"Watching the whole world wind around and round, I'll be coming home next year..."

So, being 12:54am, it is officially the last day of 2008.

Thank frickin' God!

It's been SUCH a year of ups and downs that now, with the last 23 hours of the year to go, I find myself almost dizzy from it all. I have come out on the other end of this year so changed, such a different person with different views of the world, I wonder if I am anything close to the person who started this year.

My most fun moment of 2008, without a doubt, was my sister Marla's wedding to Steve! I say that because I was too spazed out to truly let loose and have fun at my own wedding! Being the spectator at a wedding, instead of the main event, is WAY more fun! I imagine that the next time I will feel that way, I will be watching one of my own children get married! I am old enough to remember every moment of Marla's illness as a child, and to know how far she's come and how blessed she is to be here...seeing her get married was amazing! And after she got married, I got drunk off my butt and had a great time dancing and laughing all night!!

Of course, my own wedding was the happiest day of my life, if not the least stressful! Which is no shock- I am way to anal and bossy to have not been stressed out by my wedding! The whole day was a blur of flowers and tealights and many, many little kids in their finery! It's looking at the amazing pictures that Michelle Bottalico took that really let me reflect on the day- the day that Pete and I promised to give each other the best (and worst!) of ourselves. And poor Pete, he has seen enough of the worst in the first five months to last him a loooooong time- and it's just the start! But, I also know deep down that it's also the start of what I can only pray will be a lifetime of good. We drive each other in-SANE sometimes, and there could not be a better match for me! If I may wax romantic for a moment, and I swear this is not a lie, I knew there was something between us the moment I laid eyes on him, sitting at my desk at work at good ol' Archway! The moment we spoke, I knew we would be friends forever, and not long after that, that "I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him" (ahem. Twilight reference). He loves me for me and despite who I am sometimes, and I could not ask for more.

And by the way, I was scared to DEATH while I was being lifted in that chair! It was by far one of the more terrifying experiences in my life! I really was wishing I had not decided on a thousand pound wedding dress made of slippery satin right about then!

My wedding, of course, was also the day my circle of sister expanded from one to three. I could not have wished for better women to be surrounded by, both birth and in-law, and it has never been more apparent to me then this year. I have watched with awe as my sisters have lived their lives with more strength, grace, bravery and dignity then I have ever seen. And that's not to say that I also haven't watched them become addicted to their Blackberries, be the skinny girl in the naked dress, or run across the room to fart on someone. My sisters are human extraordinaire, and extraordinarily human- among the best humans I know and I am so lucky to have them.

But with joy and luck sometimes comes sorrow. The people I love fought alot of battles this year- Bob, Uncle George, and my dad all fought cancer, and while it was so scary, all three were able to beat it. My sister continues to struggle with lupus, and watching her feel so teribly hurts so much, although I know she will get through it. Even through the most frightening of times, the people I love have continued to show what their made of- tougher stuff then the scary!

Oh, but Greg. We lost Greg this year. At this time last year, it was all just starting. We knew he had a brain tumor, but he had survived one before- none of knew yet the extent of what has happening inside of him. Pete and I spent our last New Years Eve as single people with Shelly, Greg, and their beautiful girls, having a wonderful time and not hampered at all by Greg's eyepatch and slightly hampered gait. By the time our wedding came 7 months later, Greg had to use a walker to get around, and a few days more then three months after that, he was gone. In some ways, the aftermath of his passing has been worse then watching his illness- at least he was alive and with us somehow. It never occurs to you that the days with the people you love could be numbered, and that it could be your days without them that might be forever. And I know I have blogged endlessly about this- trying to make heads or tails of this horrible, horrible thing. I have come to the realization that it will never make any sense, and that all I can do is remember Greg forever, and keep my eye and my heart on Shelly and their girls.

So with 2009 just a few hours away, what do I want from this year? I won't even try to hope to understand the sad times that I will trip over, so matter how hard I try to stay on my feet. I think they just come to everyone, and as much as they scar you, you eventually learn to wear your battle wounds with pride. I hope that 2009 will bring Pete and I the blessings and beginnings of a family of our own, and the money to be able to afford it! I hope the people I love experience all of the joy and hope and promise that a new year has to offer.

Here's to 2009, and I wish anyone who might somehow stumble across this blog the most wonderful of New Years!

A Quick 7 Things

So, my friend and favorite Wednesday Dance Date Michelle made a list of her Top 7's! In the name of fun and procrastinating doing laundry, I thought I would play along! It's too gross outside to do anything but curl up on the couch anyway!

(drumroll please)

My 7 favorite actors/actresses:
1. Tom Hanks
2. Denzel Washington
3. Julia Roberts
4. Paul Newman
5. Laura Linney
6. Steve Carell
7. Jamie Pressly

My 7 favorite movies:
1. A League of Their Own
2. Remember the Titans
3. Slap Shot
4. The Muppets Take Manhattan
5. The South Park Movie
6. Princess Bride
7. Mystery, Alaska

My 7 favorite tv shows:
1. The Colbert Report
2. The Office
3. My Name is Earl
4. What Not To Wear
5. 30 Rock
6. Today Show
7. Pretty much any piece of crap show VH1 puts on!

My 7 favorite musicians:
1. Elton John
2. Sarah McLachlan
3. Tori Amos
4. Jackson 5
5. Foo Fighters
6. Barenaked Ladies
7. Live

My 7 favorite things to read: (oh, good Lord, this is tough!)
1. Anne of Green Gables series
2. The Stand
3. The Kite Runner
4. Magazines!
5. The Lovely Bones
6. Beat the Turtle Drum
7. Are You There Vodka, It's Me, Chelsea

My 7 favorite stores:
1. Wegmans
2. Target
3. Barnes and Noble
4. Old Navy
5. AC Moore/Michaels
6. The Container Store
7. Crate and Barrel

My 7 favorite flowers:
1. Roses
2. Freesia
3. Daisy
4. Tulips
5. Sunflowers
6. I don't know that they are called, but they grow on bushes in big clumps and have small blooms!
7. Dandilions (shut up, it's a flower I say!!)

My 7 favorite indulgences:
1. Sleeping in
2. Spending money on books
3. reading gossip magazines
4. Cheese-Its
5. watching TV that's bad for my brain (ie, Rock of Love Girls Charm School)
6. texting
7. drinking horribly fattening coffee drinks while chatting with Pete/Marla/a good friend

My 7 Goals for the Future:
1. spend more time with Pete/Marla/my amazing friend and family
2. get my stupid landlord to fix the electrical problem in the living room so I can...
3. buy living room furniture and paint!
4. go back to school
5. go back to music/ seeing friends/ hobbies/ volunteering and having a real life that makes me feel happy, healthy and worthwhile
6. have a baby and be a good mother
7. read more books, learn more things, see more places

"Who can say that I've been changed for the better..."

So I have done the dishes and cleaned our bathroom (which had become fully grody), so I feel justified in journaling! I have done my share!

Thankfully, tomorrow is Thursday and the week is drawing to a close! This has been one of those weeks where I feel like I MUST be on an episode of Punk'd and not really living my life! This morning, I got to work and there was NO HEAT! Ugh. I was not amused, although I remain truly thankful to the lovely young man who shuffled his schedule around to come fix the heater today (and what was wrong with it was SO stupid, even I was astounded)!

And it's not just me! My sister has one new home and zero working refrigerators! So she has a gorgeous new house that she can't keep perishable foods in! It's been a streak of not what I would call bad luck, just alot of random weirdness.

Weirdness is not what I need right now! The house that I work at is being renovated, and the near constant state of disaray has gotten to me! I know that must sound stupid, but imagine your office or wherever you work. Now imagine it filled with dust from drywall, the smell of wallpaper remover, paint, and other stuff floating through the air. Imagine all of the stuff from one room crammed into another, with the original stuff from that room shoved aside to make room, and that's to say nothing of the stuff piled in random places! There has been a near-constant din of banging, scraping, pounding, yelling, music, buzzsaws, etc. The things you put away one day are shoved someplace else the next. And, your office mates are tired and just plain off from all of the chaos!

I know I am totally just bitching and moaning, and I know for sure that it could be alot worse! But, either way, I am counting the days until next week when I have an extended vacation!

I know that I myself have been off lately. Part of the reason is that I have terrible insomnia- when the weather is up and down like this I don't sleep, don't ask me why! Until the weather settles, I'm awake! It's been a week of early mornings at work, and to top it all off I am back on Weight Watchers and trying hard this time to stay on the wagon and get in shape. Which also means trips to the gym! I am hoping that improving my outside a bit will do some subsequent repair work to my insides, which have seen better days!

There HAVE been a few pluses to this week so far though:

1. Anna asking me "Breezy, can we listen to Linkin Park?" Linkin Park? Is this kid serious??

2. Finding some awesome gifty buys at Crate and Barrel! I love that place!

3. Going into The Container Store and not spending any money!!!

4. A nice, long shopping excursion to Wegman's, and the fully stocked kitchen that trip yielded!

5. Even though it was not appropriate laughter, having fully hysterics of that story about the people with the kid named Aldolf Hitler, and his sister, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation!!!! Seriously?

6. Being able to go to bed knowing that my bathroom is clean!

Night all!

"Your windows, open wide, your innocence takes flight..."

It's a quiet, early morning for me, as I am at work but the chickadees are still asleep! It's one of those weird, usually warm December mornings that I can never decide if I like- sometimes, I feel like if it's supposed to be cold, then it should be cold. None of this random warmth!

So it's the Monday after what was a relatively busy weekend for me! It all started off Saturday with a birthday party for Thomas at the ever-lovely Chuck E Cheese! Thankfully, it was so insanely crowded and the kids all seemed to have a BLAST! I remember Thomas's arrival three years ago, bringing some much-needed testosterone to a brood of three girls! Of course, since then, there's been the addition of James! Much of the birthday brood was Baus kids- all five of them!

And even better...Eric is home! After a second long tour in Iraq serving as a major with the US Army, Eric is finally, thankfully, safe at home! It was so good to see him- we haven't seen Eric since Pete and I's engagement party in 2007! And since he'll be home for a while with his new assignment, we can all rest a little easier! It's such a weight on your heart to have a loved one fighting overseas, as so many thousands of people know. Having Eric home filled in a missing piece.

Of course, it was hard not to notice that not everyone was there- I found myself missing Greg even more. I look at my sister-in-law getting through the days and just continue to marvel at her and how she holds it together for their girls. But with Eric home, it's hard not to be flooded with selfishness and want everyone to be home. And Greg is never coming back.

Thankfully, I had a nice long car ride to cry it out after the party, since I went to Marla and Steve's NEW HOUSE!!!!!!!!!! It's just gorgeous and all new and shinny and full of potential! And so a few of Marla's favorite wine glasses got broken, and so the fridge does not work (I spent 2 hours on the phone with Sears trying to work that one out!). It was fun to think of all of the exciting things their new home holds for them! We already found an awesome place that delivers really yummy food, so that's one thing down!! I am looking forward to all of the fun times the house will bring, and can't wait until Pete and I have our own place!

We were all too tired and retarded to take some good pictures of the house, but for now, please enjoy this picture of the towel bird I made out of their new towels! I felt like practicing some of the skills I acquired on our honeymoon!

"Today is the greatest day I've ever known..."

Tonight, my husband went out into the rain to bring his cranky, miserable wife Chinese food, and then went again into the rain to get her Ben 'n Jerry's(no not pregnant. PMSing.)! Then he sat through a rerun of The Colbert Report, even though it annoys him, because it's his cranky wife's favorite show (it was really funny!)! He was even nice to her cat, and he seemed to be happy to be doing all of it!

Some junk food, some belly laughs from Colbert, and a husband who shared it all with me.

Yay Thursday!

Please enjoy this clip from said episode of The Colbert Report:

"And I hate, and I hate...the way I'm left here silent..."


It's so nice to be on my couch futon, with my cat next to me, and gossip TV on the tube! The only thing missing is Pete, which would make it perfect, but he's out making a living!

Today was a fairly pleasant day! Anna and I were able to escape the noise of the house being renovated to meet with my sister and have lunch! Marla's longtime friend Sean joined us, so Anna had a new cute boy to flirt with and was in her glory! Lately, Anna has been into cars, so this exchange went down:

Brie: Oh, Anna, Sean drives an Audi!

Anna: Oh, I love Audi's! They go ZOOM!


But a Porsche goes faster!

Good Lord, can you believe this kid? She is something else! She keeps me on my toes for sure!!

But, for now, my toes are snug in their Uggs and my cat is curled up next to me! I've always joked that I am not good at being alone with my thoughts, and with Pete at work and nobody to talk to, my mind has been running lately! Yay for technology that brought us blogs to babble on (although my pity to anyone who dares to try and make their way through this tedium!).

One thing running through my thoughts is what a BIG GIANT HEIFER I have become! I have gained 50 pounds since I graduated high school in 1995...and that is all without the benefit of children, or even maybe one of those phantom twins that people find growing in their colons or whatever. And the past few months have been the worst- I have let my emotions eat me into oblivion! I went from someone who was always a size 2 to someone who gained enough weight to look healthy instead of skinny. And then sometime after that...it just got out of control! My size 8 clothes are pretty much cutting off the flow of blood to my brain at this point!! UGH!!

So many things have happened this year, so many changes, both good and horribly bad. Now that 2008 is coming to a close, I want to come out of it with something positive on my side. I finally realize that I can't control the things that happen to other people, no matter how much I want to. But I can control me and make sure that I am happy, healthy, in control of my life and my happiness and my future.

And I know this is a tall order- let's face it, my follow through has a terrible track record. But I really, really want to make a difference, and for once, I really want to make it for myself! And for once, I hope this is not just the fleeting wish of someone alone with her thoughts.

"Everybody look around, 'cause there's a reason to rejoice you see..."

So I am feeling a little less bleakly introspective then I was yesterday- must have been that second helping of Edward Cullen I got last night with Wynne and Michelle!

Now I am feeling more cold then cranky- the heat at the girls house is not working well, so us little chickens are freezing our wings off here! I am forgoing my usual regimented schedule to let the gals sit on the couch under blankets and watch TV! Besides, the house is still being remodeled, so the banging and other noise is turning me into a very lax nanny! I think that maybe tomorrow I will whisk the chickadees away to my house!

I did get a couple pieces of good news today! The first is that my sister Marla and her husband Steve will be able to make settlement on their new house this weekend even though they have not sold/rented out their condo yet! It was really getting down to the wire, but some good advice from their mortgage advisor helped them get everything settled! They were really afraid they might lose the house!

The second piece of good news is that my cousin-in-law Jen, her husband Eric, and their brood of 5 kids (Gabby, Kay, Dani, Thomas, and James) will be moving from the very far away Kentucky to the much closer Rhode Island! Eric, who is an Army Major and recently came home from his second stint in Iraq, was given the chance to earn his Masters degree at a military school. Only a handful of other soldiers in the country were given this chance, so we're all really proud of Eric and excited for him!

So, there should be one more piece of good news on the horizon, since things come in three's! Here's hoping!

"I'll get it all figured out when I'm out from under..."

Ahhhhh...and entire day off!

Working two jobs, I don't often get to enjoy an entire day off! Usually, the closest I get is working a half shift, but on this lovely Sunday, I have an entire day to myself!

Sadly, it really IS entirely too myself, since Pete is working today! Luckily, I have a date tonight with Wynne, Michelle, and Edward....sigh! I sucked the girls into the world of "Twilight" so tonight we'll be taking in the hotness that is Edward Cullen! Mmmm....Edward!

The past week or so has been busy, filled with work, shopping, and holiday fun! Thanksgiving was busy, but alot of fun! Usually, Pete and I spend all of Thanksgiving with my parents- since I'm Jewish and he's Catholic, it makes dividing up the holidays easy-peasy, as my parents get Thanksgiving and his get Christmas! This year, we did dinner with my parents and desert with Pete's. My family dinner was small, it was juts my mother and father, Marla and Steve, and Pete and I. My Mom-mom was supposed to come too but she wasn't feeling well. :-( We had a good time stuffing our faces, then it was off to dessert at Pete's parents, where your pie comes with a side of kids running all over the place!

Thanksgiving was not without it's trickiness, as it also would have been Greg's 37th birthday. Really. It kind of seemed like a cruel joke, but there was a part of me that thought the twisted side of Greg would have thought it was kind of funny. The rest of us though, could not help but be sad thinking about it. Shel and his gals had a little birthday celebration for him, so he's still with us in some kind of way. This time of year is a hard time to be missing anyone though. Hopefully, he knows just how much he is in our hearts.

There was alot of joy Thanksgiving weekend for my family as we all gathered to see my beautiful cousin Samantha marry her longtime boyfriend Josh! She looked soooooo amazing, her dress was absolute perfection eclipsed only by her face, which looked soooooo happy! And while the dynamic of my sometimes...uh...interesting family made for alot of fun, the wedding was awesome and we had such a good time! I especially enjoyed talking with my cousin Leah, who is 15 and just a spectacular kid! Be on the lookout for her!

I am trying to hold on to the lightness of things like Sami's wedding and Edward Cullen- sometimes it is so easy to let myself sink. I have been feeling like I am clinging to the edge of a river, and the people I love are being swept away. I can't swim well enough to save them, and I don't even have anything I can throw out to help save them. And yeah, I'm "okay" since I'm at the river's edge, but I feel bad for being safe, and also like I could be the next one in.

Uh, I don't even know what I'm saying, really. I think it's time to stop blogging, since I am not even sure how I went off on this tangent.


"Your unexpected love provides my solitary's suicide..."

I am so sad that this weekend is over that I can barely type!

It was SUCH a fun weekend and so unusual for me, mainly in that I did not work and got to see friends and family like a normal person! And now, on Monday, I am feeling more chipper them I have felt in a long time. Maybe this means something...

Friday started off the festivities, as I got to have a girls night with my sisters- birth and law- to have dinner and see the movie "Twilight". We decided to really geek it up with matching tee-shirts (Marla did not partake, she was not up for the crowds so she only stayed for dinner and I'm going to take her to see it after she reads the book) along with the other teeny-boppers! Dinner was a blast- I even had a beer! It's always so much fun to hang out with the gals that I love, and it's no secret that I have been extremely blessed in the sisters I have ended up with! It's not like you get to choose what kind of siblings your mom is going to pop out or you marry in to! But we all know that Marla and I share a brain, and sometime I think that Shelly and Ann Marie are my REAL soulmates and Pete was just the hot guy that came with them! ;-) Ann Marie even provided the party favors- Vampire wine for everyone! How funny is that- I can't believe that they even make that, although I don't think it has anything to do with Twilight!

Anyway, the movie was AWESOME! I am one of those picky people who usually hates the movie version of the book- they never stay true enough to make me happy, which is why I have never been super happy with any of the Harry Potter movies. This one, they pretty much hit on the nose, and the liberties they did take did not stray too far from the book. Robert Pattinson, who played Edward Cullen...um, yeah. I'll take two, please. If you have read the book, you can imagine how hard it would be to cast someone as "perfect" as Edward, but they really nailed it here! I love movies that just kind of make you want to live inside the screen and be friends with all of the characters!

That was my Friday, Saturday we had a super busy day! That afternoon was the Annaprashana, or first rice ceremony for my good friend Amanda's daughter Salina! It was such a fun afternoon, not only did I get to see Amanda, her husband Arjun, and her beautiful kids Dylan and Salina, I got to reconnect with some other friends as well! It's so much fun to have an Indian friend- I love going to Arjun's families parties, his family is soooo sweet, and the food is always amazing! :-) It was also nice because I got to spend the day with Pete- we had a lazy morning together, then got to spend some quality time during the drive up and back. We get so little time together, so it was nice to have lots of time to just be us for a bit!

That night, we met up with my sister and her husband Steve to have dinner and then catch Craig Robinson from "The Office" in a show at Helium Comedy Club! We started with dinner at Cork in Westmont, right on Haddon Ave. The meal was FAB, I had this amazing seafood pot pie, it was the perfect thing for a cold night! We all enjoyed some yummy drinks, too! Then we headed off to the club for what was probably the funniest show I have ever seen! Craig Robinson was a musician in his previous life, so we did a very musical show with lots of singing and piano playing- a little different from typical stand-up comedy, but SOOOO funny! Within ten minutes of the show, my jaw, face, and stomach hurt from laughing so hard! It was a BLAST, and of course, since I am such a huge fan of the show "The Office" we HAD to hang out and meet him!

Sunday I had my family over for breafast (minus Pete, he had to work. Foo.). It went much more smoothly then the last time, since I got drunk off my butt on mimosa's in my nervousness about cooking! I went to Wegman's and got some lox, bagels, fixings, and made bacon and hash browns! It was all so yummy and easy, so I was happy and relaxed! My sister and her husband Steve ended up hanging out all day! It was such a nice, relaxing day, we just hung out and chatted and played video games and ate, and Steve put together our bookshelf for us! Pete got home from work, we all had dinner together, and then it was off to an early bedtime for all of us!

This really was the perfect weekend! I need to make time for this type of thing more often!

"I feel good, it's a fine day, the way the sun hits off the runway..."

One of my favorite books is Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. It's a quirky, fun read about Rosenthals life and views, categorized into alphabetical order like, of course, an encyclopedia. I've passed it on to a few people who have all enjoyed it- sometimes, reading about someone alot like you, even if it's "not extraordinary", is just fun! One of the more geeky, very "me" high points in my life was getting an e-mail from Amy Rosenthal to a response I had contributed to the "Encyclopedia" website (because really, that's kind of cool!)!

One of her entries, under F, is the word Flahoolick. She uses this quote:

Flahoolick is an Irish word meaning openhanded, generous, expansive and oh much else....Anything can be flahoolick under certain conditions. Even water, supposing you were crawling on your hands and knees across the desert and in the broiling sun and came upon a waterfall though what it would be doing there we are not prepared to say. Lemon squash can be flahoolick if you are nine years old or inordinately fond of lemon squash. Draught beer is flahoolick; large linen napkins are flahoolick; long nightshirts are virtually always flahoolick. --Howard Gossage, advertising writer, 1917--1969

...and then goes on to explain "In the course of our daily generic routine, we seem programmed to seek out that which is flahoolick, to arm ourselves with flahoolick antibodies. Stopping for a cup of coffee on our way to work is an instant jolt of flahoolickness--and it goes beyond the caffeine: the tingle begins in the ordering of the coffee, the anticipation of the treat, the receiving, the way you feel walking out with the hot cardboard (crutch) in your hand. (Rosenthal)"

Here are the things I think are flahoolick:

*The secret language my sister Marla and I speak
*Laughing with my sisters
*the way the afternoon light makes the air glow
*when all the notes are pretty when I sing
*when I have been in Pete's arms and later, when we're apart, I can smell his scent on my skin
*hearing Anna sing Broadway songs she heard in my car
*getting real mail
*my obnoxious laugh
*watching Pete when he's talking with someone and really enjoying himself, he gets into a groove and looks so earnest!
*spending (lots of) money at Barnes and Noble, and reading the spoils of my spree!
*the general din created when all of my nieces and nephews are together
*opening gifts SLOOOOOOOOOWLY
*a PBG sandwich (Pete, Breezy and Gordie!)
*a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks
*Applebees nights with my girls
*sleeping late
*People and US Weekly magazines
*long showers
*using swear words
*my crazy, funny, weird, lovable family and friends

...and I am so thankful for ALL of it!

So, now, tell me. What do YOU think is flahoolick?

"...and what kind of God would serve this? We will cure this dirty old disease..."

I am happy to say that right now, I have a fully clean apartment! Even though I should have been resting instead of cleaning and that right now, I smell worse then I ever have in my life, I am happy to have clean, orderly surroundings! Our place has looked like a bomb hit it for well over a month now!

This was a busy weekend and an emotional weekend for all of us. My sister-in-law Shelly's school (she is a teacher) threw a Beef and Beer on Friday to benefit Shelly and Greg's daughters, who with Greg's loss are of course without a father, but on a practical level, are without his income (and had been for quite some time already throughout Greg's illness). Spearheaded by our awesome friend Bill, who also works with Shelly, he and their co-workers put on a fantastic night! The food was awesome, the beer was flowing, and the band, Friends, was SO cute and so much fun!!!

The next day, Greg's brothers Chris and Lou, along with their family, hosted another beef and beer (actually, it was more like buffalo wings and beer! Yum!) at a fun bar in Shamong called the Pic-a-Lilli Inn. It's a shame it's so far from us- it's a really fun place! There is the bar itself, but they also have a big outdoor area with a big screened-in bar! There was a huge crowd, and even though the ground was kind of wet and gross, everyone seemed to be having a good time! Sadly, they had to cancel the bonfire, since it was super-windy and nobody wanted to end up on the evening news talking about the forest fire in Shamong!

It was all to done to take care of Greg and Shelly's girls, and there was more love in those events then you would think possible (from most of the people, anyway. Meh. EXPECTRO PATRONUS!)Everyone was having fun and enjoying each other's company. The fact remains, though, that none of this would be going on if Greg was still with us, so it made all of the activities of the weekend a little bittersweet. Shelly's sweet, wonderful friend Kathy was missing Greg- he used to keep her company while Shelly and Kathy's husband Jeff would dance at events (neither Kathy nor Greg are dancers!). I kept thinking about how Greg and I would insult each other whenever there was a get-together (it's how the twisted interact, LOL!). Alot of us this weekend seemed to be thinking of the ways Greg filled the smaller spaces in our lives, and how they seem that much bigger without him. By the same token, the bigger spaces he filled- father, husband, son, brother, friend- seem cavernous.

While my heart is no longer carrying around the thousand-pound pain I felt when we first lost Greg, I am surprised to find that I can still feel the grief so sharply. Looking at mine and Pete's wedding pictures is difficult- it was one of the last times we were all together and having a good time! The main difference was that this weekend, thinking of Greg made me smile more often then it made me tear up (not that I will even pretend I didn't cry the whole way home on Friday night). This was an emotional weekend, but I am looking forward to putting myself back together and feeling like a person in the world again, instead of a person surrounded by sadness. I don't think Greg would want us to wallow- he used to be the first person to tell me that sometimes, things don't change, and that I had better either accept it or let myself turn into a person who can't move on.

I am not going to even pretend that I have been handling this well. I have been in a fog ever since Greg passed, and the only thing that's kept me afloat is knowing that I need to be there for my sisters, my nieces, and my friends, family and job. I look at Shelly and feel so weak, because without a reason to get out of bed, I could very well lie there all day, every day. I have never been good with sadness anyway, and I am one of those people who falls of the cliff, falls fast, and keeps falling. This weekend, though, was the last of the "events" surrounding Greg's death, and tomorrow, I want to start putting myself together, which is why I spent today cleaning our apartment like a psycho instead of resting.

So, wish me luck.

"You know it gets the better of me sometimes..."


So, someone who is gaining as much weight as quickly as I have been should not admit this, but...

Spinach Artichoke Dip from Applebees (while consumed with some of my favorite girls at the table with me) makes me SOOOOOO happy!

I got the surprise treat of getting out of work early, so I headed over to my sister Marla's, where she and Carmen were waiting! We went to see my sister's new house, which is scheduled to be done one month for today! We also went to look at the sample home, so we could get an idea of what it will look like when it's done! After we decided where the pole will go (!) we jetted off to Applebees. Sadly, a traffic jam nearly caused me to pee my pants- we got there just in time! Yikes!

After I relieved myself, we had a great time eating and laughing and enjoying the company of each other and our favorite server Brian! And even though I do not condone stuffing one's self with junk food to make yourself feel better...well, sometimes it's AWESOME to stuff yourself with junk food to make yourself feel better!

Now I am home in my boiling hot apartment (Pete jacked the heat up for some reason!!!) unwinding after a lovely evening. My belly is full of yummies and my heart is full of the sisters and friends I am so lucky to have. There's a little space in my heart tonight for another sister, and I am sending her all of the love I can muster tonight.

Goodnight all, it's bedtime!

"Step right up and visit ring number one! The show's just begun! Meet the President!"

It's early!

I agreed to come into work today super early so my employers could perform their civic duty and Rock the Vote, so I find myself with some quiet time to journal, as both of my girls are tucked up in their beds and the sun is just starting to peek out!

It's a pretty historic day for our country, as it's election day and we have an African-American presidential candidate and a female VP candidate! I feel like we're on the cusp of something big, no matter who is elected, although I certainly have my own hopes as to who that person will be! Sadly, when Pete and I exchanged vows, we promised to love, honor, cherish, and cancel out each others votes, as we have VERY different political views! The last presidential election, we didn't have civil conversation for a week, so this should be GOOD! Bickering aside though, it's actually one of the reasons I love him- he's passionate about the things he believes in! And I can't resist pushing his buttons, so it makes for alot of fun!

And that's my political commentary for today folks! Try not to take it in all at once lest you become overwhelmed!

It's already been a pretty busy week, and it's only Tuesday morning! I know that technically, Saturday was last week, but that was my nephew (I love saying that!) Robbie's first birthday! I can't believe he's already a year old! He's such a little love muffin and SOOOOOOO sweet! I remember every single thing about the day he was born- there was a little bit of a rough start! I didn't even get to see him that first day because he was in the NICU! A year ago, he was this little McNugget in an incubator and now he is this little hottie with the most adorable personality and sweet little face!

Sadly, his birthday shindig was preempted by a trip to the ER! What, he was waxing nostalgic for his birthplace or something??? But, he is fine and after the initial delay his costume party went off without a hitch! The kids were having a blast in their costumes, and I even managed to get dressed up. I put on a blonde wig, a crapload of make-up, a Tony Romo jersey, carried my fake Louis Vuitton, and went as Jessica Simpson. :-P

Sunday was the Race for Hope in Philadelphia! Marla, Carmen and I all walked together on a GORGEOUS fall day! It was a little chilly, but the colors along the Schuylkill River were spectacular, and seeing so many people together for such a good course was amazing! It was sobering, however, to see just how many people have been affected by brain tumors. I saw folks walking in memory of mothers, brothers, friends. I saw people wearing tee-shirts dedicated to a child lost to a brain tumor. It was almost enough to make you want to give up, until you looked out into the sea of people and saw tee shirts emblazoned with the best word ever- Survivor! In face, a very lovely man, himself a brain tumor survivor, took the picture of us you see here. I saw walkers with growing-in patches of hair, obviously shaved for a surgery or lost to chemo. But they were there and walking!

It was, of course, a little bittersweet. With every step I took I thought of Greg, Shelly, and their girls. It was hard not to feel a stab of jealousy when I saw a "survivor" tee. God, if Greg had been able to beat his tumor, I would have gotten him a "Survivor" tattoo! How did some people get to be so lucky and not Greg? Dangerous thoughts, I know. Going down that road is a sure way to the funny farm. Life is just not fair sometimes, and the number of memorial shirts I saw was a testament to that. Life is not fair.

Thankfully, though, there are little pockets of wonderful that take the edge off. Like thousands of people all walking on a beautiful fall day, fighting for the same cause. Like being blessed with sisters- by birth and by law- that you would lay down your life for. Like having a husband who may vote opposite you, but who also rubs your sore neck every time you ask! Like getting married and suddenly having not one, not two, but seven (twelve if you don't count technicalities)nieces and nephews who never cease to make your heart full! Having family and friends, a job that puts a roof over your head and Lean Cuisine in your freezer, an iPod filled with Broadway songs, Facebook flair, the invention of the blog, and my Coach bag. It's the big things and the little things, folks. It's what I have been holding to my heart to keep the darkness from taking it over. And I am so thankful for all of it.

Now, go vote!!!!!!

"I wait in the same spot, brain like a parking lot..."

Well, I never thought I'd live to see the day, but...

Congrats to our own Philadelphia Phillie's- 2008 World Series Champions!!

Now, unlike my very lucky husband, I did not get to see the game live. But I did get to have champagne poured on me at Connie's Mac's, so it's almost the same (and for the record, it figures- I NEVER manage to get out, but the one night I do, and decide to look cute, I get champagne all over my cute new sweater! But, it was for a good cause!)! And no matter where I was, it was an exciting week, wasn't it? You may not know this, but when I was in 3rd grade, I was obsessed with baseball and was convinced I was going to be the first female baseball player. Now, the only bases I run between are...well, nevermind all that. Either way, my birthplace has been waiting a very long time for a championship, and a parade, and a real, fun reason to celebrate! Hopefully, this will somehow turn things for the city around- who would want to let such a positive vibe go to waste?

Today is also Halloween, so a happy one to you! The streets of Oaklyn were full of little Trick-or-Treaters gleefully running from house to house! The ever-famous BFF's- Ellie, Sarah, Anna, Riley and Emi- had a fab time together and scored tons of candy!

One thing I noticed this year- there seemed to be two options in young girls costuming, princess or prosti-tot. Seriously. The costumes were insanely skimpy and...well...slutty. I was on slutty costume alert the whole time we were out Trick-or-Treating and saw WAAAAAAY more tween asscheek then I needed to see. Blercgh. All I know is, if I tried to walk out of the door like that, my mother would have dragged me back in before I felt the breeze of the screen door close.

Slutty costumes aside, my little Bride and Renaissance Girl had an awesome time and already are talking about next Halloween! I love seeing the friendship the girls have formed, it makes me so happy! And despite the bittersweet feel of this year's festivities- yes, the Phillie's are World Series Champs, we had a gorgeous fall day and the girls had a blast, but we didn't have Greg- it was hard to feel too sad when I saw Sarah triumphantly run towards her mom with a mini box of Jr. Mints (her fave!) clutched in her hand! Sometimes, it's the little things!

And now, it's off to bed for me!

"The bombs bursting in air..."

Well, we have one Phillie's win in the bag! How exciting to be in the World Series! I am hoping for a win,in particular for my husband and father-in-law, both die-hard Phillie's fans! I am not as into baseball as they are- I am more interested in the Philly Phanatic myself (he's hot!)!

One thing I need to mention though- Did anyone else feel the urge to move- to Canada, France, Iraq, anywhere!!- when they heard the Backstreet Boys rendition of our National Anthem? Good GOD, it was horrible!! It started out nice- they do have nice voices. But then, after "Oh say, can you see...." it took a disastrous turn. When people are allowed to sing The Star Spangled Banner this badly, the terrorists win, folks. There is only one Francis Scott FRICKIN' Key, people. Let's sing it the way God intended.

Try not to dry heave as you witness this disaster:

Now, Q-Tip all of that mess out of your ears and enjoy the patriotic stylings of a pre-crack Whitney Houston, singing one of my all time favorite renditions of the Star Spangled Banner:

"Hold on, hold on to yourself, for this is gonna hurt like hell..."

I am still feeling so scattered and random, so this entry may not make so much sense, but whatever! :-P It's not like I'm Stephen King here! Although a few of my thoughts today are a little scary...

How horrifying is this? As we all know, the weather has been much cooler, and in the mornings it's downright cold! On my way out the door this morning, I grabbed one of Pete's hoodie sweatshirts to throw on over my super-stylish pink sweatshirt! If Stacy and Clinton saw me, they would most likely skip the makeover and shoot me in the head to put me out of my misery.

Anyway, fast forward a bit to the bus stop, waiting for Ellie's bus to come. Despite my nine layers of sweatshirt and the coffee I was clutching, I was still cold, so I put the hood up on Pete's hoodie. Ahhhh....now my ears aren't cold anymore! Ellie's bus comes, we get her loaded on and walk to my car to get Anna off to school. I catch a glimpse of myself in my car window....and realize I look like the girl in the mirror in the Vagisil commercial!!! I am dressed like vaginal itch!!! Okay, seriously, I almost cried! Due to this horrifying experience, I will be going shopping for some cute outerwear and sweaters STAT!

But, it gets worse. I was looking for a picture of the lady in the gray hoodie from the commercial, and found this. Oh. My. God. If you are faint of heart, I beg you, don't click on that link!

Aside from that fashion disaster, everything else has been okay. It feels so strange to be returning to a routine after everything that has happened. I keep being startled by the fact that life does, indeed, go on. One thing my Marla and I (and anyone else who wants to join us) plan on doing is the Philadelphia Race for Hope to raise money for brain tumor research and patient services. Now that I have seen myself how devastating a brain tumor can be, I don't want this to happen to anybody else. If yo would like to make a donation in Greg's honor, you can visit my walk page by clicking here!

Shelly and Greg's family and friends are setting up a few benefits to raise money for Greg's daughters and to cover leftover medical expenses. If you would like to help by attending one of these events, donating an item for the Chinese Auction, or by simply making a donation to the family, just Email Me.

"I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason..."

A little randomness:

1. I am prone to random thoughts this week; I think my brain is still set on "Scramble". Yesterday, I took Anna to her ballet class a full 30 minutes early- and swore the whole time were were leaving that we were running late! Those of you who know me- and have seen my planner- know that I usually am highly organized when it comes to schedules. So, that little slip up annoyed me more then it would annoy most people, I am sure. I wanted to go across the street to Barnes and Noble to kill time until her class started, but Anna vetoed that idea. Instead, she was content to color a picture while she waited for class to start. In retrospect, she most likely saved me about 50 dollars. :-P

2. Our apartment is slowly starting to look less like a bomb shelter and more like a normal living space. It took me five hours and two washers and dryers going at once to catch up on all of the laundry- and it's only Pete and I! It looked like Jon and Kate + 8 had come in and worn all of our clothes.

3. Lately, if it doesn't move, I'll eat it. There's no way that this is a good trend.

4. I didn't watch the debate, and now I have no clue who Joe the Plumber is.

5. I am so happy that tomorrow is Friday that I can hardly stand it!

6. So, I have been on this whole "I-like-to-write-poetry" kick lately (the link to all of that fun is over there on the right somewhere). I have no idea where all of this rhyming angst came from...or, sometimes non-rhyming angst. Whatever. But, it's an outlet and you don't HAVE to read it (in fact, I'd recommend you don't if you enjoy keeping your dinner down). Usually, the extent of my creative writing consists of "There once was a man from Nantucket- type poems that I write about Pete, so at least this can be called progress!

7. I miss Shelly and the girls. I wish they were home. But then, I wish all of this had never happened. I wonder when we won't be sad anymore.

8. I can't imagine that I will be able to sit and blog anything but a bunch of jumbled thoughts for a long, long time.

"But if he's all you say, would he fly from heaven to this world again..."

When I sit down to journal (the word "blog" annoys me for some reason) I usually have no trouble making the words flow from my brain to the keyboard. And I think the words are there now, but it's just so clogged up in my head that there is no flow. Or, maybe my heart is just weighing down my fingers.

It's been one week today since we lost my brother-in-law Greg. Every night, I have sat down at my keyboard, waiting for all of the feelings and memories and grief to come pouring out in so many letters and words. Why would there be nothing to say when I just lost such a good friend, when three little girls lost their father, when my amazing sister-in-law lost her husband?

Here's what I can say:

Greg had alot of people who loved him and will miss him. He was quiet and laid back, but dependable in the best of ways. He ADORED his daughters, and his not being here to be in the endless pictures Shelly always takes, or to help blow their hair dry at night is an absolute tragedy, even though I know he will always be with them. He was the Yin to Shelly's Yang, the calming presence to her speediness, and looked out for her in such a touching way. Greg really, REALLY loved his job and leaves an almost impossible-to-fill hole in his absence. He was also really GOOD at his job. He could have a twisted sense of humor, especially where his illness was concerned. He always, from the beginning, made me feel like he was rooting for Pete and I to work. His being a part of our wedding day will always be a part of my heart. He was a good friend, a great brother-in-law, a fantastic husband, and an amazing father.

Here's what I learned this week:

My sisters are made of steel, and nobody has ever shown more strength then my sister Shelly has shown through this whole ordeal. She took care of Greg with such tenderness and care, learning every single thing about his illness and needs. I learned that grief can hit you so hard sometimes, and make you feel like nothing in the world will ever be right again. I learned that the way children see the world is so amazing, and having them here is such a gift. I learned that if you are looking for movie quotes to use for a funeral, Monty Python quotes are entirely inappropriate! I learned that sometimes, even in times of need, some people rise to the occasion in ways you could never dream, and some people also fail in ways you could never dream. Some people, it turns out, really are dementors, and you had better have your patronus ready. I learned that sometimes, you don't get the miracles you wanted, and I learned that despite that, funny things will still make you laugh, a gorgeous fall day is still a treat, and a cake from Sweet Eats can serve as your panacea.

Here's what I pray for:

For God to watch over us all and help us through this, even though we will never understand it. To keep His hand over my amazing sisters, especially Shelly, and watch over Greg and Shelly's daughters. To welcome Greg into His arms, and to make sure He's holding all of our hands at the same time.

And here's the last thing I have to say tonight:

Today is Sunday, and I have cried every day since we lost Greg last Sunday. Maybe tomorrow, a memory of him will make me smile, instead of smile and cry. Today I miss him, but tomorrow, I might see a part of him in one of those beautiful daughters of his. Today, I feel like I will be sad forever, but maybe soon, it'll start to heal. Today I am so thankful for everything I have, for everyone who I love and for everyone who, for whatever reason, loves me back. And I know I will feel the exact same way about that tomorrow.

Bye Greg, thank you for everything. We love you, bud...

"Time will go, both of us know, never be a day without you..."

Of Oaklyn and formerly of Tabernacle, on October 5, 2008, age 36.
Husband of Shelly Trefz (nee Latini). Adoring Dad of Sarah,Riley & Emilia, son of Berry & Lou Trefz of Mystic Island, son-in law of Carl & Gerri Latini of Oaklyn. Brother of Lou (Teri) Trefz, Jr. of Lumberton and Chris (Wendee) Trefz of Shamong, brother-in law of Carl (Ann Marie) Latini of Oaklyn and Pete (Brie) Latini of Collingswood, additionally survived by many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
Greg grew up in Tabernacle & lived in Oaklyn the last 7 years. A member of the Shawnee High School Classof '90, Greg received a Degree in Social Sciences from the Univ. of Southern Colorado. Mr. Trefz was a Certified School Social Worker employed at Archway in Atco the last 11 years, and presently serving as the Dean of Students.
Viewing Wednesday 7:00 to 9:00 PM in BLAKE-DOYLE FUNERAL HOME, 226 Collings Ave., Collingswood.Funeral Thursday 9:30 AM at the FUNERAL HOME, SERVICES at 1100 AM.
The family respectfully suggests memorial contributions to Trefz Children Education Fund, c/o 111 Woodlynne Terrace, Oaklyn, NJ 08107.

"Goodnight, my angel, time to close your eyes..."

Here I am sitting in my kitchen during the first few minutes of Saturday, waiting for my husband to come home from work.

I was actually able to enjoy a really nice evening tonight- a good cap to what was kind of a weird week. I can't put my finger on what made it weird exactly. In fact, there were quite a number of highlights, including two playdates with my friend Michelle and her girls (one planned, one lucky coincidence!), a meeting at my other job that gave me the chance to catch up with work friends, lunch with one sister in law and breakfast with the other, and a nice, relaxing TV night with Pete! But, this week I had a few very early mornings at work and in general just felt kind of...blegh.

Tonight I spent a nice night with my friend Tiffany, just catching up, since we don't see each other as much as we used to. And now here I am, in my kitchen with Gordie purring on my lap as I try to type!

Ahhh....one of my favorite sounds...the sound of Pete's car pulling into the driveway!


"You can't stop the avalanche as it races down the hill..."

Some random things while I wait for Pete to come watch "Heroes" with me (we had to DVR it because we could not watch it together on Monday night!!)

1. As I Twittered, I like to drink soda out of the fancy wine glasses we got for our wedding! I hate wine, I think it tastes like sour butt. The closest thing to wine I like to drink is Boone's Farm Wine, and I had to stop drinking that because...well, really, because nobody over the age of 21 actually drinks that dreck! So, what's a girl to do? I hate wine, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE our pretty etched Mikasa glasses! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Diet Coke. So, there you go!

2. Anna has really been into listening to Broadway music when she's in the car with me! She's learned pretty much all of the words to Legally Blonde, and now she's moved on to Hairspray! Every now and then I hear her singing "Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now" when she's playing with her Barbies and it's the funniest thing ever! It kind of makes me feel like I've made a difference to her world by giving her an appreciation of theatre! Maybe, now that she will be five (!) on her next birthday, I'll take Anna and Ellie to a stage show!

3. In the past month, I have torn through a huge stack of books, and spent WAY too much money at the brand-new Barnes and Noble that opened up in Cherry Hill! So far, the best thing I have read has been "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. It's the story of a professor from Carnegie Mellon University who specialized in virtual reality. He talks about achieving your childhood dreams, something he was able to do. And thank goodness he did, because his life was cut way too short. It made me want to change my way of existing to a way of really, really living. You can watch his last lecture on You Tube, and I think it will be the most positive 76 minutes you'll spend this week.

4. Just so you don't think it's all heaviness and life-changing literature I gravitate to, I'll also have you know that I read Tori Spellings bio, "sTori Telling". And I really enjoyed that one, too! :-)

5. Now it's time for Heroes!!! Yeeeee!!!!

"I was a baby when I learned to suck, but you have raised it to an art form..."


Why do you make me do it? Why do you make me have to go on (blogged) rants and say horrible words like "C. U. Next Tuesday", "psycho bitch" and "whore"?

This is a special message to people who continue to enrage me, to act as if they have a black abyss inside of their body, where there should be, oh, say, human organs! To the people who should know better, who have, in fact, been in a place so dark themselves that they should know first hand what it is like for others to be in the same place. But, I guess some people are so selfish and so disgusting and so truly horrible they will never see the way they are. I honestly just feel sorry for people like that.

I put a piece of poetry up on my creative writing blog, you can feel free to check it out, it's pretty much sums up the way I am feeling.

In the meantime, good luck with your life. Not that you know what you are missing, but you have been written off for good.

(And no, unless you already know who I am talking about, I can't tell you. This is just my passive-aggressive way of calling out people who need it! As if a bitch like me should judge anyway, LOL!!!)

"You may need me there to carry all your weight, but you're no burden I assure..."

It's Tuesday, and the week has already been an unbelieveable one!

Greg went back into the hospital on Sunday, when the visiting nurse that came to Greg and Shel's house, took his blood pressure and found it to be too high. So, off to the ER we went- straight to HUP this time, in the hopes that his neuro docs would be willing to re-evaluate him.

I can't go into too many details about our experience- mainly because there is only so often I can use the words "retards", "douchebags", and "useless". We were there from just before 5pm until after 3am, and it was a long night of questions, tests, chaos, and craziness. I do want to say however, that our ER nurse Megan was absolutely outstanding and our anchor. If it hadn't been for her, a horrible night would have been even worse. All I can say is that I do not think HUP is a very nice place. Greg is back as an inpatient now, and hopefully will be home is a few days. And, as usual, I can not help but marvel at the stregnth my sister Shel has shown. She may crack a bit, but she just slaps some spackle on it and keeps going. In the meantime though, please keep my family, who I love so much, in your prayers. They are constantly in mine.

The weather took a turn for the cooler this week- I think fall is finally on the way! My Uggs look out at me from my closet all summer, all sad and lonely! I think this is one of my favorite times of year. I love feeling the crispiness in the air and seeing the leaves start to get the first hints of color. Of course, this year the air has a melencholy feel to it, but it's still a reminder that the world keeps turning and always has so much to offer.

Things are sometimes so hard, and all anyone has are the people around them to get them through it. Sometimes, chaos and sadness can bring out the ugly in people. I know that sometimes, just being out of coffee can bring out the ugly in me, and make me take things out on the people I love when I don't mean to (mainly Pete!). It's so easy to point fingers and lay blame when things are not going the way you want them to. Hopefully, everyone can gain some perspective and be able to understand each other- probably a completely futile hope, but one I am hoping for just the same.

"I'll get right back to you once I get my disguise on"

Some randomness:

1. My amazing friend Mandy got married this weekend! I was lucky enough to be asked to be a bridemaids, and it was such a pleasure to share in Mandy and her new husband Taylor's day! The wedding was a blast, even though her adoreable dad Hanry didn't get to hear the Chicken Dance! Everyone had a great time and enjoyed being a part of Mandy and Taylor's love! And Mandy looked GORGEOUS!!! I think she would have worn her dress on the plane ride to their honeymoon if she could! I can relate- I didn't take my wedding dress off until 5am!! Even though it was hot and weighed a thousand pounds, taking it off meant the fairy tale of the day was over. And Mandy really was an absolute princess on her wedding day! I was so happy for her!

2. Greg is coming home from the hospital on Tuesday! He's been there for just under a month, since right before Pete and I got back from our honeymoon. He's changed so much from his illness- if Pete and I were getting married tomorrow, I don't think Greg would be able to walk down the aisle. It's always going to be a part of my heart that Greg- and EVERYONE we love- was there for our wedding day. Shelly continues to amaze me with how much strength she has shown, and our family continues to make me so proud of all the support they have shown. Ever since Greg drove me home from work one time and told me that Pete had fun on one of our early dates (That meant he was talking about me to his family!!!!!!) Greg's been a fave of mine- I always felt like he was rooting for us! And now that he's my brother-in-law...well, family is family. And I have been so blessed in mine. So just continue to pray for Greg's health and for Greg, Shelly and the girls to get through this.

3. I am trying to learn to cook! I made breakfast for my family a few Sunday's ago. Breakfast came out okay, but in my nervousness and frenzy of trying to cook, get everything to the table at the same time, I, uh, might have drank my mimosa a little too quickly. In other words, I got drunk off my ass. I'm a lightweight anyway, so a glass of champagne, even one mostly filled with OJ, is all I need. Ooops. But, I have been working on cooking SOBER and have had fun trying out some new things and planning meals!! Sigh. Leave it to me.

4. My good friend Kim and her husband Aaron- who was the winner of the Next Food NEtwork Star!- got some really exciting news!! Aaron's show, "Big Daddy's House", which had a six-show run as part of his deal as the winner of TNFNS, was picked up for another 13 episodes starting in January! We are all so proud of Aaron, and believe me when I tell you that this could not have happened to a better person and better family!

5. I am tired and ready to go to bed.

The End.

"It's just another manic Monday, I wish it was Sunday"

So, this has become my Monday evening ritual while Pete is doing fireman stuff.
I watch this:

And then, in order to cleanse my filthy soul of the smut of Gossip Girl, I watch this:

After all of that fun, I'll do some cleaning (tonight's project, the bathroom- how does that get so grody so fast?), give my cat some lovies and then head off to bed.

The only problem is that right now, I head off to bed by myself on Mondays. And, to be honest, most of the other days of the week. I don't know why I expected marriage to completely change things, but we are on completely different schedules. Our honeymoon feels like a THOUSAND years ago, not three weeks ago! And, of course, I know that it could be alot worse- my heart is so heavy with all of the sadness and hurt and worry and sickness surrounding the people that I care so much about. So I try to hang in there but sometimes it is SOOOOO lonely.

Thankfully, there are the few moments that we do get to spend that mean so much. So much has changed since I met Pete in 2000, but we still always end up cracking up with laughter when we talk, and that's something that hasn't changed from buddies to great friends all the way through husband and wife, and I hope it never does. It's difficult now, but we truly have so many blessings, and even hope to add more blessings in time.

Sometimes, it's hard for me to see my blessings without feeling so horrible, so guilty, that the people I love most in the world are battling the way they are. It's hard to see that underneath it all, there are still so many small blessings: the way the kids are all growing so fast and so brilliantly, the excitement of a new home on the horizon, career growth. Even the chance to learn just what kind of stuff you are made of, even if you feel like dandelion fluff- like a puff of wind would blow you to pieces. The people I know are so amazing and filled with strength and fire, and I am so, so lucky to know and love them.

So, while I'm not sure how my rundown of my Monday night ritual became a cleansing of my thoughts- I guess that's just where I am today. Now, it's off to hang with the Gosselin's and with the mystery fuzz that forms in my bathroom (which I think is a combo of cat fur and towel fluff, but really, what the hell is that all about?).

I bid you a good night.


"Vacation, all I ever wanted..."

I just thought I'd share some more honeymoon pics! On this week of everyone going back to school, I thought it might be fun to think back to our vacation!

This was the lobby of the resort! It was all open air and had a huge staircase that lead down to the main area, where you could set up trips, visit the bar(s), and have meals at some of the restaurants! We were greeted with a glass of champagne as soon as we got off the bus!

Our room! It was humongo!!

Sometimes you just need to show off your coconuts!

It's a Giant Chess Board!

We took alot of pictures of ourselves!

...and lots of pics of the creepy crawlies we saw! This guy was one of my favorites! I put our room key (the size of a credit card) down next to him to show how teeny he was! I have no idea how this little guy made it all the way to the third floor!

We took tons of pictures of the gorgeous Dominican beach, where we spent many hours relaxing, swimming, talking, and enjoying many frosty beverages!

We got to meet so many fun people on our trip, like fellow newlyweds Mike and Jen and Marc and his fun family who were in from England!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Pete and I, taken after we walked back from our romantic dinner on the beach. After this, we headed back to our room, got undressed and into bed...and flipped on the TV so we could watch Michael Phelps win his eighth gold medal, LOL!! I guess we're sports fans even on our honeymoon!

And this is how we felt when it was time to go home:

All in all, it was an amazing trip and we had the time of our lives! It's back to the real world now- of work and school and laundry and not seeing each other as much as we would like. But with the blessing of God and a little bit of luck, we have a lifetime together to experience so many more things together!

"At last, my love has come along..."

Love, thy name is Coach.

Behold, the new bag I got at the Coach Factory Store in AC! An absolute wonder of a deal!

Original price: $368.00
My price: $175.00

I think I am in love...

"Haven't you always wanted a monkey?"

Well, it's back to reality!

Pete and I got back last week from our amazing honeymoon in Punta Cana! The time went so slowly for once, and we got relax and spend some much-needed quality time together, since in the real world, was are usually like two ships passing in the night! I sometimes worry that our only fertility problems will be making time to actually HAVE sex!

Um. But anyway...

We stayed at the beautiful Dreams Resort and loved it from the second we walked in and someone put a glass of champagne in our hands!! The staff there really spoiled us, and everyone there was so sweet and fun and friendly! We spent ALOT of time just relaxing, either by the huge freeform pool or more often, by the beautiful Dominican beach! The water was so warm and clear, and the waves were gentle. Dodging coral was kind of a new experience for us, but we managed somehow and really enjoyed the beach! Plus, there was always someone to bring you a frosty beverage if you needed one! My drink of choice was the Sammy Sosa, kind of a cross between a pina colada and a daiquiri. It was soooo yummy and I enjoyed many, even though I am not much of a drinker in real life!! I did manage to fulfill my dream of floating on a raft while sipping a drink! It is kind of funny how something so simple can really just feel so luxurious and make you feel so spoiled! And the pool itself was so pretty and relaxing! There were alot of families at the resort, particularly from England, so it was fun hearing all of the little kids that sounded like Harry Potter!

We did get one rainy day, which actually turned out to be a ton of fun! The resort always had some sort of activity going on! I tried my hand at towel folding, which was a lot of fun but clearly something I might need some more work on! I tried to make a baby, which was supposed to look like this:

However, my baby was clearly afflicted with low-tone and perhaps a touch of Downs Syndrome or maybe FAS:

Oh well! Thankfully, we got a fun folded towel every morning, so we didn't need to rely on my poor towel folding skills for entertainment!

We mostly laid around the resort and relaxed, but we did go on one excursion- parasailing! I had always wanted to try it and I figured what better time then when we could float over those beautiful Dominican waters! We met a fun family from NY who were on the boat with us and kept us laughing and entertained during the carsickness-inducing, bumpy ride to the site! And it was so much fun! It wasn't as fast as I thought it would be- it felt like were were floating! And you could look down over the water and see every piece of coral and floating fronds of seaweed! The sky was gorgeous and looking out over the land was amazing! Someone on the boat was nice enough to take some pictures for us, so now we can see what we looked like from the perspective of everyone on the boat!

One of my favorite moments was getting to meet Brenda the monkey!

How cute is she???

Another fun moment was our romantic dinner on the beach, another thing I had always dreamed about doing! We were even serenaded by a little band! It was one of the most perfect moments of my life! The food was so yummy and even more then that, it was one of those things I got to share with Pete that I will never forget. It was kind of one of those stereotypically cheesy things that honeymooners do, but being with Pete made it really special. I know, I know. Cue the "AWWWWWW!"

It really was the honeymoon of my dreams! I got to relax a bit, to spend time with Pete and have nothing to do but be in love, and have alot of fun and try things I had never tried before. We spent alot of nights on the beach, just talking about the people we love and our hopes for the future and what we are praying for. It was time that we needed so badly and I am so thankful we got to have it!

"We are the champions...."

Michael Phelps is really frickin' hot. That is all.

Go USA!!!

"And there ain't no way that you'll take it away..."

My goodness! What a time is has been!

I am a married woman! And despite the fact it took me over a month to finally sit down and journal about it, our wedding was an amazing events peppered with only the types of things an event involving Pete and I could have! That includes almost burning the place down with a flaming football. Seriously. :-P

But, even having to put out a fire while wearing a thousand-dollar wedding gown could not damper the evening for us! Getting ready was all kind of a blur- I was nervous! It was a whirl of flowers, dresses, pictures, and little girls! And, speaking of all of our kids (we had ten in all in the wedding!!) they were all REALLY good and seemed to be so excited!

Before I knew it, we were all lined up at the top of the stairs. I knew Pete was at the alter waiting, and it was honestly such a surreal moment! After all of the angst of planning this insane event, a big part of me was like, "Yeah baby!! Let's DO this thing!". Then I was walking down the stairs on the arms of my parents, praying nobody would trip (although my dress got stepped on a few times- my fault for wearing a dress the size of a circus tent). But either way, I was safely delivered to Pete and our ceremony began! And we were so lucky- our daring, multi-cultural duo of Cantor Ellie Schaffer and Pete's uncle, Deacon Vincent Latini (Pete was the ring bearer in his wedding, how cute is that???) provided such a sweet, funny, meaningful ceremony! Before we knew it, it was time for Pete to step on the glass (MAZEL TOV!!!) and we were announced as husband and wife!!

Behold, the best moment of my life (thus far):

The reception was crazy! It started off a little hectic for Pete and I (on a professional note, we were highly disappointed with the service provided by our maitre'd assigned to our wedding. After how amazing our caterer had been throughout the entire planning process, it was hard to see it all fall apart when placed in the hands of the person who was supposed to be running the show. Feh.)but, we made our way through and everyone seemed to have an amazing time! The hora was insane!!! I guess when there's a major shortage in Jewish representation, the hora can go from celebratory circle dance to mosh pit! I think I saw my life flash before my eyes when I was up in that chair, gleefully being pumped up and down by some male guests! After that, everyone has a great time dancing the night away! The kids seemed to be having a blast! They were just running everywhere and dancing up a storm, they were so cute!! It really seemed like everyone was having a good time, which made us both very happy! All we really wanted (aside from getting married and getting good pictures) was to show our guests a good time. And so, unless everyone lied to avoid any potential bridal wrath, we met our goal!

Some of the high points for me:

* hearing everyone go "AWWWWWW" when Jen walked down the isle with her 2 year old son Thomas, way too cute in a little tux and black Chuck Taylors, who was standing in for his father, Eric, who is serving our country in Iraq

* Seeing Pete waiting for me at the alter

* When Cantor Ellie made sure to note that when Pete and I first met and were first attracted to each other, we were seeing other people!! Nice.

* Of course, our first kiss as husband and wife!

* Our first dance, which was kind of surreal, with everyone standing around looking at us!

* Seeing all of the kids having such a great time!

* Going to Connie Mac's in my dress after the wedding! :-)

* Finally giving Pete something he had been asking for forever (aside from watching me make out with another girl, sorry Pete)- singing a song just for him!

So, to leave you with one last little piece of our wedding, here is our BIG Show, something fun that the fun folks over at Kenneth Stillman Video edit and set to music and show to everyone at the reception!!! I hope you can all see how completely blessed Pete and I are, both in what we have in each other and what we have in our amazing family and friends. Everyone that I love was there for us, to support our love and support us in putting together such an insane event! I am very, very lucky!