Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mark's Birthday = Fondue

So Mark had his 26th birthday this past Saturday, and we really had some fun with it. Mark has a meeting every Saturday morning, but when he came home I was making biscuits and sausage gravy for his birthday breakfast. It turned out that my visiting teachers came over while I was still preparing it, so they ate with us too, which was really a lot of fun.

Then, through most of the rest of the day, Mark and I just hung out around the house. Mark opened his gifts from his parents and from me. (He was totally excited about the raquetball stuff, Mom and Dad. Thanks!) We did a few chores and got the house ready for the party that night... but we didn't really try to fill our day with too much stuff. Mark was doing all he could to enjoy his birthday... and avoid doing homework!

That evening we had our friends John and Delys Tyler and Angela Monteiro over for dinner. I made a pot roast and gravy (as well as the last bits of cleaning up the apartment) while Mark did the mashed potatoes and salad. I think dinner went quite well, despite the bottom of the salt shaker falling out and all the salt piling onto the table. :)

After dinner we had several more friends come over for a fondue party. We had one fondue pot with melted chocolate, and another pot had melted caramel. We asked people to bring different things to dip, so we had bananas, strawberries, apples, gummy bears, pretzels, and pineapple. I made a box of Angel Food Cake for Mark to blow out the candles, and then cut it up to also dip in the chocolate. We had a really good turn out, and everyone seemed to have a really good time.
I guess it's time to start planning for my birthday party... since Mark is only 12 days older than me, that means my birthday is coming up. However, I don't really know what I feel like doing for my B-day...it's not on a weekend like Mark's was. Hmmm... I guess we'll have to think about that one! :0)

Totally Awesome Souvenirs

I mentioned before that Mark bought some cool souvenirs from New Orleans, but I didn't have pictures of them yet. So... here they are.

Can you guess which one he brought back for me and which one he got for himself?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Break is Over... ;-(

I had already scheduled a couple vacation days to go on a short trip with Mark while he was out of school for Spring Break, but a few weeks before that week came, an opportunity came up for him to go to New Orleans for a pro-bono trip. So, since I already had 2 days off from work, and Mark wasn't going to be around anyways, I made plans to visit my friend Theresa Bailey in Maryland. Theresa was a really good friend back in high school, but we didn't really get many chances to see each other since high school. The last time I saw her she was pregnant, and I was just beginning to think that something might "happen" with this Mark guy...and now her daughter is 4 years old and I've celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary. It's amazing how times flies! It was great to see Theresa again and to catch up on the past few years. We both took out our scrapbooks and picture albums and just went through all the memories we could think of to share...I could see how her little girl was growing through the years and just how much fun they've had.

The few days we had together were mainly spent hanging around the house. I did help her unload her truck some to help organize what stuff needed to go to the attic and what needed to go to Goodwill. Theresa had a job interview on Monday, so I took Enidina (Nina) to Chuck E. Cheese for a couple hours.

We just went from game to game, earning tickets galore, and just having the time of our lives. I'd say it was good practice for me in knowing a little bit of what to expect as a parent- potty breaks, potty accidents, and hungry tummies all included.

To tell you the truth, Theresa doesn't feel like she has much support from her parents in a lot of the things that she does with her little girl...I mean, what parent does NOT think that their way is the best way to raise a child, right? But I just want to make one thing clear: I saw the way she interacted with Nina, and the way Nina talks to her and other people...Nina's behavior in general...and I think Theresa is doing a SUPERB job in raising her daughter!! Sure, they have rough spots along the journey of life, but that's bound to happen to everyone at some point. With all that's happened and everything included, I don't think that it's possible for anyone to be doing better with Nina than Theresa is doing right now. So, will all of you who are out there in web-land give a little applause to this fabulous mommy! She's really doing a great job, and trust me, I've seen a lot of mommies in my day! ;)

I had a great time in Maryland, and I'm glad Theresa and Nina let me come and stay with them for a few days. Theresa was so excited for me for the little girly things that Mark just doesn't really get excited over...and to just bond again...*sighs*...it was good to see her, and I'm sorry to say that it will be a while before I can see her again. (Too bad I have these strange smiles in these pictures...)

As for Mark's trip to New Orleans, he left Sunday and came back on Saturday. It was a long trip, but oh, how he enjoyed the nice weather of the South! He was in shorts and t-shirts all week long, and was not looking forward to coming back to the 30 degree weather of Boston...even though it was very nice for New England standards, thank you very much. Mark spent the week conducting a survey regarding the housing projects for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. You'll probably need to hear from him the details of what he did and what he learned, but he said that it was a very eye-opening week for him. He learned quite a bit about the culture of the communities down there, and he was surprised at how readily the people declare their faith in Christ to everyone about everything in life. He seemed to be very grateful for the experience and really enjoyed his time there. Too much time was spent away from his homework...knowing how much he has to do, but all in all it was a good trip. He learned that he really is different from so many people when he chooses to not participate in clubbing and going to bars. It seemed to take a while, but he eventually was able to become comfortable with the crowd he was with and didn't feel so much like an outsider. Yet, he was glad to come home...and be with me! yay :)
People asked me if I missed him during the week that he was gone, but with my own trip to MD, and the feeling of what it was like when Mark was gone for 8 weeks over the summer...this one week felt like nothing to me. Sure, I'd rather be with him than away from him, but an entire week doesn't seem to phase me anymore...is that a bad thing? I guess it will depend on the week, won't it? That will probably change when I have a child to worry about and not have his help with the housework. Yeah...that seems a bit scarier.
He brought home some pretty cool souvenirs too!! Pictures of those to come later...maybe in my next post! Happy St. Patrick's Day!!