A Relaxing Saturday

 

Happy Monday and Happy December! It’s probably my favorite month of the year because I absolutely love Christmas and I can’t wait to go home and spend time with family and friends.

And this past weekend was the most wonderful start to December. On Friday, we went to sushi with friends and then to Cirque du Solei. The performance was incredible and super impressive! The strength the acrobats have is enviable and just insane. We had a nice time and came home relatively early to watch 30 Rock and snuggle with Copley.

Saturday was an epic example of relaxation. Copley woke up at 7:30 and I took her for a nice walk in the freezing cold. By the time we came back, I was starving and Vinn made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, we finished season 3 of How to Get Away with Murder, I took a nap and then headed to the gym.

Going to the gym was the only productive thing, besides starting this blog post and doing some laundry, I did all day. And I don’t feel guilty about it at all. Sometimes you just need a day to do nothing and not suffer from FOMO, fear of missing out. I really needed a day with nothing on my mind and to just chill.

Napping on the coach with the cutest puppy in the world was exactly what I needed. I loved turning on the Christmas tree and then binge watching Big Bang Theory. <— Did you see that Kaley Cuoco is engaged? So cute!

Saturday Relaxation

I made some homemade Alfredo sauce  for dinner that was quite delicious, if I do say so myself.

I wanted to write this post because I wanted to share a glimpse of real life. I talk a lot about travel, which is awesome, but my life is not just gallivanting around Europe. There are days that are hard and days that are lazy. And laziness is sometimes exactly what you need!

Vinn and I both fell asleep on the couch and headed to bed around 11:30 because we are party animals! Actually, it was a perfect Saturday and one that we needed because we headed to Nuremberg to see a new Christmas market on Sunday. Recap of that coming at ya on Wednesday.

How was your Saturday?

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To Mima

My beloved grandmother, Mima, passed away in March and even though it’s been 5 months, it’s still difficult. I think of her often and I’m especially thinking of her this week because it would have been her 88th birthday.

This is the last picture with her. She hated this one, by the way. She said, “Oh, that’s just an old lady.”  But I think she looks so happy. Happy that she’s at Christmas, happy she’s with her family, overall, happy! 

Writing was her passion and is definitely where I get my love of the written word. I process my feelings, thoughts and emotions by writing them down, just like the Mims. I’ve been feeling “off” the past few days and think that writing something to Mima would help me and be a tribute to her, which she definitely deserves. I know this is just a small gesture and one that she would probably be mortified was on the internet, but I’m going to do it anyway.

To Mima,

It’s been months since you passed away and it’s harder to deal with than I thought. I know you’re in a happier place, visiting with Papap and your parents and talking all kinds of tennis with anyone who will listen and reminiscing about high school with Arnold Palmer and Mr. Rodgers. (True story!)

I think of you in the strangest situations. Whenever I drink a glass of white wine, I think about how I should put some ice cubes in it just the way you did. Whenever I say something slightly off color, I think about what your face would look like if you heard it. The face that you think it’s funny, but also not something a lady should say out loud. Whenever I travel somewhere, I think about how much you would love to hear about it, especially about all the food. I know  you would love to see all the pictures of all the monuments and beautiful places. You would love all the Copley pictures and say, “Hi, Puppy!” to all of them.

This week would have been your 88th birthday, even though you wouldn’t have told anyone. You would have said it was your birthday but never say your new age. I’m sure you would have liked to be 88 since it’s a nice round number. Age was such a funny thing to you. You even made Mom lie about her age so that you would seem younger. I didn’t even know how old you were until a few years ago.

I wish you were still here and I could ask you for advice on writing, how to handle some work situations and when is the best time to have a baby. You would give me the best notes on my posts, pointing out all the sentences that should be reworked and any and all typos. You would tell me to follow my heart and to always talk things out with Vinn.

I love how much you loved Vinn. You told me that you knew he would make a good husband and father, which means the world to me that you approved. I am so thankful that you got to meet him and spend so much time with him. I did not love that whenever I would talk to you on Skype you would sound so much happier to say hi to him than me. What was up with that?

I love you, Mims. Love you to the moon and back. I know you’d say, “Love you more,” so, I will end this with that same line because today I love you more than ever. You are my guardian angel.

Love you more.

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5 Things My Dog Has Taught Me

I am obsessed with my dog. There, I said it. If you’re a dog person, you most likely are, too. There’s something about pets that fills your heart so much. So much so, that you might cry while leaving her with a friend who will watch her while you’re on vacation. Just as an example. I don’t know anyone like this. (Sense the sarcasm?)

But this got me thinking about all the things Copley has taught me. She absolutely makes my life, and Vinn’s life, so much better. I can’t imagine life without her and got through this international move thanks to her. Here are 5 things my dog has taught me!

Stop and smell the roses. 

 

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On every single walk, Copley stops to sniff. There’s just so many great smells, I guess. The above picture was taken in Munich where we had a great little weekend getaway and you can clearly see that Copley is more interested in experiencing life and not taking a picture.

It is great lesson that no matter what is happening in life, you should always stop and enjoy the moment, smell the roses, as they say. This is especially important in today’s culture with social media and sharing most happy aspects of your life with everyone you know. I try to be mindful of this, especially on vacation, that life is about the little moments. Copley forces me to stop, literally, but she has definitely made the little moments of life some I’ll never forget.

 

Unconditional love. 

 

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Everyone says it, but I didn’t believe it until Copley came home with us. But dogs show you what it means to have unconditional love. Every day, no matter what has happened, when I get home, Copley runs to greet me. She loves to lay on my lap and drink water out of my glass and play fetch with Vinn. She is just happy to see us all the time. There is no wavering.

And I love her unconditionally, too. Just going to the gym makes me feel sad because I have to leave her. I would do anything for this puppy.

*Yes, I love Vinn unconditionally, too.

Daily exercise is so important. 

 

copley

 

Health is important to me. I love working out, going to the gym and running outside. Copley has really shown me just how important the daily part of daily exercise really is. She and I go on about two walks a day and it helps her mood as much as mine. She is much more well-behaved, relaxed and an overall good girl after she’s had at least one walk. She needs the stimulation and the endorphins, too.

The walks for me also give me time to listen to my favorite podcasts, explore a new area of town or even a new city (the one above is Vienna) and get some Vitamin D.

To speak up for what you want. 

 

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This is Copley stealing water from my glass on the way to bed one night. Please disregard my amazing loungewear and hair. But, you know what, girl goes after what she wants and apparently, she wanted a drink of water.

I’ve always been a go-getter in life and my high school friends would probably tell you I went a little extreme on the “I do what I want” front. But, I believe that your life is just that, your life. And you have to do what makes you happy.

Copley sure does. Another example. One night before bed, Copley and I were snuggling and Vinn went to turn off the light. He was playing around and turning the switch from on to off really fast. Well, Copley did not like that. At all. After the second time, she growled at him. We thought it was a fluke, but we did it again last week and this time instead of growling, she barked after the first switch from on to off. Girlfriend wanted those lights off. It’s a nice reminder that you can speak up for yourself, while still being polite. Or cute, in Copley’s case.

That laughter really is the best medicine. 

 

cute_dog

 

Copley does funny things every single day. Like above when she learned she could climb in the hampers to steal socks. See those socks right on top? Yeah, she wants those. I’ve always believed that the only way to get through rough times was to laugh about it, to make light of difficult situations. And Copley has continued that for me.

Copley is the best dog in the entire world. She is part of our family and I wouldn’t change that for the world!

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Do you have a dog? What has he/she taught you?

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Happy Birthday, Momma!

Well, hello there. Happy Monday, Happy First Day of Spring and, most importantly, Happy Birthday to my amazing momma.

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I won’t say which birthday this is because you will kill me, but I want to dedicate this post today to my beautiful, amazing, strong mom. I know everyone thinks they have the best mom, but I think my mom would definitely rank in the Top 5 ever, only to be behind Caroline Manzo and probably Kate Middleton. Could you imagine if Kate Middleton was your mom and you can raid her closet?

Here are the top reasons why my mom is the absolute best:

  • She introduced me to great music like Carole King, Diana Ross and other classics. We would jam to some oldies, acting out Ain’t No Mountain High Enough while driving around looking at all the huge houses and wondering what it looked like inside.
  • She is an amazing cook! Like incredible. Everything from homemade crab cakes to marinara sauce and the best coffee cake with all the cinnamon crunch on top, which is probably why I was fat as a child.
  • She is the strongest person I know. She battles an incurable disease but you would never know it. She never complains and puts everyone else’s needs above her own.
  • She feels her emotions. It’s because of her that I am in touch with how I’m feeling and every time we’re together we go through pretty much every emotion, especially crying and laughter.
  • She taught me that life is for living and that money can’t be happiness.
  • She is passionate. She taught me that finding your passion in life is the most important thing and to always follow my dreams.
  • She is my best friend.
  • She taught me how the best is yet to come always.That life always gets better when you surround yourself with great people, great food and great wine.
  • When I was going through the mean girls phase of middle school, she taught me that girls are mean when they are insecure with themselves and it has nothing to do with me.
  • We share a love of housewives and she can insert a housewives quote at the perfect time.
  • Her laugh is the best thing in the world. I seriously can’t count how many times we’ve laughed so hard we’ve started crying in my family!
  • And since becoming a wife, I’ve learned so much more from my mom. She taught me how putting your marriage first will create a bond that can’t be broken and will make your love last a lifetime.
  • She makes the best cheese plate ever. Well, any appetizer actually. All food as mentioned above. She taught me that it’s always better to have too much food than not enough when having people over.
  • She always find the fun in a situation.
  • She taught me how to use shopping as an aerobic exercise.
  • Most importantly, she knows that the sun never sets on a badass.

Love you, Mom, to the moon and back! I’m sorry I can’t be there today but May will be here before you know it!! I love that you’re my mom.

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In process

This past week has been really tough. I’ve been recovering from a cold and something tragic happened to my family over the weekend. My beloved grandmother, Mima, passed away. She was one of my absolute favorite people in the entire world and I am heartbroken. I don’t….or can’t…get into everything just yet. I’m still processing everything, struggling with being so far away and embracing the new normal.

But in times of grief, you lean on your family and friends and I have been so humbled by the outpouring of love I have received from everyone! It’s been a lesson that life is short and to follow your dreams and passions.

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(Source)

This picture is one of my absolute favorites from our wedding. It perfectly embodies my relationship with Mima. She would do or say something so witty and cute and I would laugh. We have always been super close. Her grandchildren were her life and she was always part of the big milestones, especially the first grandchild wedding. She loved Vinn, too, which is such a blessing. I love her so much and she loved me even more. Whenever I would say, “I love you,” she would always reply, “Love you more!”

This picture is also a testament to how important photos are in life. This is how I will remember my grandmother and I will cherish it forever. Shoutout to our amazing wedding photographer Molly from MThreeStudio!

I truly believe that Mima is in a better place, is laughing with her parents and my grandpa and drinking cold, white wine all day long. I’m sure she’s putting on her journalist hat and grilling everyone on their life. She’s playing tennis without any aches or pains. She’s sitting around a table filled with appetizers and discussing what the heck is happening with the Trump administration.

She always found the humor in any situation, she believed a good glass of wine and a good cry could solve any problem, that laughter is the best medicine and that family is the most important thing. She definitely knew how to laugh and to wait for your moment to deliver a zinger. I hope to continue to make her proud and to keep living life to the fullest, just like she did.

I love you, Mims.

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