Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays!

This is a closeup pic of our tree...though it doesn't quite look like this since it's in a box somewhere in some storage unit...but next year, just you wait! It will be set up in the living room of our future home...wherever that may be (please let us get a good home...and soon!).

This Christmas revealed that I may be growing up. We've been staying at our friends' house in Jersey and this morning we woke up, pulled O into the bed, and proceeded to watch him kick and coo and do his wookie impression and that was our present and I was happy. Me, happy to unwrap nothing. Crazy.

(Of course I do know that there is a package waiting for us at the post office from Tommy's folks and any present for O is a present for me plus Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I think I already know what I'm going to ask for so I can't be THAT practical of an adult...phew!)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays to you and yours and may the God of your choice bless you!

(And as a fitting end to this post, I just looked out the window and there was the cutest little Christmas-red cardinal perched on the stoop.)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Santa and the Angry Elf

Things have been going pretty good.

When we first hit the East Coast, we had a great weekend in Jersey then came to Groton. Stayed at the hotel on base for a couple of nights then upgraded…UPGRADED to the local Super 8. They had the nerve to charge for the lobby coffee where my trusty Super 8 GIVES theirs away all day long and they have free wi-fi and a free continental breakfast that includes yummy make-your-own Belgian waffles.

But I digress (though they are truly amazing waffles)…we've been looking at houses this week and last. Shocking range of crap to fab options and I think we are going to make an offer on a really cute one…now our WA house needs to sell because contingency offers don’t hold too much water.

Oliver had a sore throat last week (Tommy and I had one earlier and you could tell by O’s hoarse voice he caught it). Nothing was more heartbreaking than hearing his precious croaking pterodactyl voice and knowing there was little we could do aside from give him the tiniest of drops of Children’s Tylenol – can you imagine living off boob and formula then getting that crap introduced into the mix? Ick E.

And tonight he met Santa for the first time. He was asleep when we did the pass-off and awoke to His Jolliness but didn’t share in the jolly. Since the trusty Super 8 doesn’t include an in-room scanner, I took this picture of the picture we bought and more actual pictures are on my flickr you can see, he's also learned to smile...A LOT and he has a violently precious two-syllable laugh that should hopefully grow. This is a good age.

NOW I’m getting in the Christmas spirit!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


December 7, 2006

Oliver turned two months old yesterday…and yet, it feels like he’s been around longer than that.

The other night during That Special Time that he and I share that usually falls in the 3:00 or 4:00a.m. timeframe and lasts for an hour or two, it dawned on me that I average about four hours of sleep a night compared to the desired eight. So basically, I’ve GAINED an additional four hours a day. Multiply that times the sixty or so days he’s been dazzling my life and you’ve got 240 hours or approximately ten days. So maybe that’s why I feel like he’s been around longer or perhaps it’s just because of this weird fog I’ve been in probably due to the lack of sleep. I say “weird” because I don’t feel like I’m in it til I look back on it. Seeing Kathi the other night, I remember thinking, “She looks really great” then because I think it, I get this weird assumptive feeling that I also tell her and it’s not til I download the pictures and see her that I realize I only thought it. You may think this is just average dinginess but it can get worse to some degree.

Before we began The Road Trip, I was talking to my brother Matt about our path and I told him how it would be great to just swing down and see him but him being in Boca Raton is “just a little” out of the way. He told me about Amtrak’s auto train, the only path it’s available is basically from Orlando, FL to Washington, D.C. (Sanford, FL to a little town in VA near D.C.). You literally drive onto the train (well, an Amtrak employee takes care of that part) and you pick what kind of “quarters” you want (family room for us, please) and you leave the rest to them. Suddenly seeing him & his lovely wife Theresa became feasible so I told him I’d look into it and off I ran with it….except I never actually told him I had ran with it so when I called him from the road to give him a general ETA, he responded, “You’re coming to Florida?” to which I heard a scream from Theresa in the background. Fortunately for my fog, their schedules allowed for it and we spent a blissful albeit ridiculously hot few days with them. Unfortunately for my fog, I didn’t take a single picture of either one of them holding Oliver. What the hell was I thinking?!? And now I regret that part immensely to the point that I’m thinking about printing a life-size pic of O and sending it to them so they can take pics of themselves with O’s representative.

If this trip has posed any questions it’s: Is the heat really a good reason to keep us from living anywhere? It hurt SO much to leave mine and Tommy’s families when we left TX and FL. These people NEED to be a part of O’s life but they all live in such hot places. Granted, we’re committed to CT for the next 3 years but after that we are going to have to do some figuring about where we should end up.

But I digress. Florida was wonderful even through the fog. Fortunately, Matt is still one of my best friends (and as an added bonus, he’s my brother thus making family holidays that much more pleasant) and he’s seen me at my worst (see Puberty – The Prince & Stevie Nicks years) so any sort of foggy demeanor rolls off his back (please oh please oh please let me be right about this). He and Theresa have a great house that is great mainly because of their own sweat and labor they’ve put into it. It was nice to just hang out there and was equally nice to take the water taxi around Lauderdale with them.

But as we left, I felt I didn’t spend near enough time with them…as I kind of do about all our stops along the way. Like we didn’t see any of Nashville aside from the Loveless Café & my cousin’s (though if and when I head back, the Loveless would still be my first stop) and we didn’t see more of Memphis aside from Graceland and the Cozy Corner (still two justifiably proper things to see, but still…hello? Sun Studios? The Peabody? The Grand Old Opry?). This speedy stop and go visits continued when we got to D.C. We went to the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural Hist
ory and Air & Space museums and saw the Washington Memorial from afar but that was it.

And yet, I don’t have many regrets. We’ve seen a lot and we’ve come to the last days of The Road Trip. As I type this, we’re headed to Teaneck, NJ to visit our friends Susan and Chris and finally get to meet their baby Dylan (and they can meet ours). As luck would have it, it’s Chris’s birthday and we hit a doozy of a $1.29 section at a truck stop so we were able to get a variety of delightfully crappy gifts.

So maybe the fog isn’t so foggy afterall.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Loveless Cafe

Dear Mike,

You have competition.

Mind you, you still reign supreme in the Biscuits & Gravy category but we have found a competitor that is hot on your heels.

Thursday night we pulled into Nashville and stayed with my cousins Ann & Mark. They have a gorgeous house (GORGEOUS – like, This Is The Kind Of House I Could See Myself In With The Proper Income gorgeous) that’s still very comfortable and home-y. We visited over a delicious dinner of mahi-mahi, potatoes, and salad with a cherry pie that we picked up on the way into town from Loretta Lynn’s Country Kitchen. (Did she and Elvis have some sort of affair or something? Because there was A LOT of paraphenalia re both.)

In my travel notes, I had the Loveless Café highlighted since I heard wonderous things about it, specifically about its biscuits and gravy. Because of this, I wanted that one last brunch of your (& Alton’s) version that you so willingly/thankfully made for us…okay, maybe not because of the café but using research as an excuse to dine upon such artery clogging bliss makes me feel a little less guilty.

While heading to my cousins’ place, it dawned on me that their place was off of Hwy 100 - just like the Loveless Café, so I asked about it over our healthy dinner. Turns out, they go rather frequently and were up for going for breakfast on Friday.

The place is darling – warm and friendly with a strong country vibe that doesn’t feel too hokey (not that that’s a bad thing). We sat down, ordered the Family Breakfast #1, and awaited the delivery of four small but powerful biscuits and that came with three types of homemade jelly/preserves…and butter, of course.

Then the rest of our food came quickly and deliciously.

So basically your gravy trumps theirs hands down, I mean, theirs is good and all, really good if I hadn’t had yours, but you know I like a little gravy with my sausage whereas their gravy to sausage ratio is heavier on the former. The biscuits on the otherhand give yours a run for their money. They’re not as flaky and not as large, two big drawbacks, but the salted-buttered-tops are a very nice touch.

Still though, yours still win…though maybe you & Stef need to head east to make some in our future kitchen just to maintain your title.

Just a thought.

Much love,

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Land of Grace

After a leisurely morning at Dad’s and a yum drive-thru lunch at Chick-fi-la, we booked it to Memphis. Today we toured Graceland. I probably didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have since I was watching the clock making sure we saw all we could see there and still have time to stop at Cozy Corner for some AWESOME ribs. Graceland had its moments, seeing E’s Lincoln Continental, white fur bed, and platinum cassette (who woulda thought they gave out more than just platinum albums?) was really great. After, like I said, we headed for Cozy Corner for some crazy-delicious ribs and wonderful hospitality.

Friday, December 01, 2006

May the God of your choice Bless You

After a huge Thanksgiving dinner and before the dessert spread, Father Stegman, a neighbor of my mom’s, came over to bless Oliver. I grew up Catholic but don’t currently practice it. I feel there’s a religion out there for me, I just haven’t found the exact one and until I do, I am happy to accept any prayers, blessings, and well wishes from any one that wants to pass them along to my family or myself. Recently I’ve heard the expression (the second time was by Kinky Friedman on David Letterman, I can’t remember who said it the first time), “May the God of your choice bless you” and I really like that – kind of sums my take on things. I think as long as you’re not hurting anyone and are positive and good, then your God is the right God. People may follow different paths but it’s still the same God in my eyes.

Father Stegman was very sweet and I felt a good positive energy coming from the whole experience – it helped that we had heaps of family beaming at us as well. And now I bounce that energy back to Father S, poor dear just got diagnosed with bladder cancer. And for everyone else:

May the God of your choice bless you.

The rest of the trip sped by and we headed to Dallas stopping in Waco to have a great visit with Tommy's extended family. His 2nd cousin Matthew was there and is insanely adorable and a vision into my future since I have a feeling Oliver will be cut from the same cloth. It was so, so great to see Tommy's grandparents with Oliver much less with all his other relatives. As an added bonus, his cousin Brian even gave O a West Point t-shirt! Thanks to all for their wonderful company and hospitality!

Onto Dallas....

Dad has had a time health-wise as of late. Since I was at the tail end of the pregnancy and the beginning of the birth, I was a bit sheltered from his condition but have since caught up. I am so, so thankful he is bouncing back but I still catch glimpses of what could have been but I think holding Oliver will give him further motivation to get healthy and stay well for years to come.

We got to see Jeff, too and take pics of Oliver in his Nascar truck. As an added bonus, we got to see his rockin’ dad. Man, I love those guys!

Speaking of true, deep sisterly love, I would also like to thank Kathi, Stacey and Phillip for throwing a damn fine “Sip and See” shower so friends could get together and ogle at Oliver – pictures of the shindig and the rest of the TX trip are on my flickr page.

Something I learned: Costco hummus is tahini-licious!