Friday, July 31, 2009

My crazy life

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. It started with a trip to England (which you can read about here), an amazing trip that I was blessed to take and experience, which rolled into a visit to see my parents for a long weekend to surprise my Mom with a trip to Rome for her birthday, which rolled into me flying directly to Syracuse, NY for a business trip on a day with crazy storms resulting in a 6 hour delay in my arrival. When I got to Syracuse, on the second day, I got bombarded with calls with my London team at 5 am for three days in a row.

But here is the truth, I wouldn't change a thing. And I am truly blessed to be able to take it all in and go with the flow.

I just finished reading a book entitled "Struck Down But Not Destroyed" by Roxanne Smith. She is a friend of my aunt's. At 27, she developed degenerative disease of her back, and has since lived in chronic pain and life as a "horizontal woman". She has managed to be able to stand for only 2 hours a day. The story is amazing, and she is quite the devoted Christian. I found her story truly inspiring because through it all she has developed the ability to find acceptance, and believe that her life is blessed. After I finished reading it, I thought, "well that gives me some perspective".

So today I am truly thankful that I am able to live my crazy life and all that goes with it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


"When life gives you lemons say, "Oh yeah? I like Lemons. What else you got?" - Henry Rolins

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 20, 2009


So Monday, I was on my own. The Hubs was at work, and I had to entertain myself. Time to put in my big girl panties, and get out there and explore Cambridge.

First stop: The Cambridge Botanical Garden. It was a beautiful spot of 40 acres of gardens. I thought this flower was very interesting.

Here's me sitting in the rock garden by a little pond filled with water lily (thank the good Lord for self-timer mode!). It was very tranquil and I quite enjoyed it.

I ate some lunch in the garden cafe and was quite happy the weather was overcast but not raining, and that I was surrounded by natural beauty.I would say my favorite exhibit was the glasshouse full of carnivore plants. How often do you see a sign like this?

I took lots of gorgeous flower pictures, but too many to post.

I have a thing for old churches and stained glass. I just love them. So I decided to head up in the directions of the colleges (University of Cambridge is made up of 32 colleges, and is also 800 years old).

First Stop: Little Saint Mary's, which appeared to be Catholic. It was this tiny little building, with great windows, a small overgrown garden that curled around the building and had old tombstones in it. There was beautifully carved woodwork, that sadly didn't come out too well in pictures.

From Little St. Mary's, it was on to St. Bolotph's. A church that has been in use since 1320, and was dedicate to St. Bolotph, the patron saint of travellers (all according to the sign out front).

Moving on down the road, I decided to visit King's College. Fr. Michael, from the church in London, mentioned that the chapel was quite exquisite, and I should go see. He was right it was absolutely amazing. I tried to capture it with the picture I have posted here, but they really do no justice.

The front of the college:

Inside the chapel:

The back door to the chapel:

The view across the courtyard:

After exiting King's College, this was the view down Trinity Street (which leads to Trinity College). I love the old architecture and the small width of the streets.

Next church: Great St. Mary's, the official church of the university. It is used to dictate how far off campus freshman can live (2 miles from the church), and was once used for all official meetings.

Inside Great St. Mary's:

And then for some unknown reason I decided it would be a good idea to go up in the tower. 123 steps, so small even my tiny feet were too long for them, in a spiraling staircase made for one person. To the top.... where truly the view of Cambridge was amazing.

One more stop.. into the courtyard of Corpus Christi College

And so I ended my tour of Cambridge for the day. The Hubs and I had a nice dinner, and I basically collapsed afterward!

July 19, 2009

Since it was Sunday, we started the day by going to Mass. We found a little church right by where we were staying, Our Lady of The Assumption and St. Gregory's Catholic Church.

So let me tell you a few reasons why this turned out to be an amazing little church. First, it is St. Gregory's (my dad's name). Second, every night as part of our prayers the Hubs and I pray to St. Anthony of Padua. This church had a St. Anthony Statue. Third, The Hubs (the non-Catholic) got asked to do a reading by the Deacon. When he mentioned he wasn't Catholic, they told him that was ok, and he did it anyway. Fourth, During the middle part of the mass we sang Psalm 23, which as you may recall is the Psalm my bracelet my aunt gave me after my second miscarriage, represents. Fifth, During the Prayer of the Faithful, we said a Hail Mary (not normally done) which is a prayer the hubs just learned by heart. Sixth, During his homily the Pastor mentioned Mystic, CT. Seventh, The deacon then introduced us to their "American" priest, Fr. Michael (you know I have a thing for Fr. Michael's), who was from Philly. After chatting with him for a bit, he invited us to tea and coffee in the parish hall after Mass. Eight, We of course went to the coffee gathering, and after talking some more it turns out Fr. Michael was going to be headed to CT shortly for a Knight's of Columbus thing (my dad works for The Knights ). So after all that, I think it is pretty safe to say that the Hubs and I were supposed to go to church that day.

After church it turned out to be lunch time, so when in England better eat fish and chips, which we did at Leicester Arms Pub.

Then it was off to the King's Cross train station for our train out to Cambridge. Any Harry Potter fan knows that the Hogwart's Express leaves from King's Cross. So I took a picture of the platform to show my fellow Harry Potter Fans. Unfortunately, I was not over near platform 9, but they all looked the same.

And of course here is a picture of the Hubs and I on the train:

Oh and some English countryside for good measure:

Once we got settled into the hotel in Cambridge, we were meeting the Hubs' boss and family for dinner. His boss was nice enough to drive me over to the "office" so I could see that the Hubs really does do work. LOL. Here is the exterior of the Builiding. It is on the University of Cambridge Campus, and you can barely make out the Microsoft posters hanging in the windows of this picture.

Then off to dinner. We ate at this really nice restaurnt called Three Horseshoes. I love the building, exactly what I picture when I think of England:

July 18, 2009

So what better way to start your day in a foreign country than the same way you would back home? I had to get my fix...

After a quick bite at the local Starbucks (the food at the Starbucks is 100 times better than the food at my local Starbucks).. we were off for the famous changing of the guard in front of Buckingham Palace.

It was all good, until the military band started playing Somewhere over the Rainbow, the Theme to Austin Powers, and the Theme to Rocky. At that point I pretty much tuned out.

In the afternoon, if you are in England, you have to go for afternoon tea. And that was exactly what we did, at a place called The Wolsley. It was very upscale, and after we snapped thes pictures we got yelled at for taking pictures as it is against their policy.

Those were the best scones I have ever had in my entire life. Holy Mama! And I seriously wish I could import the clotted cream. I know this is gross, but if I could have taken a vat of it home, I would have.

To top off the evening, we took in a show. The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theater. It was a ghost story. And holy crap did it scare me. Very highly recommended, it was so good that it does not surprise me it has been running for 21 years!

July 17, 2009

And so begin's my big adventure, starting off with an International flight all by my lonesome to meet the Hubs in England. Here I am awaiting my flight in JFK.

Once I got to Heathrow, I met up with the Hubs. Here we are on the Picadilly Line Tube on our way to the hotel. I love the tube, puts NYC subways to shame.

July 16, 2009

As I wrote about on my gratitude blog one of my friends recently gave birth to twins. A boy and a girl. Unfortunately. they were a few weeks early, and Baby girl had to go to the NICU at Yale, but is doing well. Baby boy is spending his time in the NICU at Danbury Hospital, and I am blessed enough to be able to go visit! Here is a picture of the proud mama and her boy.

And here is my favorite picture from the day entitled "Oy Mama! Tough Day in the NICU"

July 15, 2009

When I was growing up I remember my aunt being a hand model. She always had perfectly manicured hands.

Today I bought myself a new bauble, and I thought I would do my best hand model interpretation for you. What do you think?

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 14, 2009

Drove up to Boston last night for a work meeting. Here is the trip summary from my new car:

I was so excited that I got 45 mpg. This is more than double my SUV. But let's not get too excited, I am not planning on giving up my SUV any time in the near future. I love it too much.

I also met up with an old friend for dinner. It was supposed to be a few hours, and wound up being 5. You know when you have a friend who you can just spend hours with and never feel like the time is passing? That was exactly it.

Here we are.

July 13, 2009

Ah the wonders of nature: Bees taking pollen from the overgrown "Monster" plant (for the life of me I cannot remember the name of the type of flower). So many bees the other day that I could barely get out of the car.

My neighbors and the people of my condo complex are obsessed with these plants and you can only cut them back at the end of the season or else they die. So in the meantime I have to suffer with it hanging over the flowerbed into the drvieway, and the bees. I guess I should be thankful I even have bees to pollinate these plants right? (I'm trying to be a positive thinker).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The miracle of life

A friend of mine recently gave birth to beautiful twins (a little early). It is always overwhelming to see the little feet, and the little hinny, and the little hands. It truly is a gift, and I am thankful that I get to be part of these new little lives. Here is my new favorite baby picture, I call it "Oy, a tough day in the NICU"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Good Friends

You know when you can just sit and talk for hours, and barely notice the time going by, or the sun setting outside? That is what I am thankful for. I just had a great night catching up with an old friend, and I wouldn't trade those moments for the world.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The ability to change my mood

Let's be honest, it can be a challenge to just live life day to day. It can sometimes feel like a struggle. I am reading this book, Abundance and the Secret Law of Attraction, by my friend Dave over at Practical Manifestations. You should really check it out. I love how it starts out talking about believing your soul can reach it's full potential.

So I am thankful today, that when I am in a bad mood, I can change it by reframing my thinking. I'll tell you a little secret. The past few weeks, the secret to changing my mood is a song by The Black Eyed Peas called "I Gotta Feeling". Give it a listen. I guarantee it will put a smile on your face and just might change your mood.

Here are the opening lyrics,
"I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good good night (x3)
Tonight’s the night night
Let’s live it up"

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It's the small things

Today, I am very thankful to have a day with beautiful weather, full of sunshine. I am also thankful to be lucky enough to be able to relax and decompress for a while while spending the day enjoying the sunshine.

You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift **UPDATED**

I swear if this song existed in high school, it would have been my theme song.

I recently was going through an old photo album from my senior year of high school. As part of my memorabilia, I had saved the tags off the "Kiss the Seniors" good bye gifts that were sold by student council. They were bags of Hershey kisses, and we all bought them for each other. I discovered one from a girlfriend of mine, which read, "Will miss you next year. Sorry these aren't from {Insert name of first boyfriend here}". Cue the music for most of my wasted high school years pining over sed first boyfriend (If you can really call it that when you are 13). Around that same time this song came through my iPod speakers. There are portions of this song that are a pretty literal wording of how some of it went.

I am pretty sure that there are a lot of people out there with a similar tale. Of course, it all worked out the way it should have, but I still get a smile when I think about how silly this all seems in retrospect.

"You're on the phone with your girlfriend, She's upset
She's going off about something that you said
She doesnt get your humour like I do

I'm in the room, its a typical Tuesday night
I'm listening to the kind of music she doesnt like
And she'll never know your story like I do

But she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts
She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers
Dreaming bout the day when you'll wake up and find
That what you're lookin for has been here the whole time

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can't you see?
You belong with me
You belong with me

Walkin the streets with you in your worn out jeans
I cant help thinking this is how it ought to be
Laughing on the park bench thinkin to myself
Hey isnt this easy?

And you've got a smile that could light up this whole town
I havent seen it in awhile, since she brought you down
You say you find I know you better than that
Hey, Whatcha doing with a girl like that?

She wears high heels, I wear sneakers
She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers
Dreaming bout the day when you'll wake up and find
That what you're looking for has been here the whole time

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can't you see?
You belong with me

Standin by, waiting at your back door
All this time how could you not know that?
You belong with me
You belong with me

Oh I remember you driving to my house in the middle of the night
I'm the one who makes you laugh when you know you're about to cry
I know your favorite songs and you tell me about your dreams
I think I know where you belong. I think I know it's with me.

Can't you see that I'm the one who understand you?
Been here all along so why can't you see?
You belong with me

Standing by or waiting at your back door
All this time how could you not know that
You belong with me
You belong with me

Have you ever thought just maybe
You belong with me
You belong with me"

July 12, 2009

So of course I am friends with a majority of my exes on Facebook, because we are actually friends in the real world. But I had to laugh my hinny off when I got this ad on Facebook pitting me again the most serious of my exes. Way too funny.

July 11, 2009

Today was our condo complex's annual pool party. It was a nice sunny day for a change. Here is a picture of our board of directors. fourth from the left is The hubs in all his vice-president glory. LOL.

Here is another pic of the Hubs and I. (and oh yeah got my hair rehighlighted...much blonder again)

Finally, because our condo complex is full of little kids, we hired a magician, who worked his magic on the crowd!

July 10, 2009

We went out for Sushi for dinner. Nothing like fresh salmon melting in your mouth. Love it.

July 09. 2009

My parsley plant has gotten so big, that we decided it was time to use some of the larger leaves. Here is a picture of me atempting to snip the largest ones:
(As a side note, look at how dark my hair is compared to this pic)

Here is my pretty parsley:

We had fresh halibut, so we made a recipe that involved a marinade with the parsley in it, and spanish olives on top. I also put some chopped fresh parsley on top.