Thursday, April 29, 2010

Martha Stewart and I

Today I went to my first book signing. It was a success. I watch Martha Stewart's show about 3 or 4 days a week. I think it is so entertaining. Not only does it make me want to get crafty and create some fun things but it makes me laugh. Have you ever watched her with some of her guests? Sometimes she is kind of bossy or awkward with them. It makes me laugh so hard. I would be scared to death to go on her show (if I had the talent or skill to be on.) Anyways, the other day she announced she would be holding a book signing at MY Costco. I was soo excited!! I was over at Costco an hour before they opened to get my ticket (ticket # 002 :) then returned by noon to be in the front of the line when she started signing at 1pm. I wasn't nearly as crowded as I thought it was going to be (which was nice.)

Those books were soo heavy to hold for an hour!
Rules to meet "Her Magisty!"

I was so Star Struck
The Books I bought
Now signed copies.

I have to admit I am IN LOVE with my new books. My sewing one in particular. I'm really dying to make a quilt. Also there are a TON of cute baby things to make. I think I may start making some of them anyways... I have soo many pregnant friends right now and they would make great shower gifts.....


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Boomerang Effect

Have you ever heard of the Boomerang effect? If you throw something away and it comes back to you then it's meant to be? I've heard this several times in sappy romance movies when couples break up then get back together again claiming "It's meant to be."

Well I think I have been experiencing this odd phenomenon. I have been a nanny for the same family since the second week I moved to Stamford. I was extended a job offer before I ever even met the family (Mike actually did my interview since he was already living in CT and I was planning the wedding in Ohio.) Over the past two years I have tried to walk away from this job three times!! Not because I hate my job, but because sometimes its overwhelming to run someone else's home full time. I think many days I have the same feelings as most mothers do. Stress, frustration, love, reward and accomplishment...

Well this past week I've had another boomerang moment. About a month ago I informed my employer that I would be leaving the job in the summer. My plan was to take the summer off then start work in a school in September. After applying and interviewing for many positions, I quickly found that the jobs I was qualified for were not extremely exciting. Then all the jobs in the private schools that I would excel in had already been filled (they start applications in JANUARY for fall start dates!!) Then there is the "do I really want to be in education or maybe take a venture in to corporate america?" At any rate I began to get extremely nervous. I had quit a job that I really do love and had NO back-up plan in sight.

I went back to my employer and let her know that if she still hadn't found a nanny I wouldn't mind staying through the summer. However, she had been hard at work and already found my summer replacement. (I do have to admit she kept me in the loop about the whole situation and did a fantastic job communicating all her feelings to me.) So this weekend I started putting myself in "unemployment" mode and just prayed so hard a path would be shown to me. Then after a whole weekend dedicated to pondering and praying for guidance a solution presented itself. My employer told me that something had come up for the girl she had got to replace me.

However, this new situation is ideal to say the least. It appears that I will be able to take almost the whole month of June off to be with my family in Ohio. Then I will work though July and then be able to take time off in Aug to go to Utah to see Mikes family and then for my mom to come visit me here. THEN I will stay until December (or longer.)

Those of you who know me well are probably thinking "What is she thinking?" I guess it's just really hard for me to part with the girls I really do love to death (even when they are driving me up the walls fighting.) Its hard to believe how much they have grown up over the past two years I have been with them. Hailey is turning 10 (double digits) this summer and getting her ears pierced (something we've been talking about for 14 months.) Kylie is turing 13 in July and finally a teenager. Each day when I help Hailey brush her hair I can't get over how much she has grown since the first time I brushed it. When I look at Kylie walk in wearing her fashion forward outfits I can't help but think what a beautiful young women she is turning into. Its hard to believe how fast time flies.

So I'm now preparing myself for school year number 3 with these two ladies (Hailey is starting Middle school and Kylie is finishing her last year there.) Don't worry though. I've committed myself to apply in January for the jobs I want. I also plan on spending some serious time looking into graduate programs to see if that is something I am interested in. I never would have guessed that this would be my path, but I sure feel good about it!


Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Weekend we "lived" at the Stokes

So a few weeks back we had a really long but great weekend. We went over Friday night to watch a basketball game. A few of our other good friends were over as well. As it got late and seeing as I never really cared about the game I snuggled up on the couch and feel asleep. As I did so I couldn't help but think how lucky I was. We have been so blessed to have found "family" in some of our really good friends. Its so nice to walk into someone else's apartment and feel like you are "home" with people you really care about. (I know oddly mushy, but its getting late and these things happen when I get tired.) We are also lucky to have such an awesome ward with so many people we feel blessed to call our friends. After two years in our rather large ward I'm finally to the point where I at least know everyones name when I go to enrichment and have what I hope are friendships with a lot of them as well. Our ward seriously rocks and so do our friends in it!

So back to the weekend. We ended up leaving pretty late that night. The next day the ladies got together and had lunch an I believe some of the guys studied for the CFA together, the joys of friendship. The best part of the weekend was that night though :)

It was our good friend Cynda's 23rd birthday. We had rented out a room in the Stokes apartment complex that could hold a good number of our friends for a little party. As Mike and I were walking out the door we get a call from Cynda's husband Ben who had organized the whole party. I believe this is how the conversation went...
Ben: Dude, you know how sometimes I do stupid things?
Mike: Yeah...
Ben: Well I just did one...
Mike: What was is?
Ben: I sat on Cynda's cake I made her.
Mike: WHAT? How the heck did you do that?
Ben: I don't know. I put in on the front seat of my car and then came back and sat down on it. Can you go pick up a cake at the store. No one will want to eat my "Butt Cake."
(Also this is not the conversation verbatim, just an overview to get a feel for the situation.)
And thus it officially became known and loved as the "Butt Cake." To make things worse though poor Ben spent HOURS making the cake and had been thinking about it all week. It was a three layer chocolate cake. The first layer was filled with chocolate ganache, then a layer of chocolate mouse?, and then a layer of like a cream cheese filling (correct me if I'm wrong.) The frosting was home made as well. It looked so good... so we cut apart the area he actually sat on and served out the rest. It was actually a really big hit!
The party itself was great. Everyone lives in pretty small houses/apartments so its hard to get all the people together that you want to hang out with. A space like this allowed us to see so many more of our good friends as once. It was a blast visiting with everyone. We had the usual party segregation going on most of the evening. Women at the table eating and gabbing...
...Men on the couch drinking {soda} and watching sports.
Mike and I broke the segregation for a brief moment to pose for a picture.
We had a few cute little kids running around that night. They two 4 year old boys Mike use to have in nursery last summer and man did they love him. "Jenson" was the main attraction for them, and he loved it!

Please not the "Butt cake" had a better response by the consumers at the party seeing as more of it is missing than the regular cake...
After most everyone went home like responsible adults who had church in the morning we went back to the Stokes apartment until 2am that morning. The men got caught up in some scientific experiments and completely lost track of time :)

After little sleep the night before and waking up for church early the next morning we all were suffering from what had to be "hangover" like disorientation due to lack of sleep. To help each other cope with the lightheadedness and slurred speech we all scourged our fridges/freezers for food to be contributed to a large feast. We did have quite an array of goodies. After lunch it was time to sleep. But don't worry after the nap we went back over and stayed late again watching "The Pacific." Its like "Band of Brothers." but takes place in the pacific Islands during WWII. This has a special spot in my heart because my Grandfather was in that area during WWII and fought in some of the worst battle over there. Watching it gives me a greater respect and admiration for him and the others who have paid such a high price for our freedoms. Thankfully he made it out of the war with a few minor injuries and is still here to share the stories of that time in his life with all of his adoring fans {his 8 grandchildren!}

It was a great weekend and a special thanks to the Stokes for being so willing to let us "live"at their house!

More Adventures with Family...

So Last weekend (April 15-19th.) Mikes Beautiful sister Rebecca and her "friend" Aaron came to visit us. They flew to Boston on Monday and stayed with Aaron's brothers family until thursday night when they took the train from Boston to Stamford. Thursday night we visited and tried to get to bed at a decent hour.
Friday Mike & I both had to work. Luckily I was able to get back to them by 8:30am so we had the morning to visit and get ready. Before I had to go back to work at 2:00 I dropped them off at the mall in Stamford. Luckily it has enough to do that they were entertained until Mike picked them up at 6pm.
While I was still at work Mike took them to our favorite grocery store... Stew Leanards. Its such a great store with so much for the kids to look at and do. In fact, it is actually the worlds largest dairy store. Well worth the 20 minute drive :) After I got off of work we went to our favorite little Hamburg/shake place, Lucky's. I think the ambiance of the restaurant is my favorite with the jut-boxes, coca cola cups and old fashion malts.
The next day we woke up bright and early to venture on down to "The Concrete Jungle." The weather wasn't the bad either. It was a little chilly at times but for the most part not a bad day to be in the city.
We started out at Gershwin Theater where "Wicked" plays. We all entered the lottery for the matinee show. (If your name is drawn you have the chance to buy 2 front row tickets for only $26.25 a piece. Usually they run around at least $125 a piece.) The odds were better than I've seen them before. They were only 100 people or less and they pick 12 names. Guess what?!? My name was drawn!! The downside- It was the last name and apparently they only has 1 ticket let :( Since I didn't want to miss out on the whole day with the rest of them I didn't take the ticket :( It was really hard, but I think I made the right decision!
After the drawling we walked around Times Square fighting the masses (Have I mentioned how much I hate that place?) At least we hit up the M&M store... Oh how I love that place! Then proved our mastery of the NYC Subway system and traveled downtown to Battery park in the financial district. We looked saw Lady Liberty in all her glory. I'm still amazed at how small she really is, the pictures always make her look so much smaller.
We played a little Frisbee in the park and of course took advantage of the scenery for a small photo shoot!

Then we got to business and hit up some of the major sites in that area. We saw "The Bull", Wall street, the NYC stock exchange, Trinity Church and Ground Zero. We almost went to the Brooklyn Bridge but my feet needed a break.
In stead we rode back uptown to Time Square to get tickets at the TKTS booth for the shows that night. Becca and Aaron decided to see Mary Poppin's ,which we have seen, so tried to agree on something else. Mike and I couldn't decide so at the last minute we decided to see an Off Broadway play since it was a little cheaper. (Not such a good idea.) We then went across the street to Sabaro for dinner and probably paid way more than the pizza/pasta was worth, but at least it filled us up. We headed back downtown to the 34th street area to visit a costume jewelry called Earring Plaza. Becca remembered it from her trip to NYC in high school. It was actually a nice surprise. They had a ton of costume jewelry for awesome prices. Mike got some cool cuff links (the guy is obsessed, anyway to spice up the same dress shirts and pants at work I guess) and I found a few pashminas and some earrings to match my new favorite necklace I picked up at J. Crew the other weekend. As we were walking around we ran into Madison Square garden which I am a little ashamed to say we have yet to visit. Next season we will go to a Knicks game!
At this point we parted ways. Becca and Aaron went to the Empire State building and we went back uptown for dessert. Since the wait was an hour and a half at serendipity we opted for a piece of cake at a local bakery then we went to our show. Supposedly, "The Perfect Crime" is the longest running off-broadway play. But like Mike said if you can get front row seats at the TKTS booth for $30 maybe thats an indicator... The acting was great. The same lady has played the part since the show opened in 1987!! But as you can see in this picture there were a lot of guns. I don't like guns, they scare me. When your sitting in the front row an guns are frequently being joined in your direction it makes one a little uneasy. This combine with the fact that the the used the "F" word more times than I would have liked AND I couldn't keep up with the story line... well lets just say we were glad to see 10:00pm roll around. Had we not been waiting for Becca and Aaron I think we would have left at intermission and headed home.
Sunday after a fantastic lunch, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went to the Beach. I found the 'perfect" stick and spent a 1/2 an hour playing in the sand like a 5 year old.
We had another little mini- Photo shoot.
The four of us.
Mike playing Frisbee in the water.
"Big Daddy" on Mikes back.
Don't Ask
Brother and Sister
After a while we broke off and took a nice walk. It was so nice to sit on the beach with Mike and just visit. No rush, great weather, just us. It was probably one of my favorite moments to date. Then we headed home to feast on the delicious Angle Food cake I made earlier that day (It was soo pretty to!

Our friends the Stokes came over to meet Becca and Aaron and share the dessert with us. I was able to snag one of my favorite little girly's in the world for a picture! (For the recored, I seriously love this child as if she were my own.)
Of course when you get men together it ends up like this-- both trying to exert their dominance over the other (Obviously Mike got lucky in this picture seeing as Jared is a bit bigger than Mike.)
Then of course what would a Sunday night be with out everyone's favorite game "Toss the Karrigan." The child loves it though so as long as they don't drop her I guess...
I love how happy her face is in this.
Then how terrified it is in this one :)

Overall it was a GREAT visit with Becca and Aaron. Unfortunately we don't have any visitors lines up for quite a while... *Cough, cough* please come visit us!! We love company! I will even brave Time Square for you!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cookies fit for Champions

As I mentioned a few posts back Mikes Work League won the championship. It was a pretty big deal for this David and Goliath team. I thought they needed a little celebratory snack at work. I spent the morning making cookies for the office. I made basketballs, trophies and stars. I was pretty pleased with the outcome. I'm slowly becoming addicted to making and decorating cookies!