Tuesday, June 30, 2009

mary's bridal shower

This weekend I flew up to CT for a quick trip for Mary's bridal shower. Being one of the bridesmaids, I just had to be there! My oldest cousin Rob is getting married in just 5 more weeks - and with her sisters and other bridesmaids, we threw a tropical shower for Mary.

Luckily my flight arrived in CT just after a horrible thunderstorm/tornado/hail storm hit. I had a minor delay due to weather, but otherwise didn't arrive too late. The tornado hit just near Westfarms mall, and by the house I grew up in. Luckily, my aunts house in Bristol was okay and we didn't lose power. Which is really good considering all the people that were staying at her house, and there were 30,000+ other people who were 2-3 days without power in CT.

Saturday was the big day and the ladies were up very very early. Grandma, mom, and aunt Laura were busy busy running around and getting ready for the day. Aunt Trisha and I watched Grandma's Boy with Jimmy. We were so helpful :) I did wrap all the presents, and decorated them with bows and colors, so I wasn't completely useless. We waited for Jen and Jill to arrive and we had the boys help us pack the cars and we were off to the shower in Enfield. Mary's sisters had set up most of the tent and tables before we arrived. There were leis for each guest, and many paper umbrellas and tropical flowers. Mary arrived just over an hour later and was extremely excited and nervous. The food we served were all of Marys favorites - Chinese food and BBQ pulled pork. With many tropical sides. Aunt Laura and mom made one of Mary's favorite drinks - Pimms. Once everyone had some food, it was time for Mary to start opening her presents. She had a lot, and it was going to take a while! But for entertainment - I handed out handmade bingo cards for everyone to play along as Mary opened her presents. Many guests had bingo and won prizes, and Mary's sisters handed out pieces of cake as she opened more and more. Once she was finally done opening presents, we had one more game to play! The 20 questions game. My aunt Laura helped me ask Rob a series of questions and Mary had to guess how Rob had answered them. For each one she got wrong, she had to chew a piece of gum. By the end, I think she got 7 wrong - and she had a giant wad of gum in her mouth! Always fun to torture the bride :)

The boys arrived to load all the presents into 2 trucks and took them home to Rob and Mary's apartment. The rest of the weekend we spent relaxing and enjoying the warm and sunny weather. I even got to have a quick breakfast with Kathy and her husband before I hopped a plane back to VA. Only 5 more weeks until I fly back up for the wedding!

More tropical bridal shower pictures here!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

girls weekend

I took a long weekend - woo no work - and went to Vermont to visit my bestest friend Amy. Just over 2 weeks ago she and her family welcomed Claire Grace to their family. We had planned for a girls weekend a few months ago, and it was finally time to meet the baby and have quality time with my bestests. My best friend Nora came up from Alabama with her son Gregory to visit as well, and when they arrive everything was perfect.

Since Amy had just had Claire, we did a lot of relaxing and playing with the kiddos. Nora and I also tried to help out around the house and with James as much as we could. We hoped that Amy would be able to rest, as much as is possible with a newborn demanding to be fed and coddled. I arrived Friday afternoon and Amy and I waited for Nora to arrive. We played with bubbles with the kids, ate some lunch and stayed up late late. We watched Waitress and ate delicious brownie sundaes. And it's true when I say Amy makes the best brownies ever - because they are homemade and amazing!

Saturday was going to be a long day because it was also the day of Claire's christening. There would be many people and a BBQ afterwards. Gregory and I had a DS party that morning - I played Zelda and he played Indiana Jones (lego version) - we had many DS parties the entire weekend. I think I'm a pretty fun aunt :) We had to run a few errands before the christening and then everyone got dressed. Claire behaved and was very quiet during the entire baptism, and even James was good! He did try to run around and escape, but I gave him some fruit snacks and was able to keep him still for almost the entire time. He mostly enjoyed stomping on the pews and listening to his voice echo in the church. Godparents Pat and Jillian hosted the BBQ at their house and we all ate immense amounts of food, and enjoyed some of the best beer that you can't find here in VA (unless you go to Total Wine) and beer that was Pink! (gotta love Magic Hat) There was also some Rock Band and cake with giant frosted flowers. We left the BBQ to get James settled for bed, and for some more girl time. We watched Sabrina - old 1954 movie with Audrey Hepburnand Humphrey Bogart - and chatted. Have I said how much I love being with Nora and Amy?

Sunday the sun popped out for a little bit before there was a thunderstorm. It was also father's day and Amy and Mike's family stopped by for breakfast and a celebration of dadds. Pat and Jillian had given James a bubble blowing machine, which we were able to watch James and Gregory play with until it started to rain.We spent the afternoon relaxing and eating a lot of leftover food from the BBQ. We played a few games, Apples to Apples - and James was so tuckered out he fell asleep in his highchair. It was fun to play with Gregory (who will be 7 in less than a month!) because he's young and doesn't know what all the words mean, who the people are, or historical events. So it was fun to see which option he would pick for each word. He did have a hard time picking between 'magic tricks' and 'halloween' - to decide which one was the best, hehe.

Monday was our final visiting day. We were a little slow to leave the hotel, but we decided to take a tour at the Vermont Teddy Bear factory. Gregory was very excited! James is a little too young, and wanted to play with the teddy bears on display. (and Claire slept for most of the tour) I brought my teddy that I had gotten during my last trip to VT to be repaired. I had managed to rip the back of the bear open, and he needed some stitches! After the tour Gregory picked out a light colored bear and dressed him up like Indiana Jones (his current obsession). Nora and Gregory drove back to Albany from the factory, and I spent the rest of the afternoon with Amy, James and Claire. James and I colored and caused trouble before it was time to head to the airport and come home to VA. I hope that our next group visit will be soon, it was one of the best weekends I've had so far this summer!

More pictures in my gallery here!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

more csa

It would seem that vegetables grow faster than Jonna and I can eat them. We had fallen behind in our CSA veggies, and decided on Thursday night before we headed to Vermont (for separate trips randomly on the same flight!) that we would cook a giant medley of veggies. We had garlic, broccoli, squash, zucchini, kale, a red veggie that I can't remember now, with olive oil and spices stir fryed on the stove in my panda pan. We also made Evan eat the vegetables with us. The end result was very delicious, and very green! Oh, and of course there was wine. We also watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which is a really great movie if you haven't seen it yet, do that, immediately. And Jonna and I distracted Evan from studying, and he made a study wall of protection from Jonna. I love to take pictures for no reason at all :)

Jonna is out of town until Thursday so I will be picking up this weeks veggies alone, on Wednesday. I'm going to need to find some recipes to try cooking with our veggies instead of just making a pot of greens. It tastes delicious, so I really don't have a reason to complain - but it would be more fun to get to also try some new recipes with all the fresh foods!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

leigh's birthday present

I'd been planning a birthday present for Leigh for at least a month, but being as busy as we are, it was difficult to set a date. Finally, finally, I was able to make an appointment for me, Jonna and Leigh on June 13th. For Leigh's (belated) birthday present we drove to southern Alexandria for pedicures. But not just ANY pedicures. Dr. Fish pedicures!!

Once we arrived (it took a good 30+ minutes) they had us sit at the fish baths and wait until we were all situated. Once we were all set and ready, they set the timer, and told us to put our feet in at the same time. Holy fish attacking our feet! It was the most ridiculous feeling, that is really difficult to describe. I think mostly it felt like a lot of tiny bubbles all around my feet. And I think I was all set and comfortable until I leaned over and realized there were fish at my feet!! They would go all over - in between the toes, under the foot, ankle, heels, arch - it was really weird! but we had a lot of fun! I definitely may have screamed with shock a few times, it's a really different concept allowing fish to chomp at me.

After we spent our 15 minutes (trust me, 15 minutes is a long time) with the fish, we were seated and had the rest of our pedicures, with warm soapy water. It was very relaxing and if they weren't so far out I'd probably go and get a pedicure done there again. Most likely not with the fish - but the standard pedicure :)

More fish pictures here!

Monday, June 15, 2009

csa

Every Wednesday from June to October, Jonna and I will receive a bundle of fresh vegetables from Waterpenny Farm. Jonna had heard from a friend about CSA shares, where local farms offer fresh produce packages weekly. Each weeks bushel varies depending on what is growing and ready to be harvested. There are more than enough veggies in each that Jonna and I split the cost and vegetables each week.

The first week we received: Russian Kale, Oregano, 2 types of lettuce, snow peas, and garlic leaves. This past week we received: more of the same from the week before, but ALSO - dill, zucchini, squash and asparagus. We haven't combined efforts to eat anything from last weeks haul, but the week before we combined the Kale with the garlic and broccoli to make a delicious green vegetable mix.

So far, I have killed the herbs. The first week I put the entire bag in the fridge, not thinking, and killed the Oregano. I tried to revive it at Jonna's, which worked for a few days, but now is completely dead. The dill was outside for too long and I also tried to revive it, but that didn't work either (other than making my kitchen smell like dill pickels). The Oregano from last week is doing OK - but I think I'm going to hang it to dry instead of trying to keep it alive. I may have better chances using it that way.

The pick up spot is a quick walk from Clarendon metro, which so far has been a nice walk back home. The only danger is that I pass Shoe Fly (shoe store) and the gelato place on my way home. Both of which are huge temptations for me to stop! :P I have plans for some of the lettuce tonight for dinner, BLTs! Yum!

Friday, June 12, 2009

more pottery

I finally brought my camera and took pictures of me and Jonna at pottery! I don't have any pictures of us making the pots because the clay is wet, and our hands, arms, everything gets covered with clay. And I did manage to get some clay on my camera, but it was worth the sacrifice! The studio is moving in the next few weeks back to Eastern Market so we have a few weeks break from pottery, but there will be more pictures once it starts back up! All these pictures are from the current studio at Union Station.

My second week of pottery was more successful than my first. First we learned how to trim our pots from the first week. We had covered them in plastic to dry a little, and then we were able to trim off the extra clay to make pieces that were more presentable. Since I still can't make level pieces, I've had to trim them upside down. I did more trimming this past Saturday, and I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. We had enough time to throw more pieces and I was also able to center and create pots in less time than the week before. I still need a lot of practice pulling and shaping. Since the studio is moving this weekend this past class was mostly spent playing and practicing with clay. I made a lot of ridiculous pieces, that were completely mutated, and I destroyed on purpose. (sound effects included, like explosions) I couldn't take pictures because I was covered in wet clay, literally covered. Jonna even added some clay to my arm because a spot was clean :P I was also able to glaze my first set of pots! This Thursday I should have 2 completed pieces to take home. We stopped by the studio this weekend for a few hours to finish up a few pieces before the move.

Check out the rest of the pictures in my gallery!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

new ds game

Credit goes to Nick and Troy for sharing this game with me - I need it!! It doesn't release until the FALL - what will I do until then!

It's called Scribblenauts - and in this game you have to find starlites. (Almost like those stars the soot eat!) To get these stars you can write anything you want, and wait to see what happens. Watch the trailer and feel the excitement that I feel! I love my DS <3

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

she's here!

I received a phone call this evening from one of my best-ests, Amy. This morning she made her way into the hospital to have her second baby. A few hours later (2:15 pm) Amy and Mike welcomed their daughter Claire Grace Niggel. She was 13 days late, the little diva. She greeted us at 8 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches!

Both mom and baby are doing very well. Amy sounded tired, but good. She said little Claire has a bunch of dark hair and dark eyes. I can't wait to meet my new little niece :D

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

dadds have house

Since moving to New Hampshire my dad has been renting an apartment until he could find the perfect house. We have had many phone conversations - me, dad and brother - and many links sent around looking at the various houses my dad had been considering. Most of them he was happy with, but not thrilled. He toyed with the idea of putting a bid on a few houses, but didn't last minute. I told him that he would find his perfect house, he just had to be patient! But with a looming deadline of August to move out of his apartment, I think he was concerned he wouldn't find a house in time.

Finally, he found his ideal house. He and brother went to view the house and my dad put in an offer that afternoon. A few counter offers later - and my dad is officially the owner of a gorgeous house in Portsmouth, NH.!! He doesn't move in until late summer/early fall - but he and my brother did send a long numerous pictures of the new diggs. All the stuff inside the house isn't his stuff - and there are definitely rooms that need to be remodeled, but he (and brother and I) are completely in love with this North Eastern style house! (This picture is of my dad - staring at my brother in the backyard of the house - you can just completely guess what he is about to say to my brother - this picture is hilarious!)

I posted some pictures here! and brother posted more pictures here! I can't wait to see the house and explore my dad's new town!