Happy New Year and Happy Anniversary

December 31, 2008

While we are ringing in the New Year tonight, Pat and I will also be celebrating our wedding anniversary!
It is unbelievable that I take pictures almost daily and yet, this is the most recent photo of Pat and I together....it was taken in August....I guess I need to pass the camera once in a while:)

Four years ago today, we got married in front of all of our family and friends and then rang in the New Year with them before our reception came to an end!! It was a fantastic day.....and I cannot imagine that we will ever experience another New Year's celebration that will be as special or memorable as that one!!

It is hard to believe where our lives have taken us in four years. We have experienced a lot in a short period of time, but it has all been for the better!!

Although life is not perfect, our life is full....full of love and support that will carry us through any situation that is put in our path. I am fortunate to call this man my husband.......he is an incredible father and an amazing partner. The first four years have been a dream come true and I look forward to at least forty more!!
I anxious to see what this new year has in store for us. Happy Anniversary Pat....and Happy New Year to you all....We are headed to the Cape to celebrate and will be back in 2009!!

Just a couple of photos from our wedding and honeymoon...they were all scanned in so they are very fuzzy....I am loving the slideshow option on Fl!ckr.

Five Fun Filled Days

December 29, 2008

After five fun filled days of celebrating the holidays with our family, everybody is gone and our house is SO quiet.....it is almost a little depressing, we had such a great week together!! Sunday morning, everyone packed up and left, including Nick......he went to spend a couple days with Aunt Betty, Uncle Kevin, and Eddie!

I spent all day yesterday getting the house back in order and slowly but surely, getting into my normal routine again.....but not for long, we are leaving Wednesday for Cape Cod......at least I hope we are this time!! Since we don't get to see the "Gaelic" side of the family for Christmas, we always spend New Year's with them......so really, we are just getting prepared for round two!! I wish I could say the after holiday diet has started, but with more family celebrations this week, I am holding off...it will make a perfect New Year's resolution...especially with the bahamas trip just around the corner:)

Yesterday, I went through all the pictures that were taken over the past week and tried to figure out how to post them without having TOO many pictures attached to the post, so I decided I would do them as a slide show!!

The pics consist of Chrstmas Eve at my Aunt's house, Christmas Day at our house, Christmas night at my sisters house for the Yankee Swap, the day after Christmas at a local ski resort, and just some random shots of us haning out here at the house.

The Yankee Swap pictures are pretty funny.....they are near the end of the slide show....they are not very clear because they were taken in my sister's basement and it was kind of dark, but I had to capture some of the funny things that were passed around. There was a homemade a Blue Sparkle Lamp, a sexy pair of Santa Boxers with matching hat, and a Turbie Twist.....I think they sold them on one of the shopping networks...they are used to tie your hair up after a shower so it dries faster......you will have to see for yourself the pictures are hilarious.....I think the pic of Pat wearing the Turbie is my favorite. We had so much fun playing, that this swap is now going to be a Christmas tradition in our family!! Just for the record, Pat won the Turbie and I walked away with the sexy Santa outfit....we made quite a pair that night!!

Hope you are all recovering from Christmas and getting ready to ring in the New Year.
We are more than ready to say goodbye to 2008 and hello to 2009.....It has to be a better year!!!

Favorite Christmas Moments

December 26, 2008

We had a wonderful Christmas. The festivities are still going strong as we still have our family in town.....everyone is here until Sunday, so I don't have a lot of extra time to post, but I thought I would share some of my favorite moments from Christmas Eve at my Aunt's house and Christmas Day at our house.

Some of the girls Christmas Eve in my Aunt's kitchen.....
Standing in the back row from left to right, my Aunt Betty, me, Aunt Barbara, cousin lenore. Sitting in the front, my cousin, Nicole and my sister, Kristi.

My nephew Aidan guarded the tray of cookies all night....as you can see from the crumbs on his face, he also enjoyed a couple himself:)

Instead of playing with her pink girly gifts, she decided cousin Aidan's truck was more fun.......I think next year, my Mom will be buying Sarah one too!!

The look of surprise when Sarah saw all the gifts under the tree...I know the picture is a little over exposed, but the expression on her face was priceless:)

Sarah opening her new kitchen....she was all smiles when she saw what was under all that wrapping paper!!

Checking out her warming drawer!

Trying on my new apron...

Nick and his baby brother, Connor on Christmas morning. Nick spent Christmas Eve with his Dad, and Christmas Day with us....we alternate each year, so around lunch time Nick came home and we had a couple gifts to give his new brother.

Nick opening his gifts....he was thrilled with his laptop.....his first very own computer!

Eddie relaxing while listening to his new Ipod touch...with his puppy perched up on top of the couch! Sara conveniently placed her new baby doll right beside him just as I snapped the photo!!

I cooked and Pat carved. He was splashing turkey grease all over his new sweater, so I made him put an apron on....he refused to wear my pink one, so I found this tan colored one that he approved of.....love this shot of my hubs in the kitchen!

Hopefully you all enjoyed your holiday....we certainly did!! After our meal on Christmas day, we headed to my sister's house and took part in a Yankee Swap....more pictures to come.....it was a riot!! We all brought some very "unique" gifts....just wait until you see for yourself!!
Have a wonderful weekend.....I will be back on Monday!!

Merry Christmas....From Our Family to Yours!

December 22, 2008

Some of my family will start to arrive tomorrow around lunchtime so I will be stepping away from the computer for the next couple of days and probably will not get a chance to post again until after Christmas.

Since you were all so helpful during my quest for "The Picture" for our card this year, I thought I would share the end result.......

Lisa F with wording copy
This was the front of the card....thanks to a little editing from the Pixel Fairy Princess.

Here is the inside of the card

Wishing each one of you a very Merry Christmas.
May your holiday be filled with Peace, Love, and Joy!!

Many blessings to you all!!


From Aprons To Toolbelts......

December 21, 2008

....and a little fun in between!!!

It is pretty amazing what you can jam into a couple of days, when you set your mind to it!!

Sarah and I finished the baking and had a lot of fun in the process.....there was only one thing missing....Nick....but I talked to him this morning and he said that he and his Dad did some baking of their own!!

We ended up with 12 dozen cookies, and 2 loaves of pumpkin bread....Our pantry is officially stocked with goodies for our house guests over the holidays. Of course we did have to dig in and taste a couple for ourselves.....just to make sure they were okay.......

Sarah and I made three different kinds of cookies......
The first cookie(pictured on the left)is a White Chocolate Cherry Chunky.....this recipe I found online courtesy of my favorite southern chef....P@ula Deen. When I was in the grocery store I could not find the candied cherries the recipe called for, so I used dried cherries instead....I guess it worked, becasue they tasted really good!!

Those chocolate cookies in the middle are actually, Homemade Oreo Cookies....recipe compliments of one of my favortie bloggers.....she SHARED it on her blog last week....they looked so good, I needed to try them out myself. Trust me, if you make these, you will not be disappointed!!

The Italian cookies, I had made once before and posted the recipe.....if you missed it, click HERE. I just added a little food coloring to the icing to make it a little more festive!!

Unfortunately, or Fortunately....depending on how you look at it, Pat has been working like a dog....with Mortgage rates as low as they are right now, his phone is ringing off the hook....he actually had so many applications on Friday, that he pulled an all nighter and never went to bed. Saturday morning at 6am,I walked down the steps and found him still at his computer submitting online applications....he then, after not sleeping all night, had to spend the day visiting clients to pick up documents needed for all the files. He never went to bed until 8pm last night....36 HOURS STRAIGHT....I do not know how he did it!!

That being said, I have been doing all the cleaning, shopping, wrapping, and baking with Sarah in tow.......we really did accomplish a lot in two days, but the one thing that has been weighing heavily on my mind is the kitchen set that we bought for her. It was the first gift that we purchased and has been sitting in my garage in the unopened box. I have been asking Pat to put it together, and his answer is always......"Don't worry, we have time"

Do you all remember Sarah's stroller with the missing part the morning of her birthday? I did not want a repeat performance, nor did I want to be up on Christmas Eve putting this thing together. So this morning at 5am while my poor husband was trying to catch up on some much needed sleep....guess what I was doing.....

Putting together a kitchen set......
My creation

With a little elbow grease, the directions and a half pot of coffee...60 screws and bolts and those 28 pieces of wood became a kitchen! It took me about an hour and half....the last step was the worst...the hinges on the doors...I could have used an extra set of hands...but I manuevered and got the task completed without the assistance of Pat or Nick....this was definitely a first!!

After this little project, I was more than ready to hang up my toolbelt...the rest of the day was filled with wrapping, cleaning, and grocery shopping to get all those last minute items for our special meals. After all this, we still were able to squeeze in a little outdoor fun....here is our girl running around our backyard that has become a winter wonderland.....

Sorry for the abundance of photos... I was kind of excited to actually get outside and play around with the camera again...plus, I am not sure how much I will post between now and Christmas....maybe only one more, so I wanted to squeeze these photos into this post....these were straight out of the camera....no editing....that is a rarity for me. I am usually trying to cover up or cut something out.....being outside made a huge difference....the natural light seems to be much easier to work with...I have been having major issues with indoor lighting!!





I hope your weekend was as productive as ours!! We are officially DONE with everything.....now it is time to celebrate and enjoy!! Some of our family will be arriving on Tuesday afternoon......we are really looking forward to their arrival....Nick is especailly excited....he is counting the hours until Eddie walks through the door!!

Happy Holidays!!

Oh No....It's Snow!

December 19, 2008

When we are in the final days leading up to Christmas.....a wintery mix of snow and ice is not what I wanted to see when I woke up this morning!! I had planned to run all of my last minute errands in effort to avoid the malls this weekend.....but mother nature got in the way.....All those plans went out the window as today was declared a snow day!


Trying to make the best of our day indoors, we decided to bake!! Even though the roads are terrible, I did manage to make it to the nearest grocery store early this morning so that we could get started!


My assistant and I have been very busy today...we have made two pumpkin breads, Italian cookies, and White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies....and we are still baking!!

Recipes soon to follow!!

Have a wonderful weekend....Happy Holidays!!

Generosity Times Two

December 17, 2008

If you read my last post, I kind of left you all hanging about that the special surprise from my boss this holiday season!! Some might not find this exciting, but for Pat and I, this is such a treat!!

A handful of you girls that have followed my blog from the beginning, have seen first hand just how generous my boss can be.....You all remember that little vacation getaway to Sin City......it was such a great trip and oh man did we live the life of luxury.....a girl could quickly adjust to that kind of lifestyle......but because all good things must come to an end, the life of luxury ended the minute we stepped foot off the plane!!!!

As our company's fiscal year is quickly coming to a close, my boss decided to share with me how we faired this year!! Even in this terrible economy, we were able to achieve double digit growth due to our sales volume. He loves to reward people for a job well done, and add a little extra incentive so that I will repeat this performance next year.........so he decided to send Pat and I on another little trip!!!!!

Where you might ask????

I didn't think there was much that could have topped the Las Vegas getaway where we stayed at a posh hotel, took part in daily spa treatments, and had dinners in some of Las Vegas's finest restaurants, but I think this trip might give Sin City a run for their money......pun intended:)

We are spending 5 days, 4 nights, all expenses paid at this luxurious place..........

the Atlantis Resort Paradise Island, Bahamas
Pat and I are so looking forward to this time away!! With both of us working full time and two children that keep us hopping, there is little quality time for just the two of us!! A couple days of warm weather spent poolside with drinks in hand, and quiet dinners in some really nice restaurants sounds like heaven......it actually sounds like a second hooneymoon!!

Being that Pat works in the Mortgage Industry and we all know what has gone on with that industry this past year....some really scary stuff to say the least, we have had to take a step back and really be careful when it comes to our finances and money that we were spending frivolously! We would never be splurging on a trip like this if it wasn't given to us........we are both grateful for this man's generosity. I have worked for him for six years and he constantly amazes me with his random acts of kindness!

Since we are talking about random acts of kindness, I wanted to talk about one more person that has really touched my heart this holiday season. I think it is safe to say that most of you know I have an addiction to shopping for Sarah's clothes and although I have done some damage in the stores this winter season.....we have had someone supplement it greatly!!

About two weeks ago, I got an email from a very sweet bloggy friend who said that she had an entire winter wardrobe of size 2 clothes that her daughter had outgrown and she was looking to pass on. She instantly thought of Sarah, but thought because there were a couple states that separated us, I would not be interested. According to her, she had two very heavy, large rubbermaid containers filled. It only took me about 30 seconds to respond and say that we would absolutely pay for the shipping if she really wanted to pass them on!

Knowing her, there was no doubt in my mind that these clothes were in mint condition....and all clothes that I would hand pick for Sarah if I were shopping.

Without hesitation she packed them up and sent them out.....a few short days later two large boxes arrived on my doorstep. I could not believe what was inside!! She could have easily sold them and made a small fortune, but she didn't.....she passed them to a grateful friend and wouldn't take a dime!!

Words cannot describe how I felt when I opened those boxes.....I have to admit, I was crying as I looked at my kitchen island and saw the piles upon piles of beautiful clothes, some that still had tags on them and had never been worn. What a gift....to think that someone that I have never met face to face could be so generous and thoughtful.....it was rather emotional!!

I have saved all of Sarah's clothes in hopes that one day soon our China Baby will wear them....I know some of what is put away will never be worn again because they will be too small....I have containers upon containers of 0-3 and 3-6 Month clothes....I didn't think I was ready to let go of them just yet, but this sweet friend has truly inspired me. I want to touch someone's heart the way you touched mine!! I don't need to mention your name, you know who you are....just know that you have blessed me with the GREATEST gift of all this holiday season.....the gift of giving!!

Land of the Sweets

December 16, 2008

Sunday night, as the kids constructed and decorated their Gingerbread houses, our kitchen reminded me of The Nutcracker's Act II "Land of the Sweets"

There was certainly enough confection and marzipan flying around.....and after consuming large quantities of candy and icing, Sarah looked like she was doing the dance of the sugar plum fairy.... Well, her version...maybe not as graceful, but she was fluttering around the kitchen on her tippy toes from complete sugar shock!!

These may not be the prettiest pictures I have ever taken, but they certainly captured the fun that we had that night.

Nick totally blew me away.....he worked the pastry bag like no other!! I think he has learned a thing or two from Duff on Ace of C@kes....one of Nick's favorite Food Netw@rk shows!! He really did a fantastic job....this is the first year we did not have our GB house fall apart. They are both still standing today......they might be missing a few treats, but the structures are still secure:)

Nick did all the frame work while Sarah was taking her nap. She woke up just in time to decorate her very own house!! Although she was willing and ready to decorate, she would not let me brush her hair or pull it back.....hence the frumpy look!!

Hey, why is Nick licking his fingers? Can we actually eat this stuff......no one told me that!!

Daddy, you and Nick can take over....I don't want to build, I would rather supervise....more like have a snack while you two do the work.

Don't even think about taking my candy!!(This is my favorite photo...her eyes say it all)

Here are the finished products!! Nick and Pat did such a great job......they managed to cover a lot of ground considering they had "The Candy Expert" snatching up their supplies!!

I am happy to report that I am finally starting to crawl out from underneath all of the to do's and the stress is slowly slipping away.....I have the shopping and Christmas cards done, I just need to bake, finish wrapping, and do some cleaning before the big day.
As of today, I am basically done with work until January 5th. My boss is going away for the holiday and told me to take the rest of the year off! That in itself was such a gift......but it didn't stop there.......on top of giving me these last two weeks of paid time off, he presented me with another surprise.......details to follow....I am very excited to say the least!

The Candy Expert

December 14, 2008

Sarah took the name on her shirt very seriously....

I found the treat jar that is hidden away.....this only comes out when I am a really good girl!!

I must have been really good....these are even better than the usual M&M's that Mommy gives me as a bribe when she wants me to smile for the camera!!

I love anything that is chocolate and I cannot stop with just one!!

You are not going to take my jar away are you!!

Please don't take it.....Can't I have one more? I will make the pouty face.....will that work?

Sarah has become quite the chocoholic these days!! It all started with the M&M's for potty training and it has been downhill since.....she is always on the lookout for chocolate or skittles.......she refers to them as "BEANS". When I saw this shirt a couple weeks ago, I knew it was perfect for her.....she is the quite the candy expert!!

It has been an absolutely crazy weekend....we have been going nonstop!! I am glad that over the past two weeks I had a bunch of posts that were started and pictures that were already taken....otherwise I would not be posting at all!! The days are just flying by and there doesn't ever seem to be enough hours in a day to get everything done!! Is anyone else feeling extremely overwhelmed??

Okay...better run....off to address Christmas cards and wrap gifts!!


December 11, 2008

I came down the steps this morning to find that Sarah had rearranged the Nutcrackers that were in our living room. Pat had taken her in there to let her play with them while I was getting ready...one of the Nutcrackers is musical and it is her absolute favorite. Anyhow, I guess she did not like the way I had them displayed........this is how I found them........

She had them perfectly arranged from tallest to smallest in a diagonal line. Is it possible that at a young age of two, she is already picking up my OCD tendencies???

I had to call Pat back into the room and make sure that he had no hand in this.....he has some obsessive tendencies of his own, so I thought he had helped....he said no....she did this all on her own, I think you are rubbing off on her!!!

As soon as she saw me grab the camera, she came back to make sure I wasn't messing with perfection!!


In other news, we had Sarah's 2 year old check up at the pediatrician's office this morning. So these smiles that you see quickly turned into this look when she found out where we were headed......

Sarah is getting really good at the pouty face...and she knows when and how to use it!!

All went well...it was really our first doctor visit that she wasn't screaming from the moment we walked in the room...you see, the doctor is the other "Scary Man" in Sarah's eyes!!

It has been a while since we had a well visit and I was anxious to see how much she has grown....Sarah measured 35 inches tall and 24.5 pounds...still a little peanut. Thank goodness she only needed one vaccination so the tears were kept to a minimum!!

We returned home with a sticker in hand and a sore arm, but that didn't seem to stop her....it was right back to arranging and rearranging.....LOL!!
If I could teach her how to organize a closet, I would be set!!!

Wordless Wednesday

December 10, 2008




This is my nephew Ashton....I love his big blue eyes and his chubby cheeks!!

Winter Is Here To Stay

December 8, 2008

We have had quite a snap of cold weather this weekend. Saturday evening the wind picked up and the temperature dipped down to the teens. Just as we were heading to bed, we noticed that it had started to snow.....the first real snowfall of the season!! We have had flurries here and there, but nothing that has actually accumulated.

How thrilled we were to wake up Sunday morning to see the fields and trees covered with the pretty white flakey stuff. A little snow always helps to put me in the Christmas spirit....and I needed that extra boost of spirit because we had planned to head to the malls for a full day of Christmas shopping. As much as I love to shop, I get easily frustrated with the giant crowds of people....and worse yet......the dreaded parking lots.

Around noon, we bundled up and headed out. As we were driving along, with every intention of going straight to the mall, I could not resist the urge to make a little stop along the way to capture the snowy day......




All these shots were straight from the camera.....this was the only one I had to edit.....a little cropping because she was too far away!


It was such a cold, but beautiful day.....I think it is safe to say........winter is here to stay!
Just in case you are wondering....we eventually made it to the mall.....and we did finish our shopping.....HOORAY!!!