Monday, November 30, 2009
I hope you all had a better commute than I did today....yikes, what a mess!
Anyway....Jim and I had a CRAZY week/weekend, but even though it was crazy; it was great.
Let's see....here's what happened since we last 'spoke':
Wednesday: Jim and I both left work a 'tad' early, and headed to my sister's house for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. My uncle, aunt and two of my cousins were in town from Chicago visiting, so we all got together. Dinner was GREAT, as was playing catch-up with my relatives who I haven't seen in a very long time.
Thursday: We both got up early and while Jim made cornbread, biscuits, and rolls to bring to his parent's house I took Scooter for a long walk. I set the DVR to record the Thanksgiving Day parades (on both channels) so that I wouldn't miss any of the parade....and all the Broadway performances. YAHOO!! After a delicious dinner, we spent time time hanging out with the family and then went back home for a bit. Later that night, Jim and I went over to Charles' house to visit and have a few drinks. Charles and the twins took off for Dallas on Friday morning to visit Charles' family, so we wanted visit them before they left.
Friday: Jim and I got up early and spent the ENTIRE day working on the soon-to-be nursery. We sanded down all the walls, had some lunch, and then went back to work priming every surface in the room. It took us a really long time, but once it was done, we were very happy. Friday night I picked up my friend Neil (who was visiting from out of town) and we went to our friend Amy's house for the evening. It was so much fun seeing them both and catching up on all the latest news. Amy's three kids were still awake when we arrived, which was nice. I hadn't seen them in so long....I can't believe how big they're getting!!!! Makes me feel o-l-d.
Saturday: Jim and I had a fairly relaxing morning. We woke up, had some breakfast, spent a little time in the hot tub (YAY!!!), showered and then headed over to his brother's house to carpool into the city. We all (Jim's entire family) went in to see matinee performance of the Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker!!! I've never seen a ballet before (I know, right?!?!?) and wasn't sure how I'd feel about it. I ended up having a really good time. We had excellent seats and the show was great. I'm amazed at the talent these people have, not to mention the bodies on those dancers. Holy crap....those dancers are amazingly muscular and believe me, they are showing it all off. There is no hiding anything in those tights....yikes. After the ballet, we walked over to Newbury Street for a late lunch (which was quite yummy) and then headed back home. The trees along Newbury Street are already decorated for Christmas, so it was a very pretty walk back to the car. Once we got home, Jim and I fed Scooter, took him out, and then headed off to Lowe's. We decided to go in a different direction with the soon-to-be-nursery's theme. I'm very excited about it but I'm not going to tell you what we've decided. You'll just have to wait until it's done. HA!!!
We bought all the stuff we needed to paint the room and then headed home. At this point we were both VERY tired (from working on the room the day before, as well as all the walking we did around Boston) so we just sat on the couch, watched TV, and went to bed early.
Sunday: We got up, showered, went to church :-), went grocery shopping, had lunch and then went back to work on the room. We painted all the walls and then painted all the various parts of the radiator. We have baseboard heating in the room, so we had to disassemble the whole thing in order to paint it all....but it looks great so far. We're going to have to go back and do a second coat on everything (annoying), but I'm SOOOO excited that the walls turned out to be 'paintable'. I'm still having nightmares at the thought of having to put up wallpaper!!!
We have a lot going on this week, so I'm hoping that we can get a lot done on the room in the short amount of time we have. I'll definitely keep you posted and I'm sure there will be pictures posted (of the room, as well as my bearded face) very, very soon.
I hope you all had a GREAT holiday and the return to the 'real world' isn't too traumatic for any of you. :-)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Don't worry - it has nothing to do with these:
Actually - and I'm not joking - in more recent years, it's often been referred to as "The Hungry Person Dinner".
Oh my...I feel a politically correct headache coming on......yikes.
Anyway...the basic gist of the event is that they only sell a certain amount of tickets at $100 a couple. For that price, you get a fancy-pants dinner for two and are entered into a drawing for the chance to win one of three cash prizes ($2,500 - $500 and $250). Each couple has a number on their ticket and as the night goes on, numbers are drawn out of a hat (or something similar). If your number is drawn, you get eliminated. Whatever numbers are left at the end are the big winners. I'm not exactly sure how they determine final the three winners, but I'd be THRILLED if Jim and I won any of the prizes.
Let's hope that our number makes it to the end!!!! :-)
Whatever happens, I'm sure it'll be a fun time and the money all goes to a great cause. The event is being held at the local 'social club' and I must admit - I LOVE attending these 'townie' events. All of Jim's family will be there, as will all of his parent's friends - who are a lot of fun to be around. It certainly doesn't hurt that you can buy your entire table a round of drinks for what it would cost you to buy two drinks in any Boston bar.
Tomorrow morning, Jim's dad is coming over to help us (teach us) how to 'fix' the walls in the soon-to-be nursery. Since they're in such rough shape, we're going to have to put wallpaper up in there. I know....I know. Our only other option would be to knock down the walls and put up new drywall - and that certainly ain't gonna happen. We'd love to paint the room, but since the walls are SO old, we're just going to throw some Spackle-type wall repair stuff on them and throw up some wallpaper.
I'm not 100% sure what we're going to put up, but we're probably going to look for a solid color. We've talked about it at length, and since Jim is a H-U-G-E Curious George fan I think we're going to go with that as the theme for the room. It would certainly be very cute, and it's not gender specific....just in case. Once the 'wall fixing' has been completed, the plan is to go out on the hunt for wallpaper. I think we're going to look for a solid color....possibly yellow - a la the Curious George books...but maybe not quite as bright. We shall see!
Have a great weekend!!!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I'll try to keep this brief, but let's be honest...chances are it won't be.
We have two women running our class, Noreen and Krystal (not their real names). Noreen told us that in the class she just finished teaching, there were 11 couples taking part, and in the class before that one there were 10 couples.
As of right now, our class is made up of 5 couples and one single woman.
There is the possibility that there will be one more couple joining us next week, but that seems to be up in the air. Last night there were only 9 people in the class because we were missing one husband, the single woman, and one of the couples. According to the rules of the group - none of those people who were missing last night are allowed to miss any more classes. If they do, they're OUT!
Jim and I were the only gay couple there, and we're pretty sure that we're the youngest couple in the class. It seems like a very nice group of people. I'm not sure that we'll make any life long friends out of the class, but you never know, do you???
I do know that one of the couples has at least three children at home already...they have a 20 year old, an 18 year old, and a 6 year old. Whether they're their biological children or if they're step-children of some sort, I have no idea. One of the other couples has an 8 year old daughter and I think that the remaining 2 couples are childless. Well, put it this way - if they have children, they didn't mention them at all.
They began the class by having everyone introduce themselves and say where they were from and what they did for work. Most of the participants live locally, but there are a two couples who are traveling an hour and a half to get there. They're both from Cape Cod and our class location is the closest option for them. Yikes.
Once the introductions were finished, the class 'leaders' gave a high-level overview of what we can expect from the class, and quickly went through what we'll have to turn in when all is said and done. One of the biggest things is a 'profile' that each couple (or individual) has to complete before the end of the 8 weeks (or in our case - 11 weeks, due to the big break we have in December).
It's a very detailed 40-something page profile that is filled with all sorts of questions that we'll have to answer - some questions will be answered as individuals, some as a couple. It is a HUGE part in helping the social worker with our home study. Our friends who have been through the classes told us all about this, so thankfully we weren't taken by surprise. We haven't seen the profile yet, but it's being emailed to us today or tomorrow. THAT should be fun. The good news is that because of the 'December break' we'll have plenty of time to work on it during the non-class weeks. :-)
Last night we spent a lot of time focusing on the idea of 'permanency' for the children. We talked a lot about each of the people (foster parents, adoptive parents, social workers, birth parents/kin, etc...etc...) that are involved in the children's lives and what role each of them plays in working towards achieving the ultimate goal of permanency for the child. As you can imagine, in such a small group (again, last night there were only 9 of us) there is no hiding!!! Thankfully, both Jim and I have no problems talking in front of other people (shocking, I know). In fact, it seemed that most of the people there were OK with it. One or two of the people seemed rather quiet, but I'm sure they'll come around and start talking eventually.
About halfway through the class we took a break and then when we returned, we watched a video - yes, a video....not a DVD....a video - that, in spite of the horrific wardrobe and hair styles (clearly this was filmed in the late 80s, early 90s) had a very nice message.
It told several stories about people bringing new children into their homes, how they dealt with the initial arrival, how they handled discipline, how they dealt with 'acting out', etc...etc...
One of the more interesting points the video covered was the concept of creating a 'life book' for your child. Essentially, it's a scrap book that contains photos, memorabilia, etc. from the beginning of their life up to and continuing on through the time that they're placed with you. According to Noreen and Krystal, they've found that the birth parents are more than happy to contribute to their child's life book. They've seen birth parents pass on ultrasound photos, the baby's first hospital pictures, as well as other items that will have meaning to the children as they get older. All of the things that make up the life book will help them to better understand where they came from, and what their life was life before they became part of your family. Once the video was over, we had a brief discussion about the video and then class was over.
It was a little overwhelming because they threw SO much information at us, but I'm sure we'll be fine. I should have mentioned this earlier, but they did tell us that part of the reason for us being in a smaller group is that DCF is re-designing and re-configuring some of the MAPP training, and we're going to be piloting parts of the new curriculum. It's always interesting to be part of a newly developing process, so I'm sure that there will be some bumps in the road due to the changes. Even the leaders aren't sure how it's all going to play out, but at least we'll all be figuring it out together!!!
If anyone is still reading this - THANK YOU!!!
I hope it wasn't too tedious to sit through.....but the good thing is, you'll probably only have to suffer through one of these posts once a week.
Monday, November 16, 2009
My how time flies.
Jim and I had a very busy weekend....but it was quite fun.
Friday night I ended up going to the show solo (that would be 'Reckless' @ SpeakEasy) because Jim got home from work and wasn't necessarily 'feeling it' - so I knew it would be much better to go alone, rather than force him to join me. You know how that is, right?? Right.
Anyway....the show was SOOOOO good. I had no idea what to expect and I was more than pleasantly surprised. I'm not going to go into detail about the story itself, but I will say that I enjoyed it VERY much. I laughed a LOT and cried as well. Granted, I cry at TV commercials, but there were some truly great moments in the play that had me welling up.
Visually, it was beautiful, fun, and festive and it was clear that the director (Scott Edmiston) was responsible for the show working so well. After seeing the show, I want to get a copy of the script so that I can appreciate his direction even more. I know that there is a lot of stuff that he put in there (transitions, etc...) that aren't included in the script - and all those things are what made the show work so well. If you're in the area, I highly suggest making the trip into Boston to see it.
Go here for the specifics. :-)
On Saturday I pretty much lounged around the house (the weather was gross and rainy) until I had to go to my softball meeting that evening. It was great to see my teammates and catch up with them. We were getting together in order to discuss the upcoming year and to introduce the new players that we're adding to our roster (we're definitely adding 4 new players, possibly 5) since we lost a few players at the end of this season. After the meeting we all grabbed some dinner and then we headed over to Fritz (Yay Fritz!!) for a few drinks. Jim and our friend Charles met us there as well so that was fun.
Sunday morning we slept in and while Jim drained, cleaned out, and re-filled the hot tub, I did some picking up around the house and once he was all set, we showered and headed out to go grocery shopping. We got home from shopping and then stopped be his mom's house to visit for a bit. We then went home, had some dinner and then tried to stay awake on the couch for the rest of the night. We were both SOOOO tired - but we managed to stay awake until 10pm, when we finally decided to hit the hay.
Tonight we're having Jim's parents over for dinner. Since Jim is making his sauce, meatballs and sausages - and it feeds about 20 people - we decided to have them over. I'm sure it'll be fun.
Have a great day.....10 more days until Thanksgiving!!!!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I know, I know - some of you aren't crazy about a 'bearded John', but have no fear. Nothing is forever.
Besides, you know how I am....it's probably going to end up annoying me sooner or later and I'll get rid of it. I'm just tired of shaving every day and I want a break.
Keep in mind, this could all change if I don't like the way it looks!! Each time I've grown one, it comes in a little bit greyer....so we shall see!!!!
Beards through the years:
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Well, that's all I have for today. I hope you all have a great day and a fun-filled weekend!!!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
It's kind of odd, but I've been 18 for quite some time now (watch it!) and this is only my second time being called.
The first time was several years ago. I was selected for a jury and was put on a trial that lasted about 2 days. I had a GREAT time. It wasn't a crazy case or anything, just a minor issue that focused primarily on a car accident. As it turned out, it was some loon trying to get more money out of the person that hit her. We didn't give her anything as she was CLEARLY in it for the cash. I found it very interesting though. Hopefully if I get selected for a jury, it'll be for an interesting case and not something that's going to traumatize me or have me sequestered for three months. THAT would suck.
Well, that's all the excitement that I have going on in my life right now.....work has been relatively busy, which is making the days go by and I've been keeping up my gym schedule, so that's all good.
Does anyone else find it REALLY odd that my gym has 'Friday Night Pizza Nights' and 'Bagel Mornings' every Tuesday???
Yeah, I thought so too....
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I listened to all your suggestions (even though I didn’t know about them until after the fact) and took it easy my first day back. All I did was hop on the treadmill and go for a nice little ‘run’ for a half hour or so. I wanted to be sure that I didn’t end up in agony this morning, thus making it more difficult to get back in there tomorrow.
From my vantage point atop my treadmill, I was able to get a decent view of the entire place and figure out where everything was, without wandering around blatantly looking like the ‘new guy’. The thing I like about this gym is that everyone really seems to pretty much keep to themselves. There aren’t a lot of giant, muscle-bound men staring at themselves in the mirrors making me feel like the weakling of my high school gym class, and there’s not a large population of senior citizens wandering around looking lost. I’ve experienced both groups at gyms in the past and believe me, neither one is fun.
It appears to attract a very mixed crowd with everyone being there to work out and get in shape. That’s my first impression anyway….I’ll keep you posted if anything changes.
I kind of can’t believe that it’s November already. This year has F-L-O-W-N by. Craziness. Whenever it’s gets to this time of the year, I always think back to when I was right out of college and working at my first job. I was working as an intern in the Company Management Department at the (now closed) North Shore Music Theatre. Whenever November rolled around, we were kicking of our second to last show of the season and getting ready for rehearsals to begin for their yearly production of ‘A Christmas Carol’. It was such a great time to be working at the theatre. The summer season was over, things were a lot less busy, and there was an excitement in the air because everyone there LOVED working on ‘A Christmas Carol’. Not only was it a great production, but it meant that we’d soon be surrounded by tons of super-excited audiences members who came back year after year to celebrate the Christmas season at the theatre.
I could go on and on about how much I loved that job, but I’ll save that for another day.
I was just doing a little reminiscing as I was driving into work today about how much I missed that job, and what a GREAT feeling it was driving to work at a job you loved going to.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Dramatic enough for you??
That's my way of saying that I'm going back to the gym for the first time today.
I seriously haven't been to a gym in well over a year, so anything is possible.
Check back tomorrow for the full report. Assuming I can still move.
Jim and I had a fun-filled, frightful weekend.
Friday night we had a sudden change in plans and ended up going to the Grille for dinner. Jim's mom, dad, sister and her family were there, so we visited with them for a bit...but didn't join them at their table. We prefer our seats at the bar.
After dinner, Jim and I headed into Boston to meet up with our softball friends at Fritz.
It was FUN!!! I hadn't seen them in a while, and as always - a good time was had by all.
On Saturday, Jim and I went to go see my oldest niece Victoria cheer at a football game. She goes to an all girls school but they cheer for a local all boys school's football team. It was a BEAUTIFUL day (in the 70s) and they did a great job. She's so grown up, it kind of freaks me out and makes me feel O-L-D.
They were ahead 42-14 at the top of the 4th quarter, so Jim and I took off early. We headed home and got ready for the trick-or-treaters.
Since we live on a very main street, we never know if we're going to get a lot of kids or not - but we were ready! As it turns out, we had a decent amount....and actually, we had quite a few late trick-or treaters. I think that a lot of the neighborhood kids walk to more 'residential' areas for the majority of their trick-or-treating so when they were all walking back home, they noticed that we were still 'open for business' so they stopped in. It was totally fine by me, because that meant there was less candy sitting at home!!!
Our friends Mattie and Kelly stopped by to say hello on their way to dinner, and then our friend Katie stopped by. The three of us watched The Exorcist and ate some yummy Chinese Food.
Note to self: Eating dinner while watching The Exorcist is a terrible idea.
On Sunday, Jim and I got up, went grocery shopping and headed down the Cape to meet up with Jim's dad. He need our help closing up the cottage for the winter. All we had to do was help him move stuff from outside and store it in the house, plus help get some stuff from inside out to his truck...totally easy, but it's definitely something that you can't manage with only one person.
After the place was all closed up, he took us out to lunch and then we headed home.
Because of the time change, it felt like the LONGEST day ever, but it was nice.
We pretty much just relaxed around the house, I did a few loads of laundry and got everything ready for today.
While I was doing laundry - Jim spent lots of time on the computer designing a new and improved blog. He's not a fan of blogging the way I blog - it's just not his thing. He doesn't find it fun to write about his daily 'goings on' because he doesn't think that people want to read that type of stuff about him.
Unlike myself, who writes about every detail (well....not EVERY detail) of my daily life, knowing that several people can't make it through the day without knowing everything I'm doing.
Keep your eyes peeled for it. It's going to be good. :-)
Have a great day and happy Monday!!!!
(Full moon tonight!!!!)