Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 - A Year in Review

This has been an interesting year. There were lots of great things, lots of crazy things, lots of everything. Here are a few highlights for you to see. All in all, a very memorable year!

J A N U A R Y . . .

... found me with a 3-day stay at the hospital for pneumonia, my first hospital stay since I was born. I was actually very relieved to be there, since it meant I wasn't going crazy and really was sick!

F E B R U A R Y . . .

... led to a sad time. My grandfather passed away on Valentine's Day. He was a great man and a rock in our family. We all miss him.

M A R C H . . .

... put me into a new sense of wealth (?) when I finished making payments on my car. What a relief that was! (Pic is from later in the year, but since I don't take pictures of my car, here it is with sweet Catherine!)

A P R I L . . .

... was a busy month. I went to Massachusetts and saw several friends, helped celebrate Jenny's birthday at Great Adventure, and also went on an adventure in New York City during which I got to see Great Big Sea!

M A Y . . .

... found us back into the city for Beethoven's 9th (and Arron Copland's In the Beginning) with Matt's parents. Other highlights included Memorial Day down at the shore!

J U N E . . .

... is my birthday month! I had fun celebrating, but a highlight of the month was my nephew's graduation from high school! He is now enjoying college life and all it entails.

J U L Y . . .

... had lots of adventures. One of them was getting to see Blue Man Group! I also went on a movie-kick and saw six movies in a short amount of time!

A U G U S T . . .

... involved more travel. I saw Becky and Catherine in Mystic, CT and then got to see Great Big Sea again in Freeport, Maine - home of LLBean! (and Kate, but she was away!)

S E P T E M B E R . . .

... was crazy-busy in terms of starting the new school year. I spent much of it stressing out and trying to get on track! Matt showed his automobile prowess in changing the brakes on my car. You're so handy!

O C T O B E R . . .

... included some fall-harvesty-Halloween type adventures. I got to wear one of the most comfortable Halloween costumes to work - Scrubs and sneakers!

N O V E M B E R . . .

... brought me back to school - High School, that is! It was our 10 year reunion, and what a trip it was. Strange but good to see people after 10 years.

D E C E M B E R . . .

... helped the year to a close in a busy way! Daytrips to Sandy Hook and New York City, Holiday concert craziness, Christmas celebrations, fun with friends and abundant good times. A wonderful way to end the year, If I say so myself!

I wish you all of you much joy, happiness, wonderful memories, laughter
and peace in the New Year. Thank you, my friends, for putting up with my
ranting and raving and reports of the goings-on in my little part of the world.

H e r e ' s T o A G r e a t 2 0 0 8 !

Christmas Vacation... part 3: Morocco!

On Saturday night, Matt and I met up with Marisa and Eric for dinner. I've known Marisa since we worked together at my previous teaching job, and we've managed to keep the friendship going! She is a sweetheart and we all had a wonderful time - the boys exchanging jokes in their best Scottish accents, Marisa and I bellydancing (yes!!) in the restaurant, enjoying amazing Moroccan food and good company.

We went to Marakesh in Parsippany - smaller than I thought it would be, but cool - you sit on couches and are encouraged to eat with your hands! There was a bellydancer and live music, too... loud, but a lot of fun. If you remember back in February of 2006, M & I went to a fantastic Moroccan eatery in... Morocco. In Epcot. It was amazing and we ate so much food that we were still full the next morning! I tried to take him to this place (or one in the city) for his birthday, but we never got to go... at least we went now!

It was great to get to see Marisa and Eric and hang out... we want to do it again soon!

(Marisa - I want some of your pictures!) More pictures are here.

Christmas Vacation... part 2: Christmas!

Christmas was nice this year. On Christmas Eve, Matt and I went to the service at church and then back to my house for dinner with my parents - yum! On Christmas Day, I was home with Mom and Dad, eating French toast, opening presents, relaxing, then it was off to have dinner with Matt and his parents at their house. It was a really nice day.

Santa was good to me - I got some lovely gifts, including a massage (well, a gift certificate for one, anyway!), a date with my mom to go and see Audra McDonald in April (Yay!), and a Zune, already loaded with some of my music! Woo hoo! (Sneaky Matt, stealing my CDs!)

All in all, two very good days. Hope your Christmas was just as Merry! :)

Click here for more photos.

Christmas Vacation... part 1: Kate!

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to meet up with my dear friend Kate in New York City. She was down from Maine, meeting up with lots of friends and staying with her brother, Alex. I was so happy to get to spend some "alone" time with her - it has been YEARS since we've done that, and the last time I saw her was at our college reunion in October 2006!

I took the train in by myself - a first! I've done the train a ton of times before, but not alone. Very liberating! I was a little early to meet her, so I wandered into Macy's on 34th.... what a nightmare jumble of people and craziness! I fought my way up to the 8th floor to see Santa - as a kid I insisted that I had to go and see the real Santa, who was holding court at Macy's - the movie told me, and therefore it had to be true!

I met Kate at American Girl Place - a store that I would have gone crazy for as a girl... heck, I still want to buy everything in it! It was insane, of course - but I had to buy a Christmas gift for my niece, and was able to do it fairly easily. We then bumped into her brother and grandfather outside for a few minutes, leaving them to go and get some dinner. We wanted to go to John's Pizzeria, but it was obnoxiously crowded. So we walked to Times Square and went to the Olive Garden... still crazy busy, but at least we had a place to sit and talk while we waited, which is what we wanted anyway! (And our table came with an excellent view - worth the wait!)

After dinner, we both needed to use the restroom, and Kate remembered hearing about the Charmin Holiday Restroom in Times Square... so that's where we went next! It was hilarious - the people were so perky and friendly, there was a little dance you could learn while you waited on line, the mini-bathrooms were immaculate and outfitted with all of the necessities, and there were photo opportunities galore! We laughed and laughed - it was a perfect surprise adventure for us!

She walked me back toward the train and we went on our merry ways. Kate, it was so wonderful to see you and get to spend time with you, eating, chatting and having adventures! Yay!

More pictures are here.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Roadtrip!

When we last went to Sandy Hook, we talked about coming back to see the History House all decorated for Christmas... but with the whole pneumonia thing last year, we weren't able to go. So I surprised Matt with a road trip on Saturday. We had so much fun! The house was beautifully decorated, there was a live jazz trio, and they even had cookies and hot chocolate!

We had the opportunity to climb the Sandy Hook lighthouse as well - a delight for Matt, since he was never able to go there as a kid. (It was run by the Coast Guard until a few years ago). We then took a quick sidetrip to the Twin Lights as well and picked up a sticker for our NJ passports!

We then drove in to Matt's hometown, Atlantic Highlands. We stopped into the public library and browsed in a vintage shop, but the highlight of the trip home was the Memphis Pig Out. This place serves up great food in HUGE quantities. We ate ourselves silly and then hit the road, as we were expecting a Nor'Easter late that night.

View a bigger slideshow at the Photo Gallery!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Do you think I'm Super-girl?

First, a disclamer. This is written during Holiday Concert Craziness. Thank you.

How am I expected to turn the world on its head by Friday? I have a budget (which I got today) that I need to return on Friday. And plans for this week and next week, also due Friday. And another budget will be handed to me tomorrow, to be returned probably on Friday as well. And a jam-packed chaotic day of work tomorrow, followed by a dinner which I must attend. And preparation for two concerts back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday. And a program to finish.

Do I look like I can leap tall buildings in a single bound?


And to top it off, yesterday I had thousands of dollars worth of drug injected into my arm which could still put me into anaphylaxis within the next 24 hours, so I'm carrying an EpiPen. (Although the fact that I didn't react during the 2 hours I spent in the Dr's office is a good indicator that I'll be fine.) The drug will hopefully be a blessing, though - but they do their best to scare the poop out of you before they inject you, just so you're aware. Then they teach you how to stab yourself with the EpiPen just in case you do react. Woo.

And I'm stress eating. Oh, the carb and chocolate cravings.

Maybe I can be you for a change?

But now I am going to bed.