Blogmas Day 23: Cape May Fun

Andy and I enjoyed a lovely trip to Cape May this past Saturday! Cape May is so festive during this time of year. We ventured down Congress Hall and checked out the enormous tree! We also headed down to Cape May Brewing Company and relaxed with some drinks. I made sure to bring my Christmas/Winter themed Snoopys!

Here are some snapshots of our trip. I’ll post more photos soon!

Friends Make the Life Journey Smoother

This post is a Six Word Saturday contribution. Please check out Debbie’s source post here.

**My friends Melinda and David took the wonderful group pic after the show!**

Yesterday Andy and I went to Montclair to catch The Cult and Spirit Animal perform at the Wellmont Theater. My friend Melinda is a huge fan of Spirit Animal, so when the chance finally arrived for me to see them, Melinda and I were both excited! Spirit Animal played an awesome set, and I got to hang out with Melinda and her husband Dave for a bit afterwards.

I’m so thankful to have this chance to enjoy life outside the work/home cycle. It’s been months since I last went to a show, so the entertainment was needed. And it’s felt like forever since I last hung out with my dear friends. While I love time with my husband, it’s wonderful to share time with my friends as well!

While waiting for Melinda and Dave to meet us at a diner, Andy and I were enjoying the stunning views of the New York City skyline!

My August Wedding, and Mini-Getaway

It’s been a couple weeks since I truly sat and wrote the goings-on in my life. August has been quite busy, and here’s why:

Wedding!
I finally married the love of my life! It’s been 3 years in the making, and Andy & I feel so blessed that our close friends and family got to share our day with us!

There were stressors of course: some unexpected departures, and last -minute meltdowns (a lot for my 4yr old niece to handle), but my wedding coordinator Anita was a life-saver in guiding me towards patience. I’m so thankful to have hired a wedding coordinator to manage last-minute details (and peace of mind)!

Pics: My lovely friend Jane took the ceremony pic, while my other friend Melinda Prather took the reception pic (plus the cover photo)! Thank you so much!

Mini-Getaway
A couple days after the wedding, Andy and I traveled to Pittsburgh, PA. Since we’re saving up for a extended honeymoon next year, we set aside a couple days to relax and enjoy Pittsburgh for a few days:

Grandview Overlook
We visited the Grandview Avenue Overlook, which has gorgeous views of Pittsburgh and its three rivers. It’s equally breathtaking by day as well! We also went on the Duquesne Incline, but I forgot to take pics!


All the Animals!
We visited The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, where we took the tram to tour the area before enjoying specific sites. My favorite was saying hello to our Polar Bear and Tiger friends!

Go Bucs!
I’m a passionate Mets fan, but I also love me a good Pirates game! Although the Pirates are having a rough season, I still couldn’t wait to check out one of their games, in such a beautiful venue.
And– wouldn’t you know it– they won that night!

Andy took this stunning photo of the ballpark!

‘The Great One’
On our last day in Pittsburgh, we toured The Clemente Museum. Our tour guide Vince gave a wonderful description of Clemente’s professional and personal life. Being Puerto Rican myself, I grew up listening to family stories of Clemente’s lifelong service to Puerto Rico, and passion as a ball player.

So that was my August in a nutshell! Now begins my name-changing process, which I hope won’t be too painful, like the rumors say!

Bookish Note:
I did read this month, which I will post in my wrap-up entry
. I have some exciting news to share!

Blogmas Day 23: 4th Week of Advent

Today marks the fourth and final Sunday of Advent. This period symbolizes Peace: that the excitememt of Christ’s arrival will bring about peace of mind throughout the land. All of our waiting and anticipating of Jesus’s birth seems like a long process, yet this is a time to reflect and internalize what we need to attain peace in our lives. Advent reminds us that true happiness comes through realizing what matters in life the most: being with family, loved ones, and a loving support system. Christmas is two days away, and it’s such a meaningful time for us all.

Image source:

http://stthomasmore.org

November 26, 2018: Sunday in North Jersey

Yesterday was a rare trip up to northern New Jersey on a Sunday. I went to get my hair color done, and a trim. The hairdresser asked if I wanted it shorter…which I never do, but they need to ask anyway. I always love how the end result comes out. In these past few months, I’ve only been using heat on my hair whenever I go to the hairdresser. All the other times in between I let it dry naturally. I only get my hair done once every few weeks, so it’s fine. I love having the straight hair look once again, if only for a couple days.

After the appointment, Andy and I had lunch in Hawthorne, then drove around the area. During my youth, my family would go shopping in Hawthorne. It was fun to reflect on the places I used to go to, and what places were no longer there. Being up in North Jersey always accompanies a twinge of wistfulness. A part of me always wishes that I lived closer to the northern area. For now, I cherish these times that we travel to the north NJ area.

November 23, 2018: Thanksgiving in Paterson

Today Andy and I are getting ready to head to a Star Wars production down the shore. We’re going to watch A New Hope, with an orchestra playing the music throughout the entire film. I love the first Star Wars trilogy, so it should be a fun time experiencing the movie with an orchestra. It beats heading to the mall. Malls get insane on Black Friday!

Thanksgiving in Paterson was very entertaining. My niece Ana has really come into her own. School has benefitted her in speaking her mind, and she’s certainly the ‘leader’ among her cousins and friends! The most adorable thing I noticed is that all of the girls at the house had the same curly hairstyle. I thought it was wonderful that their moms embraced their natural hair, and they’re all wearing it proudly! I’m much more relaxed about hair, especially since I know how to care for my wavy hair more easily.

It was great seeing my grandparents as well. My grandfather has not been feeling his best these past few months, so it’s been such a gift to spend time with him. He will be 90 next year. Most of the time he says ‘I’m waiting for ‘the trip’ right now’, with regards to his health. It’s hard for us to hear him speak that way, and most of time we wave our hands and say, ‘come on, you still have a lot of life left’. Yet we all know that life always changes. It’s difficult for me to see him not as active as he once was. So I cherish the time we do spend together, especially holiday celebrations.

October 22, 2018: 300 Days

This morning I began looking through the ‘Together for Life’ readings we need to select for the wedding next year. At first glance it feels overwhelming. So many passages to choose from! Some feeling too lengthy, too short, or too limiting. As I spent more time searching, my mind settled somewhat. The readings all were meaningful, I just need to find the ones that will apply to mine and Andy’s big day. The book details the entire service, so I found myself imagining our day as I’m reading each phase of the ceremony. It made me feel a little excited!

There are so many other details that I now need to worry about, such as florals and aesthetics. And finding a way to include my mom in the ceremony. Knowing that she’s no longer here, yet having her with us.

It will soon be August before I know it, and I want my wedding to be a memorable experience.

October 8, 2018: Positive News

After a long day of professional development trainings, I received great news from Andy: his cancer specialist informed him that he’s now 18 years in remission. I’m so happy for him! Andy is truly a wonderful person, and he deserves good blessings in his life.

Tonight we’re taking a trip to Philadelphia. Andy needs to do some music shopping down there, and the timing of the excursion fits well. We both got off work early, and he received this great piece of news. It’s a welcoming end to a Monday.

September 30, 2018: Heading Home

As September comes to a close, Andy and I are heading back to central NJ. It was another fun weekend down in Wildwood & Cape May. We stopped at all the places we traditionally head to (the Wildwoods Sign, the macaroon place in Cape May), and a couple new spots (Mud Hen Brewing, Hooked on Books). We spent some time with Allyson and Tim this weekend, since they were also in Wildwood, to celebrate Tim’s birthday. There were good laughs and great memories.