Saturday, June 30, 2012

Project 365: Day 127

Had an absolute BLAST at Steve and Jackie's wedding yesterday. The food was great, the open bar was great, and the dancing was fabulous. They had a photobooth at the reception as well... good times!!!
I even went in my myself at then end of the night, hehe.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Project 365: Day 126

After what seemed like the longest decent ever, I landed in Denver a 7pm Friday night. I booked it through the airport, caught a cab home, dropped my luggage, jumped on my bike, and rode like the wind to the stadium. I made it to Coors Field in the bottom of the 8th; JUST IN TIME to see the Rockies win (how bad must the Padres be!) and get down on the field for the fireworks. Nick bought rockpile tickets to this game months ago because during fireworks games, people who sit in that section get to go down on the field to watch the fireworks show. As soon as we got down there I took off my shoes and did a little jig on the field. It was awesome!!!
We were with Ashley and Kyle and good times were had by all!
I LOVE fireworks and being on the field was AWESOME. We are going to make this an annual event, it was a blast! 
The night was capped off by finding the best Friday night karaoke bar in Denver - El Charrito. New favorite place in the city! Playlist: I Will Survive, Total Eclipse of the Heart, and Like a Prayer!!
props to my karaoke partner, Kyle!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Project 365: Day 125

Speaking of the devil.....
Ok, so it's still not the view from the planetarium, but I finally made it out for an evening in Chicago. I got to my hotel around 7:30 and had to decide between working out and walking to the pier. Since I've been here soooo many times and never done anything worth mentioning before, I figured it was time to venture out into the city. My hotel was only 1.5 miles from the pier so it was perfect for a (muggy) evening walk.

I tried to wait until it was pitch dark, to get a nice photo, but by the time I got this shot I had already been there over an hour listening to some pretty pitiful dualing "piano's" (read: keyboards) and was sick of waiting for the night to come, so I snapped this shot and headed home. Not too shabby, though....

I have to say, Chicago is a BIG city. Coming here makes me feel like Denver really IS a cow town. That's ok though, for me Denver is like the momma bear's poridge in Goldi Locks, it's just right!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Project 365: Day 124

On the road again......
Very sad that I've been to Chicago 10 times over the last year and this is pretty much the only skyline I've ever seen of the city. I HAVE to get to the planetarium one of these days to see the night skyline over the lake, but for now I'll have to settle for a view of the city from rush hour traffic.... ahhh the life of a traveling salesman!

Project 365: Day 123

Tonight was Ginger, Julia, and Peyton's last night in town and we had a nice dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill with salad and corn (thanks to my grill master fiance). After dinner, I busted out my Disney iPod mix and Peyton and I had a sunset dancing session on the balcony. This is us braking it town to "Part of that World" from the Little Mermaid soundtrack. Ariel just happens to be both my and Peyton's favorite Disney princess!
After a BUSY day of work, it was just what I needed to unwind before my next trip to chicago on Wednesday.  I wish we got to see more of her, she's growing up so fast!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Project 365: Day 122

Back to work and a stressful day at that, I spent the entire morning trying to get my internet up and running (and I'm STILL having huge problems) but I had a nice break in the middle of the day when my amazing fiance brought me the best BBQ in Denver (Tom's Home Kitchen).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Project 365: Day 121

Today we took Nick's family up to the mountains to see our wedding venue - I'm SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED, I can't believe we have to wait 9 more months!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Project 365: Day 120

After a great morning with Nick's family by the pool (it was over 100 degrees!!!) We headed to the Westward Music Showcase for some good times with friends. I stopped by the Coors Light couch (ice sculpture) to cool off my buns!
And we ran into a Bill from Lamar's class and had a fabulous time hanging out with him!!
Good times were had by all!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Look Mom! I Can Pole Dance!!!

Saturday night, my sister and I hosted a bachelorette party for our future (awesome) sister-in-law, Ashley.  Allie, my mom, and I went to pick Ashley up at 4:30 with her mom and her daughter Tayla. On the car ride to the studio we blasted some good tunes and had a big sing along. Tayla made a special request for some Justin Beiber and my sister caught a little bit on video - she's cute as a button!
When we showed up at the studio, though, I have to admit I was a little shaky about the whole thing. First of all, a pole-dancing class (in my mind) is bound to be awkward regardless of the situation. But then going with your mother and a 6-year old girl has all the makings of an extra special breed of weird.

We walked into the room as another bachelorette party was finishing up - crawling on the floor and posing for provocative post-pole dancing pictures. Right off the bat we were all feeling a little bit uncomfortable - should we go inside, should we wait outside??? As we stood in the doorway debating our next move, we were ushered in by our instructor, who added the second layer of weirdness... let's just say she was a bit intimidating at first. Standing almost 6-feet tall (in some ridiculously tall thigh high boots), skinny as a bean pole, with a pierced lip and bleach blond hair died pink, blue, and black at the tips. I was thinking - o my god, what have we gotten ourselves into.

But as soon as we got on the poles, the whole thing changed. It was a blast. The instructor was really friendly and was a great teacher and before we knew it we were all spinning around the poles like... well not like pro's, but we definitely were spinning.
Once we were lined up on our poles, the instructor told us that the class is best done in heels or, if not heels, bare feet. There was a wall of heels in the corner of the studio that were up for grabs if we didn't have our own. To say that they were less than appealing is an understatement, so we all began the class in bare feet. It wasn't 10 minutes before we learned that pole dancing in bare feet is about as far from sexy as you can get - not to mention it's a heck of a lot easier to spin around a pole when your bare feet aren't sticking to the floor.  Needless to say (by the pictures) we quickly bucked up and grabbed some shoes off the wall (which looked like a stripper lost-and-found). I decided that if I was going to wear these ridiculous heels I would go big or go home and that's how I ended up in these crazy guys.
After some warm up moves, our instructor choreographed a little dance (less than a minute long) that included some spins and dips and what I would consider basic pole dancing moves.  She explained that we would spend the next hour learning step-by-step how to do it the whole thing.  It is amazing how much work goes into 60 seconds of attempting to look sexy, I have a whole new appreciation for women who do this for a living.

Ashley was the superstar of the group...
She was doing splits, she even went upside down! That is one strong little lady...
Tayla's just like her mommy!!
As for Allie and me... some times we got it and it looked pretty good.
  Other times.... not so much!
 Regardless, we had an absolute blast. By the end of the class we were crawling on the floor and swinging around the polls with out a care in the world. 

For the grande finale we turned up the jams and grabed some paper money to toss at Ashley as she performed the dance for us, it was hilarious. 

As for the whole experience? Two enthusiastic thumbs up! I would definitely do it again, I think I even learned a thing or two (but then again... looking at my picture above, maybe not!)

Project 365: Day 119

Peyton is hiding from a bear in our hammock! Lovely evening lounging on the balcony.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Project 365: Day 118

Wow - life is crazy. Nick's family is in town and my internet is down... sorry for missing so many days!!!

Thursday night Nick's mom, sister, and neice arrived in Denver for their first visit in quite a long time. We are so excited that they're here (especially his 5-year old neice - it's her first time visiting!) AND that they arrived one day earlier than expected - they drove across the country in just 3 days!

Before they arrived I stopped by Bethany's house to feed her cat, Gus. He was more interested in the contents of my purse than the food though!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Project 365: Day 117

After a wonderful dinner at Sushi Den I came home and began the first of what I'm sure will be many DIY wedding projects: Save the Dates!

With the help of some friends (Thank you Jessie, Amiee, and Kev!) I made a jpg image of what I wanted our save the dates to look like. Then I had them printed for 10 cents each at Walgreens. All I had to do was purchase post card backing (basically a 4x6 card stock sticker) from the Internet and voila, I have photo postcards that are only 82 cents each including postage!!! And in my personal opinion, they look great!!

It's a bit of a process to get them all put together, but I like the post cards because I can write a personal message to all of our guests
:-) wooo hooo with the deposit down on the venue, the dress purchased, and the Save the Dates on the way out the door, this is all becoming very real very fast!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Project 365: Day 116

After an epic trip in Pittsburgh, it was my last and final day in PA. I spent it catching up on work and enjoying some QT with my niece and nephew in the pool. I miss them already, and I can't WAIT to have them on the slopes for our wedding!!!!
but I have to admit - it's good to be home.

(The view of the the mountains from the airport as I was waiting for my shuttle)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Project 365: Day 115

It all seemed to be working out for us because this month Alan Benesi is retiring and I was lucky enough to be in town to celebrate with him. State College was the perfect pit stop between Honesdale and Pittsburgh and so we stopped for lunch with some old friends.
Alan is the reason that I worked in NMR for 2 years and ended up at Bruker - it was actually HIS IDEA that I give Bruker a call just before my graduation from Penn State. He told me that he had thought of the perfect job for me, I should sell NMR, and Bruker was hiring, and he had already told George about me.... I called George that week and the rest is history! Thank you to Alan for all of the guidance through the years and for not only being the best boss any one could ever ask for, but being a great friend.

I also got to see Chris Falzone (top center) who was my undergraduate advisor at Penn State (he's now at Johns Hopkins). Chris met with my parents and I when I was visiting Penn State as a high school senior and he was one of the biggest reasons that I ever went to Penn State in the first place! He was a great advisor throughout my tenure at Penn State and the one who encouraged me to go to work for Alan. It was great to see him again after almost 6 years.

If it wasn't for these two figures in my life, who knows what I'd be doing today - but I can almost guarantee I wouldn't be at Bruker or in Colorado and therefore probably never would have met my fiance.... life works in mysterious ways.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Project 365: Day 113 and 114

After the wedding, we headed straight to Wilksbarre to celebrate the high school graduation of two of Nick's cousins. They actually planned to have one party on Saturday and one on Sunday for another out of town relative, but it just so happened to work out for us - we got to attend both!
It also worked out for me, because after 5 years together I still had never met this side of Nick's family (it was about time!) and I had two days in a row to get familiar with all of the faces and how the family tree worked.  We had two fabulous days of sunshine, good food, and family.
(my future mother-in-law, Ginger, and my future niece, Peyton!)

AND I asked Nick's niece, Peyton, to be our flower girl - to which she replied "I think I'm going to faint!" It was a great weekend.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Project 365: Day 112 (My Brother is MARRIED!!)

My twin brother is MARRIED!!! Welcome to the family Ashley and Tayla!!!
What an epic day. It began at 12:30 when the limo came to my parent's house to pick us up and deliver us to Buddy and Ashley's place for family pictures. After a couple hours with the photographer, we were off to the venue to await the arrival of the bride. At 5:00 the ceremony started.

I have to say it was the most beautiful ceremony I have ever seen. It was full of meaning and sentiment and love from the opening remarks to the final "I Do's". There was no shortage of tears from anyone in the room. 

Not only did they share vows between themselves, but they also shared vows with the children who promised to work together to make the family stronger. It was beautiful. I have never seen my brother so happy and I have never been so proud of him and so happy for him as I was during that ceremony.

Here is wishing Buddy and Ashley a long life of love and happiness. Welcome to the family!!
I gave Todd my camera during the reception - here's one shot he took of Buddy and Ashley! He's a good photographer!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Project 365: Day 111

Nick and Adam finally joined us in Pittsburgh for the rehearsal dinner. Afterwards, we went to Frankie's to see Billy Price and the Lost Minds (my dad had to hire a substitute drummer because he was at the rehearsal, but we made it in time for him to sit in on a couple songs). Then we were headed home to get some rest for the big day. Tomorrow, my TWIN BROTHER is getting MARRIED!!!!
(of course, as usual, Adam is perfectly posed for the picture while my dad and Nick are avoiding posing and smiling for the camer at all costs.... typical!!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Project 365: Day 110

Another crazy day at home, but my dad and I took time out at dusk to run around the front yard and catch lightening bugs. We don't have lightening bugs in Denver, so it was an extra special treat. We caught about a dozen and had a blast running around the front yard barefoot and enjoying the evening. The perfect end to a summer day in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Project 365: Day 109

I found my dress!!!!! Home for Buddy's wedding, it was the perfect chance to get together with my mom, sister, Aunt Laurie, and some of my best friends, Brie and Nathan, to go dress shopping. 

I have to say, when we walked in I was almost having a nervous breakdown. I was completely overwhelmed.  First, because I really don't like shopping and second because I really don't like dresses. I also prefer to go shopping alone because I have pretty bad taste and can't take all the pressure of having witnesses to my poor choices. Fortunately, we got the best bridal consultant ever (Ashley) and my supportive and capable entourage pulled every single dress for me. With my friends and family choosing the dresses, and Ashley helping me to get in and out of the dresses, my only job was to show off the duds enjoy myself.  I spent over two hours trying on dresses and it was a blast.

At the end of the appointment we had narrowed it down to one final dress but planned to grab lunch and then head to one more salon to try on more dresses, just to make sure that I had the right one. My dad came to meet us for lunch and by the end of the meal he had convinced me to go back to David's and get the dress I really wanted (and being the most amazing dad ever he bought it for me!) 

We went back to David's and I got all decked out and rang the bell to celebrate that I had found my dress. Of course you'll all have to wait until the big day to see the actual dress, but here is a picture of the family to commemorate the experience. It was a great day!!!
and by the way, my dress is AMAZING!!! I can't believe I have to wait 10 months to wear it again!!!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Project 365: Day 108

One day of calmness before the craziest week ever gets underway. Hangin' out with the gnome in my parent's front yard.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Project 365: Day 106

What an EPIC day! It started bright and early with Todd's last soccer game of the season:
Followed by Tayla's dance recital (hip-hop dance to Walk Like and Egyptian) 
And then it was time for Ashley's Bachelorette Party at a Pole Dancing class! Fabulous day!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Project 365: Day 105

I'm Home!!! Allie and I came home a week early to begin all the festivities for Buddy's wedding and and it just so happens to be Katie's birthday (my cousin). I haven't been home to celebrate Katie's birthday in probably 10 years, so it's a real treat!

After a nice family dinner at my parent's house, Allie and I headed out to Mt. Washington to meet up with Katie and all her friends. Good times were had by all :-)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Project 365: Day 104

Today was Nick's last day of school... SUMMER IS HERE!!!!!!

I ducked out of work an hour early and met Nick and his colleagues at Emilio's for dinner and happy hour. Then we went to Bethany's apartment to sip some cold ones by the pool. We had been there less than an hour when Nick decided that he was going in the pool - regardless of the fact that he did not have a swim suit with him.

Tony (gracefully) followed
 as did Meghan
 and then I bowed to peer pressure... I didn't want to be left out of all the fun!
before we knew it, the whole gang was in the pool - where we stayed for the next several hours going between the pool and the hot tub. We finished the night with two pizza's from Benny Blanco's and for the bargain price of $10 I dried all of our clothes so that we would have dry walks home.

It was the perfect way to start the summer!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Project 365: Day 103

You know when you get to the very end of the day and then you're like "CRAP! I forgot to take my picture of the day!!" Dang it.

We went out with my cousin (well technically my mom's second cousin's brother-in-law) for dinner and a cold one last night and all day I was planning to take a picture with Brian for my picture of the day. Then I totally spaced it. (we had a lovely evening, by the way) So instead just before bed I settled on a completely lame picture of my desk. But look how clean it is!!!!
sorry for the lame-o picture, BUT I'm going home tomorrow for a fun-filled week of celebrations - Katie's birthday, Ashley's bachelorette party, fathers day BBQ, wedding dress shopping, and my twin brother's wedding - get ready for some exciting pictures of the day coming soon!! :-)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Project 365: Day 102

Summer is officially here! Not because Nick is done with school (because he still has three more days!) but because we FINALLY put up our hammock!  We bought the hammock at a festival last year and it was the best little chunk of change we ever spent, it's my favorite thing about summer. Every morning after I wake up and before I get to work, I head out to the balcony to enjoy the morning in my hammock with a cup of coffee and a good book (or the iPad).

Today was my first day of the year! It was glorious!
(please excuse the matted hair and pale face... i'm not at my best at 7am!)