A Blessed Christmas

Seasons Greetings Friends! As I sit here waiting for the babes to get ready for dinner, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the great things I have in life! I’m very thankful for my husband of over 10 years! Together we have built a beautiful home, with two awesome fur babies, and we are very blessed for our life!

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I’m very thankful for my awesome family! “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all!” I’m also blessed with a fantastic circle of friends. Without you my life would be incomplete!

So from my home to yours, I wish you all the blessings in the world, not just at Christmas, but every day! Merry Christmas!!!

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Boston/10 Year Anniversary Trip

We went to Boston last weekend to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. I want to take a second to say a big giant “Thank You” for all the likes/well-wishes via Facebook and text messages.  That was so sweet of you to think of us on our special day.  The last 10 years has been an incredible journey for both the babes and me, and there was no other place we wanted to celebrate than in our favorite city (yes, I still love NYC, but there’s just something about Boston that I love). 

Friday we drove up, checked in and went to one of our favorite places to eat – Beantown Pub.  Naturally, I had to have my Sam Adams’ Red Brick Beer (you can only get it on tap in Boston – you can’t even buy it a liquor store).  Here we are enjoying our beers:

Afterwards, we headed to the Sam Adams’ Brewery, but yours truly got sick.  I guess the combo of lunch, beer, heat, and exhaustion kicked me in the rear.  Not exactly how I planned on spending our Anniversary, but Eddie was a good sport, so we headed back to our hotel to rest before dinner.  I gave him my letter that I wrote in honor of this special occasion (for the record, I broke out my 12 y/o self with the oragami folding):

For dinner, we went to a place called The Barking Crab.  I heard about it from watching Man vs Food, and it was also recommended by a friend on Facebook.  I tried Lobster for the first time ever; given my aversion to messy meals, I opted for the lobster roll (basically lobster piled onto a hot dog roll).  It was delicious!!!

Here’s Ed, mid-bite.  Nothing like getting all up his personal space!!

Afterwards, we walked around the harbor and just enjoyed the scenery.  We stopped for a bit and reflected on the last 10 years and what we hope for the next 10 years. 

We cabbed it back to the hotel and went to a local bar that we visited before called Jacob Wirth’s.  The last time we were there my BFF Val and I stalked a random celebrity (very D-list, but whatevs).  This time, we happened to be there on piano night.  There was a guy named Mel playing the piano and everyone would shout out different songs for him to play and everyone would sing along.  Eddie and I got a lot of laughs out of it.

Saturday we got up and went to breakfast, then we headed to out to Faneuil Hall/Marketplace and did some shopping.  Afterwards, we went on a cruise from Boston to Salem, MA.  For those who don’t know about Salem, that’s where the witch trials took place and it’s also the birthplace of Nathaniel Hawthorne (author).  Eddie wanted no parts of the Witch Trials, so we just walked around and enjoyed the scenery and stopped at Salem Beer Works for lunch. 

{If this picture doesn’t scream “Yo Shan!” I don’t know what does}

After getting back to Boston, we headed over to the North End (Boston’s “Little Italy” as Ed kept referring to it) and went to Mike’s Pastries.  From what I was told, this place had hands down the best cannoli’s ever.  The Babes (being my resident expert in all things Italian Culture), disagreed.  I thought it was good, but he thought the shell didn’t taste right.  We also got a Lobster Claw and a piece of red velvet cake.  They were all phenomenal (and I’m not much of a sweets eater).

We then headed out and about in the North End and happened to stumble along an Italian Festival/Block Party.  I really wish we were both hungry to try the sausage & pepper sandwiches, the fried dough, or the pizza.  All of it smelled fantastico!

We finally settled back to the hotel to enjoy our pastries and the hotel staff was nice enough to send us a wine and cheese platter in honor of our 10 year anniversary. Ed had me call the front desk to make sure we weren’t going to be charged for this deliciousness before diving in (seriously, he couldn’t leave his cheap ways back in Jersey??).  Thankfully, it was complimentary and we dug in. Besides, if there’s cheese right in front of my face, how can you expect me NOT to eat it!!!

Sunday we got up early and went for breakfast and walked all along Commonwealth Ave.  Seriously, this is my most favorite place it the world.  You can see why in my pictures below.  What I wouldn’t give to live in one of these homes (and to have the funds that go along with it)!!!

Sadly, it was time to head home.  It was a little bittersweet because I would have loved to stay, but we had to get home to our doggies (and yes, I missed them terribly).  But of course, we had to make one last stop on our way home to get our pizza on:

All good things must come to an end.  I’m fortunate for the memories and look forward to going back soon (in fact we are going back up in 2 weeks for an overnight trip for the Miami/Boston College football game, but this is a very, very short trip).  Have any of you taken any good vacations this summer?  Do tell!

101 in 1001 update – part 1 of 2

So I’m highly embarrassed that I have not updated this in nearly a year.  So much has happened, and quite frankly most nights it’s hard to get on the computer, and thanks to my babes for my iPad, I’ve been too obsessed with Pinterest (and now Instagram) that I do nothing but that….lol.  With that said, here’s a brief update as to where I am on my 101 in 1001 challenge:

#4 – Run the Broad Street 10 Mile Run in Philadelphia – In 2011, I failed this task thanks to over-training, so I was more determined than ever to finish.  My goal was to finish in under 2 hours.  I finished with a chip time of 1 hr, 55 min.  Minus the need to go potty along the way, I felt that I did really well (so well that I wasn’t even sore the next day).  I’m already looking forward to the race next year as it was probably one of the best races I have ever run. Here’s me after the race (and right before the Babes complained that he was “too tired from all the walking he did”):

#9 – Plant a perennial garden in my yard –   Thanks to Facebook, I received some suggestions on what to do with the bare spot in my yard. I  added some azalea bushes (which stay green all year after flowering in early spring), some Coral Bells, and some tulips for the spring.  So far I’ve nearly killed one azalea bush (how is that possible?), but I’m working on bringing that puppy back to life.

#26 – Write a letter to Eddie for him to open on our 10 year wedding anniversary (08.17.12) –   Well, I’m almost complete (meaning that I’ve channeled my inner-nerd and wrote an outline of what I wanted to say like it’s a damn term-paper).  There are so many loving memories/emotions that were present while writing this.  I’m just so thankful for him and the life we’ve built together.  I can’t share this one, like I did last year, just because it’s a bit too personal to share with the whole bloggy world (and I like to have some privacy…lol).  Happy Anniversary Babes – xoxo

#31  – Have my picture taken with Santa Claus –   On 12/3/11 (yeah, I can’t believe it’s really been that long since I blogged), my friends Mike & Sara had their baby girl’s first birthday party – a Winter ‘One’derland.  No winter party is complete without the jolly old fella, so being the mature adult that I am, I had to get my picture taken.  Check out all my cheesey-ness here:

#37 – Have one weekend a month for an entire year without any commitments – Dunzo and I have to say that was one of my favorite tasks.  The two weekends for November/December were 11/12-11/13 and 12/10-12/11.  I’m still trying to continue this, because I know my schedule fills up fast (hell, I have plans well into December already) and I think it’s important to take time for yourself.

#40 – Go see ND/UM Football Game with Eddie in 2012 – well, it’s official.  We are going to Chicago to see Notre Dame/Miami Football Game.  This has been on the Babes radar since 2004 (I think, college football games are sometimes scheduled so far in advance).  I’m pretty excited because I’ve never been to Chicago.  So bring on the deep dish pizza and hopefully a Miami win for the Babes.

#43 – Watch all Godfather Movies –  I’m 2/3, I watched Part I on 8/5, and watched Part II on 8/10.  Most people were shocked that I was married to an Italian and I had never seen them.  I blame the Babes for this one.  He showed me a scene about a horses head in someones bed and I totally spazzed and refused to watch. But since it was on the list, I felt I had to do it.  I will note a few things – (a) they are great movies (despite the whole horses head thingy), (b) Al Pacino was H-O-T (which confirms my attraction to short Italian men) and (c) in typical girl fashion, I recognized every reference to ‘The Godfather’ that was in the movie ‘You’ve Got Mail’ (Eddie said those references weren’t true or that he didn’t remember them, but I found them ALL).

#48 – Run a half marathon So basking in my runners high after completing the Broad Street Run, I registered for my first half marathon.  On September 16th, I’m doing the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia.  Sounds pretty cool, but I wish they had a better headliner than Cobra Starship (last year they had Bret Michaels, and I love me some hot 80’s hair-band frontmen, even if his hair is the finest European weave).  I’m pretty excited, but I sincerely doubt I’ll ever run a full marathon (I like to think I’m only 1/2 crazy…lol).

How’s everything going – are you enjoying your summer?  I know I am!

Spring Awakening

Wowzer – has it really been 4 months since I last blogged?  Geez…the last time I left you, I was enjoying a nice quiet Christmas Eve by the fireplace with my two pooches.  I feel like a bear that has just awoken from a long winter nap….seriously!!!

Just to give you a crash course of what’s been going on – Christmas was wonderful.  Spent a nice day with the family and the babes spoiled me with my iPad (thanks again babes).  We rang in the New Year with a few close friends and had a great time (although I’m saddened by the recent passing of Dick Clark).  January went by in a complete blur (that is also my busy busy season at work with year-end and stuff).  The winter was great, we rarely got snow (insert happy dance) and I was able to get out and get back into running.  I’m feeling really good about where I am with it and I’m looking forward to a few races coming up in the next few months.  Ed took me out to dinner and gave me beautiful roses for Valentine’s Day.  Sometime in March, I took a mini-vacation from work and generally for the past few weeks, I’ve just been keeping a low profile and enjoying the warm weather.  We finally booked our trip to Chicago and we are planning a trip to Boston for our 10 year anniversary! Oh, and I’ve gardening too, but that’s not all peaches and roses – yes, I do not have a green thumb!

So what have you been up to?  Stay tuned – I’ll have updates on my 101 in 1001 journey in the next few days…..

Season’s Greetings

To My Dear Friends,

I just wanted to take an opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

From my home to yours,
Shannon, Ed, Mario, and Mia

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Thankful Journal V – November 20th to November 24th

**12/20/11 – Happy belated Thanksgiving.  I had this post written to be published on 11/25, but given my need to jump into all things Christmas, I sort of forgot to hit the update button (and when I went to write a new post today, I saw this was still listed as a draft – whoops).  So if you have a leftover turkey leg (although I must put in a disclaimer that it may or may not be good for you), enjoy my final installment of my Thankful Journal.  I hope you have found a silver lining in each day like I have**

Sunday – November 20, 2011 – The little people in my life – I have four nieces and nephews that I love dearly and I cherish each and every one of them.  They are all awesome in their own way – Dana is my teenage diva, Riley has no fear, Makenzie is my creative and artsy child, and Colton is just pure sweetness and can melt my heart.  Love these little brats

Monday – November 21, 2011 – Kind Co-Workers – I’m working on an Advent Calendar and one of my co-workers was nice enough to lend me a staple gun to help with my project.  More on that soon!

Tuesday – November 22, 2011 – Getting Skunked – So my co-worker had an issue with her dog and a skunk (basically the dog got sprayed with a skunk) and her whole house smelled like skunk.  So she came into work on Tuesday and had a bit of an odor.  We all teased her (I told her that “she was bringing skunky back”) and had a good laugh at her expense.  Looks like she got skunked (much love to you Skunky Chrissy!!!)

Wednesday – November 23, 2011 – General Happiness – So normally I’m a pretty pleasant, happy-go-lucky type, but today I’m just generally more happy.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m on the horizon of a 4-day weekend (YES!!!!) or that I’m just generally blessed.  Either way, there was an extra pep in my step and I’m loving it!

Thursday – November 24, 2011 – An Attitude of Gratitude – Well, Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  I’m thankful for my family, friends, a day off from work, and just having a blessed life!  I’ve been through my share of ups and downs, but I’m glad that I have chosen to use these as lessons and have them help me shape who I am today.  I hope that you and your families have lots to be thankful for too!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Thankful Journal IV – November 13th to November 19th

Wow,  Thanksgiving is less than a week away.  That’s insane, but so is one local radio station playing Christmas Music (and as a self-professed Christmas Junkie, this even irritates me – although I may have slightly contradicted myself below).  So, I’m back with my 4th installment of the Thankful Journal…..

Sunday – November 13, 2011 – Old Jokes – Back in HS, I had this one teacher who on the 13th of any given month would say “Friday the 13th Comes on a Sunday this month” (assuming the 13th would be on a Sunday).  So this morning I was awoken with this little reminder – and of course I had to beat my BFF Val to it and posted it on her Facebook wall (it is now a challenge to see who gets to it first every month)

Monday – November 14, 2011 – Warm Weather and Christmas Music Collide – it was a very nice day (and nice I mean sunny and 70 – which is very rare for NJ in November).  I happened to be flipping through the stations and found myself belting out Winter Wonderland.  Seemed odd, especially since it’s not even Thanksgiving yet (I don’t like Christmas Music until the day after Thanksgiving), but admittingly there was just something refreshing about it.

Tuesday – November 15, 2011 – Pinterest – Have you checked out Pinterest?  OMG, I’m hooked. Not only do you get to browse different ideas (DIY, Home, food, etc), but you get to pin your inspirations on a virtual board.  It keeps me busy for hours – especially the Humor section, where I found these gems:

By the way, if you are a friend on Facebook and want a Pinterest invite, let me know; I’ll email you an invitation!

Wednesday – November 16, 2011 – Carside Take-Out – I have a sinus infection and on this particular day, I felt like I was repeatedly getting punched in the face.  After realizing that I had left overs from the previous nights dinner for the babes, I ordered some soup from Carrabbas.  It was nice not having to cook!

Thursday – November 17, 2011 – Being Creative – I’m working on a project, which is rather funny, unfortunately I can’t share many details, at least until after the recipient receives it (and I will remain tight-lipped until then)

Friday – November 18, 2011 – End of a Work Week – Friday was a little hectic and stressful and I was more than happy to know it was also the end of a work week.  Woo hoo for the weekend (even though it was a busy one)

Saturday – November 19, 2011 – Facebook and Extended Family – I have a very unconventional family.  I barely know anything aside my Mother’s – Mother’s side (if that make sense).  So thanks to Facebook, I reconnected with my cousin Kim and my cousin Anita (they are relatives on my Mother’s-Father’s side aka the Hagerthey side).  I hosted a dinner and it was great to have everyone over (and finally meet Anita), learn a little about the Hagerthey side and just general conversation.  I hope we can all get together again soon!

I’ve loved seeing the different happy thankful posts on Facebook – keep them coming!