Home Sweet Home (Erie, PA). . . I miss you!

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Shane and I moved from Erie, PA to Fredericksburg, VA over two years ago (Shane got a really good job offer) . . . I can't believe it has been that long already! We had a really hard time when we first moved as we are both HUGE family people. We cried pretty much every night for the first month . . at least. Everyone told us. . "it will get easier . . don't worry . . " and although we do not cry every night like we used to, we still miss our families, our friends, and gulp . . . dreary Erie!

You all know about the soon addition to our family . . our niece! And being so far away from the new experiences, the fun, and the joy she will bring . . . . it just kills me! My best friends get together almost every weekend for the "ushe", and it makes me so sad that I can not be there. I always feel so left out. And of course my parents, my grandparents, my parent-in-laws, my brothers and sissies, all the pets, and the rest of the fam . . . . we are missing so much of their lives!

And dear old Erie . . . the mistake-by-the-lake . . . I do not know why people talk down on you so much, because I miss so many things about you!
  • Waldameer (Amusement park with a brand new rollar coaster that even my dad and mom said they would ride! They really aren't old! ;-) . . . The coaster is ranked the #2 wooden rollar coaster in the world and #3 overall by CoasterFanatics)

  • Presque Isle State Park (sand volleyball, paddle boat renting, soaking up the rays, taking the doggies to run around off leash . . .shh. . don't tell . . . , swimming around, wave jumping, greasy food eating, boating, sunset watching, relaxing)

  • Erie Zoo (They have renovated this soooo much since I was younger and it is just great to be able to see these amazing animals . . although I do always feel bad they can not be in the wild and free, I truly value getting to see their beauty and intrique up close)

  • The Bayfront (Just a peaceful ride that my grandpa always used to take me on . . around the dock to see the beautiful scenery)

  • Downtown (I am not a big partier . . . but going downtown every once in a while is always a good time. My fav . . . the Plymouth)

  • The Snow (Living in Virginia does not give you much snow. We get lots of ice, but no snow. And because my hubby loves to ski and because I am still learning . . . I wish we were around snow more . . I know . . you think after living in Erie for 22 years you would be sick of all the snow, but when you NEVER get it . . . you start to miss it!)

  • The Warner (My parents and I used to always go to Broadway or Philharmonic shows, and although I wouldn't say I am a very artistic/musically inclined person, I looooooved these!)

Those are not all of the things Erie has to offer, but those are my favorites and those are what I miss the most. Hopefully soon we can get some good job offers so we can move back to where we belong! Pray for us!


The Oldest Fair in the Nation!

My wonderful hubby and I decided to go to the annual Fredericksburg Fair on opening Friday night. We got there about 6:30 and left around 9:30 or so. Overall it was a great night out! We haven't been to a fair in a loooooong time, so we were definitely hungry for some greasy food, lots of hicks, carnie rides, agricultural animals, and fun . . .

My personal favs were the animals and the food!

Also, when I made Shaney watch the Miss Fredericksburg Fair pageant, I thought I kept hearing "boooos" and I was like "well that's pretty rude", and then later found out we were right next to the cow barn and they were all "moooooo"-ing! I was pretty happy with the winner though. She seemed the most down to earth and "real".

We were also entertained with some ATV cross country course riding! We saw a four year old driving around on one of those things and he won his heat!! He was so tiny!! And later we were front row joe for an accident where one of the older riders was going off a jump and his front end starting going underneath him . . . he then jumped off, and the ATV rolled over top of him! He was fine! Thank goodness! But I had my hands over my mouth for a very long time! And then later, in the same race . . right at the end a guy went off the jump to the finish line and he landed all weird and had to jump off the ATV right before it went into the fence 100 gazillion miles per hour. He was luckily ok too, but had a limp. I just couldn't believe we saw two accidents in one race! Crazy!

Below are some pics from the fair! Enjoy!

Shaney and Me @ the Fair
(me with some messed up hair)

The Tortoise and the Hare!

This Wallaby was the only animal where we weren't allowed to go up to the cage.
It was trying to pick a fight with the emus next door!

Yum! Greasy fair food!

Here is the four year old kid driving the ATV! Crazy!

Aww! This mommy was licking it's baby clean!
The baby was born only 20 days ago and was the cutest thing I have seen!

Rock Star!
Seriously . . . he peed for like five minutes. Not even joking.

Can't go to the fair without a funnel cake and some sugar lemonade!

I got to feed the llamas! This one was soooo excited about the food!
I tried to feed her baby but she wouldn't let me! She wanted it all for herself!

I took this pic of Shaney so I could get the lady to his left holding some balloons in a very wrong way.
I think she caught on to us though. Right after we took this pic, she turned around.

Can't go to the fair without getting these goodies either!
Cotton candy, fudge, and a candy apple! Yum!


Do you run? . . . .

ok so last night i was at the local gym . . running away on the treadmill when a guy came up to me and said "do you run?" . . . . . . umm . . .yeah! obviously . . . i AM running right now. . .

but funny that i knew what he meant when he said that . . . because that is actually the third or fourth time since we moved to fredericksburg that someone has come up to me and asked if i do track & field (which i used to do . . . in highschool and college . . over TWO years ago . . ). it's crazy how people can tell just by looking at your physique! i would say half the people picked out my events (jumping), but last night he thought i was a middle distance runner . . ha! i wish i had any endurance what so ever! i ran the 400 meter dash (one time around the track) once in highschool . . . ideally you are supposed to "sprint" the entire thing, but i was not trained for it and not sure how to run the race so i started out with a mad dash and was doing pretty well . . . but as soon as i got around the last bend and saw the straight away . . wooooo eeee!! i was completely exhausted. i had to literally stop and catch my breath. by then the other runners were caught up so i decided i needed to at least finish! so i was huffing and puffing the last 100 meters, but i finally made it to the finish line (2nd place maybe?) and said "i am never doing that again". all the props in the world to long distance runners. . . i don't know how you do it!

but with this also comes my excitement of the 2008 summer olympics!
(especially because one of the girls i competed with in highschool, Sheena Gordon, tried out for high jump and triple jump, and because i just love watching track and how talented people are and wish i could be that good!)

it's amost here!!!


My 4-D Niece!

yesterday bry & sommer had their 4-d sonogram for their baby girl!!

i am getting more and more excited!!!! but also more and more bummed that i won't be there the minute she is born!! :-( we live about 6 1/2 to 7 hours away from erie, pa (where the baby will be born), and there is just no way we can get there in enough time unless sommer is in labor for a loooong time, but i don't wish that on her at all! i told them they just have to take lots of pictures and remember everything so they can tell me all about it!

the time is coming near though! they had their last baby class monday, and got a tour of the hospital! they have their bags all packed and are ready for the day! i can't wait to share the baby pictures with you! :-)


So I Wish I Could Dance . . .

there is this show on tv that i have taken a liking to . . A LOT! it's a show called so you think you can dance.

my nostalgia for dance has always been inside me, but has been brought out even more since i have been watching this show. thanks to my lovely parents i started dancing when i was about five years old. i did everything . . . tap, jazz, ballet (pointe), acrobatics, and adagio. i then decided that i wanted to give it up around sixteen or seventeen to become ungirly and do sports (track & field and volleyball particularly). ever since then i have missed it, but i haven't truly thought about starting it back up again until this show brought back my love for dance. i have looked at dance places around town, and i was then quickly brought back to how expensive it is for dance lessons. another issue is that i want to take hiphop . . .i think it would be a fun type of dance i have never tried, . . . but with that also comes my very white skin. as for whether i bust out the cash for the lessons. . . who knows?! but i do know that i will always have that place in my heart for dancing and all of the training, sweat, tears, broken toenails, long nights and weekends, sore muscles . . and for that time at the very end of the season when all of that stuff doesn't matter anymore because you are out there sharing your heart and your passion through an incredible performance.

and for those interested in the show and want to see a snippet (one of my favorite dances of the season). . . here ya go:

and in case you're wondering who i'm rooting for . . . i'm a big chelsie fan along with josh, will, and twitch! they are all amazing though, so i'll be happy with anyone winning!

UPDATE!!! last nights show was probably the best one overall! i enjoyed every single performance, but here is my top pic:


My Historic Weekend!

*thanks to kt for my awesome header! she is a graphic designer at giant ideas and one of my best friends!

and thanks to my wonderful hubby for all the html coding!

please try to put up with my blog design construction as i am in need of a change. . . . to make it more "me".

This Weekend . . . . .

shane's mom & don (& majr, their dog) visited us! it was so great to see them all!

i made these awesome cookie dough cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting for them!! i got the recipe from my friend mase who got it from 52 cupcakes. yum! there are only 3 cupcakes left out of like 30! definitely recommend these cupcakes . . they might even be the best i've ever had. . . i mean . . cookie dough, cupcakes, and frosting in one!!?! you can't beat that.

it was all going well and the recipe even said "they may sink a little" . . .

but what the heck?! i think this was a LOT more than a little . . . . .

so anyways . . . i couldn't put THAT much frosting on one cupcake to cover the sinkhole . . . so i made "Sommer Cupcakes" and put a mini (baby) cupcake inside the regualr cupcake! i also added a little frosting before i put the mini cupcake in. they were definitely loaded but delicious!

ok stay with me . . . i know this is a longer post than normal but i have a lot to tell!

so the fam got here friday night and we just relaxed. saturday was a history excursion that started around 10am and ended around 3pm. don didn't even let us get lunch! but it was fun! we went on the fredericksburg trolley tour and saw this awesome tattoo parlor with the best name ever . . .

we saw many historical things on the tour and heard a lot of history, but the only thing i can remember is that back in the day they only bathed in the summertime because they were scared that if they did in the winter they would catch pnemonia and die. and . . . . ick . . . this is the worst part . . . they only changed the bath water every 3 people. so if you were the first person you were ok, but the 2nd and the 3rd person had to bathe in the peoples filth! gross!! the tour guide said that's how southern hospitality got its name . . . . if someone was in line to go 2nd or 3rd they would say "oh by all means . . you can go ahead of me." ha!

ok so the rest of the day we went to other historic sites including the chatham manor, where most of these pics were taken:

this was taken on our trolley tour! it was called rocky lane! don't ask me what the history behind it is though . . .

at Chatham Manor . . . Rita & Shane resting while Don read every plaque in there. . .

still at Chatham Manor with the beautiful arches and trim work . . .

Don loving his history and loving his wife . . . . .

the beautiful outside gazebo and the weirdest trees i have ever seen in my life . . .

dan & marissa (brother & sissy) stopped by on sunday on their way through from a friends house . . . we had some steaks, potatoes, and corn on the cob for lunch! although the corn we got had bugs in it and wasn't that good (got it from the farmer's market at hurkamp park in downtown fredericksburg). . . but the steak & potatoes were yummy!! we all bumped, set, and spiked the volleyball (soooo miss this!! but starting in a league this sunday!) around for a while and then threw the football around. we were all drenched in sweat by the end because it was 100 degrees here, but it was fun and well worth it!

dan & marissa (2 month newlyweds!)! i love my brothers and sisters!

dan and marissa left around 3 then rita and don and shane and majr and i took a nice relaxing road trip to lake anna. they charge you $5 just to park which is ridiculous . . . so we just "rode through" and they said we didn't have to pay. you also have to pay to go on the "beach" which is crazy! but overall it is a VERY beautiful lake. shane and i went camping there with some of our friends a while back and rode on their boat on lake anna and it was so peaceful, so gorgeous, and so fun.

here is a pic of majr wishing he was on the beach with all those other people . . .

overall it was a GREAT weekend! we love when our friends and family visit us and always hate to see them go!


I Love Sommer & Bry & My Un-Born Niece!

my beautiful sister (in-law) & my niece!

sooo . . . my sister & brother (in-laws) are having a baby girl next month and i can't even begin to tell you how SUPER excited i am! not only because i love babies, but i love my family and after all of the difficulties they've had, they are finally having a baby girl of their own!

i didn't even know they were getting maternity pictures taken, but bry finally decided to let me know i guess, and so here they are! yay!! :-)

photos are courtesy of Meaghan Elliott Photography! never heard of her, but she does an amazingly good job! although making sommer look good is not hard at all!

keep checking back for lots of baby pics once they finally have her!


Mommy's Favorite

how to tell if you are mommy's favorite . . . .

got emailed to me from my mommy-in-law


Our Mommies (& Daddies) Will Be So Proud . . . .

yay! finally a weekend to relax . . . . aka do yard work all weekend long. that's ok though . . . it's been looooooooooong overdue, and since we had little to work with when we moved here, most of it's all from scratch.

we finally cleaned the cobwebs out of the wallet and splurged on some much needed mulch and a wheelbarrel.

there is a lot that still needs to be done . . and we are still working on our very difficult grass . . . but at least it's better than it was . . .

below you will see some before and after pics! enjoy!




Happy Birthday to the Best Daddy!


Yay!! Happy Birthday to the best daddy in the world! :-)

I know he is working today because he never rests . . . but daddy, at least enjoy your day and know that we miss and love you so much and can't wait be with you again!

Love you. Love you. Love you.


Brother (in-law) Bry Helping Out Erie County!

Back for his second Saturday as an ERIE volunteer, IT Employee Bryan Rock measures the bottom plate before bolting it to the home's foundation.

Bry is my bro-in-law! He works for Erie Insurance (which I would love to work there . . ahem . . ) in the IT department! He helped out the Erie Community by building a house . . . all by himself . . . just kidding. He did help though, and that is great because it's always fun helping other people out, and if you want your house to look nice, you want Bry to be doing it!

Sommer (my sissy-in-law) and Bry's house is AMAZING! They have done so much work on it themselves and anybody would love to live there!

So YAY! to my awesome brothers and sissy-in-laws!! I love you and am so proud of you! :-)


Buff Chick Dip! & The Best Shoes N-Ever!

mmm . . . . so my friends (kt, mase, & kc) are obsessed with dips. . . mostly spinach artichoke dip and buffalo chicken dip. i had my first taste of spinach artichoke dip on the day of my bachelorette party. very yummy, but i prefer queso dip!

i tried my first buffalo chicken dip at nikkie's house warming party and looooooved it! recently we have all been chating on gmail and talking about how hungry we are for it . . . . after two days i just couldn't take it anymore, and went to the store to get the ingredients! and made my first batch of buff chick dip last night! yummmmmmmmmyyyyy!! i made a 1/2 batch b/c it's just shane and i. but i accidentally forgot to cut the hot sauce in 1/2 . . . but it still turned out very well! shane even had some, and he's very picky!

oh . . and then later we had a soccer game (which we won!! yay!!) where we saw these ridiculous, but fun shoes!


Attack of the Mos Quitoes!

ugh! so i was out planting flowers last night and doing some yard work trying to mind my own business . . .

when all of these nasty mosquitoes decided to pick a fight with me . . and i must say . . . they beat me well!

i got at least 20 bites (including one smack dab on my face and one underneath my chin) . . . and that is all after i doused myself in "off"!

i just recently heard that listerine can keep them away, so i did some research and unfortunately found that it is a myth.

i am up to trying anything though, so if you know of something that works for you, please let me know!