Welcome to Newport Rhode Island

We weren't entire sure what we were wanting to do in Newport, so we decided to book an excursion from the cruise ship.  We decided on an Excursion called "The Best of Newport". 
There was a Tender from the Ship to land because the boat was too large to pull in and dock.  I loved all of the fishing boats around us.  It definitely gave the feel of a small, friendly ship-town. 

Here is the description given in the information brochure for the tour:
"Experience the best that Newport has to offer with a scenic drive along famous Ocean Drive for spectacular views of Newport's rocky coastline, a visit to The Elms, one of the grandest villas ever built in the United States followed by a catered lunch at The Elms Carriage House and courtyard."

"Your narrated drive through Newport passes 150 points of interest, including the town's colonial section with its many authentic and restored buildings, including White Horse Tavern, and Friends Meeting House. Pass by Trinity Church, Redwood Library, and the Gothic Church of Saint Mary's, where Jacqueline Bouvier wed Senator John F. Kennedy. (We saw all of this, but didn't get any pictures because it was back to back to back to back information). Travel along world famous 10-Mile Ocean Drive for spectacular views of the rugged coastline."

View of the coastline on the tour-bus
The only other picture I took during the first half of the tour.  There is an entire area in Newport called "Swiss Village Foundation" that is open acreage used to help protect and preserve rare and endangered breeds of livestock. I thought these guys were funny because they looked like oreo cookies.  They are called Dutch Belted Cattle.
"Drive down Bellevue Avenue, where society's millionaires built their fabulous "summer cottages," many beautifully preserved by the Newport Preservation Society."

I would love this summer cottage get-a-way

"Enjoy a guided tour of The Elms, one of Newport's premier palatial 'summer cottages'. This elegant French-style chateau, built in 1901 was the summer residence of Philadelphia coal magnate Edward J. Berwind and sits on a 10-acre park which includes an elegantly restored French Classical Garden. The estate contains every technological marvel of the time and was one of the first Newport houses to be fully electrified. Tour the magnificent public rooms of this mansion to catch a glimpse of the opulent 'Gilded Age' lifestyle. Following your tour, enjoy a catered lunch in the Elms Carriage House or the courtyard overlooking the Classical Sunken Garden."
Mom in the backyard of the Elms
Incredible home!  We weren't allowed to take any pictures inside for copyright protection of the property.

Mom at one of the gardens

Beautiful water fountain view where we sat for lunch

View as we were leaving Newport.  I really love lighthouses, they're so majestic. 

All in all, we had a wonderful trip in Newport.  It's amazing to see the money that they had and the summer getaways they lived in during that time.  It's definitely a quaint, quiet city worth visiting.


The nieces are growing up too fast!!!

After all the fiasco of Friday night, mom dropped me off just before midnight at Chris and Kristin's place.  We stayed up and chatted for a while, had a glass of wine, and then I crashed out.  It's tradition that Jenna and Maya come and jump on me in the morning, which is wonderful after 7-8 hours of sleep, it's a little chaotic after only 4 hours of sleep.  They crawled in and snuggled for a while (heaven).  I proceeded to fall asleep even while they were talking to me, I apparently was sleep-talking back to them.  At one point, Alexa said that there was a mosquito hawk trying to crawl in my mouth and she killed it for me. (Thanks Lex)  I was exhausted. 
When I finally really woke up, Jenna and I took off for good ol' Walmart so that I could buy an outfit for the day, seeing as all of my clothes were still at the airport in Philly.  She is such a girly girl, wanting to find a cute outfit for me to wear for the day to the play, and trying on sunglasses and jewelry.
We got back home and we headed off to see The Princess and the Pea.  It was a childrens theater and a lot of the girls were dressed up in princess outfits for the show.  It was a really cute set-up, and most of the actors were really great (the king was sub-par, hah)

We came back and got to spend some time out in the yard.  It was a beautiful afternoon, so the girls were all over the swingset, and chasing butterflys, and trying to find Saffron (their cat). 

Boys taking a little break :-)

Stop getting so big!!!!!!!!!

Too cute!

Gotta love those pig-tails!

I didn't get a single picture of Alexa during the trip.  She was out running around with her friends in the neighborhood while we were playing in the backyard.  She is almost as tall as me now it seems.  Time is just going by way too quickly!!

We had a lovely meal that Chris whipped up for us, and we relaxed and had a few glasses of wine.  It was a wonderful way to start a great vacation!



Just get me to the East Coast Already!!!

If I have ever had a day of chaos, last Friday was the day.
I scheduled my flight for Friday so that I could get home and see my nieces and brothers and sister-in-laws before leaving for the cruise Sunday.  My original flight was supposed to leave St Louis at 6:55pm and have me to Philly by 9:20pm.  At work, we started noticing that the weather was looking pretty bad, and when we looked at the radar, there was a nasty storm on it's way.  I rescheduled my flights to make sure that I didn't get stuck in any delays or cancellations, and hopped on a flight at 1:50pm.  I had a layover in Orlando (talk about going out the way), which was really easy, but my first flight landed later than expected so the next flight was already boarding when I got to the gate.  No biggie....so I thought.
The major events begin....
-Once in the air headed for Philly, the pilot said that there were awful storms and he hoped that we wouldn't get stuck in holding.  Welp, sure enough we got stuck circling for 20 minutes, then without any updates, we started descending into the storm. There was thunder and lighting out of both windows, kids were crying, it was a mess. 
...it keeps getting better...
-We landed and were stuck on the tarmack for over 30 minutes waiting to find a gate that didn't have a plane sitting in it (no planes were allowed to take off or leave their gates because of the storm.) 
-When I was finally able to get off the plane, I called my mom to find out if she was close.  She was close....but she was sitting on the side of the highway with a dead car battery.  She had the car turned off, but had the key turned to run the air while she was waiting for my flight to land.  Needless to say, drained the battery and the car wouldn't start.    Took over an hour for someone to come and jump her.
....the icing on the cake of the day.....
- While I'm talking to mom about the car being dead, I am waiting and waiting and waiting for my luggage to come out onto the carousel.  After everyone on my flight had their luggage and I didn't....I headed for the luggage claims counter.  Yup....that's right.....my luggage didn't make it.  It was on a later flight from Orlando and wouldn't get in til 11:45pm. 

I was positive about the whole situation, so it was all fine.  The original flight that I was supposed to be on was cancelled, so I was just happy that I made it back east regardless of how long it took.  Southwest gave me a $50 flight voucher for the inconvenience, and we ended up just picking it up my luggage on our way to the cruise on Sunday.  Mom and I burst out laughing when she finally pulled up, and it is definitely a funny story to tell.....not so much then but definitely now. 


I always love company!

No post yesterday because I got surprised by Colin!! 

I knew he was coming into St. Louis, but he originally told me Tuesday, so I was completely caught off guard and thrilled when he called my cell phone to tell me he was here.  Not only that, he said that he was at Barnes Jewish Hospital, which is right next to where I work, so it was perfect.  I left work early with him, and we went down to Laclede's landing for appetizers and a drink.  Then we headed back to the house and grilled fish and watched the Lakers game. 

It is always so great getting to be with old friends, and even though the time was short, it was wonderful. 



I'm back, and boyfriend's a year older

Hi all! 
So I'm back safe and sound.  Mom and I had a wonderful trip that I will fill you in on through the week.  More importantly though, Terry's birthday was yesterday!!  I should have figured that in wanting to get home as quickly as possible to see my birthday boy that there would be terrible delays and hold-ups to slow the process down.  I was supposed to get back to St Louis at 5:20pm.  Well, the flight didn't even leave Philadelphia until 5:45, so I ended up pulling into the driveway just before 8pm.  I felt bad that I was late, and I didn't stop and get a cake because I was in such a rush just to get home to him, but he didn't seem to mind and was just happy that I was back.  We ordered Chinese, watched the Lakers game, caught up with each others lives over the past 9 days, and crashed hard!  It was an exhausting day and I hit my pillow and was OUT!  I had a great trip, but I'm so happy to be home.  :-)

Pictures will be up soon and I'll tell you about all that we did.



The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

My coworker Stephen initially suggested for me to read this book because, well, we're both science nerds and it was getting all kinds of rave reviews in the media. Mom got it for me and sent it in my Easter Basket. As of this point in my life, this book is the quickest read I have had, from start to finish it took 5 days. I literally could not put the book down. There was a lot of science involved in the book, but I found it so interesting learning the background of this womans life, how her cells have changed the advancement of modern science as we know it, and how her living family (children and grandchildren) are handling it.

I can get all sorts of in-depth about the science interest of this book, but I'll water it down so it's easier to fully understand. HeLa cells are named after a woman named Henrietta Lacks. She was an African American woman who had a severe case of cervical cancer and before she passed away in 1951, a biopsy of her cervix was taken without her permission to see if researchers and scientists could continue to grow these cells out of her body. They were working to make the first line of human "immortal" cells, which means that the cells were able to replicate with no lifetime expiration. For decades, scientists had been trying to immortalize almost every type of cell in our body, but after a certain amount of replications, the cells would die. This is because of Telomeres in our body. (they are the red caps in this picture)

So basically, in all of our "normal" cells, telomeres are what cause the aging process, essentially what makes us eventually grow old. In cancer cells however, like Henrietta's cells, telomeres are protected by an enzyme called Telomerase that replaces the part of the telomere that was shortening.  So from the picture above, the red part will never shorten to lead to the cells death, it will continuously be able to grow and replicate.  Henrietta's cells grew like wildfire. "Henrietta Lacks's cells multiplied like nothing anyone had seen. They latched to the sides of test tubes, consumed the medium around them, and within days, the thin film of cells grew thicker and thicker."

Millions upon millions of labs across the world use HeLa cells daily. When I worked at Lonza in Maryland, the Cell Culture group worked with HeLa cells almost every day. "Researchers welcomed the gifts, allowing HeLa to grow. They used the cells to search for a leukemia cure and the cause of cancer, to study viral growth, protein synthesis, genetic control mechanisms, and the unknown effects of drugs and radiation. And though Henrietta never traveled farther than from Virginia to Baltimore, her cells sat in nuclear test sites from America to Japan and multiplied in a space shuttle far above the Earth." Most noteably, Jonas Salk used HeLa to find his polio vaccine.

The book goes into extensive details of Henriettas life, and it goes into great depths on the ethical dilemma faced by her family. Until 1975, 24 years after Henrietta's death, her family had no idea that her cells even existed. It discusses the anguish the family faced upon the news of how their mother had been treated, because for them, if her cells were still alive, that was a part of their mother being abused and tested and tortured. Their mother had advanced nearly every avenue of science, yet her immediate family did not have health insurance nor the means to pay for medicine when needed.

This is the first book that I have read that does not have a movie out for me to follow-up with. What is strange at the same time though, is how in-touch I felt with this book moreso than any other as I was reading it; I think that's why I read it so quickly. Hopefully in the years to come, more lobbying is done to promote Henrietta in our history books. I wish I had known about her when I was learning about Rosalind Franklin and Florence Nightingale and Barbara McClintock and Sally Ride. Henrietta may have not been directly involved with her cells, but understanding how much her cells have done for science and for medicine is fascinating and very easy to understand and easy to feel inspired through. This book is definitely a read that anyone can appreciate. It's broken down into 3 sections: Life, Death, and Immortality. I liked Life the most, getting to understand her background, and so many references to Virginia and Maryland.

Recommendation: Get the book!!


Allow me to Introduce Groupon if you haven't yet met

For those of you in relatively large cities (sorry Delaware), I have a site that will soon become your little friend!! 

Groupon originally got started to showcase different restaurant and local stores in each city. What happens is that they have one daily deal that goes out to everyone signed up at super-low prices through group-buying, meaning that so many people have to buy it before the store or restaurant will agree to accept the groupon.  Group-Coupon....get it?!  I have never seen one not get accepted, as it typically only takes 30-50 people to want to purchase it before it is accepted.  Sometimes they have side-deals as well that tend to be more focused and usually a little more expensive, as in maybe not as many people may have a collective interest so the # of people it takes for that one to be accepted is lower.  (Funny side-note: the side deal today is a 60-minute massage for $30 at a salon called "Jon Tomas".  My british co-worker quickly pointed out that that is a slang term for male parts that is highly used in England, so I'm just putting it out there that I wonder if it's a side deal because many people may not want to get a massage at a place named as such. :-)  I have to say, I think I wouldn't)

So it is all great and nice and wonderful.....except that I'm buying up too many of them!!  Fridays are usually the worst because that's the day that they typically put up the restaurant deals, and I just start thinking about places for when people come in town to visit.  I got a $30 gift certficiate for Mama Campisi's, and Lorenzo's Trattoria  which are restaurants in the Italian part of St. Louis known as The Hill, for $10 each.  And I got $40 certificate for $12 to Clark Street Grill for a night before a baseball game.  So who's coming to visit?!!?!?

One last thing, if you see a groupon you want to buy, buy it through this link your first time(http://www.groupon.com/r/uu1382645), and then I get a $10 referral to use towards upcoming groupons :-) 



I love it when we're cruisin' together

I'm going to be gone all of next week on a cruise with my mom.  We are going on a 7-day trip on the Celebrity Summit,(look at the 3D Virtual Tour), leaving out from Bayonne, NJ, spending a day in Newport, RI, then a day in Boston, MA, then the rest of the trip at sea or on Bermuda.  I fly back next Sunday, the 23rd, to have dinner with the birthday boy!

I've done three cruises before, two in the Western Caribbean (Grand Cayman Island Bahamas, Cozumel Mexico, Belize City Belize, and Key West Florida) with Mom and one in Hawaii (Honolulu, Hilo, Maui, Kona, and Kauai) with the Finleys.  Our very first cruise my freshman year in college was on a Celebrity Ship and their service is exceptional, so I'm hoping this meets and surpasses my expecations of this trip.  I'm also really looking forward to spending time with Mom.  Living so far away now, it's nice to be able to do things like this together and get some quality time in.  Let's just hope we survive each other through the whole trip.  If not, that boat is plenty big enough to get lost on.  :-)

I went fake-n-baking (tanning bed) Tuesday and Wednesday to get a "base tan" started and I really REALLY hope that we have nice weather the whole time, but I really REALLY hope I dont get sunburnt.  There aren't many things worse than sunburn.... swimming with alligators (I would assume...and why is that the very first thing that came to my mind?!), strep throat or the flu, one or two other things not worth mentioning on here, but yah, sunburn ranks high up there on my list of awfuls.  Fingers crossed folks.

As I've been adding new posts on here, I've started learning new little tricks, and I can actually write up posts and "schedule" them to post at a certain time in the future, so I'm going to have a few more go up while I'm on my vacation, but you all can just rest assured that I am not, in fact, sitting on the cruise ship and laboring away writing up new posts for your enjoyment.  Instead, I planned ahead and wrote them up beforehand.  Always the planner, can't decide if it's a good or a bad thing.

Can't wait to tell you how the trip went. 



I've learned...

I got this in an email back in undergrad, and I always loved it.  I just came across it again and thought it'd be good to post.  I starred things that are currently happening in my life that I'm re-learning.  Enjoy. 

I've learned -
that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.

* I've learned -
that no matter how much I care,
some people just don't care back.

I've learned -
that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.

* I've learned -
that it's not what you have in your life
but who you have in your life that counts.

I've learned -
that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you'd better know something.

* I've learned -
that you shouldn't compare
yourself to the best others can do
but to the best you can do.

I've learned -
that it's not what happens to people
that's important. It's what they do about it.

I've learned -
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I've learned -
that no matter how thin you slice it,
there are always two sides.

I've learned -
that it's taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.

I've learned -
that it's a lot easier
to react than it is to think.

I've learned -
that you should always leave
loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I've learned -
that you can keep going
long after you think you can't.

I've learned -
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I've learned -
that either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

* I've learned -
that learning to forgive takes practice.

I've learned -
that regardless of how hot and steamy
a relationship is at first,
the passion fades and there had better be
something else to take its place.

I've learned -
that heroes are the people
who do what has to be done
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.

* I've learned -
that there are people you may love dearly,
but you just don't know how to show them.

I've learned -
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I've learned -
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I've learned -
that sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you're down
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I've learned -
that sometimes when I'm angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn't give me
the right to be cruel.

I've learned -
that true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I've learned -
that just because someone doesn't love you
the way you want them to doesn't mean
they don't love you with all they have.

I've learned -
that maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you've had
and what you've learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you've celebrated.

I've learned _
that you should never tell a child
their dreams are unlikely or outlandish.
Few things are more humiliating, and
what a tragedy it would be
if they believed it.

I've learned -
that your family won't always
be there for you. It may seem funny,
but people you aren't related to
can take care of you and love you
and teach you to trust people again.
Families aren't biological.

I've learned -
that no matter how good a friend is,
they're going to hurt you
every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that

I've learned -
that it isn't always enough
to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes you have to learn
to forgive yourself.

I've learned -
that no matter how bad
your heart is broken
the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I've learned -
that our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.

I've learned -
that sometimes when my friends fight,
I'm forced to choose sides
even when I don't want to.

I've learned -
that just because two people argue,
it doesn't mean they don't love each other
And just because they don't argue,
it doesn't mean they do.

* I've learned -
that sometimes you have to put
the individual ahead of their actions.

I've learned -
that we don't have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

* I've learned -
that you shouldn't be so
eager to find out a secret.
It could change your life forever.

I've learned -
that two people can look
at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.

I've learned -
that no matter how you try to protect
someone, they will eventually get hurt
and you will hurt in the process.

* I've learned -
that there are many ways of falling
and staying in love.

I've learned -
that no matter the consequences,
those who are honest with themselves
get farther in life.

I've learned -
that no matter how many friends you have,
if you are their pillar you will feel lonely
and lost at the times you need them most.

I've learned -
that your life can be changed
in a matter of hours
by people who don't even know you.

I've learned -
that even when you think
you have no more to give,
when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

* I've learned -
that writing, as well as talking,
can ease emotional pains.

I've learned -
that the paradigm we live in
is not all that is offered to us.

I've learned -
that credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I've learned -
that the people you care most about in life
are taken from you too soon.

I've learned -
that although the word "love"can have many different meanings,
it loses value when overly used.

* I've learned -
that it's hard to determine
where to draw the line
between being nice and
not hurting people's feelings
and standing up for what you believe.


A Garden of Herbs

Terry and I cook a lot.  Well, Terry cooks a lot and I help sometimes but mainly just do the clean-up.  :-)  He calls me his Sous-Chef, but I know my star qualities lie in keeping the wine glasses full and loading the dishwasher. 
We started noticing how much money we were wasting on fresh herbs from the grocery store, and have been talking about growing our own little herb garden, but we didn't put it into action until a trip to Home Depot a few weekends ago. 

So here's the rundown of what we are using from our herb garden:
Looking at the first picture;
Bucket at Top: Marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley
Bucket on the left from top to bottom: Cilantro, Dill Weed, Basil
Middle Bucket from top to bottom: Habenero, Jalepeno, Jalepeno (I love me some Jalepenos)
Bucket to the right from top to bottom: Yellow Bell Pepper; Red Bell Pepper, Chives, and Mint


My Bucket List

"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning"  - Gloria Steinem

I saw this idea on another friends blog, and it is such a great concept.  Hopefully I am lucky enough in my life that all of these things would happen on their own, but I think that putting some purpose behind it may make them happen more meaningfully.  There's so much to learn and so much to experience, and I hope I can get it all in in this lifetime.  What would you do if you knew it was achievable? What's on your list?  And if there are any on your list that are the same as mine, want to do them together?   

-Visit all 50 states
(Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming)
- Go back to Malta
- Travel to all major Wine Countries (Napa, Sonoma; Bourdeax, France; Tuscany, Italy; Rioja, Spain; Chianti, Italy; Maipo Valley, Chile; Easten Australian Shore)
- Visit Las Vegas
- Visit Australia

- Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
- Attend a Superbowl
- Para-Sail
- Own a home
- See the Aurora Borealis
- While Visiting Vegas, eat and drink at Aureole
- Complete a Tri-athalon
- Attend the Olympics
- Eat at a 3-star Michelin Restaurant
- Attend all Low Key Reunions
- Marry my best friend
- Skydive
- Strongly Impact Someone's Life
- Attend SXSW
- Attend Austin City Limits
- Write a book/ Start a movement about the Happy Cup

- Become fluent in Spanish
- Re-acquaint myself with my piano
- Become a Doctor (still dont know M.D. or Ph.D, maybe Pharm.D.)
- Become a Sommelier

- Send a postcard to PostSecret.com
- Read all of the "Top 100 books to read before you die"
- Pay off all my student loans by 35
- Get another tattoo
- Own a hammock
- Own a dog


The Weekend (5/7-5/9 2010)

It was a house-filled weekend we just had and we had a really enjoyable time.  Friday evening we started figuring out the flooring for the guest bath, and to do so, we went through all 12 boxes of 12x12 slate to find the right color scheme.  This took very nearly two hours, and was quite exhausting, seeing as each box weighs 30-40 lbs. and moving slate tiles is not a lightweight activity.  When we figured out our measurements, we decided we needed to lay out 30 tiles in a 6'x5' section.  We finally got the right design by about midnight, and then we cleaned and sealed them so we would be ready to go in the morning.

We got up pretty early for a Saturday to get started on everything.  Terry went and rented a tile saw and got the thinset mortar and tile spacers.  He figured out all the measurements, and we got right to it.  I'm completely honest with myself in that I wasn't an enormous asset to this project, but I certainly learned a lot, so hopefully I'll be more useful from here on out.  :-)

We moved them all one by one either out to be cut, and/or in to be laid. I didn't take any pictures during the process bc I didn't want to potentially ruin my camera, but here's the final lay out.

We purchased our new pedestal sink and toilet on Sunday, and he is going to install them this weekend, pending the pedestal comes in (it's not in stock but it is on it's way).  Tomorrow I think that we are priming and painting, as that shouldn't take too long to get done.  The color we are going with is a cross between gray, green, and khaki.  Doesn't help much, sorry.  I'll have pictures up of the finished product when it's, well, finished. 

The rest of the weekend was yardwork and painting trim and planting shrubs and laundry laundry laundry and packing for the cruise and Saturday Steak Night (yummm).  I love productive weekends.



Things currently making me happy...

- I love you, yes it's true, you stole my heart, and I'm gonna steal yours too  (on an Amazon Kindle commercial, everytime it comes on I smile)
- Getting to see my family in a week
- Jeff calling last night to tell me that he showed one of his pictures of the Arch to his photography class and got incredibly positive feedback from his teacher and classmates
- The Guest Bathroom re-model this weekend
- I'm having a good hair day
- Keychange (Low Key's new CD)
- Searching around for seats to the Cardinals game for Mom's birthday....to be 8 rows directly behind home plate, or 1st row in the balcony?!
- The sun is out and the weather is beautiful; perfect day to do the 15 minute walk from where I park to my lab
- Thinking about that old lady's smile this morning when I waited to hold the door for her bc the handicap door opener button was out of service
- My Starbucks FREE grande vanilla latte, even though I still had one more punch left on my frequent buyer card
- Talking to my Australian first thing in the morning when it's past bedtime there
- Pandora sneaking in Paulo Nutini on one of my playlists.  Loves it!

Happy Friday! 


Almost Liveable in our Living Room!

I wish I could express my happiness over this a little more than what my writing on a blog can portray.  Seeing as we have had no walls up since the beginning of January in this room, I am SO happy that it's essentially all completed, other than painting the trim and hanging the vertical blinds over the back door.  As a reminder of what it looked like when we bought it, this picture was from when we originally toured the house with our realtor.  The walls were wood paneling, and over the breakfast eating area were spotlights. 

The first swap out was on the lights over the counter.  I never thought it would take so long to pick out light fixtures, but that took forever.  We are really happy with them though, they look beautiful lit up.  (Also, please dont judge that the TV is currently sitting on the Dining Room Table....we had to put it somewhere while we were working on the living room.  Also, you can get a sneek peek at the cabinets, but I'm not putting up a post about them until all of the doors are done...right now only the tops are completed.). :-)

Next, Terry hung all the drywall himself.  I helped where I could, but it is definitely a "man's job".  This wall was the worst part of the whole project because once he mudded and taped and sanded, I primed it, and the following morning there were hair-line cracks on every horizontal and vertical seam on the wall.  Instictively he thought he did something wrong, but the other wall directly across from it was completely fine.  He pulled the seams all apart and started again with mudding and taping and sanding, and the second time through it was fine.  He primed and painted the weekend that I was in Virginia, and then this past weekend, we used the new air-gun (is that the right word?) to nail in all the baseboards, door frames, and put the ceiling/wall trim back up. 

I didn't think I was going to like the air-vents when we were at the store, they just looked big and bulky, but once we installed them, I really liked that they were the same height as the baseboard.  It's the little things that make me happy, ha.  Also, I really like the color.  It's hard to tell in the pictures, truthfully it's actually hard to tell is some lighting times throughout the day, but it is a very light green.  In some times of the day it looks a light gray.  Either way, I'm happy! 

So now all that is left is filling all the holes where we nailed the trim to the wall, painting the trim, hanging the vertical blinds, putting the TV up over the fireplace, and moving in all the furniture, and we are GOOD!!!

Myly, Lindsey


Shelfari, I think that I like you a LOT

I am a reading machine here recently and I will be putting up my awkward and amateur reviews of the books I've read over the past few months, but in case you haven't heard of it, I am really enjoying Shelfari right now.  I've found that it's just a great way of keeping track of what I have read (yes, I know at 25, I should be able to remember all the books I have read, but some of them that I fly through in 5 days dont always stand out in my mind the way that books do that take me weeks to get through) and it gives recommendations of books I may like whether based on Author or Genre of writing.  Everytime I get on here, I tend to find myself looking through books that have just been reviewed by others, or books that are most popular reads, and I add them to my "plan to read" shelf. 

My planning to read shelf is getting a little heavy right now :-). It's also been a wonderful way of keeping tabs on books that I saw that I wanted to read, or heard about that sounded interesting, so that I dont forget about them. If you join it, make sure and friend me so I can look at what you've read and what you're reading.  More than anything, I'm just really liking reading right now and it's one more thing to keep me inspired and interested in what else is out there to dive into.


"Where in the HELL was I goin' when I got up to start going there??"

This weekend Terry and I took off for Branson, Missouri to visit his family.  His grandfather and all of his grandfathers siblings went to Branson High School and they were having an "All-Year Reunion".  I was really excited to get to see Terry's family because his parents and grandfather live in California so we don't see them nearly enough, and it was nice to be able to visit them only 4 hours from our house.
We got down there for dinner Thursday night, and I immediately got thrown into meeting all of the new faces.  Terry's mom and dad were there, as well as his Grandpa, and then I got to meet 3 of Grandpas siblings; (pictured below): Aunt Hilda, Grandpa, Aunt Judy, and Uncle Andy.  After sitting talking with them for most of the evening, all I can say is that I hope to be as healthy and as awnry as they are when I get to be in my 80's.  The title of this post is from Aunt Judy at one point in the afternoon on her way to get coffee. It was nice seeing how close those siblings were too.  They all live in different parts of the country and yet they are so close with one another.
Friday we got to spend most of the afternoon and evening with Terry's parents.  It was really nice catching up and shopping for a mothers day gift, and driving through Branson and making fun of how ridiculous that town is!  How many showtune and country theaters can you seriously squeeze into a 2 mile strip in the middle of nowhere Missouri?!  And then while you're at it, put 2 outlet shopping centers, 5+ put-put golf courses, an exhibition of the Titanic, and tattoo parlors (really?!....I mean they should HAVE to know by now that the median age in that town is 75.) bunched in as well. There was one nicer part of the city in downtown called The Landing. There was a waterworks display, and boats on the river, and lots of shops. 

We stayed through Saturday afternoon visiting, and as always time went way too fast.  I really enjoyed getting to learn so much history of the family, so it was a great experience.  And as always, being with family always makes me happy.