Last week I had a couple of Christmas "elves" come over and help me decorate our apartment. I cranked up the Christmas tunes and away we went. I have to say, I didn't really feel quite ready for Christmas until I saw how much fun my two little helpers were having decorating the tree, setting up the nativity scene and putting all of my Christmas flare around the apt. It was so much fun watching them fight over who got to hang the same ornaments my brother Jon and I used to fight over when we were kids. This decorating day definitely put me in the Holiday mood!
This past weekend, Matt, Jer (Matt's brother) and I made the long drive out to Michigan to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Hendricks and Vermeulens (Matt's Aunt and Uncle). We set out early Wednesday morning and drove straight to Detroit so we could take part in the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, aka Thanksgiving Eve, festivities with all of Matt and Jer's cousins. We had a great time, the 2 hour sleep the previous night and the 10 hour drive right before we went out didn't even slow us down. Matt and I ended the night with his cousin Maureen and her husband, J, at a Denny's along with quite a few other interesting characters celebrating Thanksgiving Eve. All in all, I'd say it was a pretty successful night!
The next day, Thanksgiving, was wonderful as usual. This year I had an abundance of things to be thankful for. First of all, of course, for my wonderful husband and our fabulous families who helped give us a spectacular and extremely memorable wedding. For my brother's health, he's finally starting to feel a little bit normal again and for my Grandpa's strength to pull through an emergency lung surgery the day before. I love you all!!!
After many wonderful hours of eating lot's of yummy food, we finally made our way back to Battle Creek (Cereal City - Home to Kellogs and Post FYI) and spent some well needed time with my in-laws. On a little bit of a side note, I really don't like calling them my "in-laws," it has such a negative connotation, and even if I wasn't "legally" bound to these folks, I would still want to be a part of their family, they're fabulous!! From here on out they will be referred to as Mom and Dad II. Anyway, we have made it a new tradition with Mom and Dad II to celebrate our own little "Michigan Christmas" the day after Thanksgiving. Since they are so unbelievably understanding and Matt loves his sunshiney Decembers, we have been able to go to California for Christmas every year we have been together, hence the need for a Michigan Christmas. I would have to say, the favorite gift of the day was the "Snuggie" we got for Matt's mom! We were all fighting over the cozy thing the rest of the weekend.
The other "Top Prize" of the day....Dale and I played Tetris the rest of the weekend!
Just wanted to let everyone know that our wedding pictures are now available to view online! Our cousin Diana (Moxie Photography) did such an amazing job!! We are so excited to share them with everyone....so, enjoy!!!
So I am going to break the rules and blog a little out of order because I am so excited to tell everyone about this past weekend!!! Last month one of my best friends from college, Jenn, had her little baby girl, Bexleigh Anniston! She is the first of the college buddies (aka the Gamma Gallo Girls) to have a baby, so it is oh so exciting news. My other college BFF, Jenny D, and I decided that we absolutely had to make a trip out to see her and little Bex. We called Jenn's mom and told her we wanted to come and make it a surprise, we found amazing deals on a flight Friday night after work, and next thing we knew, we were heading to LaGuardia to hop on a plane and surprise our buddy. Jenn's mom (Momma Mullet) and her boyfriend, Bobby, picked us up from the airport on friday night and we headed straight to Jenn's house. On the 30 minute drive over, we contemplated different ways to actually do the surprise and decided that Momma Mullet and Bobby would walk in first and talk to Jenn while Jenny D and I hid in the kitchen. We were so anxious and excited driving up to her house, we could hardly contain ourselves. When we finally got there, we crawled out of the car, into the garage and quickly hid in the kitchen to wait for our cue. Unfortunately, we forgot to make a cue, so we just stood in there for a few minutes trying to stifle laughter and find the perfect opportunity to jump out. When we finally did come out of hiding, Jenny D and I immediately broke down into tears....seeing our best college buddy, sitting there in the darkness with her little baby girl was just too much for the emotions and we let it all out. Jenn just sat there, completely awestruck, repeating over and over "Are you guys really here?!?" It was one of the best surprises ever!! The rest of the weekend flew by, but we had so much fun snuggling up to Baby Bex, taking her on a fieldtrip to Kohl's, eatin' good in the neighborhood at Applebees, and going on a 2 1/2 mile walk around Jenn's town on the gorgeous Saturday afternoon. I am so excited that I got to see my little niecey this early on in her little life! I just love her so much and I am so thrilled for Jenn and Brian....congrats Klopfers!!!!
Jenn's Surprised Face
"Are you guys really here?"
Surprise Brian! Hope you don't mind a couple extra girls this weekend!
Yesterday Matt and I spent the day celebrating the NYC Marathon and all of the amazing participants. For those that do not know, I ran the NYC Marathon last year and it was one of the most amazing things I have ever done! For any fellow marathoners out there, you will understand when I tell you how emotional I was all day yesterday. Every few minutes while I was watching the runners pass my window on 1st Avenue, I would start to tear up and remember how I felt as I was running on that very same street 1 year ago.
The day started off a bit on the early side, as we were woken up to the band that was set up across the street from our apt doing a sound check. There's nothing like hearing a live band from bed at 8 am on a Sunday morning! We were so excited because we got to see all of the elite, professional runners run past our building right at mile 18 (only 8.2 left! woohoo....go Paula go!). Around lunch time, my marathon buddy, Nancy, came into the city from NJ for the day to hang out and celebrate our 1 year "run-aversary," and of course we were decked out in our 2008 marathon shirts....I even donned my metal for the day! Her cousin Wendy was running, so we grabbed a quick bite and headed back to 1st Ave. to shove our way into a good spot. Nancy came prepared with a giant "W" so Wendy would be sure to spot us. It was so cool standing there, cheering on all of the runners. We had a blast! After heading over to 5th Ave. to see Wendy at mile 23, we walked across the park and over to the West side for a post marathon party. By that time, my voice was pretty much a goner, but it was well worth it to cheer on all those runners. Congrats to all of the 2009 marathoners!!! I'll be back in 2010!
Last weekend Matt and I took a little road trip up to Boston. We went to visit some friends who have their own "Octoberfest" every year at their apartment right near Boston Common, a great opportunity to drink lot's of different kinds of beer. We had such a great trip! The Wickerts (Matt and Lauren - our friends aka the hosts) even gave us a non-tourist tour on Sunday afternoon before we left.
Matt and Matt
Sitting in Boston Common
While we were there we also got a chance to see a friend of mine that I have not seen in over 10 years!!! Jenn and I met at a summer dance intensive camp when we were in high school and became instant friends. We reconnected recently on facebook and decided to meet up for a little reunion while we were there since she lives in Boston. Matt and Ryan (her fiance) both had trouble understanding how two people that met 10 years ago for one summer could have gotten so close and would want to see eachother again, but it was like no time had passed at all. Hopefully it won't be another ten before we see eachother again!
Sorry I've been a bit of a delinquent blogger. I am obviously new to the blog world and haven't gotten into my blog groove yet....wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I have about 100 more thank you cards to write and I feel like I've been working 24/7 since getting back. Anyway, boo hoo, poor me....alright, on to the good stuff.
So, I finally wanted to post some of our honeymoon pics (G-rated only...haha, just kidding!) so that everyone can see how AMAZINGLY beautiful Hawaii was. We had such a wonderful time and have decided that we need to make it at least a semi-annual trip, if not more. I think part of the reason it was so great was because Hawaiians are about as extreme polar opposite to New Yorkers as you can get (duh, right?). Everyone is so laid back and easygoing, no stressing out or worrying about being late....kind of a culture shock for the two of us :).
We left California on Sunday evening (1 Day Married...woohoo!) and made it through the airport security without a hitch, which, if any of you have ever traveled with me, can definitely understand how relieved I was. The flight to Maui was unexpectedly LONG! I guess both Matt and I were kind of picturing a map of the US where Hawaii is in the bottom left-hand corner, super-imposed onto the open ocean of the Pacific, but very close to California....um, yeah, not quite. What I assumed would be a 3 maybe 3 1/2 hour flight ended up being about 5 hours and 45 minutes. Now, it's not that I'm not used to long flights....in the month prior I flew 5 1/2 hours to California from New York and 8 hours from New York to Italy, it's just that when you are expecting to be stuck in the middle seat of a completely full airplane for only 3 hours, over 5 can seem like an eternity! We did get to witness the most beautiful sunset via plane ever, which definitely put us in the vacation mood.
The airport we flew in to was about a 45 minute drive from the hotel, so we got our rental car and set out. By the time we got to the hotel, checked in and put our stuff in the room it was about 9:45 and we were famished. We went downstairs to go check out the hotel restaurant and were stopped by the front desk people asking us where we were going at this time of night. "At this time of night?? I'm usually still rehearsing and Matt's at work! It's EARLY!" Unfortunately, not early for Hawaiians. The restaurant closes at 10, but since no one was there, they closed at 9:30. WHAT!!! We need food! We ended up spending our first night in Hawaii walking to a 24 hour grocery store (after the front desk people exhausted all other ideas of any restaurants being open at this ridiculously late hour) and buying sushi and other snacks. That night we opted out of setting an alarm and ended up waking up the next morning 15 minutes before breakfast was over. We were not doing so hot on the food front thus far. No problem, though, we threw on our swimsuits, ran downstairs and made it right in the nic of time. We spent the whole day hanging out by the pool, drinking some fabulous frozen drinks (Lava Flow - I strongly recommend it!) and planning out the rest of our week with the concierge. We also got to see another amazing sunset as well as the lighting of the tiki torches around the resort.
The next day (Tuesday) we had made plans to go snorkeling from Lahaina Harbor. We had to get up super early and be down at the harbor to get ready to go out on the boat. The boat was one of those small pontoon speed boats and there were only about 15 people on board including the awesome female captain and first mate. We started out and everything was going great! The water was the most beautiful blue and we even found a school of about 100 dolphins that surrounded our boat. As we were sitting out in the middle of the ocean taking pictures of all the dolphins, I started getting that all too familiar feeling in my stomach....had I really forgotten that I have the most terrible motion sickness of anyone I know!!??!! I immediately had to sit down and tried to focus and find my chi, anything to not get sick on the boat. We finally started moving again and I was starting to feel a little better, or so I thought. All of a sudden I lurched foward and was hanging my head off the side of the boat, not, of course, before asking if it was ok for the dolphins if I got sick in the ocean. My wonderful new husband decided to take the opportunity to get the camera, he knew I would want to document this experience. :) We finally stopped at our first snorkeling site and I was assured that once I got into the water I would feel much better. On hearing that, I threw on my mask, snorkel and fins and jumped right in. About 10 minutes in, we were a few hundred feet from the boat looking at all of the beautiful coral and trying to scope out some sea life, when I couldn't hold it in any longer and "fed the fish." It was quite an experience, let me tell you! At least we had plenty of fish to look at after that! Once I got back on the boat, I decided it would probably be best if I just lay down and rest for the next few hours that we would be out on the open ocean. As far as I know, Matt had a fabulous time the rest of the trip and was able to see a bunch of really cool stuff.
The rest of the week was far more uneventful and wonderfully relaxing. We got to experience our first Hula Show (at the Lahaina Canary Mall of all places), our first Luau (I even got up onstage and learned a hula dance!), an amazing dance show called Ulalena, lei making,tons of eating, sleeping, swimming and sunning!!! All in all, it was a fantastic honeymoon with my favorite person ever!!!
Hi, I'm Holly! I'm a dancer and fitness instructor in NYC, I live in Jersey City, I have a fabulous little Yorkie named Maggie Lu and I'm married to the most amazing man on earth, my Matt! I hope you enjoy reading about our life together...