Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Little Catch Up

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

Big Win

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

Big Changes

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:

Cocktail Hour

  • Chicken Satay with spicy sauce
  • Potato Latkes
  • Parmesan Crusted Artichoke
  • Kobe Sliders
  • Spanikopita
  • 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.