Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day in History

There are not many days you wake up knowing it is a day that will forever be remembered in history. There are not many days you wake up knowing you will remember where you were and what you were doing on that day. Today is a day we will be able to tell future generations with pride how we were part of history. I am in awe of this day.

I remember the first time I saw Barack Obama on Oprah talking about his book "The Audacity of Hope" back before he had ever announced his plan to run for president. (Although Oprah did say she hoped he would.) I remember telling my mom about the man I had seen and how I hoped he would run for President because there was something about him that struck a chord in me the first time I saw him. I remember having conversations with my best friend when Barack Obama first announced his run and I remember her telling me she thought she would vote for Hillary because she simply did not believe Obama could win. I remember being surprised that my democratic, african american best friend of 10 years would feel that way, but I also remember thinking that I've never walked in her shoes. (She did eventually come around.) I remember how excited I was, for the first time in my life, to go vote. Not for the lesser of two evils, but for someone I truly believed in. I remember watching the election results with my parents and my in-laws the night before we got in the car to move to Florida. I will never forget the way I felt when he won.

Today is a day of mixed feelings. In a few hours Barack Obama will be sworn in as our 44th President and I'm not sure I can put into words how happy I am. I did not vote for Barack Obama because he was black, but I'm really glad he is. I believe that Obama is who he appears and that he will inspire change in this country. I believe Barack Obama is going to be a great president. But I am also incredibly disappointed today. I am disappointed to have lived almost my entire life 30 minutes outside of Washington DC, and now, can not be there to celebrete and be part of history. I would love to be able to say "I was there".

Jimmy is going to be coming home from work early to watch history with me. I wish I was there, but mostly I am grateful this day is finally here. I am grateful that this day is happening in my lifetime. I am so happy for our African American citizens because I know what this day means to them. And I am happy for America because I know what this day means to us. I am in awe of this day.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

First Post of 2009!

Happy New Year everyone!   And Happy Birthday to Jimmy!  

We're having a quiet day around the house, but amazingly, because of how hard it was to get drinks at the bar last night, we're not hungover.  Tomorrow I'll be taking Jimmy to Orlando for his surprise birthday event.  Hopefully I'll get some good pictures to share.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Post of 2008!

This last month has been busy as Decembers always are, but in a very different way as years past.  As I had mentioned my parents were able to come down the beginning of the month and we had a great visit.  My dad was only able to join us for a few days, but it was nice being able to spend his birthday with him, and he enjoyed the bar crawl he did with Jimmy.  One of my favorite parts of their trip was when we walked down the beach to the pier on my dad's birthday.  We lucked out as were able to see a dolphin, 2 sea turtles and a submarine going out.  All were firsts for me since we moved here and I was really happy I got to share those moments with my parents.  And as an added bonus, as we were standing on the pier, we got the phone call that my good friend Missy, who is like a little sister to me, had gone into labor!  My dad was pretty happy that Baby Miles decided to share his birthday.  After he headed back to MD, it was just my mom and I while Jimmy was at work, and we spent most of the rest of our visit talking on the beach and hanging out on our balcony enjoying the view.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from their visit:

Dad enjoying the birthday dinner I made him.

Playing cards with my parents.

One of the stops on the bar crawl we did.  (Mom and I didn't last that long since we'd already been drinking for almost 5 hours when it started.)

On the beach on Dad's b-day.

The submarine we saw go out.

One of the sea turtles we saw.

Awww!  Aren't they cute?

I was not prepared for how hard it was going to be when they left.  I think that because I had SO much going on right before we moved that I just really didn't have the chance to completely absorb the fact that I was no longer going to have them right down the street.   I am trying to stay focused on the good part, which is that I do get to spend really great quality time with them when they are here since I no longer take it for granted.

Not to long after they left, Jimmy and I decided we would not be able to go back to Maryland for the inauguration and instead would go home for Christmas and surprise our parents.  Why we decide that is a long story I won't bore you with.  My Uncle Bill picked us up from the airport Christmas morning and drove us to my parents house.  My uncle parked behind some large bushes in front of their house and we jumped out and hid behind the house while my uncle went into tell my mom he had brought her something he needed help getting out of the truck.  I wish I had a picture of my mom when she came out in her bathrobe and slippers!  I also wish I could remember exactly what she said when she saw us, but I do know she cursed at us before she started to cry.  Too funny!  Unfortunately my dad wasn't home for the initial surprise, but we did get him by jumping out from the kitchen yelling "Merry Christmas" when he did get home.

From there we had to drive to Frederick to surprise Jimmy's parents who were celebrating Christmas at his sister Lauren's house.  Our plan didn't work out exactly as planned, but when Lauren opened the door we jumped in yelling "Merry Christmas".  Jimmy's mom cried too.  I think everyone liked our surprise.

We spent the rest of our trip catching up with and having a blast with our friends and family.  The only problem with going home for the holidays is that other people are traveling too, so we weren't able to see everyone we would have liked to.  I ended up with way more pictures I love than I could possible post here, but here are a few.  

Jimmy's mom with her babies

Out to lunch for Mom's birthday

Out watching the Raven's game with some of our favorite people

What a year 2008 has been!  I can hardly believe it's over or how different my life was at this exact time last year when I was headed to work at Flip's to work New Year's Eve.  I hope everyone has a very safe and happy New Year and hope you will stay tuned to see what 2009 will bring!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from sunny Florida!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Endeavor Rides Back to FL!

I'm going to go a little out of order because my plan was for my next post to be about my Mom & Dad's visit this past week, but since that's going to take more time than I have right now, I'm going to just go ahead and post these now.

For those of you who live outside Florida and don't get the minute by minute updates on all things NASA like we do here and/or live under a rock, the space shuttle Endeavor landed in California on December 1st.  The first choice is always to land the shuttle back here in Florida, but like this time, that can't always happen.  Amazingly the same shuttle 
which takes our astronauts to space is not capable of flying back to Florida on it's own, so instead NASA has to pay $1.8 million dollars to strap it on the back of a 747 and fly it back here.  

These are the pictures I took about an hour ago from the beach in front of my house watching the Endeavor "ride" back home.

It really is amazing what a huge deal the space program is, especially to the people down here.  I was very surprised how many people, of all ages, were down on the beach in the middle of a work day to watch it come back.  And I am also amazed by how cool it really is to live here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Day

Well it was definitely an untraditional Thanksgiving for us this year.  For starters it was our first big holiday ever without our families, and honestly being here alone was a little sad.  But it was also fun because it made this move seem like a bit more of an adventure.

I started off the morning watching the sunrise, which amazingly I do most mornings these days. I'm hoping to get a nicer camera and maybe take some photography classes after I have a job, because these pictures just don't do it justice.

We headed down to Cocoa Beach for their annual Turkey Trot just after 7 am.  I know, it's hard for me to believe I watch sunrises and leave the house at 7 am by choice too!  After having such a blast cheering on Shelby at the DC Marathon last month with my girlfriends, I had high expectations, and so the Turkey Trot 
was a bit of a let down.  Only a few people dressed up, and maybe 
half a dozen carried turkeys, but Jimmy is talking about running it 
next year, so maybe that will add to the excitement.  There were some pretty interesting turkey carrying strategies:

From the race we walked over to one of our favorite new restaurants, a little Cuban place called Roberto's and had breakfast.  We realized it was the first time either of us had ever been out to eat for any meal on Thanksgiving.

After sharing a half pitcher of sangria we headed home to watch the Macy's Day Parade and enjoy a sangria inspired siesta.  I'm pretty sure the pilgrims would have been proud!  I then got to work preparing our Thanksgiving Day feast.  From here our day got even more untraditional.  I realized my turkey was absorbing a lot of juice and had already sucked up 2 cans of chicken broth.  To be safe, Jimmy and I decided to run out to the store to pick up another can.  We got in the elevator, the doors closed, and I pushed the button for the 1st floor.  Only nothing happened.  After pushing the door open button several times, and every other button for that matter, we finally had to push the "call for help" button.  Fortunately that one did work.  We were told help was on the way and proceeded to wait...and wait.  We were able to get the attention of one of our neighbors who was kind enough to offer to wait on the other side of the door with us.  I told him we were fine, but did ask that he check back with us in 30 minutes so I could have him break into the house to baste my turkey if we were still trapped.   He was very sweet and kept checking back with us, letting us know he had called and was giving us updates on how much longer we had to wait.  And after 40 minutes we were finally freed.  I was a little disappointed we were not rescued by the fire department because I thought having a picture of us with a firefighter would be really cool for the blog, but instead have this picture of us with our maintenance man.

After being cooped up in the elevator, we finally got our turkey basted and headed down to the beach.  It was a little chilly with the wind blowing, but still very cool the weather was nice enough for us to be hanging out on the beach.

And finally it was time to eat.  I wasn't willing to miss out on any of our favorites, so we ended up with a ridiculous amount of food for 2 people.    And thankfully, according to Jimmy, his mom's 
stuffing recipe came out just like she makes it.

The thing I probably missed the most was our annual post-Thanksgiving party with our friends.  We did head down the street to one of the bars at the port and had a good time, but it just wasn't the same.  By next year we should have some new friends and hopefully we can resume our party tradition.  But for now, we are extremely thankful that our wish to move and start a new adventure together came together this year!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Late Birthday Update

Well I'm late posting this, but I was hoping I would have some of the pictures from last weekend to post (hint, hint Mike, I'm still waiting).  My birthday was fantastic!  Lydia and Mike flew down on Thursday night and we met up with Mike's brother Matt, and Matt's wife Kelly for lunch on Friday.  Later on we watched the launch preparations on tv and headed down to the beach with our cooler of drinks and champagne about 45 minutes before the launch.  It was truly one of the coolest things I've ever seen!  The beach in front of our house is about 15 miles from the launch site, but we could easily tell where it was because of how bright the sky was from the launch 
pad being illuminated.  We kept watching in that direction, and right on time (7:55) the entire sky lit up like it was daylight.  About 10 seconds later a huge fireball came up over the buildings and we watched as it went up in the sky, leaving an incredible cloud of smoke in its wake. Because of our distance we could never see the outline of the shuttle, it only ever looked like a fireball, but it gave me chills to watch it.  The sky was clear and beautiful and we were able to see it for a long time, until it looked like a tiny star in the sky and then disappeared.  It was so amazing to be looking up at the sky knowing you were watching people travel to space.  I've seen launches before on tv, but it is nothing like standing watching it.  The only disappointing thing was that we never heard or felt it.  According to some of Jimmy's co-workers at KSC, it is really unusual not to be able to hear or feel it and they suspected it had to do with the direction of the wind.  Even still, how cool is it to say the last night launch of the shuttle happened on your birthday, right after you move down, and you're able to watch it from your backyard???   We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out and consuming to many alcoholic beverages, but we had a great time!  

Hopefully I can come back and add some pictures we took over the weekend, but for the time 
being these are a couple I snagged from NASA's website.

This one actually looks pretty similar to what we saw only from further away.

And this one give you a good idea of how beautiful the moon was that night.

Jimmy is planning to get us on center to watch the next launch, so hopefully this is what we'll actually see the next time.

"I think we're going to the moon because it's in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It's by the nature of his deep inner soul... we're required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream."  ~Neil Armstrong