Sunday, July 8, 2012
Here we are again at the World Series of Poker. This is the first year we've come out here without the girls and I find myself not relaxing by the pool but standing next to Trevor's table watching him play. It's something I used to do all of the time before we had kids and I don't get to do it very often anymore. Most people think I'm crazy and ask how I can possibly stand and watch poker but time flies by as I spend most of my time people watching and occasionally catching hands in between. This World Series is bittersweet for a couple of reasons. First, it's bittersweet because the girls aren't here. It's great that I can relax for a change and watch Trevor play but I miss my little babies like crazy and Vegas is Ava's favorite place to visit. She knows really nothing of what it really is but she knows she gets to come out, hang out with her favorite guys, play in the pool, drink milkshakes from Burger Bar, and see the Statue of Liberty. She knows Daddy plays poker for a living and he plays tournaments out here. But neither girl knows what really goes on here or that they're visiting "Sin City" each year. Kids are special because they also know nothing of real life problems. The biggest problem my girls face each day is what they want for breakfast or who had the toy first. They don't know about the truly chaotic world they live in or the tragedies occurring on a daily basis. Which brings me to the second reason this trip is so bittersweet. A few years ago, we had the pleasure of getting to know our friends Jay and Ken's friend Andy. Originally from Tennessee, he lives in Florida now. We heard many stories before we met him and once we met him, I knew he was a special kind of guy. He lives his life to the fullest and the big smile he wears never leaves his face. We spent some time with him since then getting to know him a little better. Andy doesn't take a second for granted in life like so many are guilty of. We all say we are going to make the effort to not take anything for granted, live life to its fullest but how many people actually do that each day? We all get busy and wrapped up in our lives and the tasks we need to accomplish each day and never really take a second to look around and be thankful for what we have that's important. We're healthy, happy, have a roof over our head, and food to eat. These are the important things in life - not what brands we wear, the cars we drive, the size of our homes, or our money in the bank. Far too often, we complain about things that don't truly matter. I know I'm guilty of it. I am extremely thankful for things things I have but it's still easy to always want more. Today, and for the past few days, I've spent a lot of time thinking about all of this and about Andy. When someone's life is in danger, it puts things in perspective. Things happen daily that make you think about how precious life is and how quickly it can end but it hits even harder when someone close to you is in danger. Andy is 28 years old - far too young to be sick in a hospital bed. But there he lays in desperate need of a lung transplant. My heart aches for him and for his family and friends. Anyone who knows him knows how special he is. He has his closest friends and family sitting by his side waiting for the news he so badly needs right now. Any lungs that become available within a 2000 mile radius are his - so now everyone sits and waits. I know Andy well enough and waiting for news is excruciating so I can't imagine what it must be like for those closest to him. Andy is a fighter and that's just what he's doing now. I believe he's going to continue fighting his battle and I'm holding onto hope that the news will come that Andy's getting new lungs. So, what's the point of this blog? I want no sympathy as I am not one of those closest to Andy. I want this story to be a lesson to those who read this. Cherish each day you have and the loved ones around you. Be thankful for the things you have and forget about the inconsequential things in life. We hear everyday that life is short and hear multiple stories about it so as cliche as it may sound, it truly is short and precious. Everyone should live life like Andy - always smiling and happy and living each day to the fullest and best of your ability. Andy has been sick his entire life and not one time have I ever heard him mention his sickness or how he was feeling. Next time you wake up with a headache, stomach ache, cold, hangover, whatever - try not to complain because there are people out there fighting for every breath. Andy - we love you and are pulling for you. We can't wait to laugh with you again. Until then, keep fighting! Love to you, your family, and friends. UPDATE: After I finished writing this blog, I got a text informing me that Andy's friends and family said their final goodbyes to him. He became too sick to be able to safely endure a transplant and was removed from the list. It is deeply saddening to hear this news and my thoughts are with his family and friends. Andy is truly one of a kind.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
So, here we are in 2012! We had a great time on New Year's. Last year, we went to a bar with my friend Katie. We had fun, but we decided that night that we were going to stay home every December 31st going forward. Approaching the big day, we had no plans except to stay home with our girls and hang out. Trevor got home from work a few days before and mentioned having a game night with the family. By New Year's Eve, we were expecting 9 people plus ourselves at our house. My mother in law made several different kinds of super delicious stuffed mushrooms, spinach dip, pepperoni bread, cheese bread, and a veggie tray. My mom brought some yummy homemade guacamole and for dessert, Nicole brought a chocolate cake. We played Mad Gab with 2 teams. Ava was on one team and she held the cards for someone and later took a shot making up her own phrase which was "peanut butter peanut butter jelly peanut butter jelly on my nose". Not sure where the "on my nose" came from but if you've ever played the game, you'll understand why she was repeating the same thing over again. It was a hilarious game so we did nothing but laugh the entire time. Nicole was a master and got almost every single answer within seconds so naturally, her team won. At midnight, we were all together to toast to a new year including Little Miss Ava who soldiered through the night and wouldn't go to bed until almost 2 am (which she made up for the next morning by sleeping until 11 am with the rest of the house).
January 1st meant it was time to really get moving. In just 6 days, I was hosting a surprise baby shower at my house for my sister in law Trinna. She's due February 3rd with a little boy she's naming Jordan. This will be my second nephew but this is the first boy on Trevor's side of the family so it's exciting! With the help of her best friend Mo, we spent the week preparing for the big day. Trevor and his dad had a big plan of a Sixer's game to get her here. She thought she was stopping at our house to pick up the tickets with her dad. Having it here, however, had one obstacle - parking. Our development is 1 court - nothing else, so hiding cars here is impossible. It does back up to another development though so my wonderful husband valeted and chauffeured people into the next development and hid every car including one of ours since she thought we weren't home. When Trinna finally arrived, there were almost 50 people hiding in my kitchen while she stood outside of the front door looking through her keys trying to figure out which one opened our door. When she finally came in, she looked at the living room with a look of confusion on her face for a second or 2 until everyone screamed surprise! She said she genuinely had no idea what she was walking into so that's the reason for the blog title "Success!" We did it! And the shower turned out better than I hoped it would. Trinna received lots of gifts for baby Jordan and got to see lots of friends and family. My cousin Laura made the most amazing cake to match our jungle theme. Here are some pictures...
There was a vanilla chocolate chip cake on top and 3 dozen cupcakes below. The cupcakes were 3 different flavors: banana chocolate chip with peanut butter chocolate chunk filling and peanut butter frosting, lemon cake with raspberry cream cheese frosting, and red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Besides the incredible detail, the flavor of her cakes are unlike anything I've had before. They are the most delicious cakes and cupcakes I've ever eaten, hands down and not just because she's family. Everyone at the party couldn't stop eating them so if you're reading this and you're in the NJ area and need a cake, get in touch with her! For favors, we had 3 chocolate covered oreos - 2 drizzled to look like zebra print and 1 with an animal face on it - again made by Laura. Here's what they looked like:
Check out my invitation company page, Avatation Paper Company to see the invitation and some of the decor I made for the shower!
Now it's time to work hard on projects - some new and some old. We have a lot we'd like to accomplish this year so there's no time for relaxing! We've been waking up at 5 am (although the past couple of days it hasn't worked out for me...oops!) to get things done before the girls wake up. Trevor leaves for work between 9 and 10 am and then it's just the girls and me. We tried to put a schedule together, but since he can't guarantee he'll be home at any specific time, I just have to work as hard as possible to get things done with two kids attached to me or beating each other up and then hide in my office when Trevor gets home to get the rest of my work done. It's non stop from 5-7 am until 10-11 pm so it's pretty exhausting and hectic. This weekend, we're taking our dads and step moms out to dinner and my dad and stepmom are keeping the girls for the weekend. Saturday, we're headed to North Jersey to celebrate our good friends Dan and Kerri's engagement! We don't get to see each other much these days so I'm really looking forward to spending the weekend together. I'll be back with another update soon!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
I'm so bad at this. Every time I finally update, I tell myself I'm going to keep up with it but then everyday life knocks me down and I lose track of the blog. So, in an effort to get up to speed and try my very best to keep it updated, I'm going to give a quick rundown of the events since the last blog.
Our life has drastically changed since my last blog in March. On April 15th, online poker was shut down to the U.S. Trevor made his living playing online poker, so it was a huge blow to our lives. Trevor had to start going to the casino everyday to play. I'm sure some people might think "big deal! most people do have to go to work everyday" but our family life was built around the two of us being home together with our kids. It's all we ever knew. So to then completely change it was hard for both of us as well as our kids. Ava has gotten much better about him leaving everyday even though she still asks why he's leaving sometimes.
Not all of the change has been negative though. Trevor really enjoys playing live poker and he's happy with it and it has generally gone well for him. For the first time, we spent the entire length of the World Series (6 weeks) in Las Vegas. It was the longest we had ever stayed away from home and my mom was less than thrilled that we decided to stay that long. It was a difficult trip because it wasn't planned and finding nice places to stay that aren't hotels is next to impossible. We bounced around from hotels to friends places and bad efficiencies with the two kids in tow. A few times, I moved the kids and all of our stuff to the next place alone because Trevor was in a tournament. We also had to change rental cars several times throughout our stay. When we're in Vegas, I have no one to rely on to help me out with the kids if I need it so I have to cart them around in the 100 degree heat. I spend most days in the house or hotel - wherever we happen to be at the time - with the girls and that's it. Previously, everyone played online so there were always people in the house with me and the girls and Trevor was always there unless he was playing a tournament. This series however, everyone went to the casinos to play and Trevor played a lot more tournaments than he ever has in the past. It was an interesting experience to be out there for so long and it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be but it came with it bumps and bruises - figuratively and literally (Cameron was a bit of a daredevil) - but we made it through and Trevor decided he wanted to stay for the entire length of the series any time we are able to in the future.
We haven't been traveling as much as we used to because Trevor plays at Parx everyday and he can't just pack up the computer and sit down in any place and play. We can only go places that have casinos close by if we wanted to go anywhere. We did manage to take a weekend trip to Tampa to see Jay and Ken and go to the Bucs/Saints game and we also planned a family trip to Tennessee to the Gaylord Opryland Resort in the beginning of December. We went last year during Christmas and we loved it so much we decided we want to go back every year for their Christmas display. This year, it just so happened that they had a Dreamwork's package so the girls got to meet Shrek, Fiona, Puss in Boots, and Gingy (from Shrek obv) Alex, King Julien, and the penguins from Madagascar, and Po from Kung Fu Panda. They both absolutely loved the entire trip and we got out eat at our favorite breakfast place, the Pancake Pantry.
When we got home, we finished getting the house ready for Christmas. We got a huge Christmas tree that fell on my head when I tried to put lights on it - that was a blast. Eventually, my father in law got the tree to stand with the help of a wooden board, new tree stand, and lots of strong fishing line. It worked out though because most of my family that came over thought it was fake. I had to put over 1000 lights on it but it really was a beautiful tree. The girls loved opening their gifts and they got excited over everything they received. When I was younger, I loved opening presents. I didn't care if you gave me a bunch of junk from the dollar store, as long as I had wrapping paper to rip open. Now, I couldn't care less if I ever received another gift, as long as I get to watch my girls rip open their gifts and watch the smiles that come over their faces - there really is nothing better than seeing them happy.
So, while life is certainly different, we're making it work. We're looking forward to what 2012 has to offer because it has to be better than this year has been. Trevor and I have a lot that we're working on and I'm hoping to be able to really work hard on all of the projects I have going on. It's pretty difficult to get anything done with my two little monkeys running around all day and Trevor being at the casino but I've been working hard to get everything organized so I can finally get my projects together and make them run in the new year. Part of my plan is to keep this blog updated often! I know I've said that a lot, but it's almost the new year which means new beginnings so I'm going to do my best. My next update will be in 2012 so Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2012 brings great things to everyone!
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Having two kids is never easy, especially in this crazy lifestyle we lead. There is virtually no structure to everyday life. In January, we decided to sit down and try to create some kind of daily schedule to try and make things less hectic. After we worked it out, I got an IM telling me to talk Trevor out of the bet he'd made. I had no idea about it so I heard all of the details and thought "ohhhh great, this should be fun." Trevor made a bet that he could play 60,000 hands of heads up in one month which was twice the amount of hands he had ever played. My opinion was that it was a terrible idea, particularly because we had finally set up a schedule and it was the first month we were going to try to live with a structure but I told him that if that's what he really wanted to do, than he should go for it but if he lost I was going to hurt him :). During the month, he did really well balancing everything and sticking to the schedule despite online poker slowing down a bit and having Wednesdays completely off.
At the end of the month, he was slightly behind schedule on the amount of hands and he was supposed to play a tournament at the Borgata. It started on January 30th and if all went well, it would be 5 days long total. He made it through day 1 so the tournament would resume on February 1st since the 31st was day 1b. Only the 31st remained to close out the bet so he had his work cut out for him. The tournament started at 11 am and went until probably about 1 am on Sunday, then he drove an hour home, and woke up the next morning and had to finish playing 3,700 hands to ensure he won the bet. By the time he finished, the day was gone and he needed to be back at the Borgata at 11 am for day 2 of the tournament. After 5 straight days of nothing but playing poker from morning until late at night, he made the final table.
I scrambled to find someone to watch the girls so I could go down with him and watch. The chances of finding someone was pretty slim and I had pretty much given up on the idea when I got am IM from Casey. He was flying in for the FT and offered to bring his girlfriend Caitlin with him to watch the girls. We booked a room at the Borgata and the next day, headed down with the girls to meet up with Casey, Caitlin, and Ken who also flew in to watch. Trevor headed off to play while I got the girls situated and made sure Ava was comfortable with Caitlin since she can be a little shy sometimes. Caitlin was instantly great with both girls and I felt at ease leaving them with her regardless of the fact that I had just met her (I would like to point out that Casey told me all about her educational background and current work - she works with kids all day everyday and I know Casey well enough that I trust his opinion and judgement). Throughout the day, I received phone calls, texts, and messages and comments on Facebook all to wish Trevor well and get updates. People came out of the woodwork just to say good luck and follow along. It was an exhilarating experience to watch Trevor go so far in such a big tournament. I've watched him play in many tournaments and watched quite a few final tables, but this was only the second time I've seen him in person make it that deep in the tournament. When it was down to seven players, he was guaranteed the most money he'd ever won in a tournament and when it was down to six, he was guaranteed his first six figure score, something he wanted so badly. I was so proud of him and incredibly happy for him the entire time.
Going into the dinner break, Trevor had a ton of chips. We headed to dinner at Bobby Flay (Casey lost CCR for anyone keeping score) and immediately after dinner, I packed up the girls and drove the hour home to drop the girls off at my Mom's house and then turned right back again to drive the hour back down to the tournament. It was so nerve wracking because when I was about to leave my Mom's house, Trevor was short on chips. I really wanted to get back in time to finish watching him play but obviously did not want a speeding ticket so I quickly but carefully made it back down in plenty of time. The tournament moved incredibly slow because most people at the table were afraid to get knocked out so they wouldn't play hands. The tournament director said it was the longest final table in Borgata history. Around 1 am, after playing poker for countless hours and days on end, Trevor got knocked out in 3rd. He played his heart out and the outpouring of support from all around was amazing. It seemed like the world stopped to watch it all play out - obviously not the WHOLE world but OUR world stopped. I was truly blown away by the poker forum who all seemed glued to their computers watching and waiting and rooting him on. The overall experience was something like never before and it was really a great moment in our lives that will not soon be forgotten.
Trevor was happy with how he played and although he obviously really wanted to win, he was not down on himself at all and was in great spirits and ready to celebrate. We all went to his favorite little bar in Atlantic City, Ducktown. He instructed everyone to pick an appetizer they wanted so after we finished ordering and our food arrived, our table looked like this:
And this isn't everything. There was a ridiculous amount of appetizers on the table but we all laughed and had a great time and Ken had the great honor of making the waitress want to throw up thanks to his talk about his dog and peanut butter but that's a gross story for another time. We finally left Atlantic City to head home around 4 am and both Trevor and Ken passed out on the ride. The next day, we went out to lunch at Pizzeria Uno before Ken had to get to the airport.
There was a nice sense of calmness after all was said and done instead of the chaos we'd been living just days before. Since then, things are still hectic and time never slows down but there hasn't been quite as much poker played. We went to Florida in February for a tournament and vacation and next week we're headed to the Dominican for another tournament but this time, the girls are staying home. The decision to go was very last minute and rather than rush to get passports for both kids, we arranged for them to stay with my Mom for the week and we're going to use the trip mostly as the relaxing honeymoon we never really took. I love my girls more than I could ever possibly express and I'm going to miss them like crazy while we're away, but I'm looking forward to relaxing on the beach with my husband, just the two of us.
I want to thank everyone again for all of the support for Trevor, it really meant the world to both of us. I'll be posting a blog about our Florida trip and then I'll finally be caught up to present day. Thanks for reading!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
So it's been a little over a year since my last post and well over a year since I've said anything about the family. So much has happened in such a short period of time so I'll just get right to it.
When I wrote the last update, Ava's first birthday was the next day. We had her birthday party at my father-in-law's house. It was a great birthday party for a great little girl. The party was all princess themed and we got her a beautiful little pink and white tiered cake that had her own personal little cupcake on top. That was her first time having cake and she didn't seem to like it too much. Special appearances were made by Luke (who flew in for her party) and Dan. It was a great day.
Shortly after her birthday, we stayed in Brigantine with the usual crowd for the Borgata events. Our bachelor/bachelorette parties were scheduled for September 18th so Rod and Ken accompanied Trevor to his which was in Philly. It kind of sucked for me because I had to drive home from AC to get ready for the night and then go back down to AC for the party, go back home that night and head back to AC the next day. Overall, it was a great time. Trevor went to dinner and then went to some bar afterwards where he decided to give the young bathroom attendant $300 over the course of the night. The next day, we went to the Eagles/Saints game with Dan and Kerri. Trevor spent most of the game staring at his feet while we all were sweating to death because it was super hot that day and we were in the sun the entire time.
When we got home from AC, we needed to get all of the last minute things in order for our big day. October 9th was our rehearsal dinner which we had at a small little Italian restaurant near The Westin where we got married. Afterwards, we hung out at the hotel bar for a little bit before we needed to go to bed. AG felt it was necessary to wear one of his new suits when we were just hanging out which is where the nickname "The Senator" came from. He got really drunk but refused to go to his room and instead just kept showing everyone his suit. I finally went to bed because the next day was going to be long.
Of course, I could not sleep at all. I slept for maybe an hour that night because I was so incredibly anxious for the wedding - it was like being a kid waiting for Christmas morning. It was finally time to get up and start getting ready. Slowly, the bridesmaids arrived. A friend of Trevor's and her mom were doing the hair and makeup for everyone at the hotel so we were all together in two joining rooms just one floor up from Trevor and his groomsmen. At one point, I went to the front desk for something that I can't remember now and as I was standing there I looked to my right to see Trevor walking up. OOPS. Oh well, I wasn't ready yet so no biggie. My dad brought all of us some food while were getting ready and eventually the photographer arrived. She was able to get pictures with Trevor and his guys before the wedding but us girls ran out of time for that because guests started arriving. I stayed in the room with my parents and one of my two matron's of honor until we got the phone call that it was time to come down. My father walked me into the room with 180 guests and all I could do was take deep breaths to stop myself from becoming overly emotional. I immediately locked eyes with Trevor as soon as the doors opened and never looked away. We were married by my Aunt Cindy (who was a mayor at the time) on October 10, 2009 in an absolutely perfect wedding. Ava was our flower girl and our nephew Cole was the ring bearer. We also had 2 matron's of honor and 2 best men as well as 6 bridesmaids and 2 junior bridesmaids and 8 groomsmen. It was a huge wedding party but it worked out. Then we had cocktail hour which Trevor and I never saw because we spent the entire time with the bridal party and family taking pictures. The bridal party were able to spend some time in the cocktail hour and from what I've heard, there was no shortage of food and it was incredible. A little over an hour later, it was time to introduce the bridal party in to the reception. Everyone came up with their own creative way to walk in - most of which we didn't really get to see until we got the video since we were the last to come in. Once we were introduced, it was time for our first dance which we surprised everyone. There were only three people besides us who knew what our song was and that we took dance lessons (my mom, Dan, and Luke). So we had a whole dance routine to do to the song which was Dig by Incubus. We missed an entire part of it but no one could tell so in the end it turned out great. I just recently found a list of the food for the wedding so here it is:
- Chicken Satay with spicy sauce
- Potato Latkes
- Parmesan Crusted Artichoke
- Kobe Sliders
- Mixed Bruschetta
- Mini Crab Cakes
- Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
We also had two stations during cocktail hour - Pasta and a Stir Fry/Wok station.
- Appetizer - Tri-colored cheese tortellini (this was so delicious - I could have eaten it all night)
- Salad - Tomato Mozzarella with Pesto dressing
- Entree - Prime Rib, Stuffed Chicken Breast, or Salmon Filet with a Lemon Lime sauce
For dessert we had wedding cake obviously which had three tiers. The bottom tier was chocolate chip cake with chocolate frosting, the second was vanilla or marble (I can't remember) cake with mocha frosting, and the top was lemon cake with raspberry frosting. It was delicious. We also had a Viennese table with a ton of desserts and a huge cordial station. Unfortunately, the Viennese table wasn't announced in the reception so a lot of people had idea it was there.
We danced the night away and when it was over, we took the party to the hotel bar. Trevor bought quite of few bottles of our favorite champagne. The bar wouldn't supply us with glasses so Trevor took the bottles into the lobby and passed them around and made people chug them. He somehow managed to convince my Dad to chug the bottle as well. We didn't get to sleep until probably about 4 am and woke up to a delicious breakfast buffet with everyone. Trevor stayed in the room for a while because he had a little bit too much to drink. Eventually he came down but just long enough to eat and he was back in the room in no time. Overall, it was an amazing day that went by way too fast.
A week or two later, we took a quick trip to LA and San Diego for our "mini-moon." Ava stayed with Trevor's dad and stepmom. We had a great time relaxing in one of our favorite places to be (San Diego).
In December 2009, we stayed in Brigantine for Harrah's WSOPC. It was Mark, AG, Rod, Jesse, Casey, Mike, Trevor, myself, and Ava. Although we met Mark before, this trip is when Ava fell in love. To this day, she gets super excited to see Mark. We were there for about two weeks around Christmas time so we got a Christmas tree for the house and I decorated the whole place inside and out. I figured if we were going to be spending a decent portion of December there, I might as well decorate. We had a holiday party with lots of food and it was good time. Before our stay ended, we learned some news that would change our lives again. About mid December, we found out we were expecting for the second time. Our new baby was due August 20, 2010.
In January 2010, we made our first trip to New Orleans to go to a Saints playoff game. It had been a life long dream of Trevor's to watch a game at the Superdome. It was just a weekend trip so we were able to leave Ava at home with her grandparents. We ate at some delicious restaurants that I thoroughly enjoyed despite feeling horribly sick. It was fun to see a new city but I'd like to go back again to really get to see the sites.
The next big change in our lives came in April. We had been looking for a house for a while with no luck. There were houses we fell in love with and went for but crazy scenarios prevented us from getting the house. In the end, it was for the better since we found a brand new house, in the perfect area of the town we wanted to live in, with the exact number of bedrooms and bathrooms we wanted for a great price. We settled on April 23, 2010 and moved in the very same day. It was so nice to get out of a one bedroom apartment and into a four bedroom house with tons of space. The clutter in the apartment was starting to make me insane. There was no room for anything in that place - it was awful. Now, we have a two car garage, huge basement, and lots of living space for the kids to play and for us to entertain.
One thing we didn't take into consideration when choosing the house was that it backs up to a main road. The thought of it being a problem never crossed my mind until two weeks to the day we moved in. Trevor and I were standing in the living room talking when I heard tires losing control. I turned my head to look out of the windows and BOOM - a car crashed into the telephone pole right in front of my eyes. It was the eeriest thing I've ever experienced because everything instantly went silent. Immediately, we called 911. The dispatcher asked if anyone was still in the vehicle (which split completely in half width wise) so Trevor had to go out to the car and look inside. He said it was really creepy because the radio was still playing and the windshield wipers were broken in half but moving side to side. The male driver was thrown into the street and a young female passenger was thrown across our yard. Both were alive when the ambulance took them away but we have no idea what happened after that. The wreck stayed in our yard for hours afterwards while police investigated. Our neighbor was talking with the driver before the ambulance came and she was fairly certain he was drunk. A driver behind him said he was driving at least 85 mph (the speed limit is 40). He had to come around a curve before he slammed into the pole. The pole and a road sign that he sheared off had to be replaced. For weeks, Trevor found car parts and random things he had in his car all over our yard. There was a heavy duty car jack that was just passed the house on one side. Had the jack been over about five feet or less, it would have come through the windows we were standing in front of. That night, I didn't sleep very well. Since then, knock wood, we haven't had any other accidents in our backyard and I hope it stays that way.
During the summer, we went to Vegas for the WSOP and stayed with Jay, Ken, Andy, Dan, Kerri, Zach, and Luke. After a little less than a week of being there, my mom flew to stay for the rest of the trip to help me with Ava since I was about 7.5 months pregnant. I'm so glad she was able to make the trip out because she was a huge help for both Trevor and me. It allowed us both to be able to get some sleep since Trevor had to wake up for tournaments and it was a huge help on the days when Trevor was playing. It's so much different to have a toddler running around your own house as opposed to someone else's house. Our house is baby proofed but the Vegas house obviously wasn't. Overall, Ava is really good about staying out of things but I still feel like I have to chase her all over to make sure she stays out of every last thing in the house. As always, the guys were great with her and she has such a good time with them. The trip was Ava's second flight and second trip to Vegas.
In July, Trevor headed back to Vegas for the Main Event and I stayed home with Ava. It wasn't easy to chase the almost 2 year old around while 8.5 months pregnant but we made it through and it was only for a couple of days before Daddy was back to join us.
As my due date approached, I was incredibly ready to have her. I was so tired of being pregnant. My doctor allowed me to be induced so on August 18, 2010 at 1:38 in the afternoon, our second daughter, Cameron Reese, was born. She was 7 lbs 19.5 in with a full head of black hair and she was pure perfection. Ava showed up a short while later with Trevor's Dad and she was really good about meeting her new baby sister. She held her and loved her and it was really sweet to watch. I was having a hard time dealing with the impending birth because I felt like I was short changing Ava. I felt like Ava had less than two years to be the baby and I was pushing this new little baby into her life. It was hard to try to work out in my head that I was really giving Ava a life long friend and adding more love to our family. As soon as I saw them together, I no longer felt badly about it. Now, Ava and Cameron are totally in love. No one makes Cameron laugh harder than Ava and Ava does nothing but hug and kiss Cameron all day. She is always worried about where she is or what she's doing. She loves to help me and Trevor out with things for Cameron and rarely shows any jealousy. I feel as though they have now and always with have an incredible bond and now it all makes sense.
Two weeks and one day after Cameron was born, Ava turned two. I can't believe she's already two years old. It really is incredible how quickly times goes by. We had her party two weeks later for two reasons. One, it gave me time to bounce back a bit from having Cameron and two, it lined up with the Borgata Poker Open so the guys were able to make it to the party and meet Cameron. The party turned out great and Ava got lots of new toys. Cameron made her debut and it was a great day.
Next came Halloween, Cameron's first - Ava's third. Ava was Minnie Mouse and Cameron was a little black cat. We took our first trip to Sesame Place for their Halloween special that was going on with my dad, brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and niece. It ended up being a super hot day that none of us were expecting. We all had a good time and I'm sure we'll go again next year.
My mom had planned pretty much since the day we moved in to have Thanksgiving at our house. It ended up being a modest dinner party of THIRTY! Somehow, my mom packed everyone into the kitchen to eat and it worked out pretty well. It was the first time the entire family had been together in years and it really made my mom and aunts happy which in turn made me happy.
After that, we decided to take a last minute vacation so two days after Thanksgiving we left for a two week long road trip. We bought a time share together when we were engaged so we used that to stay in Myrtle Beach, SC, Daytona Beach, FL, and Nashville, TN. We made several attempts to see Christmas lights and trees because Ava was really into it this year. It didn't work out so well until Tennessee though. While in Daytona Beach, Jay and Ken drove up to have dinner and play at the dog track later on. That night, Ava fell in love for the second time, this time with Ken. Now she refers to him as "my boyfriend Ken." Once we made it to Nashville, we visited the Opryland Hotel which was completely decorated for Christmas. It is an incredibly beautiful and HUGE hotel and the Christmas decor was amazing. Ava finally got the see the lights and she loved it. Cameron was obviously too little to care. Both girls sat on Santa's lap to get their picture taken and afterwards, Ava rode the little train. We had some delicious meals including breakfast at The Pancake Pantry and dinner at Caney Fork River Valley Grille. We each had pancakes for breakfast - I got sugar and spice pancakes, Trevor got the Grill Cook's Medley with a side of buttermilk pancakes and Ava got a waffle. Everything was delicious, but the buttermilk pancakes were the best I've ever had - hands down. I would recommend anyone who goes to Nashville to visit the Opryland Hotel, especially during Christmas time, and to have breakfast at the Pancake Pantry - you won't be disappointed.
We came home just in time to get our house decorated for our first Christmas here. It was an especially exciting Christmas for me because it was the first year Ava was understanding what was going on and excited about it and it was Cameron's first Christmas. Our annual Christmas Eve family party was at our house and it was a success. Christmas morning didn't disappoint when Ava came downstairs and saw all of her presents from Santa under the tree. She made sure to check the cookies and milk to make sure Santa had some. We had a lot of fun all day with family.
For New Year's, we went to my former place of employment PJ's to celebrate with friends. It was fun, but we decided that we would stay home and relax pretty much every year from now on. It's absurdly expensive to go out on NYE and a huge hassle to try and find a ride home and such so we'll just spend with it our girls.
This brings everyone up to date on the major life events and things we've done since I last posted. I know I have two more things to talk about to truly bring it up to date (the Borgata tournament and West Palm Beach) but they will be their own separate blogs. Sorry this is the longest blog ever but I had a lot to catch up on.
Friday, January 15, 2010
I'm 26 years old and I grew up in a time with incredible advancements made and barriers broken. From vaccines to artificial hearts, the medical world never stops growing. Technological advances happen so fast , it's almost impossible to keep up and the world has had great achievements like the fall of the Berlin Wall to most recently, our first Black President. We also deal with terrible tragedies and unspeakable crimes on a daily basis. The world is completely out of control, yet for some reason still today, a gay couple is not allowed to be married. It is amazing to me with all of the terrorist activity and the unfortunate everyday murders that need to be addressed with vigilance, that the government really has time to reject a gay couple from being married.
I myself am not gay but I have no issue with two men or two woman who want to commit to each other. I do have a family member who is a lesbian and she is no different than any other member of my family. Americans pride themselves on being free and equal rights so what is so different about this? Why is it that a gay couple cannot marry? It ruins the sanctity of marriage. To this I say a giant, screaming BS. What ruins the sanctity of marriage is the morons who decide they are bored and run away to a chapel in Vegas when they're drunk and get married and have to have it annulled 24 hours later. The people who ruin the sanctity of marriage are the people who marry for money or those who marry for citizenship. Or those who marry and then start banging everything in site behind their spouses back. What about all of those marriages? No one is complaining about stuff like that or making it illegal for people to get annulments or divorces. It was estimated that 40% of all marriages ended in divorce in 2008. How is this upholding the sanctity of marriage? It's a joke, a complete joke. If two people love each other, they should be allowed to have the same rights as any other couple, given they are both of sound mind and know what is going on. Putting all variables aside, mainly gender, think about how you would feel if the person you loved and wanted to spend your life with was dying in a hospital bed. Most people would want nothing more than to be able to spend their last moments with the person they love. Now think how you would feel if you were told you had ZERO rights to be with that person or make any kind of decision for them. You had NO rights to the person you LOVE. Does that seem fair?
Everyone has their own belief system and they vary all over the world. So who is the government to impose their religious and other beliefs on anyone else? What if the government was taken over by gay people and told you that you weren't allowed to marry the opposite gender? Two men getting married affects no one and nothing. It doesn't affect the life of a person who is against being gay and if it does, the person has no life in the first place. People don't choose who to love. A man does not wake up one morning and says you know what, I'm going to fall in love with another man today and vice versa for woman. It can't be helped. So why can't we just leave people alone to live their own lives where they aren't interfering in anyone else's lives? Life is way to short to be told who can and cannot marry in life. (and if anyone wants to start an argument of children marrying adults, get real...I'm talking about 2 consenting adults here) It is not fair that someone has to live a miserable life fighting for their rights because people in the government are so religious that they feel it's necessary to impose their belief system on everyone in the US.
I could go on about this for days and I probably will continue but for now, I need to go to bed because I have a flight to catch in the morning to New Orleans with Trevor. We're going to the Saints game on Saturday. We dropped Ava off at my mom's house tonight to stay until Sunday when we get home and I miss her like crazy. I can't wait to be back and pick her up. I need sleep now. I'll have new blogs up again soon. Goodnight.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I'll be honest...right now I can't remember what I did since the last time I updated. I'm sure it will slowly come back to me as I write this but here's what I remember...
Wednesday, we went to Trevor's sister's house to visit her with Ava and his other sister Emilee. After that we ran to the bakery to order Ava's birthday cake. I can't wait to see it and will post pictures after the party. It's going to be so adorable. We dropped Emilee off and headed home. Ava's birthday pictures were scheduled for either Friday or Thursday if Friday was going to rain (the pictures are being taken outside). The photographer said we would go for Friday because it looked good so I checked the weather and saw it was going to rain all day Friday. I didn't want to bother him again so I just let it go and he of course ended up rescheduling. So Thursday night I headed to the mall with Katie to shop for a new dress for my surprise shower. Trevor shakes his head at me and asks how I can shop for a surprise. Basically my plan was to get a dress and anytime I had to go anywhere, even just to my Mom's, I was going to wear the dress. There's a back story to this...
Last August, on a Sunday morning, I woke up and headed to my Grandmom's for breakfast like my family does every Sunday. When I got there, no one was there but that wasn't that unusual so I didn't think much of it. I knew we had to get home to get changed for a lunch date we had with Trevor's family so off we went. While stopped at a light, some lady rear ended us. At this point, I was about 8.5 months pregnant so I was pretty sure we were going to miss lunch because I thought the cops would make me go to the hospital. They didn't so Trevor let his family know we would be a little late to lunch. We ran home, got changed really quick and ran out of the door. For anyone who knows me, they know I don't typically leave home without my makeup done, hair done, and contacts in. This particular day, I didn't have enough time to get everything done so I just did the bare minimum and didn't take time to really pick out my clothes. So we show up at the restaurant and I walk in the door and the entire room (it's a very small restaurant) screamed SURPRISE in my face...it was my baby shower. I had absolutely no idea that it was going to be my shower...the thought never even crossed my mind. With that, I told myself I wouldn't let that happen anymore and for my bridal shower I would try to be prepared.
Now typically, it's hard to surprise me. I ask a lot of questions and I really try to let things be a surprise, but a lot of times, I just start to piece things together until I figure them out. So this Saturday, I knew I had to wake up early and pack because we were going to Cooperstown, NY to meet up with Trevor's Dad who was there for Trevor's stepbrother's baseball tournament. Trevor told me that I needed to dress nicely because we were stopping for dinner before we got to the hotel with his Dad and that the restaurant has a dress code. He even showed me the website for the restaurant when I asked something about it. So I thought nothing of it, packed, and got dressed. He asked me if I was going to wear a dress but I said no because Cooperstown had highs in the 60's and my dresses were all strapless so I knew I would be cold. He tried. We ran to Target to grab a couple things and he said we needed to stop at my brother's house to get something for his Dad. Still, I didn't think much of anything. On the way to my brother's, Trevor started getting giggly which isn't completely out of the ordinary but given I've been harassing him about the shower, I started asking him questions. When it comes to Trevor, he's tricked me so bad in the past that I really don't know what to believe so I know he could be acting or he could be serious. Just in case, I got my makeup out since I hadn't put everything on yet, and quickly finished it up. As we were about to turn onto my brother's street I noticed a silver Lexus that looked like my cousin's and wasn't usually parked there and then the very next car was my Aunt's Outlander which I knew for sure since my cousin's name is on the window. We turned onto the street and I saw cars everywhere and couldn't believe it...he tricked me again! In the driveway, I saw all of my bridesmaid's standing there waving and yelling and acting like lunatics and all I could think was I can't believe he did it again and I better not have packed for nothing (some may remember I really hate packing). Apparently, we were in fact NOT going away that day but he had me pack to throw me off. So I didn't wear my dress to the shower but I was dressed nicely and my hair and makeup were done and the contacts were in so overall, it was a success. I got a lot of things from my registry and lots of gift cards. We had lots of laughs and fun but just as quickly as the shower started it was over. My bridesmaids did a great job putting the whole thing together and I can't thank them enough. We took the gifts to my Mom's house and then went back to my brother's to hang out with my sister-in-law. Busy busy day.
Sunday morning we actually left for Cooperstown and stopped in Paramus along the way to have lunch with Daddy Dan at the Grand Lux Cafe and then we were off to finish the trip. When we arrived, we met up with Trevor's Dad and had dinner at the Yum Yum Shack. It was recommended by tskillz but just looking at it, I didn't know what to expect. It turned out to be an absolutely delicious dinner. We went to Trevor's stepbrother Vincent's game for a bit and then we needed to get Miss Ava back to the hotel. Speaking of the hotel, when we checked in we found out we somehow got upgraded to a two room suite...fabulous! Monday, we were set to go to the Baseball Hall of Fame but I was feeling pretty crappy so Trevor and his Dad took Ava and I stayed home and slept. I was there when I was little, and I know a lot has changed since then, but I really didn't think I'd be able to walk around for hours. When they got back, we headed out to lunch and then to another one of Vincent's games. Around 9, we headed to dinner at some steakhouse and had another pretty good dinner. Today, Trevor and his Dad went golfing and Ava and I stayed home. We didn't get up until they were done golfing (they left early and played a 9 hole course) so when they got back we headed out to the Ommegang Brewery. The tour was pretty cool and then we tasted the beer and some of their mustards and beer cheeses which were all delicious (and I think beer is gross). Trevor and his Dad bought some souvenirs and then we headed over to the Fly Creek Cider Mill. We each had a pot roast sandwich, a slice of pie, and a cup of hard cider. Everything was super delicious except we all agreed the hard cider wasn't that good. After a stop in their store, we headed home and Ava and I took a nap while Trevor and his Dad went to Vincent's game. Tonight we had dinner at a pizza place in town and then came home.
We're headed home tomorrow where we have a busy couple of days ahead of us. We need to get an early start tomorrow because Ava's first birthday pictures are scheduled for tomorrow at 6 pm. It's supposed to be a beautiful day with no rain so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Thursday, I need to run around and get things for Ava's party and Friday we need to pick up tables and chairs and set everything up. Thursday is also Ava's first birthday and I can't believe how this first year has flown by. I can't believe she's still not that little tiny newborn I held just minutes after she was born. In pretty exciting news, Ava took 3 steps in a row tonight so she's yet again a little closer to actually walking. It seems that any day now, she's really going to take off. :) I need to get to bed now. Goodnight!