Friend Makin’ Monday – Q&A

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

1. Share one thing that has changed about you since you began blogging.  I’ve been blogging for over ten years and I’ve definitely seen a lot of changes in not only my writing, but what I choose to blog.  In the past five years or so, I’ve really turned to my blog as a more public forum and definitely put myself and my life out there for the world to see.  Some people might not like it, or agree with it, but I’m grateful that people are interested enough to read about my little ole’ life and I’m even more grateful that I have somewhere to document life as it happens.

2. If you were forced to give up chocolate or potato chips for an entire year which one would you choose to live without?  Hmmmmm…I’d probably have to give up chocolate because I can’t live without chips and salsa.

3. What’s more attractive?  A man in a suit, or a man in uniform?  I mean, really, how can you go wrong either way?

4. If you could be a guest star on a reality show which one would it be?  I wish I could be on the Amazing Race (I really just want the adventurous trip around the world without the race, haha).

5. What is the last meal that you prepared for yourself?  I warmed up a casserole tonight, does that count?

6. Is your hair colored, or is it natural?  Ugh, it’s a hot mess of color right now and I desperately need to get my roots touched up.  I need to find a stylist in Raleigh, stat.

7. If you could leave town today and go anywhere, where would you go?  Somewhere warm and tropical.  Hawaii?  Fiji?  Thailand?  Oooooh, totally random — Germany!!  Paris!!  London!!  So many choices!

8. Do you prefer to exercise at the gym, at home or outside?  Gym.  I feel like I get the best workout when I’m the gym plugged into my ipod, focusing on heart rate and sweating.  I do like to be outside, but I get distracted easily and just don’t feel like I work out as well when I’m outside.

9. Have you ever asked someone out on a date?  I have.  I’m not too traditional in that sense.

10. How many cups of coffee do you drink on an average day?  One.

11. Do you pack lightly, or do you over pack?  I used to be the mother of all over packers, but I’ve gotten better in the past few years.  I actually plan out outfits instead of just throwing random stuff in a bag these days.

12. What color are your nails now?  Nothing!  So boring!  I have my eye on the new Butter London spring colors, though!

13. If you could have lunch with one notable (living) person who inspires you who would it be?  Oh, this is tough.  Maybe Michelle Obama?  Britney Spears (I really want to ask her how she survived 2007, I mean, I love her, but come on!)?!

14. Who is your favorite professional athlete? Matt Hendricks and Braden Hotlby of the Washington Capitals.

15. Gum or mints?  Mints!  If I chew gum it’s for like five minutes, so that’s a complete waste of my time.

16. Have you ever eaten crawfish? No thanks!

17. List one or more human characteristics that are a complete turn-off.   I can’t stand people who belittle, judge without reason, or are fake.

18.  What is your favorite season?  Spring and fall!

19. Do you prefer to shake hands or hug?  I’m not much of a hugger, so I’ll go with handshake.  :)

20. Can you quote lines from Saved by the Bell from memory?  If so, what’s your favorite?  “I’m so excited!  I’m so excited!  I’m. So. Scared…”  – Jesse Spano

Happy Monday Friends!


Winter Classic Recap!

When it was announced earlier this year that the Capitals would be playing the Penguins in the 2011 Winter Classic, Chris and I were beside ourselves with excitement.  We bought our tickets months ago and waited anxiously for game day to arrive.  Game day, my friends, did not disappoint.  If I could describe it in a word, it would be “extraordinary.”

We headed up to Pittsburgh on New Years Eve to spend some time with Chris’ family friend, Mike and his family.  We did a little gambling and a little drinking, but were fairly low-key and got back to the hotel about 5 minutes before midnight to ring in the New Year.

The game was supposed to be played at 1pm on New Years Day, but the weather was not cooperating, and the NHL was smart enough to delay the game by 7 hours on Friday as opposed to making the fans sit in the rain, waiting for it to stop on game day.  THANK YOU, NHL!  So, instead of a 1pm start, the game began at 8pm.

With a night game upon us, we were given the unusual opportunity of tailgating at Heinz Field before a hockey game!  Who does that?  We do!  We got a great parking spot right downtown and adjacent to the casino, so we had indoor bathrooms, entertainment, tailgating and fun, all right there.

Pittsburgh Skyline

An absolutely candid tailgating photo.

Rockin' the red.......Converse.

The NHL did a really great job by setting up this whole “fan experience” that took up half of the exterior of Heinz Field.  Sponsors were giving out free stuff, there were a lot of photo-ops, and just cool stuff to see and do.   If you’ve ever been to a Nascar race, it was similar to that type of fan experience.  Very cool for a hockey game.

Chris and his dad.

And Pittsburgh wonders why we don't like them....

Fan experience.

We made it!

Chris and me on the river in Pittsburgh.

Once we made our way into the stadium, it was pretty much overwhelming.  Verizon Center only holds about 18,000 fans, while Heinz Field holds close to 70,000.  That’s a lot of people.  And the Caps fans showed up!  I think when the final numbers came out, there were something like 30,000 Caps fans to 40,000 Penguins fans.  That’s a LOT for the visiting team and I’m just really proud that we showed up loud and proud.   It’s really difficult to really describe watching the game because talking about it doesn’t do it any justice.  You literally had to be there.  Hockey outside is so different than in an arena that it’s impossible to put into words.  At Verizon Center, it’s impossibly loud.  Outdoors, it was eerily quiet.  The puck flew across the ice differently and the players tripped, stumbled and fell as the rain slowly melted the outdoor surface.  The whole thing was a once in a lifetime experience.  Ultimately, the Capitals beat the Penguins 3-1 and even as we left the stadium, Caps fans were still cheering “C-A-P-S, CAPS, CAPS, CAPS. ”  The energy in that stadium was electric and being present for the moments we witnessed was certainly a once in a lifetime experience.

Pre-game American Flag.

Richard and Chris before the game.

Our view, right before the puck dropped.


Us at Heinz Field.

Capitals win!!!

Love the Red and Blue Fireworks.

Final Score.

Lighthouse Help!

We’re moving into our new place next month and we want blow up a  picture we took this past summer and  make it into a piece of art for one of the rooms!  But, we’re conflicted on which picture to choose!  Which one do YOU like??

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Help us decide!!

Five-Day Whirlwind

Last week, I found out that one of my best friends’ dad died.  He’d been sick for quite some time, but my friend and I hadn’t been in constant contact like we used to be, so I didn’t know how bad it was until I got the sad news.  When I found out, Jamie and I had a night to think about it, and we decided that we should be there for her.  We shared a good number of years as BFF’s, traveling around the country, laughing til we cried, and building a solid friendship.  It was only right we be there – she would be there for us.   The funeral was in Connecticut on Friday morning of last week, so we flew up there on Thursday night.

We flew into Boston around midnight, got up on Friday at 6:45 and began our drive 2 hours west to Connecticut.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when we got there, but I’m so glad that we went, that we supported our friend, and that we paid our respects to her wonderful father.   I was so proud of her for getting up and addressing everyone and declaring the love she had for her dad.  She was even a pallbarer, saying she wouldn’t have it any other way, that she had to take him to his final resting place.  Heartbreaking, but she was so, so, so brave and I am so lucky to have spent time with her dad in my life.  He was such a fantastic person who always left me leaving happy when I’d go home from a visit.

After the funeral, we drove back to Boston for my 7pm flight home.  We had existing plans for the weekend before I ever knew I was going to New England, so we continued on with our plans, and honestly, I’m glad, because it was a welcome distraction.

Chris picked me up from the airport and we drove to Red Lion, PA to spend the night with his cousin, girlfriend and their cute 5 year old son.  We had plans to do Christmas early, so we got to their house, went straight to bed, and on Saturday morning, did gifts.  It was nice to have some joy after such a sorrowful Friday.

Richie opening gifts.

Chris and Richie goofing off.

More playing.

After we did our gift exchange, we did something that’s been on my bucket list for a long time:  We went to the shooting range!!  Chris’ cousin, Richard, belongs to the local range, so he was able to get us in to shoot some guns.

I was a little nervous before we got there, but I went into hyper nervous mode when we got onto the range and the people next to us were firing.  Even with the earphones on, it was ridiculously loud and totally shook your body.  Very intimidating and scary.  Richard explained that the rifle actually had less kick back than the Glock 9, so we started with that.

Richard, prepping the Rifle.

Learning how to hold the gun correctly.

Chris shooting.

Our target looks a little damaged.

After the rifle, Richard loaded up the Glock 9 which made me incredibly nervous.  I got a huge adrenaline rush and was too scared to even hold it.  I made him shoot it at least 5 times before I would even touch the gun.  It sounds really wimpy, but guns really scare me, so I was just big time nervous, mostly because I was afraid of the power.  Silly me thought the gun would have enough kickback to knock myself in the forehead, but alas, that was not the case.

Richard with the Glock.

Richard was really great and emptied out the gun and let me hold it with no bullets just to get a feel for the gun itself.  That helped a lot and a few minutes later, I was ready to shoot.  You would think by the pictures that the rifle had more power, but actually, the Glock had a larger bullet and more power.  Oh, and it’s really loud.

Yikes, me with the Glock.

This is likely the last time you'll see me with a gun.

Cross it off the bucket list!!

After about an hour at the shooting range, we left Red Lion and continued west toward Hershey, PA.  Last year for Christmas, Chris got a gift certificate for 2 tickets to a Hershey Bears game (the AHL team for the Capitals), and we’re just now using them!  Even though Hershey lost, it was still a really fun game and we got to see some up and comers who will soon be playing for the Caps.

Chris, before the game.

The most annoying fan, EVER.


Obligatory picture together at the game.

We stayed the night in Hershey on Saturday and drove home on Sunday, getting back to the area around noon.  We had tickets to see a Candlelight Christmas at the Kennedy Center, so around 4, we left to have dinner in Arlington with my family before the show, and then we headed into DC.  It was fun to do something so festive right before Christmas, and the music was really beautiful.

The Washington Chorus, lit up by Candlelight.

It’s been a really long 5 days, and I’ve run the gamut on emotions, but I’m grateful for each of the experiences I’ve had during those days.  Whether it was the sad or the good, I’m just happy that I am surrounded by such wonderful people in my life.



What I Saw Last Week 12.16.10

I’m a little late on my “What I Saw This Week” post, but I was out of town on Friday, so I have a good excuse.

Delicious Pad Thai at Cafe Asia.

Our first ornament as a couple. Of course it would be Capitals related.

Kobe beef sliders at our Holiday party.

Making necessity bags for victims of domestic violence.

Tea and treats post-wreath laying at Arlington.

First snow of the season.

Beautiful New England house.

….that’s it for this week.  Happy Holidays!