Two Thousand and Eleven – A Year in Review

As Christmas and the New Year approaches, I can’t help but think back at the past year and be thankful for everything that I have. I have had some big things go on this year – some great things – and I consider myself incredibly lucky.
I just entered the blogging world, so I figured a quick recap of my past year might be a good idea.

I started off the year being engaged to my best friend and only nine months away from our big day. We spent New Years Eve in CT with a bunch of our friends and had a blast.
The first couple of months this year were spent in physical therapy. I had just had knee surgery (ACL and meniscus) – and was working to get my strength back.
Over February break, a couple of girls and I flew out to Houston Texas to visit a friend that was doing a work rotation down there. It’s true what they say, everything really is bigger in Texas πŸ™‚

Also in February, A and I went up to Attitash Mountain in North Conway, New Hampshire with a couple of friends. He did some skiing. I was still recovering from my knee surgery, so I had no problem doing some outlet shopping with my friend while the boys hit the slopes πŸ™‚

I am excited that this year I am able to get back on the slopes. Although I won’t be skiing. Me being uncoordinated and my “bad” knee don’t work well with skis, so I will be getting on the good old snowboard!
In March, A and I got to experience our first St. Patty’s Day in Southie. Southie is a section of Boston that is predominately Irish – and gets absolutely crazy on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Some of our friends live in Southie and threw a crazy party – with a DJ and all.

Much of the later spring was dedicated to good old wedding planning. Every weekend it was one thing or another. We also had our first wedding to go to of the year in May. It was number 1 of 5 in 2011 – not including our own.
We saw off to two of our very good friend, who are overseas fighting for our freedom.

I am thankful for them and for every other marine and soldier who is fighting for our country and for freedom. I hope that everyone takes a timeout of their busy lives to realize that there are people out their sacrificing their lives for us.
What was amazing, is these two guys, two of A’s best friends, were still able to make it to the wedding. They left to go overseas TWO days later, but were able to get a weekend away from base to come up to the wedding – and it meant the world to A and I.
Over the summer leading up to our wedding day in September, we had three weddings, along with trying to finish up planning our own wedding.
A and I went to a number of concerts this past year – actually probably too many to list. Most of which are artists none one has really heard of – and concerts that take place during the week – so we get tickets for around 15 bucks each which is pretty darn good for live music!

We also made a few trips to the beach with some friends. It is convenient that A’s parents have a house on Cape Cod, so we can go and visit family and get the beach in at the same time. It was also convenient that our previous apartment was only 5 minutes from a beach.

With my new job, I had to start driving to work instead of taking public transportation. While I hated the long commute (2 hours on my way home is just miserable), I have to say I had a beautiful ride in the morning along the ocean.

My bridesmaids and friends planned an amazing bachelorette for me in Atlantic City at the end of the summer. They rented out a vacation home for a long weekend and it was fantastic and so much fun. We did the beach during the day and some shopping. We spent one night in a club and the other night at a bar on the beach. I found it quite ironic that my bachelorette party was on the same weekend a year late that A had proposed πŸ™‚

I started a new job in August – which I love and am excited to see where this takes me.
Then came the big day. September 10, 2011. I married my best friend. And I am sure there are people out there that don’t think your husband can be your best friend or that people just say that to say that – but he truly is my best friend. We had the perfect day. The weather was gorgeous, and everything turned out exactly how we planned.



After the wedding weekend extravaganza – we traveled over to Italy for 15 days. Words can’t even describe how amazing it was. I won’t say much about it now or share any pictures because I plan on writing a couple posts about our experience later. But it was amazing. End of story.
After the honeymoon, we came back to the states as a married couple and welcomed the fall season. We had one more wedding to attend for the 2011 year. We also went apple picking and picked/carved pumpkins – which I was super excited about because I can’t remember the last time I have done either of these. How I live in New England and haven’t done it every year is beyond me.


You also can’t go through fall without some sort of hiking.

The past month or so has involved a lot of packing and moving. Also a lot of family time – which is exactly what is supposed to happen around the holidays.
A and I have had quite a few holiday parties, and we went and saw the Nutcracker for the very first time which was exciting.
We put up our first Christmas tree (twice due to the move) and will be celebrating our first Christmas together as a married couple this weekend which is exciting. I have 11 days off over break so A and I will be doing some traveling to see family and friends. So I apologize if my postings are far and few between for the next couple of weeks. I will be away from the computer and with family and friends – as I hope everyone else is as well.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas.

Moving

So as I stated in an earlier post, A and I are moving. It was very last-minute, and is a bad time seeing as it is so close to the holidays. But whatever – we made it work. We spent most of last week packing up the apartment.

On Saturday we made a few trips with both our cars and started bringing boxes over. Then on Sunday, both our parents came out with their trucks and helped us bring all the big stuff. It helped that along with our parents, his two sisters and a fiancΓ©e was there to help, so it made the moving on Sunday go by pretty quick.
Here are some progression pictures over the weekend as we started unpacking.



Of course our first priority was putting up the Christmas tree and decorations πŸ™‚


Of course, Monday, a day after we moved in to the new place, the old apartment place called and said they people that they had to take over our apartment actually backed out so we still had it. A and I had talked to them about breaking the lease early because of my job move, and they had agreed to January 31st or if they could find someone sooner. Well they told us a little over a week ago that they had someone and that we had to be out in three weeks. We agreed, and because of the holidays, made the move this weekend. I am sorry, but you told us to move out early, and we agreed that we would do it – and now because you didn’t cover all of your bases you want us to continue paying for the apartment. I don’t think so. This has been causing a lot of anxiety for me – I have anxiety issues to begin with, so this put me over the edge a little bit. A went to talk to them and they are trying to find someone by the end of the month, but they said we might need to pay up until January 31st since that was the original agreement. Again, I don’t think so. That would mean A and I would be paying over $3,000 for rent in one month because we would have two apartments. I refuse to pay them – they were the ones that messed up. But I don’t need this stress around the holidays. Any advise on how to handle the old apartment people is greatly appreciated πŸ™‚

Date night

Going on dates is important – especially after you are married. So many people just fall into routine. A and I can be guilty of that. Boston is incredibly expensive – and we are trying to save money to buy a house – so we are pretty good about not going out every night like a lot of friends we have. When we do go out – it is usually with friends and other couples – so it is pretty rare when A and I just go out on a date, just us. At the same time – it really does make it all the more special and fun when we do get to go on a date just him and I.

This Wednesday was one of those date nights, and it was fantastic. I have always wanted to see The Nutcracker – yes, I am 26 and I have never seen it. Sad. In Boston, they play it every year, so this year, when I mentioned it to A, he said let’s make it a date night and go. YAY. So I got the tickets, and picked a Wednesday night, since during the week tickets are only 35 bucks, compared to the upwards of 80 bucks a ticket on weekends. Bargain! And one of the perks of living in / so close to the city.

So Wednesday after work, I cruised into the city and parked at A’s work. His work is a pretty central location so it was easy to walk to the Opera House, where the performance was being held.

I just love Boston at night.

I had found a restaurant near the Opera House (it’s not hard to find a restaurant in Boston, just a little more difficult finding one that won’t cost you you’re first unborn child and maybe a kidney.) Of course, being so close to the show, it was pretty packed, but there were luckily seats at the bar, so we decided to just sit there since it really didn’t make a difference to us – as long as we got food.
First up was a glass of wine for me and a beer for A. A said that he had to have a couple of beers in his system before going to see a ballet, but it was really just a facade because he was actually a little bit excited, or maybe he just told me that to make me feel better haha. Most likely the case – either way, he is a trooper for going with me!

Just a disclaimer – I apologize for the somewhat fuzzy pictures. A doesn’t like when I take pictures of food amongst other things while at dinner. I can’t help it – I love documenting it. So I try to take pictures without the flash so I don’t draw any attention to my obsession with taking pictures. Think of it as a compromise of sorts.

A got Fish and Chips – his go to meal whenever we go out. It’s either that, or chicken parmesean. He will deny it and says he gets a variety of things – but it’s usually between one of those two things.

I had a bite – and it was pretty good, and A really liked it.

As much as I give A a hard time about ordering the same thing – I am guilty of the same charge. While I really do like pretty much anything and everything, I usually go with either a shrimp dish, or salmon – because it’s usually one of the healthier things off the menu. I decided to go with the salmon, and it came with mashed potatoes and some asparagus. It was pretty good.

After dinner, we still had a bit of time to kill, so we decided to get dessert! Something we never do while out, but I saw on the menu that they had a chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream slider, and I couldn’t say no. My two favorite deserts put together, yes please. It was so incredibly good.
I ate it as is.

A needed more chocolate, so he put hot fudge over it.

So dinner was fantastic, and then we made our way over to The Opera House. Of course we got all dressed up for the event, so it was even more exciting. I have been to a couple shows on broadway, not nearly enough and when I was much younger, so this was really exciting to me. We even got a couple glasses of champagne. Fancy I know. The Opera House in Boston is beautiful. I guess it was pretty run down not long ago and they just recently restored it. You can take pictures in the lobby area, but not inside the theatre. I was not happy about this because I love taking pictures and I just wanted to take some pictures of the inside of the theatre. I had my flash off – I wasn’t bothering anyone. I did end up getting one shot of the inside of the theatre (with no flash) – before the ushers came running over to tell me no photography. Lame. I played dumb and said I didn’t know and apologized.


The play was awesome. Everything I was imagining and more. A’s favorite character was the gingerbread man, he was dying laughing when he came out. He also liked the bear.

Watching this made me want to be a ballerina. I am the opposite of a ballerina – I am incredibly clutzy and trip over my own feet all the time. I am extremely ungraceful, unless of course it involves falling, in which case I somehow manage to fall with grace. I was in dance for three years when I was younger because my mom made me – but I complained and only wanted to be out on the soccer field. I am definitely a soccer player / anything but a ballerina – but I can only wonder if my mother had kept me in dance if today I would have been star of The Nutcracker.

Yeah. Not likely.

Anyways. The show was really good – and if it is playing in your area and you have never seen it before I would suggest giving it a shot. If nothing else, it makes for a great date.

Last minute gift ideas for kids

So Christmas is only 10 days away. When did that happen? I don’t know if it is because Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fall on a weekend – but December has seemed incredibly short. Thankfully, A and I were able to get almost all of our shopping done before Thanksgiving. But I know this is not the case for most people.
I am sure there are plenty of folks out there right now that are scrambling to find some gifts for their children, niece/nephews, cousins etc.
How about .. an old banana? an onion? half eaten sandwich? a hammer? a stapler? It’s been done. And they are all things that are probably easily obtainable. Just a few nights ago, Jimmy Kimmel ran a segment on his late night show, called “YouTube Challenge – I Gave My Kids a Terrible Present”. It is pretty hilarious. Some of the kids are pretty cute – while others seem to be super brats. But it is a funny idea nonetheless. So if you are looking around for a last-minute gift, specifically a terrible gift, check out this clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

So this weekend was very eventful for A and I. As I have said before, I live about 40 miles from work, and with Boston traffic, my ride home is sometimes over 2 hours. And to have to come home and cook and do all my other wifely duties, it is just a bit too much. So A and I talked to our apartment complex, and even though we only moved in July, because I moved jobs and because my commute is so long, they are considering it a job transfer and letting us get out of our lease. And we don’t have to pay any fees as long as they can find someone to take our apartment. They told us this probably wouldn’t happen until sometime around the end of January. Ok – great. Well Friday they called us and told us they had someone who wanted to move in, but that they wanted to be in by the second week of January, which means we would have to be out by January 2nd.
Fantastic.
Minus that being three weeks away and the holidays smack dab in the middle of that. A and I were worried that nothing else would come along and we would be stuck with the place, so we decided to take a gamble and tell them we were good to move out by Jan 2nd. So as of Friday, we were technically going to be homeless in a few short weeks.

So A and I spent the weekend searching all sorts of apartments. We contacted people who had houses for rent on craigslists as well as apartment complexes. The problem with renting from a person is they usually want at least a years lease – and we don’t want to commit to that – we are really trying to find a house within the next 6-9 months. So we ended up realizing that we were probably going to have to take something similar to what we are in now, and do an apartment complex.
Thank goodness we eventually found a nice one that has immediate availability and in a great location. It is almost half way for the both of us, it’s closer for A, but he has to deal more with the city traffic. It’s also a bit more expensive, but it is also bigger, which is good, because all the wedding gifts we got were really filling up our place. But, now, because Christmas is next weekend, and New Years is the following weekend – the only weekend that we have the ability to move with some help of friends and family, is this coming weekend. So we have this week to pack up everything in our little apartment, to get ready for this weekend when we move over to the other apartment. Holidays are busy enough – we didn’t need this added stress.
But I am grateful that I will be cutting my commute time in half if not more. I will save so much time. Even though I hate moving – and the idea of having to go home tonight and start packing makes me angry.
And thinking that next week will involve unpacking makes me sad.
Oh well, it’s what makes life interesting I guess. And as long as A and I are in it together, it’s all good πŸ™‚

Poor Life Decisions

Last night A had his company Christmas party. They rent out a bar in Boston, and it is free appetizers and drinks from 6 to 10. Fabulous. Except for the free drinks part. For some reason I decided last night that I was going to really take advantage of those free drinks. I mean Boston is expensive – we don’t go out often because it’s just so darn expensive. I didn’t get drunk in front of any of A’s coworkers – but at the end of the night when they made last call, I decided to get an extra glass of wine and double fist. That one extra glass was my poor life decision. Didn’t need it. Thank goodness A was okay to drive, because I definitely wasn’t. I got home and pretty much passed out. And this morning, when my alarm goes off for work, I had to ask myself why I drank that one extra glass.
Poor life decision. I might have to close the door to my office at some point today and take a quick power nap. womp.