Archive for the ‘friends’ category

I’m married!

September 23, 2011

Jim and I got married last Saturday in the Syracuse, NY area. Here are a few pictures from the rehearsal dinner, which took place at the Wellington House in Fayetteville.

My husband and me

My siblings and me

Some of us about to eat

 Here are a couple of pics from the ceremony, which took place at Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville:

And some pictures from the reception, which took place at the Lafayette Hills Golf & Country Club in Jamesville, NY.


The wedding was so much fun (at least I had a blast)! I can’t wait to see the professional pics!

A great way to start a Sunday morning

August 21, 2011

My fiancé and I have a friend named Charlie who’s been cultivating a garden this summer in Woburn, Massachusetts. We saw it for the first time this morning, and were quite impressed. Check out my pics:

The garden is 54 by 54 feet.

Tomatoes

Jalapeno peppers

Cabbage

Asian eggplant

Rosemary

Radishes

Lettuce

Brussels sprouts

One entrance to the garden

There were lots of bees pollinating flowers.

Cucumber

My pics don’t even begin to show all the produce that was there, including spinach, tomatoes, onions, Brussels sprouts, squash, zucchini, lettuce, eggplant, rosemary, basil, snow peas, green beans, cabbage, radishes, parsnips, cucumbers, jalapeno peppers,  corn and watermelon. We ended up with a bunch of veggies to cook this week!

My fiancé , Jim, and Charlie in the garden

Here are a few pics showing the garden’s surroundings:

There's a swan in the distance!

“I’m ba-ack!”

August 20, 2011

Wow, I’ve been MIA the last few weeks. Not that many people noticed, but I feel weird not having blogged for so long. So here I am, bright and early on a Saturday, ready to share my experiences from the last few weeks.

A few weekends ago I met up with some college roommates in Ocean City, Maryland, and we had a blast relaxing at the beach, going out for dinner and drinks and catching up. Here’s a picture of us at Liquid Assets, a bistro and package store with an awesome menu.

We started off the evening with martinis, shared a decadent cheese plate and enjoyed our delicious main courses. I got garlic chicken with roasted tomatoes, onions, fingerling potatoes, Benton’s bacon, spinach and herbs. One of my friends ordered the open faced slow braised Carolina pork BBQ with chipotle coleslaw and thick cut fries, and the other two got seared scallops risotto with roasted garlic and shallots, peas, mushrooms, fresh herbs and grana padano.

My garlic roasted chicken

The pork BBQ

The seared scallops risotto

The weekend following our Ocean City Extravaganza was a busy one as well. Jim and I hosted some friends, went to a Red Sox game and attended a two-day marriage prep class. The Red Sox game was a blast — thanks to our friend, Candace, we managed to get second-row seats!

Our view of the park

Unfortunately, the Red Sox did not win this game (and what’s worse is they lost to the Yankees), but we still had a great time. We enjoyed watching Dustin Pedroia do his little hop move before fielding the ball, making fun of Candace for her “crush” on Josh Reddick (I put crush in quotes because the rest of us sort of invented it) and going out after the game.

The marriage prep class was quite an experience. Due to a friend’s recommendation, we attended the one at the Espousal Retreat House in Waltham (completing a “Pre-Cana” marriage course is a requirement for a Catholic wedding, which we’re having). We showed up on Saturday to discover that 75 other couples in the greater Boston area were doing the same thing. Apparently, this was a record number. We spent the next couple of days together, listening to married couples share their marriage experiences and insights, receiving advice from a priest who’s worked with hundreds of married couples and discussing different aspects of marriage with out significant other.

The Espousal Retreat House in Waltham

In fact, they had each us one us complete forms devoted to specific topics, and then discuss our answers privately with our fiance (or fiancee). Topics ranged from finances to goals to religion. It was helpful to discuss those taboo topics you always try to avoid but really should confront. My fiance and I learned a few things about one another, but were pretty happy must of the subjects we’d already addressed (and were familiar with the other person’s perspective on).

The big theme of the weekend was: COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SPOUSE. Even if you have an issue with another person (say, a friend of the family), you should always be willing to discuss your concerns with your husband or wife. Because you are a team and that person is there to help you out. They will feel validated knowing you trust them with your thoughts, and you’ll end up with a constant source of support and encouragement.

Last weekend my fiance and I headed to Syracuse, NY to take care of more wedding planning. We met with our priest for the first time, picked out the church readings and decided on the layout of the reception space. Also, my fiance designed wedding programs using his fine-tuned Excel skills. I was so proud of him. I had spent hours trying to figure out how to format Microsoft Word properly for a program. And then he goes ahead and whips up an awesome, perfectly formatted program on Excel in no time! I really think he should market his wedding program making skills!

Not only have I been so busy the last few weekends, but it seems like nearly every weeknight I’ve had some event to celebrate. For example, it was my sister’s 29th birthday on Wednesday (we had an awesome tapas meal at Solea in Waltham), my friend Bridget’s going away dinner on Tuesday, and my 3-year anniversary on August 10.

I love this card my fiance gave me for our anniversary

Finally, I feel like I can relax. I was so tired from all the recent happenings last night, that I went to bed at 8:30 (yup, on a Friday night). But now it’s 7 a.m. on a Saturday, I’ve already had my coffee and Stella D’oro almond toasts, and I’m feeling good! I’m really looking forward to this weekend — my only plan is to attend the Futures at Fenway doubleheader. Actually, I have one other plan as well: to celebrate my fiance’s acceptance into his graduate school program of choice! He’ll be attending Northeastern for political science starting in three weeks– yeah!!!

“I’m still thinking about that pizza…”

July 19, 2011

“I’m still thinking about that pizza…”

These words were said in French, but that’s what they meant. A couple of weeks earlier a friend and I had split a margherita pizza at a small joint in Sete, France (known for its famous poet Paul Valery, pink cliffs and water jousting competitions).

Sete, France

The pizza, which we ate with a fork and a knife, was very good, but were it not for my friend, the thought of it would have vanished from my mind within 24 hours. What’s the point of remembering a pizza when its purpose has long been served?

So when my friend made the comment about remembering the pizza two weeks later, I was caught off guard. What a different way of looking at life, I thought. Not just drawing  quick pleasure from everything, and forgetting it, but actually making the pleasurable experience live on.

I liked that– it made me feel special to be in his presence (even if the American idea of “you’re special” is not really part of French culture). If he remembered a particular pizza with fondness weeks later, he’d surely keep me in his mind for a while, right? Yes, I was comparing myself with a pizza.

Another statement he would make that sort of changed my paradigm was “C’est normal,” which is “It’s normal” in English. He would do me a favor like bring me a bouquet of handpicked flowers, help me completely rearrange my messy bookshelves, or surprise me with some homemade oreillettes, and I would enthusiastically voice my appreciation. To this he’d say “C’est normal.”

This struck me as funny because no one says this in English in this context (at least no one I know). You use the word normal to describe a heartbeat, a person’s upbringing, and a person’s psychological state of mind, but not to justify a romantic act.

As different as I thought it was, the expression sort of grew on me  It’s like people are so used to doing kind things for the ones they love that they don’t think they’re doing anything special.

New water pitcher

July 18, 2011

I just found out one of my friends can’t come to my wedding, but she did send me this lovely water pitcher.

I absolutely love it, and even used it for dinner tonight. My fiance and I attempted to make meatballs with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, breadcrumbs, and anchovies, but we forgot to add the breadcrumbs and accidentally bought sardines instead of anchovies. So yeah, they weren’t as good as they could have been. But they were still pretty tasty (guess mozzarella will do that!).

 

 

 

Thank you, Amanda!

July 9, 2011

To thank my fiance and I for helping her edit her book, my friend Amanda sent us lots of goodies from Baltimore Coffee and Tea, a family-owned coffee roasting business in the Baltimore area. She said this is where she buys her coffee. I can’t wait to try all of this out!

These came with an almond biscotti but I already ate it-- yum!

My friend Katie’s wedding advice

July 8, 2011

Katie on her wedding day

A few weeks ago I was freaking out over the idea of people not coming to my wedding. Very shortly after publishing a blog post on this topic, I received a long email from my friend Katie (check out her blog). It turns out she had similar feelings while planning her wedding. I appreciated her sympathy,  but most importantly I appreciated her advice.

She said it can be easy to focus on the people who don’t come to your wedding– especially if you’ve made every effort to attend theirs or be an overall good friend to them.  But wallowing in your disappointment, sadness, or even anger serves no purpose. Instead, it’s better to focus on the people who are coming to your wedding.

In Katie’s case, she had people attend the event she totally didn’t expect would (because they lived far away). It really touched her they came, and ever since she’s grown closer with them. So if anything, at least a couple of friendships grew stronger from the wedding.

For some reason, this advice really hit home. Since hearing from Katie, I’ve had some more people say they’re can’t make it to the wedding. But I’ve also had some others say they can. I now know those are the ones who really matter.

I didn’t want a bridal shower

June 25, 2011

But my aunts threw me one anyway. It ended up being awesome because it didn’t really feel like a bridal shower (with the exception of all the presents). The backdrop was a barbecue, guys were invited, and no girly games were played. Here are a few pics from the event:

My friends Henrik and Emily were able to attend (along with their adorable baby, Elise)

My friends Steve and Lindy (along with their Dad) also showed up

Me in front of all the desserts people made

My aunts, mom and I

My dad and members of his side of the family

More family members

My sister, her dog, and I

I got a TON of presents. I am so appreciative…from the nice flower-patterned Oneida silverware to the wine racks to the three adorable aprons (I swear there’s a lot more where that came from!), I feel so lucky.

My friend Ina

June 22, 2011

Ina

I have a friend named Ina (check out her blog) who is one of the most generous people I know. When I first moved to Boston nearly three years ago, I barely knew anyone. I met Ina at a New Year’s Eve party, and two weeks later she invited me to a New Year’s resolution party at her house. She introduced me to 15-plus people, several of whom I’ve become friends with. I’m always impressed by how this girl brings people together. She’s always hosting game nights, girly parties, and other events for all her friends. I would definitely call her a “connector.” Here’s some of what writer Malcolm Gladwell has to say about connectors:

“The first–and most obvious–criterion is that Connectors know lots of people. They are the kinds of people who know everyone. All of us know someone like this. But I don’t think that we spend a lot of time thinking about the importance of these kinds of people…”

This webpage actually doesn’t explain the importance of connectors, but I would say they do an awesome job at helping us extend our social circles and find meaning in our lives. Thank you, Ina, for being such an awesome person!

What if my wedding stinks?

June 12, 2011

What if she shows up at my wedding?

I had a horrible dream last night. I dreamt that my wedding (which is scheduled for Sept. 17) really stunk. The DJ couldn’t get people to dance (in fact, he wasn’t even playing music), guests were leaving extremely early, and for some reason I plunged into a swimming pool, ruining my dress, hair and makeup.

I’m actually not too surprised I had this terrible dream. Pretty much since January, when I got engaged, I’ve worried about the wedding. Mainly, I’ve feared that no one will show up. I know this is an irrational fear. Obviously some people will show up. But I’m still worried that a ton of people won’t end up coming. Whenever I have a party I feel this way. I felt the same way before my 29th b’day party and the same way before my housewarming party in November. And both times a lot of people came.

So why am I so afraid? Maybe it’s because recently several people told me they can’t come. And I imagine there are many more in that boat, but for whatever reason haven’t told me yet. I am inviting people from all over the country (and even from other countries), and I’m afraid the long distance will keep them from making the trip. A number of people haven’t acknowledged they received the save the dates, so I feel those people don’t intend to come.

I wish I could stop freaking out. A bunch of people have said they’ll be there. And I wish I could stop worrying about whether they’ll enjoy themselves. My parents are doing so many things to make sure the wedding goes smoothly. I just always assume the worst. I guess then I’m not disappointed. But it’s certainly a stressful experience to assume the worst. You worry a lot, and worrying is not good for the soul!


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