Friday, August 22, 2014

Let's all try being a little more appreciative

So my Gramma or G'ma as she signed her cards, died this past Saturday. She was 90, we knew she would die soon. But its so interesting how when it happens its still a shock.

My mom called Saturday morning 10 am EST, which is 7 am her time (Pacific) and I knew something was wrong as soon as I saw her face on my cell phone screen. I answered and could tell by the background noise she was in the car...she said that G'ma had died in her sleep last night. She had a "soft landing". My mom was on her way to her apartment to get her ready. I didn't understand.

The nurse had called that morning and told my mom that when she went into G'mas apartment she wasn't breathing. My mom and her sister went over there and bathed her, washed her hair, powdered and dressed her to leave the apartment. She was cremated on Monday.

My mom was there all day Friday. Mom usually goes there a few times a week, for a few hours, but usually not the whole day. They looked at old photos all day she said. At times G'ma knew who people were, at times she didn't. They talked about the people in the photographs and reminisced about when they were taken. She said when she left she kissed G'ma each time for all of us. "kiss - this one is from Allie - kiss - this one is from Maggie - kiss - this one is from Nora..." She said "I love you mom" and G'ma said "I love you too dear"...this is so extremely rare that even into their 60's my mom and her sisters still vie for these key words from their mom. I'm overwhelmed that my mom got to hear her mom utter those rare words one more time before she passed.
G'ma and Bella, Summer 2013

This has effected me in the most peculiar way. I've mourned the dead before, but this death made me appreciate those still living more.

I feel like I can't remember enough about her. I wish I could remember more.

So we will be unexpectedly traveling to Oregon next week. Even though she was cremated on Monday we're going to put her in the mausoleum with Grandpa on his birthday 8/29 and share a meal together. And probably go to Trader Joe's because as she got older, that was all she wanted to do! :) I'm very much looking forward to celebrating this brilliantly strong and beautiful woman with all of the other brilliantly strong and beautiful women in my family.

On a much lighter note we shared a beautiful meal last night with our good friend Ali and 2 new friends Sam and Ruthie! Such a fun evening at Garces Trading Co. topped off with beautiful cocktails at Charlie was a sinner. Unfortunately we were having too much fun to take photos! But believe me, the food was suburb and the cocktails were creative and expertly mixed.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I love being busy, but this is a little excessive!

This week was super busy in my house!

In addition to our regular jobs during the day, we've each had additional responsibilities outside of the home every night this week. I've had a volunteer meeting each night and N has had a variety of work meetings/training's. I'm surprised at how exhausting it is.
Our nights are almost never low key and boring. We're usually getting home from the gym, walking the dog, feeding the dog, feeding ourselves, organizing and packing up breakfast and lunch for the next day and doing a rando household chore then its 10p and we're off to bed! But I'm surprised that when you add in an hour meeting, and throw off my schedule, how tired I am!

I still found time to continue my experiments with low carb granola. N wants big crunchy clusters, which I've been having a hard time achieving without sugar. But I found this Bon Appetite recipe and this Smitten Kitchen recipe and mashed them together. The egg whites in the recipes were the trick to the clusters N wanted and I subbed sugar free maple syrup and coconut oil. It took much longer to brown, probably 50 minutes at 300, next time I'll up the temp to 325. N likes them enough, I don't. I need to double the spices and salt, then I'll like them :)

It hasn't been all work and no play though. We had a great meal last night with a beloved long-time friend at Erawan, the first Thai restaurant in Philly. They have this fabulous week night dining menu, 3 courses for $16! And its a BYO. Love them. The food is always good. Its quiet enough in there to have a nice conversation and the staff is unbelievably friendly.

Also, we participated in a Sangria house crawl (last Saturday). Think of a pub crawl, but sub the beer for sangria and the pub for neighbors homes and that's it! It was a lot of fun, met a bunch of new people and got to scope out their design styles! (Now I don't feel that bad about my homes lack of style!)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

John Legend at the Mann Center 8.2.14

We saw John Legend at the Mann Center this past weekend (8/2/14)
I heart the Mann Center. It will be a place I miss when we're no longer living in Philly.
On our way to the Mann Center to see John Legend.

And there's something about the view of the city from there that I love.
Reminds me of the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz.

You can catch a glimpse of the city back was humid that day, there was a haze over it.

Ha! This woman looking at her phone was also eating chicken wings and waving the bones in the air mid bite! #onlyinphilly

Summer of 2014 at Long Beach Island

We happily spent more time at the beach this summer than we had in years past. (THANK YOU Smith Family!)

It seriously revives my soul.
All Smiles! We're on the beach!

Katie likes to dig big holes at the beach

Bathing beauty!

Nothing better than some ice cream after a hard day sunning at the beach

Our awesome friends Katie and Sara made this art for us!

Saw The Book of Mormon last night at the Forrest Theater in Philly.
Loved it! Very funny!
Also paid $15 for a cocktail at the theater and got to keep the plastic cup, the bartender told us, bring the cup back next time and you'll get a discount! Woo! (not.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sneak Attack!

Trying to figure out the camera on my Nexus 7

35 thoughts on 2012

I stole this from a friend of mine, I thought it was a great idea to answer the same questions at the beginning of each year...we'll see how it goes!

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
2012 brought quite a few firsts for us: we 
got a dog (ok, technically we got the dog in the last week of 2011, but its still alive!), we bought a house, drove to Cape Cod & Florida...
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I always make resolutions...sometimes even in the middle of the year! I did keep my 2012 resolutions; I write them down and keep them in a drawer. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not exactly, my neighbors had a baby...
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.
5. What countries did you visit?
Oh! We went to Mexico, I almost forgot!  One of my resolutions is to leave North America in 2013.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn't have in 2012?
A serious salary raise. The lack of financial appreciation at my job is marring my happiness there. I would also like to have a larger savings account at the end of the year. I guess it goes hand in hand..
7. What dates from 2012 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
April 25th - We closed on the house; November 10th - I chopped off all my hair and donated it! Thanksgiving 2012 - Our first Thanksgiving without the whole family; Maggie was here! (side note: we took an awesome bike ride too!)
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
This is a hard one! As mentioned before, we purchased a house! As a non-profit worker, this is a huge accomplishment. 
I've also become healthier and gained a TON of muscle mass. I can say that I've made some totally awesome, and I believe, long term friends. Bella is 80% my perfect dog, thanks to one of those friends, and getting better every day. I faced a fear of mine: biking in the city and now bike to work daily.
9. What was your biggest failure?
My biggest desire is to feel accomplished and appreciated at work, unfortunately, I still can't say that.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Short story, no. Long story, I was sick with god-only-knows-what the entire month of September, that was miserable. In October, Bella and I were attacked by a pit bull; neither of us were seriously injured, but it was REALLY scary and required a trip to the ER.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Uhm, aside from the house...
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I don't know and can't name all of the selfless individuals who give themselves to the causes they believe in every day. I'd also like to celebrate everyone who has made significant strides to better themselves. Taking that first step is hard, congratulations. 
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Anyone who acts as if they deserve something appalls me. Anyone who preys upon another person's goodness, appalls me.
14. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage! and probably beer/food.
15. What did you get really excited about?
Probably all of the same things I always get excited about; seeing friends, fireworks, live music, the theater...OH! I know, I think this was the first summer I had abs! yes multiple! they weren't large and there was only barely 4 of them...but ya gotta start somewhere, right?!
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
 Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me, Maybe"  
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
I'm so thankful I have the time hop app so I can answer this question! I am happier, thinner and poorer...haahaa, 2 outta 3 aint bad.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Eating out, blogging, reading, traveling

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Making excuses, accepting excuses from others. Guilt trips.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
I spent Christmas 2012 at my dad's house with the whole family. We ate too much, drank too much, went for walks in the snow, saw was great.
21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
I did not fall, but remained. 

22. What was your favorite TV program?
My guilty pleasure is TMZ by far. I try to watch The Good Wife. I still love CBS Sunday morning. In 2013 I'd like to try to finish watching Grey's Anatomy. 
23. What was the best book you read?
I'm currently reading The Art of Racing in the Rain, I like it a lot. I read The Hunger Games, that was a fun series. I also really liked Firefly Lane.
24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I just like music...I don't care too much about discovery. But, I would like to add more music into my life in 2013.
25. What did you want and get?

I checked out my 2012 resolutions for this answer. I gained muscle, and great friends, grew my savings account, learned how to ride a bike safely in the city, and maintained the happiness in my relationship. As for Christmas/Chanukah gifts, I got a bike, a tablet (Nexus7), a couple outfits and a bunch of odds and ends for the house.
26. What did you want and not get?
I wanted a major raise (10%), instead I got a title change and a 4% raise. 
27. What was your favorite film of 2012?
I don't watch many movies...Lincoln was good...
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34 in 2012! My birthday was on a Tuesday, I don't think we did much. Nicole may have forgotten it. We hosted a big bar crawl the weekend before for Nicole's birthday...
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Wow, there isn't one thing I can think of which would have made my year better..not which I could control at least.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?
HA! Fashion concept...uhm anything at Ann Taylor Loft. Is that a concept?
31. What kept you sane?
My dog. The gym. My great friends.
32. What political issue stirred you the most?
One? The presidential race, the whole thing.
33. Who did you miss?
My family! And my LI pals...
34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Its important to recognize that you can change your life at any time. ANY TIME!
35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Uh yeah...I'll never be able to answer this question, in any year, so I'm not going to bother now!