Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is Dan's favorite holiday.  He loves scary movies, spooky decorations, and creepy costumes.  We live in a tiny apartment so it's hard to go all out with decorating but we've definitely been in the Halloween spirit all week.

Earlier this week, we did some pumpkin painting (and paint eating).  Lots of mess and lots of fun!

Dan made his costume, although he may not get to wear it.  All that hard work may have been for nothing since the mask terrifies Abby.
Rorschach from the movie (or comic book) Watchmen

Tonight we'll be trick or treating with a good friend of mine and her daughter so I decided to bring over some cupcakes.  Just in case the kids didn't get enough sugary treats!  How cute are these spider web cupcakes?  Since I ran out of orange gel, I decided to make some green frosted ones too.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Oh My, How Things Have Changed

Before Abby, I would get excited to find a new mascara or moisturizer.  I was a cosmetics junky which actually worked out well because I worked for a cosmetic company.  I would try out all sorts of new products from different companies and rave about my favorites to everyone that would listen.  It was my favorite job and if the hours weren't so terrible I would definitely go back.

Now that I'm a mom things are different.  Cosmetics still excite me but I can go days without putting makeup on.  This was unheard of a few years ago.  There are different things on my must have list now.  WAY DIFFERENT.

Just yesterday I was at Target.  Abby has her biweekly snotty nose and I was thrilled to see that they carried my 'snotty nose must have'!  A woman saw me grab them and asked how they worked.  I found myself talking about this product with the same excitement that I used to reserve for the newest anti aging moisturizer.

What is this amazing product that has taken the place of makeup and skin creams?


They are awesome!  They are moist with saline and get those pesky, crusty boogies off way easier than a normal tissue.  It is a must have in our home since Abby would much rather pick her nose than have it wiped (is she a little lady or what?).

I use the fresh scent but I noticed that they also come in grape.  That seems kind of strange to me but to each his own.  Maybe some people like to have grape scented boogies.

Boogie Wipes are a far cry from the things that I used to need... but they work and they make life easier. Man, do things change when kids show up!

I have not been compensated for this post but if the makers of Boogie Wipes are reading you can feel free to mail me compensation in the form of a lifetime supply.  They would not go unappreciated!

For the record, the plug in Zemanta did not pick up the image of Boogie Wipes while analyzing the texts of this post.  I started using this plug in a few weeks ago during the Back to School, Back to Blogging challenge and so far it hasn't been all that useful.  Even though I used the term "Boogie Wipes" a total of 4 times so far there is not one picture of them in my side bar.
Instead I have picture like this:
Woman with nails paintedImage via Wikipedia

GesichtskosmetikImage via Wikipedia

North American GameCube cover artImage via Wikipedia

Hmm... I have no clue what is on that woman's face or what the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have to do with this post.  Maybe me and Zemanta aren't a good fit.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To Have and To Hold... Our 3rd Anniversary!

Tomorrow is our 3 year anniversary!  I can't help but think about how much has changed in the past three years, some for the better and some for the not to so better.

The one thing that hasn't changed is how much I love my husband.  True, there have been moments when I'm left wondering who is this person?  We've been through a lot in these three short years and at times it has been tough.  Some things, like my mom passing away, are things that you typically don't deal with so young so it's been a learning experience for both of us.  The important thing is that neither of us ever give up.

Our wedding day was nothing short of amazing!  The day started with pouring rain (thanks dad for hunting down umbrellas!) and my husband getting lost because I gave him the wrong address for the car rental.  OOPS!

Right before I walked into church, the rain stopped and the sun beamed in.  My mom said it was my grandmother letting me know she was there... I'm choked up just thinking about it.

The ceremony was beautiful but not without its unique moments.  I have a tendency to laugh when I'm uncomfortable and my 2 sisters have the same habit.  With all those eyes on me, it was hard to control my urge to laugh... especially when I could here the snorts from my sisters behind me.  I was doing pretty good until the priest called my husband Don instead Dan.  It was a quick slip up during my vows but I lost it!  It took me a little to regain my composure enough to speak!

As we were working at containing our laughter (and snorts), one of my bridesmaids that was pregnant was trying not to pass out.  My godmother, who has a history of passing out at weddings, noticed this and thought the best option was to come up to the altar and take my bridesmaid outside.  Since I didn't know someone was about to pass out, I thought she was coming up to yell at my sisters for laughing!  Or worse, yell at me!  Let's just say I looked like a deer caught in headlights as I watched her stomp up to the altar!

The reception and after party were a blast!  It was a mixture of Red Sox and Yankees fans so there was the playful taunting... the Massachusetts crowd sang out loud to "Sweet Caroline" and the us Yankees fans did a chorus line to "New York, New York".  My grandmother and her twin sister even got in on the kicking!  The after party was complete with game 3 of the World Series and lots of crazy fun!

Dan and I had decided a while ago to purchase tickets to see the Patriots as our anniversary gift to one another (next year is my pick!) so we weren't planning on doing too much tomorrow.  However, we just received the best anniversary present ever... WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!  The contract came back today (after 3 LONG DAYS), signed by the seller and we couldn't be happier.  It's not the house I mention last week.  That contract fell through which turned out to be a good thing!  We love the home we found.  There's no work to be done and the yard space is perfect! We should be closing on December 10th!  Woo Hoo!!!

So many reasons to celebrate!  I can't think of anyone better to celebrate them with but my Hubs!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Wardrobe Malfunction

I have something in common with celebs like Tara Reed.  You know, the celebs who unwillingly flash a little boobage.  Yup, I have had a major wardrobe malfunction!

I took dance classes from age 3 to age 16 but my 8th grade dance recital takes the cake for most excitement.  I was so happy to be in advanced classes which meant more routines and, in my opinion, way cooler routines.  My particular favorite that year was a song from Lion King, "Be Prepared".  I was so excited to perform the number and was just getting into it when the unthinkable happened!

As far as wardrobe malfunctions go, this could not have happened at a better time.  I bent down and over the music I could hear "Snap".  As quickly as I heard it, I felt my strap pop off and I reacted.  Grabbing my almost exposed boob, I followed the group with the next step, a leap, but then proceeded off the stage.  Mortified is the best word to describe what I was feeling.  Unfortunately, I couldn't actually exit the stage from the wing I was on so there I stood for the next 2 minutes or so... holding my costume up the entire time.

When the song was over, I hurried backstage where my mom and best friend were waiting.  My mom, who was the one who sewed my costume in place, was super apologetic but I was so embarrassed that I lashed out at her a little.  However, before she was even done sewing it back into place, I saw the humor in it and started laughing.

The worst part of the whole thing?  There were a bunch of high school boys in the back of the auditorium that I was sure would never let me live it down.  Even worse, my uncle had the whole thing of video.  Even worse, I had to wear this costume countless times over the next few days!  At least my nervousness was focused on keeping my costume on as opposed to performing!

Visit Mama Kat if you'd like to participate in this weeks Writer's Workshop!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Boredom + Reality TV + Sister Wives = WTF?!?

I really do try not to judge but I just have to vent a little about this show Sister Wives.  Not sure if anyone of you have seen it (I'm not really sure why I am watching it right now) but basically this guy has 3 (soon to be 4) wives and 13 children.  Truthfully, the only thing running through my mind is WTF!

I wasn't planning on ever watching this show but I'm bored right now.  Bored and too lazy to do the million things that need to be done.  I really don't care what these people choose to do and I'll leave the lasting effects of their decisions on the children to their future therapists.  What really got me going was while one of this guy's wives was in active labor, this guy is asking the doctor about IVF for a different wife who has only had one child.  Are you serious?

Now, I don't know about any of you but when I was in labor I wanted everything to be about me and Abby.  I clearly remember that right after Abby was born I yelled at my mom for trying to call my brother and wake him up for work.  I was mad because it was taking her out of the moment and I wanted the attention on me and my new baby.

I really can't understand how this woman could sit there, in labor, and listen to him getting information to help his first wife have a baby.  What do you all think?  Am I unfair to think this whole thing is ridiculous?  Could these women possibly be so void of jealousy that they can share a husband and a moment as special as the birth of their child?

By the way, I've already changed the channel... hello Teen Mom!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Fun!

Just a little update on our house hunting.... we found one!  We love it and the work it needs is definitely doable if our offer is accepted.  There was a little compromise with yard space... the amount that's there leaves a lot to be desired but the size, layout and neighborhood makes up for that.  It's a short sale though so I'm trying not to get my hopes up just yet since it could take months to hear back from the bank.

We also took Abby pumpkin picking over the weekend.  She had a blast even though she took a couple falls in the corn maze.  I can't believe the fall is here and halloween is right around the corner!  This will be Abby's first year trick or treating since last year we took her to Salem.

How is everyone else celebrating the arrival of Fall?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Family Feud Blooper!

This was too funny for me to not to share!  My side hurts from laughing so hard!  Enjoy!

House Hunting: Way Harder than I Thought!

We are in the process of house hunting and I never would have imagined that it would be so difficult.  We have found a few potential homes but there are major problems with each one.  One is a beautiful townhouse but the problem is that it's a townhouse and we just aren't too crazy about that idea.  The other has the space we need but a very unusable yard that is right off a major road.  Not too mention the lovely brown carpeting throughout the entire house... even the dining room.  The third is a BEAUTIFUL home in an area that has a bad reputation.  Basically, people say that it's not the crime in the area but people tend not to keep up with their property.  This house is also slightly over budget.

Since seeing that beautiful home in a not so good neighborhood I have been tossing it around in my mind.  Granite countertops, 5 bedrooms, a family room and living room.... maybe I can build a nice tall privacy fence so that I don't have to look at the rest of the neighborhood?

Today we're going to look at another home that's way under budget.  The pictures make it look livable but I've learned that pictures can be deceiving.  It sounds like it has space:  4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and a finished basement.  There aren't any pictures of the kitchen or most of the bathrooms so I'm a little worried.  However, the home is within walking distance of restaurants and shops which would be so nice.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

3 Amazing Days: Walking for a Cure!

WOW!  That's the best word to describe the Susan G. Komen 3 Day experience.  It was amazing, tiring, emotional... everything I hoped it would be and more.  Being surrounded by over 2000 people who dedicated this past year to fundraising and awareness was an indescribable feeling.  We were all strangers with one goal... and WE DID IT!

Bright and early on Friday, my cousin and I headed into D.C. to Nationals Stadium and we could feel the energy.  People were decked out in pink handing in their luggage, getting water, and moving toward the stage for the opening ceremony.  We were able to make our way up front and as expected the opening ceremony was filled with cheers and tears.

Then we headed out for our 20 (or so) mile journey around D.C.  I say 'or so' because 3 Day miles are known as 'komen miles' because there are times when a sign will say "1 mile to pit stop" and that mile feels like way more than 1 mile.  Either my body was tired or they lie... not sure which it is but a 'komen mile' can take forever!  As we left Nationals Stadium, crew members and supporters were there to cheer us on.  The cheering stations were absolutely amazing and our fans got all dolled up to help us stay motivated!

My goal was to finish Day 1 and I did it!  It ended with a mile up hill, which was pure torture!  I saw so much of D.C., most of which I had never seen before like the capital building (yes, I had to walk Capital Hill) and the National Cathedral (which is also on a HUGE hill).  We ended up in Bethesda, MD (or was it Chevy Chase?) which still sounds crazy to me.  I never would have imagined walking from D.C. to anywhere in Maryland but I DID IT!

Day 2 was tough.  My feet were already blistered and the medical line was way too long in the morning so I decided to try to walk to the first pit stop.  Did I mention how awesome the pit stops are?  Every 2 to 3 miles they have snacks, gatorade, water, and bathrooms (port o potties, but you don't care after a few hours!).  By the time I made it to Pit Stop 1, 2.7 miles, my feet were ready to fall off so I decided to give them a rest and take a van to the next Pit Stop to get some medical attention.  Unfortunately, there was a mix up and after 2.5 hours I finally made it to lunch.  By then my muscles were tight and my feet were screaming at me with every step I took.  After some medical treatment and lunch, I walked another 2 miles but decided to call it a day at that point.  I needed to give my pigs a break if I wanted to walk Day 3.

Back at camp, I was able to shower and relax.  I played some BINGO and won a new pair of socks... WOO HOO!!! I also got to visit the Remembrance Tents which was a very emotional experience.  Every city has one and people write about who they are walking in memory of.  They set the tents up in every city.  Our tent was under a large canopy and around the walls were photos of walkers and crew members who lost their battle.  As if this wasn't emotional enough, 4 young kids walked in with their dad or grandpa to remember someone who had passed.  It was a heart breaking reminder of why I chose to walk.

If the Pit Stops were amazing, then the services at camp are phenomenal.  There's medical, a phone charging station, massages, computers, shopping, and food... and all of it is staffed by volunteers or sponsored by AT &T, Energizer, or New Balance!  They truly took care of us and rolled out the pink carpet... well, as best they could on a camp ground.  There was also entertainment and guest speakers... even Nancy Brinker came to see us! Between the cheering stations and the services at camp I felt like a celebrity!  Well, that's if a celebrity had to live in a tiny tent in the middle of a field that I'm pretty sure was usually reserved for animals.

On Day 3 my energy and determination was back!  I walked the 14.9 miles back into D.C., cheered at the cheering stations, danced to the music played by our crazy crossing guards and ignored my achy muscles (with the help of bio freeze) and my tired, sore toes.  When we finally made it to the holding station, I was overjoyed!  From there, we lined up to walk to the closing ceremonies about a half mile away.  Again, I was in awe of the thousands of people who were alongside of me.

The closing ceremony was just as emotional as the opening but their was a feeling of victory.  We saluted the survivors who walked alongside of us, one of them was only 21 years old when she was diagnosed and thanks to Susan G. Komen research grants she still has treatment options 7 years later.  Her story is so moving and full of hope.  I can't believe that I was one of the people who helped contribute to the grand total of 5.3 million dollars that was raised!  AMAZING!!!

So, at the end of the weekend I had camped, raised awareness, walked 40 of the 60 miles, and was left with sore feet and muscles but I was also filled with hope and pride.  It was truly amazing and I can not thank my donors enough.  I was the one who walked but they were the ones who got me there.  Eradicating this disease is a global effort and we are on the right path!

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering... Abby made it back in one piece and surprised me in D.C.!  She had an awesome time with her Nonno, who misses her already.  She even learned to say his name!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

3 Day... Here I Come!

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments the other day.  I'm feeling better and working on forgiveness.  I've decided that it's not for me to judge, especially since I'm not sure who it was. Thanks for all the advice and understanding!

On a positive note.....

I finally reached my goal, and I'll be heading to Washington, D.C. bright and early tomorrow morning for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for a Cure.  I already got choked up when I was reading the event info and they said there's a banner we can sign with our loved ones name on it.  It's still hard for me to believe that my mom's not here but I know she'd be proud that we raised so much money for breast cancer.

It's going to be absolutely amazing to be surrounded by so many people who have been affected by breast cancer but and are trying to make a difference.  Hopefully, the emotions that will be running through me will keep my feet moving because 60 miles is far.  REAL FAR! I haven't really trained (at all) nor has my cousin so this should be interesting!

The only down side is that I have to leave Abby for 4 days.  I've only left her alone over night once before so this is really, really, really difficult.  She'll be with my dad and will probably have an awesome time getting spoiled and playing with other her cousin but I'll be missing and worrying every moment!  It doesn't help that she'll be a couple states away either.  It's funny, I wanted a break for a while.  You know, just some time to go to the bathroom with the door closed.  Now that I'll have a little break, I'm a nervous wreck!

I hope you all have an awesome weekend and I'll catch up with you Monday or Tuesday!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Disappointment: Forgiving and Moving Forward

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
 - Buddha

Have you ever been so disappointed in someone that it makes you wonder if you ever really knew them?  Yesterday I found out that someone close to me did something unthinkable.  It is so awful that I don't even want to think about it or say it out loud.  Unfortunately, I don't know exactly who it was so now I will forever be suspicious.  The only way to move past it is to forgive but it's hard because I gave the person an opportunity to redeem themselves anonymously and they did not.  All I know is that someone I love and would do anything for, is dishonest and selfish.  I can not tell you how much my heart breaks just thinking about this.

I believe that everything that happens in our life gives us the opportunity to become a better, stronger person.  We always have a choice between right and wrong.  We also always have the choice to right a wrong choice.  I feel disappointed that someone closest to me has not taken advantage of difficult times and learned some valuable lessons.  I feel disappointed that they are not the person that I know they are capable of being.  My only hope is that on their journey through life, they become the person I always knew they would be.

"I'm not angry because you lied to me, I'm angry because I can't trust you anymore" 
- Unknown

Friday, October 1, 2010

Struggles and Strength

pink ribbonImage via Wikipedia

I was watching Dr. Phil yesterday and he reminded me of a lesson that is easy to forget.  We're not all that different.  Regardless of our struggles, there is always someone else who has been through or felt the same.  The details may be different but the struggle and feelings are the same.

Since watching that episode, I've noticed that it's so true.  Today is no exception.  October is breast cancer awareness month and all morning I've been coming across bloggers who share similar experiences to mine.  Some of these experiences, quite honestly, break my heart but once all of the details are stripped away, every story is one of strength.  When life hands you the unthinkable, you find strength that you never thought you had.

I was 21 years old when I found out my mom had breast cancer.  For 7 long years, breast cancer was the elephant in the room.  Even during remission, the fear was always there but so was strength.  I saw it in my mom, especially when the cancer returned.  She had always said she would never go through chemo again but she found the strength to fight.  I saw it in my siblings, who lived with her, helped her, and tried to continue living their life.  I saw it in myself every time I had to be 'the bad news bear' and sit the four of them down for an update on my mom.

The most important lesson that I'm learning is that I am no different than countless other people who have been through the same thing.  You find the strength to overcome, just as so many people have and will continue to do.  When I walk in the 3Day next week, I'll be surrounded by people the same as me.  People who have been affected by breast cancer and have found the strength to push forward.  Although all of stories will have different details, none of us are all that different.
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