Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ahh. Good to be Home

I have been away in the Florida Keys the last few days...specifically in Islamorada. Matt had to be there for a photo shoot and so I joined him from Thursday evening to Tuesday. Scratch that. Friday morning to Tuesday.

You see, the trip started off pretty rough! I flew Allegiance Air, Knoxville's discount airline company. When I arrived for my 7:55 pm flight Thursday night the ticket counter reported a 4.5 hour delay. Yes, four and a half hours! Not to worry, though. They gave us $8 vouchers to eat at Ruby Tuesdays until it closed at 10 pm. Oh, but wait. The flight did not leave until 2:30 am. Arriving to Fort Lauderdale at 4:30 am. On Friday.

Matt was a trooper and picked me up and drove me approximately 2 hours back to The Keys. :)

When we arrived I was able to jump right in and assist with the photo shoot. I may have some pictures to share later! I appeared with my own husband and everything (not Matt, a Hispanic husband). All after being up all night.

So I just hung around while the rest of the photo shoot took place. Not as glamorous as it sounds, I promise! That crew was sweating all day long. It is so much work!

We did enjoy a day off and it was so awesome! Matt and I took one of the cruisers out to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park - America's first underwater park. I had never snorkeled before and we anchored and snorkeled the Coral Reef and were even able to find the Christ of the Deep statue! We took turns diving down to touch the statue. Did I say it was awesome? Yes, it was.

After swimming for a bit, we stopped and had lunch before heading back to the marina and back to work for Matt. :) It was a great day! Check out this link for a picture review of the day and a peek at the starfish we found when we anchored to take pictures with the boat.

We are back in Knoxville and so glad to be home. There is no place like it. Plus, there's a little guy here that we are quite fond of...

Happy Day to you! XOXO,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Staying connected

So I am getting ready to be away from home for a bit. As I finish packing, I realize something. I am quite the connected girl!

I think I will continue the My Favorite Things whenever the mood strikes...and here is the Travel Installment!

My Favorite Things - Travel Style, OR What Ariana owns that has to be plugged in (or recharged)!

  1. Hair Dryer
  2. Straightening Iron
  3. Laptop
  4. Flip Camera
  5. Canon Camera
  6. iPod Shuffle for running
  7. Navman GPS for running
  8. Cell Phone
  9. Blue Tooth Headset
  10. Medela Pump in Style
Well, I guess I never claimed to be a simple girl, right? I definitely enjoy modern amenities!

Friday, February 15, 2008

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

Many of you know that I was born and raised in Chicago, IL. Not suburban Chicago. CHICAGO city. Other than spending 4 years in the corn fields of Upland, Indiana at Taylor University I lived there all my life. That is, until I got married.

When I moved to Knoxville I experienced major shock: Getting married, culture, lifestyle, etc. Matt and I were blessed to be able to rent a house right away. So I moved in and started to learn about this new place.

A day that will go down in history was the day that I opened the front door, turned to look at the house and asked Matt, "Where's our mailbox?" He kindly pointed out that the mailbox was several feet in front of my house near the road. "You have to walk out to the road to get your mail." Ohhh...OK.

You see, where I come from, mailboxes are attached to your house. The mailman walks down the street with a wheeled bag and walks up your stairs and puts the mail in a box that is attached to your home. These are the little things about Knoxville that I was trying to figure out.
So yesterday was a busy day for me, but I was so excited for the mail to come and because I was expecting some items I purchased online and I wanted my Netflix to go out. While Sam and I were hosting a Valentine's lunch and I saw the mail truck go through the neighborhood, but didn't get the mail right away because people were over (running out to the mailbox while people are over might seem rude...).

After everyone was gone I went out to the mailbox. But wait. They didn't pick up my Netflix, nor did they drop off my mail. What the heck?! I saw the mail truck!

OK, so maybe somewhere in the USPS policies and procedures manual it reads that if someone is parked or blocking your mailbox the postman does not have to deliver. But really. Are you serious? No mail? So frustrating. You can only imagine (or already know) what the mailmen in Chicago endure every day. They walk down the street in heat! Snow! Rain! No truck cover!!!

I digress...


So later on in the day I check my voice mail messages. My buddy Jen calls and leave me an excited message: "Ariana, I just got my mail and got the most exciting surprise in the mail! Check your mail and call me!"

Are you serious? The ONE DAY that my mail doesn't get delivered? Whatever. I will call Jen to find out what it is...I don't want to wait until tomorrow.

Guess what?!?! I GOT PUBLISHED! I am SOOO excited. I can't even tell you how happy that makes me feel! This was a goal from last year! Someone who doesn't have to appreciates my creativity!

TWO cards were published - a maternity thank you and Sam's birth announcement. This just is affirmation that Samuel is a blessing all around. :)

So I finally got my mail today and I can't tell you how excited I am to share this with the blog world! Thank you so much for reading this long post and sharing the moment with me.

Now I definitely need to stamp this weekend...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Enough about me...

Sam's not been around for a while...Here's a hit of Sam for you.

I found him sleeping with his dog in the crib the other day and had to catch that moment. Sam bites and buries his face in that thing all the time. It has to be washed often...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What you know 'bout me? -Lil'Mama, Lip Gloss song


My SIL Joy has tagged me to share seven random things that you might not know about me…By the way, Joy, Gina's has that fabulous birthday fabric. It's adorable!

Here we go:

  1. I eat the cheese and toppings off of the top of my pizza separately and first. Then the crust with sauce.
  2. I played basketball from 5th grade to 12th grade. Played volleyball all four years of high school. I don't claim to be an athlete by any stretch. But, I love to play.
  3. Associated with #2: I HATED running in high school and college. I thought it was torture. Go figure...
  4. I have a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Mass Communication. I was Mass Communication major with a minor in Political Science for the first 3 years of college and I wanted to be a news anchor. During the end of my Junior year I decided to switch them around because I liked my Political Science classes a lot. Didn't think about employability there. Good thing I graduated during an economic upswing where jobs were in abundance!
  5. I am Puerto Rican - both of my parents are Puerto Rican and my Grandparents were born there and still reside there (Please note that Puerto Rican is not Mexican or any other familiar Hispanic people or country you might know the name of off hand. Puerto Rican food is not spicy nor does it include tacos or burritos).
  6. I love learning and creating new things. It keeps me challenged and going. I think there are constantly going to be new and exciting things to learn. Matt is probably cringing right now thinking I am going to propose that I go do my PhD. I will try to stick to crafting for now...
  7. Ketchup kind of grosses me out. I eat it on onion rings and burgers. No more. The smell and the sight of dried up ketchup does not appeal to me and it's difficult for me to watch people drench their food (chips, fries, eggs, etc) in it. Eww. Don't understand why people do that to good food. Brings me back to the days of watching my brother Benjamin eat it with eggs. That might be why...Love you Beege!
I am supposed to tag someone else now. Christy, you are it!

P.S. I know the picture may be a bit's me at Paige's party preparing fondue dips and giving directions to my place over the phone. For those of you who know the song referenced in my title post: I thought you might like to laugh at me because the song is on my iPod's running playlist. :)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

What a case.

Whenever I go to the fabric store I wonder why in the world there are so many fabrics for holidays. I mean, really. Do people wear this stuff? What do they do with it?

My personal taste dictates that you will NEVER see me wear holiday printed fabric. I promise.

But one day I saw a lady getting some Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day fabric cut. She asked my opinion on the prints and I asked her (politely), "What are you doing with it?" She replied that she was making holiday pillow cases for small pillows for her grandkids.

OOOH! Really? That's cool. Something to show a little person your love for them while celebrating a holiday and having something fun for them that is not totally obnoxious and overbearing taking over the aesthetic appeal of a room? OK. Sold.

So I recently started making some cases for my Samuel. The first picture is his January birthday pillow and it might be my favorite. The rest are just the following months, February, March, April and May. So easy and fun.

Happy Weekend to you!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Blog Blast!

Start reading! Here is an update. I have been MIA, but I wanted to share a few things in a row. Now I will take a breather and update you more in a regular fashion. :)


Paige has her big 3-oh.

Saturday night I had a fondue birthday party for my best friend Paige. It was so fun to put together and enjoy all of the treats. We had 3 courses with the following fondues:

Main Course

Swiss Cheese Fondue
Cheddar Cheese and Beer Fondue

Vegetable Broth
Wild Mushroom and Leek Broth


Honey Orange

The second picture includes all the preggos in attendance. Yes. Four pregnant women feasted on fondue, including the star of the party. Christy, Paige, Kristie and Erin. The second photo includes Stephanie, Me, Paige, Kristie, Erin and Laurie. Christy is behind the camera in this one to allow me to be in the picture! Enjoy!

Sam went to McDonalds...

We happened to celebrate Samuel's first birthday in Chicago. What did that mean? Well Mita wanted to take him to McDonald's to have a Happy Meal!

Oooh. That was hard for me! But, I said he could have the burger, a cone and only a few fries. Come on! It is his birthday, after all.

Side note: I try not to be too crazy about Sam's diet, but have you watched Super Size Me? That's a great documentary. My philosophy is to try not to eat or give Sam too much of that stuff. But I did take advantage of a Quarter Pounder with cheese, please.

Sam had a great time! He loved his burger and cone especially and wasn't too fond of the fries and loved the box. Good boy.

The Cruise

Hi All,
I will write about this in my last post, but I am catching up!

Here are the pictures from our cruise that I promised long ago! Included are the towel animals, our Jeep we drove around Cozumel, Matt and I at the beach in Cozumel and Matt and I in Miami at the pool. We look tired in the one by the pool. That was after we partied our hearts out the last night!