Friday, September 21, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* catching up with Sam and discussing my trip to Chicago. Everyone seems to be really positive about my ideas and me joining the team.
* a fun time hanging in the parking lot before the Bruce show at MetLife Stadium with Mom & Dad, Aunt Kathy, Michelle, Steve & Tessa, Morgan & Sarah and some of their friends.
* being able to afford tickets to the show again for me, Mom & Dad. I love how excited they get about going to these concerts. I was a little disappointed because it didn't seem like Aunt Kathy really enjoyed it---I do understand it's not her normal cup of tea, as some would say. I hope she's at least happy she got to see Bruce. I do admit the crowd was a little more obnoxious than usual.
* hanging with Michelle, Steve & Tessa during the show.
* Dad driving us to and from the concert and for us getting home safely. It was after 2am by the time we got home!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* drinking iced coffee on Lea's balcony and catching up with her about all kinds of things like wedding planning, our wedding, her wedding, jobs, family craziness etc. We hadn't seen each other in 6 or 7 years but it felt like no time had passed.
* exploring some of the neighborhoods in her area. We walked around and then had lunch at Feast outside.
* looking at all kinds of wedding stuff with Lea, her wedding is next Saturday!
* getting to know Gerry better this afternoon---he's a super nice guy and I can't wait to hang out with them again!
* accepting the fact that my plane was delayed 2 1/2 hours, and that I'd miss open mic night w/Popejoy, Andrea, Ben, Becker & Andy. I hung around the airport from 6-8:30 until it was finally time to board the plane. I grabbed a bowl of soup at Harry Caray's and then killed time playing on my iPad. I'm very thankful to have my iPad now that I'm traveling so much.
* stopping by to say hi to everyone at open mic night and picking up Andy. He took the train into East Falls so he could have a few beers without having to drive home.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* another good day in the Lisle office. I got to meet a few more people and we started digging into the offices and how I will set up the rotation to visit them all.
* lunch at The White Chocolate Grill with Dale. The tortilla soup was amazing!
* catching up with Andy on my way into the city.
* meeting Lea's fiance Gerry and his friend Clint when I got to their place. It's an adorable apartment in Bucktown. And, they have a Bernie---he's a cutie!
* a fun night out at Piece Pizza with Becker & Katie, Lea & Gerry and Clint. We had some drinks at the bar and then sat at a table and ordered a couple of pizzas and pitchers of beer.
* going out with Lea & Clint after dinner to Louie's, a dive karaoke bar down the street from the restaurant. After we couldn't take the horrible singing anymore we went to another bar with a bunch of miserable people stewing in their beers. We started playing music on the jukebox, played pool and brought some life to the place.

* tacos at the Mexican restaurant near Lea's house after the bar.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* getting to the airport on time and safely; it was pouring the whole way.
* my noise cancelling headphones working and being able to close my eyes a bit on the place. I was very tired considering I got up at 3am.
* a great visit to the Lisle, Chicago office. It was so nice meeting everyone on my new team and learning about the new territory.
* lunch at Portillo's with Bob, Jim & Jeff C. I am told it's a Chicago staple! The food was very good, one of the best burgers I've ever had.

* talking to Andy after I checked into the hotel and him telling me we're probably getting the car we want!
* finding out The Killers are touring in December and they are coming to Philly. I was just saying how I'm dying to see them!
* staying at the Hyatt---it's a really nice hotel and the staff was very friendly. They even gave me a free Internet code when I called asking how to get on.
* going to dinner at Mullen's Bar & Grill. It was a cute Irish pub about a mile from my hotel. It was open mic night so I stayed for a couple hours and caught up on emails and stuff for Dad's party while listening to the music. I had a couple glasses of wine and had a nice time even though I was by myself. I've definitely become comfortable dining solo.
* finally sending a message to Michelle to offer support. Her mom is battling cancer right now and I feel awful it took me this long to reach out to her.
* talking with Becker & Lea after I got back from the restaurant to make plans for tomorrow.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* thinking about our wedding 1 year ago today. I kept thinking all day to myself "this time last year I was doing ______" and then "at this time _______ was happening." It's so hard to believe it's been a year!
* Mom's email to me after she read Dad's book.
"Chris! I’m having a hard time getting through this with what you have done so far! I cannot imagine how I’m going t o read it with everyone’s entries – not a dry eye in the house as they say! The pictures are great and tell the story of a great man’s true love for life and his family. Gosh, he is going to love this and enjoy it for many, many years to come. Bravo!!
Love you - mom"
* Kelly's sweet voicemail wishing us a Happy 1st Anniversary.
* packing up all of our stuff from Avalon from the summer and getting everything home. It will be nice to have everything in one place for a while!
* talking with Vanessa this afternoon. It was nice to catch up and I'm excited for her wedding next May!
* the beautiful anniversary cards we got from Mom & Dad, Kelly & Alex, Craig & Debbie, Katie & Eric, Kerry & Jim, & Mrs. Roth.
* a wonderful dinner at Maggiano's with my husband. The food was excellent!
* adhering to the tradition of eating your wedding cake on your 1st Anniversary. We each cut a piece and fed each other like we did a year ago. Then we threw the rest away, it was pretty gross. I'm happy to have the space back in our freezer.
Celebrating 1 Year as Mr. & Mrs.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* spending time out on the deck listening to music & reading magazines this morning.
A fresh smoothie and mindless reading.
* watching the crazy Eagles game and working on Dad's 60th Birthday book. Go Birds!
* taking a long walk on the beach with Andy after the game.
* making a great dinner for Andy & me tonight- we were going to go out but decided to save going out for tomorrow night.
* ordering the PDF version of the book from Blurb. Done for now, woohoo!
* listening to Away From the World a few more times and starting to like it much more than I have so far.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* sleeping in this morning. It was nice after staying up so late last night. 
* doing a 2.2 mile run. I felt like I was starting over and hope I remember what it felt like so I don't let this much time go by again. I also messed up my iPod last night and deleted my running mix so I listened to The Killers the whole time. 
* breakfast at Avalon Family Grille with Andy. We sat outside on the deck on this beautiful day. 
* a nice time at the Cape May Zoo. We attempted to do a day trip to Cape May but it was so crowded we couldn't find a parking spot anywhere. I was disappointed because I had our whole afternoon planned out and we didn't even get out of the car. The zoo was a nice "B" plan.

* happy hour at The Real Enchilada. Andy & I had a couple of tacos, chips & salsa and a few beers outside on their patio. 
* spending time researching camera prices and finally buying the Canon Rebel T3i. I'm so excited to have a real DSLR camera. Now I have to schedule my photography classes! I got a good deal on the camera/lens/bag from Best Buy using rewards zone certificates and my Discover card. 
* remembering our wedding day as we celebrated 52 weeks! It sort of felt like our real anniversary since it was Saturday and the weather was very similar to that on our wedding day. 
* Andy playing our wedding song, Hold You in My Arms by Ray LaMontagne, as I was coming downstairs from brushing my teeth and changing into pajamas. It was so sweet- we danced and talked about our wedding day and how happy we are to be married. :-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* going for a 3.5 mile walk with Viki this morning on the bike path through Conshohocken.
* picking up Yangming for Megan & I and going to Narberth to see her and the kids for a bit.
* stopping by the Infiniti dealership in Egg Harbor to look at the different exterior colors for the G37x. I also test drove one (and fell in love!) The guy that helped me was very nice and didn't pressure me at all. I think he knew I wasn't doing anything without Andy being there.
* the cute Halloween decorations I found at Produce Junction. I'm excited to decorate our house for fall/Halloween.
* listening to the whole new DMB album all the way through on my way to the shore. I'm still not in love---I don't hate it but I don't love it either. I will probably never listen to it all the way through but there are a couple of songs I like. I really wish I liked it as much as most of our other DMB friends. I think a handful of the songs sound the same and they're so SLOW. Still hoping it will grow on me some more. 
* pizza from Via Mare. It was really good tonight!
* being able to send a link to Dad for him to download the new DMB album.
* getting more work done on our family photo project. I spent all night on it while watching the Phillies. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* a good slice of NJ pizza and a small low-fat peanut butter ice cream cone from Halo Pub. I hadn't been there in so long---there is nothing that comes close to that ice cream. 
* a great session of jin shin jyutsu with Hannelore. She explained to me that there is a lot of stress built up in my body and I need to work on taking time each day to meditate or at least sit quietly. She also commented on how long it takes me to relax (at least 20-30 minutes.) I've noticed that when I get messages too---too much going on in this head of mine all of the time
* the beautiful weather we're having. No humidity, sunny, warm but not too warm. It's been perfect!
* spending some time organizing myself when I got home. I really haven't been home in 3 weeks and I feel like I'm constantly packing and unpacking (because I am.) I did laundry, checked some things of my to do list, and arranged my rental car and hotel for my trip to Chicago next week. 
* watching the Phillies with Andy even though they lost. It's been fun having the games mean something. 
* making plans to see Lea while I'm in Chicago. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* remembering Andy' dad today and the happy times we shared with him. It would have been his 64th birthday. 
* Brian M. & John H. taking me to lunch at Anthony's Coal Fire Pizza. The food was excellent!
* the surprise "good-bye" party for me at the office today. They had an awesome Snickers cake for me that said "Good Luck Christine." It meant a lot to me considering I've only been working with these people for 10 months. 
* seeing Mom & Dad in person tonight so I could tell them about my territory change and everything else that's been going on. Now I can share the news with others. I am a little overwhelmed at how difficult it is going to be to see my friends & family over the next several months with so much traveling. I will feel better after I send out an email to everyone explaining what I'm going through. 
* dinner and wine at Cookie's house. It's always fun to have a girls night. We had fun catching up---I wish I saw them more!
Couldn't put this up until after Dad's party. Working hard on decorations for the big day!
* Parenthood coming back on the air. I watched last night's episode when we got home. I just love that show!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* landing safely in Philly after our red-eye flight home from CA, on this gorgeous, somber day.
* keeping the memory of 9/11 alive within me. I felt like the coverage of 9/11 today was minimal and I find that nothing other than unacceptable. How can we be forgetting so soon? How can the Kardashian's play on the Today show without the moment of silence in NYC interrupting? My friend had to beg her principal to lower the flag at her school to half staff. Are we already forgetting what that day felt like? The pain and chaos and fear and everything else it brought to everyone of us? This is a day that can not be forgotten. The people that died that day deserve more than that. I wish all of the daytime and evening news shows covered the lives of the many great people that died on 9/11, or their families will to move on with their lives. No, we don't need to see the planes crashing into the buildings over and over again---but the lives of those affected should be honored in the media. The major networks should be embarrassed by the lack of their coverage today. 
* John being able to let us park at the airport lot during our CA trip. 
* watching the Phillies game tonight with Andy. It looks like they could have a chance to make the playoffs after all---pretty crazy after this letdown of a season!

Monday, September 10, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* a very positive first conference call with me new team. 
* time at the beach with Andy. I started reading "Enjoy Every Sandwich" and really like it. It has a great message about living every day to its fullest and having gratitude for the small things. That is why I keep this blog. Sometimes I feel like this blog makes it seem like only good things happen. We all know that's not true---but---when we focus on the good, sometimes the bad doesn't seem so bad in the long run. 
* going in the ocean. It was a bit chilly but gorgeous once I was in for a few minutes. The water was so clean and clear you could see to the bottom and it was very refreshing on this hot day. 
* sittng out on the deck under an umbrella in the shade reading and listening to music until Debbie got home. 
* going to the store and getting stuff to make burritos and guacamole. Debbie & I made dinner together and we watch baseball out back while eating dinner. 
* Debbie giving us a ride to the airport. 
* no flight delays. I was worried when the flight attendant came over the loudspeaker and said "If there is a docto onboard please press your call button." I thought for sure we'd have to have an unplanned landing. I guess the person was ok because we made it to Philly on time. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* getting more sleep early this morning after I switched from the bedroom to the couch in the living room.
* watching football and relaxing at Maureen's for most of the morning.
* picking up Subway and heading to the lake for the afternoon. The lake was gorgeous and the water was perfect! We had a picnic under a tree and then went swimming.

* spending a few hours on Craig & Deb's deck. We had the TV set up so we could watch from outside and we flipped between the Giants/Dodgers game and football. I also spent some time catching up on my blog.
* dinner at Charley's with Andy & Debbie. I never get sick of Italian! Debbie treated us for our 1st Anniversary which was super sweet. We had great conversation and the food was excellent.
* talking for a while long when we got home and getting to bed fairly early.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Debbie waiting on line at Manhatten Bagel to get "good" bagels for us. The line was so slow/long we ended up with Safeway bagels and they were very good. We also had fruit salad for breakfast--I enjoyed the watermelon. I've barely had any watermelon this summer. 
* a relaxing morning lounging around Craig & Deb's place. 
* Maureen having us over for the pre & post show festivities. Her house is beautiful and her backyard was like a private oasis. I loved it! We had a great afternoon filled with friends, drinks, food and laughs. 

* arranging for a taxi to pick us up and drop us off so no one had to worry about driving to/from the show. 
* tailgating for a bit in the parking lot before the show. The scenery was beautiful. 

* being able to see DMB again, for the last time this summer. Although the show was quite the stinker (for me) I had a fun time and always try to remember we are lucky to see our favorite band as often as we do. 
* hanging out at Maureen's for a while after we got home. Everyone was pretty tired so we didn't stay up too late. More fun to be had tomorrow at the lake!

Friday, September 7, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Becky driving me from Hollywood to Hermosa Beach. I didn't realize we were 45 minutes away and it turned out she wasn't able to stay. Barley came along for the ride and Andy got to meet him. 
* lunch at Cantina Real on the pier in Hermosa with Andy. 
* spending time on the beach with Andy, Craig, Terry & Deb. We drank some beers and played horsehoes. I've never really played and it was a lot of fun. Craig & I won the Best of 3 Tournament.
Thanks Debbie for this amazing candid shot!
* dinner at Buena Vita with Andy, Craig, Deb, Terry & Nancy. As always the food was excellent, as was the company. We celebrated Terry's 30th Birthday too. 

We always make a trip to Buona Vita when we visit Hermosa!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* getting a decent night's sleep considering I had 4 hours sleep in the last 44 hours.
* a great hike with Becky and the two dogs Runyon Canyon National Park. The views were gorgeous and it was a great workout.
* meeting Jamie for lunch at farmer's market in The Grove.
* going to Jerome's pool for a couple of hours this afternoon. The weather was perfect and the pool was beautiful. It was nice to relax.
* dinner in Santa Monica at Fritto Misto with Becky & Jamie. It was a BYOB and their food was excellent. After, we met up with Jamie's sister and friend at the pier and listened to Best Coast play on the beach. We had a blanket in the sand and a bottle of wine. Another great night in CA---one of my favorite places to visit.

* Ryah emailing me back and saying they will freeze my membership until I notify them to reactivate it. With all of my upcoming traveling it doesn't make sense for me to pay for a monthly membership. 
* making plans to hang out with Mom & Cookie next Wednesday night when I get back from CA. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* being excited enough for my trip that I was able to get up at 3am after only two hours sleep to drive to the airport from Avalon.
* Auntie Anne's pretzel for breakfast. After this trip it's time for the 60 Day Aruba Diet.
* my flights being on time today and for getting to CA safely. 
* Becky picking me up from the airport with her cute doggie Barley. It was love at first sight. It was so great to see her. We dropped my stuff off and went to Marix Tex Mex for lunch. You've gotta love authentic Mexican. 
*meeting Becky's friend Jerome and her girlfriend Jamie. I loved them both and had a great night out in West Hollywood with Becky, Jerome, Jamie and their roommate Priscilla. We went to Happy Endings, The Abbey & Buffalo Wild Wings. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* finishing my expenses for August and starting to work on my new territory.
dinner at The Bellevue. I've been wanting French Onion soup so we went there. After we get home from CA it's time to cool it with going out to eat. 
* Kelly getting a Smartboard for her classroom. She is so excited about it and I'm really happy for her.
* texting back and forth with Becky about my visit. I haven't spent time with just her in years. Usually when we're in CA, if I get to see her, it's very quick.
* Michelle Obama's incredible speech at the DNC. I don't care which party you belong to, I don't know how her speech could have possibly left you uninspired.
* getting everything done tonight (packing, putting stuff in the car, dealing with food in fridge) so I don't have to worry about it at 3am. Too bad my goal of getting to bed early never had a chance.
* Ray LaMontagne dates coming out, he's playing Tower Theater on 11/1!

Monday, September 3, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* spending time reading message boards about restaurants in Aruba and planning some of the places we'll visit in November. I'm getting so excited for our trip!
* emailing the photographer who took the pictures at Starbuck's on our wedding day. I told him how much I loved them and asked if he could send them to me so I can use them in our album. He sent me a bunch, some I had never seen before! They were all great and he sent me edited high res files. 
* visiting Leslie & Terry for a while this afternoon since none of us really hung out this weekend. Michaela & I played play-doh; I tried to impress her with my ability to make a present, heart & Easter bunny out of play-doh. 
* dinner at La Fantana Coast in Sea Isle.  We were determined to do something fun to make up for a rainy, boring weekend. It was pouring out but we still decided to go. There was a bit of a wait but the food was fantastic! We will definitely be going there again. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* relaxing after cleaning, watching Sex & the City reruns and reading Philly Mag. God that show was great. I haven't watched  the reruns in a while and I really enjoyed them.
* walking around the shops in Avalon. I bought an adorable cover up at It's All Good and a cute dress at She Be Surfin' (for $7, originally $78!) for our Aruba trip.
* talking with Kelly this afternoon. She told me all about her classroom, all of the things she's purchased with the gift card, her wedding plans. It was great catching up. I love how close we are and have been for years. I would do anything for her and often feel guilty about how I treated her when she was younger. "If I only knew then what I know now." Don't we all feel that way about something (or many things) in our lives?
* Andy setting up a Google Voice account with a Chicago area code for me.
* posting on Facebook for advice on cameras. I have to schedule my photography class that I bought on Groupon and I'm fnally going to buy a good digital SLR camera. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* being able to function after getting no sleep last night. Between the bar crawl, police activity and 3 screaming kids I slept from 11-12:30 and that's about it. I still cleaned from 7-1:30 and decided there's no way I'm doing it this much next year. For the second year in a row I feel like summer is gone and I've barely seen the beach, or worked out, and didn't go to yoga once. 
* Andy taking a ride to Cape May Courthouse with me so I could go to TD Bank to cash a check.
* spending time on the upstairs deck reading and napping (sort of). 
* Andy making dinner; grilled chicken with roasted potatoes. I made roasted broccoli with TS's Garlic Garlic and olive oil; it was awesome!
* deciding to go to Jack's for Mr. Greengenes last show (they say ever). I wasn't sure if I wanted to go out but was glad we did in the end. Andy & I had a great time seeing them play lots of old favorites. There were several times I felt like I was in college again. Love that band, just love them.