Dec 112008
 

We just want to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2009!

We just got back from our annual trip to DC to see the national tree and museums. We had a wonderful time. They just re-opened the National Museum of American History and it is wonderful. We recommend a visit next time you’re in DC.

Everything here at home is great. Brian has recovered well from his surgery last month and feeling almost back to normal and ready to celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. We’ve decorated inside and outside for Christmas and we totally love it. We have so many ornaments that we’re running out of places to put them on the tree. The latest and absolutely funniest is my new Dirty Dancing ornament. It’s a depiction of Johnny holding on to Baby in the air during the last dance and when you push the button we hear things like “nobody puts baby in a corner”, “I carried a watermelon”, etc. I laughed so hard at the store I had to get it!!!
And here it is…

dirty-dancing-ornament

Anyway, we wish you all the best this Christmas. Stay safe and lots of love for everyone!

Oct 272008
 

Our vacation at Disney World was wonderful. We spent our very tired nights after visiting all the parks at the Animal Kingdom Lodge which was a real treat. We had a savannah view room which meant right outside our window were giraffes, ostriches, zebras, antelope just going about their daily living while we zipped coffee and just watched them when we had a chance. At night they also had actual safari guides speak and tell you a little bit about their particular country in Africa and what would it be like to visit. After sitting through 2 of those presentations Brian and I have added going on safari in Botswana to our list of vacation spots and can’t wait. Not sure where that falls on the list but maybe before Japan, after Ireland. Who knows?

Our favorite park is Epcot and they were having their Food and Wine Festival which is the main reason we went this month and were not disappointed. Going through all the countries drinking good wine and tasting some delicious food was really exciting and fun.

We also had some wonderful lunches and dinners as well at some of the restaurants which we had to book months ahead of time. My favorite evening was when we ate at California Grill on top of the Contemporary Resort which is 15 floors up overlooking all of Magic Kingdom and the Grand Floridian Resort. When it was time for the nightly fireworks at Magic Kingdom, we were taken to an outside viewing area where we could see Cinderalla’s castle and look down on the fireworks. After they were done, we were brought back to our table where our main course was waiting for us. Now that’s “magical”.

It really was a wonderful vacation! Now to plan our next vacation……

On the home front we have started to renovate the kitchen/dining room areas and it will probably prove not fun but going ahead with it. Painting in the dining room is complete and it was not hard changing red to an earth tone color thanks to the wonderful people who invented primer. Genius!!!! We’re in the process of dealing with the cabinets and can’t wait to get rid of the butcher block counter tops. YUK!!! It took a while getting to the kitchen but are happy and dreading the project at the same time.

Work is going well for both of us and Jack is fantastic! More soon.

Don’t forget to vote!!

Aug 182008
 

We’ve been celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary all year long and have been having a great time. We started our celebration with our trip to Italy, and will continue with a trip this fall to one of our favorite places…Disney World. Epcot is having their food and wine festival in the fall and we’re all about that. We’ll be staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and have heard some great things about it.

In the mean time, Brian thought it would be great to celebrate by getting some iPhones. I thought no way….but after awhile, I decided to check it out and I totally love mine. I guess after some resistance, we’ve totally bought into the whole Apple thing and I have to admit some of the stuff is pretty cool. Watching movies with an iPod is pretty cool especially when one is waiting those long hours at the airport. I wonder what other gadgets out there will help us celebrate our anniversary year as far as Brian is concerned. 😉

May 022008
 

It’s been a couple of weeks since we got back from out Italian vacation and we still can’t get over it. We talk about it all the time and look at our pictures and say “I can’t believe we were there”. We were in Italy for Brian’s birthday and we celebrated it by spending the day at The Vatican and experiencing the Sistine Chapel or Cappella Sistina. I don’t know how we will top that next year!

Italy was everything I expected it to be. Florence and the countryside in Tuscany is just like the pictures and movies. I thought that maybe I had built it up too much in my mind and I was going to be disappointed when I got there and it was totally the opposite. You have to see it to believe it.

Here are some of my (our) favorite things about Italy:

The ease of the transportation system. We went from the airport to Rome, to Florence, to Pisa, to Lucca and all over Rome with ease.

The fact that espresso is more important than water. You can get a shot of the most wonderful espresso ANYWHERE and that is right up our alley. We started our day with a cappuccino (which is when Italians drink cappuccinos) and for the rest of the day we had shots of espresso. YUMMY!

The wine is simply delicious and drinking a bottle with dinner is a common thing. Brian and tried it twice and then decided that maybe 1/2 a bottle works just right for us. And we were right. Needless to say we brought back some wonderful wine from the Chianti region.

The food is different from our Italian food here in the states. Over there the sauces are lighter, olive oil is extremely delicious and the pizza is also very different. I have to say that nothing I’ve tasted here compares to anything we had over there. We never had a bad meal.

The Gelato. Delicious, delicious.

We didn’t know that we could climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa and The Duomo in Florence. In Pisa I was petrified as it felt like we could tip the tower right over or I could lose my balance but it was perfectly safe and beautiful.

When trying to speak the language, most Italians were happy to help us with pronunciation. They seemed pleased that we were attempting to speak their language.

The little, tiny cars. Can’t wait to get one!

The tiny cobblestone streets (hence the need for tiny cars) with tiny sidewalks and the wonderful windows and terraces with lots and lots of flowers. Just like a picture.

Things that were not so hot:

The flight over and coming back full of people that don’t sleep during flights or even speak in calm, quiet voices to not bother anyone. They talk, talk, talk, congregate in the aisles and let screaming toddlers run up and down the aisle. I don’t recommend Alitalia. Do American airlines like Delta, American, United let people do this? Isn’t it a safety issue? I remember during one flight on American when I stood with a lady on the aisle waiting for the bathroom and I was told to sit down because it was a safety issue.

The gypsies! I never saw real life gypsies before but they are all over Florence and are very aggressive about wanting your money. They just come up right in your face and invade all personal space. This type of aggressive moves are also done by the guys who want you to buy their fake purses, flowers or whatever silly novelty they’re selling. They love to congregate at the Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain. Very annoying! They are not Italian but we could not figure out if they are Indian, Arab, from countries in Africa…who knows. They are just very aggressive.

The TV. We were never in a our rooms for long but sometimes before going to bed, I would want to just chill and see what was up. Well, let me tell you it is different! I missed our TV channels. Thank goodness Brian helped us out by filling his iPod with episodes of The Office, Star Trek and some movies. Anyway, it helped us out to get our American TV fix.

Not much else we didn’t like. Praise God we were safe and had a wonderful time!

Apr 192008
 

We’re back from Italy, and the trip was fantastic. I’ve posted the pictures in the photo gallery, but I haven’t posted the video yet. It’s going to take some time to edit the 3+ hours of footage into something that’s watchable, but I’ll post it here once it’s finished.

In case you haven’t noticed, you now have to be logged in to view the photo and video gallery so to everyone that wants to view the Italy pictures, go ahead and click the register link in the sidebar to request your login id. Once I approve your request, you’ll be able to view the photos.

Ciao!

Mar 262008
 

The Site
The picture gallery has been taken offline for now as we try to update the website. Sorry for any inconvenience if you have tried to look yourself up in our gigantic picture gallery. If you know us and hung out with us at least once, we definitely have a picture of you!

Trip
Things have been going well. We are very much looking forward to our vacation in a couple days. Italy here we come! Make sure to check back for those pictures which we’ll be happy to share.

Spring
It’s here! Which means we have to go outside to work in the yard and that is definitely not my favorite thing to do. This year I decided to get more involved as we had some awful looking azalea bushes out front which needed to go and I was happy to spend the day digging those puppies up! Now I’m looking forward to having some lively looking plants out front. We’ll see what we come up with.

House
Well, it’s definitely looking like a Pottery Barn catalog around here but since I love, love, love that store then it’s not a problem. I feel like Rachel from that episode of Friends where she buys everything from Pottery Barn and then lies about it to Phoebe. It’s sad but on some days walking around that store can make a dreary day seem a little bit better. The bathrooms are in the process of being remodeled and I’m happy to say not by me. I picked out the stuff, but the man here has been busy with the ceramic tile, vanities, etc. The bad thing is sharing a bathroom in the process. Girls and boys should not share the same bathroom!

The dog
Since my last post on little Jack, things have improved a little bit. It turns out the dog has a malfunctioning thyroid and has hypothyroidism. He is now on thyroid medicine and is back to being his old self. He has lots of energy and some of the fur around his ears have started growing back!

Politics
What can I say? Not much interest around here for any of the candidates. I guess it will have to end up being the best of the worst in November and it will probably not be an improvement for how we’re doing here lately. Even if I sound pessimistic, I encourage everyone to go out and vote! It is important and a great responsibility. Remember JFK “think not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” NOT the other way around as many have come to think in society today.

TV
Lost is AWESOME even though we have no answers. American Idol is back and I watch it like a school girl. Waiting patiently for The Office…….
I’ve been watching Masterpiece on PBS Sunday nights as they have been presenting the works of Jane Austen (my favorite novelist of all time). They have done a beautiful job with some of my favorites. Sense and Sensibility is coming up this week and I can’t wait.

Important
John 17:20-26.
“My prayer is not for them alone (the disciples). I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” John 17:20-26.

This was Jesus’ prayer for future believers the night before he was crucified. I thought it was important to mention since it was Easter this past week and let everyone who might read this know that He loves you and wants a relationship with you. Think about it! Without Him, none of it matters! (house, trip, politics, etc.)

Jan 172008
 

Happy 2008! We hope the year has started out well for everyone. The holidays were great and we had a wonderful time spending it with our families. I had to work some of the holidays but we managed just fine.

2008 has been busy so far. I picked up an extra shift at the hospital and Brian is enjoying his job and working hard moving into management which keeps him very busy. I’m still working on a trauma floor and have seen just about everything. This year I’ll start thinking about whether I want to continue working trauma or maybe move on to something else. I want to at least get a year of experience in my current position so we’ll see what happens.

I guess so far the most exciting thing planned for this year is a trip to Italy in April. Flights and accommodations have been booked so God willing, everything will work out just fine. We are planning to spend time in Florence (my dream destination) and Rome. We plan to see all the major sights and sneak in some wine tours through the Tuscan countryside. Needless to say we can’t wait…81 days to go!

Oct 072007
 

We came back from Blacksburg today after another alumni weekend. There were over 100 alumni there as we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Virginia Tech chapter of Zeta Psi. We had a great time as usual.

The bad day part was today. On the way to Blacksburg on Friday, we had such a horrible time with the traffic on I-64 and I-81 that we decided to take US-460 back home. About an hour into our trip, we drove up to an intersection and noticed some shredded tires in the road and a tractor trailer on the side of the road. At first I thought he just blew a tire, but then I noticed a Jeep Wagoneer on the side of the road facing the wrong way with gasoline and oil leaking out of it.

And then both Monica and I noticed the woman lying on the side of the road.

I stopped the car immediately, and Monica jumped out and ran over to assess the woman’s condition. I pulled the car over on the side of the road and talked to a bystander who said that the paramedics were called. I was making my way over to Monica when I noticed two other people on the side of the road. There were several people around them, and I saw that there was one woman who was conscious and one man who was also conscious but bleeding from his head.

I walked over to Monica, and she said that she was unable to find a pulse on the elderly woman and that one pupil was pinpoint and the other was completely dilated. I looked at her face, and I saw her eyes were open but she was unresponsive. There was one woman there that said she knew her, and she kept calling her name but there was never an answer.

The paramedics and fire fighters arrived within a few minutes. One came over to the elderly woman on the ground, checked her pulse, then walked away while saying, “She’s dead.” I figured this was the case, but to have him officially confirm it freaked me out a bit.

I walked past the other two people who were being looked at by the paramedics and just stood on the side of the road. Monica saw that the everyone was being taken care of so we decided to get back in the car and continue on home.

I haven’t been able to get the empty stare of the elderly woman out of my head all day. Seeing a dead woman on the side of the road has just freaked me out. I’ve seen two other dead people in my life but that was at funerals. To see this poor woman just lying there like that was just weird and has given me a heavy heart the rest of the day.

I looked on the Roanoke Times site for information about the accident, and I found it here.

September

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Sep 052007
 

It’s been a busy summer around here and can’t believe it’s September already. Last month we went to Puerto Rico to celebrate my grandmother’s 97th birthday and had a lot of fun. She is doing great and we loved spending that special day with her. We were afraid we weren’t going to make it due to the threat of hurricane Dean but thankfully it’s path was well to the south and all we got was some rain and some wonderful breeze that cooled off the island while we were there. If you’ve never been on a flight to PR then you might have not heard or experienced the strange phenomenon of Puerto Ricans clapping when the plane touches down in San Juan. Well it happens and it makes Brian laugh every time. I’m not sure when or how that came about, I just know I’ve always done it and so do most Puerto Ricans. Maybe it has something to do with “coming home” but I guess it might mean different things to different people. I just know it’s very exciting to visit and hope to do so more often.

Work has been going well. It’s pretty hectic working on a trauma floor and I get to see all kinds of stuff. My patient’s range from motor vehicle accidents, gun shot wounds, stab wounds, burns etc., etc., etc. I have long hours so when I’m off I tend to just bum around. I love my job and hope to get all the experience I can. Brian is also doing well working super hard at his new position at work. He’s definitely climbing that corporate ladder and I’m very proud of him. God has really blessed us and we definitely praise Him for everything!

Jack is doing okay. He’s getting on in years and it’s definitely slower but he’s still my baby cakes and I love him!!!

We don’t have many plans for the fall but we’re working on it. I know Brian could not be more excited to have football back into his life which means I just have more free time for shopping or something like that.

We’ll update more soon. Hope everyone is well.

Happy Birthday little Sadie! We love you.

June Update

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Jun 212007
 

We know that it’s been a long time since we’ve updated everyone but I’ll do my best.

Work

Well I’ve started working on the floor last week and it has been a scary, exciting and tiresome adventure. This is what I’ve learned so far:

  1. 12-hour shifts are very long but somehow not long enough to do everything needed./li>
  2. Nurses don’t have a lot of breaks and lunch is about 15 to 20 minutes where you eat as fast as possible.
  3. There is not a lot of sitting. I walk what feels like 10 miles per day and there is also a lot of lifting, squatting, and racing around.
  4. There’s a lot of diseases, equipment, procedures, symptoms to know for different patients at the same time so lists and very good notes are extremely important.
  5. Last but not least the most important thing I’ve learned so far is that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE every minute of it! I’m learning a lot and work with some great, experienced nurses who are teaching me so much and I’m very grateful for them.

Fun

We went to Charlotte, NC this past weekend for a beautiful wedding. Congratulations to Jason and Amelia who are now enjoying their honeymoon in beautiful Hawaii! It was fun to see a lot of our friends and have fun dancing to the stereotypical wedding reception music such as “Brickhouse”, “Super Freak”, and “Last Dance”. All the ladies can always count on Pat to dance all the favorites. Thanks Pat! It was my first time in Charlotte and I thought is was very nice.

Summer

Not much going on this summer. Just working, studying and celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary. WOO HOO!

We’ll update more soon.