28 September 2011

three years of bliss

hi friends.  sorry it's been a few days, but as i mentioned earlier, i had some important business to attend to.

yesterday was our three year wedding anniversary :)

yes, three years ago yesterday i married my best friend.  it hasn't all been easy or what we thought it would be, that's for sure.  but it's definitely been the most fun ever, i've learned a ton, and we have accomplished much more than i thought we would in our first three years as married team.  the best part - it still feels like just yesterday that we got engaged.  he still makes me giggle and i light up when he comes home from work.  it's kind of amazing :)


24 September 2011

blanking weekend

1.  the best thing i did all week was some how avoid (or at least defer) getting sick.
2.  my favorite tv shows on thursdays make me super happy.

3.  pets are what can make anyone happy anytime, no matter how down you are.

4.  my husband is the best thing about my life.

5.  with the cooler weather i am looking forward to using our new fireplace and drinking wine again.

6.  something that's on my "wish list" right now is a maid. no joke.

7.  this weekend i am going to  celebrate my three year wedding anniversary with my best friend :)

that's right people... 

three years ago, philip and i got married <3 

so sayonara suckers, see you next week, because this weekend i'll be celebrating my anniversary! 

ok sorry that was rude.  but seriously this weekend we are celebrating our anniversary because it's actually tuesday (the 27th) and i have the phone bank.  it's a super busy week next week followed by another weekend of classes.  but one big announcement first... we have started, after philip turns in his fall paper, to get back to working on the bathroom.  FINALLY!  our next order of business is to tear down the tile and start painting... so soon i should have some developments.  hooray! 

enjoy your weekend!  i am headed off to a surprise dinner somewhere... ;)

19 September 2011

bringin' it home from boston

hi friends.  it's monday afternoon and that can only mean one thing - vacation time is over.  it's back to the grindstone.  my first project for my policy & leadership class is due today (already turned in, thankyouverymuch!) and i've been up since 4am colorado time.  yikes.

so here's the short version: it was an awesome weekend friends!  we took the red eye thursday night and got in super early friday morning -heading right into the cave for some sleep catch-up.  the afternoon was relaxing; we got up when we were ready and walked over to aj's new apartment.  it's so great, i love the loft's style.  concrete floors, walls that don't go all the way to the ceiling, it's just fantastic.  very aj.  we went out friday night (dad started our dinner at tico with a round of patron shots for the table...) after an awesome dinner to the gallows, where i had a cocktail with becherovka.  heaven.  the rest of the weekend included southie brunch at stella, dinner in the north end complete with gelato, and of course one night ordering indian food in while watching the emmy's just for the hell of it.  pretty relaxing.  before i launch into this week (including my first math exam and an annotated bib assignment), i want to share some amazing pictures i got from this weekend.

16 September 2011

blanks from boston!

greetings from boston friends!  we landed safely and came straight to sleep for a few hours in the cave (an interior room of my dad's loft that is completely dark, quiet, and the perfect temperature for hibernation).  but we are showered up and headed off to aj's soon - SO excited to meet his roommates, spend time with my family, and see once again all the amazingness the city of boston has to offer.  have a great weekend all! 

1.   you should always take time to  do nothing but enjoy company of loved ones.

2. volunteers  make(s) the world a happier place to be.

3.  i can hardly wait for fall weather, my hair to grow longer, wearing boots and hats and scarves, my leadership paper i'm strangely looking forward to.

4.  sunday is my favorite day of the week.  i might have school but i never work on sundays.  and philip and i have little rituals for sunday mornings :)

5.  something totally dumb and ridiculous that i love is  (ugh, do i have to pick one? almost everything i love is dumb and ridiculous) but i guess the winner would be thursdays with philip. our favorite shows, i do this little 'thursday dance' that is getting revamped this year, and it's my sworn off-limits-to-school day. 

6.  if i could, i would quit my job tomorrow. not because i don't love it or the people, but because i would love to volunteer and go to school full-time.

7.  i rather like  doing this blanking from my dad's couch in boston on the first of four days off.  it's kind of lovely :)

what do you rather like?


14 September 2011

from liz lemon to leslie knope

strange things happen when you are sleep deprived, study local government your entire weekend, then fall asleep to parks & rec.  and this is what happened to me monday night.

philip and i are huge 30 rock fans. and philip likes to make jokes about how similar i am to liz lemon.

i mean, our love for all things food (except meat), lack of exercise, lack of grace, lack of interest in romance and love for saying inappropriate things when other people are lovey-dovey, love for writing, laziness... the list goes on.  there was always at least one time per episode liz would say something like... "well, one of my new year's resolutions was to say yes. yes to love. yes to life. yes to staying in more!"  and philip would just give me the look like that is so you.  and he had a point.

but on monday night, something different happened.  it was a regualr night; i was coming off of a weekend studying public policy 24hrs a day, worked all day monday, came home, watched the GOP debate and then two hours of rachel maddow.  and when i finally went upstairs to go to sleep, i put on an episode of parks & rec.  while i dozed off listening to leslie knope debate the issues of installing a community garden, i had a strange thought.  in my new life i'm creating this semester, i'm much more leslie knope than liz lemon.  i am a busy, busy woman.  i'm really into politics.  i'm volunteering.  i believe in the power of local government.  i'm involved.  i'm a feminist (i was one of those as liz lemon, too, but still).  leslie never says she's a liberal, but... you know she is.  she's got framed pictures of speaker pelosi and secretary of state clinton.  and even funnier - in our fake local government administration we created in my public policy class, i'm in charge or parks, economic development and planning and historic preservation.  sounds about right.  

i know how nerdy this sounds... but i couldn't be happier!  i got up tuesday morning to work (while we were down two girls at the office, no lunch break for me :( ), worked a good 9 hours, and then went straight to my OFA phone bank to make calls for two hours.  and when i came home, i felt super super good.  good enough to crack open an IPA and blog to all you lovely people :)  i'm into my 9th day without a day off but i'm loving my busy, involved new life.  i feel so dedicated and motivated - i just wish i had more hours in the day!

well friends like i said today is my 9th day straight working, thursday will be my 10th.  but i'm celebrating 10 straight days in a big way - headed to boston friday night to spend FOUR WHOLE DAYS with my awesome family out there!  so super psyched for fall on the east coast and some good dad/aj time.  much needed.  i'll still do my friday blanking as usual but otherwise you'll hear from me after my vacation!  

and here's the link to volunteer with your local OFA group to help organize some real change in your neighborhood :)

11 September 2011

where were you?

9.11.01.  it's on everyone's minds today, understandably.  in my public policy class today, we opened by having everyone share their 9/11 stories and how it has changed our world, as well as how it has changed our definition of leadership.  here is my story.

when my dad moved back east after my parents' divorce, he used to call my brother and i every morning for school.  he was our wake-up call.  and on monday, september 10th, my dad (who was living in boston already at this point) told me that he was heading to new york later in the day for meetings at the world trade center.  it was a pretty normal occurrence, he traveled a lot for his job and routinely commuted between nyc and boston.  he'd stay with my nanny, see friends and family, spend time in the city.  not a bad deal.  on tuesday, september 11th, i woke up to the sound of my mom running up the stairs.  her voice was frantic, and told me a plane had hit the world trade center.  she turned on the small tv in the corner of my room and we sat on my bed together and watched the coverage, including the 2nd plane hit.  i don't remember crying or knowing what to feel besides numbness.

i started calling my dad's cell phone.  no signal.  phone lines, satellites were down all around new york and i couldn't get anything besides a busy signal when i called his number.  i didn't know what to do with myself, so i started getting ready to go to school as if it were a normal day. i had the tv on watching the news coverage when the first tower collapsed.  i dropped my curling iron it landed on my foot.  i fell on the floor and cried.

in school i belonged to a group called BIONICs, which was a peer counseling group.  it just so happened that was my first class of the day on the 11th, so when i got to school i walked into class.  our principal was in the classroom, talking to us about what happened and explaining how we could respond to students who were greatly affected.  no one in the classroom happened to know that my father was in new york, missing as far as i knew.  i left class about halfway through and started calling my grandparents - but the phones were still down.  i couldn't get a hold of anyone in my family.

but what i'll never forget about that day was when my cell phone finally rang.  i was sitting in BIONICs (i was in that class all day before we were dismissed early) when i looked down at my ringing cell phone and saw my dad's phone number.  i ran out of the class room and answered the phone outside.  neither one of us spoke, but both just sat on either end of the phone crying.

it wasn't until later i would learn that my dad never even made it to new york on the 10th as he had told me.  a huge fight with his then-wife caused him to stay the night in boston, and he decided instead to take a flight out to new york on tuesday morning.  he re-scheduled his early morning meeting for a mid-morning meeting.  he never made it.  and i can't imagine my life now if he had made it to that meeting.

my family did lose a good friend of ours though - david silver.  he and his wife holli were a part of our family in new york for a long time.  my best memory of david was him dressing up as santa claus on christmas, even though he incredibly tall and thin (and jewish).

it was rough to talk about this all in front of class this morning; like lots of americans recalling the evens of that day make me very emotional.  but talking about it in class this morning in direct relation to politics and leadership opened the doors to lots of great conversations.  tolerance and helping those in need are two huge reasons why i'm in the new directions program, and even though i gave my weekend up, i loved every minute of our discussions so far.  i'm excited to see where i go next.

and as for 9/11... never forget.  i saw a quote online the other day - a person dies two deaths; one when their eyes close, and again when their name is said for the last time.

10 September 2011

another f-i-t-b saturday

hi friends :)  i'm happy to report that today was my first day of weekend class (up first: politics, policy and leadership) was great!  i was really nervous most of the week and totally unsure of what to expect.  but the first day has come and gone and i've already met some great people.  my professor seems awesome and very approachable - i'm very happy about that.  

going to school today was such a different experience than in the past.  i was so motivated!  i was really engaged in class and actually wanted to learn all the things we were going over - imagine that :)  no blank stars and drawing little pictures in my notebook for this lady.  we talked a lot about what government should be and what is unique about america's form of democratic republic.  lots of interesting ideas - and some other students who were very vocal about their uninteresting ideas.  but if i'm going to study political science i better get used to people who are passionate, vocal - and have ideas different from mine.  it's funny how many different euphemisms for democrat and republican i heard today.  no one specifically taking sides but lines were definitely drawn.

anyway, i've been taking notes all day and i'm pooped.  here is a little blank-filling-in for you since after work it was straight to happy hour for me :)  happy saturday all and i might be back tomorrow! 

1.  somewhere someone is getting on a plane for a trip, and i am very, very jealous.

2.  the awesome experiences of my life is/are my muse.

3.  it would suck if wine was no more because it's a big stress-reducer for me (probably not healthy but true).

4.   having a successful first day of weekend-school is/are my favorite thing about today.

5.  life is kind of like the ocean, it ebbs and flows and can be stormy, but in the end it's beautiful, deep and full of life under the surface - there's always more than what you expect.

6.  if i could have anything i wanted i would want a job with a non-profit i'm passionate about where i could really make a difference in people's lives who really need it.

7.  a funny thing happened the other day... i got a call from someone in obama's campaign about volunteering, and we talked about my availability.  i told him it was pretty limited because i'm going back to school on the weekends now... and he's in my public policy weekend course.  crazy small world!

05 September 2011

happy 50th!

tower of london with dad, 2009

happy labor day friends!  i can't believe our long holiday weekend is almost over... we did all kinds of superfun stuff this weekend but i'll blog about that later.  this post is for one very, very special man to me.

my dad, who is celebrating his 50th (!) birthday today!  now he's definitely not lookin' 50, and he's not acting 50 either, which i love about him.  i don't have a 10 best like i did for aj - i have something a little bit different.  i just want to share with all of you a little bit about the kind of man my father is.

czech republic, 2006
christmas eve on 5th ave, a family tradition, 2007

he's a queens, NY man, born and raised.  his loyalty is to his family and it doesn't matter who may threaten that - you'll regret it instantly.  he's the life of the party, wherever he goes.  he's the one who knows everybody and will make friends with absolutely anybody he sit next to in a bar or on a plane.  he's part alec baldwin in it's complicated, part george clooney in up in the air.  he was the grown up who was never too old or tired to play with the kids - always taking us on scary drives, racing us to the buoys on the beach, playing football in the pool, or throwing us in the ocean.  my dad was the dad that my friends would say wished was their dad.  he's the kind of guy that, "...when you have his attention, you feel like you're the only person in the world, that's why everyone loves him so much."

paris, 2009
dad & i on his wedding day, 2009

he's the dad that took me to toronto for spring break my freshman year of college - while all my friends were boozing in cancun, i was hanging out at the hockey hall of fame with my dad.  he met me in detroit for my 19th birthday, where we went to the avs - red wings game on my birthday, even though it was valentine's day, he hung out with me.  he'll talk hockey with me, even though he hates that i know justas much as he does (that's right dad, i said it).  he's the person from whom i got my clumsiness, my olive complexion, my dark sense of humor, my sicilian temper, my appreciation and obsession of U2, my love of family and my adventurous spirit.  he taught me the measure of a person isn't how many times you fall, but how many times you get up.  he instilled in me the importance of tradition but not taking anything in life for granted.

singing 'summer wind' with the guys, 2010
goofing around at ed's restaurant, new hampshire, 2010

he's my dad, and today he's 50.  happy birthday daddy :) 

02 September 2011

ooh... fill-in-the-blank friday!

1.   one thing that is completely superfluous, but that i could never give up is our beer budget.  really.  we go to the market, we get our toiletries, and then we have a separate budget from which we indulge in the season's best offerings - lately it's been IPAs.  LOVE THEM.

2.  singing or talking in fake accents (unless i'm alone) makes me feel awkward.

3.  i can't go through these early september days without thinking about 9/11, and how my life could have been so different if it weren't for one woman saving my dad's life.

4.  anything with peanut butter is my favorite snack.  seriously - apples, bananas, wheat thins, celery, i don't care.

5.  lately i've been super super stressed.  sad face.  you can see it on my face too, thanks to my hormones. 

6.  if at first you don't succeed  then remember - the measure of a man (or woman!) is not how many times he falls, but how many times he gets up.  words to live by.

7.  fall is my absolute favorite time of year. my wedding anniversary, vacations, changing of colors, boots, new music... well there's a 10 best of fall coming out soon, so you'll see it all.  it's more about rebirth than spring is, to me.

01 September 2011

lend me your eyes...

hi friends, welcome to fall. finally.  it’s been a long summer for me and i couldn’t be happier to see the beginning signs of autumn, even with all the change the new season will bring.
i started writing something earlier, but i'm going to change my approach.  i love that about the day.  a lot like life in general, i started this day going in one direction and by the end of the day have an entirely different outlook and idea of what i want to say.

i had happy hour with someone who is easily one of my new favorite people.  a really healthy (emotionally and mentally) woman who has her priorities and life in order.  it was refreshing.  sarah and i indulged in vita's happy hour and some good conversation.  we talked a lot about settling in life and getting to where you really wan to be.  she really made me think of a line from a song i'm currently obsessed with:
‘lend me your eyes and i’ll change what you see.’

how easy other people's lives may seem sometime.  it's kind of like the old adage about walking a mile in someone else's shoes, only a little different.  or 'the grass is always greener...'  but this isn't about living someone else's life, it's about witnessing what other people see.  imagine what your life could be like if you saw things through someone else's eyes, just for a few moments.  i feel like i had a glimpse of that, and that is what has really motivated me to change my life.  i'm going back to school, i'm pursuing a new career (someday), i'm volunteering, i'm looking to make a difference.  all because i was lucky enough to get a glimpse of the world through someone else's eyes.  it awakened my soul.  i've blogged about this before in a way, but i guess other people and their experiences are big motivators in my life.  we are all here together - one life, with each other, sisters, brothers - and it's up to each and every one of us to help each other through this journey and prepare our planet for the next generations.  i don't know how anyone could possibly live their life without thinking of their fellow humans - some without healthcare, some without shelter, some without food - and go on living as if anything else at all matters.  ok, maybe that's a bit extreme - but what i'm getting at is shouldn't we all be working towards making the world a better place, no matter how we go about it?

sorry for the short but randomly deep post... blame it on my newly impassioned soul :)  remember friends...

one love, one blood, one life you've got to do what you should.

i urge you all to live your life with the rest of mankind in mind.

til fill-in-the-blank-friday...