My heart is full

A few weeks back, I decided that I was going to try to be more realistic with what I can accomplish in a weekend  by creating a Weekend Wishlist.  Well, I have really stuck to my guns, and have focused on being more realistic about crossing things off my to-do list while spending quality time with Miles and Lance.  This weekend we did laundry, groceries, and spent time with friends.  It was fabulous!

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Sundays are always bitter-sweet for me.  The end of the weekend marks five long days without my baby.  Since today was Valentine’s Day, and my late Grandfather’s Birthday, emotions ran high and happy and sad tears were shed.  There was one constant feeling I had throughout the day, though.  That feeling was, my heart is full.  It’s a remarkable feeling to be bubbling over with love.  How incredibly sweet it is to be a mother.  I never imagined that Valentine’s Day could feel any better.

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My life, my love, my Bridal Party!

Everyday the Knot.com kindly reminds me that the days until our wedding day are quickly disappearing (214 to be exact).    Although I am confident that I will be able to get it all done- it certainly has not been with out help, encouragement, and recommendations.  My bridal party has been my reference each time I am unsure, for dress shopping, and vendor recommendations.     Besides the idea of marrying the love of my life (I still can not believe I am so lucky) – sharing this process with my closest friends has been the best part thus far.   I would have canceled the day already had I not been able to vent to each one separately about my concerns.   Here is my CREW- whom all I love so dearly!

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Each girl got a small gift bag, with a bracelet, and a few pieces of candy with clever sayings – the bracelet was tied in a knot with a note that says “I cant TIE THE KNOT, with out you by my side”, a ring pop “He POPED the question, now it’s my turn” and some gum “He may be marrying me- but now hes STUCK with you!”

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A gift for Taylor!

My sisters are my Matron and Maid of Honor – and I am so blessed to have these natural born organizer’s to help me along the way.  They know me inside and out, and every single life experience who has built the women I am.  I have never felt luckier than when I take a look at my family.  Our love and loyalty is thick and strong, and it never waivers.  There is no judging nor censoring.  We rest on each other often, and never think twice.  I love these ladies with every ounce of energy in me.

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My NEW Sisters (Michael’s Sister) Beth and Tricia.  There is no other way I would like to start our forever friendship than having them each be by are side to help and support us on our wedding day.  (BONUS:  I get the worlds CUTEST flower girl, Tricia’s daughter Taylor- yay!)  I still can’t believe a family this wonderful, smart, and loving is there with arms open to invite me in.  I didn’t know I could love another family as my own, until I met the Slick/Schuyler clan.  I have instantly felt a part, and look forward to every event that allows us to get closer.

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My college roommate, best friend, and sorority ‘little sister’ Amber.  I always thank her for being there in the weirdest/changing time of my life and still loving me!  We have never grown apart, despite how vastly our lives have changes post college.  She is as honest as you will ever find, and keeps me straight!

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And of course my ‘Ride or Dies’ – Meagan, Kristina, Katie, and Carolyn.  My inseparable/no matter what/no matter where  friends since Middle School. Co-Author’s of  5andwhine!  I can’t be happy if things are well with me and these girls.  They are so important to me, and I am so proud of how tight our bond has continued over the years.  From our first beers to first babies, we have been there through it all.

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I love you all and I am so proud to have you stand beside me!

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“Fall-owing” my dreams

It’s Fall, and for some reason, I always feel super nastalgic every year at this time.   Beyond the sultry, and warm  colors, clothes and dinners, this season marks so many firsts for me.  It truly melts my heart when the cool breeze carries the aroma of bon fires, and fallen wet leaves, and my car windshield is painted with the oranges, reds and yellows of turning trees on my scenic route to work.

Fall is when I:

  1. started school ever year.  I loved school from first grade through college
  2. got to see all my friends after a summer away
  3. played softball and field hockey
  4. fell in love for the first time in high school
  5. started my first job post-college
  6. planned my wedding and scouted venues
  7. dress Max (our pug) in costumes
  8. got our lab, Koa
  9. found out I was pregnant with Miles
  10. started blogging for 5andwhine
  11. became a working mom
  12. get ready for the holidays with all of my loved ones

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A party for a cause! (a little feels too)

Last year in July Myself, my fiance, and our once roommate Jeff hosted a birthday party for the 3 of us.  Our birthdays are about 2 weeks apart and we thought it was a good way to see all of our friends- maybe even justify some travel for a few.  Jeff has a great amount of friends from out of state who all agreed to come.  Because of their travel commitment we wanted to make it an extra special party and decided to host our very first seafood boil!  It was the most fun!  There was only one thing missing…

Just days before the party 5andwhine Meagan‘s grandfather – Paul Snyder (also goes by “Red“) passed away from his long 4 year battle with ALS – Lou Gehrigs Disease.  Instead of partying all through the night Meagan was off to send her dear sweet grandfather off on his next journey.  “Paw-Paw” was the sweetest and kindest man.  Our entire hometown knew him it feels.  Meagan’s family has always had a way of making me feel like a part of theirs- even her grandparents.  I had worked some awesome fundraisers with him – and he never let me forget how great he thought I was.

Not quite a year later our best friend Niki (who lives here in Pittsburgh) lost her father to this same damned disease and with not nearly the notice as his disease progressed quickly.  Although I was just a bit too late on my transition to Pittsburgh in time to meet him – people talk about George Wolford like he was the man, the father, the husband, and the friend of your dreams.  A man through and through- he could build, fix, fish, and party.

This disease has quickly and cruelly taken the patriarchs of my best friends families.  Because of this- it has taken pieces of our hearts that we fight to full-fill each year by raising money for the ALS foundation of Western PA.    We stormed through our fundraising goal of $2, 000 and proudly raised $7, 45o dollars last year!  We want to the world to know how angry we are- and how sad we are, and that if in ANY way we can help another family we will do our best to help.

So this year I dedicated the new annual seafood boil party to our team goal.  We hosted a Seafood Boil for a cause!  We had the same concept of the year before but asked our friends for a suggested donation of $10.00- or whatever they could afford to contribute!  Here are a few photos from our amazing evening (and YAY!  Carolyn made it from all the way across the state!)

 

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The Walk to Defeat ALS is in Pittsburgh on Saturday, August 22, at Point State Park at 10 a.m. Our team, Paul Snyder and The Wolford Warriors, is walking in memory of George B. Wolford (who passed away on November 11, 2014), and Paul (Red) Snyder (who passed away in June 17, 2014). It’s a tremendous honor to recognize these two men on this day, and we ask that you join our team, and consider making a donation to fund research, advocacy, and programs for those in pain.

Last year with support of our friends and family we grew a walk team of 50+ and fund raised $7, 450.00 ! This year it is our goal to surpass this with 55 walkers on a goal of $8,000.00 !

You can join our team and donate online
http://webwpawv.alsa.org/goto/snyderandwolford

Or donate via direct mail by writing a check out to The ALS Association and mailing it to :
ALS Assoc- Western PA Chapter
ATTN: Kristi Marsili
416 Lincoln Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15029

We hope that you will join us to celebrate George Wolford and Paul (Red) Snyder, and help us fight this painful disease.

Sincerely,
George and Paul’s Family and Friends

 

***Please note our $600 raised at the party has not yet been deposited into the team site! 

BUSY !

Today I couldn’t stop thinking about how BUSY I am.  How STRESSFUL it is.  I have celebrations for my friends all over the calendar – new jobs, new babies, new houses, another birthday, another baby, a visit to family, or family is visiting, a wedding to plan, a dog to keep after.  The list goes on and on and on.  The thought of a blog post- just another thing to do.

When skimming through pinterest to find an easy meme to post I was reminded how lucky I am to have so much to keep me busy.

I am surrounded by more friends and family than I can keep up with!  I have a home that needs cleaned, and money to pay the bills!  Although the list is long and growing – today I will instead remember that it could be worse.  It could be that I have none of these things.

 

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Here’s to a new week, with more celebrations!

3 New York Finds!

This past weekend Rachel (of 5andwhine) and our bestie Niki decided to take a trip to the Big Apple!  We had so much fun having the ultimate girls weekend. Of course we had planned lined up from dancing to eating and shopping. I really miss livin in LA and having the big city accessibility to get practically anything I want at my doorstep. Now that we are east coasters again we can have that same experience again well minus the driving 6 hours to get there. Here were my top three favorite things we did over the weekend. These were placed I never got to see/do.

1. Chicago on Broadway- I have a soft spot in my heart for any musical. In high school I participated in all the shows. Jennifer Neetles was an amazing Roxie!

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2. BirchBox in Soho – The ever popular gift subscription brought to life in their brick and mortar location.  Set in between the narrow yet beautiful streets of Soho.  We got to build our own BirchBox for 15 bucks!! I have yet to try all of the products so check back for an update later.  I would highly recommend strolling through here on your next trip.

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3.  Last but not least hanging with my girls!  We so rarely get to take these girls trips to reconnect with one another. I was away for so long and although now I miss my friends on the west coast badly it feels good to be home.  This pic is from Chicago.

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an Ode to our Old friend

We are just days from Katie Midgett’s very first baby shower. It is major life events like this that make for times of reminders and reflection.  This week the girls of 5&Whine wish to dedicate our posts to our dear friend.  We want not one day to celebrate- but an entire week of showering Katie and Baby with love that is 15 plus years in the making:

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I have always felt that Katie has carried the torch for our group of friends in different ways. I remember giving a small toast at her bridal shower, and acknowledging Katie as the wise one, and one who will always be there to advise the rest of us through big life changes. See Katie has often times conquered many feats ‘first’. First bride, First puppy adopter, First home owner, First to tackle major home renos, and more I am sure I am not remembering. Although she is not the first mother in our small circle, she of course will still be yet another voice to guide the rest of us through an unknown process or journey. Thinking back on all of those ‘first’ brings me all the way back to – – get ready for this 1997! I can not believe how long I have known these ladies!

Katie is my golden ticket. I always look up to her and I am grateful for her friendship. With out Katie I would have never gotten to know this beautiful group of girls I call my best friends. We met in 6th grade- we are nearing our 20 year mark as friends! Her father was my teacher at the time. I would say I – my character, my decision making- was a little rough around the edges at this time. My family was not well off and it was the year my father passed. The combination of financial stress and emotional distress was hard for me as I was trying to fit in at school. Katie saw me as a friend, and Katie’s entire family treated me like one of their own. I would go over for dinner often. We would play (I have no idea what we would do to be honest) in kitties living room. Her parents would give me guidance on smart moves for college, etc. It was a warm home and escape from the sadness that draped my families’ house in hard times. It was a taste of life I had not known. All awhile with a friend to giggle with each day in school and out (Katie is a hoot – she’s incredibly funny, but has a demeanor that makes most of what she says feel unexpected).

As years went on we traveled as a pack, the five of us. To panera bread lunch dates, park city shopping mall, and into college parties where we have seen each other at our most foolish moments. Oh the pictures we wish we could un-take. The boyfriends we saw each other through. The outfits we critiqued for each other in order to be the cool girls. It really makes me smile as I write and imagine.

I am so lucky to have met Katie when I did. She has always been years beyond her age. She is a successful woman. She is one of those people who seem to be able to get it all done in a flawless fashion. Taking on motherhood will be so natural for her, and all of us have said so for years.  Time and states have been put between since the days of middle school, but our friendship has never disconnected.

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So today my post is for Katie. Here is to you mama… the bold and beautiful, ever so capable, role model for women! Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for accepting me for being the exact opposite! Thank you for the snippets of advice laced along the years. With out our early connection, I do not believe I would know the life I do now. I love you and your growing family so dearly and always will. I can not wait to meet Baby girl M and see every bit of beautiful women in her as I do in you.

My 2014 Review!

As 2014 comes to a close I thought I would recap my highlights from this past year.  It has been a whirlwind to say the least and it’s true that as you get older the years go faster!  We literally squeezed as much as we could into this past year.  This year was filled with so many wonderful memories and a few heart aches as well (which included losing my Papa and our girlfriends father to ALS).  There were so many fun events to attend, craft beers to drink, DIY projects to attempt/conquer, and did I mention we got married and bought a house this year!

 If there was something that I really took away from 2014 it would have to be self-refelection.  I found myself getting upset about day-to-day things that were going wrong in my professional or personal life.  It really helped me to bring things into perspective and accept things for what they are.  We are the ones that determine our futures and if you want to change something you have to go out there and “grab the bull by the horns”, so to speak!

2014 was also an eye opener into the blogging process.  It has been a fairly easy road thus far and we have all contributed our fair share of thoughts and ideas.  Working with these four other women to create something to share with the rest of the world has really been a truly fulfilling part of my life.  It has helped us to stay connected in other ways then a quick text here or there and I love knowing what they are up to on a day to day basis.  I am so excited to share with you what we have in store for 2015!

My calendar is already filling up with dates and events for 2015.  I am most looking forward to being an “auntie” times two.  I am so excited to be a part of these little kiddos lives.  We are also planning out our summer trip and I am slowly/hopefully planning a trip to California to visit friends for a few days.  This will all be between running here and there and hosting a few holiday parties in between.  We are also hoping over the colder months to paint a few of the rooms in the house, and fingers crossed I will get my dressing room/office space functional.  I want to also continue working on my mental health and well being.  I am looking into a few gym options for the upcoming year (as I do this each year).  Life is too short to fill our days with so many stress’ so take a deep breath and lets make the most of 2015!