Funny stories... tales from the road... life with us.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Off to the beach (just not us!)

I've been neglecting the site for a long time now, but I see K has been pulling my weight!

My folks (Mom, Dad and Carrie) stopped by our place last night on their way to Ocean City today. Lucky ducks! They went to Mount Vernon yesterday afternoon and then out to our place to spend the night before getting up pretty early this morning to beat most of the traffic.

K pulled together a great dinner last night of vegetable kabobs, roasted garlic potatoes, and chicken. She rubbed the chicken (boneless breasts) with a rub I made from the Barbecue Bible cookbook (great book, by the way), the veggie kabobs got some sort of seasoning along with a coating of some sort of herbed basting oil K has in the pantry, and the potatoes were pan fried in some EVOO with red onion before having a nice chunk of minced garlic tossed in and put into a 425 oven for an hour or so. We've made the potatoes before and they are always awesome. I tossed the kabobs and chicken on the grill and a salad from Wegman's completed the meal! We discovered that Wegman's has bulk organic salad mix in the produce section that is really really good and ends up being cheaper than the bagged mixes. Finished off the chicken with Sweet Baby Ray's sauce of course. We love that stuff!

But now they're at the beach. I'm jealous!

And nice job with the Simpsonizing, K! :-)

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Hamilton Simpsons

I saw this on a friend's blog this morning and thought it was fun - here are Rob and me as "Hamilton Simpsons!"

Go here to Simpsonize yourself!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Our Wedding

Today is our anniversary! We've thought a lot about our day one year ago, the funny things that happened, the friends and family who came to celebrate and how much fun we all had. Here are a few memories to remember....

Hair... the bridesmaids, mothers and I went to have our hair and make-up done on Saturday morning. I had my hair done twice that week, trying to make sure the style would last the day (I have notoriously flat hair!), but nothing had worked, so I was really nervous. I planned to wear my hair down, so the lady teased-teased-teased my hair until I looked like Minnie-Mouse. It was hilarious. But, she must have known what she was doing, because by 5 p.m., it had flattened out to the perfect poof.

Getting ready... it was hot outside, which made it hot inside. Putting on a 40-lb. dress didn't help (not sure of the actual weight, but that's what it felt like!). We stood in front of fans and did our best to keep cool. Tessa and Ashley had a heck of a time getting the veil in my hair, so the comb didn't butt too much up against the decorative comb already in my hair. They persevered and it looked great. The guys were getting ready right next door, and every now and then I could hear them through the wall, as they played pool and hung out. I was anxious to see Rob!

The ceremony... Our wedding was at 5 p.m. When the gal from the club came downstairs to tell us that people were seated and it was time to go, my heart leaped. We went upstairs and I heard the string quartet playing Bach's "Sleepers Awake" for the bridesmaids - that was the first time I'd really gotten emotional. It was beautiful. The girls started going out, and I met my dad on the porch for our walk down the aisle. This is where the first funny thing happened.

Wrong Song!... My mom wanted me to come down the aisle to the traditional bridal march, so that's what I'd planned. But as we stood there ready to go, I heard the four opening notes of Pachelbel's Canon. Um, wrong song. I whispered that to the quartet leader, and she nodded and said "prelude." Prelude to what?? Dad asked me what I wanted to do, and I said "let's go!". What choice did we have? The quartet quickly realized their mistake and apologized a jillion times. It's a good story. :)

Ceremony... Our ceremony was perfect. Our minister from our church here in Fairfax traveled up to do the ceremony and it was lovely. We'd met with him twice before the ceremony, and he worked in so many personal things we'd talked about in those sessions. He recited Corinthians 13 and really made it special to us. So many people have commented that it's one of the best ceremonies they've ever heard, and we agree.

Toasts... During the reception, both Tessa and Dave offered toasts. Tessa's was sweet, and Dave's was funny - just like the two of them. They were heartfelt and perfect for us.

Dancing... We cut a rug! Our friends and some of our families are big dancers, and we had a blast. One guy did the worm (hilarious!) and we just had a good time. Our DJ was terrific and played perfect music to get the crowd going.

Cakes... Delish. Our traditional cake was a four-tier round, and the groom's cake was a two-tier chocolate. It went like crazy - Rob got the last piece! Yummy chocolate-dipped strawberries went with each piece of both cakes.

Leaving... Rob and I changed clothes and went back upstairs for one last dance before leaving for the evening. The crowd gathered around the dance floor and all gathered in the middle in a "big hug" as we danced. We went around the circle and gave hugs before we left the club. It was a perfect ending.

As Rob and I drove to the Red Fox Inn in Middleburg for the night, we talked non-stop about how much we loved our day. We so appreciate everything that our friends, families - and especially my mom and dad - did to make the day special. We couldn't have asked for anything more!

Remembering July 29, 2006

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Week Leading Up to the Wedding

I've been thinking all week about writing a post about this week last year, but I just haven't gotten it down on "paper", so to speak. On some levels, I can't believe how quickly the year has passed, but then sometimes it's easy to think that we've been married for ages.

I spent this week last year at home with my parents. I had decided to take off the week before the wedding, and then two weeks after for our honeymoon. Three weeks away from work was something I'd never done before, but I put away the Blackberry and enjoyed the time off.

Saturday... My mom came down on the Saturday before the wedding to pick me up, as well as our two dresses. I remember us carrying those HEAVY dresses from the shop out to the car, trying to hold them over our heads and as straight as possible. We had folded down the seats in the van and loaded everything up to head west.

Sunday through Wednesday... We spent the week doing all sorts of stuff... trying out hairstyles, running stuff out to the country club, seating arrangements and the like. We went out to lunch (and sometimes dinner too!) and just spent time as a family. I've always been close with my mom and dad, so I loved it.

Thursday... Rob came up on Thursday. He picked up bridesmaid Ashley at the airport and arrived in the late afternoon. I was glad to see both of them! I hadn't seen Ashley in a year or so (she lives in Atlanta), so I was especially happy to catch up with her and learn the plans for her own September wedding in Jamaica.

We headed down to Cumberland to walk Ashley through the club (and to drop off another load of stuff!), and I am SO GLAD we did. The tent company was there... putting up the tent the wrong direction! They already had some of the stakes in the ground and didn't seem to happy about moving it, but they did. What if we hadn't seen it until after they'd gone? No chance we would have gotten them to come back, and we'd been in a world of hurt. Glad we caught 'em when we did!

Friday... Friday was crazy. We started the day with all of the ladies getting our nails done, and then heading to my grandparents' house for a beautiful bridesmaid luncheon. The room, food and company were all perfect, and very much appreciated. I gave my girls their gifts (embroidered tote bags and pearl necklace and earrings to go with their dresses) and we just spent some time together. Honestly, Tessa, Ashley, Kelly and Carrie were a tremendous help during everything!

After lunch, we headed out to the club to start putting some things together. The tables had been mostly set, so we were able to put out the dinner menus and favors. We checked the tent and chairs, put up the shepherd hooks for the flower balls and made sure we were all set for the rehearsal. Home to clean up, quickly change and head back for the 5 p.m. rehearsal...

No problems here. Our minister was fabulous and kept the whole thing moving perfectly. We all understood the where, when and why of what was happening the next day. Afterwards, we headed to the rehearsal dinner at Giuseppe's, and then to my parents' for a yummy dessert party.

Saturday... a remembrance post to come!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Still Not Good at Blogging....

Yikes. It's been too long since my last post. I'm still not good (dedicated?) at this blogging-thing. Honestly - I try! It's just that writing all day at work doesn't make me want to write at night. But here goes:

We spent this past weekend up at the lake house and had a great time. We headed up early on Friday to meet Rob's family for an anniversary celebration dinner for his parents - 37 years! We ate at a pretty good little restaurant - Point View Inn. After dinner, most of Rob's family headed back home (they were playing in a golf tourney on Saturday), so it was just us at the lake house for the night and most of Saturday. We slept in, made yummy blueberry pancakes, swam in the lake and read our books. We ended up meeting my folks for dinner that evening, but not before enjoying a pina colada at the Honi Honi. My fave!

Rob's family was back on Sunday - more lakeside sitting and relaxing, plus a terrific lunch and fresh corn that his mom fixed. We left later than usual to come back and ran into some traffic snares on the interstate. At one point, we turned around (driving through the median!), got off the main road and took a back road into the next little town. The interstate eventually starting moving (slowly) again, so we hopped back on and got home. Instead of our usual 3 hours from the lake, it took about 4. Ugh.

Regardless, we had a great weekend and loved the peace and quiet. We are gearing up for next weekend's anniversary - I can't believe it's been a year! A post about the week leading up to the wedding last year to come.... thanks for reading!

Monday, July 09, 2007

A Lazy July 4th Long Weekend

Rob and I returned yesterday from a five-day vacation - much needed! We spent some great, relaxing time at his parents' lake cottage and really enjoyed ourselves. We cooked hot dogs over a fire (not my fave, but Rob's!), went for boat rides, played too many games of Monopoly and Scrabble, slept in and just hung out. People came and went ... Rob's parents and sister and brother-in-law, which was lots of fun.

I actually spent the night of July 4th at my parents so I could be there for something happening the next morning. It's been a long time since it's just been me with my mom and dad, and I really enjoyed it. Just like old times! ;)

I ended up getting a dandy of a sunburn on my legs on Saturday. I'd put on sunscreen, but didn't think about the three inches or so that my shorts went up when I sat down. So Carrie and I sat out on the dock talking for a while, and bam! Instant sunburn right above my knees. It has been so sore!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Could You Pass the Citizen Test?

I just took a quiz on MSNBC that is a selection of questions that any person petitioning for U.S. citizenship would have to answer as part of a test.

I got 85% of the questions right... and I felt pretty confident in taking the test! Some of the questions were simple - like how many stripes are on the flag and who the chief justice of the Supreme Court is today. Easy-peasy.

A couple of them I found a little more tricky. Here's what I missed:

  • What year was the Constitution written? I guessed 1776 - it was actually 1787. I always get that mixed up with the Declaration of Independence.
  • Which constitutional amendment doesn't address voting rights? No clue. I've never had to worry about that before. For future fyi, it's amendment #7.
  • How many changes have been made to the Constitution? I guessed 9 - it's actually 27. More than I thought.
I guess, as an American, that I've never really appreciated the freedom and rights that we have in our country. But as I get older, I look more at the world and the problems that stem from a weakened government or civil dispute. Heck, we have our share of problems (poverty, health care and a wacky president to name a few), but we have much to be thankful for to the intelligent men and women who shaped this country so many years ago.

So this July 4th, maybe I'll be a little bit more thankful for a government in which I can have a say, a church that I can freely go to and the right to pursue my own happiness.

Monday, July 02, 2007


College roomie Jennifer tagged me on her blog, so here goes!

First I must repeat the rules: Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

1. I have a good memory.... about most things. I can remember when things happened based on the years people got married, died, etc. I remember song lyrics and recipes and poems and things I hear. I have an uncanny ability to remember birthdays and anniversaries. I remember mean things that people have said to/about me, and I remember the good ones too.

2. I bite my fingernails, although I am always trying to stop.
When I was in elementary school, one of my good friends always bit her nails, so for some reason, I thought it was a good idea too. I've been doing it since third grade, I think. My mom used to put that stinky/bitter polish on them so I wouldn't bite them, but it never worked. I go through phases... I'll bite 'em; then I won't. And then I will again.

3. I met my husband in Virginia, even though we grew up 6 miles from each other in Maryland. Weird, huh? Our families knew each other; our moms taught at the same school; Rob's sister became good friends with one of my closest friends in college; but our paths never crossed. I always knew who he was, but we didn't know each other. I would even see him around here occasionally, but never said anything to him, thinking he wouldn't have a clue who I was. Anyway, we finally met down here and the rest is history.

4. Most of my closest friends are people I've known since childhood. Tessa, Kelly, the two Staceys... I've known these girls forever. I made a couple of good friends in college and some since, but none to the level that I know these girls. It's good to have history.

5. I can type really fast. Really, really fast. Not so much weird, but just a good skill to have. In high school typing class (that I didn't really want to take by had to!) I would type words to church hymns over and over again, just to practice. Now that's weird.

6. I have the funniest kitty ever. Seriously, this cat could have made us one million bucks if we'd gotten her on TV. She can open cabinets, the freezer and tupperware; she chews through cords in a minute; she loves water and will play in the sink and bathtub; and she isn't afraid of anything. She wraps her paws around my wrist when I hold the cat treat container, just like a baby would with a bottle. She'll jump up in my lap just when I need her to, and she's always happy to see us when we get home. She never goes off by herself and loves to sit wherever we are. She loves road trips and strolls right into her container like a pro, without fuss. When I start up the steps, she runs ahead of me and does a big flop at the top on the landing, rolling around until I fuss over her. She's hysterical and sweet, and I'll never have another one like her.

7. I love to cook. No surprise to those who know me! I remember my grandmother saying, "if you can read, you can cook." I never understood people who say they can't cook. Just read the directions and follow along! I also like to bake.

8. When I make a wish, I never, ever wish for myself. I always say a prayer/wish for my family or Rob or sometimes for people that I don't even know who are hurting. Whether its an eyelash or turned-around necklace or a birthday cake, I always wish for someone else. I hope someone out there is doing that for me in return!

No people to tag for me. I'm not sure who even reads this, and I think everyone I read has already been tagged. I guess I could tag Rob to do his list!