30 April, 2011

Drumroll please.....

Well Blogosphere, friends and family.... It's time.  It's time to make a really big announcement.  I'm not really ready, but I am tired of hiding it.

I am pregnant!  Ten weeks and five days pregnant to be exact.

While I'm not ready for the attention, the gushing, and the constant question of "how are you feeling"  I am ready to get the truth out there, have people to honestly discuss pregnancy with, and to share my story with.

I want to recap the last ten weeks of ups and downs, and boy have there been, and then going forward I'll update every week or every two weeks.


End of February/Beginning of March
(weeks 0-4)

 I finished the Disney Princess Half-Marathon coming off a sprained ankle.  After the trip I just couldn't shake the tired feeling. I thought for certain a few nights of 10-12 hours of sleep and I should feel normal, but I wasn't.  I thought it was just the spring time allergies coupled with end-of-the-school year exhaustion, so I ignored it.  From there we went into an intense week of Religious Education registration.  I sat all day collecting and processing forms, yet I was still so tired that even an afternoon coffee couldn't shake me.  And I was eating everything in site.  And not gaining weight. Allergies?  Magic Metabolism?

By Friday night of that week I looked back on my charts and realized I didn't have my regular monthly symptoms.  Hmmm.  What the heck! I'll take a pregnancy test.

It was positive.  But by positive I mean it was super faint. Faint to the point I thought I was seeing things.  I called Eric and he laughed, "okay, we'll see - maybe it's a false positive."  "Sweetie, there is no such thing as a false positive, but I don't know if I'm wishing the line pink".

The next morning. And the next morning.  And the next morning. I took test after test.  I believe I took 7 tests in the course of 4 days.  Can you say, "denial?"  Sure enough:




I called the doctor and went in for my first check up!  Everything looked great, but there was some debate as to when we got pregnant.  For those of you who use NFP, you know there is a small window and when that doesn't match with the doctor you raise a little flag and say, "I think I know better!"  Anyway, they thought I was 7 weeks, but I knew we were only four...


No, that isn't a baby belly already, that's my beer-and-ice-cream belly :)


To celebrate the news and to spare me having to lie for 5 hours during a huge St. Patrick's Day party. I made these cookies to tell our parents about the baby:


The first thing my dad asked was, "Why did you make pilgram cookies?"  At which I yelled, "Just read the shamrocks!"

Both sets of parents were over joyed!  It was so fun to share the news with them.  Eric and I put the cookies in my parents outside fridge and then offered to get drinks with our siblings through out the night to share the news with them privately inmist the large party!


Mid/End of March 
(weeks 5-7)

I went on the Middle School Retreat sooo wanting to tell everyone, so not ready to have the whole parish know.  I had to bite might tongue.  Take my pre-natals in secret.  And then it happend.  Every pregnant woman's worst nightmare:  I peed my pants.   In front of 30 middle school kids.  

The next week, I started spotting.  Uh oh.  I was in a panic.  Total panic.  I quickly packed myself up and drove over to my midwife's office.  Eric was knee-deep in a project at work, so my mom came with me.  I was so glad.  The news that I received that day was devastating.  At 7 weeks we did an ultrasound to see why I was spotting... and we couldn't find the baby on the ultrasound.  We saw the sac, and it was small, but we couldn't find the baby.  The midwife diagnosed me with a "blighted ovum" which is where the body developed, including a sac in the uterus just as if you were pregnant, but the egg doesn't actually develop into a baby.  She told me to prepare for a miscarriage.

The rest of the weekend was a blur.  We had tons of plans, but it was all I could to to make it to Rosemary's birthday party.  I slept. I cried. But by Sunday I had a little twinge of hope.  How could God have gotten me this far (I'll tell that story another day), yet take this away from me?  So I prayed with all my heart that the blood work that was due in on Monday would have different news.

And it did.  Monday the midwife called and said my hormones were in the extremely healthy and normal range.  She wanted me to come in at the end of the week for another ultrasound to see if we could find the baby.

That same morning Eric told our friends Natalie and AJ about what was going on, and Natalie told us that most offices won't even do an ultrasound until after 8 weeks because it's so hard to find the baby.  So, see, we were fine!  I was misdiagnosed!  Fingers crossed!


April 
(weeks 8-10)

We went in for our follow up ultrasound Friday, April 8th.  The same day I was to leave for the Women's Retreat.  That morning Eric held my hand as the ultrasound tech searched for baby.  And within seconds we saw him/her.  The most beautiful little gummy bear floating inside of me!  And we watched it's heart flicker and watched the heart beating on the screen. 

I do believe Eric had one of these Rachel Moments.  Only teasing, but I think about it every time I watch the ultrasound video monitor. 

Going on the Women's Retreat after coming off such a roller coaster of a week was so exhausting.  And I was more tired than ever.  Any spare moment to sleep, I did.  I went to bed early and woke up late.  And I gnawed on baby Goldfish and mini Luna bars all weekend to fight off nausea.  At least we had a healthy baby, right!?!?!?

The weeks have progressed, albiet they seem a little slow, especially when you are anxious to get out of the "danger zone", aka the first trimester.  But I've been celebrating and taking notes of milestones...



Easter Sunday we shared the news with my grandparents and extended family by bringing our never-seen-before wedding album over to Easter dinner.  At the end of the album we taped a note that said DUE IN NOV with a copy of the sonogram.  I loved watching my grandmother's reaction as well as my aunts and cousins.  Their excitement was priceless!

Wednesday night didn't help my "i have a baby inside of me" anxiety.  Again, I started spotting, this time a little heavier. Immediately called the midwife and since the office was closing for the day they sent me to the ER at the hospital (my practice is attached to a hospital). And said to page them if things were bad.   After a three-hour stay and a series of poking a prodding, the baby looked very healthy.  Growing right on pace.  The heart beat looked great too, and we got to hear it for the first time.  So amazing.  I was discharged with bleeding either from the placenta attaching, or from stress on the placenta from all the cooking and baking I did for this, and long walks, and yoga.  They told me to take it easy, keep my feet up when I can, and not to lift, push or pull anything heavy.  Thank goodness I don't have another child!

Yesterday I had my follow up to that appointment and everything looked great.  It looks like the bleeding from the attaching or tear has stopped.  Once again I got to see my little ninja baby (that's what we call him/her after that crazy disappearing act around week 7), hear the heart beat and watch him/her do little flips inside of me.  Um, let's discuss: There is a tiny person INSIDE OF ME doing flips.  Aaahhh!

The doctor said my pooching out of my belly isn't my uterus/the baby just yet. He said the uterus is still tucked in, but he noted that my organs have really started to shift and my bowels (delicious) have started relaxing.  Basically, everything is making room for baby!


We are so excited and can't wait to share more (and less verbose) memories with you!




PS:  If you've read this far... please keep the news off Facebook for a few more weeks! I can't let the teens in the youth group know just yet :)


26 April, 2011

Baby Shower for David & Paige

My brother and his wife are due in mid-June with their first, a boy.  We are all very excited.  It's about time we had another baby in our family!  My mom, sister and I threw them a shower at my parents house.  D&P have decorated the nursery with a jungle theme.  Paige's sister is an artist and had previously painted the walls bright blue with bamboo shoots.  This goes well with all the brown monkeys D&P have found to decorate the room with.  Naturally, we had a jungle themed baby shower with monkeys being the center-focus animal.

My mom took care of the decorations, which she always does a fantastic job with...I love all her details including the "Guess the number of banana runts" game that was also a decoration, the grass type table runner to give it that jungle feel, and the silk arrangements of mini banana leaves.





My sister took care of all the fabulous appetizers.  She has a knack for finding creative ones, using old family standbys and her own inventions.  The guests were so full from all her yummy treats that when we brought out the ham and turkey sandwich bar, everyone moaned, "more food?!?!"  No one ever goes hungry at the Corsetti house.  In fact, it's recommended that you wear your Thanksgiving Pants.



My job the dessert.  Yes. no "s".  However, I read too many cake and cookie decorating blogs to stop at just one.  I had so many little monkey ideas or other treats that I wanted to try.  I attempted four, yes four, desserts.  Only three worked out.





A fondant chocolate cake - from my own brain.  And a candy melt monkey 


And monkey cookies from the Jungle Themed cookie cutters I found in the Wilton aisle at Michaels


The house was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the desserts were just what everyone needed/wanted at the end of Lent.  It was a good thing I had take home options for the die-hards (no pun intended) waiting for Easter morning.



David and Paige went home with a ton of great loot for baby ZHC.  In lieu of cards, we asked everyone bring their favorite board book and sign the inside of it.  Really, a book is only a dollar or two more than a card, and it will last a life time.  They loved it!  The favorite book was called "This is not my Pirate".  If you know D&P they have a history of dressing up as pirates...so this book was extra fitting.  If you look closely, my aunt taped a picture of D&P dressed as pirates to the back of the book and wrote "These are my pirates".  Adorable.




Of course, what is a baby shower without games?  We played a few quick, non-embarassing games that were good for a co-ed crowd.  Everyone had a chance to guess how many banana runts were in the martini glass.  Everyone could put a $1 in the piggy bank to guess the due date.  Then we did a baby animals name game.  There was a list of animals that you had to list what the young off spring is called..things like Eagle = Eaglet, Frog = tadpole, etc

The young guys (and then my FIL decided to play) had to chug beer from a baby bottle.



And the Papa to be won..... Butt Paste.


Now that's a face of excitement.....


The ladies played a game called "What's in Mama's Purse". Every woman was given a list of random items that could be found in a purse.  Each item was assigned a point value.  Things like pens, chapstick, tissues were 1 point.  Things like left over Mexican were 100 point.  And then things like a jump drive were in the 20 point range.  We had a blast digging through our purses and laughing about all the random stuff we carry around.  The winner had over 350 point.  Yikes!

We had a great afternoon!


Special thanks to Natalie at The Busy Budgeting Mama for designing the treat bags and the cake pop tags :)  They were a great hit!  And we used the bag fold overs as little tent decorations around the house.  Everyone loved it!



My next Baking with Betty post will give all the dessert recipes - be on the look out!

Love,


25 April, 2011

One Thousand Gifts {1- 30}


Thursday night Eric and I had a good hangout, catch up around the house, and talk night.  My favorite kind of nights.  I asked him what he thought about my Thousand Gifts lists idea.  He said he'd like to see me post it as it would be good accountability for me to stick to a schedule (I love that he knows me so well), but that he feared I'd post things too private or personal.  So we agreed.  I could post the list, just be cryptic about anything too, too personal.  Deal.

I am going to do the weekly blog link up called Multitudes on Monday - One Thousand Gifts.   It was created and hosted by the author of the book.

I will keep a daily journal at home and then post my list here each Monday.   I hope you enjoy, and begin to count the small blessings in your own lift.

One Thousand Gifts

  1. Our apartment
  2. Eric's job
  3. My two jobs
  4. The flexibility of my two jobs
  5. My 5 am bowl of cheerios 
  6. Writing this post because I can't sleep
  7. Pink polka dot pajama pants
  8. Easter
  9. Forgiveness
  10. Family
  11. Celebrating David & Paige's baby
  12. Celebrating ........
  13. Creme Brulee with Raspberries
  14. Decaf Coffee
  15. Brunch buffet
  16. French toast
  17. Family Easter Eggs Hunts (as adult kids!)
  18. Decorating cakes
  19. throwing a baby shower
  20. Facebook (I missed you this Lent)
  21. DSLR
  22. Cousins
  23. Connor
  24. Blowing bubbles with Connor
  25. Sunny Days
  26. Flowers from Nannie
  27. Sharing news.....
  28. Good night sleep
  29. home made waffles
  30. Random blog hits from Mormons!

21 April, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

At the conclusion of our Women's Retreat at the beginning of April I decided to read
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You AreOne Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are It's been a slow read, as in a chapter every few nights.  Not because it's a hard read, but because it's the exact words that I have been needing in my heart for a good while.  It's helping me find joy again. It's helping me see Christ in all things and helping me to trust Him in all things.

Last night I read the chapter where the author discovers that any change you want to make in your life requires a plan and practice.  In order to live eucharisto (thanksgiving)  she must practice finding it and living it every day.  Everyday she adds things she is thankful for to her list (which started on the back of her kids' drawing of St. Patrick!).  And for the moments that just don't have words, she takes a photograph.

As I finished the chapter I felt a strong call to start a list for myself. But I am having a hard time discerning the best approach for me to do this:

Option 1:
My friend Kat has a tumblr blog where she posts 5 things a day that she's thankful for, I could copy her format.

Option 2:
There is a blog link up for women to update their list on Mondays and link up to other women working on their 1000 gifts.  This is actually sponsored by the author of the book (she's an avid blogger, before she wrote the book).

Option 3:
Keep the list on a notebook just for me to read.

Option 4:
Make a tab at the top of my blog for 1000 Gifts and add to it as I see fit.


So dear readers, it is time for YOU to help me decide - do you want to read my list of gifts?  do you want it periodically in your RSS feed?  or do you want the option to click the tab when you visit the blog?

Be honest!  1000 Gifts is a VERY long list...aka lots of periodic posts.  I have loved reading through all the posts on the link up, but I don't know if it's because I "get it" from reading the book.

18 April, 2011

Miscellany Monday (2)

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Cravings

Maybe because we haven't actually made a real meal in a long time and my body is craving certain foods for a reason... regardless, I have had odd ball cravings this week:  steak n snake cheeseburgers (barf!), toaster waffles (barf!),  COTTON CANDY (barf!)  It's no wonder I've had such an upset stomach!

2.  Bargainanza

I think I've mentioned this "garage sale" of Crate & Barrel goodies before...I rode to Decatur with Katie, Sam, and Terri. We found good bargains and even better "anzas" (haha).  I bought a spring table cloth, 4 gold detailed plates, a christmas platter, 4 christmas plates, a table runner, 3 napkins, 2 place mats, 4 napkin rings, 2 tiny bowls, a flower vase, a personal butter dish, and 2 candle holders....for $50.  Yes $50 for all of that from Crate & Barrel.  Did I mention that all the money goes to charity, too?


Of course we went to brunch after.  It was delicious.  And Dennis met up with us, too!  Rosemary was stuck working the sale with her momma so she missed out on some amazing french toast.  Sorry, girl!



3. Tornados and Candy Melts



Friday night Eric was stuck at work for a project emergency, then because the power went out, then because of a tornado warning, and then because they had to stay and power everything back up and test it. So I was home alone turning the hail and tornados.  Good thing Michaels had candy melts on sale, right? So I worked on some monkey ones for my sister-in-laws baby shower.  They came out pretty cute, except I over heated the green & brown (most of the color in them) so they came out all white and flakey.  Anyone know a way to fix this?  I'd love to use them in my dessert table for the shower this weekend.  Oh, and I'll probably never use candy melts for candies ever again. What a pain in the ass.



4. Braves Game Double Header

Friday night we were supposed to go to the Braves game, but because of #3 we decided not to go.  Thank goodness because the game ended up being postponed....to a double header the next day.  Ticket holders for Friday or Saturday could then get seats for the entire double header (attendance hasn't been stellar this season).  So we decided to go!  My brother brought a buddy and Eric's sister brought a buddy.  We tailgated for a bit, exchanged our tickets, and tailgated a little more before the double game.  We dominated.  It was cold and 20 mph winds.  We left in the middle of the second game. I was tired of peanut shells flying in my eyes.


5. Palm Sunday

Always such a weird Sunday.  We start Mass with the Gospel in the narthex, ready the story of Jesus riding into town and the priest blesses the palm branches.  Then we go in for Mass and we read the Passion.  It's like, hello fast forward a week as we walk in to find out seats.  But, because Holy Week Masses and Services are not holy days of obligation, it makes sense liturgically to have the readings of the crucifixion on the Sunday before the readings and celebration of the Resurrection.  I just feel like we do double duty on Palm Sunday.

6. Retirement Day

Yesterday was the big day.  Really I should dedicate a whole post to this because it's a celebration for me.  I finished my last Sunday with the Middle School kids!  I was really starting to like them again the last few weeks, but I know that God is calling me to other responsibilities this Summer and next year.  It is all for a reason.  At least I'll still be around them, and will see many of them again in Confirmation. Last night was bittersweet - the sweet celebration of the end of the year, but the "bitterness" that my six years of full time youth ministry has come to a close.  I'm anxious (in a good way) for what the Lord has in store for me.

7.  Happy Birthday

Our adult volunteer team at Church has an oddity.  Out of the 12-15 of them.  FOUR of them have birthdays in the same week.  Crazy!  So last night we went out to celebrate the end of the year and their birthdays.  Also fun to spend the evening with that crew, especially to celebrate. Happy Birthday to the love of my life, Eric.  You're almost as old as me now :)



Ya know what's terrible? I carried my camera and video camera with me ALL weekend and I'll I photographed were the candy melts.  And, the bargainanza finds only because I didn't have any other pictures!  Next time....

15 April, 2011

Baking with Katie: Copper Beech Balls

Katie? Who is Katie?  Katie is my rocking sister with some extreme kitchen creativity.  Since I am on mental brain fart for writing this week I asked her to share her secret, and wildly popular recipe for Copper Beech Balls.  Happy reading.  And even happier eating. 


Quite a few years ago, on a random afternoon, 3 college kids were hungry and bored. “What to do what to do…” “Let’s try some amazing concoction of food and see what we come up with!” So, this is the prodigal child of that afternoon with a few variations that later followed:

COPPER BEECH BALLS
(background: we lived in Copper Beech apartment complex so hence the most creative name)

Variation #1
1 tube jimmy dean maple sausage
1 box cream cheese
1 tube Pillsbury crescent rolls

Directions:
In a skillet, brown the sausage and drain.  Using a fork while the sausage is still warm, mix the cream cheese thoroughly.  Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and cover with the Pillsbury .  Place the balls onto a cookie sheet 1 inch apart and bake according to the crescent roll directions.

Makes somewhere between 12 and 36 balls depending on how big you make them and how many you eat before getting them to the serving platter.


Variation #2 (way less time consuming and personally I think it’s the most tasty)
Same ingredients as above plus 1 box of original Wheat Thins

Directions:
In a skillet, brown the sausage and drain.  Using a fork while the sausage is still warm, mix the cream cheese thoroughly.  Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and place half of the crescent dough on it flattened out.  Mound the cream cheese and sausage mixture on top of the crescent dough and smooth over with a spatula.  Cover the mound with the second half of the dough and cut 2 slits in the top of the dough for ventilation.  Bake according to the crescent directions or until golden brown. 

Serve this as a “dip”.  Using a knife or a spreader, you can scoop and good chunk onto an original flavor wheat thin cracker. Delish!


Variation #3 (The healthier version of variation #2)
1 tube turkey maple sausage
1 tube low fat / non fat cream cheese
1 tube low fat / non fat crescent rolls
1 box low fat / non fat Triscuit crackers or original flavor Wheat Thins

Directions:
Follow the same directions as above



Can I get a YUM-YEA!?!

A Catholic on a Mormon Temple Tour

A few weeks ago a high school friend emailed me an invitation to go on a tour of the Mormon Temple in Atlanta.  Once the temples are dedicated only Mormons in good standing can enter.  The temple recently underwent some renovations and after being closed for two years, was open to the public for guided tours before it was rededicated.

photo from Google Images


Lisa was kind enough to meet me for lunch to catch up on our lives and to answer any questions I had before we went to the Temple.

I had no idea what to expect.  My only notion of a "fancy church building" is a Catholic Cathedral, or on the more plain side, a large Methodist or non-denominational church.  So I guess my idea of what would be inside what some combination of the two.  I knew that weddings and baptisms were performed in there so I figured there'd be some sort of baptismal font and a place for weddings.

First, the temple was much smaller than it looks from driving down the highway.  As we entered I was surprised to see many small rooms instead of a long nave like in a Cathedral.  The first stop was the changing room.  When the members enter they immediate head to the locker rooms where they change from street clothes to all white, full covering temple clothes and shoes.  We didn't have to do that yesterday, but we did have to put covers on our shoes.  The idea is to leave things of the world behind in exchange for a sacred space.

Next we visited several instruction rooms where you would come hear teachings on different topics and then you'd make a promise to live that lifestyle.  They had classroom style seating with paintings of nature on the walls.  Beautiful.

From there we went to the sealing rooms.  This is were the wedding take place.  The couple kneels before an altar facing each other.  Mormons believe their marriage is sealed for all eternity.  Behind the couple are two huge mirrors.  As you look at your spouse you can see a reflection of yourself for all eternity.  Very neat symbolism.  If a couple is married in the temple after having children or adopts children, the children come to the sealing room with them to be sealed to the parents for eternity.  The family then kneels around the altar.

The next stop was my second favorite - the baptismal font.  When I say it was huge, it's an understatement.  The room was two stories and you walk into the level where you'd walk into the font, which has a few steps down to the pool area.  The font was held up by statues of 12 almost life size oxen representing the 12 tribes of Israel (a good Catholic then jumps to the 12 Apostles as well, making this even cooler symbolism for me).  The Mormon's believe in baptism by submersion, and fittingly there is a picture of John baptizing Jesus in the Jordan in that room.  Off to the side is the Confirmation room where members gather with the newly baptized to invoke the gifts of the Holy (Ghost) Spirit.  I love that the idea of Confirmation is essentially the same for our two faiths.   I learned that a typical member is baptized around age 8.  And converts whenever they are ready. Confirmation is typically done the same day, or the next day.  Members can also be baptized for the salvation of a dead family member who was not a member.  They believe that their family member can then choose to accept the benefits or not.  It sounds very strange at first listen, but when you think about Catholics who pray for the souls in purgatory or do novenas for them, it's really no different.  I love the connection that both faiths have with ensuring salvation for their loved ones.

And lastly we went to the celestial room.  The room is almost all white with Gold accents.  It has stained glass windows of shades of white in organic patterns.  Huge mirrors.  An enormous, fabulous crystal chandelier (which directs your eyes to heaven).  White Queen Ann style or white couches for sitting and praying.  The room is simple, but it's simplicity is so clearly a glimpse at heaven.  This is the ultimate place for Mormons to come pray, receive answers to prayers, and simple center themselves.  Lisa said she would come there often when she was pregnant just to spend time in peaceful prayer with her little one inside.  The way members describe the feelings, emotions and peace they find in the celestial room, is the same that a Catholic would describe an Adoration Chapel: full of the presence of God, a glimpse of heaven.

Our tour ended in a tent with cookies and lemonade.  Many of the missionaries from all over Georgia were there to help with the tours and answer questions at the end of the tour.  I was expecting some kind of bombardment with pamphlets and invitations (as per stereo types, sorry Lisa!), but it was quite the opposite.  I felt so welcomed for being "me" - a visitor. And was respected for my strong Catholic faith.  In fact many of the women I talked with had questions for me, and loved sharing in our common beliefs rather than focusing on our differences. The whole experience was outstanding.

Congratulations to the Latter Day Saints on their new incredible temple in Atlanta.  What a fabulous place to worship!

13 April, 2011

Odds and Ends

I know. I know. I've been a little behind on blogging these days.  Partially because I've been unusually busy doing nothing, partially because I've been suffering writers block.  Enter: Out-of-chronological-order / random blog post about the last two week of my life!

Working my new job in addition to still working 40 hours a week at the church is probably the biggest culprit.  I'm used to blogging on Tuesday when I'd have the day off.  Now I'm working a full day.  That'll end soon.  Probably another month or so?  I'm enjoy the job so far.  I've been working on a new website for the company. It's been a joke trying to write content for a subject I don't know.  At least my boss is helpful in teaching me, and he likes to take ping pong breaks.  Perfect little afternoon treat.  Love it.

My job at the church is wrapping up nicely.  I had my last big catechetical night on Sunday.  It was a small crowd due to the end of Spring break but intimate.  It was wonderful and spirit led.  I'm glad to go out on a high note.  This coming Sunday is our end of the year party.  DJ, 22' inflatable slide, cotton candy, snow cones.... anyone want to come chaperone?  We have adult only slide time after! ha

Last weekend I went on a retreat for me.  You're probably thinking, girl, you go on so many retreats for work why'd you give up another weekend to go?  That's the thing, I lead the retreats.  This was a retreat for me.  It was just what the doctor ordered.  We learned about women in Scripture.  And for the first time I connected with a woman in the Old Testament, Hannah.  She would be angry with God, stressed out, suffer from anxiety, depression, weeping....  Finally, her trust in God led to the fulfillment of the desires of her heart.  Lesson Learned.  I need to trust in God more and not lean on myself.  I mean, I've known this for years.  But I have never really known it with my heart.  Many of the speakers on the retreat mentioned a book called One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are to which I promptly returned home and purchased.  I've started reading it and this is the perfect book for me post-retreat.  Learning to live in JOY again after allowing stress, fear and anxiety run my life.  I'm looking forward to opening my heart to the wisdom of the book to help me heal and transform me.

Enough emotional work-y type stuff.  Eric and I have been off having fun too!

Eric went to the Braves Season Home Opener (using our season tickets! whoop!), ran an 8k, and has been feverishly brewing and bottling beers.  The boys are working on some new equipment to help the process of home brewing. I am really proud of them.  And I am anxiously awaiting Lent to be over so I can try a few of the spring brews :) Eric also went to Athens to volunteer at our favorite beer festival all while spending some time with some friends who have relocated to Athens.  He took the next day (Monday) off from work and took his kayak to the river to paddle and read.  Not going to lie, pretty jealous of that!

I have certainly had my fill of fun adventures.  Bocce league is in full swing.  We lost our game last night, but look a this sun-glare.  Who could play in that?



And if you look right in the middle of the court, there is a cluster of three divits.  It was anyones game.  It was frustrating for us, but the guys we played against were hilarious and made our loss not the end of the world.

Two weekends ago Katie Mom and I went out for Mexican and then to one of those paint-a-canvas-and-drink-wine places.  We had a Groupon for 50% off, so hey, why not?



We were a little frustrated at the process, as there is a learning curve to working with acrylics, but by the end we were pretty pleased with our results.


Also, I'm not sure why we look so drunk in this picture.  We'd only had a glass each.  Perhaps because it was Friday night and we were pooped from work?  Bad lighting?  Paint fumes?   Regardless, we had a great night out.  I love going to these places - granted I'd never pay full price.  This is $15 fun, not $30 fun.  And really, what do you do with the paintings when you bring them home?  I'm probably going to line a hallway wall with them...which means, I need to go again.  Who is in?

I hope you're have a blessed week!  I promise to catch up more often :)

03 April, 2011

That's like Fourth of July without apple pie, or Friday with no two pizzas.*

You know in college when you had those moments when it's a glorious sunny 72 degrees, you're in shorts and flip flops, Nalgene bottles tossed about the grass, and you and your besties are throwing the frisbee on the quad between class and then you pause and think "ah, college" and you feel like you belong in a brochure?

Yesterday I had one of those moments, except instead of "college" I had the "I feel like I'm in an episode of Friends"  day; trade coffee shop for a beer bar in Atlanta.

It was Rosemary's birthday. 72 degrees. Not a cloud in the sky. Literally, none.  I kept looking. We packed up quite the vegetarian, gluten free, and beer free spread (collectively we gave up a lot of weird things for Lent), chairs, bocce, bean bags, frisbees, and a cooler and headed to Piedmont Park, Atlanta's version of Central Park.  It was even landscaped by the two sons of Olmsted, who landscaped Central Park (read: History Minor).  It was a...




We enjoyed good conversation, games, and all our delicious snacks.


Walked through the park and took pictures of each other!





isn't he so adorably cute?!?!   :-D

If you know anything about Piedmont Park, it's fair game to see just about anything: roller bladers, stunt kites, five men chasing a baby, people in matching shirts, men in matching outfits, but nothing prepared us for....


Yup.  A bunny on a leash.  Sorry the picture is blurry, I couldn't stop laughing!

Once we had our fill of gloriousness....




We packed up and headed to find a bar for a light dinner and a few birthday drinks.  It was looking around the dinner table at the one married couple, two siblings, two college roommates, three guys / three girls (and a visiting boyfriend!)  that it dawned on me: we're totally the cast of Friends.  We're like apple pie on the 4th of July and two pizzas on Friday.  A Perfect Fit.






*Joey, The One With the Rumor (2001)