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21 September, 2010


I had a bunch of spinach from our CSA last week that was about to take a turn for the worse.  We'd kind of forgotten it was in the fridge.  I had made spinach pasta before from the frozen block of spinach, but figured using fresh wouldn't be too hard.  So, I gave my dad a call last night to see if he'd be up for teaching me how to make raviolis and spinach raviolis.  Sure enough, Dad was excited to do so!  I cooked down and dried out the spinach last night.  It takes a good half hour or more, plus almost a half a roll of paper towels.  It's rather laborious.

This morning I was packing up for my parents' house...and spinach is no where to be found.  Eric had accidentally thrown it away (and took the trash to the dumpster!).  Sad.

I had to start over. Oh well.

My dad and I had a blast making the pasta.  It's really a hit or miss venture.  Some days you just make a bad batch of dough.  My spinach batch came out terrible, so we could only use some of it for noodles and none of it for raviolis.  My dad's first batch of plain came out terrible too.  We worked and worked until we used 2 dozen eggs.  Fortunately we were able to make 6 dozen raviolis and about 6 servings of pasta.  We talked about the way Papa would have done things - like hang the pasta to dry on a broom hung between to chairs, or to use an egg to "punch" the holes in the ravioli tray.  It was fun to remember him, but also to spend time passing down Italian recipes the way they were intended to be passed down: from family member to family member.

I'd love to share the recipes with you...but if you know any Italian well there are a few things you never share - and recipes to pasta and meatballs are just some of those things!  Instead I'll let you feast your eyes on our afternoon!

18 September, 2010

If I could do it again, you know I'd do it the same

This post was taken from my personal blog on 9.18.2010

This last week my sister and I went to Dayton to surprise my cousin for her birthday.  It was so incredible being back on my old stomping ground.  It was a bit different than being there for my 5 year reunion.  I was there while school was in session.

  • I hung out in 20 Woodland (though this time it was my cousin's house and NOT my boyfriends. Weird.)
  • I had breakfast in KU with one of my former youth group teens (not my roommates).  
  • I had guys by me drinks (law students, not guys with teen-staches).  
You get the point.  At 2:15 am when we were kicked out of the bar, something dawned on me.  The lyrics of the "great" Corey Smith started playing in my head.  And I realized, "If I could do it again I would not do it the same."

Yes, I'd probably have dated the guys I dated. Roomed with the girls.  Partied with the same frat guys (don't get too excited, it was the music fraternity).  Gone to the same Mass.  Prayed the same hours at Adoration.

But, I would have let go of the heartache.  Done my homework on time.  Gone out to 2am because I'd done my homework on time.  Drank beer in class more often.  Prayed a little (okay, a lot) more sincerely.  Laughed with my professors.  Not slept through class.

And savored the walks through Woodlawn cemetery. The classes under the oak trees.  The friends who urged me not to use styrofoam.  The bible study group chit chat.  The way-too long Mass homilies.  The girls grilling at 4pm on a random Tuesday.  The snow/ice sculpted front yard kegerators in the winter. The rosaries prayed with friends on 9/11. The house dinners of mac and cheese and Bud Light.  The afternoon winter workouts of Dance Dance Revolution. The walks with friends to Oakwood Library.

If I could do it again I wouldn't do it the 'bout you?

Jackie's Surprise Birthday RoadTrip

A few weeks ago my sister called to ask what I was doing on Sept 14 and 15. She said she was going to tag along with my grandparents to go visit our cousin, Jackie, for her 21st birthday. Jackie goes to University of Dayton, where I attended school as well. My grandparents, though they live in Atlanta, are purebred Daytonians. My grandfather was even UD class of '56, his two brothers were class of '60 and my great grandfather was class of '22. Needless to say, UD has a big place in our hearts. Enough family history.

Turns out, my grandparents were going to spend more time in Dayton than Katie has time for vacations, so I agreed to accompany her on this surprise visit. A trip to UD, heeeelllll yeah! Jackie's birthday was on a Tuesday, which is perfect since that is my day off from work. I took a vacation day Wednesday and off we went!

Our trip was quick: a 7am departure, 3pm arrival. Showers. Surprise. Dinner at Francos in Oregon District. The Fieldhouse. Bed (for me, not the girls!). Wake up. Visit friends (me, not the girls!). Lunch at Marion's Pizza. Dessert from Dorothy Lane. 3pm departure.

My road trip rule: I must be in my destination longer than the roundtrip time spent in the car. And we spent 15.5 hours in the car to be in Dayton for exactly 24 hours. At least 20 of them were awake!! :)

All in all, the trip was AMAZING. Katie and I had a great time catching up, singing car songs, and filming our awesome video blog. Jackie was uber surprised. The food was excellent. The bars were just like old times. And the family love was over flowing.

Once again, happy birthday to our fabulously 21 year old cousin, JACKIE!

11 September, 2010

Girls Night Out!

Last night my mom, sister, and aunt headed to the Braves game for Ladies Night.  There was a technical ticket that included boas, hats, and seats in a particular section, but for $18 cheaper, my friend Colin got us tickets in section 408.  I love sitting in the low 400s, and you're high enough to see the whole game, and behind home plate enough to get the game in perspective.

Great pitching last night. Lots of strike outs

One of the better crowds this season

My favorite! The tool race :)


The Friday Night Fireworks.

Hands down, one of the best games I've been to all season!  Competitive game, cheerful fans, and the hammer didn't will the tool race (have I mentioned that'd my favorite part of the game?)  The Friday night fireworks were so fun. :)

07 September, 2010

Labor Day

I have officially deemed Labor Day as my favorite holiday.  No big meals, no gifts, no lengthy liturgies, no traditions and no special outfits.  It's just a three days of "the last weekend of summer" attitudes, fun in the sun, and r-e-l-a-x.  Eric and I purposefully don't make plans on Labor Day each year so we can do whatever we want as the mood strikes.  

Saturday morning we hit our usual farmer's market for fresh veggies, meats and eggs.  And then we went out on a rafting/kayaking adventure.  Dan, Leeann, their friend Anna, Lance, Eric and I spent about 6 hours floating down the river.  This was quite the accomplishment since we signed up for the 2 hour trip!  56 beers and a sunburn later, we went to Don Pablos for a Mexican feast.

Eric, Lance, Leeann, Anna, Dan

After dinner Eric and I drove up to the cabin so we could wake up in time for Mass and my family's boating adventure.  My grandparents rented a boat on Lake Glenville about 20 minutes outside of Highlands, where our cabin is.

I need coffee.

Hilary and Nannie

Alex & Connor


It was a bit chilly when the wind blew, but those who went tubing said the water was nice and warm!  Connor had a great time on the boat.  He loved to watch his daddy tube, and feed the ducks!  After boating Katie, Eric and I went to town for a little bit while Steven set up his Fantasy Football League.  We don't have tv or internet at the cabin, so it's nice to sneak in to the coffee shop for a little email reading and text sending.

iPhone and Coffee. Can life get any better?

Finally, we spent Saturday night enjoying time at the cabin with puzzles, card games, dinner, and dessert.  It was great to celebrate 25 years of the cabin with about half of the family.  We started to count how many guests could have possibly visited there in the last 25 years...and the number is beyond reason.  We are so blessed to have a place to call "home" for our entire family, and more importantly to have grandparents who are so loving and generous!

The last few hours of our holiday were spent preparing items for Craigs List, Amazon and a garage sale... but in 4 hours we'd already sold 2 times!  Not too shabby :)

02 September, 2010

New Camera!

Last week, Eric TOTALLY surprised me by presenting me with my birthday gift a month early.  Talk about a surprise!  Not only did his timing catch me off guard, but the present itself did too.  It was definitely not in the budget.  Some how (and he won't tell me) he pulled this off.  Ah, love.

Okay, enough cheesiness.  Here are some pictures from my new camera: