Scenes from a Weekend: Friendship

This weekend was another Pittsburgh adventure, but this time it was extra special because Hilary is back from Africa! Girlfriend has been gone for 2 years, so we decided a girls reunion was in order and it was high time baby Connor met his world-traveling Auntie!

I swear this little man gets cuter every time I see him! We had a blast loving on him the entire weekend, and catching up with each other on life’s happenings. It had been four years, FOUR YEARS, since the four of us were all together and it was amazing how it seemed like no time had really passed at all.

I feel incredibly lucky to have such amazing women in my life, the kind of friends that cheer you on, pick you up, encourage you, listen with their whole heart and truly wish for nothing but happiness in your life.

It doesn’t hurt either that they know me so well they bring me Eataly goodies from a recent NYC trip, and make funny signs for the guest room door because they know cats make me sneeze.

We got to celebrate an early first birthday with Connor and life in general with each other. It was just what the doctor ordered.

“Yay Connor” because Happy Birthday was too long 😉 Alex, you’re a genius!

The new answer to, “What time is it?”

The photo-bomber in the background makes me love this picture even more!

Hope you had a great weekend!

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When Life Happens

I was driving home from work last Thursday thinking about how I would pay the monthly bills that night after dinner, when I got a phone call from the hubster that went a little something like this:

J: Hey, can you swing by the beer store and pick up an 18 pack on your way home?

D: Ugh! I’m in traffic on 32 and have been driving for 45 minutes, I’m coming home. You can get it yourself.

J: Fine. Bye.

D: Bye.

{Insert internal dialogue here where I tell myself I’m rude, the beer store is right near the house, channel inner badass, get your husband beer and pick up something for yourself too. Hey, it’s almost Friday!}

:::Call Joey Back:::

D: What kind of beer do you want?

J: Coors Light.

D: Bye.

J: Bye! ::friends cheer in background::

When I got home, there was an impromptu summer BBQ going on, complete with friends and two little kiddos. So instead of paying bills, I watched kids chase dogs, went to the playground for an intense game of sniper, cut up watermelon, ate burgers off the grill, roasted marshmallows and then ran around catching lightning bugs in a mason jar.

Full disclosure, the lightning bug escapade consisted of 3 adults and one child. It was intense! I don’t remember those suckers being so hard to catch. And as we were running around, falling down hills, lunging at the air because we ‘swore there was one right there’, I couldn’t help but think how great it is when Life Happens. Like, really happens. Like it pops in on a random Thursday night just to say, “Hey, I’m here. I’m awesome. Let’s party.”

And in the words of Dave Matthews, “Celebrate we will, because life is short but sweet for certain.”

The Best Plans Are Unplanned

I’m a planner. I love my lists. You know this. But I also love a certain amount of ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-ness’ in my life. That being said, lets circle back to the Summer Kickoff Bucket List and see how we did:

2012 Summer Kickoff Bucket List

  • Grill!
  • Eat watermelon
  • Go to the pool
  • Get to spin class (hello bathing suit season!)
  • Buy something new to wear in NYC
  • Take a hike with the dogs
  • Get things prepared for Kacie’s Baby Shower! More on this coming soon!
  • Install new closet system Ok, technically it’s not DONE, but my carpenter (aka Joey) is running into some challenges. It’s getting checked off for being in the works though.
  • Donate old clothes
  • Get travel plans together for Georgia Trip Flying down with the bros for a wedding this month. Never been to GA!
  • Start a new book that doesn’t have the words “50 Shades” in the titleThe Pam101/DSpot Book Club is making a comeback. More to come.
  • Take lots of pictures

Not bad at all! I’m actually surprised a trip to the pool hasn’t happened yet. As for the hike with the dogs, we did have an impromptu Yellow Lab Party, so that sort of counts.

The Lab in the middle is Moose’s legit half-brother, Cooley. And Cooley’s two-legged sibling just happens to be Joey’s godson, Owen (have I lost you yet?). Their whole family came over for a last minute visit recently, which then led to an impromptu barbeque complete with food, friends and the above pictured tiki torches. But seriously, how squeezable is this little guy???

The baby’s not bad either. Ba-dum-CHING. I love Owen’s little man pose. Justin & Amee, you made one cute kid!

Moose and Riggo were pretty fond of him too. And Owen was pretty fond of Moose’s tongue.

Hey, if you were surrounded by that many dog tongues, you’d try to grab one too!

While it was good to check things off the bucket list, I will say my favorite parts of vacation were the unplanned things — our BBQ/Dog Party, meeting Sara & Eric in Annapolis, a S’mores run with Alex and a shopping trip with my Mom. I’m looking forward to more unplanned plans this summer, with a nice sprinkling of the planned things too. You know I’m all about finding the magical balance.

Chip Off the Old Bucket List

I’m taking my thickest black sharpie and crossing “Grill!” off the Summer Kickoff Bucket List. Since Friday, we’ve grilled (and eaten) steak, chicken, turkey burgers, zucchini and tamales.

Oh, and we ate watermelon. Lots of watermelon. (Check!)

One thing I should have put on the list was “Dine Al Fresco” because we did that too. All of us…

And another gross omission from the list was “Meet Sara and Eric in Downtown Annapolis When They Call You Out of the Blue to Say ‘Hey We’ll be Downtown Today’ and Get Dinner and Then Go for Ice Cream and Sit By the Water.” Ok, clearly this was one of those happy accidents when all the stars aligned and we didn’t have to plan for weeks to make it happen. I love happy accidents!

Now about that ice cream. It’s up there with cake for me in that I love ice cream like a fat kid loves ice cream, so I ordered the scoop and a half, when everyone else ordered just a scoop. The good thing about ordering the bigger size was that it came in a cup called a “Walkie”…

We quickly understood why they called it a “Walkie”, as we determined the one scoop size cup should have been called a “Stopie” because as soon as you get outside it starts melting everywhere and there’s no good way to walk and eat it. So you have to stop.

Whoops!

Back to the Bucket List though, to balance the eating of grilled food and sweet things I did get my butt into spin class (check!). And to round it out, I also did a little shopping to pick up a new dress for NYC (check!).

Hope you’re enjoying your summer kickoff weekend! Check in tomorrow to learn about the fun I have in store for the coming week 🙂

One last little photo update. Instead of keeping with the weekly Project 52 Themes, I’ve decided to try a new weekly photo ‘link up’ at a blog called Simple As That, where the idea is to take photos that celebrate the simple moments that make you smile each week. I love the creative freedom it offers. Feel free to join me in this new weekly adventure!

Showing Up

One of my favorite bloggers wrote an amazing post back in February about friendships and life’s little celebrations. It was a post so good that I immediately emailed all my best girlfriends a ridiculously cheesy yay-life email just to let them know how much I appreciate them. There’s one part of the post that continues to stick with me. It reads:

I get asked a lot about my friendships–how we make it work, how we’ve built intimate relationships with each other and kept them. It’s simple. You show up.

You show up.

That is so…IT.

Like when you get an insanely cute invitation in the mail that dons a gnome and spews confetti inviting you to celebrate a friends new home, even though that friend lives more than 4 hours away, you freakin’ show up. With bells on. Or better yet, champagne in hand.

It seriously hurts my heart in the best possible way when I think about all my friends who “showed up” for me on my wedding day — friends who just had babies, friends who lived a train ride away, friends who worked crazy shifts at work — so many friends who didn’t even consider anything aside from an enthusiastic YES as an answer. They showed up.

And in turn, I show up.

And the cycle of friendship continues.

Birthday Week!

Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend. Birthday week is officially in full swing! On Easter Sunday I got to make my first wish and blow out some candles on a cake that may or may not have been in the shape of a cross. Hey, I’ll take it! Tonight I had a lovely dinner date in the city with the one and only Alex, arriving at her house just early enough to catch her parents on the way out of town. And when I say ‘catch’, picture cars thrown into Park on opposing sides of the street for quick chinese-fire-drill-esque hugs.

Now aside from cake, the next best thing about birthdays is of course the presents 🙂

Thanks Mrs. C, I adore the pen! Moose and Riggo were very curious as to the jingling, but I assure you this puppy (ha!) will find a safe place on my desk at work.

Now lets talk about friends who know you maybe a little too well…

I believe the quote from Alex was, “Since I know you don’t like laundry, I thought this would help make it fun.” Ha! Every little bit will help. Plus this gift is very timely seeing as how I’ve had a dryer full of clean clothes since Saturday, so it will definitely need to be run again to release the wrinkles before I can fold.  Oh stop, you know you do that too!

The Only Thing Constant is Change

I’m making the preggo-friend rounds lately, and had a little city date with Sara last night. The last time we got together she spilled the beans to me that she was pregnant, so it was extra fun to see her cute little growing baby bump and gush all about her nursery design ideas. I met this girl on the second day of my first full time post-college job. By day three we were attached at the hip — literally because my desk was right next to hers. I realized that we’ve been doing brunch/lunch/dinner/coffee dates for about 6 years now, and over that time our conversations have run the gamut —  from what bar we’ll be at Friday night, to who’s dating who, new apartments, to buying homes, buying puppies, getting engaged, getting married, career moves, finances and now babies and family.

The conversations change, we’ve seen our priorities in life evolve, but at the end of the night we’re still two girls, sipping wine water and dreaming about our futures. So while they say the only thing constant is change, I’d argue that another thing that’s constant is friendship. And like anything in life that’s worth it, friendships require a little bit of work. You have to make time on a Monday night after work to drive into the city to meet for dinner, and let friends easily twist your arm into fawning over itty bitty girly clothes at Baby Gap even though you probably should be heading home. It’s a little bit of effort, a little bit of sacrifice, but a lotta bit of worth it.

PS: How adorable is Sara’s baby shower invite?!

Scenes from a Saturday: Starbucks, Sonograms & Singing

Despite the rainy weather, Saturday was perfectly happy and sunny. Mama-to-be Kacie and I went to Reston Virginia because everyone’s favorite North Carolinian, Laci, was in town with a talented school acapella group she choreographed for SingStrong (PS: They killed it, and brought home first place!). You may remember Laci from past productions such as Kacie’s Bridal Shower, Kacie’s Bachelorette Party and Kacie’s Wedding. Need a visual reminder?

Oh man, I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of that picture.

Today looked a little more like this…

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Women vs. Food

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Not being ones to accept defeat, this morning’s mission had us back at Chick and Ruth’s in Annapolis to take on the Colossal 6lb Milkshake. The chocolate milkshake didn’t stand a chance against us. The defender pictured above. The challengers:

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In order of appearance: Pam “Don’t Mess With Me, I’m From Pittsburgh”101, Spice aka The Reinforcement, and Diana “If a Milkshake Had an Ass I’d Kick It.”

We started out strong, confidant that between the three of us 6 pounds of Milkshake would be a walk in the park (or a couple of hours on the treadmill). Armed with breakfast, our strategy was “Sip, Sip, Pass.”

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Halfway through and our confidence remained strong, our determination unwavering…

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Going, Going….

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GONE…

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The last frothy bits were scooped straight from the chalice. Victory was ours, and it was…..well…uneventful really. I expected confetti and balloons, or at least a few slow claps from the peanut gallery, but really it was just us girls cracking up and realizing that maybe this isn’t something you really should be proud of.

Nah! We’re totally proud. And the little kids at the surrounding tables definitely want to grow up to be just like us now.

I mean, who wouldn’t. Hope your weekend has been equally as successful 🙂

Say It Sista

Ok, so this was just too good to keep in the comment section of the last post. And since it’s written by Christine, I feel like I can’t deny you a look at the precious little man she mentions in the post. Cutest teddy bear EVER.

By Christine:

Date: January 9th 2011. Day of the week: Monday. Reality: sitting at my desk trying to get through a lengthy contract and time out my next “pumping session”. But, spiritually: It was just 2007. Friday night. I was shaking it with you. And our hips were not lying. At all. Despite the whiteness. hehe.

I cherish those memories with you! How much fun did we have? And how much do we have to be thankful for now as we build our families? A few years ago, as the end of the work day rolled around, I would have been trying to see if any friends wanted to catch happy hour in Dupont after work. Now, I just can’t wait to get home to see Connor’s little smile. The highlight of my day is when he wraps his little hand around my finger and looks up at me as if to say “mom, you are my whole world.” Life is rich :)

Anyone else tear up a little? Just me? Impossible. Love you C, and can’t WAIT to meet Little C in March!