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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Our biannual big night out.

For the fifth year running, we have attended the Elfinwild Lions Club spaghetti dinner without fail. It's held twice a year, in the fall and in the spring. We look forward to the event with great anticipation, and once it's over, we count the days until the next one. Kinda like Christmas.

The meal comes complete with salad, breadstick, and your choice of dessert. And do they have an impressive dessert table! Mark had Boston cream pie, I had a version of Boston cream pie, except it was topped with strawberries instead of chocolate, and Great Grandma Gert had sugar-free lemon poppy seed cake.

"No sugar!" proclaims diabetic grandma.

And what of Lauren? Well, although this was her 4th spaghetti dinner, she wasn't very happy to be there. She sat Daddy's lap the entire time and wouldn't even take off her coat, well enough eat any spaghetti.

However, after she ate a sugar cookie, the basement of Elfinwild Presbyterian Church became a rockin' place to be.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

After work.

If I beat Mark and Lauren home from work, the first thing that I do is let Daisy out. After taking care of business, she immediately starts running around the yard at full speed. Like a greyhound. No, a gazelle. It's the one of the funniest, most wonderful things to watch. I never get tired of it.

See what I mean?

Some children pick flowers for their mothers. My child brings me acorns.

Can you believe that she's going to be two? We were reading Peanuts books tonight, and she said "Curse you Red Baron!" How cool is that?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Caution: Tourist Photos Ahead.

By most standards, my visit to Boston went as well as one can expect from a business trip. We flew up on Jetblue, which despite its recent problems, was actually quite awesome. Yes, I flew coach in the last row of the plane next to a set of one year old twins, but I had a window seat, my choice of snacks (I opted for the Blue Potato chips - must find these at the store), and 40 plus channels of Direct TV to enjoy.

And as always with traveling on business, we ate like kings. The first night I had lump crab cakes at Legal Seafoods; the second night we ate at Venezia where I had filet, very tasty risotto, and cannoli for dessert. For lunch on the last day, we slummed it and ate burgers at Henry's Root Beer Stand.

I won't bore everyone with the details of the business that was conducted. Most of our time was spent in Quincy, but luckily, we were able to wrap things up early and catch some sights in the city before flying home.

Here are just a few highlights. All of the photos taken on my 2 hour or so visit can be seen here. If you know Boston, I can assure you that no new territory is covered. However, as a holder of a BA in Political Science, I found Boston absolutely thrilling. It must be awesome to go to work everyday surrounded by so much history.

We actually started from the middle of the Freedom Trail at Faneuil Hall and went backwards towards Boston Common. I have to say that I just loved the concept of the Freedom Trail and feel that every city should have one. Although we had no idea where we were going, we never worried about getting lost because we could just follow the red line back to where we came from. It was sure better than leaving a trail of popcorn.

I took this photo of the Old State House while standing on the site of the Boston Massacre. Very awe inspiring, despite the fact that traffic is whizzing around the divider where the site is marked.

Anyone who knows me will understand why I took these photos. My new goal in life is to own a Thomas Pink shirt.

Cool sandwich board stationed in front of the Old South Meeting House.

The co-workers that I was traveling with were probably a little disturbed my display of glee at the burying grounds. I couldn't help it - it was fascinating! I have never smelled something as old as the King's Chapel Burying Grounds. And I must have good taste in tomb stones because I found out after the fact that this one depicting Father Time battling the Grim Reaper is noted as the most beautiful found at King's Chapel:

Our last and my favorite stop was the Granary Burying Ground, where most of the notables of the American Revolution, such as Paul Revere, John Hancock and Samuel Adams are laid to rest. What's especially interesting is that such hallowed ground is surrounded by office buildings. You could literally look out a window and be facing someone's head stone. All I see from my office building is a parking lot.

And that concludes the tour. As for souvenirs, I only brought back these photos for myself. Lauren received the most adorable pink Boston Red Sox cap (which she refuses to wear), while Mark received some Boston Nut Roaster nuts, which he devoured upon my return. Hopefully, all three of us will get to enjoy Boston together some day.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

April shower.

Beth's shower was a success. The party was held at the Holiday Inn in Monroeville, but since Mark and I had to pick up the cake on the North Side, we ended up getting stuck in traffic for 45 minutes on the Parkway East. I thought for sure we were going to be late, but in the end, we were the first ones to arrive. Go figure.

Here are a few more highlights. All the photos from the event can be seen here.

The cake was made by a women that works at my company who runs a bakery business on the side. She makes the most amazing cakes!

Beth received so many cute outfits. Sort of makes me want a boy too - hee!

Like Lauren, this baby will be lucky enough to have two great grandmas!

Speaking of Lauren, she made a guest appearance. Note the blue icing on the corners of her mouth. Wonder where that came from, hmm?

Lastly, Dad-to-be Mike couldn't miss a second of the Pens playoff game, so when he arrived at the end of the shower, he came with a portable television in tow. He was relieved to learn that the hospital's birthing rooms are indeed equipped with cable.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sneak peak.

Here's a look at the favor's for Beth's shower. The Lifesaver ones were super easy! I'll definitely make those again.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Although I've been back from Boston since late Wednesday night, it's taking me a couple of days to get settled back into my routine. I have many more photos from my trip to share, but my focus right now is my sister-in-law Beth's baby shower, which is tomorrow. Expect more about that event this weekend, and then the run down of the Boston visit at the beginning of next week. And after that, we'll be back to our usual sturm and drang of daily life.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Images of Easter past.

It never occurred to me before, but boy, is this photo a little gem. I don't have any photos of me as a child sitting on Santa's lap, but I do have this in all it's technocolor glory. It was taken sometime in either 1975 or 1976 at the Monroeville Mall. I figure that I had to be a least three years old, because I have a vague recollection of going to see the Easter bunny. I will consult with parents when I see them tomorrow. If I ever have time to make a scrapbook of my childhood or of just favorite photos, this will definitely be included.

Here I am sometime in the mid-1990's dying eggs the night before Easter with my grandpap. Anyone in my family will attest that my grandfather was a master at dying Easter eggs. As you can see, he is instructing me the proper way to blow the dye so that it swirls in the bowl just right. A classic family moment.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Spring is here, well at least until tomorrow. Then it's supposed to be in the 30's for the next 4 days. I'm so disappointed because I was really looking forward to taking Easter photos of Lauren outside. She's even invited to an Easter egg hunt on Friday, but how can you hunt for eggs in the snow? Unbelievable.

For the second day in a row, I arrived home from work extremely stressed out. So I just meandered around the yard and took photos until Mark and Lauren came home. It was very relaxing.

At the top of the page is one of our resident fat squirrels. With seven oak trees worth of acorns at their disposal, they don't want for much.

We also have a lot of daffodils:

And a flowering tree that the bumblebees really like:

I just have to keep in mind that like spring flowers, the stuff that's causing me stress is just as fleeting.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Scrapbook: A Tale of Two Litas

I've had this idea for some time now, so this page came together really quickly for me. After I used red card stock and multiple embellishments on my last page, I reverted back to my comfort zone of white card stock and stickers. I guess you can't always walk on the wild side. I did ink the stickers, so maybe there is hope for me yet.

Paper and stickers came from Chatterbox's Greenhouse kit. Chatterbox is hands down my favorite scrapbooking company. In fact, I've used their patterned paper on three of the four pages that I've shown here.

Journaling reads: It was the best of times, it was, well, pretty darn good times. On July 4th, 2005, your great aunt Phyllis gave you two adorable dolls called “pew babies”. You were too little to play with them, so we put them away until you were about a year old, when Daddy gave one to you to cuddle. We even gave them names, Lulubelle and Carlita, but to you they both became “’lita” (Or “dita”, since you can’t pronounce “l”). You and the Litas are inseparable. When you are upset about something, you'll call out for her as if she's going to spring into action and save you! One good friend is hard to find, Lauren, but you’re lucky to have two!