Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Countdown Begins.

Today its mid-December in PA and it is actually surprisingly warm and sunny. I am starting to think that we got very lucky because I was expecting snow boots and gloves everyday, BUT I am certainly not complaining.

We have only a couple weeks before Christmas and our next big move, so I am starting the packing extravaganza-sighhh-anyone want to come help? We are so excited to be back in VA and closer to our families and friends and now its time for me to find a new job. Yesterday my Nanny Diaries ended -sniff- and now I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life. We will just have to see what exciting things God has in store for us over the next few months. I was so blessed to find a sweet family to work for while we have lived here, I will miss those three sweet ladies...

With Christmas just around the corner, I feel so excited for everything this season represents and I cannot wait for our big multi-families to get together and celebrate the birth of Christ.
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! J and C will be back in the New Year with a new city to call their home.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Okay so a few blogs ago I wrote about how hard it is to get groceries from the car alllllll the way through a few doors and down into our apartment. Any of you out there who are apartment dwellers know my pain here--the worst part is seeing one of those terrific 10for10 deals and having to think about how you will really pay for those progresso soups later when the trip from car to cabinet commences. BUT I have finally found something that truly has helped and used it for the first time today...so I am super-de-duper excited to share with anyone who has this same conflict.

It's the thirty-one Large Utility Tote!

You would not believe how many grocery bags fit in this beauty! (This photo is not mine btw mine just has a big 'S' on there for Smith!) Honestly this has CHANGED my life after grocery store trips :-)

You can get one HERE

They are $30 but well worth it! Plus you can choose from many different patterns and add a cute monogram.

Just wanted to share a little tip for some help when its time for groceries, especially shopping for Christmas dinner! 

Monday, November 28, 2011


This past week was our first Thanksgiving as a married  couple...and wow we had so much to be thankful for. Living away from your family really makes you appreciate those little things that we so often take for granted. We definitely took some time to enjoy those special family things that only happen on holidays. Just to name a few:
  • The ever-present separation of men and women--men to the TVs women to the kitchen
  • The family dinner (J and I rarely even eat at our own table...)
  • Morning coffee--J never drinks coffee so I love having coffee time with our families because I am pretty sure he is the only one who doesn't have coffee in the morning
Of course I enjoy every moment spent with our families, but those are some of those cozy moments that I miss way up here in PA. Speaking of...our moving day is set, and we will be residents of Roanoke, VA by January 1, 2012. New place for a new year!

We found a new apartment in Roanoke that we are super excited about! We will be living in 300 more square feet than we currently have for $1 less a month than we currently pay...still deciding what to do what that $12, any suggestions? Seriously though I can't wait for another room--I'm thinking craft room/office/reading area, I can't wait to decorate! AND in other news we will be having our very own WASHER/DRYER in our apartment...for those of you who don't have one you know how awesome this is!

So needless to say, J and I had so very much to be thankful for this year. We have had an amazing year in 2011 full of awesome experiences and now we are looking forward to the next chapter of our lives. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful large family and so many great friends and now we are going to be a little bit closer to everyone.

Now we just have to pack up everything and get ready for our big move...easier said than done.

Monday, November 14, 2011

J and C and a NEW City

Just as we were getting used to our new location up here in PA--its time for another move.
Drumroll please.....

Salem VA here we come!

We are quite the excited pair because this move is taking us much closer to our families and friends back in SW-VA, and J is especially excited to be back in VT country!

So for now we are scouring the internet for a new home for J, C and little P in the smaller and more familiar city of Salem. Just like our last move, we only have a few weeks to get ready for the 308 mile trip to our new home.

Hope Salem is ready for us-we can't wait to get back to Virginia. Time to start packing...seems like we just got organized :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011


My whole life I have had an interesting relationship with clutter. During my earlier years I basically ignored clutter to the point of interventions. These interventions included but were not limited to-my mother attacking my closet on her only day off from work, my friends 'coming over for a sleepover' and organizing my room, my grandmother showing the actual way to fold that turtleneck, and my sister demanding that I find her long lost tank top that I absolutely did not borrow....ooops sis I found it!

So now that I live with a boy (gasp!), in a one bedroom basement apartment, with lots of new exciting things from our wedding, clutter is lurking around every corner ready to pounce.  The thing is, J is not going to give me an intervention if the laundry isn't done on time (thank goodness!) so I have to do my own mini-interventions every now and then!

Living in a small space with tons of stuff makes your relationship with clutter become quite tense, therefore clutter and I have finally parted ways for cleaner pastures. This has been very satisfying, and now I truly know where every tank top resides. But the thing about clutter is that just a few more things can make it come back with vengeance. So with the arrival of my mom, sis, and step-dad this past weekend, clutter returned!

That clutter was so embraced because having it made their visit so real and it made our apartment so homey. Three girls getting ready in the floor of the dining room with hand mirrors is definitely not the most convenient way to primp, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Yes, we were crowded, but that's the best way to enjoy family, and most of our time was spent outside exploring.

We so enjoyed having our visitors and their clutter that after they left it felt very empty. So this morning I am drinking my coffee alone and looking at a messy Lebanon News piled up on the coffee table, I might just avoid throwing that treasure away for a few more days.

Our trip to Trax Farms!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moms...How do they do it?

Okay, so being a nanny has got me thinking about how in the world all of you wonder-moms do it all?! I have been discussing this little mystery lately with some of my friends and family because I already feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. And this is what we have come up with...

When you become a mother God gives you the superpowers of:
  • No need for sleep
  • Ability to shower and dress yourself in under 10 minutes
  • Ability to stretch groceries like the 'fish and the loaves'
  • Ability to make every part of dinner be ready at the same time (my mother-in-law should teach a class in this...and cooking in general)
  • Super willpower regarding NBCs new fall line-up
  • A new sense of turning trash to crafts
  • Knowledge of what temperature is right for a coat and scarf
So naturally I have none of the aforementioned superpowers, but being a nanny has really got me thinking that there are a few more superpowers I hope to recieve once I become a mother--these are things that all of you super-moms out there have already mastered...
  • The incredible ability to multi-task above and beyond the call of duty(my mom has got this in spades!) Yes this bastically covers everything except...
  • The ability to use Saran wrap...If having a baby doesn't give me this, I think im never gonna get the hang of it
So okay you power-moms I really don't know how you do it all, and still have clean and stylishly dressed children on your hip, but I just wanted to let you know I've been thinking about all of you and your masterful abilities to get it all done! To all of you working moms out there, just wow you are amazing. To my mommy thanks for having all of these superpowers I love you!

As for me, I think I need a few more years of practice being a wife before mommyhood...but oh its fun to dream!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The leaves still change...

So it seems that the leaves still change in Pennsylvania; which is a wonderful thing to see! The past few days have been perfect fall days-warm with a breeze and a blue cloudless sky. These days really remind me of Virginia and make me feel a little closer to home, because on days when the newly colorful trees blend into that perfectly crayon-blue sky I can imagine sitting on my moms front porch and looking at the exact same scene. Although I have to admit that there is no better view from the front porch swing.

It is truly wonderful to be able to enjoy those last few beautiful days of fall before the cold starts to haunt you, especially when you have a sweet husband who will walk with you. We newly discovered an awesome walking trail behind our apartment that has incredible scenery to enjoy along the way--except a creepo bridge that we have to walk underneath. Our favorite part is a huge beautifully manicured horse farm that stretches out over rolling hills. The owners have a gorgeous old farm house on the property and they even placed a small covered picnic table at the edge of the trail for taking a little break from exercising to enjoy the view. That incredible view includes many many many Arabian horses grazing and running, it truly is a breathtaking sight.

Being able to enjoy the outdoors during this time of year has made missing the country a little less hard. I get caught up in the beauty of the season and then get snapped back into reality by a loud car horn...why must everyone be in such a hurry?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Storing for Winter

So the days of winter are fast approaching, but we have been able to enjoy a few days of nice weather. This week, J and I discovered a very nice walking trail right next to our apartment complex--yay for trying to walk into shape a bit since it seems I've been storing some lbs for winter! After fighting off weeks of being sick, I am finally starting to feel better (after two rounds of antibiotics yuck!) so the exercise regimen can begin in full force--I'll keep you posted since I'm quick to abandon these regimens before they ever really take off!

Last weekend we had our first visitors to our little apartment near the city and it was so much fun! We loved being hosts, plus it was a much needed push to actually hang our photos, clocks and such instead of always dodging their post on the ground. I will be adding photos of our apartment soon...

With the winter fast approaching, and our very informed discovery of how severe winter can be here in the 'burg I feel like start storing up for winter--but living in small quarters makes it hard to get a stock of food inside. Ideas on what to buy and where to put it are welcome--im open for suggestions from anyone who has lived in small apartments! Paris is very excited for winter it seems because this is what I found in her bed...

Maybe we should take a tip from our sweet doggie and just keep a few boxes of pasta in the bed??

Monday, September 19, 2011

To Everything there is a Season...

Well it is definitely fall in Pittsburgh! The weather is cool and the football has begun...sigh. Living in Pittsburgh is a little bit like living in a different world because everything {EVERYTHING} is about the Steelers. We were shopping last week and I had on a tee-shirt that said "Virginia is for Lovers" and a man came up to us and began asking us about VA and was very concerned about our NFL loyalties--don't worry J saved the day with a fast response about some players statistics--needless to say, outsiders better be Steelers fans! Thank goodness we come from a state without an NFL team.

In other news, we have FINALLY added pictures and decor to our little apartment walls. J took a break from the 50 football games on Saturday to hang some pics and such--it really looks like people live here now! I also went reorganized our closet--well reorganized would mean that I had organized it once before, so I organized our closet--had to get those sweaters ready for this Falltime weather!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day in VA

We we finally able to travel back to Virginia for the long weekend-'the working man's holiday' according to J-and it was so very wonderful to be back home. There really is nothing like drinking coffee with your mom early in the morning in the mountains after you haven't seen each other in a long time; especially when she has it ready for you when you stumble out of you old bedroom trying not to wake your hubby-it's funny how life changes but so many things stay the same.

Our short trip seemed way too short because there were so many hours spent driving from here to there, but it was so great getting to spend time with all of our families! We were even able to go and see a few members of our family baptised in the Cedar Creek, what a wonderful experience.

I feel like wherever we go we end up telling the same stories and I have to wonder how boring that gets to those who have heard it once before...'Marriage is wonderful, but Pittsburgh is just a city,' 'I love my job-here's a sweet anecdote about cute baby #1-but J is not crazy about his job,' 'We love our apartment, but the traffic is horrible,'...So sorry to those of you who heard those stories way too many times, I have to say I am guilty of rehearsing a good tale to memory for times like these!

It was such a busy weekend but it was filled with wonderful people and we really enjoyed being back in the mountains of Va. I was terribly sad to leave which made the absolute down-pour of rain on our last morning and our entire drive back to Pittsburgh quite appropriate. Back to the 'State of Independence,' back to drinking my own coffee.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Being young and freshly married means that we are both experiencing a whole basket full of new stuff. Not to mention the fact that we live in a brand spankin' new place where we know zero people. We like to describe this little scenario as 'adventure' but- yeah- sometimes it is hard. We have to have a sense of humor though because we couldn't be happier to be living this chapter in our lives.

Since getting married it became more clear to me that guys get lots of haircuts. So J and I have been shopping around for a good hairdoin' place. We visited a place in the mall where J had a bad experience and a...$35...haircut. He was not happy. So J kinda outlined a list I like to call 'Haircuts around the East Coast'
Mens Haircut in Castlewood, VA-$8
Mens Haircut in Blacksburg, VA-$13
Mens Haircut in Greenville, SC-$18
Mens Haircut in Pittsburgh, PA-$35---That's some high quality USA inflation!

-In other news-
No, we did not experience the earthquake though the news said it 'shook' our area. I was at work and so was J and for those of you who don't know, J works at a nuclear plant so I was a little worried about him-but everything was okay.

As far as new experiences go, most of our daily lives are starting to become more routine. My adventures in the kitchen are sometimes exciting and sometimes bland, but J never complains. Trying a new recipe tonight-hope it turns out good enough to share!

Here's a pic of our sweet pup--she is enjoying our new couch!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Established...or getting close

Living in the city is definitely starting to grow on me, mostly because after trying out (5) grocery stores, I finally found on that is really great! Yes, I know that is the most exciting news anyone has ever heard, but when you live in a basement apartment and have to travel down stairs to get groceries inside, you have to visit the market much more than normal. Honestly, I have absolutely no clue how people in Manhattan buy groceries--it is insane trying to get a few bags from the car to the apartment--I cannot imagine how people get groceries to a five floor walk-up with no car YIKES! The good news is, J doesn't mind going to the market on the weekends so when we do a big shopping spree we at least have four hands to get those groceries inside. I have to say, we are both pretty stubborn about making one trip, it has to be hilarious watching us load our arms up with bags and stumble toward the apartment building and venture down the stairs to finally fall into the door with grocery bags all the way up our arms. Yesterday I went to the market by myself and had to make two trips, I was so ashamed! (ha!)

Honestly, finding a place to buy groceries is sort of a big deal because it's a little bit of normal in this big place that we are still trying to navigate. I do have to admit I am still not totally adept in meal planning--thankfully J doesn't complain about having salad every night as a side item--but I feel like meal planning equals a lot more grocery bags and I am NOT ready to fight more bags just yet.

As far as being established goes, it is getting easier to recite our new address, and I am getting really good at writing my new last name. We haven't hung any pictures or decorations on the walls, but we can finally see the dining room table AND walking from the living room to the dining room is no longer a maze! This new feeling of accomplishment was met with an awesome package from our wonderful friends in VA--I have always wanted one of these and my best friend totally surprised us, we cannot wait to hang this--

Friday, August 5, 2011

Two Month Bliss

Yesterday marked our Two-Month Wedding Anniversary! Yes, I know the two-month stepping stone is a Widely celebrated anniversary, but hey when you're happy, everyday is a celebration. We celebrated with a huge pizza and a late night run  to rite aid for some junk food....ahhh yes the guilt is a little smaller if you justify that it was a special occasion. Which makes me think of how awesome Hallmark's new slogan is 'Life is a special occasion', Amen Hallmark!

Celebrating our little Anniversary makes me miss our wedding already. It was the perfect day. I hope that every girl gets to feel as happy as I did on our wedding day, it truly is an undeniable joy. If any of you reading this are preparing for your own wedding, rest assured that all of those tiny things that go wrong will be totally unnoticed on your wedding day, because 'wedding goggles' make everything look exactly beautiful.

I cannot mention the word Anniversary without making a little salute to my paternal grandparents who were married for 70 years before my grandfather passed away this past winter. What an incredible journey they had together! I was visiting my grandmother just a couple of weeks ago and the first thing she asked me was, "have you had an argument yet?" Disagreements are totally unavoidable and she has so much wisdom concerning marriage that I would really love to have a list of guidelines from her---"101 ways to be the perfect wife"---or I could just consult the "Good Wife's Guide" (if you haven't read this please do, it makes me very happy to be a wife in 2011) ...but I have to admit SOME of the guidelines do make good points.

I can't live by a set of guidelines to being a good wife, but what I can do is enjoy being young and being married to the man I love, and have a few goals for the immediate future:

  • Read the Bible together
  • Begin exercising more
  • Eat less Salt&Vinegar chips
  • Drink more water
  • Cook more healthy dinners
  • Make more time for crafts
  • Ignore marathons of "Toddlers and Tiaras" (please don't judge me)
In honor of our very special anniversary I want to share a picture from our blissful wedding day...Happy Anniversary to you for whatever special memory this day marks for you...or take a hint from Hallmark because Life IS  a special occasion.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Baby-Sitter's Club

So this week marked the first week of my new job-as a nanny. It's a little bit funny to think that after graduating college I cannot even imagine working in PR-what I studied at Radford. It is even funnier to think that after working so hard to graduate in 3 years that I absolutely LOVE working as a nanny.

Yes, my first day had a bit of excitement during mealtime--by excitement I mean complete and total screaming of two babies at once who refuse to eat. Even though this was a bit challenging, I couldn't have been happier that my job was to care for those two little screamers. The next day proved to be much easier with a 2 1/2 hour nap and fully ingested yogurt and graham cracker.

After graduating from Radford I decided that PR was not for me--thankfully I have a totally supportive husband and family who know that God has something else in store for me. So working with this sweet family of little gals is a confirmation of how much I want to work with children... Grad school is definitely in my future.

In other news, J and I are still getting accustomed to our 'big city livin' we did find a grocery store with a redbox (this was a big discovery)! We hope to be able to travel around the state and see some of the history up here. On a random note, J and I were watching the new Lifetime show 'Dance Moms' (I know its a pretty crazy) and it is located in Pittsburgh--I secretly hope to see one of the moms somewhere--it's a long shot but I would love to let them know how insane they seem on TV...I'll keep everyone posted!

I want to leave you with a little bit of beauty--I've been reading novels based in Nantucket and have now discovered my new number one place I wish to visit. I've told J about this dream and he agrees he would love to go--in a few years whenever we can afford to even dip our toe in Nantucket! Enjoy the weekend-I'll be dreaming of the Nantucket beach!

Monday, July 25, 2011

State of Independence

I graduated Radford in May and moved back home...Then on the most wonderful day of my life I got married and moved to South Carolina to live with my new hubby...Then three weeks later we moved to the suburbs of Pittsburgh and have started a new adventure.

Our big move from Greenville, SC to Bethel Park, PA was on July 4th--Independence Day which was quite appropriate considering we were moving 6 hours away from home and anything or anyone familiar. With both cars packed and some JT on the stereo we finally passed from WV into PA. We were married in VA the state so perfectly represented by 'VA is for lovers' now we live in PA the state so perfectly named 'PA the State of Independence.'

Living in the State of Independence is very different from anywhere either of us have lived before. J works long hours and has a busy commute while I fearfully venture around the area looking for a good grocery store or try to organize the new apartment while discovering the excitement of coin-operated laundry...sigh. While getting aquainted has been very different for both of us, we are starting to understand the area and the apartment is becoming more livable everyday. We have loved going to baseball games on the weekends, discovering new restaurants together, taking walks to the mailbox together, and playing tennis (well I am learning while J patiently teaches me to serve). We have had some really fun adventures getting aquainted to public transportation--the 'T' takes us to downtown Pittsburgh for the Pirates games, downtown Pittsburgh (where I hang on to J for dear life while clutching my purse with the other hand) is a beautiful city that we can't wait to explore.

I will be starting my new job this week--yay! I will be a nanny for some little cuties, talk about a new adventure TWINS, but I really cannot wait. One new adventure after the other!

Its raining in PA today so I'm dreaming of our wonderful honeymoon to Jamaica--which was actually quite rainy as well--the best week ever! So heres a little pic from our honeymoon when it was actually sunny. Jamaica dreaming in PA...