Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Giving Thanks

It seems odd that we've designated one day to give thanks. To me there is so much that we have to be thankful for that we should do it more often than this one day in November. I'm thankful for my family and friends. I'm thankful for my loving and amazing husband, Micah. I'm thankful for the thousands of men and women serving the Armed Forces, who have committed their lives to protecting our, America's, thoughts and beliefs. I'm thankful that I have a good job, a roof over my head and food on the table. I'm thankful for the freedom of speech that allows me to keep this blog.

This Thanksgiving, Micah and I headed west to Michigan to spend the holiday with my family. This year was quiet, just mom and dad, Jill, Micah and I. Mom also invited over a co-worker to round out the bunch to six. A quieter version of last year, where we had both sets of grandparents and boyfriends.

Per usual, Mom and I made our annual after-Thanksgiving shopping trip. We both got great deals at Sam's Club, Target and JoAnn's. It is great to get deals on gifts, but it more fun watching Mom run around Target, weaving the cart inbetween other crazed shoppers, trying to get whatever the other people are running for. Every year she had no idea what the sales are and is constantly amazed at how many people are line up to get the sales. This year, caught up the festivies, Mom took off running as soon as we got in. For a brief moment, the two of us were seperated and when I finally met back up with her, she had a under the cabinet radio in the cart. I looked at her, with a confused looked on face. Her only comment was, "people were grabbing them and I thought I needed it." We both laughed. Consumerism at its best.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Things about me...

It has been a long time since I've done some creative writing. In an attempt to get start the juices flowing, I've completed some writing exercises. I'm going to post some of my favorites here from time to time. Enjoy!

Things about me...

  1. I’m afraid of birds.
  2. I can’t go to bed without using lipstick and putting lotion on my feet and hands.
  3. I don’t like pineapples. One chuck of pineapple can ruin a perfectly good bowl of fruit salad.
  4. I love new sheet night.
  5. I like getting into a well-made bed, but rarely make the bed.
  6. I love to cook.
  7. I never missed a home UNH hockey game during the four years I attended school there.
  8. I dated a guy just to go the World Series, the Red Sox won and I never called him back.
  9. When you are 22 and dating someone who is 18, four years is a big difference.
  10. I worked in my dad’s hardware store growing up, so I was one of the only girls in my class who really knew the difference between a Philips and a flathead screwdriver.
  11. I grew up in New Hampshire and, yes, some years we had to wear winter coats over our Halloween costumes
  12. I love the smell of fall, crisp, clean and musty all at the same time.
  13. One of my favorite stores is Staples.
  14. Popcorn isn’t popcorn without M&M’s
  15. I grew up without cable. It wasn’t that my parents were against it, but we lived in “the sticks” and the cable lines didn’t go that far.<>>
  16. I watched my first episode of 90210 when I was a sophomore in high school (1998). I’ve been hooked ever since.
  17. My grandfather makes the best pancakes and French toast.
  18. I got a concussion once from going down a slip’n slid on my knees.
  19. I choked on a piece of candy when I was 8 and didn’t eat for a week afterward.
  20. S’mores are one of the best things about summertime.
  21. Family is one of the most important things to me and I go home whenever I can.
  22. I laugh loud and often
  23. I love to write.
  24. I'm a good proofreader, but I can't proof my own writing.
  25. I graduated with honors and am proud of that, especially since I had to take incompletes for an entire semester due to illness.
  26. The Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins aren’t just sports teams, they are a religion.
  27. I miss watching thunderstorms with my dad on the back porch.
  28. I grunt when I pitch.
  29. I love matza, but by day five matza doesn’t like me.
  30. I applied to Mount Holyoke College because Baby from Dirty Dancing went there. I didn’t get it.
  31. I love sushi, but I’m not a big fan of fish.
  32. I stood in line for three hours to see Joe Lieberman at UNH during the 2000 election and all I can remember is that he came out to “Who Let The Dogs Out”
  33. My sister and I used to pretend the big rock in our backyard was a house, a boat, a store, a school…
  34. I have a crazy, year and half puppy, who I don’t think will every grow up.
  35. I didn’t sleep for an entire year. I was in sixth grade.
  36. I’ve slept with the same teddy bear since I was born.
  37. The first time I was ever drunk was on my 21st birthday.
  38. My favorite dish is Shepard’s Pie – it was birthday dinner for years.
  39. I’m a daddy’s girl.
  40. I never played with Barbies, but built her mansion out of Legos.
  41. I’ve read every Judy Blume book.
  42. I won’t see a movie, if I haven’t read the book.
  43. I love ice hockey, even though I’ve never played.
  44. I’ve had my picture in Sports Illustrated – I was in the background practically crying as my college team lost the NCAA Frozen Four Championship game.
  45. I’ve been to a NASCAR race and I loved it!
  46. Ryan Newman is my favorite driver.
  47. I learned to ski and swim as soon as I could walk.
  48. I lost one of my front teeth when I was four years old. It turned black and had to be removed. It became a perfect hole for a straw.
  49. I’m right handed, but I put my contacts in with my left hand.
  50. I spent a summer playing ASA Junior Olympic softball.
  51. Wicked is a part of my vocabulary and yes, it is a noun, a verb, an adj. and an adverb.
  52. I learned to drive on my grandfather’s tracker.
  53. My family is a Ford family – My dad drives a Ford, my sister drives a Ford, my mom drives a Ford, my grandfather drives a Ford, my aunt drives a Ford, my uncle drives a Ford. However, my favorite NASCAR driver drives a Dodge. I was almost disowned.
  54. I was sixteen when I had my first kiss. It was horrible and he turned out to be an asshole.
  55. I love to sing, loudly, to the music playing the supermarket.
  56. I hum when I swim underwater.
  57. Nothing is better than a sappy movie and popcorn with M&M’s.
  58. I read a magazine from back to front.
  59. I’ve been to 22 states – Georgia, California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Hawaii.
  60. I’ve met Bobby Allison. I didn’t know who he was at the time, now that I do there is so much I would want to ask him.
  61. My favorite color is blue, yet I don’t one a single shirt in that color.
  62. I love to go food shopping.
  63. Capitan and Coke was my drink of choice in college.
  64. I was a card carrying Girl Scout until I graduated from high school. I spent seven years a summer camp and in order to go – I had to be a Girl Scout.
  65. Cosmo was considered the Bible in college – my roommates and I took turns each month buying it.
  66. I love peanut butter.
  67. Ketchup should be considered its own food group. There isn’t much I won’t put it on, including a mysterious peanut butter sandwich when I was three.
  68. I lost three toe nails on my right foot due to a fungus I got in college. It’s gross, but not contagious.
  69. I love tea. And I will only drink it with milk when I’m sick.
  70. I’ve started hundreds of needle point, projects, but only finished two.
  71. I have an addiction to Chap Stick. I always have a tube with in reach.
  72. I have to do the crossword puzzle in every PEOPLE magazine.
  73. I’ve learned that the only that person whose says you can’t do anything is yourself.
  74. I sometimes ask too many questions. It sometimes gets to be annoying.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Busting at the Seems

No not my pants... our house. After unpacking gifts and throwing out old, unwanted stuff, it appears that we are still bust'n at the seems.

Our first step in the moving process is to make a few small home improvements. Basically that means getting a new carpet. Micah and I have both agreed that we would like to put down a laminate hardwood floor on the main level of the house. At the moment we have the white carpet that the contractors put down when the build the house. However, after five years, the white carpet is now a dirty shade of brown. (Thank you Reese).

So tomorrow we are going to Lowe's to get a price quote on how much it will cost to get laminate on the main floor and new carpet on the second floor. My goal would be to have the entire project done by the time my parents come at the end of December. I promise to give updates as we begin the process of new homeownership.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Calling all FOODIES

I honestly think Micah and I ate our way through Hawaii. Of course, calories don't count when you are on vacation.

And because I am a self-proclaimed foodie - here is a run down of all of the meals that we had on the islands.

Tidepools - Grand Hyatt Kauai - Poipu
Our first night in Kauai and we were tired and starving, so we decided to try out one of the three restaurants at the hotel and according to all the guidebooks, Tidepools was the place to be. The food was to die for!! I had a mac nut breaded chicken breast in a cream sauce and Micah had fresh fish and lobster. I thought I had died and gone to heaven, it was soooo good. Oh and our table was right near the koi pond. Those were some of the biggest fish I have ever seen. And there were like a hundred of them.

Keiko's - Poipu
This place is part of a restaurant group on the islands and California. I really liked this place, it was low key and laid back, like most things on the islands. The food was good and was one of least expensive meals on the trip. Micah had some fish pasta dish, which he said was alright. I had a mac nut pesto pasta with shrimp. I liked it, but then again I've never met a pesto sauce I haven't liked. I would highly recommend this place.

Beach House - Poipu
The Kelley's recommend this place to us. It was suggested that we go during sunset, but we weren't able to get our act together to get there by sunset. However, we did have an 8:15pm reservation and got a table overlooking the water. Even in the dark, the crashing of the waves was very romantic. The food here was out of this world. Micah and I agreed that this was our favorite dinner. For starters we had fish nachos. At first I was a little worried, but it was great made with a sweet and spicy black bean risotto and a white fish. I had the ono (a tender white fish) topped with crab meat and sea scallops in a light cream sauce. Micah had the roasted duck and loved it. The one thing that did spoil the evening was bad service. We were seated for almost twenty minutes before anyone came over to take our order. It was disappointing because the food was so good.

Sansei - Kapalua

This sushi restaurant was recommended to use by almost everyone who had been to Maui before and it lived up to the expectations. The wait for a table was a bit long, but worth it. We got the Dynamite Shrimp (similiar to the Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish), sashimi and I got the mango roll (intersting) and spicy tuna. It was great sushi, very fresh. Micah and I both agreed that while it was great, Edo Sushi here in Baltimore offers just the same quality. Also, an important thing to note, on Thursday and Fridays, they discount their sushi after 10 pm. Most of the rolls are 50% off.

Longhi's - Lahaina
Micah's parents told us about this place, they had been nearly 15 years before. The restaurant is a throw back to what I believe Maui might have looked like when the place first opened. The food was very good, a little pricy, but good. We both got a shrimp dish. Mine was in a orange-ginger sauce, Micah's was in a cream sauce. I recommend this place.

Kimo's - Lahaina
This is part of the same restaurant group as Keiko's in Poipu and the menus are very similiar. I got a shrimp and steak dinner. I wasn't really impressed. The steak was a little dry and favorless. Micah had the lobster stuffed mahi mahi, which he raved about. I would recommend this place, just stay with the fish.

Lahaina Fish Co. - Lahaina

I loved this place. We ate a late dinner and got a table right next to the water. It was a beautiful evening. Micah had a fresh fish stew, filled with scallops, shrimp, fish and crab meat. I had the mahi mahi is a mac nut sauce with Maui onion potatoes. I loved it. And we got a ton of food for a great price. The atmosphere here was great. If you ever find yourself in Maui, you have to stop by here.

That's it. My semi-professional review of our dining experiences in Hawaii.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Honeymoon part 1

One word - paradise. Hawaii is true paradise.

There is so much to share about our trip to Hawaii that I'm going to have to spilt it up. So here is my first pass. We left for Kauai on the Monday after the wedding. I couldn't believe how giddy we both were for getting very little sleep over the past week, plus the fact that we were looking forward to an eleven hour plane trip.

Once on the Kauai, we quickly realized that we were in paradise. The Grand Hyatt in Poipu was so beautiful and amazing. We were upgraded to an Ocean View Suite. Honestly, the room was bigger than our townhouse. I could get used to this 'newlywed' thing. Our first night we had a great dinner (more on the food later) and hit the hay. Kauai is seven hours (before the day light saving time) behind Baltimore. The next day, we relaxed at the pool, actually the lagoon. Yeah the resort had a pool and a lagoon, with a real sand beach. In three short days in Kauai, we managed to do some serious pool time, a helicopter ride and an atv tour. The atv was my favorite.

On Thursday we head over to Maui, about a forty minute airplane ride away. Maui is beautiful and a very popular place to go. While Kauai was much more relaxing, Maui was exciting and a happening place to be. After a short drive along the southern coast of the island, we arrive at our hotel. It was beautiful, but didn't quite live up to our expectations after staying at the Grand Hyatt. We did have an amazing view of the ocean from our room though. Views like these can make you want to stay on the island for ever.

Micah and I didn't do as much as we would have liked. The pool and sunshine was calling. We did do the luau at the hotel. Very fun and a little chessey, but very Hawaii all the same. The one adventurous thing we did do was ride bikes done an inactive volocano. Yup! It was a lot of fun and only about 100 yards of pedaling. Micah's kind of bike ride. Oh yeah - we did attempt snorkling on our own, but Micah had a little accident and lost his glasses in the ocean. No, I can not make this shit up. Who wears there glasses in the ocean?? Several thousand miles away from home and we had to go to Lens Crafters to get new glasses.

Other than that small snafu, we had a great time and are already thinking about our next trip back. (of course that will probably be our 25th anniversary.)

Just Married

After nearly a year of planning, Micah and I were married on October 21. It was an amazing day. Family started to arrive on Thursday, October 19 to help us celebrate. On Friday night we had a fun rehearsal dinner at Camden Yards. The room had an amazing few of the ball park and Inner Harbor. It was so much fun to spend time with friends and family that we don't get to see that often.

On Saturday, after an earlier wake-up call, I joined my parents, Jill and Miles for breakfast then it was off to the salon to get our hair done. All of the bridesmaids were amazing so supportive. We had a lot of fun just hanging out while we each took turns getting out make up down.

After pictures in a near by park, Micah and I finally walked down the aisle. What was the statement of the day was when I turned to my mom, just before walking down the aisle, and said "I don't think I'm going to cry." Ha! As soon as I heard my mom gasp at the end of the aisle, I was done. So much for water proof mascara.

Honestly, the day was one of the best of my life. People always say that, but it was. I'm so glad to have married my best friend and be able to share the day with family and friends.