Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Girls Night Out Therapy Session

So, all of you girls out there and Moms and stay-at-home-Moms know what I am talking about when I say how wonderful a night out with the girls can be. It is like a little therapy session and a rejuvenating for your soul!!

I was fortunate to have a night out with my best girl friends last night. I have a great group of girl friends. There are 5 of us total. We are all Mommies to children ranging from ages 5 years -6 weeks. We really have a lot in common. We have been friends for a while now and we cherish the times we get to see each other with kids and also without!!

So what is so special about a Girls Night Out you might ask?! Or like Matt, you might say "What did you talk about all night!?" OK - here are a few things I think the 5 of us would agree are reasons why a night out with the girls is much needed and enjoyable!

~ We get to get dressed and ready to go somewhere special. Even if it is just to a casual restaurant or to someones house it is so much different than the park, a play date, or errands. We get to make ourselves feel pretty for once!! :)

~ Traveling without a diaper bag or tons of stuff in tow. No extra sippy cups, toys, crayons for coloring at the get the idea.

~ We get to enjoy a meal in PEACE!! No having to cut up food before eating our own. No whining toddler chanting "get down? get down?". No mess to clean up afterwards! Just ourselves to worry about!

~ We have wonderful conversation and catch up on what we have all been up to. What do we talk about - well, just about everything. Family, kids, friends, vacations, decorating, babies, having more babies, kids activities, kids going to school, potty training...I could go on and on!

~ Just some time away from everyday life! (No offense Husbands - we love you dearly - you know what we mean!!)

~On occasion we get to act silly and maybe just harmlessly flirt a little with the cute foreign waiter at The Cheesecake Factory. :) HA HA!

Last night was a fun night out although our one dear friend was unable to make it. Guess we will be having to plan another night out soon?? We even got to venture to TWO different restaurants last night because the power went off in the first and we REALLY needed dessert!!

Here is the 4 of us at restaurant #1

And our second stop at The Cheesecake Factory. We had a really nice waiter here that was very eloquently describing the flavor of a particular raspberry cheesecake....we all liked him a lot! :)

S0, there is nothing quite like a Girls Night Out and most importantly - nothing like friends like you girls!! I had a great night last night. You girls are the best!! Can't wait until next time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sesame Place Fun!

We are very fortunate to live only about 30 minutes away from a really great place called Sesame Place. It is a theme park geared towards children, based on the beloved television show Sesame Street. The park opened in 1980 and since then our family has had many great memories of the park. Growing up I can remember the summer it opened running around chanting with our cousins "Let's go to Sesame Place, Let's go to Sesame Place!!". Of course our fun parents took us there and we thought it was the coolest thing. Then, when my sister turned 16 she started working there, in the Operations department. What could be cooler than that!!?? Finally, when I turned 16 I got a job there as well. I started out working in the "Ops" department which was where you worked the rides in the dry area and at the top of the water slides. The following summer I auditioned to be a dancer and got the job! I was so excited. I danced as many of the characters in the shows and also became a Dance Captain and then Supervisor. I worked there a total of 8 years! It was really the greatest place to have a summer job. You made so many wonderful friends and there were always fun events planned for the employees after hours. I have so many great memories of summers working there!

So, of course times change and now the wonderful memories I make at Sesame Place are with my daughter. Lily and I have season passes and we try to get there about once every other week or so. She absolutely loves it and it is a special treat for her to go. We took a trip today since we finally had a free day. I thought I would share some pictures of our trips there from over the past couple of months.

Here we are today! One of her favorite things at the park is Big Bird's Nest. It is just a soft area with lots of soft blocks for the little kids to run around in. She loves it!

Another favorite thing for Lily is the characters. She really loves them. I was very surprised last summer when she went right up to them and hugged them! Here she is today with my absolute favorite, The Count! (I spent most of my hot summer days dancing as him!!)

A hug for Zoe. This pictures was taken in May when we were there for the big opening day for season pass holders.

Riding the Sunny Day Carousel. This picture was taken on a weekend in June when Matt got to come with us!

Lily loves the shows and the parade ~
Dancing at the show!

Waving at the parade!

Pop-pop came with us for the opening day in May!

And finally, they often have special events scheduled throughout the summer and fall. Here we got to meet Bob McGrath from Sesame Street. He did a mini concert and signed CDs. It was really neat and now Lily has an infatuation for Bob. We listen to his CD ALL - THE - TIME!!

So you can see we have many fond memories from this park!! It is so neat to remember the old times working there but now to see it through a child's really is a special thing!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Progress 5

It has been an exciting week for the new house progress. As you may have read in an earlier post we have a finalized settlement date of November 3rd! We also scheduled our "Pre Dry-wall walk-thru" which will take place this Friday! They have been working very hard on the inside of the house in addition to the outside. During the walk-thru we look at all of the electrical wiring and stuff like that. Not really what I am interested in but of course I will be there! Matt is in charge of that stuff! We are excited for it and hopefully will get some neat pictures.

This week they wrapped the house to prepare for the stucco and stone to be done. If you notice on the pictures, pretty much everywhere you see the wrap is where there will be stucco and where you still see the wood will be stone. Exciting! All of the pictures were taken during the day while they were working.

The scaffolding is set-up all around the house for them to start the stucco.

It seems like the outside will really have a lot of work done on it this week. That will be really neat to see.
Matt and I just can't believe that in about 3 months we will be living here! WOW! It is so exciting and we just can't wait!!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quick weekend update

I know, I know, I have been very bad about updating this weekend. It has just been so hectic.
Matt finally had a weekend off. It was sooo nice to have him home. We had a nice weekend.

Friday night we had both of our Dads over for dinner. Grandpa and Pop-pop! Lily had a ball as she always does when she sees either of them! We grilled burgers and dogs and had corn! It was quite yummy!

Saturday we spent cleaning up a bit for a showing and then we headed to the pool. Lily had fun at the pool as usual. We also celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary! YES! 11 years! Can you believe it? We had a fun day all together and after Lily went to bed we ordered some Olive Garden in and enjoyed a quiet dinner.

Sunday we took a look at some more furniture stores and then got ready for a showing again. The furniture shopping was fun but deciding how to furnish our new house is an overwhelming task. I just don't know what to pick. We do have some good ideas though. I plan to have many more decorating posts in the near future!

So a total of 5 showings over the past 3 days. No news on anything yet but we are hoping this week may bring some good news. We will see.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a NEW house update!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

House selling update/New house update!

This week has definitely proven to be more successful in the house showing department than last week. Last week was a total bust with Thursday, Friday and Saturday all being no-shows. Boy was I mad! No phone calls to cancel or anything. Anyway, this week we have had 5 showings and 2 more tomorrow. Out of those 5 so far this week there are at least 2 people very interested. Our realtor said we should be very happy that we have had so much interest. There are many homes out there that no-one is even interested in seeing. We are thrilled. It seems that something is going to work out sooner than later. All of the feedback has been completely positive so we must just keep doing what we are doing.

And some VERY exciting news - we found out our "Official Settlement Date" for our new home. It will be November 3rd!! That just happens to be Lily's 3rd birthday. I wasn't too sure at first but I decided we can make it really special. I think we will go to the house that night and have a "picnic" (we won't have furniture in there yet) and cupcakes to sing Happy Birthday. I also want to plan to have a special new toy in her very own playroom!! She is soooo excited about her own playroom so I think this will be extra special for her. What a great birthday present, huh?? A brand new house with a PLAYROOM!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This one's for you Daddy!

I really should say this is for Daddy and Caren!

CORN! My family has always had an obsession with it. Really, growing up my Dad is the one who always had the obsession. However, my sister has recently taken a liking to a certain Amish man near her town. Check out her blog. This is a funny letter to the Amish man from her blog. You can also read other letters and a whole post with some info about the Amish culture!

Anyway - I can vividly remember every summer our Dad counting down the days until the "good corn" was ready. Now, not just corn but corn-on-the-cob of course. Corn with lots of butter, salt and pepper! We would eat it literally every night with whatever dinner was that evening. My Dad would eat a record number of ears at every meal. I am talking like 5, 6, 7 and sometimes 8! It was always just a thing in our house. Until this day we all still have a passion for corn on the cob in the summer - but really who doesn't!!??

Today while Lily and I were on an adventure driving with the cats we stopped at a local stand near our new house. We purchased some corn for our dinner tonight. I decided to make it something fun for Lily. We brought the corn home and took it outside to husk it and then in to wash it. She was very excited about the project.

Here she is attempting to husk the corn. Look at the way she will barely touch it and check out the disgusted face in the 2nd picture! My little girly-girl didn't want to get her hands dirty I guess! She said "Mommy you do it!".

OK! So Mommy husked it while Lily watched and now it is OK to touch it!

Washing it up. This was the most exciting part. She loves to do anything in the kitchen that involves cooking and standing on the chair to reach the sink or counter!
Our corn is all washed and ready to be cooked for dinner tonight. NO - it isn't "Amish man" corn Caren. I am very sorry. Please don't tell him. This is just corn from NJ so we will see how it is. I will let you know!
So our little project of husking and getting the corn ready proved to be fun and eventful for Lily! Long live the corn on the cob tradition in our silly family!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I got up at 5:40 AM today..... get ready for another showing! They called yesterday and asked for 9:30-10:30. I know it may sound early to some but it is actually a perfect time for me. It all worked out great and the people showed up!! (We have been having issues with agents calling for appointments and then not showing up) I was able to wake up at the crack of dawn and get all of the last minute cleaning done while Lily was still sleeping. I scrubbed both bathrooms, straightened, removed litter boxes, got rid of any excess cat hair, cleaned the floors, wiped the kitchen counters, etc. etc. you get the idea! Then when Lily woke up at 8 I was ready to give her breakfast, vacuum, get the cats in the car and finally head out!! FUN!! Take a look at this.....
This has been my life for the last month!
Don't you just love it??!! (I can't believe I actually posted that here!) Please, if anyone you know is in the market for a home and looks at our house, don't tell them I have them! No, seriously our house is looking in tip-top shape and you would NEVER know 4 cats live there. I am proud of all of my hard work. I don't love it but I don't mind doing it if the darn people show up for the showing. Let's hope it continues and maybe St. Joesph and my "sign" of the butterfly could start working soon?? Please!!

I keep saying it will all be worth it in the end! If you haven't already, check out the post from yesterday with our new house update. All this hard work will be worth it!

We have another showing scheduled tonight. At least all of the cleaning is done and all I have to do is get all 5 "kids" in the car and head out!! Busy day!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Progress 4

WOW!! They really did a lot in the last week! I have 9 pictures to share because there are some really great changes!

First of all on Monday we had WINDOWS!!! Awesome! I was there during the afternoon so the men were still working.

Here is a view of the back of the house windows. They put them all in except for the one above the fireplace in the family room. Not sure why.

So that was Monday. No action on Tuesday or Wednesday. I got there Thursday afternoon and they had done all of this in one day. They set-up the roof to be started and completed the whole back of the house roof. Here is the front view.

And the back is done!

On Saturday we went together and the whole roof was done! We were so excited. We went inside and took some pictures with Lily.

Another view of the family room now with the windows. They put in the fireplace.

Lily and Daddy in Lily's room!

Lily and Mommy in our master bath.

And finally Lily in front of the fireplace. Remember the one of Lily IN the fireplace from the first Progress update??

Some pretty exciting changes! Next step is to start all of the electrical inside. They will also soon start the outside facade - stone and stucco. That will be so neat to see!

Thanks for looking! More to come!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Do you believe in signs?

"SIGNS" - like signs from heaven? I do and I have a pretty cool story to share. I think Daddy and Caren will appreciate this one. I think they believe in this kind of stuff too!

As you read in the previous post about my running, my Mom passed away in December. I know she is here watching over us, protecting us and especially seeing all that her grandchildren are doing. At least I WANT to really believe this. I feel like I am always searching for something that will help me feel this even stronger. Well the other day I had a sign and I just felt it was from her. The feeling that came over me was actually pretty freaky.

It was Friday. Lily and I were about to get in the car to drive around with the kitty cats. We had a showing of our house scheduled and I had cleaned and scrubbed all morning. I got the last cat in the car and rushed in to get Lily. She stood up and said "Look Mommy a butterfly!" I looked out on my deck and there was a beautiful yellow and black monarch butterfly flying all around my flower box. I have NEVER seen one there before in the 10 years that we have been living here. I just got this feeling inside and I KNEW it was my Mom...I just felt it. I said to Lily "It's a sign, it's a sign from Grammy". It just kept flying around and around. It did not go away. Lily and I watched it for a while and I managed to get a picture with my tiny camera. (I was bummed I didn't have my good Nikon - it was in the car.) Anyway I was so glad I got the photo.

It was the most beautiful butterfly I have ever seen. Like I said before, a feeling just came over me. Of course I started crying. I thought -- this is the sign that this showing is going to be the one. I got very sad when I got home and realized that the people didn't even show up for the darn showing! I was so mad. BUT - I still believe that it was a sign. A sign that things are OK and that it is all going to work out for us. And especially that Mommy is safe and watching over us - everything is going to be OK for all of us.

I did some reading on the internet about signs from heaven. Of course one of the big ones is butterflies.

So that is my story. I don't usually pay too much attention to stuff like this but there was something special about this butterfly....something REALLY special.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I CAN run!

In February I decided I wanted to start running. I was encouraged by my sister Caren to start, and also by this - The Brain Tumor Society/Race for Hope.
As many of you know my Mother passed away on December 3, 2007 from a brain tumor. When Caren told me about this fund raiser I was motivated and inspired to do this for my Mom. She was the most amazing women you could ever meet. She was kind, generous, caring, selfless, funny, an amazing Mommy, Wife and Grammy. I could go on and on. She was just so special to all of us and she was taken away from us too soon. I want to do this for her....I know she is looking down on us and guiding us everyday.

Now, I definitely consider myself to be in good shape. I workout regularly doing aerobics and weight training. I never thought I could run. I always thought it was too hard and I didn't have the stamina to do it. So one day in February I was at the gym and just got on the treadmill and started running. I ran 3 miles! I paced myself and realized I CAN run. I just needed to have the right frame of mind and be determined that I can do it.

I try to get to the gym about 4 times a week. Some days I do an aerobics/weights class, some days I run and some days, if I have time, I do both. I really love working out. It makes me feel good and it is something I really look forward to doing - it is just my time alone to do something for myself.

When I am working on my running I think about my Mom and how I know she is proud of me. I am doing this for her and for all that she did for ME.

The Race for Hope is in Philadelphia on November 2, 2oo8 and I will be running the 5K race in honor and memory of my Mother, Joyce.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More interest!

I am very excited this morning! We got an e-mail from our realtor saying that the person who saw the house yesterday is also VERY interested. It is sooo great to know there are people out there that are interested. It makes all of my hard work worth it! Haven't heard anything yet this week about the other woman interested. I will keep everyone posted.
Another showing today at 1:30-2:30! Lily and I are off to our weekly music class and then quickly home to clean up. At least things are still looking pretty squeaky clean from yesterday!

Have a great day everyone and keep crossing those fingers for us!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Favorite Things - Part 2

Things on the blog may be a little slow this week due to A LOT of house showings. We had one on Monday, one today and there will be one tomorrow. I have been doing a lot of cleaning AND a lot of driving with kitty cats in the back of the SUV. I finally have a chance to sit down and blog for all of my readers! (SO many that I have!)

Another segment in the Favorite Things posts. Today I will tell you about a favorite hobby of mine - scrapbooking!! I started scrapbooking right after our honeymoon 11 years ago and since then I have completed dozens of albums. I really love it. It is such a nice way to take your memories and make them extra special. Unfortunately I have not had much time to scrap lately since I had to pack up all of my stuff to declutter the house! That is one thing that is fun about scrapbooking - all of the STUFF that goes along with it and shopping for all of that stuff! There are so many cool products out there for scrapping - fancy papers, stickers, ribbon, letters, scissors...etc etc!

Last February I had the chance to go on my first "Crop Weekend". It was a blast. A crop is where a bunch of people get together with all of their stuff and just scrap and talk. I went on a weekend away with my fun sister, Caren. We had a blast! We stayed at a retreat center where they had one huge room for us to crop. They provided us with lodging (kind of like a hotel) and 3 meals a day. We got a lot of scrapping done but also laughed a lot and were very silly. I am so excited to do it again this coming winter. Caren and I have decided to make it an annual get-away/Sister weekend. No - it isn't some fancy resort or a Caribbean cruise but we love to scrap and we had a ball!

Here are some pictures from that weekend back in February

A picture of the room where we spent our time scrapping

Caren and Jen - she is a friend of Caren who told us about this fun weekend!

Me working on my pages

OK - this is the cart with all of our STUFF on it! I told you it was a lot!

And finally - one of the scrapping Sisters!

So there you have it! A little about my favorite hobby - Scrapbooking! If you haven't already tried it, take a look at your local Michael's or AC Moore for all of the great products they have there to preserve your memories! Once you start you will become addicted! I promise!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Progress 3

Since it is Monday I will do a quick post with this past weeks progress of the house! It is going well and looking so great!!

FRONT VIEW. All framed and ready for the next step - windows and roof shingles!

Cool view of our soon-to-be front porch

Stairs going down to the basement

Back staircase in the family room. The main stairs in the foyer are not up yet but we were so excited to see these stairs. WOW!! It was incredible to see the upstairs!

View from the top of the back stairs - looking into the family room.

And a view of our bathtub in our master bath!! YAY!!
Stay tuned for more and more updates!! Thanks for looking!

Today is a special day!


Today is Matt's 35th birthday! We wanted to make a special post in tribute to the wonderful husband and Daddy that he is! He is the most amazing and thoughtful man in the world. He works so hard for us. He is always there for us when we need him. He is the BEST Daddy to Lily and always comes home to play with her and do special things with her.

So, Matt-Daddy ~ Thank you for everything that you do for us!

Our day is rather busy with Matt working of course and a house showing this evening so I am busy cleaning once again. Needless to say there won't be too much celebrating today. We did celebrate last night though. Lily and I made a special "Lily safe" cake for him while he was at his basketball game. We had a little party and sang Happy Birthday after dinner. Lily LOVED it! She was running around hugging Daddy saying "It's your birthday Daddy!!" So cute. She was really excited over it!
Here are some pictures of last night.

Mixing up the cake

Taste test of the icing

Singing "Happy Birthday"!

Eating cake!! YUM!! This is Lily safe - for those who don't know, Lily has a milk allergy so it is hard to find yummy kinds of treats that are safe for her!!

And finally a kiss from the birthday boy!!

It was a fun night. Daddy - we hope you are having a happy birthday!! See you tonight!