Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree . . .

Although, the weather here in NOLA is not very Christmas-y, Matt and I are getting into the Christmas spirit! Despite picking up our Christmas tree in 80-degree heat and sweating to get it into the house, we have made it into a true symbol of holiday spirit. New ornaments, new lights, new angel on the tree top, and plenty of new toys for Frankie to play with!

The angel on top of the tree . . .

Frankie is thinking, 'this looks like something I might be interested in . . .'

Oh yes, paws on the ornaments . . . Busted!

Then we moved the chair away from the tree . . . what a pitiful face, Frankie!

a late report on Thanksgiving

I've been meaning to update my blog now for a while, and I'm finally getting to it. Matt and I flew to NC for Thanksgiving and spent some time at both my parents' and his parents' houses. We had a really nice trip - it was good to see our family and be with them for a while. We had Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' - and what a spread of food! Hats off to my mom, grandmother, and Aunt Dolores, and even my cousin's, Aaron's, girlfriend brought a couple dishes. It was a feast. Unfortunately, the vacation went by way too fast.

Here is a family shot of Jackie, Connor and Noah . . .

Busted! Yes, this is Matt asleep at my parent's - I guess we could blame it on the turkey.

Aunt Dolores, Mom, Jackie, and Grandma . . . It's always such a treat to get to see Grandma and Wayne. They drove up from Florida to spend Thanksgiving with us. Grandma and I had a couple really nice chats, and we looked through my wedding pictures, reliving the good times.

Visiting on the couch - Connor, Jackie, Noah, me and Grandma . . .

Noah loved all the food! Mom made him special sweet potatoes that he gobbled right up. He also tasted some pumpkin pie, apple pie, ice cream and whipped cream (for the first time) . . . we were relieved to see that he would still eat regular food!

Cheyanne, my very best friend from high school, stopped by on Friday after noon with her two little girls, Madyson and McKynzy. Here is Chey and Kynzy, Noah giving his mother a kiss, and Connor . . .

Chey and her two girls . . .

Noah and his most favorite girl in the whole world . . .

Aaron and Noah . . .

Saturday morning, we drove to Southern Pines and stayed with Shelton and Sally. Becca was able to make a weekend trip to SP as well. We had a big dinner at Sally and Shelton's on Saturday night - great southern cooking (right up Matt's alley!)!
Before we left, everyone opened the Christmas presents we brought them. Here is Becca with the candle we got her . . .

Sally and her new scarf . . .

Why does time seem to slip through your fingers, so quickly? Thanksgiving lasted but a blink of the eye, and we are missing everyone back home again! Until next time . . .

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Halloween, Highlights, and a new friend for Frankie

Greetings from NOLA! The past few weeks have been a steady stream of working, sleeping, and weekend shopping. I've experimented with a few new recipes - the fiesta pie was NOT good, but Matt ate it anyway. We had some friends (Melissa and Scott) over last week for dinner. I cooked ham, Sally's sweet potatoe casserole, and green bean casserole. They loved it! And, we drank the fantastic bottle of wine that Jackie sent me for my birthday (the grapefruit-flavored wine). This week I am cooking Jackie's vegetable lasanga. Exciting stuff, I know.

Here is our official family portrait! Frankie was not thrilled to be pulled away from her nap for the photo.

Picture of my new highlights - I went to a new hairdresser yesterday to get blond highlights - Vella's Coiffure Salon. My hair turned out a little bit streaky, but I like it pretty good. (Matt said it looked "Gastonia streaky," and I was thoroughly offended!) Anyway, I'll probably go back in a month or two to get a more uniform blond look.

Frankie loves to stretch out on her back right in front of the door! Smart kitty!

So, we had bought all this candy for Halloween, and we only had like three trick-or-treaters. What a bummer! A devil, spiderman and a witch. By ten o'clock we were ready for bed, so I put the bowl of candy on our front door step with a note. And in the morning . . . it was untouched! Now we have lots of chocolate in our house . . . not good!

Frankie's new friend (or anxiety producing neighbor)! About once a day, this gray kitty comes to our door and meows. So, of course, I go outside and feed him some kitty treats. Frankie watches on in a fit of jealousy. And, like any good mother, I give her some treats as well. Here are some pictures from today of Frankie and gray kitty.

Before I go, I must point out the milestones during this month. Sally had a birthday on October 30th, and I turned 29 on November 2nd. I worked 12 hours on Friday 11/02, but Matt and I celebrated with dinner that weekend.
Take care everyone, and we'll post again soon!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Good times, and a wedding

Last weekend (Sept. 29-30th), Matt and I flew to Greensboro to attend a wedding. We stayed with Cooper, one of Matt's best friends, and his wife, Andrea. The weekend was a lot of fun, as we stayed Saturday night with them, and their two dogs (Savannah and Venice). The wedding was beautiful - a very splendid affair with the reception at the Greensboro Country Club. Jason Evans married Mary Lindsay Weatherly. Cooper and Matt have been good friends with Jason since college. On Saturday, Matt, Cooper, and I had lunch with my parents at FishBones. On Sunday, Matt, Cooper, Andrea and I had lunch with Matt's parents at Natty Greene's in downtown Greensboro. We also got a surprise visit from Alex and Becky Cameron! It was so good to see everyone. We returned to Louisiana on Sunday night (and we were exhausted!).
Here are a few pictures from the reception . . .

Cooper and Andrea, newly married themselves . . . .

Cooper and I . . .

Matt and I . . .

Good times, good times!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Home Sweet Home

We are getting settled, here in swamp country. Slowly, things are starting to fall into place. I started a new job this week, working PRN at Tulane Hospital. I will work at least 40 hrs/week, though, for the first month. Starting work has been quite an adjustment, and a bit stressful - but things seem better at the end of the week. (As opposed to the beginning of the week, when I had a nervous breakdown over doing a pediatric craniotomy on my second day at a new hospital!) We are hopeful that I will soon be working PRN at Ochsner Hospital as well. And the really good news is . . . I finally have health insurance!
Last weekend, before I started work, I persuaded Mathew to go to Lowes with me and buy some plants for the front "yard" (if you can call it a yard). We spent Sunday afternoon planting monkey grass in front of the iron fence, and gardenias behind the fence. There are three gardenias, on each end and in the middle. There are potted flowering plants between them.

Gardening is harder work than I thought! We have been diligently watering our new plants - we certainly do not want them to die after all that work!

Carly's new car - a 2007 Honda Accord. We had to get rid of her old 97 Acura before the transmission dropped out! We really like the new car, except the gas mileage is not what was advertised. But it has tan leather interior, XM radio, 6 CD changer, and sunroof.

Our new bicycles - Mongoose mountain bikes.

Our living room at Audubon Trace - one wall is all mirrored.

Frankie has such a rough life! Smushed between the pillows!

Our new lamp! (Matt was not as in love with it as I was)

Our bedroom . . .

Our guest room . . . awaiting some company! And, I must point out the deluxe ceiling fans, that my father installed. Way to go Dad! They look great!

Baltimore Visit August 20-24

What a lucky aunt I am! When my sister had to go to California for work, and her husband's, Connor's, babysitter became deathly ill . . . I made the trip to Baltimore to take care of my favorite nephew, Noah! What a cutie! He is such a bundle of energy, always into something, and never bored. We (or rather, Noah) would wake up bright and early, usually around 6 am, to eat and play with some toys. Then, back down to sleep, usually until mid morning when he'd wake up to eat a gourmet breakfast of some kind of mashed up fruit, oatmeal and milk. Yum! More playing . . . a walk in the stroller . . . more playing . . . a nap here or there . . . more eating . . . and you guessed it, more playing! Playtime was VERY important. Here are a few pictures from my week with Noah.

This picture was taken when Jackie returned on Friday - boy, was Noah happy to see her!

Fun in the stroller . . . Noah says "Yo, what's up? I got my toys - what's you got?"

Always smiling . . . as a matter of fact, I think the only time he wasn't smiling was when he was crying. Go figure.

Here, Noah is trying to persuade Aunt Carly to donate her new camera to the Noah Toy Fund. Now, if Aunt Carly would just let him get a hold of the camera's strap!

Ah . . . found Aunt Carly's cell phone. She didn't really need that little piece that sticks off the top of the phone, did she?

Dinner time . . . very important. What you see here is not drool, this is applesauce covering his face, clothes, hands, fingers, and toes.

And of course, back to the most important time of the day . . . playtime!

Noah and I had so much fun together! I miss him - wished we lived closer! I made it back to NOLA on Friday, August 24th, just in time for Matt's birthday! Matt turned 31 years old on August 25th. To celebrate, we bought bicycles (Mongoose mountain bikes) . . . and had a fabulous dinner at Brigsten's that evening.

Monday, September 3, 2007

our own slice of paradise

Hermitage Bay, Antigua . . . truly a slice of paradise! Where do I even begin? Words cannot describe the astounding beauty of this place, and pictures don't do it justice. (I must apologize for the large number of pictures on this posting, but I took over 600! It was hard to decide which ones to put on here!)

We stayed at two different resorts during our honeymoon. The first was Hermitage Bay, which is what you see in the pictures. The second resort was called Carlisle Bay, and after three nights there, we decided to return to Hermitage Bay. The first four nights at Hermitage we stayed in a Hillside Cottage, with this amazing view.

The hillside cottage was incredible, with hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, ceiling fans, wrap around deck, our own private plunge (infinity) pool, LCD TV, iPod docking station, white linens . . . and on and on. It was so luxurious, and yet you still felt like you were living at the beach in close touch with the natural environment. Everything was included here - our food, drinks (including alcohol), water sports. Our days were a mix of relaxation and adventure . . . a perfect honeymoon. No worries. It was simply romantic and secluded.

The beach was beautiful, as well. There was a reef right by the shore where Matt and I snorkeled. We saw lots of exotic fish - blue, yellow, pink fish. Unfortunately, there was also a large number of jellyfish, but we were able to keep our distance from them. Some afternoons, we would just lounge on the beach, reading, and having pina coladas served to us. What a life!

Our hillside cottage was No. 39, which was at the very top of all the cottages. The hike was enough to get winded, but the view was worth it!

At the end of the day, we would go up to our cottage, and get for ready dinner. This entailed a nice glass of wine, before and after the shower, as well as getting all gussied up! I would curl my hair and put on a nice skirt or dress. We'd sit around the pool, talking, drinking, and wishing our time here would never end - then, we'd meander down to the beachside restaurant and eat some of the best food we've ever tasted. Every dinner was incredible - fish (mahi mahi, tuna, tilapia), steak (filet), chicken, pork - we loved the food here!

A view from one of the hillside cottages . . . it was just exquisite!

Our last night at Hermitage (after our three nights at Carlisle Bay), we stayed in a beach side cottage . . . which we loved, as well. The main difference was that this cottage did not have the plunge pool. But it was right on the beach, with the ocean a short distance away.

Here is our room in the beach side cottage. Like the hillside cottage, there are no glass windows - they are all screened in with wooden slats. At night, we would close most of the windows and turn on our ceiling fan with the air conditioning on low. It was perfect - a cool breeze while we were sleeping.

Our last night, we sat on our deck, looking out at the ocean, drinking Carib beers and listening to our iPod music ("Jackie's gift"). It was so serene, so peaceful, and we didn't want it to ever end. We watched the most stunning sunset . . .

Our last meal at Hermitage Bay . . .

We will never forget this place, or the incredible time we had here. We reminisce about Hermitage a lot, wishing we were back there, sipping on pina coladas and watching amazing sunsets. If only . . . .