Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I found out tonight that a friend of a friend of mine got killed this weekend in a car accident in Buffalo. This is a link to one of the articles about it. He was the driver that caused the accident.


I met him a few times many years ago and remember him to be a really nice and funny guy. He was an only child and his Mom was a single Mom with not much family around anymore. A very sad situation.

Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Rest in peace Justin.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another Fall Love...

Concord grapes! I LOVE them! I always forget about them until I go to the public market and see them in their glory! I remember being a kid and going for our annual "country drive" to get pumpkins. Granted I thought they were boring as heck, but I always remember my Dad buying these purple grapes that would "pop" in your mouth. Well, once I got older, the country drives decreased so I didn't have those grapes for years. Then when I moved out here, I went to the public market and there they were-the purple "popping" grapes! I know some people probably think they're gross, but man I've grown to love them. The only downfall? They have seeds :( But it's another thing I love about fall-$2 a quart at the market buys me enough to last an entire week! YUM!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fall Television

Fall TV-how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1. Amazing Race
2. Criminal Minds
3. Biggest Loser
4. Intervention
5. Dr 90210
6. Heroes

Ah yes, the return of our favorite television shows! Isn't it grand? I have to say that I'm a little iffy on Heroes this year. It's been off for awhile so the season premiere the other night was very confusing to me since there was such a gap in time from when it was on last. I only watched the first half and recorded the second half. I still haven't watched it yet, so I just don't know if I'll get into it again this season. Amazing Race is one of our faves-I look forward to it each season and it starts up this Sunday. I've watched it since the first season. Criminal Minds is another favorite for me-Gabe finds it funny that I like "twisted" shows like that-but it's up there on the list for sure! Last year was the first time we got into the Biggest Loser. It was the couples show that they had-we enjoyed it, so we're tuning in this season as well. Intervention and Dr 90210 are on random channels, but I enjoy them as well. I have a bunch of those episodes recorded that I need to sit down and watch. I'm just thrilled that there is actually stuff to watch on TV now!

Monday, September 22, 2008

100 Miles...

of running? Most of us wouldn't even contemplate this idea. Gabe's friend, Ed, not only contemplated it, he attempted it this past weekend.

Gabe met Ed a few years ago at a previous job. Ed has always been a runner-doing 5K's, the Corporate Challenge, etc. Last year he attempted a 50 mile race and dropped out (I think he got injured). He went on to later finish a 50K race. Earlier this year he finished a 50 mile race in about 12 hours-finishing that was a requirement to register for a 100 mile race.

So this past Saturday, the 20th, was the big day. Gabe volunteered to be a pace runner for him, which is something they can utilize once they hit the 55 mile mark. The race was in Virgil, NY and started at 6am Saturday. Gabe arrived in Virgil around 9pm Saturday when Ed was just finishing his 55th mile. Gabe laced up his shoes and ran with him for about 6.3 miles. They finished that around midnight, then Ed's wife went out with Ed for a few miles. Gabe went back out around 1:30am and did another 6.3 with Ed which brought him around the 73 mile mark. They finished that around 4am and then Gabe took a snooze in his car. He was woken up at 10am to do another 5 miles with Ed-which they finished close to 1pm. Ed then had about 9 miles left to complete, which his wife wanted to do with him. We are happy to say that Ed finished the race in 35 hours (the cut off was 36 hours)! I'm sure he was completely exhausted-no sleep, very little sitting, etc.

Oh, and did I mention this isn't a street/paved race? Oh no-it's a trail run-which basically means they run through the forest. Gravel, dirt, tree roots, rocks, trees-you name it! Gabe said parts of the trail were so steep that you had to use a rope to help you climb up and walk backwards down hills to get down. So this isn't some easy course. Ya know, 100 miles isn't hard enough, you have to add in some other crazy elements to make it even harder!

I'm not much of a runner myself so I never think of the stuff that actually goes on during these races....like men's nipples getting chafed by their shirt to the point of bleeding (just one of the few spots that get chafed)! Or excreting waste and having to bury it! How about running in pitch darkness with a head lamp on? Or using painted tree trunks to tell you where the path goes. Or running when your body is completely exhausted and ready for bed. These are all factors that you have to practice. The thought of it is just insane to me. And when Ed was training, he never even got close to running that sort of distance. What the training has him do is maybe go out and run 30miles one day, then get up the next morning and do 20 miles. I think that was the longest practice run they have you do. So you never know what your body will actually do for that sort of distance.

There was only 28 runners in the race and 11 of them dropped out. Ed said there are maybe only a few thousand people in the country who are able to complete a race like this. And guess what?! He's one of them!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yay Weekend!

TGIF-gotta love it!
If you live in Rochester, you have to try this cafe called Orien's. It's on Long Pond Rd and has amazing Italian food (pastries, cookies, gelato, etc.). I went with my sister-in-law last night and we had some gelato-it was sooo good! They had about 20 flavors and they all looked so good. Definitely a place to try out!
Not much going on this weekend-I'm meeting a girlfriend for coffee tonight, picking up Gabe at the airport (yay!) at midnight. Tomorrow we'll probably hit the public market with Gabe's parents and our niece and nephew. Then I think we're seeing some friends during the day. Gabe is heading to Virgil, NY tomorrow night to help "pace" his friend who's running a 100 mile race (yes, you read correctly-this might be another topic to write about....). So he'll be gone tomorrow night and part of Sunday. Nothing planned for me while he's gone-maybe run some errands, but that's about it. Sunday is pretty open-just relaxing a bit. I'm just glad for the weekend-except for they go by way too fast!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Jungle" Demolition

A few weeks ago, my Mom came out to start the demolition of our front yard (the jungle). This past weekend, she came out and finished the demo with us.
This is what we started out with...as you can see, very overwhelming and no idea where to start!

This is what it looked like after demo day #1:

And here is what it looks like today-after demo day #2:

We still have to get the stumps from some of the bushes removed and probably rototill the soil. Then we have to decide what to do in its place! Definitely something low maintenance! Impressive, huh?!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Single Wife

So I'm a "single wife" this week. Gabe went to Minneapolis for a work training. We were up at 430am today for him to get to the airport for his 6am flight. On top of the wind storm last night, I was on about 4 hours of sleep by the time I got to work. Of course I can't wait to get to bed tonight!

Nothing really planned while he's gone-just my usual stuff-nail appt., working out, etc. He'll be home late on Friday night so at least he'll be here for the weekend. It's weird being home alone when you're used to having someone else here. I miss my hubby already :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rochester Marathon

Today was the Rochester Marathon. Usually I wouldn't care much, except for that this year, my husband ran in the half marathon (13.1 miles). He enjoys running-he runs home from work usually 1-2 times a week. Back in January he wanted to run the full marathon, but the training for it was tough to keep up with-running about 5 times a week. So he decided he'd go for the half instead. He didn't really train all that much-just he runs home from work and a few runs with friends on the weekends here and there. He did several 5K races this year and also did the Lilac 10K. This would be his longest race yet.

We were both up early-his race started at 745am! Lucky for me, the course went down the street next to ours. So around 830 and 4 miles into the race, I got to go and cheer him on right around the corner from our house! Then I made the trek to the finish line around 945 to catch him finish his first half marathon. I've gone to see him finish several races and have grown to like watching people finish...especially longer distances like this. I'm not much of a runner myself-I've done a 5K and the corporate challenge, but nothing near this length-I just don't have it in me. So it's really cool to watch people reach the finish line-there are so many emotions you see-laughing, crying, fans cheering them along-it's pretty exhilarating!! At the race today I saw several people crying, a girl getting carried, several injured people....and I also saw the female lead marathon runner finish which was pretty cool.

If you aren't in the area, it was probably one of the most difficult running days you could get-sunny, mid 80s and humidity that was unbearable. I felt so bad for the runners! And to make it worse, Gabe said the first 4 water stations were out of cups so most people didn't get to drink for the first few miles which is just awful!

Anyways, Gabe finished in just under 3 hours-I think he was a little disappointed with his time, but I think he's very happy he finished, especially in the conditions. He was pretty sore at the end-his feet and legs hurt pretty bad. He did a great job and I'm so proud of him for the accomplishment! Here are a few photos I took when I was at the finish line:
Rounding the corner to the home stretch....

Making his way to the end!Proudly showing off his medal.Congratulations Gabe!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Brownie Mallow Treats

Let me preface this by saying that my Mom and I are known for our desserts. Mom and I both love to bake and through the years we've acquired some awesome recipes. Every family function I can remember, we were on dessert duty. So I figured that as I bake things, I'll try to post the famous recipes on here as well! Why not share the wealth right?! I've followed in Mom's footsteps and always make desserts when I'm invited somewhere. I just love to bake and sometimes will just bake because I'm in the mood. So we had our annual block party this weekend and our house number was assigned either a dessert or salad. You guessed it-dessert it was!

So I chose this recipe....actually Mom and I made these years ago and LOVED them. Then we lost the recipe somehow! We always thought about them, but never found our recipe. The genius that I am (haha) decided to look on the internet and voila-there it was! I have no idea what they're really called, but Brownie Mallow Treats sound good to me! So here you go:

Brownie Mallow Treats
1 box fudge brownie mix (for a 9 x 13" pan-larger size box)
1 bag (10oz roughly) mini marshmallows
1 tbsp. butter
2 cups chocolate chips (I used an entire bag-it's close enough)
1 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 1/2 cup crisped rice cereal

1. Grease bottom of 9 x 13" pan (or spray with non-stick spray). Mix brownies according to box instructions. Bake roughly 20-22min. on 350.(I usually bake less than the box says because if you do it that long, they'll be over done).

2. Take out of oven, top with marshmallows and bake another 3min. The marshmallows will not be completely melted. Let cool on a wire rack.

3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine butter, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Add cereal and stir until coated. Pour mixture over marshmallows and spread. Refrigerate about 2 hours before serving.

I usually cut these into small pieces because they are pretty rich.

And here they are ready to go!They were a big hit....and a piece of heaven!

Thursday, September 11, 2008



A day most of us will remember forever.

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when the attacks started?

I vaguely remember.....

Let's see-I was 22 years old and it was the year I wasn't in school (I took a year hiatus between my bachelor's and masters degree). I was waitressing in evenings so my days were free. All of what I remember is that I got up to go to the gym to take an exercise class with my Mom. I got out of bed and got dressed... came downstairs and I remember my Mom saying the towers were hit. I can't remember if it was just one or both at that time-I'm thinking it was just one because I remember thinking it was a freak accident. So Mom and I went to the gym and as we were walking into class, our instructor zoomed by us in the opposite direction with her hand on her head like she was about to faint and she just said "they hit the pentagon! We're under attack!"

Needless to say that entire day we were glued to the tv. I can't remember if I worked that night or not, but I just remember watching tv for days it seemed. You just couldn't get enough of the images and the stories. And I remember being scared to death. Of course I never expressed it to anyone that I was, but I was. I just remember shows mentioning what types of places would be hit next or would be good targets. Niagara Falls was one of them because of the power plants they have. Well, Niagara Falls was only 15 min from my house. So the thought of it scared the heck out of me. And I don't know how people could get on a plane after that. To this day, I'm still a little afraid to fly. And I'm sure most of us are to some degree.

Luckily I didn't know anyone in NYC so I wasn't directly affected by the attacks. I was and still am deeply saddened for those who were. It will be a day that will never be forgotten, that's for sure. And it's a day that we all hope we will never have to face again.

What do you remember?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My "Baby"

I feel like I need to introduce our other family member on here! She is our cute cat named Jerri and she is a little over a year old. How did we come up with her name?! Well, I know it has something to do with Seinfeld. Gabe and I were in a habit early in our relationship where we would refer/call each other Jerry. That sort of died out, but we said if we ever had a pet, we would name it Jerry. Of course since the cat is female, we went with the more female spelling!

We had no intention of getting an animal. I've always had animals growing up-fish, hamsters, then finally a cat. When I moved to Rochester, I had nothing-so it sort of felt odd not having an animal to come home to. Last summer, Gabe emailed me and said a coworker of his rescued some kittens from a guy. He was dropping them off at a barn to go into the wild-and probably for them to die-they were only 4 weeks old. She happened to see him and took the kittens-she decided to keep them and find them good homes. So of course when I saw the email, I had to see the kittens. I was all for getting one, Gabe wasn't too thrilled with the idea. So we went out that night to see them-and ended up bringing one home! When we got there, there were 3 left-one orange one, one grey one and a calico. The orange one was somewhat claimed (and got picked up while we were there) so really it was just 2 left. We decided on the grey one and brought her home. I know Gabe would have taken the orange one had we had the option.

We were so unprepared for her arrival-we had a carrying case from Gabe's old cat, but that was it. So that night, I was out buying food, a dish, litter, and a box for her. But I didn't care-I was so excited! She was a problem kitty at first-was at the vet a lot-she had a respiratory infection and runny eyes so she was there a few times for that. Then we had to get her shots and spayed too. She was 5 weeks old when we got her and so tiny-she was 2lbs at her first vet appt.! So now she's a little over a year old and just too cute. Gabe has grown to love her as well. She's pretty playful and is obsessed with this one blanket we have-she loves sleeping on it! Wherever the blanket is, that's where you'll find her sleeping. She usually sleeps with us at night too which is so cute. I just love coming home to an unempty house now-and she always keeps us laughing! Here are a few pics of her growing up:

This is her when we went to pick her up (she's the one on the left):

One of my favorite kitten pics of her:

Sleeping on Gabe's lap:

Helping me carve the pumpkin for Halloween:

Exploring the fridge:

Sleeping on her favorite blanket last month:

Isn't she just the cutest?!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Feels Like Fall

So another weekend is coming to an end-and boy did it feel fallish this weekend-a little cooler than we're used to and not very pleasant outside at all. Just makes me think of what's to come-ugh-I don't even want to think of it!
We went to Buffalo this weekend to see my family. Got in Friday night for a home cooked meal then went to my friend's house and played some "Scene It"-a very fun game! Yesterday we were pretty much waste products. I think we watched TV for like 6 hours straight-I can't remember the last time we did that! I never heard from my other friend's so we really had nothing going on. Then we went to pick up our proof book from our photographer and somehow the CD of pictures was in there! Whether or not I was supposed to get the CD, I don't know (personally I think it was a mistake) but I seriously think I'll be able to print out whatever pictures I want now which is very exciting to me. After that, Gabe, my Mom, and I went to DSW and then to My Tomato Pie for dinner. Came home, watched some TV then went to Anderson's for ice cream-yum! Today we were up super early-Gabe went to the Bills game with some friends so I went and dropped him off at 830am! So we were up quite early to get him there in time. This was his first experience tailgating and I think he enjoyed it-the group he went with brought a deep fryer to do wings and fries, plus hamburgs and hotdogs along with it. Unfortunately for them it rained for parts of the game and Gabe had no rain gear so he got soaked! I felt bad for him since he doesn't go to games often. They still had fun though-it was the home opener too and the Bills won so all was good. Yet another sign fall is here....while he was at the game, I went to my Dad's for a bit-had a yummy breakfast and hung out a bit. Headed back to Roc around 3, went to Weggies, and that's about it! Just relaxing the rest of the night to gear up for another work week.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Dreaded Day

Two years ago today would be the dreaded day for me-the first day of school and the end of a nice summer break. That year and the two years prior, I was a teacher. So the first day of school was huge-that knot in your stomach huge. Would the kids like me? Will I be successful with them? Will it be fun? Oh the stress....flash forward to today and it's just another day for me. Except that with most of my friends teaching, and having been in those shoes, it's always kind of a weird day for me. These days, I don't teach-I have a regular year round job.

Do I miss it? I get asked that a lot. The answer-yes and no. Things I miss-the actual teaching of something-knowing that someone is learning something from me. I also miss the time off-who doesn't want to work only 180 days a year?! And to some extent I miss the kids-the good ones that is. There were some that just made your day or made you laugh. I also miss the paycheck. What don't I miss? Oh boy-answering to 1000 different people and making them all happy-parents, kids, team teachers, subject supervisors, administrators. They all wanted to see you do something different and all had different thoughts on your teaching ability. I also don't miss the kids-the brats-there were a few in every class-they just drive you insane and constantly are bad. I don't miss planning, grading, being creative (lord knows I'm the least creative person out there), contacting parents, meetings, etc. And for me, it just didn't seem like a family friendly job. Yeah its great when you have summers off, but during the year-not so much. I'd be at work before 8 everyday and there until 5 on a good day. Come home, eat dinner then grade papers or plan until bed at 10. How do you fit kids into that schedule?

So do I love my non-teaching job? Hmmm...I don't love it. I seriously think I'm one of those people that will never find my true passion in life. I know I'm meant to do something, I just have no idea what. I've never had a job that I loved going to everyday. Nothing I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. Going to college? Yeah, I have my bachelors and my masters but deciding what to even go to school for was a chore. And clearly I didn't make the right decision. I have no idea how to know what I'm supposed to do in life. I'm smart enough (luckily) that I could get through any program you threw at me. Would I love it after? Who knows. I mean, I love to bake, I love makeup and skincare, I loved wedding planning. But if I had to even do those things all day every day, would I love it then? I'm afraid that my "hobbies" would become something I dreaded doing all the time. And the frustrating thing is that at my current job, I've met so many teachers and other people who love their job. And it's tough when you have a husband who loves his job too. I wonder if this type of thing is hereditary? I look at my Mom and she hates her job-yet has no clue what she would do if she wasn't where she is. I'm totally following in her path-I want to like what I do and enjoy work when I go and not care that it's Monday. But maybe that will never happen for me. Maybe I'll always dread Mondays like I dreaded the first day of school.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

Oh how I love 3 day weekends! I swear, every weekend should be 3 days and not 2. Whomever decided the work week was 5 days on and 2 off is an idiot! That one extra day just makes such a difference!

So this has been the weekend of projects-starting Friday with our front yard. Yesterday we started sanding and staining a door that we removed from our entryway awhile ago. We made a trip to home depot to get all of the supplies then sanded and did two coats of stain yesterday with a trip to The Old Toad in between for dinner. This morning we got up and did one coat of stain on the other side. We have one more coat to do today then we have to seal it with polyurethane in the next few days. So far it looks great! We picked out a cherry colored stain which looks awesome on it! I can't wait to see it all finished!

My other project was downloading 2 CD's full of wedding pics to my computer, then putting them on kodak's site-then editing them and deleting the ones I didn't want to order. This ended up being a bigger project than I expected....but after a few hours, I whittled it down to 550 photos to order! Thanks to their print sale going on, it only cost me about $60. So glad that's over with! I'm anticipating a few other CD's from people so that will be more pictures to download and edit, but at least we have a bunch! Here are a few good ones I worked on this weekend....

Me and some of my girls:
The head table set up:
Gabe and I:Our signature mat photo frame:

Our beautiful wedding cake:

Those are just a few of the hundreds I went through! Of course if you want to see our pro pics, you can go here, click on "weddings" then "online weddings" then look for us-Gabe and Nicole from 7/19.

Back to work tomorrow....ugh!