Tuesday, November 30, 2010

all final hugs have been given...

all farewells have been said, and the last of my family members are en route to the airport.

the house is empty and quiet.  except for the hum of the washer & dryer, the rain falling against the window panes and zoe-girl softly snoring under her blanket, it's much too quiet for my liking.

this last week was all i had hoped for and so much more.  sooo excited to share the memories and the pictures - oh, the pictures!

tomorrow i will be back at work and reality will set in with a vengeance.  but until then, for the remaining hours today, i will bask in the warmth, love and memories of an unforgettable thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

anticipation overload!

thanksgiving may be two days away, but today the anticipation starts becoming reality.  this year unlike any other, my excitement has overflowed and my giddiness has no bounds!  this year my ENTIRE family will be together for thanksgiving.  those of you who know my family know that is a huge feat, first because of my family's size (9 children) and secondly because we're spread out all over the country. 

out of towners -
lyg, deric & luke flying in from dallas today - cannot wait to meet my nephew luke for the first time!

naomi & florin flying in from chicago tomorrow

danny, otilia & eliana driving down from seattle tomorrow (where they've been visiting otilia's family) - can't wait to see little eliana again!  the first and only time i saw her she was 5 months old, and she stole my heart.

dad, mom, josh & rachel flying in from phoenix tomorrow

by thursday, the following crowd will be assembled in our home -
24 adults (immediate family + spouses)
3 children/toddlers
2 babies - MY BAD - make that 3 BABIES!
1 dog

yes, it will be chaotic
yes, it will be loud
yes, i have yet to figure out where everyone will sit
yes, there will be LOTS of food cooked and consumed (can't wait to cook romo food with my sisters!!)

yes, it will be a thanksgiving to remember, and i am so very thankful

(cannot wait to meet this little mister today - can he be any cuter?!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

starbucks love

i haven't always been the biggest fan of starbucks, definitely not crazy about their coffee, BUT today, i found a reason to love them...

FREE Wi-Fi!!!

maybe i'm the only one that didn't know...

needed a place to work distraction-free after heading home from work early today to avoid the bad weather commute, and discovered that starbucks offers free wi-fi - been enjoying it from the comfort of my local starbucks, while downing large amounts of hot tea and listening to christmas music for the first time this season. 

not a bad way to spend an afternoon if i do say so myself!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

a piggy at the pumpkin patch

still playing catch-up...

couldn't resist posting a few pics of zoe-girl at the annual frenchie meet-up at the sauvie island pumpkin patch - a good time was had by all, especially one little piggy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

i swore i would stay away...

from the newly opened Portland H&M store until the madness died down but like a moth to flame, i simply couldn't resist the urge and stopped by yesterday, on the first weekend they were open.  in my defense i had to return some items to the Nordstrom Rack right across the street, so it would have been silly to be feet away and NOT stop by, right??

while they weren't as busy as i anticipated - at least the children's floor wasn't - i must admit i was disappointed. 

maybe it was that the entire store looked like a disaster area

maybe my fashion sense has changed (could i be getting old - yikes!!) or

maybe it's because i'm trying to make a concerted effort to change my clothing buying habit from quantity to quality

probably a combination of all of the above

not only did the styles not intrigue me, the quality of most items left quite a bit to be desired, and the prices didn't match the quality.  all in all, disappointing, but who am i kidding, i will of course give them another chance at some point in the near future.

there was, however,  one item i simply couldn't resist, modeled below by sweet baby Easton, who yesterday turned 8 months old.




let's just say i liked the hat more than he did!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

chi-town revisted

** this blog post was originally started about a month ago, so it's now been almost 2 months since we visited chicago - yikes!! **

Hard to believe it's been a month since we visited Chicago - this last month has been on steroids! I can usually use that excuse for the summer months, but this fall has shaped up to be BUSY!

Our Chicago trip wasn't planned far in advance, but thanks to a sister who works of the airlines and is generous with her buddy passes, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to visit my sister Naomi and her new husband, Florin in Chicago. Ok, well technically, they've been married 1 1/2 years, but since the first and only time we met him was at their wedding, I hardly know the man, and we had to remedy that! Plus, I love my sister and I love Chicago...in that order, of course! :)

Some of my favorite memories from the trip -

Meeting N&F's babies - otherwise known as their beautiful and exotic fish and shrimp. I've never met people as knowledgeable and passionate about fish and shrimp, or who have a tank the size of theirs. Talk about very low-maintenance pets!

Having vanilla lattes made each morning by our talented barista Naomi.

Visiting Hot Doug's, the self-proclaimed "Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium" - ever since Reid saw this place featured on an Anthony Bourdain episode, there was no doubt visiting it would be a crucial part of our trip. Never mind the hour + long wait in a line that stretched around the building and down the block, we impatiently waited our turn and then feasted on duck fat fries, Chicago-style dogs, and so much more! Is it weird that writing this at 8am is making me very hungry?!

Touring our old 'hood on Chicago's south side - my family lived in Chicago from the time I was 5-12 years old, and if there was one thing I wanted to make sure we did on our trip, it was to revisit our old stompin' grounds.  Plus, it was definitely time to show my hubby of 7 years where I spent some very formative years!  Not only did we drive the streets I remember motoring around on a bicycle as a child, swing on the monkey bars on the old playground and walk the perimeter of my old elementary school, I did something I never thought I would - rang the doorbell of our old house, and nervously waited, wondering how the current owners would react to a stranger claiming to have lived there 2 decades ago. Well, not only were they not creeped out, they invited us on a tour of the house - I felt like I was dreaming, walking through the house I used to think was enormous! The highlight was undoubtedly seeing my old bedroom, completely unchanged (except, I swear it shrunk in size.) Touring the house combined with getting to know the current owners (the couple who bought the house from my parents) made the experience more than I could have asked for and a wonderful memory I will always cherish.

Oktoberfest - big cities know how to do this right, and Chicago was no exception!  When it came to the food, I was gaga for the pierogis!

Julius Meinl - an incredible Austrian coffee house and restaurant my sister introduced us to - not even sure we had the coffee, but the food and ambiance was incredible - both times we ate there!

Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs - our trip to Chicago wouldn't have been complete without visiting this historic ballpark, a longtime dream of R's.  I love ballparks too - it's the 4 hour games that do me in...

India-town - visited this unofficially named strip of Indian stores, salons & restaurants where we watched Naomi get her eyebrows threaded (an alternative to waxing) - looked painful, but she claims it wasn't! Also where R&I tried Indian food for the first time.  Delish!!  How have we been missing out on it for so long?

Taste of Romania - yep, it just happened there was a Romanian food festival happening while we were there - how could we NOT go???  It's a rare occasion that I eat Romo food (I blame lack of time to cook it) so being able to eat all the sarmale (cabbage rolls), mamaliga (romo version of polenta) and mici (grilled minced meat - tastes better than it sounds!) was such a treat!  Plus, seeing the rapt joy on Florin's face was priceless!

A few snapshots from our trip (all taken with a Canon Elph point&shoot - there was no way I was lugging my DSLR on this trip!)  As you can see, many of the highlights revolve around food...yummm!













Some of the funnier things we saw...

ummm, i'm pretty sure that's a burger, not pizza

more nostalgic than funny - i remember seeing him on our drive to church each Sunday, except he wasn't wearing glasses then

had no idea this sort of thing existed!

Reid waiting to buy Cubs tix - still cracks me up!

the Indian version of 'flamin hot cheetos!'  almost tempted to buy them, but resisted the urge

i guess there's really no bad place to sell pierogi's

Friday, November 12, 2010

keeping up is hard to do...

writing the title just made me think of the song 'breaking up is hard to do' - an oldie and a goodie! oh, i remember jamming to the oldies in my little blue beater corolla - the good old days! :)

so, it's been a losing battle trying to keep up any semblance of blogging the last few months - work and life outside of work have been equally busy and have left little room for anything else.

one of the highlights of the last month has been the addition of my sister Nina and her little man Easton to our household. we've had family live with us before, but never a 7 month old, and i can say it's been an adventure! our life has been turned upside-down, in a good way, and i am falling more in love with little Easton each day. check out his mesmerizing blue eyes and judge for yourself.

i loves him.