Cooking and Photography

January 28, 2009


If you have been hanging around this blog for any period of time, it will come as no surprise that two of my biggest passions are cooking and photography!! I love them both and if I don't have a camera strapped around my neck taking pictures of my kids, I am standing at my stove trying out new recipes.....then grabbing my camera and taking pictures of the I guess they are kind of working hand and hand.

So let's start with the cooking.....

I love spending time with family and friends and enjoy having people into our home so that I can cook for them. There is something so fulfilling about being able to put good food out on the table that my friends and family enjoy. I come from a long line of Italian women that love to cook and feed others, so I guess it was only a matter of time before I caught the bug. It really kicked into full gear after we moved into this house. I am taking my cooking up to the next level and have moved out of my comfort zone trying new things. I spend a lot of time in our is my favortie room in the house, and in my mind, it is the heart of our home!!

This morning I came down to my computer and found an email from DENISE, who asked if I could take some pictures of my kitchen and send them to her. They are in the beginning stages of re doing their kitchen and she has been trying to collect some ideas. Of course I was happy to do it{you know me, any excuse to use the camera}so I quickly snapped some pictures of my kitchen.

I have shared so many of my favortie recipes here on the blog and while doing so, you have all caught glimpses of my kitchen from time to time, so I thought instead of emailing them to her, it would be fun to post them here and let you all behind the scenes so to speak. Our kitchen may not be your taste or style, and I know there are many kitchens out there that are far more beautiful, but it works for us.......and keeps me in there doing what I love to do.




Now on to obsession number two.......Photography!!

Guess where I am heading this weekend???

Yes, this is the big Photography Workshop Weekend and I am so excited, I kind of feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning to arrive....I have really been looking forward to this class and getting to meet THIS very lovely and talented lady in person.

I am flying out tomorrow and mixing a little business with pleasure. I have a client to meet up with Thursday afternoon and then all the excitiment begins.......while down there, I will also be meeting a few other bloggy friends and family members......that is a will just have to wait to see who I have the pleasure of meeting up with!!

Unfortunately, THIS wonderful friend won't be making the trip......We both were signed up for the workshop and have been talking about it for weeks. She is very sick and has doctor orders to stay in bed for at least the next seven days.....I am so crushed that she is not able to attend, and can't imagine how heart broken she is about it. If you have a minute, pop over to her blog and wish her well.....she could use some cheering up:) Missy, I will be thinking of you all weekend.....get better soon!!

Okay....I am off to pack and then I am out of here first thing tomorrow morning and probably won't be around until Monday or Tuesday....wish me luck.....and get ready, I am thinking I will have lots of pictures to post and stories to tell!!

A special thanks to Pat for sending me on my merry way while he holds down the fort here at are the best honey and I will miss you all:)

Every Color Under The Sun

January 25, 2009


There are not too many places you can go and find every color under the sun......but The Crayola Factory sure is one of them!!

This weekend we met "Shelly and Family" for a color filled day!! Each of our families had a birthday to celebrate this past week and we thought both the birthday kids would enjoy a day of arts and crafts!!

Some of you might remember that after getting to know each other through our blogs, Shelly and I met back in October and instantly hit it off....We have been trying to get together ever since, but with their recent trip to China and the holidays, it was hard to get to find a time that worked for everyone. This get together happened by fluke as they were supposed to be in Florida....but their plans fell through at the last minute. Selfishly, I am glad they did, otherwise another month would have passed before our families could finally meet.

Together, we made our way through all of the exhibits and let the kids enjoy making hats, painting, coloring, sidewalk chalk, molding clay, and creating their own masterpiece by splattering hot melted wax onto paper!!

I honestly think the adults had just as much fun, if not more, than the little ones......a couple of these pictures might serve as proof that there is kid in all of matter what our age!!

WARNING: You are about to view A LOT of pictures.....I tried to use collages so it wasn't too obnoxious....but there is still A LOT....Sorry!! What can I say....I had 4 cuties to chase after instead of 2.....I just couldn't stop!!

My creation
Birthday girl Francesca, smiling for the camera, Annabelle hugging a life sized crayon, Nick painting, and Sarah crawling through a tube!!

My creation
Shelly and Annabelle posing for the camera, Sarah and Pat drawing on a glass wall.....let's hope she doesn't think she can do this on our walls here at home!! And some fun with Model can see this was one of my favorite areas!!

My creation
Sarah splattering some purple wax on her crayon shaped paper. Pat and Sarah being silly, thinking they were cowboys.....and Shelly and Keith hamming it up for the camera!!

Trying to help Sarah make a teddy bear out of her clay!!

My creation
Nick and Sarah using some sidewalk chalk, Sarah with her clay, Annabelle trying on her little hat....and Francesca putting some washable markers to good use!!

Nick was very adamant that he did not want me taking pictures of him all day while he was working on his projects{he is very serious when it comes to art} but he did agree to have a picture with Mom at the end of our is rare I get in the pics with my kids, but sometimes you just have to pass the camera to someone else!!

This is Sarah's "YEAH.....let's do it again" face. She really enjoyed playing with her two new friends...and I have to say that Nick was incredibly patient with all the little ones......he is such a good kid and always makes us proud!!

We had such a great time together.......It was a fun day for all!! Shelly and I get along so well, we could talk for hours and hours.....and on occasion, we do!! Annabelle and Francesca are as sweet as can be and I am so glad that our husbands finally got to meet!! They really got along, in fact, we have photographic evidence of how much fun these two had, but were told the pictures were never allowed to appear on either much as we both wanted to post these hilarious photos, we agreed not to....for now anyway!! You just never know when or where these photos might show up!!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.....I am happy to report our birthday festivities are finally I just need to work on getting rid of all the left over cake.....way too tempting to pick at it while working from home:)

Friday Photo Fun

January 23, 2009

We had a bit of a warm up today, a whopping 38 Degreess, so we layered up and stepped outside to get some fresh air. The flu hit me hard this past week and I was down for about 36 hours, but finally starting to feel myself again, so I figured the fresh air would do us some good!!

Sarah has been climbing the walls so I let her run around for a bit while I snapped away.....I think we got the whole gamut of faces from serious to silly......we had some tears too, she fell in the snow and got her hands all wet, which she hated!! I cleaned her up and then she wanted to wear her will notice that she does not put her thumbs where they looks so funny.....I try to fix them and she gets so angry, so I let it go.....I would think it would be uncomfotable, but she doesn't seem to mind.....



More birthday fun this weekend....Nick wanted to go to the Crayola Factory, so we are headed there tomorrow morning and meeting another Birthday girl and her family....we are so excited!! The first thing on our list of things to create will be the label for our new bottle of MONSTER GO AWAY SPRAY.....A special thanks to TONGGU MOMMA for passing on her brilliant idea!! We will let you know if that special concoction....keeps the cookie monster and all his friends far far away!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!!


January 21, 2009


Over the last few months, we have noticed some changes in Sarah. We have always called her our little dare devil because she seemed to have no fear. She is our thrill seeker of a child, she loves all things fast and high, she loves to go right up to animals of any kind, large or small. Quite honestly, she has always shocked both Pat and I with her lack of fear.

Even though all these things are still true, It seems we are facing the first thing that Sarah is fearful of......{well, maybe the second thing, how could I forget about Santa, otherwise known as The Scary Man}

The Dark!!

I am going to say it was sometime in November that she started showing signs. One evening, out of nowhere, she started talking about Monsters, but not just any monster, cookie monster!! At first I didn't think to much of it, after all she loved cookie monster, but the more she talked, I realized she was trying to tell us not to enter the dark room because there was a monster in there, cookie monster to be exact!!

I started to think that maybe all the Halloween talk of ghouls and ghosts were the cause of her monster talk and with any luck as we moved into the new holiday season the monster talk would stop.

It didn't, in fact it has gotten much worse and it doesn't seem to be monsters that are scaring her, it is the darkness. In the evenings if I am in one room downstairs and Pat is in another room, she will not walk from room to room unless everything is completely lit up.......She will scream....IT'S SCARY MOMMY and make us turn on every light in the house. If we turn something off, she will go back over and turn it on and tell us LIGHTS ON.

Now, I know this is a common age for Night Terrors, but we have not experienced that, at least I don't think that we have. She has woken up once or twice and pointed at the shadows from the trees and the lighted sensors that work with our security system but never full out violent screams and thrashing like I have read that is common with night terrors. On the occasions that she did wake up, Pat picked her up and walked her over to the window to show her where the shadows were coming from and the same thing with the lights on the detectors. She seemed to understand and it has not happened since.

Although, she is not waking up in the middle of the night, the monster talk and scared of walking through dark rooms in our house is constant. We have been trying to reassure her that there are no monsters living in this house, not even a Cookie might beg to differ if they see Pat and Nick once Girl Scout Cookies are delivered, but that is a story for another day......

When Nick was little he had lots of fears, but never of the dark or monsters, so this is a new one for us. Besides consoling her and keeping our rooms lit up, what else can we do to get her over this fear?? Have any of your children gone through this and what did you do to help put their minds at ease? I would love to hear thoughts and suggestions from those who have traveled down this road.

Officially Eleven Years Old

January 20, 2009


What more could a boy ask for on his birthday.....

Not only did Nick have the day off from school yesterday, thanks to M@rtin Luther K!ng.....around noon, it started to snow.....and I mean A LOT!!

I had intended to take the day off so we could spend it together, but unfortunately I had to go into Philadelphia this morning for an appointment that could not be changed. My parents kept the kids while I was gone and took them out for a special birthday lunch!!

By the time I made it back from the city, the snow was really starting to accumulate.....Sarah was down for a nap, so Nick, and I got bundled up and headed into the backyard for some fun in the snow.

Originally I was going to post some of my favorite photos of him that were taken over the last couple months, but thought it would be better to capture the essence of this very day so we could always remember it......



Rudy came out too....he loves the snow and had a blast chasing after the snowballs that Nick had launched across the yard!!

My favorite photo of the day.....this one is getting framed for sure:)

As requested by the birthday boy....we had fondue for dinner!! Nick made a great choice....we all enjoyed huddling around the kitchen island and dipping away!! We had so much fun, and are looking forward to our next fondue night. Nick has already suggested that next time we need to do a chocolate fondue!!

I think this picture is worth a thousand words.....they were both, not so patiently, waiting for me to finish cleaning up the dinner dishes so we could move on to the cake!! The kids picked the candles to put in the cake...the crayons were left over from Sarah's bday. Just in case you were wondering, the cake was as sinful as it was really good...very rich, but good!

All in all, it was a fantastic day of fun and celebration.....we still have some more birthday things going on this week, so the fun is not over just yet!!

I had hoped to get this post out last night on his actual birthday, but we got a little caught up in the festivities and well, you know how it goes....a day late and a dollar short!! So officially, he is eleven years and one day old.....oh to be that young again.....

A Barefoot Weekend

January 18, 2009

I know what you are thinking....Barefoot?? With temps below zero the last thing you should be doing is walking around barefoot!! Trust me, I am not....I have been walking around all weekend in heavy snocks and my favorite LL Bean wool lined clogs!!

With these record low temps, I have no desire to leave the comforts of our home!! Friday night we had planned to go to a friends house for a dinner party, but the plans fell through because she got sick. Since we were no longer going out for dinner, I had to figure out what we were going to do....

After a little thought, I turned to one of my favorite gals for help.....this is where the barefoot comes in........

Any guesses???? Here's a hint....


All of you food netw@rk junkies probably knew the answer before you even looked at the picture.....The Barefoot Contessa. I have a couple of her cookbooks and I am forever printing her recipes from the internet. I was flipping through page after page when I remembered an episode that I had seen long ago, where she made Chicken Pot Pie....not only had I seen it on tv, but recently one of my favorite bloggers had tried this recipe out for herself and gave it rave reviews. I figured it would be the perfect thing to serve on a cold wintery night!!

For some reason and I am not sure why, but when the weather gets like this, I LOVE to this started my food/cooking obsession for the weekend.....

After I made her Chicken Pot Pie on Friday night....and it did not disappoint, it was fantastic!! I made some more of her recipes on Saturday......Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip, The Perfect Roast Turkey(I made this recipe on thanksgiving, but we had a frozen turkey that needed to be cooked, so I made it again) and last but not least, with a little help from my assistant, we made a Chocolate cake with Peanut Butter Icing for Nick's bday tomorrow.


This is the roasted red pepper and eggplant dip....I know some of you might not be eggplant lovers, but you can't even taste it with all the other ingredients!!

I served it with crackers and baked pita bread. I usually buy whole wheat pita, slice it and rub it with a little olive oil, sprinkle some salt, pepper, and oregano or italian seasoning....then bake it for 8 minutes on each side. They are perfect for dipping.

Another great idea is to use this as a spread on sandwiches.....I put it on a nice piece of bread(ciabatta is the best) with provolone and then put it in the panini press. Sarah loved it....she ate it for lunch today:)

Nick's bday cake!!

Thank goodness for the extra refrigerator in the basement....I had to hide the cake so no one would eat it before Monday!! The recipe was for cupcakes, but we turned it into a cake. I love to cook, but I am not a baker by any stretch of the imagination...... I tried to fancy it up a bit for is not perfect....let's just say that I was going for a rustic look...LOL!!

Nick is thrilled to have off from school tomorrow. I have a few appointments in the morning for work and my Mom will be here with both the kids....She and my Dad are taking them out for a special birthday lunch.

When I get back from work, I will be getting things ready for the special birthday dinner we have planned.......

When I asked Nick what he wanted for his special dinner, he asked if we could do a fondue that is what we are doing. Cheese fondue with lots of fun stuff to dip and then chocolate peanut butter cake for dessert!!

Can I just say...I will be running the other way when I see a scale of any kind after this weekends food fest!

Oh and one last thing to wrap up our Barefoot themed weekend.....we invited my Mom to dinner Friday night because my Dad was away.....My Mom is one of those that can never show up empty handed, even when told...DON'T BRING what did she walk in carrying......A bottle of Barefoot brand appropriate!!

I hope to do a Bday post for Nick tomorrow night.....and I will let you know if the cake was a winner!

Have a great week!!

A quick note: Last time I posted about food, a couple of you asked me about the recipes...I always link them in the post. Click on any of the bold highlighted words and they will link you directly to the recipe:)

The Joke Is On Me....Again

January 15, 2009

For those of you that have been with me since I started this blog, you might recall my CHRISTMAS IN JULY post, when I first divulged just how humorous my husband can be.

Last year on Christmas morning he presented me with this very large, heavy box. As I opened the box with excitement, I was trying to figure out what was inside.....

Well I was certainly surprised....when this is what was inside the big box....

Yes, you are seeing correctly. Pat went to h@me depot and bought me a tool belt and filled it with cleaning supplies!! It was not what I expected to find in the box.....and the roars of laughter coming from my family could be heard for miles......It was the classic prank!!

It is a well known fact and a running joke with family and friends, that I take a close second to my Mom with her cleaning and OCD tendencies and Pat thought that this was the perfect opportunity to poke a little fun!!

So this Christmas came and went and I thought he might have another joke or gag gift up his sleeve, but nothing ever surfaced.

On New Year's Day, while visiting with Pat's family, my sister in law hands me a gift. I look at her very strangely because we were not supposed to be exchanging gifts.....the families are just way to big and we all really cut back this year. She looked at me with this funny face and said just open it.....

I unwrap it and find these pj bottoms.....

She thought they would look great with my toolbelt from last year!!

The joke was on me!!

Just when I thought I escaped Pat's gag gift this year, he passed the torch to his sister. Although, she was not with us on Christmas morning to see me open my toolbelt, she read the post last July and thought these pj's would be the perfect addition!! Pat thought that I should actually wear them for the picture....I said I could take a joke, but I was not going to go that far....

I am sure you are all visualizing me wearing these pj's with that that would be a picture.....

And just so this post is not all about me being the butt of family jokes....I thought I would add a litte cuteness for good measure....

Sarah was playing in my jewelry box and found a necklace she liked


I have been trying to take at least a couple pictures everyday......getting ready for the photography workshop weekend....exciting stuff!! I am a little nervous....but excited and anxious at the same time!!

Hope you all have a great weekend....Be back Monday!!

A Big Night for Nick

January 13, 2009

Saturday night, was a big night for Nick!! He experienced his first professional Hockey game.......and boy was he excited!!

The first week in December, someone graciously gave me two front row tickets to the Flyers game. My first thought was that it would be something fun for Pat to do with Nick....a great boy bonding night!! The timing could not have been more perfect....the game fell just one week before his birthday!!

As soon as I got the tickets that came complete with a parking pass and free concessions, I called Pat to see what he thought.....
Immediately, he said, he would love to take Nick, but he thought that we should give the tickets to Nick's Dad, so they could go together!! You see, Nick's Dad is a HUGE hockey fan and the two of them enjoy watching the Flyers games together on TV, so we knew he would be over the moon with excitement if he could take Nick to a live game!!!

We made the right choice, because when Nick and his Dad found out about the tickets, you would have thought they won the lottery......they were thrilled.

Game day comes and so does the snow.....we were a little concerned that they wouldn't make it, but luckily Philadelphia did not get hit as hard as we, Nick's Dad has a four wheel drive vehicle....definitely a plus when you have this kind of weather.

Before Nick left our house to go to his Dad's, he made sure he packed the old Kod@k digital so he could take some pictures while they were at the game.
Someone offered to take a picture of the two of them before the game started. Nick didn't have a flyers shirt to wear, so he decided the next best thing to show some Philadelphia love, was his Eagles sweatshirt.....given the recent turn of events in the football playoffs, I would say he made a GREAT choice!!!

Nick snapped this shot through the glass, while the game was in play!! According to Scott, they had more then a few players get shoved up against the glass wall. He said the first time it happened, Nick jumped out of his seat, he was so scared. Nick said he thought they were going to come right through the glass and land on his lap!!

Not only did they have some of the best seats in the house, they watched the flyers win, and they walked away with a puck that flew up in the air!!! I wish I could have been there to see that catch.....

It was a night they will always remember and I am so glad that Nick got to experience this with his Dad.....they were both so grateful and very excited to come home and tell us all that happened. The first thing Nick did was whip out the camera to show me all the pictures he took...... Then he asked me if I could put them on the blog..... I think I am starting to rub off on him....first the camera, now the blog....I better keep an eye on him with that new computer:)

Slow Cooking and Sleigh Riding

January 11, 2009

It has been an almost perfect weekend in my eyes.....

After all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and a long, overwhelming, first week back to work, it was so nice to have a cold snowy blast whip through the area. We stayed at home the entire weekend in our cozy clothes and did not have one commitment....that never happens and let me tell felt great!!

Friday, they were calling for snow, so I did my grocery shopping over lunch to avoid the big rush after work. I am not much of a planner when it comes to our meals, it is usually a spur of the moment kind of thing, but with snow on the way, I decided it would be a great weekend to use the slow cooker or crock pot.....

The first thing I made was Turkey Chili......It was perfect for a cold winter day....despite it's name...Indian Summer Chili
In addition to the ingredients in the recipe, I added 2 cans light red kidney beans(drained and rinsed)....chili is just not chili without them. I also threw in a couple shakes of red crushed pepper flakes, beacuse we like a little extra heat in our house.

Usually, I favor white chicken chili to the ground meat versions, but this recipe was really good. I cooked it on the stove top late morning and then put it in the crock pot on low so it was readily available throughout the day.....a great thing to serve if you are having a superbowl party:)

It snowed most of Saturday and Saturday night. When we woke up this morning, it surely looked like a winter wonderland out there, so everything needed to be cleaned off before we could do anything. While Pat was hard at work making sure our walkways were cleared, Sarah and I had a little fun in the snow......

This is my favorite picture of the day........
Sarah and Rudy standing in front of our house with the sled. This particular sled brings back lots of memories for me........My Sister and I rode it when we were parents recently gave it to me when they were cleaning out their basement. It still does not handle corners very well.....I dumped Sarah in the snow on more than a few occasions.....just like my Dad always did to us!!

Holding on tight.....

This is so much fun....WEEEEEE

Taking a break from the sled and giving my Mommy a sassy look.

Let me try to push........

Only one thing was missing this weekend....Nick.
He spent the weekend with his Dad after not seeing him for almost two weeks. Last night Nick and his Dad attended a big event.....we gave them this little treat as a Christmas gift. Since I was not able to be there....... Nick wanted to take our old camera along so he could take pictures. I will be blogging about Nick's big night and using the pictures he took.....I can't wait to see them!!!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend!!

Cape Cod In The Winter

January 8, 2009

I finally finished "fixing up" the pictures from our stroll down the beaches of Cape Cod. It was a very cold, wintery day, I think my family thought I was half nuts, for wanting to go, but they appeased me!!

The wind was so wild that Sarah never left the comforts of Daddy's arms. Nick on the other hand was loving life as he ran up and down the beach with Rudy.

The day was very overcast and hazy, so the pictures are not the brightest or most colorful, but I think they really depict the kind of day that it was.

Snuggling in close to Daddy, so he could shield her from the wind. I love how her little face is just peeking out of her hood!!

Nick in search of some snow

IMG_8396 Sarah and Pat checking out all the sea gulls looking for food in the water.

Nick with a snowball in hand getting ready to throw, with Rudy by his side. Guess who he was aiming at??? Yes, Me....the annoying Mom with camera in hand!!

Where else would you find lobster traps decorated for Christmas....I thought it looked so cute!

Look at this house....this was taken from the was located on the other side of the was gorgeous!! This shot doesn't even do it I would love to spend a summer in that house.......

To me Cape Cod is such a beautiful place.....there is something about it...the incredible views, the ocean air, the people, the is just a different way of life.....and something about it seems so appealing. Maybe because it is so opposite of where we day I hope that we have a place to call home there.....or at least, "summer home"......It is a dream that both Pat and I have.

I am so glad that we made the trip over the holidays. We really enjoyed the time we had with our family and we can't wait to go back. Hopefully we will be heading up for least all the snow should be gone by then!!


January 6, 2009

Back to work only two days and I am feeling completely overwhelmed!! Sometimes it is just not worth taking time off because everything you missed, is waiting for you when you get back!

In addition to the gigantic workload this week, we just received a huge packet from our adoption agency telling us that our homestudy and USCIS are about to expire again. This will be the third time we are filling out this paperwork and I hope it will be the last!! We need to renew it now in order to stay grandfathered in under the old I-600. If we let it go, we have to file under the new I-800. Sorry, if you are not part of the adoption community, you have no idea what I am talking about. From what I have heard, you should do everything in your power to avoid the I-800. So now I am having anxiety about completing all of this in a timely manner.

Somehow, I always feel like things will slow down after the holidays and January will be a quiet month......that is never the case!! This is going to be a really busy month for us. Nick has midterms next week, so there is already panic in the air and some major studying going on around here.......he also has a Birthday coming up. Nick will be 11 years old on the 19th......It feels so strange to say that...I cannot believe he is going to be seems like yesterday he was a little baby and now....well, now he is towering over his old Mom. We have some fun things planned for him this will have to wait and see!!

Even though it is going to be a really crazy month for us.....there is something fun to look forward to as the month comes to a close.......

For my Christmas gift, Pat is sending me to a photography workshop given by an INCREDIBLY TALENTED lady, who has an enormous heart and is just amazing in my eyes. I cannot wait to meet her in person. Not only I am excited about meeting Debbie, I will also have the opportunity to meet another one of my favorite bloggers....She and I have had a few phone conversations and we are never at a loss for words...or laughs!! I know that this will be a great weekend filled with lots of learning....and lots of fun too!!

Another thing on my plate this week, is to get rid of the Christmasy blog and have a new one designed. I was trying to figure out what pictures to put in the header and realized that I had so many of Sarah and not enough of Nick, so I took him out to try to get a couple quick shots...I am thinking this one might be the winner....not sure yet!!

Okay, I have gone on and I better wrap this up. I still have not had the time to edit my Cape Cod winter beach photos, they will be posted by the weekend!!

So, am I the only one feeling a little overwhelmed even though the holidays are officially over??? It is a new year and I have a list of to do's more than a mile long!

We Actually Made It This Time!!

January 4, 2009

I was starting to think we were never going to make it to Cape Cod. We never made it for Thanksgiving becuase of a work emergency, and as we were ready to leave on New Year's Eve, we found out we were going to be driving into a snow storm! We were determined to get there, but we could not leave before lunch time because of some other obligations. We felt pretty comfortable because we are on highway the whole trip and our vehicle is 4 Wheel Drive, so we left as scheduled!!

Our typical 5 hour trip, turned into an 8 hour nightmare drive...the traffic was horrible and the further North we got, the worse the roads were. On top of the snow there were really bad winds that were causing a lot of snowdrifts.

Poor Sarah was stuck in her carseat the entire time. Thank goodness Nick was already up there.....I was able to sit in the back with her to try to keep her occupied as best as I could with books, games, and snacks!!
This is Sarah with her "Are We There Yet" face! Believe it or not, she tried to get herself out of her carseat at one point. The little devil figured it out....she got her arms out and was unhooked!! Have any of your kids tried this? Nick did it to me once, but he was older and I was driving on the highway and looked back and saw that he got himself out....I screamed so loud out of shock to see him sitting there that I scared him half to death....he never tried it again!!

Our time of arrival was 9pm....We actually made it this time!!! Since we were running so late and the weather was really bad up there, they cancelled plans to go out and had a little party at my Sister In you can see the party started way before we got there and we had some serious catching up to do!! Pictured here are all my sister in laws Jan, Mary Pat, Ann, and a fun loving family friend, Dee Dee!!

Just about midnight....I am trying to catch up!! We literally walked in the door, dropped our bags, and grabbed a bite to eat and something to drink!! I had planned to wear a very cute outfit for going out.....but since we stayed home.....I never bothered....I went with the "Just sat in the car for eight hours look"

Me and my girl at midnight!! Sarah made herself right at home at Aunt Ann' soon as we got there she put on her ballerina PJ's and she went straight for the toy can see she is clutching a red bag in the picture....that is her newest obsession.....bags of all kinds....I call her my bag lady!!

Sarah and her Daddy.....ringing in the New Year!! I am not sure who has their hands on Pat...I was taking the picture......must have been one of his sisters......I hope!!!

Not even five minutes after midnight, she fell asleep on the couch with a crown on her head....she was our baby new year!! Ever since Sarah was born, she sleeps with a blanket and it must be pulled up around and over her face in order for her to fall asleep!!

After snapping the pic of Sarah on the couch, we turned around and my SIL and BIL's dog, Casey was laying on his doggy bed....he looked so cute that we decided he needed a hat too!!

New Year's Day, Pat met my Aunt and Uncle to pick up Nick....Nick had a wonderful time visiting and spending time with his cousin....they did lots of fun things together....but it sure was great to have him back. He and Pat and the rest of the cousins spent the afternoon playing Guit@r Hero W@rld Tour and watching football. It was another fun family day that ended with a great meal....we always have pork and sauerkraut on New Year's is rumored to bring good luck!! I am not sure about you all, but we could use some good luck in 2009!!

Tomorrow it is back to work for holiday vacation is officially hoo!! I will post part two of our Cape Cod trip tomorrow night....we did make it to the beach....a VERY cold, snowy beach....but I did manage to get a couple of cute pics of the kids and some beautiful shots of some ocean edge homes!! I better get moving....I have lots to catch up on after being gone for the last few days!!

Hope you all have a great week.....the first week of a New Year!!