Wednesday, December 15, 2010

71 days

It has been 71 days since I last posted... so much has happened in those 71 days that I think it's impossible to even try to remember it all! My plan right now is to continue my little "siesta" through to the new year and then start fresh.

See ya in 2011! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How much is that doggy in the window?

My boyfriend is a dog lover. His family had a dog(s) for as long as he can remember. His experience with cats is very limited, but somehow he has learned to love my crazy cat Myrtle.

I am a cat lover. I have had a cat(s) for as long as I can remember. My experience with dogs is very limited, but that is about to change...

Brian & I have been talking about getting a dog for a few months now. I know that, for a long time, Brian has craved the companionship,affection, and unconditional love that a dog brings to your life... but he realized that living alone and in a small apartment was not a good situation to bring a dog into. Now that he has a house of his own and we're building our life together, we feel that the time is right to add a dog to our little family. For several different reasons, we agreed that it was probably best to get a dog that was on the smaller side. We also thought it would be good to get a dog who was about a year old, so that we didn't have to go through the process of crate training and/or housebreaking it. So we've been looking. And looking. And looking some more. What we found was a heartwarming story about a beagle named Savannah who'd given birth to 8 puppies under some less-than-desirable conditions...

Savannah's owners were under the impression that she was a purebred beagle, so when she was just 7 months old herself, they mated her with another purebred beagle with the intention of selling their puppies in Trinidad (apparently they're worth alot of money over there?) - that was until someone informed them that Savannah was actually NOT a purebred beagle... she was also part hound. So these responsible owners took a very-pregnant Savannah and dropped her off at an animal shelter. The animal shelter didn't feel that their facility was the best environment to deliver and raise a litter of puppies in, so they contacted the Fallston Animal Rescue Movement to see if they would be willing to take Savannah and care for her and the puppies. Thankfully, they agreed and on August 19th, Savannah gave birth to 8 little puppies. Unfortunately, one of the puppies didn't make it but the other 7 did! Brian submitted an application and has been watching these puppies on the F.A.R.M. website for several weeks... this past Saturday was the first day they puppies were being brought out into public for people to see, so we went there almost as soon as they opened. We actually got there before the puppies did! A few minutes later, they brought in these 7 little wiggly balls of fur and they were SOOOO cute!!!!! Brian picked one of the puppies up and handed him to me... I got some puppy snuggles and lots of puppy kisses! We held that first puppy for awhile and then put him back so we could check out his brothers and sisters. As soon as we put him back in the pen, he stood up and was whimpering and almost reaching for us with his little puppy paws! We held a couple other puppies but it was pretty clear to us that the first dog had already captured our heart! All of the puppies were adorable, but that first puppy seemed to have the best personality of them all. When we picked him up again, his little tail was wagging a mile a minute! Brian & I agreed that we had found our little guy...

Because he's only 6-weeks old, we couldn't take him home that day... we were sad to leave him, but we're anxiously awaiting October 16th so we can pick him up and bring him home! :) When we left, we headed over to Pet Smart to buy him some presents to welcome him home... now comes the hard part - we have to work on picking a name that we can both agree on! LoL

Here are some pictures and a video of the no-named puppy! :)

all that excitement wore this little guy out!

I wonder what he's dreaming about?

getting to know his Daddy :)

puppy kisses!!

snuggling with his Mommy :)

look at that little face!!!

saying hello to his family in Chicago! :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!!

This past weekend, Brian and I celebrated our One Year Anniversary together! September 25th 2009 was our first official date... for that date, Brian surprised me with dinner at The Melting Pot, because he knew it was one of my favorite places to go. Little did I know, that night was just the first of many more pleasant surprises to come over the next year.

In honor of our first anniversary, Brian planned a day filled with lots of little surprises from start to finish! He woke me up that morning and led me downstairs with my eyes closed... he led me into the kitchen and I sat down at the table and opened my eyes to find a vase of beautiful roses and a plate full of heart-shaped pancakes that he had made himself! :) :) :)

After breakfast, we exchanged presents... I was so excited to give Brian his presents (one in particular) - I had made a collage frame of different pictures of us from throughout our first year. I embellished the frame using some of my scrapbooking materials... it turned out EXACTLY how I pictured it! (I tried to get a good picture of the finished product but I kept getting a glare or it turned out blurry... this is the best I could do!) Now we just need to find the perfect place to hang it! :)

I also got him a Salad Chopper... it's this nifty bowl with a chopper that resembles a pizza cutter but has 2 wheels on it instead of 1. (there's a salad place in the food court at White Marsh Mall that makes chopped salads... we've gone there quite a bit and we love their salads... now we can make our own at home!)

When I went to buy the salad chopper thingie, I saw something else that caught my eye... Brian had mentioned before that he would like to have a pizza stone and I saw a pizza stone kit that looked awesome! The kit came with the pizza stone and a serving rack for it, a pizza peel (one of those wooden boards with a handle that you see in pizzerias), a pizza cutter and a recipe book! I knew I HAD to get it for him!

I still have one more present for Brian that didn't make it in time for our anniversary... so that part is To Be Continued... :)

Brian was also excited for me to open my present... it came wrapped in a pretty pink bag with white polka dots and pretty pink tissue paper (does he know me or what?!) - it was so pretty that I almost didn't want to open it! ALMOST, but not quite! LoL Inside, I found the cutest little fuzzy teddy bear... he was holding a little box from Shaw's Jewelers on his lap. I opened the box to find a very pretty sterling silver necklace that has 2 oval loops intertwined with a sparking diamond in the middle... for me, it is reminiscent of how our lives have intertwined over the last year. I LOVE it!!! Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, and they may also be my birthstone, but THIS girl has never had a real diamond before! I couldn't wait to take my old necklace off and put my new necklace on! :) :) :)

After we exchanged presents, we both took showers and got dressed so we could head out for the next surprise. I had no idea where we were going and Brian wasn't giving me any clues! We traveled southbound on I-95, went through the tunnel, and got off at the exit for downtown Baltimore. We parked in a garage and walked over to the Inner Harbor. Brian walked over to a ticket booth where he picked up 2 tickets for a lunch cruise on the Spirit of Baltimore! He had also paid for the souvenier photo package that I can't ever seem to say no to... LoL We boarded the boat and had our pictures taken... then we were seated at our table. There was a card sitting on the table wishing us a Happy Anniversary and thanking us for celebrating with Spirit Cruises. We ordered drinks... Brian had a bottle of Amstel Light and I had a "Tropical Treasure" - an extravagant blend of Absolut Citron, Malibu Coconut Rum and DeKuyper Creme de Banana with a dash of Sweet & Sour and a splash of cranberry juice, served in a distinctive Spirit Cruises hurricane glass that's yours to keep!

Then it was time to EAT! There was a fresh salad station, and a buffet line of entrees including: herb roasted chicken, wild Alaskan salmon in a lemon butter sauce, Thai BBQ pork loin, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed vegetable medley, and macaroni & cheese! For dessert, they brought out a duo of cheesecake with a strawberry glaze and a chocolate mousse cake... both were DELICIOUS!!!

The staff on the boat was very friendly, not to mention entertaining! They even sang and danced! They also announced several birthdays and anniversaries, including OURS! Everyone on the boat applauded and wished us a Happy 1st Anniversary! Brian and I went up on the top deck of the boat a few times to look around and take in the scenery... did I mention what a B-E-A-U-tiful day it was?? We got so lucky! :)

After the boat docked, Brian & I walked around the Inner Harbor for awhile and then walked over to the Barnes & Noble to look around. That is one of my favorite things to do, and because I'm always so short on time I don't get to do it very often so this was a nice treat! :) After about an hour, we walked back to the parking garage and headed home. Although I was a tiny bit disappointed that we weren't returning to The Melting Pot, we had planned a nice quiet dinner at home... I thought it would be fun if we had a semi-fancy meal, so we decided on Surf-and-Turf. Originally I had planned on getting some jumbo shrimp and some filet mignon but I couldn't find any filet mignon that looked good, so I settled for some NY strip steaks instead. I found a copycat recipe for Outback's Shrimp on the Barbie, so I thought we'd give that a try! Brian was the grillmaster and I took care of the rest... along with the Surf-and-Turf, we had roasted garlic mashed potatoes and some fresh Italian bread with butter. It was YUMMY!!! (sorry, no pics... I'm slacking!)

Once we had finished dinner, Brian told me to go downstairs and relax while he cleaned up the kitchen (isn't he the greatest ever?!) and got his next surprise ready. A little while later, he called me upstairs... I came into the kitchen to see a mini-crockpot full of bubbly chocolate fondue and a plate of marshmallows, sliced strawberries, and bananas... just like The Melting Pot! Brian and my mom had secretly joined forces in planning this surprise... Brian bought the ingredients and my mom made the fondue. While we were out on our lunch cruise, my mom brought the fondue over and put it in our refrigerator so that all Brian had to do was heat it up later. Sneaky, sneaky!!

It was so nice to be able to spend an entire day together... and I can't think of a better way to spend our day! I can't believe that it has been a whole year already... in some ways it feels like our first date was just yesterday, but in other ways it feels like this has been the longest year ever! We have done and seen and experienced so much together over these last 365 days! I never imagined that our friendship would blossom into a relationship, but I'm so thankful that it did... I can honestly say that this has been the best year of my life! Brian is so much more than just a boyfriend to me, he's my BEST FRIEND, my confidant, my partner, and the love of my life... I'm looking forward to celebrating many more years together!

I love you, Brian Jomiguire-Crenshaw-Brownfield! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

September slacking...

Well, September is sailing on by... and I'm starting to slack on my blog posts, which I promised myself I wouldn't do. I seriously cannot believe that we're already 17 days into the month of September. Where, oh where, does the time go?!

Here's what I've been up to so far this month...

Brian & I had a double date night with my friend Jon and his girlfriend Amy. We all went out to dinner a few months ago and have been saying we'd like to do it again, but... as always, scheduling conflicts prevented that for awhile longer than we would've liked. Finally, we were able to find a night that worked for all of us. Instead of going out to eat, I suggested we have Jon & Amy over to our house for dinner and a movie. I made Asian BBQ Chicken and Spicy Stir-Fried Green Beans... after dinner we hung out and watched Date Night. It was a fun time... we're looking forward to doing it again soon!

We went to yet another wedding... the groom, Shawn, is a deputy who I used to work with on evening shift. Their wedding was casual with a nautical theme. It was kinda nice to just relax and not have to worrying about being so formal for once! :)

Brian & I celebrated Labor Day weekend by going to Bengie's Drive-In for their 55th Annual Dusk 'til Dawn Movie Marathon. They were playing Despicable Me, The Other Guys, Salt, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and The Expendables. I haven't been to Bengie's in YEARS... like years and years... and it was so cool! You really can't beat it... we paid $8 each to get in, plus we bought a pass for $7 that allowed us to bring outside food in with us. We brought a cooler full of ice, sodas, and water bottles, along with some snacks, and we stopped on the way and got a pizza. We brought pillows and a blanket with us too. We couldn't have asked for better weather... during the first movie, all the windows were down and the sunroof was open; during the second movie, the windows were halfway down and the sunroof was cracked; by the third movie, all the windows were up and the sunroof was closed, and Brian & I were cuddled up under the blanket! We found out that 5 movies was way too long for us... I fell asleep during the 2nd movie and we both fell asleep during the 3rd, so after that we just headed home. Bengie's is supposed to be open into the beginning of November, so I think we're going to try to go again before they close for the season. I can't wait! :)

Friday, September 10th was my Mom's birthday... she turned 55 years old this year! Since she had to work that day, I thought it would be nice if my Grandma and I could go to her work and have breakfast there with her. On my way home from work, I stopped and picked Grandma up and we headed to the Double TT. It was nice to spend some time with Grandma and my Mom. Because I had to work on her actual birthday, we planned to celebrate it on Sunday.

On Saturday, Brian & I took an evening walk through Mariner Point Park with my Mom & my sister. We walked the perimeter of the park twice and by the time we were finished, it was pitch black outside! After our exercise, we all went to Rita's for some Italian Ice... mmm!!! I got Ocean Spray Cranberry and it was DELICIOUS!! Definitely one of my favorite flavors!

On Sunday, in honor of her birthday, my Mom, sister and I decided to have a "Girl's Day" - we went to the movies together to see "The Last Exorcism", then we did some shopping on The Avenue at White Marsh, and then we went to an early dinner at Fogo de Chao in Baltimore. I had made reservations for us online and mentioned that my sister & I were going to be celebrating our mother's birthday, so after we finished eating the waiter brought out a plate of dessert with 3 forks and the words "Happy Birthday" written in raspberry puree along the edges of the plate. I thought that was so nice of them! :)

I've been busy scheduling tons of clinicals for the next few months... I've signed up for shifts at St. Joseph's Hospital in the Operating Room and the N.I.C.U.; Sinai Hospital in Labor & Delivery, the Psychiatric Ward, the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, and the Pediatric Emergency Room; and the Maryland Poison Center... plus a ton of shifts at the firehouse where I'll be precepted by a senior Paramedic. I've got lots of work ahead of me, but it will all be worth it in a few months when I get that Paramedic patch to replace my Intermediate patch that I worked so hard for!! :)

I think that should bring us up to date... I promise I'll try harder at not slacking so much! In the meantime, like the song by Green Day, "wake me up when September ends..." LoL

P.S. I'm lacking some pictures on these last two blogs because I transferred everything to my external hard drive and wiped my laptop hard drive clean... I've been meaning to bring my external hard drive with me so I could upload some pics, but I keep forgetting. Anyone who knows me should know that it's not like me to not take pictures!! :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Rush

Well, time continues to FLY by... I can't believe that today is the last day of August! The first day of the 2010-2011 school year was yesterday, which means Fall is right around the corner! August has been quite the busy month for me... even busier than usual... and probably my most hectic month this year, so far! So what have I done this month?

Well, for starters, 1/3 of the month was spent in Chicago with Brian's family. Before we left, my schedule underwent lots and lots of switching and flexing... I worked just about every single day right up until we left. Same thing when we came home! Going there, our flight was delayed for 5 hours! By the time we landed in Chicago, I had been awake for more than 30 hours and I was feeling every minute of it! Things didn't slow down much once we were there. We spent Friday afternoon running last-minute errands for his sister's wedding, then spent the evening at her house going over the details for the next day. Brian and I spent Friday night in a hotel which was kinda fun since that's not something we get to do everyday. On Saturday morning, after breakfast at the hotel, Debbie (Brian's Mom's friend) and I went to get a manicure/pedicure, which was also fun. The wedding went off without a hitch... I'm glad I was able to be there and see Mr. and Mrs. Stan Kuba take their vows and start their life together as husband and wife. The reception was very entertaining... everyone had a blast, especially Brian... by day he may be an electrical engineer, but by night he's a dancing machine!! :)

Brian & I weren't the only out-of-towners who came in for Kelly & Stan's wedding... quite a few of his Mom's relatives drove up from Kentucky, so it was nice to finally be able to put a face with the names I've been hearing about!

Here are some other things we did during our vacation:

  • toured downtown Chicago (Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain, Sears Tower, Millennium Park, etc)
  • tasted my 1st authentic Chicago dog
  • went to my first White Sox baseball game (they won!!)
  • had some Giordano's stuffed pizza
  • had an ice cream cone that was bigger than my head from The Plush Horse
  • spent many hours floating in the pool
  • relaxed and enjoyed our time off with family and friends

I had a great time in Chicago but I also got a little homesick by the end of our vacation... I really missed my Myrtle Jean!! The same day we came home, I went back to work for lots more switching and flexing. There's no rest for the weary! :)

Some other notable things that took place this month...

While we were on vacation, my friend Leslie's husband Brad died unexpectedly. Brad was only 35 years old; he and Leslie had two small children, Brooke (2) and Landon (1). I can't imagine how Leslie must be feeling... unfortunately, I wasn't able to be as supportive to her as I would've liked since we were out of town for his viewing and the funeral. Once we came home, I tried to help out when I could... I watched Brooke and Landon a couple times so she could run some errands.

Myrtle also gave me a good scare... the weekend after we came home from Chicago, she started throwing up. Now, I've had Myrtle for 12 years so I'm aware that she throws up occasionally... sometimes even regularly... but when it lasted for 48 hours straight, I knew there was a problem. By the time I was able to take her to the vet on Monday morning, I had more than 20 separate spots of cat vomit to clean up all over the house... literally, TWENTY! The vet gave her some shots to help settle her stomach and they did some blood work to try to figure out what was wrong. $255 later, we found out that she has a feline version of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Only MY cat would have something like that... LoL

Brian & I have been thinking about getting a dog... we've gone to the Humane Society a few times to look at dogs and we've seen a few that we have liked. Brian grew up with dogs and I grew up with cats... Brian has been so good about "putting up" with Myrtle and all her eccentricities, it's only fair that he get to have a dog too. We've discussed it quite a bit and we think we'd like to get a beagle. Hopefully we'll be able to find the perfect guy/gal for us soon! :)

On August 24th, my niece Sara turned 10 years old. I cannot believe it's been a whole decade since my little brownie entered our lives!

At the end of the month was Joppa-Magnolia's annual fire company picnic at Valley Brook Country Club. Brian and I went, along with my mom, sister, niece Hannah and family friend Jacqueline. We had steamed crabs, hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, desserts, etc. We also spent some time having fun in the many pools they have there. It was the perfect end-of-summer event!

Speaking of the end-of-summer... after much deliberation, I finally made the decision to return to CCBC this Fall and finish my 2nd year of the Paramedic program. Completing this program was one of the goals I came up with for myself a few years ago... my 1st year of the program was successful and I walked away as an EMT-I. Last Fall, my plan took a little bit of a detour and I got a little discouraged but with some support and encouragement from Brian, I decided to return this year and finish what I started. With that said, the next 9 months or so are going to be quite busy but I know I can handle it. I've got my eye on the prize... :)

I think that's about it for August... see ya next month for September's Happenings!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

30 before 30

I'm borrowing this idea from a friend of mine, April, who came up with it first... but my birthday is 22 days before hers, which means I'll have to finish even sooner than she does... looks like I'd better get started! :)

So here's my list, in no particular order!

1. Bake a cake from scratch.

2. Pay off atleast ONE of my bills.

3. Get down to a healthy weight.

4. Exercise more.

5. Procrastinate less.

6. Plant a garden.

7. Blog more often (once a week).

8. Learn how to drive a stick shift.

9. Have a yard sale.

10. Have a family portrait taken... we've got 4 Generations!

11. Send a message in a bottle.

12. Make homemade pickles.

13. Find a part-time job.

14. Go camping.

15. Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

16. Take piano lessons.

17. Start a new holiday tradition.

18. Practice patience.

19. Have a "Girl's Night" with my Mom & Grandma once a month.

20. Go snow tubing.

21. Come up with a budget and STICK TO IT!!

22. Create a cookbook full of delicious family recipes.

23. Take an impromptu road trip to a place I've never been before.

24. Establish a savings account that I actually USE!

25. Take a cake decorating class.

26. Adopt a pet.

27. Forgive someone who has wronged me.

28. De-clutter my life and learn to be more organized.

29. Learn Sign Language.

30. Organize my MANY pictures, from childhood on, in chronological order.

So those are the 30 things I want to do before I'm 30... and here's how long I have left to do them in!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sushi Saturday!

Lately I've been on a major sushi kick... I can't get enough of it!! There's a new sushi place in the food court at White Marsh Mall that I've been hitting up to help ease my cravings, but it's a little pricey (crack might be a cheaper habit!) so I decided to try to make some myself at home. Earlier in the week I went out in search of the supplies: seaweed sheets, sushi rice, rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds, imitation crab meat, avocado, cucumber, pickled ginger, wasabi, soy sauce and a bamboo sushi mat. I researched different recipes and techniques and even watched some how-to videos. Today, I decided to execute my plan!

First, I washed and rinsed the rice several times. Then I put it in the rice cooker and waited for it to work it's perfect rice cooking magic! Next I shredded the imitation crab and rinsed it in some cold water. I sliced up the avocado and cucumber and then assembled the rest of my supplies. I read that it would be much easier if I covered my bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap so I got that all ready to go. By then, my rice was finished cooking so I drizzled some rice wine vinegar on it and stired it around until each grain was covered. I placed my seaweed sheets shiny side down, grabbed a ball of rice and spread it out. Once the whole sheet was covered with rice, I sprinkled some sesame seeds on top of the rice and flipped the whole sheet over to the "dull" side. In the middle, I spread out some sliced avocado... then the shredded imitation crab meat... then some sliced cucumber. I took one side of the rice covered sheet and folded it over the filling in the middle... then I sorta tucked it underneath and continued to roll until I had a sushi log. Then I used my plastic wrap covered bamboo sushi mat to squeeze the roll until it felt a little tighter. After I sliced the sushi into pieces and plated them, I added a side of pickled ginger and a mountain of wasabi... plus some soy sauce on the side for dipping!

I learned a few lessons about what will work better next time but I don't think this was too bad for my first time! What do YOU think??

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm on a boat...

Not last weekend but the weekend before that (I know, I know... I'm a little late but it's better late than never, right!?) I had the best weekend ever!!

On Saturday, our friend Jith came up to get his windows tinted and to hang out with Brian & I for the day. We spent some time at the pool with my Mom, who brought us a yummy picnic lunch!

here's my Mom, posing for a pic at the pool... LOVE her!! :)

Later that night, Brian & I took Jith to a restaurant in Baltimore called Vinny's Cafe that we stumbled upon a couple weeks ago. Most notably, Vinny's offers a JUMBO slice of a 30" pizza, and we wanted Jith to try it. We got there kind of late and there were no more jumbo slices available, so we decided to order a whole pizza instead. This thing was MASSIVE!!! Massive might even be an understatement! It literally took up half of our table! One slice of this pizza was as big as our forearms!

30 inches of INSANITY!!!

I wasn't joking about it being the size of my forearm!

I couldn't even finish one slice!!

On Sunday, my friend Lynn and her husband Bob invited Brian & I out on their boat for the day. This has become a yearly tradition for me and I love it! Lynn & Bob have a houseboat called "Nauti Dreams" that they keep at a marina in Baltimore County called River Watch, so we met them there at 10:00am on Sunday morning. My mom decided to tag along, which I was very excited about since we haven't been getting to spend much time together lately and she rarely does anything fun like that! Lynn's daughter Jennie and her fiance Jonathan were also coming with us... Lynn lives by the motto "the more, the merrier"!

my Momma and her cool shades that double as safety glasses! LoL

Brian enjoying some shade on the way to Fairlee Creek :)

my Jomi-Mom :)

my sweetie and his sweetie... LoL (inside joke!!)

We brought some snacks with us and set off for a place called Fairlee Creek on the Upper Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Chestertown, MD. It took us about an hour to get from River Watch to Fairlee Creek, but it was a beautiful day for a boat ride!! Once we got to Fairlee Creek, we anchored down the boat and climbed down the ladder into the waist-high water with the sandy beach just a few steps away. The beach forms a little peninsula so we set up chairs where everyone could sit and chat. Lynn & Bob also had some floats that we used in the water, until the current started to carry us away!

A little while later, Bob used a dinghy to take us across the channel over to the Great Oak Landing. We pulled the dinghy up onto the sand and walked over to a place called Jellyfish Joel's Tiki Bar... it features live weekend entertainment, a variety of light snacks & sandwiches, cold beer and frozen drinks!

lots of dinghies! LoL

Jellyfish Joel's Tiki Bar!!

After several hours of relaxation and fun in the sun, it was time to board "Nauti Dreams" and head back to River Watch. There was a live band performing, so Lynn & her future son-in-law busted out with some dance moves while Captain Bob took care of backing us into the boat slip!

Lynn & Jonathan busting a move! :)

here is Lynn telling me not to take any pictures of her... Shhhhh, don't tell her!! :)

Once we docked there, Chef Bob grilled up some delicious hamburgers and hotdogs for us! We sat on the dock and hung out some more until it was time to head home so the two people with "NORMAL" jobs (I'm not mentioning any names!) could rest up for work the next morning!!

What an awesome weekend it was!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday America... and Myrtle!!

I wish more weekends could be like this past weekend was... my normal days off were Thursday, Friday & Saturday but then I took annual leave on Sunday and holiday leave on Monday, so I secured a relaxing 5 day break from the chaos that is summer at work! On Friday morning, I woke up with a stomach virus very similar to the one Brian had been suffering from earlier in the week. I thought for sure the weekend would be ruined, but thank God I recovered much quicker than poor Brian had! After about 12 hours of good, solid sleep on Friday night, I woke up on Saturday morning feeling much better! I was feeling so much better that I even went to a couple yard sales and ran a few errands before returning home in the early afternoon. Brian's friend Jith was coming up from Virginia to spend the weekend with us, so he arrived about 1:30 or so. The boys were going to order some boxing match that evening and I'm definitely not into that sorta thing, so it sounded like a perfect opportunity to go hang out with my mom & grandma for the evening! My mom made some delicious taco salad for dinner and we rented a movie to watch (The Final Destination). We also went to Baskin Robbins and ordered Cappuccino Blast's that really hit the spot! =)

Sunday July 4th might've been America's 234th birthday but it was also Myrtle Jean's 12th birthday! It's hard to believe that my girl is 12 already... it seems like just yesterday that we brought her home from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as a tiny 5-week old furball. Myrtle has been with me through all the big milestones of my life... turning 18, my high school graduation, recovery from several surgeries, the birth of my first niece (as well as an additional niece and nephew), my first job, my first apartment, turning 21, my first boyfriend, my first breakup, the loss of my other cat (Jake)... you name it, Myrtle has seen me through it! She might be a crazy girl but I love her SO much... every day with her is an adventure! Happy Birthday, Myrtle Jean Jomidad!

the birthday girl!! :)

it's hard to believe she was once this tiny! she might've been little but she's always had a BIG personality!

baby Myrtle!

On Sunday afternoon, Brian, Jith & I went to the community pool for the first time. We were pleasantly surprised at how nice it was! It wasn't too crowded and the water felt just right! We spent several hours there, just hanging out and having a good time!

the boys! :)

that's me... soaking up the sun! :)

While we were swimming, we started to get hungry... while we were discussing options for dinner, I came up with a great idea! Why not drive to Philadelphia for some authentic cheesesteak subs? Brian had never been to Philly before and I've only been there once and that was years ago! We all headed home to take quick showers and then we started out on our mini road trip! Once we arrived in Philly, the real question was... Pat's or Geno's? The long line outside Pat's King of Steaks told us we should start there!

The menu had lots to choose from, and there are even specific instructions on how to order... do it their way or go to the back of the line!

Somehow I was designated to be the spokeswoman of our group, so I bravely stepped up to the window and ordered three cheesesteaks: 1) wit cheez-wiz for Brian, 2) mushroom steak wit american for me, and 3) wit provolone for Jith. Here's what mine looked like!

After we devoured the sandwiches from Pat's, we headed across the street to Geno's to give them a try!

This time I only ordered one sandwich, for Brian and I to share... a wit cheez-wiz. Here's what we were given:

And just like that, we left Philly just as quicky as we had made the decision to come there! Once we were back in good 'ol Harford County, we stopped at my favorite snowball stand for some frozen treats. I ordered a new flavor combination that they've named "Yoo Hoo" - it's a mixture of chocolate, vanilla cream, and ice cream flavored snowball syrups, with a splash of milk. I got mine with extra marshmallow! Sooooooooooooooooo good!!!!!

Then we were homeward bound. Brian, Jith and I played a few games of Wii bowling... I lost every single one! Looks like I need to keep practicing! Even though I was the biggest loser, I still had fun! :)