Feb 27, 2011


     As I said yesterday, the two babies of our family were Confirmed last night. Everybody was there except for my older brother Chris, who is sailing the seas on the USS Enterprise.

Meet the Candidates:

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See the action. The prayers for the invocation of the Holy Spirit, and the anointing with the Holy Chrism:

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Some notes:

~My sisters hair is incredible. The most amazing shades of red/auburn/blonde. So please ignore the wonky colors..it was dark, and these pictures were taken with a very high ISO and no flash!

~Marcus took these pictures! Thanks, handsome ;)

~Confirmation is a joyous event in the Catholic church. We are looking pretty solemn in the pictures, but I think that was just our deep state of prayer :)

~That is Fr. Dan in green! He will be marrying Marcus and I in June!

~Brian drove from Columbus, Oh to be Kathleen’s sponsor. I was Mr. Patrick’s sponsor. The saints chosen were St. Therese for Kathleen and St. Maximillian Kolbe for Patrick.

~We clean up good

~I’m so proud of these kiddo’s!

Here is my mom thinking, All six of my babies Confirmed, WOOOHOOOOO!

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Actually, she is really thinking, get that camera out of my face!

Congratulations Kathleen & Patrick!!



P.S. Not Catholic?! Don’t have the faintest idea what the this blog post is about?! Check out this for a brief explanation!

Feb 26, 2011


Tonight, these two babies are getting confirmed:

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I chose this picture because they truly look like babies here! This is at my Uncle Joe & Aunt Azita’s wedding, as ring bearer and flower girl. Now the cutie pie on the left is 13 and the beauty on the right is 15. Most Catholic’s get confirmed in their junior year of high school, but these two are prepared and eager to receive the Sacrament. My mom catechized them, Fr. Dan quizzed them, The Bishop gave his okay, they’ve made prayerful, spiritual preparations, and I couldn’t be prouder :)

Come, Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit,
and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Your big sister

Feb 24, 2011

Smells like lilies in here…

     I’m on day three of this sinus headache now, and it is now joined with earaches and sore throat. I found out today that swimming workouts do nothing to ease sinus pressure. In fact, they may lead to dizziness, nausea and general discomfort.

    I’ll stop complaining now. Mainly because I feel so much better when I see this picture:

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Lilies, hydrangeas, and roses, Oh My!  The aroma is intoxicating and the man is adorable. I mean, handsome. I mean, manly. I mean all of the above. I mean, I need to go call him and tell him I love him and can he please keep me.


Marcus’ future wife :)

Feb 23, 2011

13 year old little brothers..and some Shout Outs, too!

     I have a Patrick. A 13 year old, homeschooled, musically talented, boy scouting, joke loving Patrick. I was a rising sixth grader when he was born, and I clung to him as if I birthed him myself. I think I was convinced I was his mother. I cuddled, and cooed him and even changed his diapers. I carried him around on my hip until he was ten. Just kidding, until he was five. Anyways..this kid is a violin, harmonica, piano, flute, accordion playing hoot. He tries to google chat with me from downstairs and sometimes leaves me notes like this:
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No, Pat.. I won’t do your Latin for you. I barely passed the three years I had to take in high school. His P.S reads: I smell good after your sprayed me! That is because I Febreezed him earlier in the day. That may sound mean, but he’s a 13 year old boy, they NEED febreezed. And yes, febreezed is a verb. {Ask Marcus’ sister, Becky, who began the practice of Febreezing stinky dogs}
I love that 13 year old little brother of mine.
     On another note, regarding my Bargain post, I have some shout outs to make. The first one to Security Admin: Hi! Are you real Secccuurriityy as BonQuiQui would say? Whoever you are, I like you! Next shout out goes to Anonymous. Anonymous, thank you for wanting to see me humiliate myself. That means so much! I want to know who you are :) Third shout out goes to On a Wing & A Prayer..all the way from London!! Hooray!! Next commenter is a DC Hokie, AKA as my beloved friend Ledis. We go way back to the days of Norfolk Naval Base, Celion Deon, bike riding, nicknaming, lifeguard crushes, and so on and so forth. I love her. The fourth shout out goes to my red-headed little sister. You guys can thank her for introducing the subject of the video. I’m not sure whether to thank her or be mad at her, but in any event, she’s beautiful, a faithful blog reader, and I loves her too. A quick shout out to my Renaissance Man and fiancĂ©, who likes the video a lot. And finally..to my pal Christi. Christi is a fantastic photographer and such a sweet friend and encourager :)  Now, I am not too good at math, but I don’t think we hit 15 comments. Which is lucky for me. I am wiping the sweat from my brow as I type. As I explained before, showing the video would mean I need to move to Hawaii. And I like Virginia Beach. I don’t particularly want to go into hiding. Although it may be disappointing, I need to hold my end of the bargain.. I didn’t get 15 commenter's yet, so no video. BUT if it reached fifteen comments or I get fifteen comments on any blog ever, the video will appear. And yes, as Kathleen so eagerly sold me out, it includes dancing. And my 13 year old brother Patrick.  and a girl who looks a lot like me.
Thank you for the comments!!
I would proofread this blog post but I have a sinus headache and bunions. Which means I need to go straight to bed. Plus, I already know I use run on sentences, don’t know where to put commas and can’t spell.

Feb 21, 2011

A Bargain

     Okay, I was going to blog something cool today. But then I had to do things like go to David’s Bridal hell to try on veils, take a long & wonderful walk with my beautiful friend Katelyn  {then proceed to spend another hour or so chatting it up about weddings, babies, menfolk, cooking,  God and jobs}, cook dinner, and go to my young adult group. It has been a fabulous President’s Day and I am so grateful that I work for the Government and get to enjoy  said holiday.

     Anyyywwwaaayyyssss, so here is the bargain. If I get 15 comments on this blog post, I will post an incredibly self incriminating video. Make that self incriminating, humiliating, disturbing, weird, honest, entertaining, humorous video. Did I mention embarrassing? The only reason I am brave enough to do this is because I am pretty certain I won’t get 15 commenter's. Which won’t hurt my feelings, because if I really posted this video, I would have to go into hiding for the rest of my life.

Happy President’s Day!!

Feb 20, 2011


Today I wore pearls. Real pearls in the form of a beautiful necklace from Marcus on our first anniversary and also fake pearl earrings, courtesy of Claire's. I know that you know who Claire is. And the type of high end jewelry found at her store. I’m classy, what can I say!

When I got home this afternoon from mass and other Sunday things, I came to realize that I only wore ONE pearl earring today.

Don’t worry, nobody {I think & hope & pray} noticed my absentmindedness.

Don’t worry, I didn’t lose the other highly valuable Claire’s brand pearl earring.

It is sitting here on my nightstand.

That is all the news I have to report today, folk.



Feb 15, 2011

East Beach Memories

     Once upon a time I lived in a bachelorette pad. It was the carriage house to one of those mansions in East Beach, on the Chesapeake Bay.  It had a maroon door, light blue walls, a stacked washer & dryer, a half-a-dishwasher, a push button garbage disposal, a beautiful pink bathroom, huge windows, hard wood floors and a two second walk to the beach. My ‘rent’ was to babysit for the family in the mansion. Three kiddos from my church that I loved dearly. People, I did not know how good I had it. Runs on the beach, long bubble baths, beautiful neighborhood..my own little place. After a year and a half, as I neared the end of my undergrad degree and prepared to enter the masters program, I moved home to save money. Never mind that I never entered the masters program. Would you believe that in the 1.5 years I was there, I never took pictures of the place?! It had charming, cottage-beachy interior design. It had lots of good memories. In an effort to be certain that there was no photographic evidence of my East Beach Bachelorette dwelling, I scoured the pictures on my computer. I found three. And they certainly don’t provide much detail to my interior design, the studio’s layout or any other features. But I’m nostalgic (read: hormonal) and these pictures must be shared.

Marcus took this random snapshot of me getting ready to go the beach. This is the summer we started dating. It doesn’t show too much, except the color of the walls, the light that streamed in even with the blinds closed, and how tan I was. The wall behind me was my bathroom, to the right of the entertainment center were my steps, and my couch & living area directly faced the entertainment center

summer 2008! 007Meet one of my best friends, Sam! Again, this pictured doesn’t show much..but she was sitting on my bed in the little bedroom alcove of the studio sweet. And I am pretty sure this picture was taken the night of {or the wee early morning after} my 21st birthday.  And my friend Sam is now all married and pregnant. And just as cute. Okay, way cuter.  When I think of my bachelorette pad, I always think of her. She might as well been a roommate :)absolutely no organization whatsoever 115

This is when my grandparents came to visit and they were mighty impressed with my little place. Luckily just the two of them came over though, because other than that couch, there was no where to sit!absolutely no organization whatsoever 011

Oh, how I miss you, careless East Beach days!

Feb 14, 2011

Ode to My Renaissance Man {And St. Valentine too}

     February is cold and grey and kinda drab, but it has it’s redeeming qualities. That is, I get to celebrate Marcus twice!! Feb 9th proclaimed his 25th year, and Feb. 14th is when I get all mushy for him. His birthday was a success… I surprised him a watch that has a compass, tells you the barometric pressure, elevation level, GPS, heart monitor, and coffee maker. Oh, it also tells you the time. It is also large, yet aesthetically pleasing. The other big birthday surprise was when I didn’t burn dinner. I made Quiche, plain jane ham and cheese quiche, nothing fancy. But it didn’t burn. And to my knowledge nobody died of food poisoning. If that wasn’t enough, Marcus leaned over to me while he was eating and whispered Honey, this is really good. My heart melted and my knees went to jello. Then I said Are you going to eat your crust? I’m all kinds of romantic like that.

     Fast forward and it is St. Valentines Day. To celebrate, we decided to help out his mom’s flower shop, so we spent  7 hours driving around Hampton Roads delivering flowers. Reading maps and going the wrong way down one way streets and accidently losing ‘I love you’ balloons in the sky just brings a couple together. Marcus especially likes to throw down the ‘I love yous’ when I am getting ready to lose it. He’s just my better half that way :) No, it wasn’t the traditional Valentine’s Day celebration, but it was really fun to make people’s day when you bring them flowers and very important to help out our family.

     Because I wore an obnoxious pink ribbon all day, because I am super tired, because sometimes I brag, because he is such a Renaissance man, because I’m mushy, because it is St. Valentines day and because Marcus looks great in Salmon colored flannel.. I bring you the following  picture for your viewing pleasure:

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Marcus’ whiskers. I love ‘em & I documented ‘em. They are scratchy and tickly. They are handsome and numerous and so quick to make an appearance. They are manly and rugged. Perfect juxtaposition when you are wearing a pink shirt.

Happy St. Valentines Day! Hope your day was filled with love. God’s love, your mother’s love, your grandpa’s love, your best friend’s love, or your pet’s love…any love with do :)

God Bless you sweet readers!

Feb 11, 2011

Grandma Jan

     I must be feeling nostalgic. And for the record, I feel nostalgic about every other two minutes. I get it from my mother and I think it’s a beautiful way to feel. During the winter months, I really start missing my grandparents in Ohio. Ever since I can remember, aside from sporadic visits to our house when another sibling was born or a quick trip, our summers overflowed with grandparents. I’ve reminisced about Nanny’s house and PopPop’s car lot, but now I must introduce my dad’s mom.. My grandma Jan.  I snapped this photo during my visit last summer as we sat on Grandma Jan’s screened in porch drinking iced tea.

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I’ve always loved her hands. She has perfectly manicured nails, neat jewelry, and a beautiful array of wedding bands and engagement rings. Her rings, her mother’s and a couple other bands my grandfather has given her over the years.

~My Grandma Jan is an artist. She paints miniatures for dollhouses and creates the most intricate, expressive dollhouses. She made me a white and navy blue one when I was about nine years old. She sent it with chairs that she hand painted floral designs on. She made my sister a nightlight in the form of an ice cream shop dollhouse. The details were amazing and I stared at it for hours, wishing I was small enough to be a part of the scene. She has a dollhouse room upstairs filled with her work. She has a work table in the living room and shelves with every imaginable paint color. When we came over, Pop-Pop would make little wooden bunnies or dolls for us and Grandma Jan would help us paint them.

~My Grandma Jan is a musician. She taught music at high schools and piano lessons out of her home. She knows how to sing and kept an accordion at her house..which provided hours of entertainment for my brothers {The accordion has since been gifted to my freakishly musically talented baby brother}

~My Grandma Jan is a tradition starter. Every year since my parents were wed, she has sent my mom a new Christmas decoration for their house. Many of them handmade. On top of that she sends a Christmas ornament to each of my brothers and sisters and I each Christmas Eve. She wants us to have a box of our own ornaments when we move out and start our own family. Just last weekend, when we finally took Christmas down, I separated out my ornaments from her and put them in a separate box for when I move out and get married in June. Beautiful, beautiful tradition. My parents made us record in detail the ornament we got each year and it was fun to try to decipher my 7 year old handwriting and try to match the description with the ornaments in our boxes.

~My Grandma Jan had a 5 blonde curly-haired babies in just under 6 years. My grandma Jan is responsible for my curls, by way of my dad, or course :)

~My Grandma Jan translated books into Braille

~My Grandma Jan married the milkman…also known as my beloved grandfather! They made a life together in Cape May Court House New Jersey and then she followed his navy career around before it brought them to stay in Columbus, Ohio. Where my parents met and fell in love

~My Grandma Jan loves antiques and has the most classic, country-cute interior design. Every table or chair or decoration seems to have a story.

~My Grandma Jan smokes Pall Mall Red 100s and I think it is one of the most wonderful smells in the world. Call me crazy. Once in a while I catch a scent of them somewhere else and it always transports me to Jan’s back porch, crossword puzzles, and rocking chairs.

~My Grandma Jan is spoiled right now..seeing as how 3 of her 14 grandbabies are going to college in Columbus. My little brother is one of those lucky grandbabies. He spends every Friday night at her house and I’m green with envy.

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Yes, I am definitely pining for those summer breezes through the screens and white lattice, watching Jan do a crossword puzzle and sitting in all the cool antique chairs.  That August visit can’t come soon enough!!

Happy Birthday Grandma Jan!!! I LOVE you :)

Feb 10, 2011

A Day in the Life

     Besides the surprise snowfall last night, today started off relatively normal. I say relatively because I had dreams about Tsunami’s and my mom kicking me out of the house. They were both equally disturbing and I welcomed the alarm clock when it beeped at me. The only thing exciting on the schedule was my wedding dress fitting scheduled for 10 am. But I seem to be able to make everything an adventure….

     I left a little bit early because I had never been to the seamstress’ house before, the roads looked a bit messy, and my car was covered in snow. I spent twenty minutes clearing off my car only to have my fingers go numb and then need an outfit change as I was covered in cold, wet snow quickly cleaned off my car. Not to be discouraged, I sped away with my mapquested directions. Enter ADHD and distraction~ first I miss my exit. Not a huge deal. After a couple ‘damnits!’ I reminded myself I had given myself extra time and to relax. I find the seamstress’ house with 15 minutes to spare, and feeling relaxed, I decide to drive around this beautiful neighborhood to pass the time. I hummed as I passed old brick farmhouses next to huge brick mansions and sweet little blue shutters on houses with white siding. I better keep an eye on the time, I remind myself, glancing at the clock. 9:55, time to head back towards her house. I turn around and head in the direction I came only to realize I have no idea what streets I had turned on and how far I had gone. No big deal, I reason. I still have 5 minutes and this neighborhood is not that big. I’m sure I will run into her street soon. I continue driving, trying each different road, seeing if it will lead me back to her house. I turn left and I turn right. I make u-turns. I start to sweat. 10:05. I’m sure I’ll stumble back to her house in a minute, no need to panic. 10:10… the residents in the neighborhood are giving me strange looks and wondering who the creeper in the silver saturn is and why she has driven past their house 5 times. Humiliated, I decided to call the seamstress and let her know I got a little turned around, I’m sorry to be later and could she please send me in the right direction. No answer. I call again and leave a message. I stumble through an apology and an embarrassed explanation of my situation. 10:20 finds me still driving around. Feeling defeated and overwhelmingly stupid, hot tears slip down my cheeks as I look in the glove compartment for a map. I'm not ashamed to say I grew up in the days when mapquest took off and it has pretty much been my BFF since then. My map skills are sub par. Knowing reading a map was going to take nothing short of a miracle, I invoked the Holy Spirit, and was pleased when I found the street I was currently pulled over on. Feeling a bit more confident, I look to find my cross street or the seamstress’ street. I strain my eyes but it is to no avail. I could not read the names of the side streets. I could barely make out the letters. Why are these streets written in –.006 font size?! At a loss, I swallow my pride and call Marcus. I’m really lost, my voice breaks as I explain my situation. He quickly hops on the computer and sets me straight. It literally takes me 3 seconds to reach my destination. Oh, the humility. Not only had I snapped at Marcus earlier that morning on the phone {I’m blaming it on PMS}, but I had to come crawling back to him a bit later only to inform him of my completely idiotic predicament and beg for his assistance. But he makes no mention of my intelligence level, and assures me that he too would have gotten lost easily {I love him when he lies to me like this-this man has an impeccable sense of direction and seems to know most cities and neighborhoods like the back of his hand}. The seamstress meets me at the door and apologizes for missing my phone call. I assure her it is no big deal and tell her I am sorry for being late. As I explain to her what happened, I could see a hint of a smile on her lips. And who could blame her?! By the time I got home and recounted the story to my mom, we were both laughing. This morning was so typical me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called my mother, desperate and unfashionably tardy to one event or another, for directions help after map quest steers me wrong. 

     In any event, I thought this morning’s fiasco would only be redeemable if I shared if for others to laugh at {and hopefully confide in me that you’ve done the same thing too}. I would write more, but I’m off to go learn how to read a map. Goodnight friends :)

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Feb 8, 2011

Don Michael's Used Car Lot

     This idea came to me when I went to my grandma’s last summer, the need to document places I hold dear, places that shaped me and left their mark on my heart.  I started the series with Nanny's house and have many more cherished places to blog about.  Now I have to admit, this next location is not one I frequented often, something I more pursued in the recent years, but so endearing just the same. Meet Don Michael, more affectionately known as PopPop:

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PopPop is my mom’s father. Wife to Nanny. He has ice blue eyes that hide a smile, olive skin, a hard work ethic and a hankering for candy. He calls me Lauralou and says “you’re almost as pretty as your mother” and I adore him. And this is his car lot:

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Yes, you read that right. Since 1955! This is where my Italian grandfather has spent very long days, six days of the week. It’s how he provided for his six children and sent them to Catholic school. Its where he spent his days during our visits to Ohio in the summer. When I was younger I always knew he worked at his car lot, as I wrote with pens that read ‘Don Michael's Used Cars’ on pads of paper that read the same thing.  I can remember my dad going to the lot during the summer, but I never really remembered going or seeing it. So Marcus and I drove to PopPop’s car lot one afternoon during our last visit to Columbus. And I loved everything about it..

The friendly signs :)

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The interior design. Not modern or chic, but a design of the heart, composed of slanted picture frames of loved ones and newspaper cutouts.

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More of the interior design and the reason for my partiality to Chevrolet:

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We sat in the cracked leather seats, sticky from the August heat, and  soaked in his stories and his story. The history of Don Michaels, and the history of my grandfather. He reminisced about growing up in Columbus, decorating his tales with the phrase “All this & all that,” while waving his arms. He shared about the North Market, where his mother worked and her picture still hangs today. Memories of Holy Family and St. Patrick Parishes. He laughed as he remembered the time he got a car for a nun. Selling his first car when he was only a teenager, working at a buddy’s car lot, he smiled as he said that is when he got the gasoline in his blood.

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     This little lot, in the not-so-great area of downtown Columbus, might not look like much. But I don’t think I have ever been more impressed by a business, a man, his story or a car lot.


Don Michael’s granddaughter

Feb 3, 2011

Marcus Takes Artsy Pictures

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Those are my curly curls in the upper left hand corner. This is the dock where we got engaged. That is a little bit of my skin peeking out {it was a warm October day} . Those are my UGG slippers on my feet {it wasn’t warm enough for flip flops}. This is a picture I never would have composed myself. And I adore it. And I am so glad that Marcus takes artsy pictures.

Feb 1, 2011

The Story of a Shirt Never Worn

     Here is to hoping that we are all friends here, and the unconditional love is overflowing. Despite unusual clothing choices. Let me set the stage for y’all.

     I’m 19 years old. My girlfriends and I are going through a line dancing phase. I’ve been singing along to country music for years. Girlfriends and I go shopping. As we are browsing through Ross {because you KNOW I dress for less}, something catches my eye. My friends cast worried glances over my head and try to steer my attention towards the shoes. But I can’t look away. I say I need to try it on. My friends look even more concerned for my mental state and once more try to interest me elsewhere. But they are defeated, as I proudly model the shirt  in the aisle, looking for their approval. Now they are just shaking their head and doing the sign of the cross. Confident that I just stumbled upon the world’s cutest shirt, I immediately ignored their nay-saying and headed straight for the check out. Needless to say, the cute cashier girl didn’t look impressed with my purchase, either.

     That was almost six years ago, y’all. This poor, beloved shirt never got a chance to show itself off. Even though I rushed home, with the best intentions of wearing it with my cowgirl boots while doing the boot scoot boogie, it never made it. Every time I put it on at home to wear it, it was quickly changed in to something else. Something cuter, something trendier, something shinier, something more fun. The weird thing is.. I couldn’t get rid of it. Every time I have gone through my clothes to get rid of unworn, older clothes, I can’t seem to give it away. I still think it is adorable. It looks really good hanging in my closet. I still daydream about the perfect outfit for it. I need mental help. Anyways, being that I am getting married and all {Alleluia chorus}, I needed to go through my clothes/crap/stuff in order that it will all fit in the closet first home we will share as husband and wife. I saw THE shirt. I immediately thought to myself, “good old shirt, don’t worry, I won’t get rid of you” Then Marcus came over to pick up my loot and made me get rid of it. Okay, he didn’t make me, he was using these strange reasoning techniques that I am not too fond of. In any event, the shirt is gone, and I am in mourning. Bloggy friends, meet the cutest shirt I never wore:

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Maybe I should have gotten it in blue?


An inner country girl who doesn’t even look good in orange anyways.


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