Friday, December 31, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
*Andy’s help with finishing up the guest list for the wedding.
* the awesome hoagie rolls Avalon Acme carries.
* Jeff & Megan coming to visit The Bolero & Bayview Restaurant with us in Wildwood.
* the gorgeous condo we were invited to stay at tonight with Jess & John in Atlantic City. Ocean view and all!
* take out pizza, wings, cheese steaks and champagne for New Year’s Eve dinner.
* Matías saying "Happy New Year Christine! You are one of the best spirited people I have ever met!" It truly made my day to see that. * being told we could sit in seats about 20 rows closer to the stage for the Sarah McLachlan concert. It was only supposed to be until the people showed up with tickets for those seats but they never showed so we were able to sit there for the entire show.

* yet another fantastic concert by Sarah. She is such an amazing artist.
* good times with Jess at the show.
* meeting up with John & Andy after the show and getting rickshaw rides on the boardwalk to the Hilton.
* good times and many laughs at the bar.
* leftovers when we got home!
* sleeping with the window cracked and listening to the ocean waves all night.
* the many blessings and good times we had in 2010.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* visiting the Brookside Inn. The owner was very nice but I don’t think it’s a fit for us. It’s still nice to see places and meet with people to learn about their packages.

* lunch at Plaza Azteca in Plymouth Meeting with Brian and John. The food was excellent! It’s definitely a new lunch place for us.
* arriving in Avalon. You gotta love being at the beach when there’s snow on the ground!
* Andy finding a bunch of Friday Night Lights episodes!
* playing with TomCat and Talking Santa on my phone with Jeffrey tonight. He was hysterical and I had fun watching him laugh.
*Tonios pizza and cheese steaks dinner.
* starting to read my first book on the Kindle, The Year She Fell.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Dress (cont'd)

I went home to visit Mom & Dad tonight and just as we were getting ready to go to bed, Mom and I started talking about wedding gowns. The discussion led to her pulling out everything from underneath the steps so she could get to the box with her gown, Mom-Mom's gown and her Aunt Mary's gown. We had some good laughs looking at the old gowns and then I decided try on my mom's.

It's beautiful and simple and it fit pretty well. I know mom loved the idea of me wearing her gown, I loved the idea too. There were a couple of spots on it that would need to be removed and I'd definitely need some alterations but it's something to think about.

I wish we took pictures!
I have gratitude today for...
* meeting Kelley for lunch at Totaro’s. We had not seen each other in so long and it was really nice to catch up.
* my visit to the Blair Mill Inn today. JoAnne was so nice and I liked it much more than I thought I would. I thought I was dead set against a ballroom for our reception and I was relieved when I actually liked it.
* Girls Night at Cookie’s. We all brought an appetizer, had wine and spent some quality time together. Chrissy brought Bella, Tina brought Alyssa and Wendy brought the little girl in her belly. Mom, Cookie and I were there as well. We talked about wedding ideas and babies, fun!
* talking with Mom and Dad about the wedding, guest list etc. It’s still hard to believe we’re getting married!
* trying on Mom’s wedding gown. It was a very special moment and it’s definitely a possibility for my dress. We’re going to look into getting it cleaned and then we have to find a seamstress to give us some ideas.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* lunch at JB Dawsons, their bruschetta chicken pasta is always a treat!

* getting some work done today even though this is another tough week to get anything done.
* watching the Eagles game with Andy, it was quite an embarrassment but football is always fun to watch.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* cancelled meeting because of snow!
* finding a few possibilities for wedding venues. Yesterday was a litte frustrating.
* finally talking with Erin tonight.
* watching The Office-Christmas episodes with Andy.
* Pillsbury Cinnabon's for dessert. Have to fit it all in before wedding diet starts 1/1/11!
* making plans to have lunch with Kelley and possibly Liz on Wednesday. We've been trying to make this happen for months!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* sleeping in, it's so east to sleep late on the cold winter days.
* finally cleaning our room. It looks so good now that all of the stuff is put away and it has been dusted!
* Ellio's Pizza. I may be almost 30 years old, but I still love Ellio's once in a while.
* being able to do on-line research for everything wedding. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to get information and make decisions without the internet.
* only getting minimally frustrated when looking venues and pricing.
* The Curious Case of Benjamin Button---two years later we finally watched it. Andy thought it was too slow, I thought it was excellent!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I am grateful today for...
* Andy making Christmas morning breakfast.
* not stressing that I slept until almost 9 and we had to get to my parents house.
* no traffic this morning.
* a fun day with Mom, Dad, Kelly, Alex & Uncle Kevin and the kitties.
* being able to pass out gifts to everyone and the thoughtful gifts we received as well. My favorite part of Christmas is giving out gifts.
* Mom serving dinner early so Andy & I could be there. Chicken marsala, ham, scalloped potatoes, salad and green beans. Everything was delicious!
* all of the free e-books Amazon has for the Kindle.
* another round of dinner at Jeff & Megan's. Filet mignon, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, corn and rolls. The filet was cooked to perfection and everything else was fantastic as well!
* giving Kyle, Jeffrey & James their Christmas presents.
* watching Toy Story with Jeffrey on the couch.
* getting home safely. I always get nervous driving at night on holidays. Too many people drink and drive.
* good friends and family. My heart breaks for the people out there that don't have anyone to spend the holidays with.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I am grateful today for...
* the breakfast I made this morning. French toast, breakfast potatoes and bacon. Yum!
* Kevin & Jenn spending the morning with us. It was nice to talk with them as I was cooking.
* taking the time to make some good appetizers and desserts for tonight's dinner. Roasted almonds, candied walnuts (for the salad), buffalo chicken dip, bacon wrapped chicken and Nana's Apple Cake.
* staying calm at the mall when I was frustrated because I didn't know what to buy Dad for Christmas.
* deciding to make chocolate chip cookies after Andy mentioned it would be the first Christmas he can remember with no homemade cookies.
* the Roth family coming over for Christmas Eve dinner. Andy & I made ham, roasted veggies and potatoes, green bean casserole and a fresh greens salad.
* a nice evening with Andy and Mrs. Roth in the "Christmas Room." We were up until 1am talking and exchanging gifts.
* my new Kindle, from Andy!
* the gorgeous watch Mrs. Roth bought me.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Dress

Most little girls play with dolls and love to dress them up. They dream of their wedding day and "the perfect dress". Not me. I hated dolls, thought they were boring. I've been to my share of weddings and I've always asked myself "would I want to wear a dress like that" but I never really had a dream dress in mind growing up.

A couple years ago I was visiting my friend Debbie in CA and we were looking through wedding magazines (she was planning her wedding.) I fell in love with a dress in one of the magazines and kept it in the back of my mind for when my time arrived to find a wedding gown.

Here is the dress:
Well, I've searched and searched and haven't been able to find this dress. It's from the Fall 2007 collection and I've only found it listed on shady websites that make replicas. I've looked on Ebay and Craigslist but had no luck. I don't know if I'll continue to persue finding this dress, but I'd love to have the chance to try it on. Just to see if I love it as much on as I do in the photo.
I have gratitude today for...
* giving out the bags of roasted almonds and peanuts to all of my co-workers.
* being told we could leave early.
* getting closer to finishing Christmas shopping and getting the grocery store run out of the way. I've had a hard time coming up with good ideas this year.
* Jenn & Kevin visiting with us before Popejoy's open mic night. We sat in the Christmas room and had a fire going. Listening to DMB and catching up was nice. We decided to order take out (pizza, wings & cheesesteaks) for an easy dinner.
* good times at Buckets with Andy, Kevin, Jenn, Ben & Josh. He played a great version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". They had white lights up and it felt homey for the holidays.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* being able to sleep until a time that I won't even admit here. Let's just say it was as if I was 19 again.
* the photo shoot at Nectar going well.
* the Primo's turkey hoagie I had for lunch!
* talking with Megan Regan this afternoon.
* a massage at Cirillo.
* all of the suggestions Bethany emailed me today. I love how excited my friends and family are about our wedding :-)
* making the sweet & spicy roasted peanuts and almonds for all of my co-workers. They turned out so good!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* being able to help Viki & Gooch get approved to adopt a puppy by writing a recommendation.
* getting a few sales today. Sometimes this week is hard to get anything done.
* our company having trade for a limo company. I was picked up from the office in a white stretch limo, fun!
* Jane picking up McDonald's french fries for the ride. I barely ate anything all day and I knew we would only be having appetizers at the restaurant.
* the drive from PA to the Capital Grille in Cherry Hill, NJ with John, Jane, Ann, Bill and Brian. The wine and champagne were flowing and we had lots of laughs.
* a great time at the Capital Grille with the gang from South Jersey Magazine and our crew from Suburban Life.
* the after party at Seasons 52 and the grapefruit martinis.
* our Christmas gift from John & Ed.
* an even more fun ride home in the limo!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* the emails we're still getting from friends and family congratulating us on our engagement.
* lunch at Rocco's with Brian & John.
* a fantastic dinner with Bethany at Bucca di Beppo. We had such a nice time catching up with each other and the food was excellent. She insisted on talking wedding almost the whole time, but we eventually moved onto other subjects. :-) I never want anyone to feel like that's all we talk about.
* the gorgeous Tiffany ornament Bethany gave us to "remember this time" every year. She also gave us a really nice candle and a wedding magazine!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I am grateful today for...
* a nice morning with the Roth family.
* getting on the road by 11am, our targeted time of departure.
* arriving at Aunt Kathy's before the Eagles vs. Giants game started.
* the amazing Eagles comeback against the Giants today. 28 points in the 4th quarter, pretty awesome!
* talking with Kevin & Melissa about their wedding. They got engaged Veteran's Day weekend and are getting married at the Avalon Yacht Club!
* the dinner Aunt Kathy made for everyone.
* the champagne toast Dad and Fred made to Andy & I and Kevin & Melissa. It was so nice to have our families there. A special celebration!
* meeting up with Kerry at UNO's in Langhorne. She had the long awaited wedding pictures in a cute little book for me.
* the tub of caramel popcorn one of Avalon Technology's clients sent. So good!

Sharing the Engagement Story...

So many people were asking for "the engagement story." I told it so many times over the first few days I started to wish I had a recording of it. Whenever you repeat a story over and over again, it starts to loose some of the detail. You can never quite tell it again like you did the first time. It took me a while but I sat down and wrote it out so we'd have it to share with friends and family, and to always be able to look back on that special night ourselves. After I shared the story, some really nice comments were left on my blog.

Jess Gelman: I cried! LOL! So happy for you! ♥

Jillian: I got sappy! So perfect :)

Uncle John: When a lifetime is considered as a passage of memories gone too fast, taking the time to read your story was a breeze. I'm so happy for you and Andy.

Susan Bodnar: Loved this story! Made me tear up! So much love between you and Andy ♥

Leslie: WOW!!! You two are the best!!!

Julie Drendall: Such a great story! And I love that Second Majesty made a guest appearance! (My friend Kyle is the lead singer.) so happy for you both :)

Jen Cardonick: I agree, truly a sweet story. Congratulations Andy and Christine!

Alyssa Grayson: That's an awesome and sweet story! I am so happy for you! I wish you guys a lifetime of fabulous memories like that

Tim Montgomery: thats awesome! andys such a stud. congrats guys

Copley: Got to love are thorough..........very happy ....see you over the holidays...we were in west chester last night , picking up Sarah...We had dinner at a cool place on Gay road then picked Sarah up. The last time I was in West Chester was when we came to visit you at school.

Kathy Weiss: I cried! Didn't notice any typos in such a beautiful story!

Sarah LaRue: I just read you blog and lets just say I am totally teared up! What an amazing proposal! Its basically the perfect night and such a wonderful memory for you guys! Andy sounds like a pretty awesome guy. You are so lucky to have him and I wish you the most amazing lifetime together :) Let's celebrate sometime soon. Would you guys make the trek out to us? I'd love for you to see the kids again, they change so much in just a few months!

Matias: What a wonderful story you get to tell your grandchildren. Congratulations again! Very happy for you both. Way to go Andy!!! That's some outstanding work there!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* a fun time giving out Christmas gifts to the kids.
* our visit to a local nursery with Jeff, Megan, the boys, Mrs. Roth & Kem to see Santa and real, live reindeer!
* spending the afternoon walking around town with Jeff & Megan. The girls had fun window shopping, especially at Tiffany's. It's hard to comprehend people spending that much money on jewelery, but it is fun to look at!
* watching Christmas Vacation with Andy.
* getting dressed up and going to dinner in Greenwich. We went to Barcelona, a tapas style restaurant and the food was so good. I wasn't sure if I'd like their dishes looking at the menu but ended up loving almost everything!

Behind the Scenes of our Engagement

One of my favorite parts about the night Andy proposed was hearing all of the stories Andy had to share with me.

*The ring has been around for a while. Apparently it was hidden all over the room and moved from place to place every few weeks so I wouldn't accidentally find it. I never go through Andy's stuff so it likely would have never been found, but I thought that was funny.

* Andy planned on asking me in New York City back in November when we went for the MSG Dave Matthews Band shows. We were meeting at my parents house so my dad could take us to the train station. He was due to arrive before me and planned as asking for dad's blessing that afternoon before I got there. The way my day worked out, I ended up getting there before him. Therefore, he didn't have the opportunity to ask and couldn't do it in NYC. He had the ring with him the entire time that weekend, even at the shows. I don't know how he was able to relax or drink beers while carrying it around the city.

* Andy's second try was going to be in Holden Beach over Thanksgiving week. He had the talk with dad on Thanksgiving day. One thought was to ask me on the beach, it was a gorgeous day. Don't you know Uncle Gary LOSES HIS WEDDING BAND that afternoon? (It was later found by Kelly, there was a 24 person search team on the mission.) Andy figured that wouldn't be good timing. He never found the right moment in NC so he came home with the ring.

* Third time's a charm. Our crazy schedules made it difficult for Andy to find just "him and me" time, and that's when the company Christmas dinner party was born.

* Not one person knew Andy was asking me on the evening of 12/11/10. It was even more special because we were the only ones that knew until the next Morning.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* feeling pretty good at 4:30am when the alarm went off. It was time to hit the road, off to CT we went!
* Wawa french vanilla cappuccino. I don't drink it often but it's a nice treat.
* no traffic on the NJ Turnpike or George Washington Bridge.
* good conversation with Megan & Mrs. Roth throughout our road trip. We talked wedding lots. :-)
* chicken fingers and fries for breakfast at diner in Stamford, CT. By the time we arrived at 7:45am I was starving!
* being able to see Edie in her Christmas concert. I'm sure it was fun for her to know she had her mom, grandmother, aunts and cousins there!
* a relaxing afternoon in Greenwich.
* finally writing our engagement story.
* the funny Cliff Lee/Jason Werth animated cartoon going around. We watched it several times.
* Dominos Pizza and Hope's Cookies for dinner.
* spending the evening in the living room talking and enjoying a fire.
* Andy & Jeff arriving safely.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* the meeting with Ed & John today. My employment at Suburban Life is official and I'm really excited about this opportunity. You never know where you are going to end up. Sometimes it's right where you started :-)
* the funny video John showed Brian & me about network marketing. 
* lunch at UNO's with Brian & John. 
* my awesome finds at Marshalls today. 
* Jen Cardonick calling to see if I wanted to meet up with them because of the horrible traffic. Ella is adorable! They came to the house for a bit and Ella played with Jeffrey and James. 
* playing with the boys while Jeff & Megan were at a company Christmas party. 
* the gorgeous Willow Tree cake topper and figurine from Megan & Jeff.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* deciding to leave voicemails for Aunt Linda, Kelley and Jenn Burke so we could send out a big email with our news. I tried so hard to tell as many people as possible in person, we don't want to wait any longer to tell everyone.
* all of the heartfelt responses to the email we sent out today to announce our engagement. It was so great to read all of the replies. We are blessed to have such amazing people in our lives!
* the overwhelming number of responses on Facebook after posting Andy & I are engaged.

It's not official until it's on Facebook...

We waited several days to put anything on Facebook about our engagement. We wanted to tell as many family members and close friends in person before we announced it to the world. It was fun to read everyone's comments and congratulations.

Aaron Huff: CONGRATS!!!!

Kathy Weiss: OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations! I just yelled out to the whole office!

Christine Noble: Congratulations!!!

Amy Hough: Congrats Christine!!! That is wonderful news!!!

Jackie Borzio: Congratulations to you!

Jeff Pilcicki: Awesome news Christine! Very happy for you guys!

Jillian Lydon: Wonderful news! Congratulations to you both!

Erica Daltry: Congrats!!! How did he do it?

Kasey Offord Strauss: Congrats!!!!!!

Christine McTague: im going to write out the story tonight! i haven't had a chance to sit down and actually do that. sorry to keep you waiting. everything was absolutely perfect!

Sarah Wilson Bryowsky: CONGRATS! So happy for both of you :)

Nicole Finn: Yay!!

Gabrielle McGeehan: congrats!

Becky Smoyer: Sooo sooo sooo happy for you!!!!

Christine McTague: thanks everyone!

Marcella Wolf Ryan: Congratulations, Christine! So very happy when good things happen to great people! You deserve this!

Shelly Brown Rowe: Congrats Christine....a super exciting time in your life!

Jennifer Cardonick: Congratulations Christine!!! Such exciting news!!

Susan Bodnar: I dont like this status..I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! ♥

Alfonso Cioffi: Congratulations!

Jaclyn Hensler: Congratulations!!!!!!!!! Kell told me the good happy for you!!!

Kelley Ashton: Woohoo!!! I am SO happy! Love you, future Mrs. Roth!

Jennifer Hewitt Nino: Congratulations!! Welcome to the club!! Good timing with no tour and all ;) Have fun with the planning!!

Jillian Ramos Roth: Congrats- now we will both be mrs.Roth :-)

Stacie Mori: YAY!!!! Congrats to you both!

Lisa Copeland Moser: YAHOO!!

Laura Pilcicki: Congratulations!! I'm so excited for you two!

Trish Judge McFarland: so exciting!!

Lorin Case Goussard: WOW, congrats for you and Andy!!!

Joe Pellegrini: Congratulations!!!!

Scott Davis: Congratulations

Lori Wojciaczyk Rimkus: Oh my gosh! Congratulations you two!!

Shannon Collins: oh my gosh, congrats!!!!!!!! so happy for you :) ♥

Andrew Loder: Congrats!

Samantha Blade: Yeah Christine!!! Congrats:)

Kelly Keenan: Congrats!!!!!!!!!

Lauren Bradley: Congrats!

Dana DiBenedetto: congratulations! and best wishes

Kristie Chila Cafiero: yeah! So happy for you guys!

Shelagh Veith Donohue: Congrats Christine !!!! So HAPPY for you guys !!! Exciting times ahead .. Give Andy our best :)

Lauren Kossler Clarke: Congrats again!! Your ring is gorgeous!!

Lisa PomponioCongratulations, Christine!!! :-)

Brooke Young: congrats christine!!! so happy for u guys. hope things are going well

Janine Stendardo Ferguson: Aww congrats girl:)

Jillian Murray Morgan:Aw congratulations you two! :-)

Jessica Gelman: I've already congratulated you but I have to make it Facebook official =P Love you guys and sooo sooo happy for you!! xoxo

Julia Evangelista Nogrady: OMG! Congratulations!

Alyssa Grayson: Omg!!! Congrats to you both! I am so happy for you guys :) please make sure to tell Andy I said congrats as well!

Anthony DiAngelus Jr: Congrats!!

Lindsay Wilhelmi: ‎'grats!!!!

Copley Szostak: SOOOOO Happy!!!!!!!

Joe Keane: congrats girly

Laina Landers: Congratulations!!!! So happy for you!!!!!

Tj Mansmann: Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Geoff Williams: hey hey congratulations!!!!

Christine Aarne: congrats to an awesome couple !

Brad Thornton: Congrats!!!

Margi Angyal Dawson: Congratulations!

Tara Crane: Congratulations Christine! I am so excited for you! I hope all is well.

Keli Joldzic: Congrats!! I'm so happy for you guys and wish you a long, happy, and healthy life with one another! XOXO

Abby Goldfarb Salgado: Congratulations....I'm so happy for u.

Vania Medwid: Congratulations!

Eric Haltmeier: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!

Bethany Porreca Loesche: WOOHOO! congrats, congrats, congrats!! :)

Alyssa Dion: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! That's terrific! xoxo

Courtney Barrett: Congratulations!!!

Stephen Kealey: So happy for you guys!!!! Pics are amazing!!! Sorry I missed your call last night... Would love to try and get together soon :) CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kristen Bourrillion: congrats!

Nicole Bucci: Congrats!!!

Julie Drendall: Congratulations! So happy for you guys :)

Daniel McTague: Congratulations Christine!

Kelly McTague: yay! :) let the detox begin.

Wendy Dujmovic: So freaking excited for you!!!!

Greg Sachs Wow: Congrats!

Rachael Frentheway Ice: Omg!!! Amazing news!!! Congrats to you both!!

Stacy McSparran: Congrats Christine! I'm so happy for you and Andy! The ring is absolutely beautiful!!!:)

Cathie Berrey-Green: YAY!!!! cant wait to capture it!

Lauren Gentile Mullin: hey congrats!!!

Jon Ice: CONGRATULATIONS by the way! we are so excited for you guys!

Dana Matson Wolf: Congrats!!! Now for all the fun planning enjoy every minute it'll be all over before you know it!

Daniela Vinci: Yay!!!! Now when I call you the Roth's you really will be!!!:-)

Stephen Hart: Congratulations!!!!!!!!!

Jeff McSparran: Congrats to both of you. Wow...and Cliff Lee came home to Philly. What an engagement gift. We'll celebrate the next time we see you both in AV.

Katie Raymond: Looking forward to celebrating with you guys!

Christine Nestico Murphy: Congratulations!!!that is wonderful news!!!enjoy this special time planning the big day!!!!!tell everyone merry Christmas -still haven't decided if I M doing Xmas cards this year!!!see ya soon:)

Debbie Bodnar Willoughby: Celebrate we WILL!

Lori Donzé Petersen: I'm so so happy for you. I cried happy tears again when I saw the pictures on FB. love you lots....♥ ♥ ♥

Al Thompson: you guys are getting married?? nobody tells me nuttin

Marcy Quackenbush Ross: Congrats. Its about time : )


Heather Fay Nardy: I know I am really late --- but CONGRATS!!!

Stephanie Dodd: Congrats! Have fun planning :)

Megan Regan: Congrats again we have to get together to celebrate!! Btw loved the card

Alix Kownurko: congratulations christine:) miss you ♥

Christine Calace: Girl I'm a few weeks late, but congratulations! I am so excited for you :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* my wonderful day with Bella & Chrissy. I had only planned on being there a couple of hours and ended up there until 5pm. We talked, played with Bella, looked at wedding ideas. We looked through The Knot magazine, (my engagement gift.) We had taco salads for lunch and ice cream for dessert. It was so nice to spend the day with both of them.
* Missy & Dane coming over to Chrissy's house for a visit. I was able to tell her in person even though she had her suspicions.
* a nice dinner with Mom & Dad at Erini. I shared the whole engagement story with them and several others that Andy shared with me about getting the ring and when he would propose.
* choosing to stop by Kerry & Jim's house on my way home since I have been unable to get her on the phone. Her reaction was awesome. I stayed for a little while and told them the story. I was happy I got to tell her in person!

A Big Congratulations from FRIENDS Near & Far.

There was something truly special about all of the responses we received after we "announced" our engagement. A lot of our friends took the time to write us a message or send us a card. We are blessed to know so many great people and only wish we were able to talk to and see them all more often.  

Jonny: Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you! Its about time ;) You both are great people and I wish you nothing but the best! Very exciting!

Deb: Hey stranger….Heard through Jess Gelman that you are engaged! CONGRATS!! So happy for you and Andy! Other than that exciting news, how the hell are you? I am sorry that I have not been in touch, life is keeping me hopping! As I am writing Xmas cards and realizing that I don’t have everyone’s address anymore, I am trying to reach out via email to just say, “hey and Happy Holidays”! So when you get a minute, drop me an email and catch me up along with your address, so I can send you a card. Kids are awesome!! Kira is 13 yrs old, she’s 5’9 with long curly blonde hair (crazy!!). Pierce is 9 and is already 5 foot, and Cole is 5 and looks just like Paul ( but with hair!). All is great here, just crazy with sports and such. Hope to catch up soon. Happy Holidays and CONGRATS again!  Best, Deb Foster

Brian Halligan: Hey, Congrats to you guys as PJ had forwarded me the email that went out. Hope to see you this winter. Brian

Julie Burns: Congratulations Christine and Andy! What an exciting time for you both :) Julie

Dan Tantino: Congrats Christine! That is awesome!

Christina Specos: CONGRATULATIONS!!!! xoxoxoxooxox

Wendy: Yayyyyyy!!!!!!!!! I am so thrilled for you guys!!!!! WHooo hoooooo!!!!! I want to hear alll the details!!!! I am in finals all day today but I will try to give you a call later!!!!!!! Oh my god, how freaking excited and happy are you????? THE RING IS GORGEOUS!!!!! GOOD JOB ANDY!!!!!! :) Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ~Wendy~

Talia: Congrats !!! So happy for you ;)

Viki: YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you!

Andrea Weber: Dear Christine, Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you and Andy!! :-) Sincerely, Andrea Weber

Naoma: Omg congrats Christine! I am thrilled for you! I need details! I love you, nay

Lea: Major congrats!!! You guys look so happy, I love it!!! You are going to be a totally hot bride ;) Thanks for sharing your news! Xo, lea

Marisa MacCrory: Congrats! What great news!

Stacie Mori: Congrats to you both! The ring is absolutely beautiful, good job Andy! It's great to hear such happy news!


Scott Brown: cool, congrats! Eagles still suck! :)

Jen Gramps: Congrats , I'm so happy for you!!!

Sarah LaRue: Aw! That's so awesome! Congratulations! Your ring is BEAUTIFUL!!!

Paul Arsenault: Christine, Congratulations! We need to get together sometime soon. Paul

Steph McAndrews: So happy for you. Your ring looks beautiful - can't wait to see it in person. Christmas will be so exciting for you and Andy this year! Steph

Dave Monsour: very much awesome! hope to see you guys around the first of the year!

Althea: Christine &Andy, CONGRATULATIONS!!! How exciting!!! Makes the holiday season even more special! Have fun planning! Merry Christmas to you both! Love, Althea

Claire: Christine, although we don't get in touch with each other often, i couldn't be happier for the pair of you. Congratulations! Merry Christmas Claire

Alex Donato: Awww Christine Congrats!!! Your ring is beautiful!!! I wish you both nothing but the best...xoxo Alex

Michelle Ihnot: Congrats(from both Chris and I)!!!! Was that a yellow diamond I saw?! It's gorgeous!! I have a blue one! (But Chris hasn't asked yet.) Now for the hardest part- the planning! much love!! Michelle and Chris

Jess Sandyk: Congratulations!!! The two of you look so happy and in love in the photos. Enjoy this special time together!

Dennis DeNobile: Hey, I finally got around to emailing you. Sorry it took so long. Congrats to you and Andy. That's fantastic! I've always wished you all the best. Time to get to plannin' I assume. ha ha

Angel: Congrats! I am so happy for the two of you!!! I loved the pictures and I read the story on facebook. So wonderful! Hope you both have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! Angel

Kate Frey: Hi Christine, That is so.....wonderful! So excited for you and Andy! If you need anything, please don't hesitate to reach out.....know a few things about planning a wedding - ha!. Not sure if you are planning to get married around here or in NJ….but I you know a little historic wedding venue right near Valley forge....?? Check it out on Facebook! But honestly if you need anything...let me know!! All I can say is to enjoy!!!!! Best, Kate

Monday, December 13, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* going to work with my beautiful engagement ring and telling John, Jane and the rest of our crew at Suburban Life.
* booking airfare to FL in March. It will be nice to be in warm(er) weather for a few days.
* getting through the first hour of Viki being here while we waited for Lori so I could tell them the news! It was so hard to hide my excitement.
* being able to tell Lori & Viki in person. We had the best night. Dinner in the dining room and then we spent the whole night talking in the living room with the Christmas tree lit and candles in the windows. They are two of my favorite people for sure.
* Andy & I deciding to call Becker on speakerphone to tell him, that was kind of fun.
* telling Debbie tonight, she was so excited. I love telling all of our far away friends they will have to book flights to Philly next year for our wedding!
* the Phillies get Cliff Lee back!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* Andy going out in the rain to find Dunkin Donuts since I really wanted a donut for breakfast.
* talking to Mom & Dad this morning and the funny (sort of) reaction from Mom.
* our walk around Love Park and the Christmas Village.
* McDonald's french fries...I can't help it, they're heavenly after a night or two of partying.
* Jeff, Megan & the boys coming over and celebrating with them and Mrs. Roth.
* Mrs. Roth treating us all to Maggiano's take-out.
* the friends and family I was able to talk to tonight to share the news.
* telling Kelly!
* another Eagles win, versus the Cowboys!

Overwhelming Love from FAMILY

We were so excited to send out an email to both sides of the family telling them our good news. The kind words and love were felt by Andy and myself when reading their responses. We are blessed to have our families and can't wait to share our special day with them.

Jeff: It was great getting to share in all of the excitement with you both. Some days in life are just perfect.

Mom: We have been smiling about this news all day! Congratulations again I can't wait to see the both of you! Love you - MOM

Leslie: YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I am soooooooooooooooooooooooo happy for you two!!!!!!!! Can't think of a better girl for Andy!!!!!!! Prayers for alllllll the best for you guys!!!! Can't wait to see you both! Love, Leslie

Susan: Congrats! We are so happy for you guys. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing. Sue and Mike

Lisa: Christine and Andy, We are so happy for you! Congratulations, thank you for letting us in on the news, we feel privileged! Christine you will be a beautiful and special addition to our side of the family. You are a joy to be around and I personally enjoy your infectious enthusiasm for life! Andy, you're okay too I guess ;)
All the best, Lisa (and Joe)

Kristen: That is such exciting news! We are so happy for you two and can't wait to celebrate !!! Let me know if you need any wedding planning help, I love that stuff! Congrats! Xoxo

Uncle Jim: Congratulations!! What a coincidence, Suzette and I spoke yesterday with this topic part of the conversation. She felt the time was approaching. Suzette always was our smartest sister. Best wishes and Merry Christmas!! Love, Jim

Kem: Love the pictures! Thanks for sharing them And BIG CONGRATULATIONS! Love K

Dad: CONGRATULATIONS YOU TWO _ We're all very excited for you! LOVE DAD

Doug: Congratulations to you both ! Doug

Joe Pel: Congratulations! Glad to hear it. Im looking forward to the reception. Its been a while since we all got together for a big party!

Uncle Kevin: Chris and Andy congratulations Grandma just told me her phone is down until Wednesday did mom and dad cry again congratulation cant wait all my Love Uncle Kevin

Elizabeth: Tim showed me the e-mail yesterday with your big news!! Congratulations!! I'm so excited for you. :):)

Brian: Wow!! Congratulations! You are probably hearing a lot of "about freakin time!". haha. It's not like you weren't already considered part of the family, but I guess it's official now, so welcome. :-) Love, Brian & Sharon

Jess: O M G !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chris and I are just so happy for you! What a special evening and now the fun planning can begin! Let me know if you need any help at all or want to bounce off any ideas. Congratulations - this is SO exciting! p.s. Do I smell an Aruba destination wedding ? :) :) Oh and this web site helped me out so much in the planning process. love you guys!!!

Uncle John: I am so happy for both of you! You know Christine, I love you as much as my Daughters and wish you much love and happiness for your life together with Andy. I don’t Facebook so don’t worry about me letting anyone else knowing. I love you so much, Uncle John

Christa: That’s great news! We are so happy for you both and we are definitely looking forward to celebrating with you. Love the pictures. Congratulations, Christa and Joe

Uncle Dan: Congrats to the both of you..look forward to your wedding day!!

Tim: Congrats!!!!! T

Donna: Hey Christine, This is awesome news. We are so happy for you both. Tell Andrew we said Congratulations!!! Donna and Bill

Uncle Bobby: CONGRATS to both of you!!

Uncle Gary: WOW...That's GREAT!! Congratulations to you both!! The great part is now Andy can still feel like a winner when we take over first place next week :)) LOVE YOU GUYS and CONGRATS again!!

Melissa: Hey There Love Birds! A Huge Congrats from Chris & I. We are so happy for you! The pictures are adorable and from what I can tell the ring is gorgeous! Wish we were going to see you soon to celebrate. We owe you some champagne. Love, Melissa

Christopher: Congrats to both of you guys. 12-11-10...cute. That should be easy to remember!

Kerry: That is just Wonderful News!! You both look so Happy!!! We are so very happy for you both! Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas...Love you, Kerry, Chris, Kay and Nick

Saturday, December 11, 2010

He asked, She said yes.

We had made plans for a "date night"...dinner out and a visit to somewhere like Longwood Gardens to help get us into the Christmas spirit. Although we spend a lot of time together, much of that time is the daily routine, life passing by. We go to work, come home late, make dinner, watch a Flyers game or football and go to bed. We talk about making sure we have more quality time together, but we all know it's easier said than done.

Andy came home early last week and was bummed because he found out at work that the higher-ups had planned a dinner in the city for all of the managers and their significant others. Okay, date night postponed again. "It's fine" I said, "We'll get dressed up and make it a fun night. Hey, free dinner on the company right? Maybe we'll have our date night sometime in the next few weeks."

I had a 30th birthday celebration to attend in the city at your classic dive bar in Philly. I was out with friends from college and Kelly till 2:00am.

I volunteered to help Kelly with an event for her work. I took the bus from South Philly to North 5th St. in North Philly. I passed through some of the worst neighborhoods in Philadelphia on that bus ride. I spent the day encouraging residents of this once bustling neighborhood to fill out surveys on how they can improve their community. I watched kids smile as they visited Santa on a trolley (donated by a pharmacy in the neighborhood). Kelly told me stories of things that happen in this neighborhood that I will save for another entry because this is a happy post. It was one of the most fulfilling days I've had in a long time. I felt so good about donating my time. Sometimes that's all it takes to make a difference, and I felt great that I made a difference that day.

I got back to Kelly's and was exhausted after being out so late and spending a long day in the freezing cold talking to at least a hundred people---probably more. I was starving so I grabbed a piece of pizza and planned on taking a nap. I wasn't expecting Andy to pick me up for the Christmas dinner until 6:45pm.

He called me around 5pm and asked if Kelly could drive me or if I could cab it to the Lowe's Le Meridian hotel near Love Park. He explained that some people had booked rooms because they didn't want to drive from Philly to Delaware after the party. The plan was to meet at the hotel and have drinks before going to the restaurant at 7:30pm. I said "that's fine, I'll start getting ready" and  instantly realized the idea of taking a nap was out. About 45 minutes later I was on my way.

Kelly's place was just under two miles from the hotel. I had to walk about a mile before a could hail a cab. I really enjoyed my walk through the city. It was cold, but not too cold. I was dressed up and excited for the fun night ahead. For a few minutes it was almost as if I had a conversation with myself. I started to think about the evening ahead, and I had a moment when I said to myself "By the end of tonight, I might be engaged." I don't know what made me think that. Most people know Andy and I have been together a long time. We've known we wanted to marry each other for years and there was never a doubt in my mind that I would be saying "yes" one day when he asked me to marry him. Over the last two years there were many times when I thought "this might be it". Something was different as I walked down 9th Street that night in the city. My other thoughts were..."maybe he has something planned and I'm going to get to the hotel and our families will be there." "Maybe I should just stop thinking like this because this is a work Christmas dinner and I'm going to get to hotel and find a bunch of people I don't know." "I really had a great day today and I'm looking forward to a fun night with Andy."

I hailed a cab and hopped in. I called Andy to let him know I'd be there in a few minutes. He told me he had to come down with a room key because you couldn't get in the elevator without one (true.)

The first thing he said to me when he came up to me in the lobby was "you look so beautiful" and gave me a kiss. As we were in the elevator and walking to the room Andy asked me "so when are we going to have our date night? We're always so busy." and I suggested maybe we try for sometime during the week next week for us to go out to dinner, just he and I.

Andy inserted the room key and during those few seconds I noticed it seemed very quiet. At that moment I knew this wasn't a work party. He opened the door and said "this is our date night." It was 6:50pm.

The room was beautiful. The decor was modern with the colors black, white, gray and dark red throughout. Andy had a dozen roses on the night table and rose peddles on the bed. Our favorite David Gray songs were playing and the laptop was sitting on the bed with a slide show of "us" pictures playing. People have been saying "didn't you know he was going to propose?!?" I thought for a moment maybe this was the night, but I quickly decided to dismiss the thought. I loved that he planned this special evening. It was already perfect, and I didn't want to focus on the fact that he might propose. I really thought this was a special night he had planned for Christmas and left it at that.

The next hour and a half went as follows...

Andy: You always say we don't have a lot of time just you and me. It's Christmas time and I thought this could be one of our Christmas presents. A night in the city, just you and me. We can go to dinner, and then do whatever you want. Go to a bar, come back and relax, it's up to you.

Me: (tears rolling down my face, giving him a big hug) Really? This is amazing. The view! (you could see Love Park and the Christmas tree from the window.) Wow!

The room had a living room area with a couch and a main part with the bathroom and bed. We sat on the couch and started talking. I told him about the party on Friday night and my awesome day with Kelly. It was nice to relax and catch up with each other. No stress, no schedules.

Andy told me we had a choice of a 7:30pm reservation at Spasso or an 8:30pm reservation at Maggiano's. Although I was really hungry, I chose Maggiano's because it was around the corner from the hotel and we hadn't been there in a long time. At this point we had about an hour to kill before we had to leave for dinner.

Andy: "It was fun looking at some of the old pictures from a long time ago today."

Christine: "Do you want to go and watch the slide show? We have time."

Andy: "Nah, that's ok. Let's just stay here for a bit."

We talked for a while more and then Andy said "why don't we go watch the slide show, we still have time."

We went in to the other room and I started commenting on all of the pictures. "Aw, that's when we were at the Gorge, Red Rocks, this wedding and that wedding, Memphis" etc.

Christine: (looking up at Andy while he has his arms around me) "Wow, we have so any great memories. We've done so many fun things over the years. We're going to have so many more great memories."

Within the next several seconds I had just enough time to feel Andy's hand move and to think "Oh my God, he's going to propose."

Andy: (opening the ring box) "A lifetime of memories?"

It was a moment I will never forget. A moment I pictured a million times and will cherish forever.

He got on his knee and said "If you'll marry me."
Tears rolling down my face, I said "YES!"

He placed the most beautiful ring I've ever seen on my finger. We hugged and kissed. I blurted out "Do my parents know?" Andy told me he had asked my Dad in November but no one knew he was doing it that night. It was between he and I. We would get to tell everyone tomorrow and the coming days.

I asked Andy "wait, what did you say and what did I say?" I realized quickly that it was all a blur and I wanted to make sure I didn't forget the moment.

Andy went into the bathroom and opened one of the bottles of champagne he had on ice in the sink. I joked and asked "what if I had to go to the bathroom when I got here?" He shared he had a back up plan and when I asked about the champagne in the bathroom he would have said "we have something to celebrate tonight" followed by the proposal. I'm glad it happened the way it did :-)

I tried calling both my mom and dad's cell phone and neither answered. I wanted to call Kelly so bad but I knew I had to wait until I told them first.

After all of this, it was almost 8:30pm and time to leave for dinner!

We had a fantastic dinner at Maggiano's. The food was excellent and we shared a bottle of white wine. Our server brought us a CONGRATULATIONS cookie plate. It was so much fun to hear all of the stories Andy had to share with me about planning out our special night. He also told me about the several other times he planned to propose and all about the ring.

After going back to the hotel to drop off leftovers (I knew I'd want them in the morning) and finishing the bottle of champagne we decided to go out. We never go out to the bars and I thought it would be fun. Tir Na Nog is where we ended up and it just so happened my new favorite cover band Second Majesty was playing. We stayed until the bar closed.

It truly was a perfect night. For days it was fresh in my mind and I can feel the moment slipping away a little bit as time passes by. I wrote this because I wanted to share our story, but also because I want us to remember every detail from that night from this day forward.
I have gratitude today for...
* the bus ride through some rough parts of Philly on my way to Kelly's office. It was an eye opener to see how run down some of those neighborhoods are. More people need to be reminded how lucky they are to live in safe neighborhoods.
* a great day volunteering for the North 5th Street Revitalization Project and helping my little sis do a great things for the people in that neighborhood. She doesn't make a whole lot of money, but she sure is making a difference! You can read more about my experience here.
* an amazing night with Andrew in Philadelphia. The surprise, hotel, proposal, champagne, dinner, drinks, Second Majesty at Tir Na Nog. Everything was perfect! You can read the entire story here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* heat. Our office was so cold today I had to leave because my fingers were numb. So many people don't even have the means to pay for heat in the winter.
* Megan giving me a ride to the train station tonight.
* Jen Cardonick picking me up from Kelly's so I didn't have to do any more walking through the city.
* the nice people at the Cherry St. pub. They made Adrienne's surprise get together really nice.
* fun times at the bars with Marisa, Adrienne, Jen and Kelly.
* Kelly sharing her Lean Cuisine pizza with me when we got home.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* feeling better today.
* getting a lot of our Christmas shopping done tonight.
* the awesome Calvin Klein bras I got at Annie Sez on clearance for $6!! They're $40 bras. Woo hoo.
* putting together Molly's "doll bed" all by myself, I was quite proud my accomplishment.
* the Barbara Walter's special with Oprah. I just love that woman. I think she is one of the most genuine, admirable "celebrities" there are. She has more money than she could ever need or want in a lifetime, and you would never know it. We can all learn from her.
* being able to laugh when the cake I baked tonight completely fell apart when I took it out of the pan onto the cooling rack.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* having the flexibility to work from home. I knew I had to take it easy today to keep fighting this cold. It's freezing out. So, I decided to work from home and still managed to get a lot done!
* Andy making me laugh a lot tonight. I am so lucky to have him in my life.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* a nice lunch with John at The Great American Pub in Conshohocken. I hadn't been there in a long time, it brought back good memories. We also had a good talk about my future at the magazine.
* deciding to skip out on a meeting tonight because I'm not feeling well again. I know I need to slow down and kick the cold as soon as possible. I have too much going on, I can't get sick!
* making it an early night and watching the Biggest Loser upstairs.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* meeting one of the attorneys that advertised with me last month. He was a really nice guy and it was nice to meet him in person.
* getting more Christmas cards done.
* watching The Office reruns with Andy.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* sleeping in after a late night last night
* decorating the Christmas tree and house for the holidays. I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit, usually I'm really excited but this year I feel like everything has been so rushed!
* yum Chinese for lunch.
* starting to write out Christmas cards. I always put thought into writing out the cards and take the time to write a message in every one. It would be so much easier just to sign our names, but I don't feel they mean as much.
* Mrs. Roth making a roasted chicken dinner for us tonight.
* the Biggest Loser. Of all the reality TV out there these days I think it sends a great message and has influenced thousands of people to be healthier.
* finally getting a plan together for Christmas weekend. I've been stressed about making everyone happy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* Jeff & Megan visiting this morning with the boys. We always love seeing them on the weekends!
* finally dragging all of my sweaters out of the shed and putting all of my summer stuff away. I'm facing the reality that winter is upon us.
* Jess picking me up and giving me a ride to West Chester.
* lots of laughs at Jake's with Jess, Nicole and Tina before the Alumnae Dinner.
* seeing lots of old friends at the Alumnae dinner, especially Kate, Julia, Jen, Abby, Beckman, Kossler, Marisa, Jess, Tina, Nicole.
* really good food at the Holiday Inn, it was better than I expected!
* good times with everyone at the bars, it was a typical 2am night in West Chester.
* Jess giving me a ride home so Andy didn't have to pick me up.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* remembering I had two meetings with clients since I almost wore jeans to work today.
* not having to go to Philly often for my job. Between the parking, traffic, walking, cold temps, and having to show ID before you go into a building to drop off a magazine sample it's quite a hassle. I had 2 meetings and prospected 2 attorneys in 6 hours. I felt like I had accomplished nothing.
* accepting that traffic is guaranteed to be horrific on Friday afternoons in Philly because there was nothing I could do about the hour and a half it was going to take for me to get home.
* my stop at Marshalls on the way home, buying a few new sweaters made me feel better about my day :-)
* walking into the house and finding a huge bowl of mashed potatoes and chuck roast with homemade gravy awaiting my arrival. Mrs. Roth didn't know all I had eaten so far was some green bean casserole at lunchtime.
* Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice being new this week.
* watching the Villanova game with Andy tonight. We were supposed to go to the game but things got messed up with the guy he was buying tickets from. It was nice just to relax tonight after such a crazy day.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* Beckman calling to tell me she is pregnant! I guess the baby parade will be going on for a while :-) I'm so happy for her and Ed. She's going to be such a great mom!
* Megan meeting me at Cirillo for their annual Holiday Open House. We learned a lot about skin care from Colleen and I scheduled a massage for Christmas week (and got 20% off!) The food was really good too.
* stopping by Green Street in Bryn Mawr. I found a great gift for Kelly and an awesome little black dress for me (for $8!!) Megan had some great finds too.
* going with Megan to pick up the boys from school. It's such a cute place and it was fun to see where they spend their days.
* hanging out in Narberth for a while. Jeffrey makes me laugh every time I see him and I love it! The best thing he said to me today was "Why you leaving? Can you come back tomorrow?"
* watching the Eagles game with Andy tonight. They win again!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* being able to mend another bad situation with another school that was unhappy with the way they were handled by another sales rep. It makes me feel good when clients tell me they are happy I reached out to them and look forward to working with me.
* being able to offer a free ad to the school I smoothed over yesterday for our December issue. I know I was able to make my contact look really good to her bosses and she needed that after how messed up her profiles were in October.
* the excellent chicken fajita dinner I made tonight for Andy & me.
* getting the bathrooms cleaned. The whole house needs to be scrubbed---the bathrooms were a start.
* on-line shopping. In the last couple days I've gotten half of my Christmas shopping done sitting on my couch :-) Love the free shipping!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* being able to handle a few accounts that were really messed up from another sales rep. I felt really bad for one person that was really upset but after we talked she told me she felt much better and would consider doing business with us again.
* my chicken tortilla soup for lunch!
* the warm weather and a BBQ dinner. Homemade fries too!
* finding A Time to Kill on TV as I was flipping through the channels. It is one of those movies that I always get sucked into, no matter how many times I've seen it before.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* lunch with John at a new family owned breakfast/lunch place right down the street from our office.
* not dreading going back to work after such a fantastic week.
* catching up on all of the Oprah episodes I missed last week.
* Andy's homemade pizzas for dinner.
* finding fun Christmas presents for Jeffrey on-line from the Disney Store.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* sleeping in today. After the long drive yesterday I needed a good night's sleep!
* the homemade chicken tortilla soup I made today. I found a recipe this morning and tweaked it (significantly) to make this soup. It came out soooo good.
* our evening with Jeff & Megan and the boys. Megan made a yum filet mignon dinner and we loved seeing their house decorated for Christmas.
* an exciting Eagles game even though they ended up losing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* Andy driving the first 400 miles of our very long drive home. I felt really tired when we get up at 5am this morning and needed to sleep for a bit before driving.
* our detour on Route 1 through rural Maryland to avoid the horrific traffic on I-95. It was a really beautiful drive.
* getting home safely.
* dinner with Andy at Carrabba's. We had our favorite, chicken marsala and caesar salads. We sat at the pizza bar and had a really nice time together.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* a nice walk on the beach with Andy even though it was a bit chilly and there were strong winds.
* quality time with everyone at the big house during breakfast. I got there early and cooked the bacon and eggs so Grandma would have a break.
* Thanksgiving leftover buffet for lunch!
* playing Scrabble with Alex & Dan.
* my cousin Dan making me laugh by sitting at the Scrabble table with a big block of mozzarella cheese and a knife. His thoughts "it's just like string cheese but in a block."
* our annual "Ring Golf" tournament. Andy & Christopher were the big winners this year.
* the ridiculous "potato gun" Brian, James & Sean constructed. Luckily no one was severely injured while they shot potatoes into the ocean from the beach. Boys will be boys.
* helping Mom with Italian night.
* the sentimental side of my grandfather. He asked to watch the 10 Year Holden Beach Anniversary video with the whole family. The last time we saw it was in 2005 so it was nice to see it again.
* playing Taboo and all of the great laughs that went along with it.
* talking with Mom, Dad and Kelly at our house before bed. We were talking about a whole bunch of things and couldn't stop laughing.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* making stuffing with Grandma at the big house this morning. She's 79 years old and still brings a cooler to Thanksgiving with her potato water and chicken broth so she can make enough homemade gravy and stuffing for 25 people.
* spending time on the beach, what a gorgeous day.
* Bloody Mary's with Grandma this afternoon.
* Kelly finding Uncle Gary's wedding band in the sand. It was missing for the majority of the afternoon and there was an intense search for hours. Kelly was the star when she found it!
* the fun dress I wore to Thanksgiving dinner.
* a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with our big, crazy, fun, loving family!
* playing poker and Left, Right, Center with the gang.

About Thanksgiving: we're all programmed to stop and think about what we're thankful for on this day. Keeping this blog has helped me find the good in everyday. It's amazing how much we forget. There have been times since starting this blog that I've let it go for too long. I found myself not being able to remember a single thing about my days just a week prior. Life is short, we learn that over and over. Take in moments, journal, live everyday...because when we reflect back, it all seems familiar again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* that Kelly, Alex & Andy arrived safely at 5:15am! I was so worried about them driving through the night.
* the french toast breakfast with Mom, Dad, Kelly, Alex & Andy
* spending time by the pool, in November, with everyone. It was warm and sunny and beautiful in Holden Beach today!
* Bailey sparing Kelly's phone. He had it in his mouth, dangling over the pool.
* Aunt Kathy's "Welcome Dinner" with the whole family.
* being with Grandpa to celebrate his birthday every year.
* playing poker with Grandma, Sean, Tommy & James
* good laughs when Lindsay did her "card trick show".

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* the shopping trip with Mom this morning. We found cute Thanksgiving decorations at the Dollar General and I got an awesome pair of sandals at a thrift shop for $2!
* spending time on the beach with Mom, Aunt Kathy, Brian and Bailey.
* Grandma & Grandpa arriving safely to Holden Beach and spending time with them this afternoon.
* Aunt Kathy's fantastic Hawaiian Chicken dinner.
* beautiful weather today and tonight.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* warm and sunny weather today in NC!
* the beautiful house Mom & Dad rented this year, great decks and living space!
* walking Bailey on the beach.

* lunch with Mom, Dad and Aunt Kathy at Provisions. A great view of the Intercoastal from our table on their deck.
* hanging on the deck at the big house with Mom.
* watching Oprah's Favorite Things after it got cloudy and chilly outside.
* yum sausage and peppers for dinner with Mom & Dad.
* the John Lennon special on PBS tonight.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* a beautiful day for my trip to NC. I listened to my "Best of DMB" playlist and had the sunroof open the whole time.
* my unplanned stop at the outlets in NC. It was so nice out and I needed a break from driving. I got some good things at Bath & Body Works and two awesome pairs of jeans at Lucky Brand for a total of $12!
* watching the Eagles vs. Giants game with Dad. Eagles win!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* an easy drive to VA with no traffic.
* having time to visit with John, Jillian, Carter & Lily for a few hours before we had to leave for Charlottesville.
* Carter's reaction when I mentioned the Phillies. He said "uh oh". It was really cute!
* the ham dinner Jillian made made for us.
* Julie agreeing to trade our pair for a GA pair so we could be with Andy, John & Michelle on the floor.
* good times tailgating at the Econolodge before the show.
* a really great show to end the tour, especially the double encore!
* Jess & Christine giving me a place to sleep tonight.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* walking through the city on this beautiful morning with Andy back to Evan's place. 
* the perfect timing we had to catch the 11:14 train back to NJ. 
* Mom's leftover chicken picatta for lunch. 
* spending the afternoon with Mom, Dad, Kelly, Alex & Andy. We watched the Giants vs. Dallas game and ate an early Italian dinner.
* the amazing bread from Dolce & Clemente. Andy & I picked up a couple loafs to bring back to PA.
* a really great weekend with good friends, good music, good food & drinks, that ended with a visit to Mom and Dad's. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* the good laugh we all got from Katie as she told us about her night last night. Getting the bill for a movie she ordered was also pretty funny considering the time of the order was 10:10pm! She's our rock star!
* being able to shower last so I could stay in bed a while longer. 
* Susan's friend Evan letting us keep our stuff at his place. 
* lunch with Craig, Deb, Susan & Andy at John's Pizzeria (No Slices). It was a really great atmosphere and we were able to use some of the Hilton Cash there. It was nice to eat a real meal!
* suggesting we check out the Bull Moose Saloon. I wasn't sure what we were going to get when we opened the door but the $3 Yuengling sign told me it was a good idea. We ended up having a really fun time playing video photo hunt, music on the jukebox and drinking cheap beers. John & Jillian, Katie and her friend Erin met us there. Could this be our new NYC bar?
* another huge gathering before the show at Mustang Sally's. 
* the Absolut Vodka girls walking around giving out tickets for free drinks/shots. 
* Andy & I having seats with John & Jillian for tonight's show (Katie managed to join us too.) 
* DMB playing one of the best shows I've seen in years, probably ever...It was a magical show with so many great moments. Highlights for me were #41-->Say Goodbye, Pig, Nancies, Christmas Song, Jane, Crush, BOWA & Last Stop. 
* hanging out at Sally's after the show. 
* Ben's friend letting us crash at his place tonight. It was a long day and I needed to go to sleep ASAP, haha.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* Katie arriving safely to NYC and being our morning wake-up call :-)
* my walk around the city with Andy & Debbie. It was a beautiful morning and it the fresh air felt great.
* orange drink from McDonald's and a New York bagel made me ready for another long day/late night.
* a beautiful stroll through Central Park with Andy. We found the ice skating rink and sat in the sun on rocks that overlooked the rink. The leaves on the trees were gorgeous---it was a perfect fall day.
* a funny "Hilton Time Share Presentation" experience. Andy's words "Christine wanted to buy a $100,000 time share, but was mad about a $6 slice of pizza last night." Katie yells "sucker!" Um, yeah, they made it sound super cool. Don't worry, we walked away without signing anything. 
* the awesome hotel rates and the $100 Hilton Cash we got for going to the time share presentation.
* hanging out in the hotel room while everyone got ready drinking Bloody Mary's and listening to music. 
* Andy, Katie & I being able to keep Craig & Deb calm (sort of) when they realized their N2 tickets were really for N1. There were some tense moments but I knew in my gut it would all work out. I was proud of them for quickly deciding to not let it ruin their night. 
* the cab ride through Times Square with Katie to Mustang Sally's. Cab rides in NYC are always interesting. It's hard to believe there isn't an accident every ten seconds. 
* good times at Mustang Sally's with the gang. We had some quality time with John, Jillian, Craig, Debbie & Katie before it got really crowded. 
* our awesome bartender at Sally's. He definitely hooked us up and let us keep our jackets behind the bar during the show.
* our GA tickets on the floor for N1's show. We had a pretty big group and every second of the show was a lot of fun! Highlights for me were Die Trying, Lover Lay Down, Warehouse, Grey Street, Shake Me & Watchtower. 
* hanging out with everyone after the show at Mustang Harry's.
* Katie making it safely back to the hotel.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* getting through the role-play in today's sales meeting. I hate role playing and get really nervous even though non of my coworkers would believe it.
* our awesome November issue and the phone call from John saying how happy he was with my work on the special advertising section.
* Dad giving us a ride to the train station.
* the hour Andy and I had at the hotel to just relax. No agenda, no running around---just watching TV and waiting for Craig & Deb to arrive!
* dinner at McGees Pub with Craig & Deb. Good food, drinks and quality time with them. Our waiter was really nice which made it even more enjoyable.
* walking through Times Square on our way to bar #2. It was a beautiful night and we had a fun time taking pictures and soaking in that "big city" feeling.
* drinks and DMB on the jukebox at an Irish Pub with Andy, Craig, Deb, Sarah B., Morgan & Bobbo.
* The $6 slice of pizza lesson, although I was really annoyed about this in the moment. After the bars Andy & I went to a pizza place to grab a slice, his was $6. I think that's crazy, even for NYC and I sort of freaked out. It's not the $6, obviously we're spending hundreds of $ to be in NYC this weekend. I just think it's taking advantage of your customers when you charge $6 for one piece of pizza. Anyway, I decided from that moment on that we are in NYC with our good friends that we never see. We haven't had a DMB weekend in NYC in 5 years, and I wasn't going to stress about the $ we were spending from this moment on. $6 slices, $4 waters, $7 beers---what are you going to do? It's New York. Sometimes you just gotta live, "celebrate we will!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* the Chinese place I found down the street from my office. Excellent food and not too expensive.
* the wonderful early Thanksgiving dinner at Jeff & Megan's.
* being able to nominate Maura Manzo from Local for Global for our Superwomen article in Dec. She is raising $20,000 for her mission trip to Africa. I hope to go there someday and love her efforts!
* all of the excitment among our friends for this weekend!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* the sesame bagel I had for breakfast. I've gotten into the bad habit of skipping breakfast again. I get way too hungry during the day and that leads me to eating unhealthy lunches and junk food. Not good.
* realizing even more today, how much opportunity there is for me at this magazine.
* learning more about Constant Contact and all of the awesome things I can do with the program.
* today's episode of Oprah with George Bush. I did not agree with his decisions or views (most of the time) but I think he is a good person and enjoyed the show.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* feeling well rested when I got up this morning. Usually it's so hard for me to get up.
* decompressing and having some good laughs with Brian & Jane after today's sales meeting. It was over 4 hours long!
* Andy picking up pizza for dinner, I didn't feel like cooking.
* watching "Date Night" tonight with Andy. It wasn't the best movie but it was nice to put the computers and phones away and watch a movie together. We're always so rushed on weeknights.
* Conan's new show on TBS. I thought the beginning of the show was pretty funny. I fell asleep so I only saw the first 15 minutes or so.
* all of the emails going back and forth about this weekend in NYC. I'm so excited to see everyone!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* daylight savings time, the morning felt extra long!
* watching The Apprentice with Andy this morning. I've really enjoyed it this season and it's been fun watching it together.
* going to see Jeff & Megan's house in Narberth now that they're all moved in. It looks fantastic! I am so happy for them.
* a fun time with Jeffrey & Jame at the playground. I love those kids so much and feel lucky they live close enough for us to do things with them on a regular basis.
* our grilled filet mignon dinner. Yum!
* watching the Eagles & Flyers games with Andy.
* chatting with Debbie about next weekend. I'm so excited to see them and everyone else. It's been so long since we've spent a weekend in NYC.
* getting the pictures from the photo shoot I did last weekend with my friend Michael Franken Photography. You can check them out by clicking here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* my trip to Staples today to recycle 8 old ink cartridges. It seems to me so many people are lazy about recycling items that can't go in their curbside pickup. To me, it's worth a little effort in exchange for knowing I'm doing what I can to be responsible for our environment.
* the awesome new camera we got at Radio Shack on clearance for $119! It's a Canon SD780 IS and sells on Amazon for $240. I love a bargain  and think the red color is fun and different.
* Tom's of Maine all-natural deodorant. I've wanted to try out an all natural deodorant for a while and think this one is really great!
* our awesome tailgate for DMB today. Lots of friends, food, drinks and good times. I was glad to finally have Jess & John join our group and it was fun meeting their friends. It was also nice to have Adrienne there.
* another fantastic DMB show. I really love doing the GA floor thing. We get to have a whole bunch of friends together and that makes the show that much better.
* Andy driving home after the show tonight.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* being able to go back to bed for an hour this morning when I wasn't feeling well.
* somehow all of my ads were submitted in time for the file upload this afternoon.
* the advertiser I spoke with last night signed a contract tonight!
* Andy being ok tonight when he got into a minor car accident. After seeing that accident last week my heart sank when I heard him say he was in one on his way home from work.
* leftover Celebre's pizza for dinner!
* our visit with P.J. & Brian at Champps. They were in town and we met them out for a drink to say hello. It felt funny seeing them in warm weather clothes!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I have gratitude today for...
* being able to take deep breaths when things got crazy at the office today. Deadline day is always fun, nothing has changed!
* the phone call I received tonight from a local restaurant owner. I tried to get him to advertise at LifeStyle and never had any luck, finally got somewhere tonight talking with him about different advertising options and I feel confident he will sign an agreement for 2011 soon.
* watching Private Practice tonight. It was a very emotional episode where one of the main characters was beaten and raped. This is one of my biggest fears in life and I found the show hard to watch; at the same time I felt they did a really good job with the episode. I hope it helps someone out there that has been silent about something so awful happening to them.