Thursday, July 31, 2008


I am proud to announce that last night I wrote out a check for my FINAL loan payment!

That's right, I am totally debt-free (in terms of college and grad-school loans - still got the mortgage and the car payments). See, moving back home after college and living with your parents until the morning of your wedding definitely has its perks!

Therefore, I have to acknowledge my parents and thank them for those years that I lived at home. If it wasn't for their support, I wouldn't be as excited as I am right now for this accomplishment. By living at home, I was able to save the money that would have been used toward rent, utilities, furniture, etc. - and that really made the difference. I was able to make higher monthly installments, and as a result, finish the payments early.

The car pay-off isn't too far off, but the mortgage, well, that's definitely a different story!

Friday, July 25, 2008

HA! I was totally right!

I am not one to bask in someone else's misfortune, but take a look back at the post entitled "The Bachelor = STUPID BOY!" and you will understand my elation right now.

Becky (one of my fellow Bachelor-aholics) informed me that Matt and Shayne did indeed split up. She sent me a link to an article in People.

Please recall how I described Shayne as "fake and annoying," and I predicted that she will "dump him after she realizes that her movie career won't take off in London (which is where he is from and is expecting her to relocate to be with him)."

Now I am not sure who did the dumping, but I do know that they never even went back to London at all...he has been living with her in California since the finale in May.

They are quoted in People as saying: "We tried hard to make it work but we realized that we were both heading in different direction." DUH! I could have told you that months ago!

I wonder how many smut magazines we will see Shayne in now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


So I decided against torturing John with a musical and agreed to see "The Dark Knight." I am not that into action movies and therefore was not as excited to see it as the average American, but I do have to say this: Good movie! I never saw "Batman Begins," but I was still able to follow the story line without confusion. However, I am anxious to see it now...maybe I will appreciate it more than I would have before.

Heath Ledger was amazing, but the more appropriate description for his role is FREAKY! I mean it - look at this picture - it says it all. Seriously, I actually had nightmares about The Joker all last night (I felt like I was a little kid again!). I can see why he went out of his mind with insomnia and eventual suicide. It's sad because this is probably his best role ever and he is not alive to reap the praises.

For those of you who saw "Batman Begins" and loved it - you will definitely enjoy this movie. For those who are skeptical - you will be pleasantly surprised. Warning though - it's one for those movies where you need to pay attention and try not to miss small details.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

Yes, that is my RIGHT hand with my wedding rings. Why? Well, in lieu of our 2nd wedding anniversary (which is today), I thought that I would reminisce about the events from our 1st anniversary:

So last year, we attended one of John's cousin's birthday parties on July 21st. A volleyball game was started, and for some unknown reason I felt compelled to play - even though I totally suck at volleyball. One of the 3 times that I actually hit the ball, my left ring finger totally bent back. It hurt pretty severely, but I didn't want to look like a wimp, so I continued to play.

Slowly throughout the rest of the afternoon and into the evening, my finger was throbbing, swelling, and turning black-and-blue. I tried to keep it in ice to help with the swelling so that I could get my rings off, but it burned so much in the ice that I couldn't stand it very long. I was still determined to get them off with soap, lotion, conditioner - but nothing worked.

By the next morning, my finger was seriously dark purple - it looked like a purple sausage took the place of my finger. However, this day (July 22 - our 1st anniversary) was Marina's bridal shower. So I sucked it up, went to the shower, helped out like nothing was wrong, and kept my obviously broken finger a secret...that is until the bitter end. Once the last guest left the shower, I looked at my mom and said - "I think that I need to go to the emergency room." She looked at me, kinda puzzled. Then I showed her my finger.

We decided to drive to Sewickley to be seen in the ED because I knew everyone there and I wouldn't have to wait hours. The doctor cut my rings off as I was being registered. What a bummer - having your wedding band and engagement ring cut off on the day of your 1st anniversary. I asked at one point - "Is this a bad omen?" My finger was so swollen that the rings were causing a constricting effect on my finger, and there was an actual "pop" once they were completely separated. From the time was entered the parking garage to the time we left was less than an hour - it helps working in a hospital at times!

As a result, I got my rings sized to my right ring finger, which ended up being the original size for my left hand. By the winter, the swelling was completely gone and I was able to wear the rings on my left hand again.

Then summer hit - my left ring finger now swells quite easily and there is an obvious callus at my PIP joint (aka middle knuckle). Therefore, I have resorted to wearing them on my right hand again.

You would be amazed at how often I get questions as to why I wear my rings on my right hand - at least 1 patient a day asks. Since the story is so long, I have resorted to simply saying - "I'm Greek Orthodox."

Unfortunately, it's 8:30pm and I still haven't seen John yet today. He had to work - bummer! But we are going out for dinner and movie tomorrow to celebrate. I still haven't decided it I should torture him with "Mama Mia" or please him and see "The Dark Knight."

I'll let you know...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Getting Started

Our one spare bedroom has been invaded! This is my attempt to START packing for the big trip, which is slowly creeping up on us. I know that this probably looks like a hodge-podge of clothes piles, but there is a method to my madness.

My goal is to use our large suitcase for all of our stuff together, and then pack a carry-on roller with about 3-4 days of clothes just in case out luggage gets lost. We discovered that if that does indeed happen, we would not get our luggage until Venice - which is DAY 4!!!!

I'll keep you posted on my packing progress - I have a feeling that this is going to be my stressor for the next few weeks!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Becky's Baby Shower

I was fortunate enough to attend Becky's baby shower this afternoon. For those of you who don't know, Becky was my freshman year roommate at Allegheny College, and we then lived with each other during our sophomore and senior years as well (I was an RA our junior year).

Becky now lives in D.C., but is originally from Alison Park and therefore came home to be the guest of honor at a baby shower hosted by her mother. It was such a great afternoon. I don't think that I have seen Becky in almost 2 years, so it was wonderful to hang out with her for a few hours.

I guess I must be on a friend-missing kick because seeing Becky made me really miss my other Allegheny buds (Jill, Sarah, and Becca especially). It's crazy how our lives change so quickly and how much time passes before we reunite again, but I guess it's all a part of growing up (and getting older!).

Perfect reason why our blogs are so important!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Missing friends...

When I got out of work yesterday, there was a voice message on my phone from my friend Aimee. I worked with Aimee at Sewickley Valley Hospital, and we have managed to keep in touch despite distance, schedules, and Aimee's new baby. Her message invited me to a little get-together with other Sewickley friends.

I couldn't resist. John was working at the pool late, and my big plans included laundry and grocery shopping, so it was a no-brainer!

There were just 4 of us hanging out at a friend's house, but it was such a great night - talking, laughing, and (of course) eating. It really made me miss working at Sewickley. There were parts of that job that really made me happy - like the people I worked with. My life-style is so much better now, that I couldn't even imagine going back to the type of schedule that I used to keep. But I must say, hanging out with those friends last night really made me want to go back.

Above is a picture of our little soiree - Aimee, me, Becky, and Lisa (in Becky's driveway).

To all of my SVH friends - you will always be so special to me!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Aren't you all so sad?

This is my first Tuesday post in about 2 months or so where I did not report on "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette." I know for a fact that there are at least 2 people out there as bummed as me that there was no smut on TV, but I am sure that the rest of my blog readers are relieved.

Instead I will talk about a movie I watched last night. It was P.S. I Love You. I was not sure how I would like it, but I must say, it was a very touching movie - made me appreciate my husband very much. A story about a young widow trying to cope with life after her beloved husband's death and the surprises that can occur. I don't typically like Hilary Swank movies, but this one was an exception. Plus, Harry Connick Jr. is in it - HOT!
If anyone had seen it - what did you think of it? If anyone is inspired - watch it and report back!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bon Journey!

No, that is not a typo. Last night we went to a free concert at the South Side Works to see the tribute band Bon Journey - obviously they cover Bon Jovi and Journey. Anyone one who knows me well knows my obsession with 70's and 80's classic rock. As a Pittsburgher, you would expect the greater part of the obsession to be consumed by Bon Jovi, but it isn't - I LOVE Journey! Despite the fact that the original lead singer (Steve Perry) no longer tours with them, I still go to any venue in the Pittsburgh vicinity where they are performing. Bummer for me - they haven't stopped in Pittsburgh in 2 years, so now I have a suitable alternative. Other bands that I will go see include STYX (coming in August!), Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, and Def Leppard.

Pathetic, I know - but I can't help it!

Here are a few more pictures from the evening - we went with Marina and Bill, a few of their friends, and then met up with our cousin Jackie later:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Old Friends are the Best!

I know that I mentioned in a prior post about my family's Thursday tradition (see "I Love Thursdays"). Well, since it is summer, we have been trying to get outside as much as possible. My mom re-joined the pool that we belonged to as kids - Highlands Aqua Club. Nothing fancy or anything, just a community pool where we spent all of our summer days and many nights. We loved it there.

Anyway, due to the beautiful weather that we had today, my mom decided to have a picnic at the pool for dinner. I pulled into the parking lot just as my mom was arriving, and she informed me that there was a surprise. I really didn't think anything of it because it could have meant a dessert. Well, as I was waiting for Dani to show up with the girls, I looked up at one point and spotted one of my oldest friends, Jill (different Jill from my "Friendly Bloggers"). I knew instantly that she was my surprise. Jill and her 2 sisters grew up across the street from us and we all swam together at Highlands. In fact, Jill and I are still on the record board at Highlands for the 12 and under medley relay from 1990! She was accompanied by her mom and her 1-year-old son, Joey.

It was such a great evening to spend together. My entire family was there, and the only thing that could have made it better would have been Jill's 2 other sisters - Jena and Jessica. We are all still friends today, which is a pretty remarkable feat considering that we are all married and don't really live too close to each other anymore. Above is a picture of all 6 of us at Marina's wedding.

My hope is that when John and I start a family that our children will make friends like the ones we have, and make memories like the ones that I cherish today.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wrong...but not disappointed

So my skepticism from my own prediction last week was right on. "The Bachelorette" has finally concluded, and the lucky guy was Jesse.I'll admit, I was a little disappointed when Jason was the first to step out of the limo (which meant he was NOT the one she chose). However, while watching DeAnna and Jesse during "After the Final Rose," there was no doubt that she made the right decision. It just goes to show you that opposites do attract. Like I said last week - there was definitely something more to just the exterior when it came to Jesse, and DeAnna really showed her true colors by indulging in that to find that he was the one for her.

They even announced that they set a date for a May 2009 wedding. I wonder if this is going to be a repeat of Trista and Ryan with a nationally televised wedding.

They even had Matt and Shayne from the last season of "The Bachelor" on the show to give us an update on their status, and shockingly, they are still together. I still say that she is fake and ridiculous and way too young. Time will tell!

Sunday, July 6, 2008


The only good thing that comes after a rainfall:

We have gotten so much rain lately, so it's nice to see something pretty as a result besides puddles of mud and dreariness!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

This is how my family celebrates the 4th - decorate a traditional Italian dessert with the American Flag. Above is my Dad's tiramisu with blueberries and strawberries as the stars and stripes. We're strange, what can I say.

We partied at my uncle's house who has a beautiful pool. Below are pictures of it at night...we had a great holiday. I hope that everyone else did as well!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Not so sure anymore

I just watched last night's episode of "The Bachelorette" and I am not so sure about my prediction for next week. My thoughts from the last post were based on prior episodes, but last night's really showed a different side of Jesse, and it really seems that DeAnna is falling for him. Not that I think that he is a shoe-in, but I can't be sure in my prediction.

But this is the only time where I won't be disappointed if she picks one over the other because they are both good guys.

Can't wait for "The Final Rose"!

Down to 2!

I didn't get to watch "The Bachelorette" last night, but I do know who she booted - Jeremy - which was kinda shocking because it seemed that she really liked him (at least on prior episodes).

So that leaves: Jason (my favorite from the beginning!) and Jesse

Here's some info on these 2:

Jason - an account executive from outside Seattle, divorced with a 3-year-old son. DeAnna always was in to him from the beginning, but I thought for sure that his son would be a deterrent and she would reject him. I am glad that this was not the case, because I think that he is a genuinely nice guy.

Jesse - a professional snowboarder from Colorado. He shocked everyone with is unconventional wardrobe, but has really proved that there is substance to him - you just have to look beyond the long hair and the crazy clothes. I think that he is a cool dude, but I don't think that he is "marriage material."

Therefore, my prediction is that she will chose Jason on next week's finale.

I will watch last night's episode and report on it later if anything worthwhile mentioning occurred.