Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pictures from Diana's 1st Time in the Snow!














Basketball 2009/2010








Zack is on the WHS Freshman Basketball team and having a terrific season. He is also one of the captains and we are very proud of him.

These are a few pix from his game this week...I was experimenting with the zoom lense but forgot to bring the big flash which I so desperately needed in the gym-rats...

Anyway- you will get the gist in these photos!

Restaurant Review- The Pasta Loft!

fruite de mare




One word? FANTASTIC! At the Pasta Loft in Hampstead NH, everything was FANTASTIC! From the outstanding service, to the delicious food, to the value and atmosphere- FANTASTIC!

Their specialty, of course is pasta, but another specialty is brick oven pizza and even mastering these two delicacies, they offer so many more delicious apps, entrees and desserts.

My hairdresser Sam, kept telling me to go here and now I see why. We were greeted immediately and had the most friendly and accommodating waitress.

She took our drink orders and gave us a basket of warm bread right out of the oven that came with a small bowl of roasted garlic and olive oil...as much as we knew we would regret it, we endulged (and Monk did too, sans the garlic of course!)

Walking in, I was set on getting pizza until we took a look at the menu.

They offered a Fruite de Mare for two for $35 and it sounded so delicious that we ordered it- the meal also included two garden salads. For Monk? We ordered a small margarita pizza (knowing full well we would each get to try a slice)

FANTASTIC doesn't even come close to describing this meal. Our waitress brings over this ENORMOUS platter to us. It was so packed with seafood, you could not even see the linguine underneath. The taste? Out of this world- the seafood included a full lobster that was stuffed, fresh scallops, shrimp, calamari, mussels and littlenecks all over a bed of linguine in a spicy red marinara. We were shocked and quickly delighted and to boot, we brought home at least two more servings!!

The pizza? FANTASTIC...even Monk agreed! The brick oven makes a difference but it wasn't only that...it was a step up from Bertucci's- don't know how to explain it.

The wine? Now this is an important piece- humor me. My mom calls me a "wine snob" but something really bothers me. Don't you hate when you order a glass of red wine in a restaurant, whether it be a full bodied cab or a fruit shiraz and it comes to the table and it is bitter? stale? Well I do! I even got a bitter and stale glass of wine at a supposed "wine bar" right here in my hometown- ridiculous!

The wine at the Pasta Loft? FANTASTIC! I ordered a glass of the Smoking Loon Pinot Noir and it was so delicious...so much so that I ordered a second. I even told the waitress how much I approved of it (she probably took one look at me, heard what I was saying and went to the kitchen giggling saying "what a lush!") ha ha!

Even though we went early, we have also heard great things about their entertainment. They have bands in the lounge area and in the summer, they open up the back deck! The music starts after 8pm. (way past Monk's bedtime and ours nowadays!)

We will be returning AND SOON...I have to get my parents there- they will LOVE IT!

Check them out in Hampstead or Milford. www.pastaloft.com. You won't regret it :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

and more...


86. Diana was very ill during her entire first year....she suffered from acid reflux and either had an ear infection, cough, cold or stomach bug constantly....I was at the doctor's office either once or twice a week and I was so fearful that she would be a very sickly child for a long time (I also had the fear that we don't speak about and I know my parents shared the same fear)....she fought her way through every illness, however, and is getting healthier and healthier

87. I never knew that Diana's bowel movements would dictate the kind of day I was going to have...hysterical!

88. Saturday morning coffee and gossip with Cass is something I look forward to and cherish
(usually at the VB where we can also enjoy a peanut butter flax seed bar!)

89. On the same topic, Cass and I traded the VB for the beach one Saturday morning last Summer...we were planning on hitting Brown's/Markey's up at the beach, for lunch too...that is until we checked my phone for FB updates and could not resist Christian's post from the BWG...fresh crabcakes and blackberry mojitos on the beautiful deck...we were so there!! One of my favorite days ever...

90. Christmas Eve is in my top three favorite days all year...so magical and a chance to remember our loved ones who have passed

91. I have played the following parts at UMASS Dartmouth: Nancy in Bye Bye Birdie, Baroness Livenbaum in Anastasia, Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret, Lt. Comdr Joanne Galloway in A Few Good Men, The Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz, Liz Imbrie in The Philadelphia Story, Kate Mundy in Dancing at Lughnasa, Nancy in Oliver, Morgan Le Fey in Camelot and my favorite Adelaide in Guys and Dolls

92. I ran for Class Secretary my Freshman Year in High School (and lost) and ran for Class President my Senior Year in College (and lost)...you think I would give up politics already....no such luck!

93. My husband loves my hair curly and begs me to keep it that way...I like pleasing him but that is one thing I fight him on...always wanted the straight hair I have now...and it is kind of cruel since I make him keep his go-tee...I just LOVE it and he wants to shave it- ugh!

94. One of my favorite parts of my childhood was going to my brother's baseball and soccer games...so much fun cheering him on and watching my dad coach and of course getting gum and candy from the ice cream truck!

95. Speaking of childhood, my favorite part really was our birthdays and associated birthday parties...my mom really did it up and I guess that is where I get it...we would each get a "friend/kiddie party" and then we would have a "joint family party" as our birthdays are a day apart...each party had its own theme and always included a homemade cake (the train cake still goes down as the best one ever), a pinata (which my dad ended up hammering so the kids could finally get to the candy!) and then something out of this world like pony rides, or a clown, etc...just unreal (speaking of the train cake- for our family birthday party, right before I left for college, my mom made the cake for us....as I made my whole family cry...another story for another blog post!


96. I miss sushi dates with Jenn Healey (I mean Wymar as she just got married in Saint Lucia!)...she always taught me what to order and of course the fish was accompanied by some devine gin and tonics AND the best gossip

97. Griffin Park is my salvation....Summer walks with Diana at 7am and Saturday afternoon games of catch...I love the sound of a distant lawn mower...and the sun I get there..I also trained for my 5 k there :)

98. I miss my best friend from high school...Dawn...she lives in NJ and I haven't even met her kids yet...her hubby however? One of my favorite people...his most famous quote? "Hey buddy, you gotta come over here...I am on the back deck and I gotta guy here who plays the guitar and makes a mean salsa" hilarious!

99. I still have trouble understanding why some people always expect you to host them/have them over and they never reciprocate...I mean my house is not THAT exciting and I ended up feeling taken advantage of (in fact one of my New Year's resolutions is to JUST SAY NO- or JUST STOP INVITING)...let's see how long that lasts

100. I stalk a few blogs and almost take it personally when there is "too much time" between posts...I hope I keep you, my readers, satisfied with the amount of posts!

Friday, January 29, 2010

continuing on the road to 344


81. I am told I have the best reputation in the industry for what I do...I take pride in that...doing the right thing for my candidates, clients and teammates....I work hard and treat people right and that is all I expect of myself...I am glad I am respected for this.

82. Much to the disbelief of some, I know what is said about me...it comes out in one way or another...so yes I know all of the negative things that have been said about me...and how the stories have been twisted over the years...In the past, I would've crumbled but after the things I have faced, now I just laugh, look at the source and know it is par for the course...I am also providing my friends and family with lots of entertainment....I think you can read between the lines here and get what I am saying... ha haa karma!

83. I am emotional, needy and a born worrier...it is in my blood and my biggest fear is that Diana will pick these traits up...I really hope she displays more of Rob's disposition over the years (poor Child!)

84. When I was little...my four wishes were to have long straight hair, a pink bedroom, eat peanut butter and jelly like the other kids and have an upstairs

85. There is nothing like ocean water

Thursday, January 28, 2010

and more as I strive to hit 344


61. I am troubled by the death of Nancy Kerrigan's dad...my heart breaks when I think about him always working two jobs to pay for her skating lessons, competitions, etc and being such a great dad and husband. He took care of his legally blind wife and was always found at the Stoneham Ice Arena...a few years of my childhood was also spent at the same arena and my dad would take me for lessons on Saturday mornings. I still remember him telling me "you know that Nancy Kerrigan that helps the teachers? She is very good and all of the parents are saying she will eventually go to the Olympics." Shortly after he told me that...I was at a lesson and this girl comes skating up to our group SO FAST...she does this hockey stop right next to me and the snow from the ice goes flying...I looked up and said "I think that is her"...today the streets of Stoneham were all blocked off as Mr. Kerrigan's funeral was happening at St. Pat's...Rest in Peace

62. I was convinced that I would marry Michael Jackson when I was in 6th and 7th grades...later, in Middle School and even up to Sophomore Year at AHS, I was convinced I would marry Richie Sambora from Bon Jovi..I have seen Bon Jovi 8 times in concert and they remain my favorite band

63. Other favorite bands include the Gin Blossoms, Lifehouse, Dave Matthews Band, Rascal Flatts and any band that Rob is in :)

64. I think my stepson is one of the most special people I have ever met and I think he will someday be our President (one of the first honest politicians if you will)

65. I am OBSESSED with Wii golf and we are having a family tournament that has been SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eat your heart out Tiger ;)

66. Debbie Gibson is one of my idols

67. So I was always involved in my church youth group...I had a great relationship with our church priest too. Before I was going in to audition for the AHS production of Guys and Dolls in 91, I went to see Father Paul and asked him if we could say a prayer so I would get the part of Adelaide...he was so good and stood over me and raised his hand over my head and had us say the prayer together....well I didn't get it but I did get the part 4 years later as a senior at UMASS Dartmouth...this story is my prime example of God always listens to your prayers and always answers them...not always in your "time frame" but he does...and my father-in-law always reminds me of this one

68. Jennifer Weiner is my favorite author and I got to meet her last Summer...what I learned is that she is truly a comedian too! Even Rob agreed...I think she was flirting with him and I think he would agree with that statement too!

69. I get squirmy when anyone says this number or reads it out loud and then Zack always laughs (like he really knows what is going on....HA HA!!!!)

70. I was the most serious baby ......my parents tell me that people would KILL themselves trying to make me smile and all I would do was stare....BOY how things change! (On the flip side, my brother never stopped smiling and laughing and would walk away with a stranger if you let him....again how life has changed!)

71. We run a photography business.....it is a side business but it is something we both enjoy...and we like spending the time together...my husband is teaching me how to be a great photographer...I find it as another excuse of how I can be close to weddings! I love photographing people in love especially :)

72. I am on the high school boosters board now and feel like this is where I should've been all along...it is fun group and we put together fun events that support the high school athletic program...I have actually met some of my newest and closest friends because of my work on this board....how ironic...when one door closes...another opens

73. I love the way Cassandra still twirls her paper sticks

74. My friend Laurie is the best cook and will open a restaurant someday...she already has a few offers from investors who want to back her...in addition to her talent of cooking, she makes me laugh....SO HARD...her stories are the BEST

75. I make a photo scrapbook on Shutterfly for every year of our lives..I record EVERY MEMORY through photos...from backyard dinners to baseball games to family vacations, graduations and other special times...everything is recorded FOREVA

76. I have completed one 5k so far...10k is my next goal...and then half marathon and then finally the Boston Marathon...I hope to accomplish this within 5 years

77. I love the way Diana mimics me and pretends to talk on the phone...hysterical

78. I still cannot feel certain parts of my stomach...after my c section....and I probably will never feel them again

79. I LOVE to tan...I know I know...but something is going to kill me...I might as well be happy!

80. I love the way my husband and my step kids imitate me...it is really funny and very accurate

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

344


This is my 344th post....I never celebrated 50 or 100 or 300 for that matter...so I thought I would celebrate.

Why? I started using a tool that tracks my blog hits and I was completely overwhelmed. I knew my inner circle...my peeps if you will...read religiously..however, I never realized how many people I was touching on a daily basis through my blog. I am humbled and so happy that so many of you are entertained by my writing- I never knew I would write to entertain however I had hoped...especially after majoring in writing for four years and having to pretty much write books for final exams!

Writing is the way I express myself best...my feelings pour out and even when I am upset...I don't trip over my words when I am writing!

344 things you didn't know about me? (Well maybe you know some things...and please don't feel like you have to read all of this...I am doing it for myself...I am getting real...it is very therapeutic) Here are 60 for now...I will write as I feel inspired, until I hit that magic #

1. I have struggled with a weight problem my entire life

2. I put God first...I am Catholic...extremely religious and believe that God is always in control...no matter how much I try to control my life...I should throw in the towel already

3. This is not my first marriage....shocker!!!

4. I made the Boston Ballet's Nutracker for four years in a row...starting when I was in 4th grade...I got paid...I danced professionally and I still cannot believe it

5. I was my class's Homecoming Queen in 1991- Andover High School and I still cannot believe that either

6. My 4 year old cousin died when I was in 7th grade...not from the leukemia she had suffered from...she was actually in remission...she needed a blood transfusion and she was given blood that was inflicted with the AIDS virus at Children's Hospital...that same blood killed an entire floor of children with cancer in 1984 (before blood screen regulations were put in place)...her death changed our family forever and my aunt has managed to live her life giving to others after losing a child

7. I never met my father's father...but I am often told that he "would've loved me"

8. I am still dumbfounded that I am a mom especially to such a beautiful little girl who adds so much joy to so many lives

9. I am a step mom...and I can honestly say that I have great relationships with two out of my three stepchildren...that is not bad odds when you look at the statistics in our country...I would do anything for all of them and needed them as much as they needed me over the years...no I am the best step mom I have ever met or even heard of and everyone who knows me would agree...I treat my step kids like they are my own

10. I have an English Bulldog Bambi who was the center of our lives before my daughter came along...I am embarrassed to say that I ignore Bambi most of the time now...I just don't have the capacity to give her the love I did before and I feel guilty about it

11. At my last staffing firm, I was the youngest Regional Manager, overseeing all Massachusetts branches, in the company's history...I found that work was always there for me when my boyfriend/fiance/husband, friends or family weren't....as a result, I was married to the company and did very well..I influenced alot of careers and lives...most of the work was rewarding but I also saw the very dark side of corporate America and grew up because of that

12. I see a counselor regularly...having to manage a stressful life and blended family is very challenging and she is the BEST...I love you Cecilia! I am prone to anxiety and not sleeping and she really helps to put so much into prospective...helps to show me that not everything is my fault...and gives me suggestions on how to manage other people in my life...my time with her is priceless...and so is Tylenol PM for that matter!!

13. Although I miss my husband when he gigs (2nd job- works so hard for all of us)..I do enjoy my Friday nights whether they are alone or withe the kiddos...I like feeding Monk...putting her to bed and then pouring a glass of red wine....enjoying a nice quiet dinner with wine in hand AND the NETFLIX film of the week :)

14. I LOVE that Facebook came into my life...I have been able to reconnect with people I never thought I would hear from for the rest of my life and as silly as it sounds...it has brought me so much joy and excitement

15. My best friend Cassandra was one of my roomates in Watertown and we're soul mates...if you can have a "same sex soulmate"....I never really fight with my friends anymore but we get on each other's nerves sometimes and because of this and so many other reasons that she is the closest to a sister I will ever come

16. I never looked at my mother as my hero until my daughter was born....I thought I could achieve everything my mother did easily and boy was I wrong...when I look at life I only want what she has had and what she has achieved and I find such difficulty in doing so many of those things...so you guessed it...numero uno hero

17. and my Dad? He became a new man the day my daughter was born...he fell in love and it is the first time I have ever seen passion in his eyes or see him show a strong interest in anything (outside of the Patriots, golf and bowling) and he would do anything for little Diana...I get such joy by watching him enjoy her

18. I started out as a Democratic in college and after and I have slowly become an independent....I voted for Obama but would not again...if I lived in Massachusetts, I would have voted for Scott Brown...I am deathly afraid of the National Healthcare Reform act and what it will mean for my parents, us and our kids

19. I was the President of the Windham NH PTA for 3 years until I felt that I was not welcome anymore...why? I am a working mom which is rare in Windham...I was not as "hands on" as so many would have liked me to be...I mean I am pretty superhuman but if anything was going to suffer for awhile...it was not going to be my family or my job. A few women bullied me off the board...and I am so glad that happened. It helped me to become even stronger and showed me that I could do even more and influence education in town even on my own. The notes and sentiments I got from so many parents in town were overwhelming. My work did not go unnoticed and my ego slowly healed. I have been asked by several individuals to run for school board and although my family needs me more right now, it is good to know that I am still wanted by our educational community.

20. I worked for Satan once in my life and I am so grateful that I escaped him....so many of you know who I am talking about and how much he controlled my life for way too long...I sometimes can't believe I escaped him and sometimes still dream about him controlling me and scaring me with every last phone call and every last email that read "Call me!"

21. 2009 was the worst year I have experienced professionally....I have never struggled financially this way and never knew I would ever have to worry about losing my home and affecting the lives of my entire family...God willing...things are moving in the right direction...slowly but surely...and I pray we will survive

22. I love sushi, pizza, chocolate and seafood...but I am also a fan of my own cooking...I make the best calzone...pizza....soup (well not as good as my mom's but hey it is ok)....creative lasagnas...stuffed shells and linquine with clam sauce

23. I love Yankee Candles...my favorite scents are Sage & Citrus, Clean Cotton, Vineyard and Island Spa

24. I love perfume...in fact...I make many memories through smells and scents...as a result, I wear specific perfumes during specific seasons...it is one of my fun and quirky little hobbies...some samples on the schedule are as follows: Winter- Angel, Lolita Lopenca, Clinique Happy, Pink Sugar, Armani Woman AND Spring- Estee Lauder Pleasures, BCBG Metro AND Summer- Miami Glo, Cool Water AND Fall- Tuscany per Donna, Burberry Weekend

25. I love reality television- Tori & Dean, Jon & Kate (I am mourning them still), Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, The Biggest Loser...I am addicted

26. My favorite shows include Glee, Grey's Anatomy, The Office and Modern Family

27. I am a morning person and I LOVE getting up at the crack of dawn...before anyone else...to exercise and get a head start on the day...I feel like a true winner the days I do this (not always)

28. I am destined to be thin

29. I am destined to be a marathon runner

30. I should be living in a warm client...the only thing keeping me/us here is family...in three more years, we will have the freedom to go wherever we want...but I am sure we won't...well not completely sure but somewhat???

31. I am the best party planner I know...I love to coordinate food, drinks, music, decorations, etc....it brings me so much joy

32. I was a wedding planner in another life...and I am still obsessed with weddings...it hasn't gone away...I have had this illness since I was 6

33. I work too hard and I still always feel guilty that I am not doing enough...if only I would work that hard on myself...I wouldn't be such a mess half the time

34. I love mouldings...wayne's coating...fireplaces...flat lots and neighborhoods and we are striving to make these dreams come true...oh yeah a dining room and room for guests to sleep over too!

35. I am obsessed with my Blackberry and don't know what I would do without it...gotta love modern technology at your fingertips

36. My best friend Julie lost her mom last year and I still can't believe it...she was taken far too young...Julie and her mom were best friends...I used to look at their relationship and wished that my mom and I could share the same things...they spent every day together...they could afford to...they went to yard sales, lunches, playgroups...all together...I look up to her for all of the strength she has had to go on without her and I will never forget Lorraine's voice..it was so unique...so gentle and she was a special woman who loved me unconditionally...the same way Julie does.

37. My best friend Ann Marie will never see this post....she never responds to emails...she is not web savvy and not on Facebook (obviously- duh). Outside of her distance to technology, she reminds me of myself so much...I can truly be myself with Ann Marie and never have to worry if I didn't make a dinner fancy enough or if her husband is having fun....it is okay for me to relax and just be me...our relationship is effortless...I am so glad that work brought us together...and after we both escaped "Satan", we continue to have our personal relationship which is always so fun

38. Pet peeves? People who are rude and don't even care, people who don't write thank you notes (kinda goes with the first pet peeve right?), people who are late, people who love to stir up drama by creating friction and negativity, laziness, people who do not take responsibility for their actions, being under-appreciated. All the "Christmas Easter" church goers...you know who you are!

39. I had the BEST four years of my life in college and knew then as I do now how lucky I was and am...and so thankful to my parents for making that happen for me...I grew up in college and really learned who I was and what I could offer the world

40. I love polka-dots, stripes, pink, blue, white and black...for clothes...decorating...stationary...everything!

41. I love Lilly Pulitzer...pink and green...all things preppy

42. I stink at golf but I love it and hope to return to the greens this year!!! (The best day of golf I had was at the Andover Country Club 6 years ago)

43. Some of my favorite places include Chatham, Cancun, Florida, Boston, Maine, Newburyport and Portsmouth

44. I don't like living on a main road AT ALL...but no Cecilia! I am not judging myself for doing so...I promise :)

45. I love Windham...and as much as I do and as much work I have put into the town..I am open to moving...back to Mass or finally south...I am keeping an open mind and know that God will bring me where he wants to anyway

46. I LOVE our new pastor and truly believe that he is responsible for packing the house...I am sure it also has something to do with the tough economic times too but Father Steve is truly amazing

47. I often fantasize about getting lypo suction on my stomach and getting a nose job

48. I professionally straighten/relax my hair and know that the RUSK Anti-Curl is the best product for my hair AND my mother is the best hairdresser EVA (as we say in New England)

49. Diana is a diva...she is a love....a mother already (and her daycare teachers back this up) and hysterical but she has a temper too and gets annoyed with all of us...ah the life of a diva

50. I met Nomar Garciaparra at a friend's Christmas Party...shortly after he had been named Rookie of the Year...when I was introduced to him, I asked "so you play for the minors right?" He was cool about it but my grandmother wouldn't let me forget it!!

51. Diana was named after my mother, my grandmothers and Rob's grandmother...Diane is my mom's name and Mary (her middle name) is the name of three out of our four grandmothers...I used to drive by Nani's house on my way to all of my doctor's appointments and I would say a prayer to her and Nani Binda to keep us both healthy and safe...the prayers worked and Diana is a tribute to the women who took care of me

52. I have been accepted to Lesley University Grad School for teaching...two times now...ask me about it some day!

53. I don't do laundry..my husband is the master of laundry...he always had been...way before I came along and it hasn't changed...another reason why he rocks

54. I love when Randy Jackson laughs at the Idol contestants...I start giggling immediately and can't stop

55. I get SO ANNOYED with the people who say to me "no I can't...it would screw up my unemployment" OH OK!!!!!!!!

56. The three places where I am most happy? At home with my family...the beach...on stage

57. I have been through a bitter divorce....I had to tell my parents that my marriage was ending...I have had to fire several people....I have stepped into a broken family and helped to mend it the only way I know how...I have worked for Satan (already covered that)...I battled through a 36 hour labor...4 hours of pushing and a C Section and yet 2009 has scared me more than anything else ever has....I am holding on to hope 2010! Please don't let me down

58. I am learning about stocks and the stock market and Robby B is as well...it is a fun little hobby right now and something we are hoping can be a lucrative investment as we bounce back

59. I worry about my brother and hope that he continues on the healthy and happy path he has been on since he met Gina...I want him to find the independence he so needs and I pray for his happiness

60. I am so thankful that my boss now allows me to work from home two days/week...I have never been so thankful in my life and I know he knows that....what I love most about those days? The work I achieve (I challenge myself to hit so many calls and emails on those days....challenge myself to learn something new about business/current hiring) and then being able to leave the house on those evenings to go and pick up the kids and help with the carpooling that we never could help with before...I love giving back and it has done wonders for my soul

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Caiden's 3rd Birthday!























































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