Around the World: Paris, France

My trip to London and Paris was absolutely amazing! Paris was just mind-blowing! The food was amazing, the sites were amazing, the people were…great. lol. I don’t speak French, so I don’t really know if they are amazing, but everyone was so friendly and happy and awesome. I definitely want to come back, probably in the spring or summertime so I can catch the flowers and the gardens of Versailles. But in the meantime, let me give you some pictures to hold you over!

 

 

Life Definitions: We’re Getting an Event Planner!

Black and White CakeYesterday, my cousin and I went to see an event planner to discuss her possibly helping us coordinate my mom’s birthday party. She had some really great ideas right off the bat and she helped my cousin during her wedding (so I already had some great recommendations about her).

I really liked her point of view about certain things and it would be fantastic if I could have someone else be in charge of most of what this party will entail. I really just want to sign the checks and be done with it. Seriously!

She works with brides, mostly, but has done regular event planning as well. Her website: mybridalbudget.com has a lot of information about her past events as well as photos. She also had them available for our free consultation.

I realize I will have to be involved, but after talking it over with my sister and cousin last night, we’ve decided to go with her, which hopefully will minimize the workload. I hope she can deliver all she’s promised!

Life Definitions: My Mother’s Surprise Party

Black and White CakeIf it’s not one thing, it’s another. Now that my cousin’s wedding is over and she has settled into her new life, I can focus on my mother’s 50th birthday party.

When she turned 45, she let be known that she was expecting a surprise 50th birthday party. I laughed her off, but I knew I would do it for her. My mother is A LOT  of things, but I can’t think of anyone else who deserves this more than her.

We are going to go hard or go home on this one people. I’m talking about formal invitations, catering and speeches and playing dress up. It’s going to be epic. And since I can’t talk about this with my mother, I’ll talk about it with you!

Cheers!

Life Definitions: Health and Happiness

My dad and I when I was 6

My dad is not okay. I didn’t realize it would hit home as hard as it has. He’s in the hospital, sick. With what? I don’t know. I have no one to contact to ask these things to. My mom left for Haiti this morning and I’m sitting on pins and needles, waiting for her to call and tell me what’s going on.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’m so sick and tired of people getting sick and dying around me. I am ill-equipped for all of this. I’ve lost my grandparents and now my dad, who’s no spring chicken, is so badly ill that he had to go to the hospital? I have never gotten a message about him being sick before. And I don’t know whether that’s been because they didn’t know how to contact me (highly unlikely) or because it was never serious enough to call me.

I just want to be reassured. That is all I’m asking for. I just want to know what’s going on so I can plan according…

Around the World: Miami Beach, Florida

It started out better than perfect. I got a ride to the airport and arrived super early. I discovered that my flight was delayed by half an hour, but Cely was there and we went to grab something to eat. Eli and Frankie showed up soon afterward and we headed over to board the plane. Lo and behold, I see some girls I went to high school with and spent the wait chatting about life in general.

We get on the plane and managed to get seats next to each other (which is amazing since the plane was packed!). I end up sitting next to this really interesting guy and spent the trip having deep conversations about which celebrity is hotter and Sudoku. Continue reading

Life Definitions: She Finally Got Married!

So, I posted the wedding speech that I wrote, but never got to read, last week. My cousin, my best friend, my much, much better half, finally got married last week Monday. Not even a natural disaster could prevent it from happening.

And I have to say, it was beautiful. The church was gorgeous and the reception ended up being an intimate sit down dinner by candle light. But that is not the way it began… Continue reading

Life Definitions: The Wedding Speech that Never Was

Hope strengthens.

Cake Cutting
Cake Cutting

What can I say, today of all days? Martine, you are now Mrs. Stefanovic. The tall, lanky girl who I’ve known since I was two years old has grown up into a beautiful woman, starting a new chapter in her life. Finally going somewhere that I cannot follow. I want to say, “stop, don’t go, stay here with me where you belong.” But as I stand here and look at you and your husband, I realize you are
exactly where you belong.

Is this not what we dreamed about? Played Barbie, pretending that we were the ones in pretty white dresses, marrying our Ken?

And Nick, I can’t remember a time as an adult that I didn’t know you; that you were not a part of my life. I’ve always felt that you were family, and now we’re related by marriage, and it’s so, so awesome! I feel like at this point I should insert a warning to treat her like the Queen she deserves to be treated as, but you do that already.

So, because I’m going to need a drink if I’m ever going to let you take Martine away from me, I would like everyone to raise their glass to Martine and Nick. I love you both so very much. Have a wonderful life together.

Life Definitions: Earthquakes

I don’t know if this is a brand new topic or just a continuation of a previous blog about Haiti’s earthquake. I was devastated to hear what happened to my country over a year ago. I was worried about not hearing from my dad, about my dying grandmother having to live through that kind of terror. But all my worries and fears faded.

And then New York gets hit with an earthquake, a tremor, if we want to be honest. Lasted the whole of five minutes and then everyone went back to work. Continue reading

Book Report: Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Waterfall (River of Time #1)Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lisa Tawn Bergren’s new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn’t have to fear a vampire’s bite but must still fight for her life.

In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-Century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds… until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another. Continue reading

Life Definitions: Time

There is never enough time. No time to enjoy being a kid, no time to enjoy college, no time to say goodbye properly to your loved ones.

Never enough time to grieve…

I have come up with so many euphemisms to avoid saying that word: DEAD

There is no warmth in that word, no hope…it is so much more than just a four letter word…it is the end of a life that meant many things to many people. It is the reminder that nothing in this world is certain, except for it.

It amazes me that we don’t capitalize it. There’s God and there’s Death. Some might believe one is just a part of the other…and I get that, I do. But on those days when He places his death mask on and does the rounds, I can’t help but wonder where my loved ones fall on his To Do list.

And these thoughts make me so sad…

My grandparents are dead. It feels like it will never get any easier to say that.