Bahama Mama... or rather, Bahama Sister. And brother.

My trip to the Bahamas over the weekend with my little brother is done, and I probably don't have to tell you that it sucked to come home from 75 degree weather to 40-something and rain! Luckily I had my husband waiting for me, who I missed a LOT, so that was some small comfort. :)

We started our trip early Saturday morning, and miraculously all of our flights were on time (through Atlanta, on DELTA!) and we even managed to haul ass quickly enough through the airport to make our connecting flight. We had about 12 minutes for a 20 minute walk. Yeah, exercise is always good...

Our flight landed in Nassau a little after noon, but we were quickly greeted with Island Time. That is, where nothing is hurried and we think they may have been taking one bag off the plane, bringing it over to the terminal, going back for another, repeating the process, one by one. Because it took, like, an hour or more for us to get our bags. Zech was getting surlier by the moment. Finally, though, they came, and we headed out to our shuttle to the hotel. Where we waited another 45 minutes before heading out.

When we finally got to the hotel, we were starved and I finally started to see some excitement on that teenager's face. (I felt like I was on that commercial most of the weekend... where the mom keeps snapping photos of her daughter looking all pouty and then FINALLY! She catches her smiling. Yeah, can't wait to have kids that are teenagers. :) ) The hotel we stayed at was nice--a three-star all-inclusive. We had a room with a view and a nice balcony, mini-bar in the room, fridge full of sodas... it was great!

Of course our first order of business was food, but then, you know Zech was ready for the ocean! The Caribbean was rowdier than I have ever seen it--usually it's nice and calm, hardly waves to speak of. Not this weekend. The waves were so big and fierce that on Sunday the lifeguard made Zech get out of the water! Thankfully Saturday was ocean-worthy, and we spent a little time down on the beach. Unfortunately, it was windier than hell, which made it a little chilly, so we tried the pool, which was a little warmer, but not much.

We spent the evening at Atlantis, the super-fancy resort that's right next door to where we stayed. Atlantis has a casino and lots of aquarium-type areas, so we amused ourselves there for a while. Zech got a kick out of the casino, and I played about $5 in the slot machines, then we watched craps for a while. I was proud at resisting the urge to gamble more. :)

Sunday we caught a cab over to Nassau and walked around and shopped some. We got offered reefer about 50 times, and Zech bought a purse for his girlfriend. We then decided to head back to our hotel, and for some reason thought it was a good idea to walk. It was a couple miles, but, hey, it was a nice day, so that was alright. Of course, once we got back to the beach and realized Zech couldn't go in the ocean, he decided he wanted to go back to Nassau to buy this "Rolex" he had been bartering for at the Straw Market. So this time, we hopped the ferry back, and of course had to wait another hour for that to leave!

After getting home with the prized watch, we got ready for dinner at the "gourmet restaurant," and then headed down to eat. I set up the camera to take our picture in the room, because I could not get the boy to act like he liked me for a picture anywhere else. As I suspected, everyone there assumed we were a couple, and Zech was a bit more freaked out about that than I was. :)

Our last night, we headed back over to Atlantis for a little bit of last minute shopping and another look at their grounds, then it was back to our hotel for our last night in the Caribbean.

We had a fun time, and I think it was good for us to get to spend a little time together. Although I still have no idea what to talk to a 16 year old boy about, we made do just fine. :)

You can check out my whole photo album here.



Well peeps, I'm off to the Bahamas tomorrow morning for a couple of days. My little brother turned 16 last month and this is his birthday gift--he gets to go somewhere with his big sister for a weekend! :) Lucky for him, he has a passport, so his trip is a bit more exotic than Victoria's Sweet Sixteen trip to San Diego last summer.

Had a small snafu last night when I realized my plane ticket was booked in my married name and my passport is still in my maiden name! Yeah, had to pop a couple Tylenol PMs to fall asleep after that little discovery! By some miracle, though, I got the most helpful and pleasant customer service rep on the line at Delta and she changed the name on my ticket with no hassle and--even better--NO CHARGE! I was so amazed that I got her name and sent in a compliment email through Delta's website.

Anyway, I'll be back late Monday night, and will share pictures hopefully next week before Turkey Day!!


How my day started.

We have one of these coffee makers in my office. I love it. So much so that I bought one for my house. It is very simple and quick to use. You just pop a little coffee pod in the top, stick a cup under it, push a button, and voila: a hot, steamy, fresh cup of coffee.

Typically the first thing I do after walking into my office and dropping my purse is make a cup of coffee while I chat with Sharon, whose office is connected to mine. Today was no different. I dropped my purse, went over to the coffee maker, put in the coffee pod, started chatting with Sharon, and pushed the button to brew my cuppa joe.

Except I forgot the cup.

What in the world.

Luckily Keurig expects people to be idiots on occasion and built the part the cup sits on over a nice little reservoir that caught the half a cup of coffee that poured in before I realized what a ditz I had been. (It's possible that reservoir is NOT for idiots but instead to catch drips, but... hey, I gotta cut myself some slack here, people.)

So... yeah. That's how my day started. I'm just praying I've gotten all the ridiculousness out of my system for today and the rest of my Tuesday will be smooth sailing. :)


You might be a grown up if...

You might be a grown up if it is Saturday morning and you get to sleep in and you sleep as long as you possibly can, knowing you have really gotten a looooong night's sleep this time, and you roll over and the clock says 7:03am.

(You also might be a grown up if you went to bed at 9pm on Friday night, thus meaning that you really DID get a long night's sleep!)

Yes, that was me this morning. Bryan was up and gone by 5am to go to work, and I got to sleep in as long as I wanted. And that was all I could do. :) The excellent thing about getting up that early on a Saturday is that it's not even 11:00 yet and I have gotten so much laundry and cleaning done that I feel like I can stop for the day.

Okay, maybe not STOP. But at least I feel accomplished already so if I slow down a bit, no big deal! :)

And yes, you read that right, Bryan is working. It's outage season at the power station, which means 7-day work weeks and 12+ hour days. BLAH. I miss him tons, but this schedule will be over come Thanksgiving and hopefully there will be no wacky problems at the power station for several months after that. :) For the past couple of weeks, except for at Sara's wedding, I have seen him for, like, an hour each night if I'm lucky, then we go to bed. Definitely not enough time with my man. :)

Anyway, so I think I'm going shopping today after I get a few more things done, and then this evening I'll be heading out with a couple of girlfriends for dinner and drinks. Bryan is *supposed* to go to his friend Rich's bachelor party, but something tells me that he won't be in party mode considering he'll have been at work all day and will have to be up again tomorrow morning to be in by 5:30...

Off to do more grown up things! :)



My best distance!

You have got to go try this game. I have paused a few times throughout the day today to try it after seeing the link at Made in Richmond, and I laugh so hard I cry every time I play it. Maybe I'm just a lunatic. But I think this game is HI-LARIOUS! :)


*For those not up on the txt-speak, LMAO=laughing my ass off. :)

Words of Wisdom

I get daily thoughts in my email from Real Simple magazine. Today's is incredibly wise, so I thought I would share.

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
--Joseph Campbell


Congratulations, Sara and Jason!

Sara catching the bouquet at our wedding

While my Maid of Honor, Sara, wasn't the first person who attended my wedding to get married afterwards, she was the first person who was still there when I tossed the bouquet to get married. Which was appropriate, since she's the one who caught it. :) (Yeah, yeah, I know that doesn't really work, but still... :) ) She married her love, Jason, this past weekend in a beautiful ceremony in Richmond.

As one of Sara's bridesmaids, the wedding festivities began for me on Thursday evening with a pizza dinner at Sara's parents house. We (Sara's friends) call them Mama and Papa P for short. When we were in high school, and even in college, dinners at the Puhala's were frequent, and always a nice, relaxing time. This was the first time in many year that we've gathered at their home in Chester, and it was a lot of fun to catch up with everyone and just have a little downtime before the hustle and bustle of the wedding started.

Friday morning, up and at 'em to get to the bridal luncheon. First, though, I picked up Jen (another bridesmaid) at the hotel and we went and picked up Brooke (another bridesmaid!) from the airport in a covert operation. Sara though Brooke wasn't going to arrive until later in the day, so it was a big surprise for her when the three of us arrived at the luncheon. After some tasty grub provided by Judy, the Mistress of Ceremonies, we all made sure we had our schedules and knew what the next 48 hours would bring.

Sara and her girls (from left: Kelly, Sara, Allison, Chrystal, Jen, Brooke, me)

The rehearsal dinner was hosted by Jason's parents at Texas de Brazil. I'd never been there, but I had eaten at a similar place in San Diego, so I knew what to expect. And the restaurant certainly did not disappoint! Texas de Brazil is what they call a churrascaria, which basically means "meat party." Okay, that's probably not what it really means. But that's what it is. They have an AWESOME salad bar, but the main course is a bunch of dudes they call "gauchos" coming around with giant skewers of meat and sliding about a dozen different kinds of meat on your plate until you turn your little green circle over to the red side. Deeeee-licious! :)

Saturday morning, we were all up early to have our hair done and get to the Puhala's in time for photos and to get the bride (and ourselves) dressed and ready. Sara's new sister-in-law (and another bridesmaid), Kelly, joined me at my salon since the salon Sara was using was getting pretty full. If you check out the pictures, you'll see that we all turned out pretty good. :) I was impressed with the job my stylist did at Salon del Sol, as I have never seen my hair look like that before--and I liked it! :)

Sara's nieces Audrey and Natalie watch their Auntie become a princess

I got teary eyed for the first time when we went to help Sara into her dress... and then maybe a few times more throughout the day. :) Hey, I'm a girl... what do you expect? I certainly wasn't the one crying the most over the weekend! (MAMA P!!!!)

Getting the bride in her dress!

Bryan and me outside the church.

The ceremony at St. Augustine's Catholic Church was lovely, and afterwards we all headed to the Sheraton Park South for the reception. Unfortunately, the bride and groom were delayed just a tad when the limousine BROKE DOWN! Can you believe that?! Thankfully they were able to get a jump and make it to the reception, but, I mean, I guess something like that has to go wrong on every wedding day! :)
The bridesmaids (minus Chrystal, who was on Mommy duty by this point!)

The reception was a blast. The food was good, the wine was tasty, and the cake was heavenly. The music was fun, the dancing plentiful, and our shoes were changed to be comfy. :) One of the awesome things about Sara is that even though most of us in the wedding party hardly know each other, we have a GREAT time together. Heck, I was still worn out yesterday from all the good times! :)

Goofy. Yes.

Here's wishing the beautiful bride and the handsome groom a lifetime of happiness!

You can check out *all* of my photos from the weekend by clicking here.



I know there are people in this country who are upset about the results of Tuesday's election, but for the life of me I can't bring myself to worry about them. I think it's because of the amazing unity I feel with my fellow Americans, the inspiration I feel for us to all be better people, for us to be better citizens of the world, because of the HOPE that our new President stands for and believes in--I can see us all coming together, and yes, we can.

I stayed up late on Tuesday night waiting for the results, and then watching John McCain's gracious concession speech and Barack Obama's moving victory speech. I have never felt so proud to be an American, to be part of a country that has overcome such a hateful past and reached a point where this man has become our president because he represents what we want for our future, not because of his ethnic heritage. The majority of us have judged him as Martin Luther King hoped we would--not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. The United States is a beautiful place.

I'm grateful not to have grown up in the times of segregation or the civil rights movement. My generation has heard stories of the injustices committed against non-white Americans, but we were fortunate enough for those things to already be part of history, to be born in a time where progress and acceptance are the agenda of the day. For much of my life, I've heard people of all colors say that those old prejudices aren't gone, that we have not reached equality, and many times I've agreed. But Tuesday night, something amazing happened. A door was opened that can never be closed. Anyone can be anything, there are truly no limits to the American Dream.

Last night, I went with two girlfriends to see The Secret Life of Bees. It was a timely movie to see. It takes place in South Carolina in 1964. While it's not the focus of the movie, the Civil Rights Act is passed in the course of the movie. The black characters in the story are beaten and arrested as they attempt to go register to vote. One black young man is taken out of the movie theater and beaten for being with a white girl. This movie is fiction, but these things certainly happened during that time. Thinking of the battle fought by African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement has brought me to tears on numerous occasions, but last night those tears were different. They were tears of happiness that we have come so far in the past 45 years. We have a long way to go, but I'm so proud to be part of a time in history where we are truly moving forward towards unity. Towards togetherness.

We did it, America. And we can do so much more.


Didja vote yet?

Have you cast your vote yet? If not, don't worry, you can get in line up until the polls close in your state. Get out there!

I got to my polling place about 15 minutes after it opened and waited an hour and ten minutes. I was #490 to cast my vote, which means there were a good 400 people in front of me in line when I got there. Bryan came straight from his overnight shift at the power station and was about 130 people behind me. By the time he left at 7:45, the line had shortened to all be inside (I stood outside for a good 50 minutes.). Oh well... at least I made it to work at a decent hour!

I hope you'll all go vote today, regardless of who you vote for. Voting is a right that those who came before us fought hard to attain, and we owe it to them to stand up for what we believe.

John at Buttermilk & Molasses posted a portion of this article from the Washington Post that is a great piece about the importance of standing in those long lines today. Please take a minute to click the link (either one, although Buttermilk & Molasses sums it up nicely if you don't have a lot of time) and read it.

And I'll be keeping my eye out for your sticker. :)


Halloween Fun

This year, I had two Halloween parties to attend--how fun! What was not fun is that my husband started a week of night shift on Halloween night! BOOOOOO!!!! (And not in the scary ghost kind of way!) Lucky for me, my friend Leslie is awesome and she agreed to be my date to both of these events.

Friday night, Krystyna's house. I busted out the Goth Fairy costume from five years ago. I believe this is the last time I am allowed to wear this tiny, tiny skirt. (As a woman of 30, I did practice a little bit of modesty by wearing biker shorts underneath it. Which reminded me of seventh grade, when no matter WHAT length the skirt was, you wore biker shorts under it.) Leslie was Sookie, from the HBO show "True Blood," and Krystyna was a fabulous Geisha.

Saturday, Traci and Steven hosted their annual Halloween bash. I decided I wanted to be something different that night, and all I knew is I wanted to wear my cute auburn wig. And so about 30 minutes before I had to leave, I decided to be Ginger from Gilligan's Island. :) Traci, our hostess, was Michael Phelps. Complete with sock "package." Hilarious.

All in all, a fun Halloween weekend!

Me and a Velociraptor

This was on Sue's blog. HILARIOUS! You've gotta go take the quiz.

I could survive for 51 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

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