of the water.

Once I dragged myself onto the shore, we all assessed the damage.  My leg was a hot mess.  I had tentacle marks up and down my right leg and they were so red, and stung like someone had lit my leg on fire.  Poor T ran up to the house to get a bottle of vinegar to use to neutralize the poison.  While I waited patiently for his return, his dad was helping me rub sand all over my leg to remove any of the tentacles that were still attached to my leg.

When T finally returned, we doused my leg in vinegar, but unfortunately it really didn’t do much.  His brother had done some research and found out that putting a baking soda paste on the stings would help, so we headed to the store to buy some.  While we were there, people kept telling me it was the worst sting they had ever seen (wonderful!).  I also picked up a bottle of jellyfish sting neutralizer, just in case.

After about two hours of serious pain, the swelling went down and things started to subside.  A few Bacardi and Diet Cokes with T’s mom helped me forget about the pain and enabled me to enjoy the rest of my night.

My leg after the first round of stings

The first stings a few days later

For the next few days, I was pretty leery to get back into the water.  I hovered on the shoreline like a wounded puppy and never went higher than knee-deep water.  T told me I was being ridiculous, and that there was no way in hell that I’d get stung again.  Eventually, I let my guard down a bit because I knew he was right.

That Wednesday, T’s mom and I bought some inner tubes so we could spend the day floating in the ocean.  I figured this would be a safe and viable option for me because most of my body would be out of the water, and away from the evil jellyfish.  I floated around most of the afternoon, without constantly staring in the water, searching for jelly globs.

At one point I drifted downstream from everyone else, and tried to paddle my way back.  With the pull of the current, it was taking way more effort than necessary to get back over to them, so I decided I’d hop off the float and just walk over.  As soon as my legs hit the water, I felt another God-awful stinging sensation in both of my legs.  Yup, I’d gotten jellyfished a second time.

By this point, I was over it.  No one else was getting attacked, why only me?  I stormed out of the water, cussing like a sailor (sorry families with small children) and sprayed myself with the jellyfish sting spray (glad I picked that up) .  I decided that was going to be the end to my beach day, so I went back to the house.

Luckily, the second round of stings wasn’t as bad is the first.  That time it felt more like razor burn, and it didn’t swell up.  For the next few days I had some additional faint red lines to match my very red welts.  Then I woke up on Friday morning…

Both of my legs were super red, welty, and itched like hell.  All my faint lines had swollen up and would not stop itching.  I decided that it was time to go see a doctor since the majority of my legs were covered in stings.  T and I spent our last full day of vacation hunting down a doctor’s office (luckily it was an overcast day).  I ended up getting some kind of steroid shot for the itching and swelling, as well as a tetanus shot.  The doctor also gave me oral steroids to help with the healing process (which make me eat like a heifer).  It’s been three days since I was at the doctor, and I still itch like crazy, but I think they are getting better – slowly but surely.

This is what my newer stings looked like today – they are much redder in real life

To top off the “whatever can go wrong will go wrong vacation,” my car ended up dying on Friday.  T and I found this out as we tried to take my car to the doctor’s office.  We thought it was a dead battery since I hadn’t driven it all week, but unfortunately that was not the case.  The fuel pump had to be replaced, which meant we had to have my car towed to a shop so we could leave for home the next day.  The damn thing cost a small fortune, but my car was fixed and we made it home safe and sound.

And since we haven’t spent enough money on random catastrophe’s on this trip, T ended up knocking my month-old cell phone off the counter onto the tile floor, resulting in a shattered screen.  😦 Luckily I have insurance, so I was able to get it replaced (but I still had to pay $130 for a new one…damn deductible).

My poor broken phone

Even though a million and one things went wrong during out trip, we still had an amazing time.  We stayed in the cutest house, complete with a screened-in pool.  We cooked delicious food, and spent a majority of the time sipping cocktails, gorging on yummy food, and floating in the pool and ocean.  It was so much fun to have a whole week off of work to relax and hang with T’s family because they are a cool bunch of people.

Sorry for the marathon post!  Hope you’ve all had an amazing summer so far!

So, have you ever had vacation filled with disasters?

Our little five-day trip to New York was a blast.  We managed to do some fun things with both family and friends and got to see everyone we wanted to at least a couple of times.  I always like going up when it’s not Christmas because everyone is so busy doing the family thing that it’s hard to spend time with all of our friends.  Plus the weather is so much nicer in May, especially this year.

We got to T’s parents’ house right at midnight on Wednesday/Thursday, which wasn’t too bad.  Of course right when we walked through the door, we were greeted with an array of wine, which we sat up drinking with the family until 4 a.m.  It was fun to chat up with his parents and little brothers and catch up.

Thursday morning we woke up and decided to go eat lunch at the Culinary Institute of America, which has such a beautiful campus.  If only I’d known how much I’d love cooking when I had lived up there, maybe I would have considered attending school there.  We went to Al Forno, the casual Italian restaurant for pizza.  Since there was an open kitchen, we could watch the chef preparing our gourmet pies.  I opted for the Parma-Tomato, Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Arugula pizza, and it was delicious!  The crust was so light and airy and the toppings offered the perfect combination of savory and spicy.

After lunch, we decided to hit up the Walkway over the Hudson, which T’s dad has been trying to get us on since it opened.  We really didn’t want to go when we up there in the winter because we figured it would be cold and miserable.  It was a niceish day when we went, but of course when we were halfway across, a storm started blowing in so it got really dark and windy.  Since the weather was looking kind of sketchy, we decided to only go halfway across.  It was really cool to be up there and be able to see for miles in both directions.  I’d definitely go there to walk if I lived up there – the breeze is refreshing and the view is amazing.

Notice my hair from the wind?

On Friday, we went to the Yankees game.  We rented a van and gathered 13 of our friends and family and piled in for the two-hour trek to the city.  When we first got on the road, the van started sputtering and bucking, then the check engine light came on.  Everyone was worried we wouldn’t make it down to the city, so we ended up having to switch out the van.  An hour after our planned departure time, we were on the road.  Unfortunately, the AC didn’t really work too well, so we had to make the whole trip with the windows down.  Luckily we had some drinkies to make the ride a little smoother.

We tailgated for a little while before heading into the game.  Since there were so many of us, we’d gotten seats in the bleacher section.  We were all laughing and having a good time when one of T’s bros stepped on a ketchup packet and it sprayed about 30 people (one ketchup package did quite some damage).  People were pissed, there was almost a brawl, and the whole section was chanting “throw out the asshole.”  Yeah, it was awesome – of course I missed all of the drama because I was in the bathroom and only returned to see the aftermath.  Since people were pissy, and we weren’t 100% invested in the game, I took Ketchup Bro to the car where we had a couple of beers and bonded while we waited for everyone to get out of the game.

Happy at the game before the ketchup explosion

Saturday was T’s dad’s birthday, so we hung out on the patio with some cocktails.  At one point T’s dad brought out his guitar and played for a while.  This inspired T to bust out his old sax and try to play a little too.  Unfortunately neither one of us really remembered how to read music, so he wasn’t too successful, but we had a great time.

Later that night we tried a new place for dinner – Stephano’s Ristorante.  It was this teeny, tiny little restaurant and it was pretty crammed with people.  The food was good, but the portions were gigantic.  I almost had a heart attack when they brought out my single serving of zuppa de pesce that looked like it could feed a family of four!  They had to box my leftovers in a catering foil pan, that’s how much was left!

My leftovers seriously weighed like 10 pounds

Sunday was pretty chill.  We went to brunch at this place we’d never been to – Shadows on the Hudson – for T’s uncle’s birthday.  We sat on the patio and had a nice view of the Hudson while we stuffed our faces.  Then we spent the afternoon visiting with his mom’s parents and brother and sister.  Later that night, we had our friends over for a goodbye barbecue, where T and I prepared the food.  Not to toot my own horn, but people were raving about our food.

Sadly on Monday we had to fly back to head back to work.  We had a late afternoon flight, so we were hoping that we’d be able to get back to Atlanta at a decent time and hang out with friends.  That was wishful thinking…apparently there were crazy thunderstorms all up and down the east coast, so we were severely delayed.  We sat on the plane for about 2 hours before we were able to take off.  It was a really annoying way to end an otherwise amazing trip.

And in honor of such a New Yorkie post, I wanted to share a picture that I took this weekend during a party that JD hosted – I’m totally channeling my inner guidette!

Check out our big hair, fake nails, and smoky eyes!

Thanks to T, I had an extremely short week last week.  We were off Thursday, Friday, and Monday of Memorial Day weekend because of our trip to New York.  It was a whirlwind few days, but it was a lot of fun.  Then I had this past Friday off because T was getting Lasik.

Let me tell you, that was an interesting experience.  Friday morning, JD and I (she was nice enough to come to keep me company) dropped T off at the eye center and decided to grab some lunch while he was prepped for the surgery.  Of course we had impeccable timing and made it back right as he was headed into the operating room.  My poor baby looked a little nervous and twitchy as he was waiting for things to get started, but he kept his cool.

As JD and I were sitting there chatting, wondering if we were going to be able to actually see what was happening with his eyes, the doctor walked by and let us know that we could watch the whole thing on the TV that was situated in the operating room.  We were excited and a little skeeved out by the idea of seeing lasers shoot into T’s eyes, but of course we watched anyway (btw – you can’t actually see the lasers shooting into his eyes).

The whole experience was short, about 15 minutes long from start to finish, and slightly creepy.  He opted to go the completely machined route instead of having the doctor cut his cornea open because he thought there was less room for error this way.  After his corneal flap was detached, the doctor folded it down so the laser could be shot into his cornea to reshape it.  After the laser, the doctor flipped the flap back up there and smoothed it into place.  The whole cornea removal and replacing process was so bizarre.  In case you are curious, a cornea-less eyeball looks very melon-like in texture.

When the surgery was done, one of the nurses walked him across the room and had T read the clock and he was able to.  And it was literally only a few minutes after the surgery.  I was impressed at how quickly the whole process went down.  We had to sit around for about 30-45 minutes after the surgery before we could go home, just so the doctor could make sure everything was fine with his eyes.

The doctor told him it would be best to go home and nap for at least four hours to give his eyes a chance to rest and heal, but of course he wasn’t able to fall asleep.  Being the trooper he was, he just hung out with us with his eyes closed during that time.  This meant he needed some assistance to get around the house, but after a while he was able to do it alone.  Around 5:30 that night, he was finally able to open his eyes.  It was so cute because he was so happy and emotional about being able to see unassisted for the first time in 15 years.

So far, everything is good. During his follow up appointment, the doctor said everything was healing nicely and all looked well.

I’m so happy for my baby and his new special eyes.

April has kicked off with quite a bang.  Of course I ended up getting sick last week and had to bail on the Third Eye Blind concert last Thursday.  Luckily I felt better by Friday, and T’s birthday weekend wasn’t ruined.

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but Georgia has jumped straight from winter right into summer (except today we have more spring-like temperatures).  On Good Friday we got out of work early, so I went over to my co-worker Mel’s house and we laid out because it was 80 degrees.  It was nice to finally be able to be outside without freezing to death.

That night, T and I had planned to go out to dinner for his birthday, but since it was perfect patio weather, we opted to have friends over for a cookout instead.  It was a meat extravaganza chez moi that night – burgers, brats, Italian sausages, chicken drumsticks, and steaks.  We had some potato salad as a side to give us one meat-free item.

Saturday, we headed down to my parents house to celebrate T’s birthday and Easter.  Since he is a fan of fondue, we decided to prepare  cheese and oil fondues.  Let me tell you, the cheese fondue was amazing.  You should have seen as all scarfing it down – it was like we hadn’t eaten in a month!

Fondue on the porch

After dinner, ASP and her husband stopped by to hang out for a bit, as well as our German neighbors.  The rest of the night consisted of consuming copious amounts of beer and German liquor, Williams Birne (a pear-flavored brandy, aka Firewater to our American friends) and Apfelkorn (a sweet apple flavored liqueur).  My dad got a little tipsy and was regaling us with all of his tales from the days when he was a young military police officer in Germany.  He had some pretty crazy stories that had everyone cracking up!

On Easter morning, we all got up and looked for our Easter baskets.  Yes, we are all in our mid to late 20s and my parents hide baskets for us to find.  I love it, even though I always suck at finding mine.  After we ate breakfast, we spent hours hanging out on the patio, playing canasta (we are a total game playing-addicted family).  If you’ve never tried it, it really is a cool card game.  Our German neighbors came over again and had Easter dinner with us.  All in all, it was a fun and relaxing weekend.

Monday I took a half-day so we could go to the Braves’ opening day game.  It was a gorgeous, sunny, not a cloud in the sky kind of day, and it was 86 degrees out.  I opted to wear a strapless sundress so I wouldn’t end up with a funky farmer’s tan and ended up burning my upper back and shoulders.  I seriously looked like a lobster.  I guess not wearing sunscreen was a bad choice.  We had a great time despite the heat (even though we peaced out a little early) and the Braves won, so it was a great day!

Tuesday, JD and I went to a Thrashers game with CMc and her boyfriend.  We had seats 3 rows from the ice!  It was pretty damn awesome to be so close.  Unfortunately the Thrashers sucked it up that night and didn’t score once.  But we still managed to have a fun night.  And nothing beats seeing grown men slam each other up against the Plexiglas and seeing their faces all smooshed up on the glass.  I love watching hockey!  I really miss watching T play – I think he needs to get into a men’s league or something.

We were so close!

So far April has been a pretty fun month.  This Saturday we are going camping for T’s birthday round 2 with a big group of friends, and I know that will be as insane and fun as it was last year.  I can’t wait!

So, how has April been treating you so far?

Whoever said that married life is all rainbows and cupcakes, is either a liar or totally omitting the gory details.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, but sometimes he annoys me more than any other person in the entire world.  And it’s just not cool and makes me want to punch him in the head J-Woww style (Jersey Shore reference – did you see that shit?) – not that I ever would, but still.

For the most part, I do a majority of the household tasks.  I usually do the shopping, most of the cooking during the week, laundry, kitchen straightening, etc. because I get off work a lot earlier than T.  I don’t particularly love it, but it’s not the end of the world either.  When he’s around on weekends, he’s pretty helpful – for the most part.

Now here’s what gets me freaking angry.  I hate feeling like I’m being a nag or acting like “the mom” in the relationship, but Jesus Christ, sometimes the hubs makes me feel that way.  Nothing gets under my skin more than when I ask him nicely to do something, and he tells me he’ll take care of it.  Only he procrastinates on it FOREVER or just doesn’t do it at all – “oops, I forgot.”  Then I get all bitchy and snippy and yell at him.  But I do have to say, my outbursts make him get the job done.

So let’s take yesterday for example.  T had off and I had to work.  Sometime in the afternoon I asked him if he’d mind running to the store so I wouldn’t have to stop on my way home.  He said sure.  I also asked if he would mind starting dinner so we could eat earlier than 7:30 or 8, and we’d have time to take down our Christmas tree then relax afterward (Yes, it’s still up.  I’m having a hard time letting it go because it makes the house feel so festive and cozy.  And we’re lazy.)

Anyway…I got home a little after 6, and T was not home.  In fact he was still at the store.  This only meant one thing – that he left a lot later than he said he would.  So of course, there was no dinner on the table.  The kitchen was a disaster from when we had friends over this weekend and the garbage was overflowing.  I know it was his day off, but damn son, couldn’t you get off your ass to take out the trash?  It’s not like it has to be taken very far – the can is right behind our patio, about 10 steps there and back.

When he finally got home, groceries had to be put away.  I ended up doing the kitchen cleaning and he started the food, but that was not the point.  I wanted, for once, to come home to a fairly clean kitchen with dinner on the table – like it is on a regular basis for him.  Needless to say, we didn’t eat until 7:30 and the Christmas tree is still up.

It just seems like taking care of the household is the major source of our arguments, and it’s driving me insane.  I know no one enjoys cleaning, but we all have to do it.  If I ask you to help me with something, don’t talk back to me like a 15-year-old or I will treat you like one (I should not be tested on this.  That shit didn’t fly in my parents house, and it sure as hell won’t fly in my house now).

I don’t care how late you work or how much money you bring into the household, this ain’t 1950 and I am not Susie Homemaker.  It’s 2010, we will split this shit evenly, like it or not!  And in case you’ve forgotten, I also work a 40 week on top of all the crap I take care of at home.  Enough said…

So here is where you come in, lovely readers.  How do you handle household chore related drama with your significant other (or hell, even roommates)?  Does it cause arguments on a regular basis?  Does it make you want to punch somebody?

Eggnog or hot chocolate? This is a tough one because I like them both, but I have to say that hot chocolate wins.  Eggnog is just so heavy sometimes.  Plus I am a chocoholic!

Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them open under the tree? Our Santa presents were always unwrapped with bows and name tags on them.   That’s how we knew they were the Santa presents.  Plus a lot of times they were bigger objects or weirdly shaped, and wrapping them just wasn’t an option.

Colored lights on a tree or white? We always had colored when I was a kid, but now my parents have switched to plain white.  Mine and T’s tree has colored lights – I just love them so much!

Do you hang mistletoe? No, I didn’t.  I really should.  I think I just forgot.  Next year though…

When do you put your decorations up? We put ours up after Thanksgiving/in early December.  I like the way the house feels when it’s all festive.  It adds a whole new level of coziness!  I also like to leave it up as long as possible.  Who doesn’t like coming home to a twinkly tree?

What is your favorite holiday dish? Oh jeez, that’s hard.  We never eat the same thing on Christmas because it’s Little S’s birthday too, so she always gets to pick.  I guess I would have to say the German Christmas cookies my mom makes.  American cookies ain’t got nothing on them!

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? My family usually opened one on Christmas Eve, especially if we knew someone received a board game.  Since we do Christmas early with my family because we go to NY to see T’s family, we open our presents the weekend before Christmas.  In NY, we wait to open the presents until Christmas morning.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We have a few strands of colorful lights, a variety of ball ornaments in blues, gold, silver, purples, greens, some special shaped ornaments – little Santas, stars, a UGA football player, and cat friendly ones – aka non-breakable for the bottom of the tree.  We finish everything off with a thin red garland and a silver (I think it’s silver – all of a sudden I can only picture the one we had growing up that was purple) baubley tree topper.

Snow: love it or hate it? I heart snow, especially around Christmas.  It makes everything feel so magical and wintery.  Unfortunately it doesn’t snow in Georgia.  When I lived in NY it snowed one Christmas Eve, which was awesome.  Fingers crossed we get some while we are there this year.

Can you ice skate? Yes, but I’m not amazing.  I can skate around and not fall, but that’s about the extent of my skills.  T used to play hockey, so his favorite thing to do to me is skate at top speed backwards while dragging me around.  It’s fun but scares the crap out of me.  I tend to injure ankles easily…

What is your favorite holiday dessert? Anything chocolate.  In reality, I’m not picky!

What is your favorite holiday tradition? When it was just the 4 of us (mom, dad, Little S and me) we’d always make sauerkraut for Christmas Eve dinner, then play board games.  After that, we’d watch A Christmas Story a few times, then head to bed.  Until I got married and started spending Christmas in New York, Little S and I would always sleep in the same room so we could get up together and go see the presents.  We started doing this as kids, and it still stuck into our 20s.  I’m still figuring out the new traditions with T and his family, since last year was my first Christmas with them (except when we all lived there).

Candy canes: yum or yuck? I like them, and they are fun to eat.  The fruity ones are good too!

Favorite Christmas show? I don’t really have a favorite Christmas show, so I’m going with movies.  These are my top ones in no particular order – Home Alone, Prancer, A Christmas Carol (with George C. Scott), A Christmas Story, Elf…I’m sure there are more but I’m drawing a blank at the moment.

So all of you married or serious daters, how to you do Christmas when you have families in different states (or cities)?  Do you alternate each year?  Or always go to the family you see less often?

So, T and I are heading to NY to good old Po-town to spend 6 days with the family tomorrow after work.  Fingers crossed that all of the airport drama from this weekend’s storm is sorted out by then.  I don’t know how much I will be posting up there, but I want to wish all of you lovelies a Merry Christmas and safe and happy travels! 🙂

Until then adieu!

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