Saturday, December 18, 2010


As I walked into the guest room to grab something off the printer...I found my boys.

Happy Saturday everyone!

p.s. We are flying Delta for the holidays, and they have free Wi-fi on all holiday time flights. Woo! Expect some blogging catch up!

Monday, November 22, 2010


I really have been trying to get these Italy posts up so I can move on to other topics...but Blogger is not cooperating.

All the posts are written, they just need pictures plugged in. As soon as my photo uploader starts working again, the posts will be up for good friends!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thoughts on Halloween

I am going to finish Italy posts, really I am, but sometimes I lack motivation since it really just makes me want to go back to blog about the trip. And the next post, which was a BIG day for the family, deserves motivation.

In the meantime, thoughts on Halloween.

Mainly, these thoughts center on trick or treating and how it has changed from the days of yore. Austin and I were pumped, after our super fun grown up party on Saturday, to hand out candy to the kids of our neighborhood on Sunday.

We sat on the front porch in all it's Halloween decor glory...

...and waited for the kids.

Well, kids came, but so did their parents, and here are the three observations we made that I don't know how I feel about.

1. People who have clearly driven to our neighborhood to trick-or-treat, and do not live there.

This was discovered through sifting through clues such as overhearing parents discussing the "next neighborhood to hit" and asking us directions back to major streets in our neighborhood so they could find where they parked their cars. Now, Austin and I differ on this. I love Halloween and trick-or-treating, as does he. His opinion is that these people drive to our neighborhood because they know we have better candy. My opinion is that they come to our neighborhood because it may be safer to trick-or-treat then where they live, or maybe they live in an apartment and want to give their kids the opportunity to actually walk around. This observation actually makes me feel really great about where we have chosen to live, because I love both the safety and the quaintness. 

2. Grown ups trick or treating for babies, or for themselves with their kids.

Now, this makes me annoyed. I understand if you have a cute newborn or even 10 month old that you want to take a cute picture of in a costume for Halloween. I even understand if you want to show said kid off to some people you know. But, wheeling around a sleeping baby who is clearly too little for candy and trick or treating for them with people who you don't know? That is ridiculous. That is trick-or-treating for parents. Now, did I still give candy to those people? Yes, because I am a softy and like babies. Unlike my friend Megan, I was not prepared with alternative treats for babies and youngsters. Next year, I will be. 

Additionally, if you are taking your kids trick or treating, kudos for you. That does not mean you deserve a treat too. I mean, who eats that much candy?! I legitimately had parents, who were not even dressed up, approaching our bucket with their kids, bag in hand. One woman was on her cell phone the whole time, and just held her bag open in front of me. I gave her a piece of candy, mainly to save her children the embarrassment of me saying something. But, really? That is ridiculous.

3. When did kids get so greedy?

I feel like an old person saying this, but seriously, times have changed. Never would my parents have let me stick my hand in a bucket of candy and scoop up an armful. And even the kids who ask, which I agree is better (but is still annoying) how many pieces? Even after we would say, you can have two if you want them, some of the kids, whose parents were right there with them, would take handfuls of candy and shove it in their bag. Now, the little ones who really don't know better/don't have the dexterity to grab a singular piece of candy I am not worried about...but the 10 year olds? Come on. 

Besides the candy situation there was something else that sort of stopped me in my tracks. We have an elderly neighbor across the street. When the trick or treating started, she called out to Austin and I to come over to her porch. Austin went over and the woman handed him a bag of quarters for us to hand out to kids for her. What a sweetheart, right? Well, some of the kids I gave those quarters to lit up like it was the best day ever. Others? They gave me a look like "Lady, what am I gonna do with a measly quarter?" I was floored. Now, I know that inflation has done its thing since I was a kid, but in my book, anybody giving you free money was a good day. Still is, as a matter of fact. 

Halloween and trick-or-treating from a grown up perspective is a whole new ball game. All in all we still had tons of really well behaved kids, and parents. People loved our address pumpkins, so I think we will have a trend in our neighborhood of that next year. We got to meet and chat with many of our neighbors and their friends and it really was a great night. I hope you guys all had great Halloweens too!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Present!

I got a present in the mail the other day.

Open it with me won't you?

So cute! I can't wait to use it. Plus, I won it at The Look 4 Less.

Free EmersonMade.?

I am a happy girl.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Flagship Celebrity

Last Saturday, Austin and I went out to support the Supply department of the Arleigh Burke in a Chili Cook-off! Our team's theme was an NFL tailgate and low and behold when The Flagship came out we saw this photo on the FRONT PAGE!

Isn't he adorable?

You can see the full story here, and his photo on the homepage linked above.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Italy Trip - Florence (the end)

After our big day of vino, we headed back to Florence just to relax and have some fun. We explored the streets and grabbed some dinner when we happened upon a street performer!

We headed home (back to the hotel) and got up excited for our last day in Florence. We had all morning to explore and have some fun before our reserved time at the Uffizi, so explore we did.

Drinking in the streets? Sure, why not?

Through bad Italian, and Jessica's awesome ESL skills, we hunted out a place that Lisa's mom had recommended to us with gorgeous it was on top of a department store. All we had to go on was "It's by the Duomo, and it's on the roof of a department store" - but, we found it! and it was awesome!

Then, after lunch, somehow we got it in our heads we wanted to head to the gold district...

See those girls to the right? Headed straight for the jewelry shops on the Ponte Vecchio? They may look familiar...

Husbands, waiting patiently outside...

All the girls with all our pretty finds...

After all that exhausting shopping, we headed back to the hotel to break open our leftover wine from our tasting - Andre sent it all home with us! We filled up some paper cups and headed to the Uffizi!

They don't allow photos inside, but we took these when we stopped at the cafe for some cafe.

We wrapped up our last night in Florence with a diner at a friend-recommended restaurant, Za Za (watch out for that website, the guy is speaking Italian!)

Then we grabbed some gelato (a nightly occurrence)

...and ended the night with some limoncello-induced fist-pumping.

The next morning we bid adieu to Florence and headed to Venice...where a big surprise awaited Miss Haley!

Friday, October 1, 2010

We interrupt these recaps...

To bring you more recaps!

Remember how I promised I would fulfill my end of the bargain on FINALLY getting wedding recaps going? Well, I am working on them, diligently. You can fine them at See the Bride Blog, or by clicking that little link to it over there -->

I moved it back to the top for easy navigating.

And, in honor of all things wedding, I would just like to note that this is the coolest bridesmaid dress ever invented.

Back to Italy in the next post.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Florence (Part 3)

Our second day in Florence dawned and it was... WINE TOUR DAY!

We booked a private driver for the 8 of us to see Tuscany, do some shopping and a little Chianti wine tasting. We were super excited when our driver pulled up and not only did he have an AWESOME van for us to ride around in all day, but he looked like "The Most Interesting Man in the World" Seriously. And his name was Riccardo.

On to our day!

First stop: San Gimignano - the town of towers

 This town was so cute and quint, though none of us could properly pronounce it. Poor Riccardo tried and tried to tell us, but we were just not getting it. The ladies especially had fun here, as the shopping bags we are holding can attest. Can you believe that sky?!

Then it was on to another castle-y town for lunch! This time Monteriggioni.

Austin is super excited we visited this town, because it is also part of his new Assasin's Creed II game - he wanted you to know.

View from our quaint little table...

They brought our Coke Light with lemon by default - I was Thrilled with a capital T. 

Side note, I could sadly never reside in Italy because of the ridiculous price of diet coke alone. Though, maybe the awesome espresso, wine and food in general would help to console me of that loss eventually. I think this can of soda was 5 Euro, which roughly translates to like $7. Yikes.

After lunch, we explored the town a bit

Can't you just see that History major mind working?

 We lit a candle and said a few prayers. 
Though this church was the smallest that we saw while in Italy it was one of my favorite 

We were then supposed to head to Sienna to walk around a bit more, but it just so happened that we were there on the same day as Il Palio which is a horse race that has been taking place in Sienna since 1656.

Riccardo was confident it would be a great day to walk around, but as he drove us into the town, we accidentally drove right into the parade route! Here are some photos Jess managed to snap while hanging out the window of the confused people in the parade and some of the onlookers who were not very happy with us!

So, even though I really wanted to get a scarf in honor of the winning horse that day (you know I love some team pride) we decided it would be best to exit Sienna ASAP.

Onto the wine!

Riccardo took us to his friend Andre's vineyard. It is a little family owned operation and though he spoke barely no English, he was such a sweetheart and taught us all about Chianti before doing the tasting.

The whole group with Andre

The wine was delish, as were the homemade snacks and we all left with a few bottles in tow. We headed for some more wine and more scenic views of Tuscany, but this post is getting entirely too long, so I will leave you with a few photos.

I think this is the best photo anyone got of Riccardo all day. You will just have to trust me on looking like the Dos Equis guy.

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