Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lucca, Italy

This spot was not one that was planned and I cannot even parlay how glad I am that the decision was made to make the trek here for the day. During our time in Tuscany, we stayed at the Inn my husband's family own in Grannola. It is about a half hour to forty five minute drive to Lucca and this particular day it was a light drizzle and we decided to pull out our umbrellas and head down the autostrada. 

Lucca is another medieval walled city and is very much a walking city and is quite easy to navigate your way around. Once again I was completely entranced by the enchantment of the alleyways and cobblestone streets. And I cannot mention enough how friendly everyone in this charming city was.

Now, I will just let my photos do the talking. If only they could do justice!




















Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Festivus

This weekend went completely awry of our actual plans. We were originally going to head up to Richmond for a weekend getaway but the mister got sick and so we decided to stay closer to home. I am actually glad that we did because we had so much fun. There was an abundance of amazing fall filled activities in the triangle this weekend. 

Friday we ended up meeting for dinner at a sushi place about ten minutes up the road. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that they were playing an outdoor movie in the lawn on the big screen. and we were luckily able to snatch up the last patio seat and watch it while we ate! 



They were playing Ghostbusters, one of my all time favorites! Such a fun night and the weather was absolutely perfect...still a comfortable 65 at night. 

Saturday we just did so much I can barely even remember it! I do know it included food, food. oh. and did I mention that it included food?

First up we stop at a Raleigh Landmark which has been featured on multiple food and travel network shows.  The Roast Grill (hot wieners) about 8 people can fit in there at once and they only help a few people at a time. No fuss. and I loved every second of the experience. and watching Tony eat his hotdogs, cause...no.

and then we headed over to a new brewery in town. It is really cool and they have a pour your own beer wall. Was really neat. But what was even better was their hot, homemade pretzels dipped in their beer cheese. Oh, my. Word! I die!



Then we headed over a street festival, Cook Street Festival and this thing is no joke. I love how awesome it is, this is an actual neighborhood that throws this gig. None of them can even leave their houses all day. There was over 25 food trucks, 5 breweries, so many local coffee shops. Tons of local artists and shops selling their goods and amazing entertainment. 

and there was food. In case you were worried. 

Then we stopped by wine authority for Tony to grab some olive oil and some wine. I didn't have any because I am on day 19 of 30 days of no alcohol. Please Halloween get here quick;)

Then we came home and watched the Florida State-ND game. I didn't like the ending. blah. 

and then yesterday we had our monthly supper club. This month our friends Cat & Josh hosted and I love it because he makes the most amazing Thai food. So good! Plus, they just finished their basement and it is ridiculous! 

I made these mini cannolis for dessert. Chocolate with a dark chocolate and red wine mousse and a maple Bourbon with pecan. Recipes coming soon!

How was your weekend? Do anything fun? Or relaxing? 

linking up with Meghan, Leeann and Ashley

Sunday, October 19, 2014

It Just May Be

Today's prompt is your greatest fear. I have a few things that scare me to death. I hate lightning. Heights are not my deal. Sharks make me prefer a pool to the ocean. And October always seems to remind me just how much I fear clowns. Thanks freaks in California for making it even worse this year;)

But those things aren't really what I fear. I think the thing I fear the most is almost an even tie, but right now one scares me just a little bit more.

The death of a loved one is a huge deal for me (as it is for anyone, obviously) but I tend to fear it unrealistically because it has happened so much in my life. I lost an aunt at 31 to heart arrhythmias. A best friend from high school to a drunk driver. A 24 year old cousin to cardiac arrest. My brother in laws 26 year old fiance died from a life long battle with diabetes. I would spend nights waking my husband every few hours just to make sure he was ok. To me...making it to 40 meant you were in the clear. 

But more so recently, that fear has been replaced by another one...the possibility that I may not actually ever be a mother. For pretty much my entire life, I have looked forward to that moment. To having a baby placed in my arms, to my husband being a father. For some people this is a snap of a finger...

In my case, I snapped my finger 11 years ago and still my arms are empty. I mentioned last year when I began the Infertility Prayer Project that we were on a time frame due to my medicine. It actually took almost a year to fully ween off of them and now we are at about 7 months in of no medication and 5 months post surgery. Still sans baby.

These next 5 months will be the most 'trying' for me. (pun aside;) The tick tock is so loud that I can barely hear anything else. If I do not become pregnant in these next 5 months...We are pretty much done. I will not be able to be off of the medicine for that much longer and maintain my health. And that is the most important part of pregnancy, being as mentally and physically healthy as I can be.

I have always said that I would gladly adopt, but after an 11 year journey of miscarriages and infertility, month after month of failed attempts...I honestly am not sure that I could embark on a new process that would possibly bring more heartache and pain. Even if the ending would bring the greatest joy I have ever known.

So, at this point, my greatest fear is that I will never be known by the one name I have so longed to be called....Mommy.

I believe that God has a hand and plan in my life, the question is how I will deal with it if His and mine don't match up.  I guess wine and frequent travel will help in the meantime, cause...wine. and Italy.


Helene in Between Blogtober

Friday, October 17, 2014

Candles Are Serious Business, So Is A Wine Bath

This week has been a blur. I am finally off the pain meds, and I am way less fuzzy. And just in time for my favorites of the week. The first I am sure you guys have seen floating around. The reenactment of the girl who rampaged at Bath & Body Works over candles. 

***Please note before you watch, this is full of some four letter words. 



I mean, in all fairness...I would probably do the same if it was over the pumpkin cupcake scent. Or even the Apple Crumble. I think I feel her pain. There are few things in life I love more than a bath and body works candle. and I mean seriously, I have twenty coupons too;)  The girl just wanted to get her scents on, don't judge a girl. (or you can be like me and judge her while simultaneously feeling her pain cause...candles.)

And then I read the article on Amar'e Stoudemire  taking wine baths and I was in awe of his genius. I am totally going to take a bath and dump gallons of wine in there. It makes your knees feel fantastic. Hello! Why drink it when you can just bathe in it. I am sure that if I just got the 2 buck chuck (that is now 3 buck chuck) from Trader Joes, I would only spend about $200 to fill my tub. and it's for my health y'all, so why wouldn't I? And I would just drink it till it was gone. ( I just shuddered) 


Wine baths leave you feeling fresh and rejuvenated. There are spas that offer this. All I need to know is that they best serve me an actual glass of vino and some delicious dark chocolate. 

and I had this texted to me because my nickname growing up was "pug" and my parents actually still call me this. And I actually immediately thought of Stephanie and her cuties!



Those are my favorites of the week. What were yours?










Tuesday, October 14, 2014

All About That Hope

This past weekend was the 26th annual Walk for Hope and I was so humbled to actually be able to participate for myself and to even walk in honor of a few of my best friends(that this past year very much struggled with depression)


ok, this photo. Me and my crazy eyes. Hahaha Tony put the caption of how he was running to support the struggle of mental illness and his wife who battles it" and because all my friends are awesome, I cannot tell you the amount of them that texted me that my expression with Tony's caption was priceless, that's right people. That is the face of bipolar and PTSD if ever there was;) Hey, if you can't laugh get the H up on outta here! 

I have attended multiple years where others have run or walked in my honor and it was fantastic to be healthy enough to do it myself. Or at least healthy enough mentally...because that is where the fun starts;)

I have a history of kidney stones so I kind of know what to do, drink PLENTY of water and lemon and slept. And then on Thursday, when I had a friend over for dinner (Hi Tharina, I know you are probably reading!) and the pain came back something fierce. I should mention here that I have an extremely high pain tolerance. Like almost unheard of. If I talk about pain...then I am about to keel over. 

By Friday morning I was vomiting from pain and seeing stars so I decided to go in and get checked out. Urgent care sent me straight to the hospital. I was diagnosed with kidney stones, a ruptured cyst and a kidney infection. After the doctor pressed on my abdomen and I straight poltergeist vomited on him...he immediately had me hooked up to morphine. 

The nurse told me when I left that her favorite part was that in my pain induced stupor that when they weighed me, I clapped my hands like a toddler and screamed "Yay, I love your scale, it says I have lost 13 lbs. Mine said only 9"  Priorities even in agony people. 

All I know is I am not allowed to have more than 2 sodas or 2 sweet teas a month because they are main causes. Basically...I may die. No sweet tea?1!?!?! Just ignore that wailing over here.

Anyhow, because I am woman, hear me roar and all, I decided to participate in the race less that 24 hours later. Cause I am a boss like that. Or maybe because I am a stubborn idiot. 2 miles in and I wanted to die. I finished it. I did it. But I paid for it. I am not a warrior. There was no lion roaring. The sound I was emitting was more of a kitten whining. 

But really, it was such a great time. The people that come out to support this cause. Thanks to Jean, Tony and Elizabeth for doing it with me! The event, once again,again raised over a hundred thousand dollars to go directly into our community to help with mental illness. And this event is no joke. As many races as I have been to, never have I ever seen what they put into this one. Bands, Tents full of food cooked by a chef that won Iron Chef , free massage tables, free draft beer from local craft breweries, and I could go on. So much more. 

Scotty McCreery got us started with the national anthem and all I could hear was teenage girls screaming in my ear. Barely recovered;)