Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Anniversary in Chicago

Chicago was amazing!  The entire trip was so much fun!  Everything, from dropping the kids off, to the train ride, to the weather, was perfect!

Riding the train was so easy compared to flying.  I know we would've saved time, but not having to deal with security and baggage claim was totally worth it.  I am also glad we didn't drive.  Gerry and I were both exhausted to begin with and making the 5 hour drive would've added unnecessary stress.  On the train, we were able to talk, relax, hang out and sleep...which is exactly what we needed.
                                               (no make up, bright and early on the train)

Once in Chicago, we took cabs everywhere.  Traffic is crazy and so are the cab drivers. We ate lunch at a little Italian cafe.  The food was delicious and so fresh!  I would go back there in a heartbeat!
(our awesome lunch at Pompei)

Did some sight seeing on Michigan Avenue.

Of course, we had to stop by the Apple store.

Then we visited Navy Pier, took a skyline boat tour and drank some adult beverages.  Mmmm!

(on the boat...getting ready to take off!)

(pulling away from the pier)

Upon going back to our hotel to get ready for dinner, we learned there was a Restaurant Convention in town...which meant every restaurant in Chicago was booked.  However, we were able to get a reservation at 9:00pm.  This meant we had some extra time to kill so we stopped by the swank bar in our hotel for a few drinks.

We were able to walk to our restaurant - which was a seafood place.  Let me tell you it was, by far, the best seafood meal I have ever had - anywhere!  The place was called McCormick &'s a chain and I heard they recently opened one here in town, so I am stoked about that.  The Chilean sea bass was fantastic, and so were the king crab legs.  Gerry ordered the stuffed salmon which was amazing as well.  I wanted dessert, but I was so full and so tired. (we didn't even get our food until like 9:40)

After dinner, we were so excited to get back to our hotel and...SLEEP! (What did you you think I was going to say?? We haven't had one night of uninterrupted sleep since Naomi was born! Okay, that's exaggerating, but it's been a long time!)

Both kids and even the dog had great weekends away, as well.  Although the trip was short, we missed them terribly.  It was good to have everyone under the same roof again!

Thanks again to Jeff and Kelly for watching Maria, Karen and John for taking Naomi, and to Brian and Jen for watching Devon!  We appreciate it sooo much!

And thanks to my awesome husband for planning such an amazing trip.  I will never forget it!  I love you!

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Best Friend


Five years ago, today, we were married!  You already made me the happiest woman in the world...but I had no idea the best was yet to come. I know we've had our ups and downs (and we will continue to have them.) But I know, when I go to bed every night, that God has truly blessed me in more ways than I'll ever know when He brought us together.

You are a wonderful husband.  In five years, we have gotten married, graduated me from college, gave birth to 2 children and dealt with my skin cancer diagnosis.  You have supported me in every way and I could not have asked for a better partner to spend this life with.  You do so many other things for me and our family that I can't thank you enough for.

1) You work. You work hard at a demanding job so that I can stay home with our kids.  You provide for us in every way so we can have a good life, wear nice clothes, eat healthy food, have a nice house, drive a nice mini-van.  Although these are all material things...they are nice to have and it's because of you that we are able to have them.

2) You do things that are inconvenient in order to help me.  I can't even count the number of times you go to the grocery store after you've worked all day, just so I don't have to take both kids with me. I swear Wal-Mart is your second home!  You take vacation or go into work late so I can go to my doctor appointments without bringing the kids.  You bring work home with you so you can be here for dinner/bath/bed time, and then work after the kids go to bed.

3) You take care of things.  You make sure to get all the regular maintenance done on our vehicles, you manage our money, pay the bills, clean things that I don't want to (the drains, the exhaust fans to name a few) deal with the trash, cut the grass, wash the house, etc. You do all of these things to keep what we have nice, and although I may give you a hard time, I love you for it!

4) You love me.  You still open the car door for me and ask me if "I'm in", you will always leave the last piece of pizza for me, you buy me chocolate when you go to the grocery store, you plan weekend getaways and let me go on shopping sprees, you let me plan huge birthday parties for our girls, you agreed to finish the basement and build a deck, you rub my feet, you call just to check in and say hi and you ask me how my day was - even though you probably already know.

5) You are an amazing dad.  Your dedication and love for your family continues to amaze me.  I have loved watching you learn to become a father...from the minute Maria was born.  I love to watch the girls play with you and their excitement when you come home from work.  At night, when you are putting the girls to bed,  I can hear you reading to them on the monitor.  Sometimes I just stop what I'm doing and listen to Poor Pluto, Ten in the Meadow, or David Goes to School with tears in my eyes.  I often wonder how many dads are reading to their girls right now at this moment?  How many little girls are lucky enough to have a dad that gets up everyday, goes to work, comes home to eat dinner with his family, and then reads to his girls before bed?  It doesn't sound like a big deal...but the impact you are making on them now is really shaping who they are going to be as adults.  Your presence and commitment is leaving it's mark and it's going to make them better, stronger women. So, for that, I am thankful.  

We  have had a fantastic 5 years!  I still can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you!
Thank you for who you are and thank you for loving me.

Happy Anniversary!
I love you!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Naomi's First Birthday Party

On Saturday, May 8th, we had a birthday Party for Naomi!

The house, and the new deck, were filled with friends and family!

We toasted to Naomi...

We opened presents...

We sang "Happy Birthday!"...

We ate cake...

Some of us made a big mess...

We acted silly...

And when it was over, we slept!

Happy 1st Birthday, Naomi!  We hope you had fun!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Naomi is 12 Months Old!!!

Naomi turned 12 months on May 8th.  (that's 1 year, for those who are counting!)

This year has flown by, yet it seems as though Naomi has been a part of our lives forever.  Her smile lights up the room.  Everyone who meets her notices her sweetness almost immediately.  She is gentle and loving and already has a great sense of humor.  She loves her daddy and crawls as fast as she can towards the door when she hears the garage door open. She bounces up and down and shakes her arms in anticipation until he walks in and picks her up. It is such a sweet sight and I am blessed to be able to see it everyday!

She is not walking yet, but she's getting very brave these days.  She lets go of the couch for about 30 seconds while standing.  Then realizes what she's doing and sits back down.  Her two top teeth have finally poked through, which makes me happy and sad at the same time.  She's growing up so fast.  Like every mom, I want her to grow and develop, but I also want her to stay little.

She is saying a lot of words these days:
She identifies and says "duck" followed by a "quack, quack"
She also says milk, dink (for drink), bye bye, bot (for bottle), are-oo (for where are you?)

She can identify a lion, monkey, sheep, dog and ball from a book.
She also started drinking whole milk.  She's not too fond of it in a sippy cup so we're very slowly switching it over in her bottle.  She's been sleeping wonderfully at night, which is awesome!  Her 1 year check up is Friday so I'll update this post when I get her stats!

****Update: At her 1 year check up, Naomi weighed 19 lbs, 1oz.  She was 29 inches long.  She remains in the 15th percentile for weights and 75th percentile for height!  Tall and her daddy!****

Here are some pics of my sweet little Omi!

Betcha can't do this!!!

Tea Time

Maria was invited to her very first Tea Party Wednesday morning.  Maria, Naomi and I got all dressed up and went to her friend Maddie's house for the event.

Upon arrival, the kids decorated little bags.

They had a little circle time and played with their dolls.

Then, they put on a fashion show for all the moms.  Doesn't she look marvelous?

 The little models posed for a group shot.  What a snazzy looking bunch!

After all that hard work of doing a runway show, it was time to eat.  The kids poured their own tea (which was actually juice) and ate yummy PBJs, strawberries, grapes, and brownies and cupcakes for dessert!

It was a fantastic afternoon!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Computer troubles again


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Vote for Naomi and The Birthday Present

I thought I would jump start the process of Naomi's very successful modeling career by entering this picture in a contest to be on the cover of the November issue of Parents Magazine.

I just did it for fun and we're asking for your votes!  Please click the link below and vote every day until May 9th.  I have been harassing everyone I know to vote through texts, email and Facebook...why not put it on the blog as well???


The Birthday Present

I know you all are dying to know what Gerry got me as a gift for my b-day.  After we got home from Shogun, he handed me a card that said "Birthday Present" on the envelope.

This is what it said:

To celebrate your special day, we have reserved an appointment with an exclusive personal shopper on the afternoon of Sunday, May 16th.  This time will be set aside for you to enjoy.  There is one thing you must do before you go and that is guess the identity of your personal shopper!!!

(no, it was not Stacy London)

I guessed my wonderful sister-in-law, Karen and I was right!!!

The card went on to read:

Beyond a special afternoon for you to enjoy, this shopping trip will come in handy for your anniversary present!!!

Now let me just clarify that all who know me personally, know that I am not the chic-est dresser in town.  I know what's in style, I just can't figure out how to get things to look right on me.  I tend to lean towards a solid color shirt and jeans.  I only change my purse when my friend Erin gets a new one and gives me her old one to borrow.  And I've had the same jewelry since before I got married (which is almost 5 years ago.)  

Karen is a very snazzy dresser.  She is a professional career woman during the day and knows how to party it up at night and she always dresses the part. (She also does not have kids yet...)  She has helped me several times when I've been in a bind to find clothes to wear. So, it wasn't a big surprise when I figured out Gerry asked her to help me shop.  He is so sick of hearing me complain about the lack of clothes in my closet.

So you're probably asking "What is the anniversary present?"  I was, too.

He handed me another card that said "Anniversary Present" on the envelope.  

The inside said:

On the morning of XXXXXX***,  we will be heading to___________________ to celebrate our Anniversary!!!  So enjoy your day out with your personal shopper and make sure you get some fabulous new clothes for__________________________!!!

Then he proceeded to tell me that he arranged for my brother to watch Maria and his sister to watch Naomi, and our neighbor is going to watch the dog and we are going on a weekend getaway!  But he wouldn't tell me where or how we were getting there.

Yesterday, he finally gave in and told me we are taking a train ride to ...


Whooo hooo!! I am so excited! I love Chicago, and I love that we are taking the train! We don't have to worry about the drive, we can just sit back and relax and be together!

I am constantly amazed at what this man does for me.  I am so grateful for him and I am so thankful for each and every family member who is taking part to make our little getaway possible!!!We are lucky to have you all.  

So Karen, John, Jeff & Kelly- I'm thanking you ahead of time, from the bottom of my heart.  I love you!

And Gerry- I love you too!  I can't wait for Chicago!

****Husband made me leave out the date for safety reasons...****

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Okay so I turned 31 yesterday.  I've finally admitted to being in my "early-thirties."  I am okay with that.  I've never been bothered by getting older...maybe because I always felt I was young.  Until now.  Just saying "thirty-one" sounds old.  But I don't feel it.  So I guess that's what's important.

Enough rambling.  My birthday was awesome!  The celebrations started last weekend when Gerry's family came over for a bar-b-q.  The fun continued this past Saturday when my mom had a massage therapist come to my house and treat me to a very relaxing, much needed massage.  My mom stayed here to take care of the kids b/c Gerry went to a bachelor party. Wow!!! What a special treat!  It's one thing to get a massage, but to have one actually come to my house!  It was amazing!  Thanks mom!  You are the best and I love you so much!!!

On Sunday, Gerry invited my family and my very dear friend, Erin, over for a bar-b-q.  The food was great and we had a lot of fun.  My Uncle Marc introduced Maria to the I have an idea what she'll be asking Santa for this year.  ha ha!

For every big event that we host we always ask my Uncle Marc and John if we can borrow their gi-normous cooler.  (Seriously...this thing is like a can fit a body in's that big!) So we had asked them to borrow it yet again, for Naomi's party this weekend.  Well....guess what I got for my birthday from them???

A gi-normous cooler of my very own!!!! I am so excited!!

My actual birthday was yesterday, which was a Tuesday, which means it's a school day for Maria.  After Naomi and I dropped her off, we headed to Picture People to get her 1 year pics taken.  They turned out good, but Naomi just wasn't as into it as I had hoped.  She's normally smiley and fun and giggly...but not yesterday.  She still smiled, but it was pretty clear that she just didn't want to get her picture taken yesterday!  Overall, I was happy and I still spent waaaayyy too much on the pics.

Gerry wanted us to go out to dinner together so we decided to take the kids to Shogun Japanese restaurant, the place where they cook everything in front of you on the hibachi grill.  The kids did great and had their first taste of Japanese cooking!  No Sushi for them!  I ate it all myself.  Naomi ate the weird salad and they both had a taste of the strange soup.  They enjoyed the fire and the Japanese chef's songs and silliness!  What a fun place for a meal.  I love it!

When we got home, we ate cupcakes and ice cream and I opened my cards from Gerry and the girls.  Gerry gave a me an extra special present, which I will save for another post!!! I can't wait to share it with all of you, but it's kind of long and I've rambled on long enough.

Thanks to everyone for making my birthday so special.  I enjoyed every minute of it and felt truly blessed to spend it with my entire family!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Month of May

The month of May is always so crazy busy for us.  We have a lot of important occasions to celebrate in May.  Of course there's my birthday, Naomi's birthday, Mother's Day and our wedding anniversary (5 years on the 21st).

I'm sure I will dedicate one post to each of these topics, but there is another event that's close to my heart that takes place throughout the entire month.

May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. As many of you already know, I was diagnosed with a very early stage malignant melanoma in May 2008.  The diagnosis came as a total shock and it has changed my life.  I never in a million years thought this would happen to me...but it did. You can read my story here.

I implore you to look over these guidelines to see what you can do to protect yourself and your family from this deadly disease.

You always hear so much about how "everything" causes cancer.  But we know for a fact that the sun is a definite culprit. Be smart and think about it.  It may take more time to apply the sunscreen, but it's worth it!

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