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The face of a happy man.

18 Mar


That’s my adorable husband celebrating at the Pittsburgh hofbrauhaus. We closed on our house today.

And now we own two houses. But not really by choice. But that’s ok.

We move in Sunday afternoon and our movers come Monday. The boys also start school Monday. So we’re celebrating with German food and an early bedtime. Life is good.


charleston for a day.

26 Feb

visiting charleston has been on our SC bucket list for a while now, so yesterday we surprised the kids by taking them out of school and heading down to will’s old stomping grounds for the day.

it completely poured the entire trip down and the entire morning.  but no worries, thanks to our handy Droids.  we spent the morning at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry.  what a great place!!!  it’s much more hands-on, creative play than EdVenture here in Columbia.  the kids painted pictures in the art room, ran through a room that looked like a medieval castle, played for an hour in the water room and on and on and on.  check it out:


i’m serious–it was crazy awesome.  no loud music, no TVs screaming at you, no flashy stuff–we will absolutely go back there next time we visit charleston this summer (BEACH WEEK, BABY!).


we decided on hominy grill for lunch, which is our favorite restaurant in charleston.  allow me to gloat and tell you the deliciousness we ate:  she crab soup with sherry, okra & shrimp beignets with salsa & cilantro-lime sour cream, fried green tomato blt w/ ancho chile lime mayonnaise, southern fried chicken breast with country ham gravy, collard greens cooked to perfection, and biscuits.  oh hominy, how i love thee.  i know charleston is a food mecca, but i just can’t tear myself away long enough to experiment with new restaurants.


after lunch, we headed down by the waterfront and took a nice long walk around battery park.  if you’ve never been to charleston, it’s lined with houses like these:



the kids loved running loose around such a beautiful park, climbing on old cannons and cannonballs, statues, monuments, etc.  it’s one of my very favorite places on earth.  i’m not kidding.  i took a bunch of pictures, which you can see in the slideshow below.

finally, we headed over to the citadel, will’s alma mater.  we dropped some cash in the gift shop (gotta represent up north!!) and walked around campus for a bit.  the cadets put on a parade every friday afternoon and i’ve waited a long time to make the time to go to one (other than on homecoming weekend, when it’s super crowded).  we’d love it if the boys went to the citadel, but we’ll know for sure in 10 years, i guess.

gotta run!  enjoy the slideshow (there’s about 20 pics)!!

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fun date night.

1 Feb

Will and I figured out a few years ago that we’re not the “dinner and a movie” kind of couple.  While we enjoy a good movie, we’d rather DO something.  That’s how Will started me on kayaking.  A few summers ago, we scheduled a babysitter to come every Wednesday evening.  As soon as Will would pull up in the driveway, he’d say hi and kiss the kids.  I’d load the boats and gear in the back of his truck and we’d take off.  We’d sometimes get to spend 1 1/2 to 2 glorious hours on the Saluda River.











We had the BEST talks on those trips.  That’s where our Costa Rica adventure was born.  That’s where our Vermont trip was born.  And that’s where our future 2 month family backpacking trip in Northern Europe was born.


But since it’s a little chilly outside and I don’t have cold weather paddling gear, we opted for a tamer, but still fun, date night last Saturday.  We met my friend Gwen and her husband Mario at Stronghold Gym for a little rock climbing.  Will and I have been several times and it’s one of our favorite date nights.  Gwen and Mario had never been.


So.  Much.  Fun.


Gwen and Mario went on a Wing Odyssey after climbing and we joined them for Round One.  We cut our odyssey short and went straight for the best wings in town–Publick House.



And then we were asleep by 9:30.  Yes, we’re old.


12 Jan

I have absolutely nothing to blame on this insanity.  Will loves a good Polar Bear Club.  That is it.

It’s been quite cold here (for SC anyway) over the last week.  We got 4″ of snow on Sunday night/Monday and the temps haven’t gotten out of the 30s yet.  (And the kids are now home for the third day in a row.)  Will texted his buddies, seeing if anyone wanted to jump in the pool.  Nothing.

Until last night @ 5:30, I was on the phone with one of my closest friends, Jeannie.  Her husband Kelly was up for it.

He really was.

So, I called Allison and Leighton and Uncle Chris.  At 7:00 it was on.  And it was no more than 30* outside, 40* water temp.

I don’t know what came over me,  but I suddenly had the urge, for the first time ever, to jump too.  And somehow I managed to talk Jeannie and Allison into doing it with me.  Uncle Chris was having none of it and agreed to be the videographer.  We went first because if we waited any longer, we knew we’d bail.

You can’t see much in the videos, which is probably a good thing.  But turn the sound up a little and you’ll be very entertained.  (We actually jump around the 1:45 mark, if you don’t want to listen to the pre-jump party.)

The guys were much more carefree, let’s just say that.

No one’s heart stopped.  No one sank to the bottom of the pool.  And  I’m happy to report I can check that off of my life list.

snow day!

10 Jan

so in case you haven’t heard, it snowed in columbia.  like really snowed.  i think columbians are starting to get bored of the white stuff b/c yet again, there were not that many people out and playing in it.

and they missed a good time.

we. were. ready. for. it.  we have stocked up on snow pants, thermals, and REAL SNOW BOOTS (for pittsburgh).  will’s best buddy, whom we have always called uncle chris, gave the kids a suh-weet toboggan for christmas.  he made it very clear that the gift did not come with our health insurance co-pay for any injuries acquired.  it’s similar to this one, but slightly awesomer.

we were enjoying a nice, leisurely morning and i asked the kids if they wanted to play in the snow?

nah, not right now, mom.

are you sure?


william and i made eye contact and we both screamed at the same time, “THE TOBOGGANNNNNN!!!!!!”

20 minutes later (we’re still getting used to this snow dressing thing), we were all outside.  the boys were dragging each other around the yard in the toboggan.  then they all piled in and that’s when the real fun began.

I was perfectly content going down the nice, gentle hill.  Not Will.  So we set off in search of the “big hill” in the neighborhood.  We brought along Maggie and I think she has a love/hate relationship with the snow.  There were lots of our friends and neighbors there and Will’s dad watched from his window.  He likes neither wet, nor cold.

This is my husband not killing himself.

Kay Jewelry Moment

7 Jan

Last Christmas (2009) Will and I were sitting on the couch, ready to exchange Christmas gifts.  We were headed up to the mountains with my family, so we decided to exchange ahead of time.  The kids were in bed.  The bags were packed.  The fire was going.  I was ready for my “Kay Jewelry moment.”  You know, the cheesy commercials on tv??  No?  Well, here…

There, now isn’t that romantic???  Well, Will opens the gifts I carefully selected and he loved them.  My turn.  He hands me one small box, wrapped beautifully and I get all gooey, excited about it being my turn.  I open slowly….slowly….slowly…to reveal…a phone.  A Droid, to be exact.  Definitely not the Kay Jewelers moment I had prepared myself for.  And then he pulled out another Droid from underneath the cushion.  Matching Droids.  So romantic!!!

Needless to say, I’m still waiting for my Kay Jewelry moment.  But Will knows I don’t want anything from Kay Jewelry.  And I’m not pining away for anything in particular.  It’s the moment.

So, anyway, I loooooooooove my Droid.  I really do.  Except I HATE the camera on it.  It’s horrible.  Everyone else in my family has an iPhone, which is great, but in my opinion, the only place it has the Droid beat is in the camera.  So I don’t take THAT many pics on it b/c they’re terrible.  BUT!  I uploaded them the other day when I had to use the computer to charge my phone.  I thought I would post a few of my favorites.  Enjoy!


favorite things 2010: GETTING IN SHAPE!

30 Dec

Will and I got serious about getting in REAL shape this year and I have to say, I’m pretty proud of us!  Will joined Gold’s Gym in the fall of 2009 and he has been working out like a machine.  I decided that I was going to run a half-marathon before I turned 31.  I trained for about 16 weeks using this plan.  It was by far the hardest I’ve ever worked to attain a goal.  But on February 27, I DID IT!

I ran the inaugural Columbia Half-Marathon and finished in 2 hours, 13 minutes.  Not bad for a first timer!  My sweet brother and his girlfriend Lindsay surprised me at the finish line, along with my precious friends Jeannie and Allison.  But when I saw the Will and the kids, I completely lost it and started bawling.  Who does that after running for 2 hours?????


After a few other races this year, Will and I ran the Marine Corps Mud Run.  It’s the largest mud run in the country, over 4.5 miles and 32 obstacles and 10,000 people worked together in teams of 4.  We ran it with our friends Hoyt and Sarah.  Hoyt had previously run the race, but it was the first time for the rest of us.  Just to give you an idea of the intensity, watch this short video.



This is what we looked like AFTER the race.

It was SO MUCH FUN!!!  The race was definitely not for people who are afraid of heights, dirt or Marines yelling at you.  But we did it!


I took a break from running in the summer and have been going to KORE Wellness since then.  If you are looking for a place to SERIOUSLY get in shape in Columbia, this is it.  Elise offers several classes, but I’ve been doing the kettlebell training.  For the first time in my life, I’m enjoying weight training.  It’s sorta like cardio and weights mixed in one 30 minute workout…a workout that burns 600 calories!  Honestly, it’s like personal training in a group setting, usually 4 or 5 people.  Elise gives one-on-one instruction and makes sure your mechanics are right.  After 5 solid months of doing kettlebells, I can’t believe how much more toned and how much stronger I am!  I love it!  I love it so much, in fact, that Elise is going to help me set up a home kettlebell gym and I’ll follow the workouts online in Pittsburgh, doing them at home.  It’s like e-training, I guess.


So it’s definitely been a great year for us physically!  Here’s to 2011!


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