Monday, February 23, 2009

King Cake 2009

Every year I make King Cake for Chris. He grew up on the Gulf Coast where they celebrate Mardi Gras, and he ate this as a child. I like to make sure that he gets this little treat every year!

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wrong address

I guess I can't fully trust the GPS. I had a Body Shop party last nigh, which was GREAT FUN...once I got there!

Problem is that there appear to be two streets with almost the same name in Jamestown. The GPS (whose name is Helen) took me to the wrong place first. I went to a very deserted looking street and approached a house with no number, no name on the mailbox...just a porch light on and a van in the driveway. I called the host and asked where the house was...apparently one of the addresses ends in "street" and the other ends in "avenue". I was told "avenue" but I just wrote down "Hillcrest" with no label after it, so I picked the first choice on the GPS--street. WRONG!

So anyway, I found the real house where the party was to take place, and I got there exactly on time. We had a really, really nice time, I ran a no-pressure-to-buy party (like I always do), and found out that I have a ton in common with the girl who hosted the party. I spent about 3 hours there, and ended up making a decent number of sales. I was also very thankful for nice weather. I heard it was supposed to snow last evening, but I didn't encounter any bad weather, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

I love being a Body Shop consultant. I have a chance to meet great people and to sell products that are not tested on animals for a company that cares about the world and all of its inhabitants.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

No good deed goes unpunished

When I'm either really busy or really tired from being really busy, I don't blog, and then I forget what I wanted to blog about. I'm trying to figure out a way that I can write myself a little reminder when I think of a blog topic. Maybe if I'm at work I can send myself an e-mail with a blog topic, or maybe go to my blog and actually start writing an entry, but just saving it until I get a chance to finish. I don't know...I guess that's a work in progress.

This has been kind of a frustrating week for me. It was only a three-day week thanks to President's day, but as you know, we spent the long weekend traveling to New Hampshire for Chris' grandma's funeral. (During which time I probably blogged too much because I had the time and energy to do so.)

So anyway, I'm frustrated because I'm stuck doing a job that's not really my job. I'm kind of used to things being dumped on me, but this is one of those things that makes me wonder why I even bother trying to be kind and helpful. It's making me rethink whether or not I want to be involved in this particular group that's causing me so much stress.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Funeral day--bittersweet

It's kind of weird how funerals make you feel. Of course, there's the overwhelming feeling of sadness and loss. It's not so bad for me since I wasn't super close to Nana Bea. I've only met her a few times and those memories are very happy, but I also don't have that much of a history with her. My main goal was to be strong for Chris and his parents.

One of the beautiful things about the funeral is that we celebrated Nana Bea's life and all that made her special. She has six children and they're all crazy, but in a good way :) I jokingly said that I knowingly married into that family, so I had to be prepared for just how crazy they are!

Another good thing is that so many family members are gathered here to remember her.

Now it's 10:42pm and we're finally back at the hotel. After the luncheon, we had a few hours back at the hotel. Chris took a nap, and I guess his parents napped, too, but I was wide awake. I wasted some time online and did some reading. At about 6 we went back to Chris' aunt and uncle's house for some more family time. They fed us spaghetti and then we went through Nana Bea's jewelry. I was kind of surprised when they invited me to go through her stuff because I'm not really family, but they insisted that I should take some stuff. So I ended up with a couple rings, a couple necklaces, and lots of gaudy beaded necklaces that I'm going to take apart so that I can make new necklaces. I thought it was really sweet of them to include me in such a family ritual.

After our goodbyes we got back to the hotel, and Guy and Colleen wanted to get a bite to eat at the diner. We sat with them and Chris and I shared a milkshake, then we came upstairs to get ready to get to bed. It's going to be a LOOOONG day tomorrow with an 8 hour drive. We're trying to make sure we can avoid rush hour traffic in Boston since we'll be taking the Mass Turnpike.

Funny thing is that with a fairly restless night last night, I've been completely wound up all day, and even though it's coming up on 11pm, I'm still not interested in going to sleep.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pre-funeral festivities

Today we rolled into New Hampshire after a beautiful ride in from Albany. (I can say it was a beautiful ride because I didn't do any of the driving--thank you Chris!)

We were able to get early check-in at our hotel, and then we called our friend Terri (a fellow Bonaventure alum) and grabbed lunch with her at Pizzeria Uno. (I LOVE their deep dish spinoccoli pizza--spinach, broccoli, feta=YUM!). As we were finishing up our lunch, Chris received a call from one of his aunts...they said that they were at the "Mall of New Hampshire," which happened to be just down the road, so we left Uno and went to the mall. We met up with them, caught up quickly, and then went our separate ways. Then Chris and I did some shopping--I needed sweaters desperately, and ended up getting several at Old Navy for a very good price :)

We went back to the hotel and Chris met up with his parents while I went to the hotel room and dropped off our stuff. We spent a little while in our room and then met up with his parents and went over to his aunt's house, which turned out to be very full! Nana Bea (Chris' grandma who passed away) has six children: Bill, Sandy, Sheila, Buzz, Mace, and (my father-in-law) Guy. A few spouses, grandchildren, and extended family members were there, making it an extremely full house! I played a few games of cribbage (I forgot how much fun that game is!) and stood around and talked. Then the big discussions started: What to say at Nana's service, and what to do with her ashes after she was cremated. Because most of the kids are pretty big jokesters, the discussion was never really taken seriously, which was upsetting to some of the people there. Oddly enough, the people who were most upset were the ones who weren't even related to Nana. Finally my mother-in-law said, "Well, we'd better go!" and the four of us (MIL, FIL, me, and Chris) got up to leave.

Part of me wanted to chime in and say that we'll just take the ashes. I mean, honestly, that was not a decision that needed to be made right at that time, and it seemed like no one wanted to claim her. But I have very little say in this. Heck, Chris is a step-grandchild, so in the back of my mind, I was wondering if other family members think about that. (I have very strong opinions about the relationships between step-families since my oldest nephew is technically my step-nephew, and I love him just as much as my other nephews, but that's just me.)

After we bolted from the increasingly heated discussion, we went to the Airport Diner that's attached to the hotel and I had a grilled cheese sandwich at about 10pm. Not exactly something I like to do, but I hadn't had anything to eat since our lunch with Terri.

Now we're back in the hotel and preparing to get up early so we can get ready for the family viewing at 8:30 and the service at 11.


Yesterday we left for Albany. We decided to drive partway to New Hampshire, visit some people and sleep, then continue the trip today. We stopped in Cuba to see my parents and to have lunch, then we got to Albany right around dinnertime, so we ended up eating at Chris' aunt and uncle's house, even though we didn't intend to.

I'd like to talk more about how wonderful his aunt and uncle are, but right now we're getting ready to leave for New Hampshire. Another long ride ahead of us. Might be hard to blog this weekend.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Off to Albany today

As I mentioned in my last post, we have to go to Manchester, NH this weekend for Chris' grandma's funeral, which is Monday. Last night I was not feeling well and didn't exactly do a very good job packing or getting the house cleaned up. I also left a whole basket of wet laundry sitting overnight--DUMB! I'm feeling a lot better this morning, though, so hopefully I can make up for the time I lost being sick last night.

Today we're driving to Albany with a pit stop in Cuba on our way. We're going to see about meeting up with Chris' aunt and uncle and their three daughters, who live outside of Albany. It's probably going to be tough finding somewhere to have dinner with this being Valentine's Day, but we'll make it work. Yesterday on my way home from work I stopped at the store and got a bunch of snacks (apples, carrots, sunflower seeds, bagels, and some candy!), so we should be able to sustain ourselves for a little while.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm a winner!

I'm realizing that I haven't blogged about any of the things I've been meaning to blog about, like Brad and Tara's fabulous wedding, seeing RENT, the ski trips we've been on, the car show, etc... I've had a lot on my mind lately. Work is stressful and we have a lot of other stuff (good stuff) going on at home, so I don't know...I guess after spending the day typing on a computer I don't want to come home and type some more.

So you're probably wondering about the title of this post--Well, I won a drawing that was on the Keeper of the Cheerios blog!!! I'm not sure how this all works, but I believe I'll be receiving a bag made out of Capri Sun pouches. I'm so excited and extremely grateful to the kind people who share their talent and their "stuff" with other people!

On a sad note (and I really didn't want to put this in the title of the post), Chris' grandma died yesterday. It was kind of a shock to receive that news, and now we're making plans to go to Manchester for the funeral.

Ironically, we had been planning a trip to Rockland County to see some friends of ours and their 2-week-old son Connor, but decided against it because we really wanted to enjoy some time at home. Now our weekend is going to be even more crazy than we originally thought. I don't think anyone looks forward to having to make trips like this, but I feel selfish when I think about how much I wanted to stay home this weekend. I must be a terrible person!

And on that note, I should probably start getting out some dress clothes and start packing toiletries...