Tuesday, December 27, 2011

long overdue

i have been meaning to post some of these pictures for a while now. this past july we celebrated our 5th anniversary. i was contacted by our sweet wedding photographer via facebook about doing an anniversary photo shoot with Charis at the location of our wedding. his name is Joe Deese. i first met him at my friend, nicole's wedding. not that we got married so long ago but we missed the whole digital photography bandwagon. he did strictly film. and i really liked him so we had him shoot our wedding. five years later he has switched to digital and gave us a ton of pictures from our anniversary shoot. it was fun to be back at Independence Park with our daughter. we are in a very unique place 5 years later and i was so thankful that he wanted to capture this time for us. there really are so many pictures but here are a few of my favorites from Joe.

literally the last picture

yes, we let her play in the water

i love this cause she is most cuddly with dollie

sweet kisses

i LOVE this b/c of her giggly face

a pretty good family shot

this is so sweet..a girl and her dollie

i was really excited about these pictures but once i got them i was a bit disappointed because i don't like the way i photograph anymore. (nothing to do with Joe) i mean, it's not like i was a model to begin with or anything. but not only are there more imperfections these days, i can really see them in pictures. and sometimes that's hard. but i also want to document as much of this time as possible. so, of course, in the end i love these. i love that he was generous enough to do this for us on our anniversary. and it was fun to be in the place we took vows and made promises to each other about "for better and worse, sickness and health." those really matter right now. and we have this amazing little girl to live life with and that's pretty awesome.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

NYC part 3

some dog posing for his Christmas pic

we did so much in new york. so much. and i'm so glad we did. now i want to go back and chill. or be more "picky" about which neighborhood we'd hang out in. like chelsea with the high line and art galleries or central park. or maybe just take a shopping trip. just kidding, that would never happen. so i have a couple more things to tell about our trip. and i'm sure i'll still leave something out. because like i said, we did so much.

the food
i have to admit that i was a little sad or disappointed that we didn't go to new york with more ideas or recs for restaurants. we love food. i like to think we are foodies. we enjoy different kinds of foods. except i don't like mushrooms. and adam will really eat anything. anyway. i had a couple suggestions but it'd be in a part of the city we weren't near at a time we were hungry. so most of our meals were just a gamble. i thought it'd be like new orleans where you can eat anywhere and it's going to be pretty good. it's not like that. a hole in the wall in new york is just that, a hole in the wall. don't get me wrong we had some good food. i think i just expected more from new york in the food area. our first stop was the tourist trap of little italy. we stopped in for a lunch special of pizza and glass of wine for $10. the pizza was really good. the tomato sauce was legit. and i know because i'm half italian. and it was a deal. we shared the pizza and got another glass of wine, which cost $8.75. so technically the pizza was only $1.25. crazy. some friends made us a reservation at a bobby flay restaurant which was a really great meal with good wine too. they had a side of brussel sprouts made with pomegranate seeds. so delicious. on saturday morning we stumbled upon this cute organic bakery in the "cool" part of town. the server was a bit pretentious. the menu had organic fruit, cheddar and chive scone with fresh ricotta cheese and soft boiled eggs. the coffee was good and came in your own little ceramic pot. it was so cute and we figured we found a local gem. then as we walked around the rest of the city the next 2 days we started seeing more of them. it was like their panera. i felt a little fooled but it was still quaint even if it was a chain. on sunday we were crunched for time because we were trying to see the Met before the Tenament. and it was around lunch time and we needed to get something to eat so we walked and walked. we came upon this great italian bistro. and we almost went to dean & deluca instead. gasp. i'm so glad we didn't. this meal was amazing. i had a tomato rustica pasta that was so yummy and flavorful. adam had a sort of spinach gnocchi with mushrooms. our caesar salad was freshly made table side. this was probably our favorite meal all weekend. it was so good. after the Tenament they gave us a map with food recs in the lower east side. we wanted to try dumplings so we went to this hip joint that was full of hipsters and locals. we tried both fried and boiled dumplings which were both very good. we also tried a noodle dish that i wasn't crazy about. i think they are known for the dumplings so it's always safe to stick with what they are known for. note to self. i talked about the food tour in brooklyn. the last stop on the tour was a gastropub where we had cajun boiled peanuts and rosemary garlic fries. both were so good. since we ended up staying there so long we ate dinner and i had a lamb burger that was divine. so when it comes down to it we did have some yummy food. but at the same time i expected more from a city like new york. what a snob!

the $1.25 pizza

my individual coffee

scone with fresh ricotta

food truck in harlem with yummy falafal wrap

a very yummy tuna tartar

a vodka flight at a russian place we won't probably go back to

the show
when you are going to new york every tells you that you MUST go to a show. you must. i started looking at shows online before we left. they have so many. and they are pretty pricey. but we had to see a show. my first choice was the book of mormon, but for the cheapest ticket at $300 i didn't see that as a possibility. we knew we could get tickets to shows the day of at discounted prices. there were so many options...did we want a play or musical or a catchy entertainment piece like blue man group? we decided we wanted something that told a story. and so when we went to the TKTS booth we opted for Rent. i'd always wanted to see it. and i always wanted to see and hear their signature song. it was really good. i'm always amazed at the giftedness of the people that do this. they sing act and dance. and some of them are really really good. plus i did like the story of the community of friends.

a crochet buggy outside the art galleris

a banana seat bike!!

this may wrap up our PATWA NYC EXTRAVAGANZA. i cannot say enough how humbled we are that so many people love us enough to send us on this little (big) adventure. it was a blast and perfectly timed. we had a super great time. i'm thinking we'll continue to need some "get-a-ways" but i don't think we'll get to do something like this again. so thank you to all of you that sent us on this trip. adam and i are going to go through all our pics and video soon and update our travel journal so we can remember the fun time we had together. thanks again!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

i have to admit that when we were going to new york i wasn't really hoping to see gossip girl being filmed or standing in the cold with a poster for the Today show, but what i was secretly hoping to see was some Law & Order. if you know me, or have ever lived with me, you know i love law & order (da-da). i can watch any type (regular, SVU, criminal intent) any time even if i've seen it before. so, when we passed by the court house i got a little excited and if we walked down a street that looked like a place a "vic" would have been found, i kind of hoped we'd see Olivia. but it never happened. even still it was cool to be in a place where they film one of my favorite shows.

the court house where lots of L&O get filmed i'm sure

the brooklyn bridge & food tour
one of the first things i heard to do was walk the brooklyn bridge. so before we left i looked at what to do in brooklyn and found a local food tour. it was the one thing i really booked for us. we started of in manhattan and joined the other hundreds on the bridge. and i must say it was fascinating to see a different view of the city for every few yards. the walk was quicker than i anticipated too. after a cool morning the day turned out beautiful and sunny, which made for a perfect day to be outside. we took a ton of pics of the bridge, the buildings and ourselves. it was truly a great way to see the city. once in brooklyn we walked by a famous pizza place but the line was too long. so we wondered around some since we had time before our food tour. finding a taxi in brooklyn was a bit tricky but we found one and headed to the Carroll Gardens neighborhood. we met our guide and it was us and just one other couple. basically we visited a handful of places from a southern inspired restaurant to a cheese shop to a cookie shop to a gastropub. a lot of the tour was walking through the neighborhoods and learning about it's history and buildings, which was definitely a great part of the tour. i mean, i thought there could have been more food involved but it was still worth it. at our final stop we ended up hanging out and watching the LSU game. it was still early and we sat at the bar with a local named Dave, who happened to be from Georgia (so he was going for UGA in the game). we ended up there for the rest of the game and night talking to Dave. it was fun to share our stories and actually connect with someone on a personal level, as opposed to being a tourist. and to top it all off, he secretly paid our bill. he left before we knew this and could thank him. we were blown away by his kindness. but mostly it was just fun hanging out with him.

a little artsy shot of the bridge

maybe a place people leave a lock for good luck?

manhattan from the bridge...new world trade building

the park
i have always been fascinated by central park. i love on tv when they show a sky-view of the city there is this huge green space smack dab in the middle of that crazy building mess. so, this was definitely on our lists of places to go. and i think we did it right. we rented bikes for 2 hours and road around the whole park (just about). we took a break on the northwest side near harlem so adam could have a falafal wrap from a food truck, which was freshly made and divine. it's amazing how much there is within this park. we weren't allowed to bike on some of the walking paths but i think we were still able to see a lot. the weather turned out perfect and it was just lovely to take some time from walking and ride a bike.

our only pic from the park...at some reservoir

the washington square park
one of adam's favorite movies and one we like to watch around Christmas is When Harry Met Sally. if you don't know or remember the movie....watch it. well, the place Sally drops Harry off in new york is washington square park. we had no idea where it was, in fact, we thought it might be at central park. on sunday night after our long day of adventure we headed back out and decided just to walk. i think we were actually going to check out the holiday markets that turned out to be closed. but we ended up walking by NYU and that area then stumbled upon this park. and across the park we saw this big monument, which had to be the one from the movie. not only was the park low key and speckled with a mix of hipsters, students and homeless folks, we had found the one thing from the movie we had really wanted to see. and all by accident. and we got to enjoy a quiet night just walking around and soaking up the city together. it was wonderful.

the monument of Harry's drop off

so, i'm thinking i'll have another post and then one or two with just pics b/c we took so many pics. so many. thanks for letting me share about our trip. it really was so so much fun.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

leaky eyes and fat arm

so i just got kicked off my chemo trial, which consisted of a drug called taxotere. how i got kicked off, you ask. well, apparently my cancer has outsmarted the drug. after 6 rounds it's stopped working. but i'm confident we'll find something else to outsmart the cancer.


so, after "battling" this thing called cancer for 18 months now it's clear there is more to cancer and its treatment. i mean, when you get the news initially that you have cancer you really have no idea what's coming. there are layers upon layers. with chemo there are the typical side effects like losing your hair and fatigue. well, with this particular drug there is what i like to call, leaky eyes. i don't think that's the technical term for it. basically about 2 weeks after getting the drug my eyes literally leak for about 5-7 days. it's crazy. and in big box stores or wind it's especially really bad. they just leak. it's not painful and it's not really that embarrassing, but it's a hassle to have to constantly wipe my eyes. the good thing is that i could be crying and blame it on the leaky eyes. it's just one of those things you don't anticipate in the beginning.

the other thing you don't anticipate early on is what i like to refer to as fat arm. the technical term is lymphedema. when i had my double mastectomy i had 28 lymph nodes removed from under my right arm. i've learned a bit more about my body since this whole thing. and what i've learned is that our lymph nodes, which run throughout our body, help move fluid (very basic knowledge). well, with 28 gone the fluid doesn't get moved and therefore will get sort of trapped in my arm and cause it to swell. hence the fat arm. this is something that is not life-threatening, but could get bad; painful/uncomfortable. but for me it's way more vain than this. i don't want fat arm! one thing that helps is to wear what is called a compression sleeve. it's a flesh colored thick stretchy thing that goes from your fingers to shoulder. it's very tight and i guess it helps squeeze the fluid back out (since my lymph nodes are there to do their job). this thing is hot and i do feel weird wearing it. i mean, most people that wear them are old or obese. i'm neither. but i also don't want really bad fat arm. i decided that i need a glove too so i went to this special store to talk to the lady about getting a glove. she said i'd need to get a different kind of sleeve and have the glove custom made, both costing over $350. seriously?! i'm going to wait and instead go back to the rehabilitation place and get some lymphedema therapy (i.e. massage) for a bit. That really does help. so, if you see a weird flesh colored thing on my arm/hand it's my fat arm defense sleeve, i'm not trying to make some new fashion statement.

it's just been so interesting (is this really the right word?) to see what evolves in this world of cancer. there are so many things that are never "public" and that you don't think about happening to a person. some are very scary and some are just annoying. but they all play a part in this journey. i mean, it's bad enough not to have hair and breasts, but fat arm too?! come on!! but there are a few "benefits" like not having to shave.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

NYC part 1

(yes, there will be multiple posts)

i'm not sure where to start. so let's start at the beginning. as i've said before we were graciously given a trip to NYC by our friends, family and even strangers. it's been incredibly humbling to see how many people love us and are willing to send us on this extravagant weekend away. it came at a great time and we had a blast. we came back with over 300 pictures. i know, crazy. thanks to digital. the best way to describe NYC is like drinking from a fire hose. for real. that place is nuts! let me get started....

the subway
oh the subway. i like to think i'm good with directions. and i actually am. well, the NYC subway totally squashed that! the whole thing is quite fascinating...not just the many trains going in all sorts of directions but the actual stops can be huge (and confusing). it just took us a few days (out of our 4) to figure out which way was downtown and which way was uptown. there were a few times of jumping off a train b/c we were headed in the wrong direction. the first day i was super frustrated about this, but eventually learned to let-it-go. what i like about the subway is that everyone uses them. everyone. the fancy lady with her bag on her forearm to the poor, stinky homeless man in the corner. no one makes eye contact except us "genteel southern tourists" and everyone has ear buds in their ears. it's a mad house. and i loved using it, especially when i finally got good at it.

the views
my favorite view was the one i got from the plane as we flew past the island. so coo. there is a lot in NYC. duh. but you hear about and see these different places on t.v. or from friends but can't really wrap your head around it until you are there. i've always loved the view of the city with central park smack dab in the middle of this "concrete jungle" and it was just as amazing in person. our first night we did the Empire State Building, which was so cool. we got a free audio tour which was kinda cliche b/c our "tour guide" was Tony. it was amazing to see the other tall buildings and all those lights. i kept thinking what that blackout must have been like. insane. we took a boat to Lady Liberty and the view of the city from the water was ridiculous. and seeing the statue up close was incredible. we stopped by the Rockefeller Center tree too and i have to admit we were both disappointed by it's size. the rink too. it just looks so massive on t.v. and up close it's just a really big tree. but, i'm not trying to be a party pooper, it was still cool to see in person. walking the High Line for a handful of blocks in the Meatpacking district was super cool. it's built on an old railroad line, you can see the old tracks. and you get an "above street level view" of the city.

the museums & galleries
as you know adam and i are very cultured people...we enjoy good food, good art and good stories. thankfully new york is full of all of these. our first stop for this "culture," if you will, was the Chelsea/Meatpacking district early saturday morning. we were crunched for time but were able visit a handful of galleries from Annie Lebowitz photos to bags of aluminum cans to great oil paintings to Russian propaganda posters. all very cool and unique. (although i'm still not sure about the aluminum cans...seriously?) this was adam's favorite part. on sunday we quickly visited the MET, which is giant and has lots of different kinds of art, but it was cool to see Picasso and Dali and other unique works of art. the last museum we visited was the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. basically there is this old tenement (apartment building) that had been vacant since 1935. when they stumbled upon it in the 90's they found everything inside like it was from the early 1900's, so they began to research the families that came to america and lived in this particular building. you can take a tour that tells the story of different families that lived there from it's building (i think early 1800's) to when it was closed. we took the "hard times" tour and learned about 2 immigrant families from the early 1800's and early 1900's. it was very cool. and a part of me felt akin to these folks, not because i'm an immigrant, but because we are going through "hard times" of ourselves and, like these families, are leaning into our community to get through.

okay i'm going to stop now b/c this is long...and i want to be able to tell you all about all the great stuff we got to do. it was really great and perfect timing for us to get away. thank you!!!