Saturday, December 31, 2011


2011 was a fantastic and fantastically difficult year.  I married my best friend and then lent him to the Army for a year.  I have found out what true friends are and that I can't do everything by myself.  I am still learning to ask for help but getting slightly better about it.  I made to MA +60 and have almost completed a second graduate degree.  I broke my first bone.  All of these things made 2011 unforgettable but I can't say that I'm said to see it come to a close.

I have so many things to look forward to in 2012.  Sarge and I will get to be together again.  I get to travel to Germany for R&R this February.  I will have a new niece this spring.  I'll have a new brother-in-law this fall.  I have a few weddings, more babies and who knows what other celebrations to enjoy.  All of these are exciting and life-changing events (some for others more than me!) and I look forward to sharing them.

Thanks to all who read this and those who have commented since I started writing in July.  Keep coming back and share it with someone I don't know.  I've only been an Army wife for 8 months and since we've been apart for more than 5 of them I think I'll qualify for newlywed status for a looooong time.  This isn't easy and there are days I wish it could be different.  But, I couldn't be more proud of my husband and what he's doing and what we're accomplishing.  I couldn't be more proud of what I've done this year.  So, thanks for a great 2011 and time to gear up for 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas #3

The past 3 days we spent upstate with Sarge's sister, brother-in-law, nephew and mom.  We didn't "do" much other than hang around but it was great to see them and re-connect.  We did a small gift exchange, had some good meals and relaxed.  I got plenty of time with T-Man, he just turned 2 and is really fun.  He's really talking and I'm getting much better at understanding him.  Here are the highlights!
Read books Aunt Lolo!

Yummy cookies

I spilled potato chips on the floor and Star is helping me clean up

My hosts were very concerned for my safety...

Lollipop drum for Christmas!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas! (Very Belated)

Christmas with my family was lovely as always.  We still do the PJ's on Christmas morning, only now it involves coffee and isn't as early.  We open gifts and then enjoy breakfast (yay for Marty's!)  Then it's cleaning, set-up and cooking for the party that afternoon.

The aunts, uncle and cousins came over in the afternoon for dinner, something I look forward to each year.  Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, gravy.....yummmm!!  We do a white elephant swap, all re-gifts.  This year I was the proud recipient of an electric plate warmer.  I think the box and warmer are almost as old as I am.  My uncle said he planned to give it as a wedding gift and changed his mind, haha!

The family also got to Skype with Sarge for a few minutes which was a big gift.  My mom came and sat with me and we all talked for about 15 minutes which was great.  I think they both really enjoyed reconnecting live.  I was crying afterwards and my brother-in-law came to give me a hug and told me that the day he comes home will be so wonderful and that he still remembers how great brother's homecoming was.  It was the perfect thing to hear and I knew he didn't expect me to stop crying either.

Tomorrow: catching up with Sarge's family upstate!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Final Countdown

There are only 5 more teaching days in the calendar year!  This would be even more exciting except that this is one of the most challenging weeks in the school year for the music teachers.  So many of us are fitting in evening concerts, in school performances and sing-alongs, etc.  I'm lucky that my evening concert isn't until January but I know that getting my classes to focus on it is almost impossible.  They are so hyped up and excited about all the parties and presents (and let's face it, so are the adults) that memorizing a song is low on their priority list.  I am attempting to combat this in the most basic of ways.  Bribery!

I have tempted my classes, starting last week, that if they could have 4 of their 5 songs concert ready by Wednesday we would have a movie day for their last class of the week with me.  I only see my students every other day at most and some even less so this is a big challenge for them.  It's also a challenge to me.  My ears go bonkers at this time.  I hear mistakes I've never heard before and turn into the nitpick queen.  I have to make sure I'm praising as much as I'm critiquing (sp?) their singing.  It's hard!  We all need to stay motivated and positive and not get bogged down in details.  Middle school chorus is a learning experience, not just a performance class....right?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas baking

So, I've already make a holiday bark with cranberries, toasted hazelnuts and candied ginger in dark chocolate for tomorrow's tree decorating party at my mom's.  I made and sent Sarge a batch of mint chocolate cookies on Tuesday.  Last night I made the cupcakes and lemon curd for today's Lemon Meringue cupcakes. (I'll post pics later but if I don't post now I'll forget totally as I have most other days this week!)  I'll be taking 1 dozen to donate to a post-concert reception and the 2nd dozen to family Christmas party #1.  I have been a busy baker this past week!

Lemon butter cupcakes

Homemade Lemon Curd

Filled cupcakes

Swiss Meringue topping


This week I have to decide on and prep for the desserts I'm making for Christmas day.  I'm feeling the urge to try a Buche de Noel but am a little intimidated as well.  I've never done a "roll-up" and if it falls apart I won't have a back-up.  I have now watched a few online demos and read a large number of recipes...anyone have any advice?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lawn Ornaments

So, I understand that these giant blow up lawn ornaments are the "Thing To Have" but I am not really a fan.  In my complex they don't even make sense which I find more annoying.  When it's Santa, a snowman, some reindeer I think they're silly but I get it.  Kids love them, etc. 

Now, in my condo complex we have Santa in a helicopter and a Noah's Ark.  Seriously?  Why is Santa in a helicopter?  He has a sleigh and flying reindeer!!!  As for Noah's Ark it just doesn't seem "Christmas" to me, even though there do appear to be wreaths around the windows on the boat.  And not to be too "PC" but isn't that a little one-sided?  Where's the giant inflatable dreidel??

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I got to attend a concert today, a wonderful change after performing the last 2 nights.  I went to see the Rockland County Choral Society's concert tonight with my sisters, brother-in-law and future brother-in-law.  My parents are members and I was so excited to go and hear them sing.  The entire concert was very well done and Haydn's music is lovely.  I just taught my 7th graders about him so it was fun to hear some of his work live.  I learned some new things about Haydn from the program and about myself.

I enjoyed the chorus and string quartet today and I recognize all the work that goes into putting on a concert like I saw.  The chorus has been working since September, the string quartet and soloists are all pros.  It's a huge organizational and musical undertaking and it was nice to enjoy the results.  But, I really do love to sing and it's more fun for me than listening.  I think that when I start to get rehearsal burn-out just going to hear a concert is enough to bring back that desire to sing again.

So, I'm planning to sing with RCCS this spring and I'm thrilled that they're doing one of my absolute favorites, the Brahms Requiem! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Love Chili's

I had dinner at Chili's last night with my friend Linda.  It was GREAT experience for 2 excellent reasons.  Namely, we sat at the bar while waiting for our table and I got carded!!!  Now, at 32 I do not get carded very often, if ever anymore.  3 weeks before my birthday this was even more special.  As it was Happy Hour, I ordered the 2 for 1 special Mango Margaritas.  DELICIOUS.  And, because the bartender accidentally made a little too much I got a bonus partial glass as well.  It was almost 2 and half for 1....amazing.

Linda and I enjoyed yummy dinners, good girl talk and it was nice to hang out after my first performance of the season.  1 down, 5 or 6 to go before my school concerts on January 10th and 11th.  Yikes!!!  It's going to be a busy month....keep those margaritas coming!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


So, in my quest to re-start my running habit I finally picked up the Nike+ for my iPod.  Now, only I could manage to screw it up more than once on the first run.  Now, because of this I think I walked and extra mile and a quarter which is all good, but added an extra 20 minutes onto the 5K I was originally planning to do.  Oh, and the workout only ended up being 3.5K....according to the iPod.  So, that will NOT be uploaded anywhere, we'll consider it a test run and hopefully I'll get my act together for the next run.  Today's Run:  4.3ish miles

Anyone want to join me on Tuesday?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Need a Little Christmas

I was feeling the characters in Mame today, totally bummy and trying to pull myself out of it with Christmas.  I lugged the Christmas Tub out of the basement this afternoon and made it my goal to start decorating tonight. 

As I began taking out the Christmas stuff and I realized that I don't have nearly as much as I used to.  I think over the years I culled out the decorations I didn't really like and never replaced them.  I do have more ornaments, cookie tins and coffee mugs so I need to start being selective with those now.  I do think I'll be picking up a few new things for this year to brighten up the condo.

I don't know if it's just my state of mind these days but I really need a little Christmas!  I'll settle for decorating, a glass of red wine and Harry Potter movies on TV.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Follow me!

So, I know that more than 6 people are reading I'd love to have you follow me.  You won't get weird e-mail or anything like that but if you use Google Reader (like I do) you'll get the blog updates sent to your phone or on your homepage when you log on to iGoogle.  It's how I read most of the blogs I follow and love how easy it is!  So....take the chance and follow me!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My favorite month

December is my favorite month.  I love the holidays, the music, the performances, all the's just the best.  It is also the craziest month for me because I have trouble saying "no" to things.  I'm doing the fewest number of performances this year as I ever have with only 1 each weekend between now and Jan 7th.  (There was a year I did 5 in one weekend, that was NOT fun)

I've started my holiday shopping and have a couple of gifts but am starting to get into the swing.  I think my favorite gifts are the family stocking gifts and trying to find that one novelty gift for Anthony that will make him smile.  His real gift is usually black and tactical...not particularly exciting for me but they make him happy. 

Our family stockings are my favorite because they require a little creativity.  We have a $25 limit and it's Secret Santa style since we're all a little old for stockings but still love doing them Christmas Eve.  I'm also looking forward to shopping for my nephew this year....I love buying toys!!!  The challenge now is to stay within a reasonable budget, I have a *small* tendency to go overboard...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday weekend

This was a fantastically busy weekend and though I know I should be rested and refreshed today I don't really feel that way.  I do feel somewhat refreshed.

Friday I went to see my girlfriends from HS.  It's always great to catch up with them.  It's amazing how even though we don't see each other often it's as though no time has passed when we get together.  Now there are kids and husbands, too so it's just a good time.  The little ones are too cute and there's another on the way.  So excited!!

Saturday I went to a baby shower in the afternoon for the wife of one of the soldiers in Anthony's unit.  I drove down with my friend Michelle (her husband is deployed also) so it was an Army wife event.  We had a good time, got a chance to catch up on life and families.

Yesterday  morning I went for a walk with two of our favorite people, Jon and Lee Evan.  Jon performed our wedding ceremony and they're just great.  Yesterday was made even better because they are finally closing on a house they've been trying to buy for months!!!  So, in two weeks I'm going to head over and join the painting crew in the new house.  The new place seems great, just decorated in 1982 with NO change since then.  Picture lots of mirrors, pink and mint green paint....lovely!  I'm so excited for them and can't wait to see how cute it will be when they're all done.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I had a good day, starting with a run and ending with me on the couch with my kitty and full belly.  I'm going to spare you the details and just leave you some pictures.  Hope you all had a great turkey day!
Apple pie before baking
Baked and ready to go

Mom, Katie and me at the Turkey Trot...5 miles of fun!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Longest 3 Day week...

I have been working my tush off on a school project this week...and I'm exhausted.  I spent a few hours last night on it and more time tonight during and after school.  I'm starting to see excel spreadsheets everywhere!  I can honestly say that I do not know how people sit at desks and do this stuff all day.  Just 3-4 hours of it is enough to make my head hurt, I can't imagine 8.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Run in 4 Months

And it felt pretty good!  I'll admit that I walked portions, I want to be smart and not injure something else in pushing myself too hard.  I'm going to follow (mostly) the Couch to 5K program though I started at week 4.  I figure I've been doing cardio regularly for the past month so this is really about getting my "running legs" back.  So, 3 miles in about 36 minutes today.  Slow, but I did it!

I realized, as often happens, that I am bored with music.  Tonight's project is going to be washing the curtains here in the house and looking up some new tunes for my little red ipod.

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Peep Toes are Back!!

A successful trip to the podiatrist today, I get to wear my heels again!  And yes,  he actually referred to them as "hooker heels" which makes me laugh.  I guess from his point of view they are bad for feet and great for business.  Now I just have to choose a pair to wear tomorrow and maybe a new one to celebrate (and have for the holidays?)

When I get home from wearing my heels tomorrow I will also be able to go running!  Well, jogging slowly at the very least.  Tomorrow will be a run/walk combo until I can get a handle on where I am and what the tootsies can handle.  I have some of the Couch to 5K workouts from when I started running 7 years ago it may be time to revisit some of the later weeks to get back into the running from the walking and elliptical I've been doing the past 5 weeks.

So excited about tomorrow!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day!

Thanks to all who have served, those who are currently serving and those who will serve.  Thank you for doing what so many of us could never do to preserve what we all value. 

A special thanks to my husband, this deployment isn't easy on either of us.  I know we are making sacrifices now for a multitude of reasons and that every one is worthwhile.  I love you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Military Spouse Tag

I have never tried one of these before but figured it might be fun.  It's a good prep for Veteran's Day this Friday.  So, I answer the questions I found on another Army wife's blog and if you're a Military Spouse you answer them on yours.  Enjoy!!

1) How did you and your spouse meet?
Sarge and I met in high school through mutual friends, though we were definitely NOT friends at the time.  We ran into each other more than 10 years later as I walking home from a blind date and he was on patrol in the town.  We stood and talked in the street, started texting and talking more often and the rest was history.

2) How old were you when you two met?
I think I was about 14 at the time he would have been around 16.

3) How long have you been together?
We've been together now just over 2 years.

4) Where are you and your spouse originally from?
We are originally (and still in) Rockland County, NY.  We were actually born in the same hospital and went to the same schools growing up.

5) How did you feel about him joining the military?

Sarge was in the military when we started dating so I don't really know what our lives would be like without it.  I'm proud of what he does though I miss him every day he's gone.

6) Where did your spouse go to Basic Training?
Fort Leonard Wood, MO

7) Has your spouse ever been deployed?

Yes, 3 times.  Iraq and Afghanistan

8) Ever been to his promotion ceremony?

9) How long have you been a military wife?
Since April 2011.  7 months!

10) Did you marry him before or after he joined?
Long after, almost 8 years.

11) How did your husband propose?
Sitting on the couch in our living room.

12) Where did you get married?
Nyack, NY

13) How old were you two when you got married?
32 and 33

14) Did he wear his uniform on his wedding day?
Yes....and he looked so great!

15) Where are you and your spouse currently stationed?
Sarge is in Afghanistan, I'm home in NY.

16) Do you live on base?

17) How long were you married when you had to go through your first separation?
3 months

18) What is your favorite base so far?

19) Do you think your spouse looks good in his uniform?
Hells yeah!

20) Do you think military life is more advanced than civilian life?
I don't think I understand this question...

21) Do you like the benefits you receive as a military dependent?
Yes, I broke my foot shortly after Anthony left for training and it was nice to have a secondary insurance.

22) Do you have a lot of military wife friends?
Just a couple, wives of other soldiers in Sarge's unit

23) What is the hardest part of the military life?

Right now I think it's the separation.

24) Do you own military wife stuff?
A t-shirt and lanyard for my keys.  They were laid out for me when I was packing up to leave for my parents the night before our wedding.

25) Do you support your spouse as a member of the military?
I do my best to do this, I'm sure some days I'm better than others.  Right now it's sending packages and being home for Skype calls which is good for both of us.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Election Day


 I voted today!

And no joke, we have paper ballots.  I honestly filled out a scan-tron type piece of paper standing in a cardboard carrell then walked it over and put it through a scanner to vote.  I am not sure if this is extremely outdated or really updated to be honest.  I was just surprised.  The last time I voted (in a different town) they still had the old machines with the flippers and big handle behind the curtain. 

So, did you vote today??


Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Re-Cap

I had a really good weekend this past weekend, with friend time and some much-needed "me time."

Pulled pork and corn souffle
Friday night I went out with some school people for a happy hour that last until almost 11.  Talk about Happy!!  We started out at our "usual" and then two of the girls and myself moved to Pearl River to have dinner at Johnny's smokehouse.  It was a delicious dinner and we had a great time.

Saturday was a stay at home day.  I got laundry done, a package put together for Sarge, cleaned the bathroom, went to the gym and even made dinner.  It was exactly what I needed...and I caught up on some DVRs as well, something I always enjoy.  I have been having a tough time lately and I think I needed the day to just do stuff here, mope around a bit and just be by myself.  I would have to admit that I've been avoiding some of the harder parts of deployment by losing myself in social and work events. 

Sunday I went to a wine tasting with my sister-in-law upstate.  We got started late and got home a bit later than planned (sorry SWE!!) but had a good time.  I found the wine that I will be serving at my holiday party, it was a yummy spiced (mulled?) wine and was a nice kick-off to the upcoming season.  Though, I saw the Hershey's Kisses handbells commercial this morning and my only though was "Already?!?!"

3 days with kids this week, a conference day and a blood drive at school on Wednesday afternoon.  Anyone in the area who can donate, we'll be open from 4-8!  Drop me a line and I can get you the details.  It's a great thing to do if you can.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Not too much to offer this morning...just happy it's Friday!  It was a short week at school but I'm tired just the same.  Lots of meetings, intern work and some school drama's gets to you.

Have a good weekend, I know I will.  I should have some good pictures from my Sunday outing with the sister-in-law and a couple of friends...we're going for tour and wine tasting!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another Day Off...

Home from school again.  Now, as much as I enjoy a day off and can say that catching up on sleep was awesome I'm worried.  I don't want to have to to give back days in the spring if we have more snow during the winter.  I don't want to go to school when the roads are crappy either.  That being said, I'm going to make today a fun day.  Gym this morning, some girl time this afternoon, maybe a mani-pedi and probably sushi for dinner. 

I would like to go through my closet and start creating new outfits from what I already have.  My friend Karin did this before the school year started and took pics of everything she assembled.  It was a really cute idea and since I am currently looking at a full closet and feeling like I have nothing to wear, I know I need to do the same!
I just read (from my sister's twitter) that today is SELF day.  Is going to the gym and then getting together with my friends Selfy?  I know they are both good for me in different ways.  So, time to get off the couch and get moving!

Monday, October 31, 2011

October Snow

Trees and wires down on my street
Not since January of '98 when I was driving back to Potsdam after the ice storm have I seen so many trees down.  It is really sad and I feel so glad that no one I know was hurt.  We have lost decks, gutters, yards, fences and a few hours of heat and power and I got the first "snow day" of the year out of it. 

My sister was kind enough yesterday to take my parents and myself in for the afternoon.  We didn't have heat or power so it was great to have someplace to go.  Mom and Dad made a delicious black bean soup  for dinner and made a party of it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Am I in Potsdam?

So, we are supposed to get 5-8 inches of snow today and tonight.  I feel like I'm back in Potsdam where we expected this before Halloween.  Here in the Hudson Valley this is the morning news keeps telling me.  However, there are benefits.

I have been running around like a maniac the past few weeks and this is now enforced couch/relax time.  I cleaned the condo on Wednesday so I don't have to do it today and I have a full weeks worth of DVRs to catch up on and a Mag-Let to do it in.  There is a forecast for power outages as well due to downed trees, etc so I have the Kindle charging up so I can read to my heart's content if that happens.  So, I guess it's a little different than college where I just would have been searching for my gloves and hat so I could trudge across campus in the snow!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ladies Night

Last night was ladies night with Heather and Linda.  Wine, treats...the perfect Thursday night relief.  I know it seems so simple, but a glass of red with my girls and some snacks is enough to make the stress of the week melt away.  We usually start out talking about school and by the end of the night have talked about just about everything else under the sun.

So, I did buy a RIDICULOUSLY expensive cheese for our evening.  One was called Prima Donna which I tried a few years ago and loved.  I don't even know the one I bought last night but it was crusted with espresso and lavender.  I am in love.  It was so delicious and different.  Now, I wish it was slightly more affordable, at $26 a pound it will be a special treat, for sure.  Anyone know what this could be?  The cheese shop didn't put a lable on the wrapper!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Treats

On Sunday morning I woke up to make desserts for a shindig at Heather's house.  We got to see her beautiful new apartment, hang out and relax on a Sunday afternoon.  There was a football game on, but I won't say that we paid too much attention.  Side-note:  I have a fantasy football team that is a disaster.  No matter what I do, I lose.  I actually had a "projected point total" for last week of 145 at one point.  The end result....52!!  What's a girl to do???

But, back to desserts.  I was feeling creative so I made a candy corn cheesecake and homemade peanut butter cups.  Both came out pretty yummy and the peanut butter cups will be repeated.  They're easy and yummy.  I adjusted a recipe I found on another blog but won't post that until I have it the way I want it.  If you'd like the the originial.  Here it is.  The cheesecake wasn't difficult (it's a Wilton recipe) but getting it out of the pan nicely was a problem.  Next time I'll make sure to have a pie server with me!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tip It!

I spent Friday night with my sisters at Kathy Griffin.  She is so freakin' funny!  I've gotten away from watching the show but her stand up is so great.  We had a ball as you can see from the photos below.  Between being the only people tailgating (boxed sangria and deli sandwiches!), buying snuggies after the show and our exhausted tearful conversations in the car on the way sisters rock!

This is how WE tailgate!

Now, the traffic on the way home I could have done without.  Katie and I sat on the TZ bridge for over an hour waiting.  Just waiting.  And watching the crazy people in the cars around us, drunk boys in one car, an angry lady in the car in front of us and very tired people everywhere.  The guys rocking their car back and forth because they were bored were hysterical.

My awesome sisters in the tailgate love seat

Friday, October 21, 2011


TGIF!!  This has been a long week here...mostly because I haven't been feeling well...sorry for not posting!  It's amazing how much gets left out when you don't feel well.  I did what I had to this week and not much more than that.

The internship at school is picking up in earnest.  This week I had 2 committee meetings in the mornings and took on assignments for each of them.  I also got "drafted" to help with a field trip and attend a health and wellness training next month.  Some things are exciting, some not so much.  I just know that right now it's a lot of work.  I have some hours set aside this weekend to do some of the data entry I need to do as well.  The excitement never ends.

I am looking forward to an all-girls football party on Sunday.  I'm bringing a dessert so I'm trying to find a fun recipe.  I'd like something a little halloween-y but not gross.  I did see some cute pumpkin shaped cupcakes that may win out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Volunteer Sunday

Sunday was about doing things for others, a perfect tribute to our annivesary.  And, it kept me from having too much time on my hands to get bummed out.

I woke up at 5:30am to go volunteer at the American Cancer Society's Making Strides for Breast Cancer walk.  I was working at the registration along with my parents and my aunt Eileen.  It was more fun than I had anticipated and I told Katie (the sister helping run the event) that I'd definitely do it next year.  The walkers were so positive and there was pink everywhere!  It was such an amazingly positive morning.

I sang at a local nursing home Sunday afternoon with the Hudson Voices.  We sang 4 songs on each of 5 floors of the facility for a wide variety of patients.  It can be hard to sing to people who are completely unresponsive, as they were on a couple of floors but I hope that something made through.  The nurses and caretakers did seem to enjoy the performances, too. 

The afternoon made me think of both of my grandmothers and different times.  They both spent time in nursing care for different reasons and I tried to imagine how much they would have enjoyed a performance.  We did have one woman on the last floor we visited who was dancing in her wheelchair along with us....that would have been my Grandma absolutely!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

6 months

Happy 6 month anniversary to my wonderful husband.  I love you!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Baby Animals Cake

This morning was spent covered in Wilton buttercream.  I made a few different colors, including chocolate to make the shower cake for my friend Michelle's daughter Tishauna.  Michelle's husband is deployed as well and since she's been doing this for the last 14 years I often call her my Army Wife-Coach.

  I'm pretty happy with the way it came it, I do need some work on the side stripes.   When we cut it open later I'll try to catch a pic of that too, I made a chocolate and vanilla checkerboard with chocolate mousse filling for the inside.  Hopefully it will be as pretty inside as out.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Perfect Friday Morning

Sarge called me as I was getting ready to go to school this morning!  Considering that I had just made myself get out of bed it was motivation for me.  I just hope that I can sleep in a little tomorrow morning when I have the chance.  So, I didn't really have time to write what I had planned for here...but that's ok.  The hubby was having a tough day at work so it was good to be able to tell him I love him.

I know it was only a 4 day week but it felt REALLY long.  The rain every day, the full moon, I don't know exactly what it was but I am ready for the weekend.  I have the baby shower tomorrow and I'm volunteering at an American Cancer Society event Sunday morning and then singing with Hudson Voices that afternoon at a local nursing home.  Now, if I could just find a few minutes to fix (learn something about) my fantasy football team so that they don't lose again (I think I'm 1-4) it could be a perfect weekend. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sleepytime new best friend.

I may have conquered the sleep!  The last 2 nights I have made sure that everything is done before I sit down to talk to Sarge.  While we're chatting I have a cup of Sleepytime tea.  It's a chamomile tea with valerian in it to help with sleep.  It's awesome.  I have slept the last 2 nights in a row and though I know that's only a start, I'll take it!

Tonight's plan is to begin making the cake for a baby shower I'm going to on Saturday.  I'm doing a chocolate and vanilla checkerboard cake with chocolate mousse filling.  The frosting on the outside will be the Wilton buttercream which isn't my favorite but looks best.  Should be pretty yummy and fun, too.  Tonight is cake baking.  Tomorrow is filling and frosting.  Saturday am is decorating.  It's a lot of work but I do love the's almost peaceful.  The mommy-to-be has asked for jungle animals, I'll post photos when it's finished!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's The Little Things...

We have wheels again!  Ok, this isn't our piano but it's VERY similar
 Today I came in to school and found that an annoying problem with one of our pianos had been fixed overnight.  I know it's a little thing in a big picture but it was so great.  I love it when I can start out my morning with something positive, no matter how small. 

Now, what I need are good breakfasts that are quick, healthy and portable.  I manage to do well with meal planning these days for lunch and dinner but breakfast kills me.  I am USELESS in the morning so this is a challenge for me.  I also don't wake up hungry (just craving coffee!) but I know I need to eat so I do.  Today it's a FiberOne bar.  Not the greatest choice, but not the worst. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No sleep 'til?

I haven't slept through the night in about a week right now.  I am really frustrated and have no idea what to do from here.  I understood the nights away, new place, new sounds, etc.  But the last 2 nights?  Just annoying.  The two nights before the trip, I couldn't tell ya.  So, I'm annoyed, cranky and tired...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Leaf Peeping on The Northway

The trip up to Plattsburgh on Friday was dark and I was exhausted.  On the way back it was GORGEOUS!  The Northway was brightly colored and festive.  It was a beautiful drive home after a great weekend.  I have never really been a "leaf peeper" but today it made the first 2 hours fly by.  So, so pretty!

Karin and I met in college in our voice studio.  She's funny, silly and I love hanging out with her.  We had the perfect combination of "things" to do and nothing.  We shopped, went to see a friend of hers perform Saturday night and hung out at her place.  I missed that girl!

Tomorrow is catching up around the house day and wedding dress shopping with Michelle.  Let the maid-of-honor duties begin!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

K-Lo 2011

So, it's been 2 years but I finally made it back to Plattsburgh.  Good times!!

I will post a weekend re-cap Sunday night or Monday but for now, it's time to go shopping, out to lunch and out to see a friend of Karin's play tonight.  I'm kind of excited.  This is a super long drive but I'm glad to be here. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Indoors or Outdoors?

I'm finally cleared for activity!!  This came just in time for our trip to Canyon Ranch.  I can do anything no-impact.  So, walking, elliptical, etc.  I stretched those rules a little bit on the trip but I felt great and it was totally worth it.

The first day workouts we chose were mostly outside.  Friday morning we went for a walk around the grounds of the ranch and went for a guided hike in the afternoon.  My 1st pair of sneakers were SOAKED by that afternoon.  It was muddy, wet and so pretty.

We had a pair of interesting guides for the hike, who lamented the recent losses of their baseball teams and were none too happy to find out that Erin and I are from NY and also Yankee fans.  We've been fans (I'll admit to my own varying degrees) since we were little.  They were both older guys who'd retired to the area and this is their second cool is that?  The lead hikes, canoe trips, snowshoeing in the winter, sounds like fun!

Saturday it was pouring.  We had mostly indoor activity planned though I had scheduled a bike ride that was cancelled.  I'm sure that bikes and slippery mud aren't a great combination.  But, in a funny twist, Strip Fit was offered at the same time and we took that instead.  Anyone who knows me can only imagine how funny that was.  We had a ball, but it was tough!  The teacher had a great sense of humor and in teaching us a routine made it fun and a good workout.  Now, my inner competitive self came out at one point and I started to feel like I was back in HS.  I am NOT a good dancer.  I am a klutz (see all those posts about my broken foot!) and this was no exception.  Watching myself in a billion mirrors, trying to be cute and sexy just adds to my distraction and...let's just say I'll be keeping my day job!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where is the rest of my appetizer?

The food at Canyon Ranch is delicious.  And I mean it.  I didn't have a single bad thing to eat the entire trip, and I tried quite a few things.  Our only complaint was that the appetizers were TINY!  There were baked jalapeno poppers on the menu one night...sounds awesome!  And IT was.  Yes, a single jalapeno stuffed with a little bit of cheese and baked.  I know, it's to help teach about portions and all that, but really?  ONE?  We had a similar experience with the Fig salad.  Lovely figs, almost no salad.  The tomato soup I order one lunch though was amazing.  I don't know what they do to tomatoes in their kitchen but everything with tomatoes was top notch this past weekend.

 So the menu highlights for me were the morning egg white omelettes and yogurt parfait at breakfast.  For lunch, I had a sundried tomato and farmers cheese flatbread that was great and Erin had Mac & Cheese one day that was really yummy and a good sized portion.  Dinner was great each night.  I had a lobster tail the first night, Zahtar crusted lamb chops with pomegranate couscous on Friday and Saturday night was fish (the type escapes me right now) over a yummy chickpea and celery salad.  All 3 were under 350 calories and wonderful.  The fish was an expecially filling dinner which I love.

We received copies of the Canyon Ranch cookbook, Nourish while we were there.  I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes and reporting out.  I bought parsnips on a whim yesterday so those will be on the menu soon.  Could be interesting...and very possibly disastrous.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bathrobes are the best

Seriously, this was an amazing weekend away and the bathrobes were only a part of it.  So you don't get entire bored (because it would be REALLY long) I am doing the weekend recap in 2 or 3 parts, not entirely sure yet. treatments!

I had 2 treatments this weekend, a hot stone massage on Friday and a Lavender Relax wrap on Saturday.  They were both so, so, wonderful.  I was super excited about the hot stones and it was just what I wanted.  I was warm, relaxed and the stones really do help with getting out knots.  My shoulders and upper back are a challenge to any masseuse...for reasons I'm sure you can figure out.  I went in after a good hike (more on that tomorrow) and spent time in my robe in the relaxation room, reading, beforehand.  It was just a great first full day.

The body treatment was something I was nervous about.  I spent a long time in the relaxtion room before trying to just enjoy the whole experience.  It seems much more vulnerable than the massage for some reason but after about 2 minutes I totally didn't care.  The woman giving the treatment also stayed away from "sensitive" areas which made it easier.  I'm not sure if that was because I told her I was a little apprehensive but I will say that after the exfoliation, the shea butter and being wrapped up like a burrito I am hooked.  It's totally cozy and luxurious.

So...Canyon Ranch was indulgent and their bathrobes are amazing.  As are the towels in the rooms, which I would like the next time someone wants to get me an gift.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hot Stones Here I Come!

It is time for my spa weekend with Erin!!  I am so excited and a little nervous, too.  We are heading to Canyon Ranch tomorrow for 3 days of health, fitness and luxury.  I am so excited about the hot stone massage, the spa treatments, the hikes and the fitness classes, not to mention some quality sister time.  The grounds and surrounding area look amazing from the website and this should be a gorgeous weekend.  I'm looking forward to getting back on the exercise wagon and kicking off the next phase of my life.  I am so glad that my sister chose to share this weekend with me!

I am nervous (and a little excited) about the meeting I chose to set up with a nutritionist.  I want to lose some weight.  This has been an ongoing struggle for a few years now and I am ready to make some lifestyle changes to help with that.  I enjoy the working out and it's time to keep my eating habits from sabotaging that. 

So, I joke about how I want to drop 4 dress sizes this weekend...I really want to lose about 20 lbs by the time R&R comes around this February.  Today is DAY 1 of that journey.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Much Better Day!

Tuesday was definitely an improvement over Monday even though it was long.  I had a good day teaching (though that seems to be a given this year, my kids have been great!) and then got my after stuff done.  I got to the DMV to turn in my plates, got to the podiatrist and to back to school night. 

The podiatrist says I'm healing, but because of the location of the fracture, it's slowly.  I am cleared for shoes, but only as long as I'm pain free.  No heels, nothing crazy, but I planned for that.  I picked up a pair of black riding boots and a pair of Frye motorcycle boots that are fairly flat.  With good insoles I should be comfy and slightly more stylish.  The skirts and sneakers look just isn't for me!

Today was topped off with an email from my sister for this upcoming weekend.  We're going to Canyon Ranch for a few days and the plan looks AMAZING.  Spa treatments, nutrition and diet consults, lots of activity, I'm excited!

Tomorrow...dress down Wednesday.  I love a short week at school!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I miss shoes!

Sneakers are definitely comfortable but I am tired of them!!  I miss my heels and that good stuff.  So, because I am in need of some inspiration I started looking at shoes online.  They led me to a blog that I now follow.  Check out the shoes by Kobi Levi when you get a chance.  They are so interesting and really clever.

I would LOVE to have something like these but with them only being custom ordered, I think if I actually had them I'd be afraid to wear them.  They're called Coffee....of course!
So, I have a doctors appointment this's hoping I get good news and the clearance to wear something other than sneakers!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

One of those days

That I just couldn't get anywhere I needed to be in time!

1.  I was 10 minutes later to work than I wanted to be this morning.
2.  I missed getting into DMV by minutes this afternoon.
3. I called the insurance company to cancel the car insurance...and it can't be cancelled until the plates are turned in.  (See above)
4.  I called to make an eye doctor appointment...the first available one is NOVEMBER 29th.  Yup.  2 months from now.  Insanity.

However, my sister is taking me away for a very fancy trip this weekend so I'm looking forward to that.  Tonight I've been doing my homework and planning out some of the activities I want to try while we're away.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Aunt Eileen's Birthday

Last night was my Aunt Eileen's birthday celebration.  She threw herself a party which is just great!  The extended family (16 of us) met up for dinner in Harrison and had a great time.  The food was amazing and we all had a fantastic time.  Eileen looked absolutely amazing and was a great hostess.

One highlight of the party was the unexpected photos.  When we arrived at the dinner table Eileen had place cards out with photos of each of us from earlier and in my case, less attractive time.  They were surprising, cute and great conversation starters.

My mom, Aunt Kathy, sisters and I collaborated on a photo collage frame for Eileen featuring her over the years.  There were photos from before there were any kids to some just a few years ago.  We collected so many pics that we included a small album of all the extras that Erin put together.  Watching everyone go through the photos and reminiscing was a lot of fun.  The hairstyles, the "trendy" clothes and the very large glasses were especially funny!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Overseas Update

It's time for the latest from the big sandbox!

Anthony and I have been lucky enough to communicate fairly often.  Email. G-chat and Skype are all wonderful inventions and have made this deployment slightly easier.  I love seeing his face and knowing that things are going as well as we can hope for.

For the most part, he's doing well.  There are moments of "excitement" where he is but nothing serious.  They are pretty well fortified thank goodness!  The days are becoming very monotonous which is difficult.  He's compared it (many times) to the movie Groundhog Day.  Wake up, go to work, back to barracks, read/watch a movie, good to sleep.  Repeat a few hundred times.  The best break-up for this monotony is the daily mail.  He and the guys love their packages, cards and letters!

I'm trying to send stuff at least once a week and I make sure to email once a day.  It doesn't feel like enough but it seems to be working.  He got an email last night while we were chatting from someone he works with and it totally changed his tone of voice.  It was great to hear the different just a few sentences was able to make for him.  He doesn't get the chance to email often but the last one was focused on all the trips he wants to take when he's home.  Far away and still thinking about going away, gotta love it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Miss Independent

I think I am too independent sometimes.  I have a really hard time admitting that I need help, especially when it comes to being emotional about things.  I had a crying jag just recently and it was all I could do to make myself call my friend Heather.  I was so glad that I did but it also made me realize that most times I don't call anyone.  It's hard for me.

I don't know how to get better about it but maybe that's something I need to learn this year.  I'm good at asking for help DOING things, like moving boxes or fixing house stuff I can't do.  I just feel like I never know what to say, or that whoever I call will be appalled by whatever stupid little thing it is that's set me off.  I also feel like I knew what I was getting into with this and I shouldn't complain.  And yes, I know anyone who knows me would tell me that I'm being ridiculous and to just maybe the next time you hear a sniffle on the end of a phone call, it'll be me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Not enough coffee

Note:  I found this post tonight that I apparantly forgot to post Friday.  Oops!!  I guess I really hadn't had enough coffee!

Today there was just not enough coffee!!  I got in from Randall and Claire's wedding late last night and have to be up and at school at the "regular" time...not such a great combination.  However, it was a great night and totally worth being tired.

Care packages

My husband is almost more spoiled now that he's overseas that he was here.  His laundry is done for him, his food is prepared for him and he never has to do the dishes...maybe there is something to this Army thing! 

Now, I know he's making plenty of sacrifices over there and I'm only kidding about it.  The bags of gifts to be sent out in my living room certainly show how our family over here is supporting him.  My aunt, my parents and I have all picked up things to be sent overseas and the amount is fantastic! I have packed up 2 boxes to go out first thing tomorrow morning and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to send out 2 more at the end of the week.

I'm trying to spread them out; I know life gets monotonous for them and deliveries help break that up. So, I send out about a package a week.  Between those and daily e-mails I'm hoping to keep his spirits up and maybe even those around him.  I certainly hope he isn't eating all the oreo cookies alone!

The current challenge is finding new things to send...any suggestions?  We have sent cookies, beef jerky, sunflower seeds, magazines and a few other specific requests.  I need inspiration!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011



Yes, this is the stupidest post ever, but when I'm running around most days and I finally get to relax and watch some tv, it's so great to have good stuff to watch.  Parenthood starts tonight; Sons of Anarchy started last week; Top Chef Desserts and Project Runway are narrowed down enough that I remember who the contestants are.  Then more and more over the next couple of weeks.  There are some new shows that look pretty good, too.  What stuff do you all like to watch?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Always remember

South Orangetown Ceremony Flag
Yesterday was a long, periodically tough day.  I sang at 2 memorial services for 9-11, attended a third and made an appearance at a local college writing letters to Sarge's unit.  I was continually reminded of how much positive community activity has come from this tragedy.  10 years ago I was living in NC, teaching high school chorus when I found out what was happening in NY.  I think of it as the day I became a true "grown-up."  I was so far away and it really hit home how much of a New Yorker I truly am.

I started my day in Haverstraw and sang first, thank goodness.  That ceremony was pretty much a tear-fest from that moment on.  I recovered myself with a trip to the deli to see some of our friends before heading over to the Orangetown ceremony where I got just be "the wife" and observe and listen.  There were some true and heartfelt words that, again, brought me to tears.

My sister saved the day with a phone call at 1.  We went for a short walk (15 minutes is my limit) and then had lunch at Noonan's.  Yummy burgers and beer make for smiles and a little recovery from all the sadness.  Katie is awesome!

STAC students
My final 2 stops were less emotional, I think I was just wrung out by that time.  The stop at STAC to visit the college students writing to the unit was really positive.  The unit needs those notes and letters to keep them intact emotionally as was pointed out by the friend of ours who helped organize the drive.  (Thanks Jim!)

The Clarkstown ceremony was very formal.  Their Honor Guard is TIGHT.  I was impressed with the drill and ceremony...and I'm getting to be a good observer, though I don't think I could ever successfully do it.   Hudson Voices sang again and I think it went pretty well.  I know I was more together than I was during the morning's ceremony.

For those reading, keep writing.  Our soldiers need to hear from us, even if they don't have the time to write back.  They get our notes and it helps them get through another day.  Sarge recently compared their lives to the movie "Groundhog Day" where each day is exactly like the first.  Write and remind your soldier that there is life outside their base and routines.  They will appreciate it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Another rainy day...

This is one of those mornings where there just isn't enough coffee.  I haven't been sleeping well, though I did get a solid 6 hours last night so I'm better than yesterday, and I'm running myself ragged at school.  I had an 8th period class yesterday...I have new respect for teachers who have that every day.  It wiped me out.  It's all good stuff...but yikes!  I am actually glad that I can come home Friday night, lie on the couch and catch up on DVRs. 

I have been saving the season premier of Sons of Anarchy for a time when I can watch the whole thing snuggled up with Hazel.  So excited!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What wakes you up?

It is COLD this morning!  I woke up all curled into the comforter which I haven't done in months and loved it.  I do wish it was a little sunnier these days, but I am so glad the cooler weather is here at night.  I love sleeping with the windows open and as much as I push that over the summer, it was nice to be comfortable.

I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about all of the things I need to do around this place in the next month or so. (There was a nightmare first but once awake I can't turn off my brain.)  There are all these little projects that need to be completed and I need to find the motivation to do it.  Replacing door knobs, finishing the trim in the bathroom, getting the living room painted and a few other things, all chores that I have been procrastinating on.  (And some that have been needed since before I moved here!)  This week I want to work up a plan to get them done before Halloween....maybe?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

Happy first day of school!  Well, the first day with students.  I can tell you that speaking for many teachers, we get just as nervous and excited as the kids about the first day back.  Last night I packed up my lunch, set the coffee so it was brewing when the alarm went off this morning and re-planned my outfit.  It is much cooler than I had expected so the sundress is on reserve for Friday when it's supposed be 80 again.  Outfits are harder these days because of my limited choice in shoes.  I actually have no long pants that are short enough to wear with flats so my choices are capris and skirts until the boot leaves.  (Thursday, maybe?  Hopefully?)  I miss my heels!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Baking Bonanza

Banana Pumpkin Bread
Vanilla cake, Guiness caramel filling, Bailey's buttercream frosting

Homemade scones

The fruits of my Sunday morning....I only burned the caramel once, the 2nd time it came out pretty well.  I think I could have made it a little more solid but I was so afraid of burning it again!  Everything else was pretty basic, next time I try caramel I think a candy thermometer may be necessary. 

The cake and scones were for a family Irish BBQ.  My parents visted Ireland this past summer and we got to see their photos, drink Guinness, Jameson and Bailey's, and eat a variety of yummy food.  My kind of party!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I remember what I hated about performance

So I mentioned that I had an audition on Saturday morning.  What I did NOT mention was that I was nervous.  I didn't quite realize I was nervous until leaving the house.  I was right on time, dressed, made up and ready to go.  I get out to the car and discover that I've left the directions and my music on the couch.  So I run back to the condo to grab them and stand at the door trying to unlock it with the remote car key!  Yup, that's me, standing on the porch, beeping the front door.