Monday, December 28, 2009

Sixteen Years Ago Today

I cannot believe 16 years have flown by as quickly as they have! After having spent 8 1/2 months pretty much as sick as a dog, the day finally arrived on 12/28/1993 at 2:44 PM.  Fast forward 16 years.... and I see that little guy who seemed to be perpetually in a grumpy mood turning into a fun young man with a wonderful sense of humor, an annoying habit of correcting my grammatical and factual errors, and a heart full of love and loyalty to his family and friends.





Happy Birthday my young man....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Realizing A Dream - PW Comes to West Chester PA

Okay, so maybe my actual dream was to go to The Lodge for a weekend and hang out with Ree and follow her on photo shoots and watch her cook and maybe kick off our shoes and watch some great old movies and just chat... but this was certainly the next best thing!

It all began with a lonely chair....

And then the chair, desk, podium, and microphone....


And then there was the crowd eagerly awaiting Ree's arrival. And now presenting, Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond!!!!

Wait a minute, that's just the guy who works at the bookstore announcing Ree's entrance...sorry... (he actually was perty darn funny).

And now, we'd like to welcome Pioneer Woman!!! (And her frappucino).

She welcomed our many questions and here describes choosing the proper fitting Spanx.

She then showed us this really cool trick where she can make her hand see-through! Cool isn't it?

Ree then belted out Journey's classic hit, With Open Arms, and she then happily obliged the 300 or so people there by signing her cookbook!

Everyone was so friendly.

These two lovely girls told me that we were permitted to save seats. Thanks to them, we sat in the second row!!

I met up with a blogging friend, Sarah Stump Streett and her sister-in-law. They were both very, very nice.

My friend, Vicki, also got to meet Ree and have her book signed.

Finally, I had my turn meeting Pioneer Woman, whose blog I have been following since 2007. It was so worth getting to the book store at 9 AM for the 2:30 signing. I got to spend hours looking at books and chatting with people.

Ree was so much fun and turned a really crummy weather day into something that was so enjoyable. Ours was her last stop before returning home. I'd like to think she saved the best for last....

Thanks to PW for sharing her life and her talents with us and for inspiring the cook/photographer/home schooler in so many of her fans!

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Heart Faces, Sweet Dreams

When I saw this week's theme, I knew I had no entry - my kids are teens and I don't photograph them sleeping or they'd kill me! However, I then remembered a photo taken two years ago in Water Country USA in Williamsburg. This is a photo of my son after spending about 5 hours running from one water attraction to another, and then spending countless hours heading down Hubba Hubba Highway!

Be sure to check out I Heart Faces for other Sweet Dreams entries..

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Heart Tooshies - Week 47

When I first saw this week's theme, I thought for sure I'd have no entry. But then I looked up at one of the wall's in my family room and saw this photo that has been hanging for quite a while - My son is now almost 16 years old and almost a foot taller than my 18 year old daughter. I am so glad I took these vacation photos - it was a simple moment captured on film that I will have forever.  The bonus is that it fits this week's theme at I Heart Faces. Be sure to visit them for more tooshie shots!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Christmas Holiday Season Has Begun!

I am determined to do my best to enjoy each and every minute of the coming holidays. I refuse to get caught up in all of the running around in pursuit of that perfect gift. I also refuse to stress over the number of cookies that I get baked (or not baked).

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and my brother and his wife were the hosts as usual. I was assigned a veggie side dish but when you're not on the hook for the main course, it is so easy to go crazy with a few extra items - in this case an apple pie.

I also tried my hand at a peach pie and it turned out great, I think.

It's funny - none of us never left the kitchen.  My brother and his wife have this beautiful home with a great family room and finished basement. Yet, we all stayed in the kitchen the entire day.


I think a lot of people find that when they entertain, most of their guests do gravitate to the kitchen - it is truly the heart of the home, isn't it?

What a great way to begin a wonderful time of the year as the little ones await Santa Claus - hopefully on their best behavior....

And the rest of use prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

I hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Promise To Myself

Well, to me it seems like we are in the fast lane. To others it may look like we are moving at a snail's pace. I can't believe that Thanksgiving is just four days from now. Didn't summer just come to an end? Wasn't I just at Target purchasing school supplies? I really don't like that the time is moving as it is. My daughter is a senior in high school. While there are times (many times) that she's driving me absolutely up the wall, I don't want this year to go by too quickly because this time next year, she will not be living at home with us - she will be off to college.  Lots of emotions are wrapped up with that - excitement for her as she enters this next phase of life in pursuit of a nursing degree, excitement for her to experience a bigger piece of life than she has so far, and excitement for all that lays out before her. However, I am scared too - very scared of the experiences she will be exposed to. While we've done our best to lay the groundwork that will form the adult she is becoming, there is so much out there that maybe we didn't cover. Finally, I am also sad. My favorite times have always been when the four of us are safely home, watching TV together or maybe playing a game, or even each doing our own thing. Just knowing my family is with me has brought me much happiness and now I wonder can I be just as happy/content with one of us away for a while? I guess time will tell.

In the meantime, we will enjoy things together over the coming months - a Christmas show, family parties, college visits (only two more to go!!), evenings spent together just as a family not doing anything exciting.

I've seen on TV and read in magazines how dinner time as a family is very critical in solidifying the family unit.  Dinner time in our home has always been a priority - it is a time where we all discuss the day's events, hash out differences, and express opinions. It is also a time of laughter - and in my house a sense of humor is also a priority. If you don't have one, you won't survive.

I am heading into this week that heralds the start of the Christmas Holiday Season of 2009 with much anticipation of the great family times and memories that await us over the coming weeks of the holiday season, and the coming months of 2010 and a promise to get the most out of this time we have together.

I have also made a promise to my kids that I will never make them dress alike for a holiday photo .....

Well, except for last year... but I only  made them wear the same hat. The fact that they are dressed alike is the schools fault....

The end......

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ooo la la! The Anniversary Dinner

Hubby and I went out to dinner on Wednesday for our 20th Anniversary and I have to say it was one of the best meals I have ever had.

We started off with a drink and while I don't usually drink, because I had tasted a wine in Cape May, NJ that did not leave me with a pounding headache (a Riesling wine), I asked if they had it at this restaurant and they did. The waiter informed me it is a lower alcohol content wine. It is delish and I didn't get a headache.... whahoooooo!

We then ordered their table side prepared Cesaer salad for two.....

Then, my husband ordered the broiled scallops.......

I ordered the lump crab meat crepe with buttered lobster on top of steamed veggies and then I ordered a side of sauteed baby spinach because I didn't know my dinner came with a vegetable and I ALWAYS have to have a vegetable with my dinner.  Oh my, the crepe was as light as air and the crab and lobster out of this world!!

THEN, just when we didn't think we were stuffed enough, we ordered dessert. It was our anniversary so we HAD to have dessert.  I ordered the banana spring rolls with brown butter ice cream. The "bowl" that housed the ice cream was made out of crystalized sugar!!

And, finally, my husband got the creme brulee. Little did I know that when the waiter had earlier in the meal asked us if we were celebrating anything special, that he would be presenting us with this lucious finale.....

Yes, I can still taste this dinner - what a sweet, sweet way to celebrate 20 years together....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How Could It Possibly Be?

It's been well over a week since my last post and since my back is bothering me again, I have found another opportunity to do another post.

Besides tomorrow being a day where we all remember our war vets, both living and deceased, my husband and I will also be remembering what we were doing 20 years ago on this very day. 1989 saw lots of "stuff" in our lives but it was also a year that towards the end got very "happy" when it marked our wedding - on 11/11/1989.

 My sister was my maid of honor.  My dad walked me down the aisle.

My mom wasn't well for most of the year but she rallied in time for my wedding day.

But our wedding mass went off without a hitch - and the weather was picture perfect!

Believe it or not, I don't really drink but it looks nice for pictures..... This was in the limo.

Honest, I don't drink but this looks nice for pictures - this was at the bridal table.

This is hubby with his mom (she just passed away on 9/28/09, exactly one month shy of her 94th birthday)

This is my dad and me - he had pink eye in both eyes on my wedding day.  He toughed it out for me, though....

Hubby asked me what I would like him to make for our anniversary dinner. I told him "reservations".
We are dining at a very elegant restaurant tomorrow at 5:30. I'll let you know how it goes. I just may have to sneak my camera in to take pictures....

Believe it or not, I just noticed this photo today when looking through my proof album. I have absolutely no idea who gave us rabbit ears.  I am making it my mission to find out who it was...hopefully within the next 20 years!