Christmas is in the air!

This will be our first Christmas together as a married couple. We have started to decorate the apartment with the things that Dave's mother made us and our Advent wreath. I would like start some of our own traditions as well as maintain some of the traditions that I have had with my family.

One of the new traditions I would like to start is having a Cookie Exchange with friends to celebrate the Christmas season. I've hand made a few invitations for friends and extended invitations via Facebook. Here's hoping others are as excited as I am.

A tradition I have chosen to continue is lighting the Advent Wreath each week. This week, we lit the first candle this week and enjoyed our dinner together on Sunday night. As a kid, my mom used to have an Advent wreath on the kitchen table. When we said Grace before our meal, we would say a small prayer and light each candle. At one point, we had a chocolate Advent calendar but, that didn't seem to stick. I like the Advent wreath!

Here are some prayers for those that celebrate:

First couple of months...

The first couple of months of marriage have been kind of a fog.

Q. Is married life different?
A. No, not really.

Yet, somehow I get surprised when I look down at my left hand and my wedding band is there. I get a big smile on my face and I'm super excited that I married my wonderful hubby.

We have been ironing out some of those day to day questions that we never thought would need to be discussed.

While not much has changed, I love being married, our day to day conversations, and our daily routine.

And We're Back

Thanksgiving was great. We made it back home in record time, after a fun weekend filled with shopping, food, Christmas decorations, more food, birthday celebrations and yes, more food! But all of it was good. Mom and Dad managed to serve some great dinners and we even went out to lunch.

Now it's back to the daily routine. Just got back from a court I never visited before. Interesting trip, but good to be back home!

Thanksgiving, Part 2

So today is my family's Thanksgiving celebration, since we traded off and spent most of yesterday with the wife's family. On the list of things to do? Some minor "Black Friday" shopping (I think Mom and the Girl are off to a specialty store, so it shouldn't be too bad), lots of cooking, and snacking on brownies (one of the random treats I get whenever I come home). Maybe we'll even start up the Christmas music again this year. My father tends to begin holiday tunes after Thanksgiving, so perhaps we'll hear a little Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole sometime today.

We'll see how the rest of the day plays out. So far, it looks to be a good old-fashioned, (sort-of) Southern Thanksgiving!

Our First Married Thanksgiving

This is our first Thanksgiving as a married couple. Last year, we spent Thanksgiving with the hubby's family so, this year we spent Thanksgiving with my family. It was fun seeing our little cousin crawling and enjoying her first Thanksgiving. After dinner with the family, the hubby and I headed to Maryland to have Thanksgiving Part 2 with his family. We made it in just THREE HOURS from the Outerbridge! WOOHOO!

I hope you all had a wonderful day with your family and friends! Happy Thanksgiving!

November - Give Thanks!

I chose this image from google images because it was included in our staff bulletin today.

I am grateful for the weekend. I am grateful for my job but, I am also grateful for time to rest and relax. This is the first weekend in quite awhile that the hubby and I don't have any obligations. I'm not sure what we will do but, hopefully we will take a day trip somewhere on Saturday. Right now, I am just relaxing and enjoying down time without having to do any planning for work. I hope that I continue to appreciate my job as we draw closer to the holidays.

Bible Verses of Thanks

Thanksgiving is not just a holiday for parades and turkeys. It is a day to stop and take inventory on all the blessings God has bestowed on you this year. It is a time to get together with your family and your friends, and it is a time to get together with God.

Many will remember to say grace over their holiday meal. Many will even list things that they are grateful for. But we must also remember WHO we are thankful to. Don't just say you are "grateful for", say you are "grateful to God for".

Scripture Verses of Thanksgiving in the Old Testament

1 Chronicles 16:8
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:35
Cry out, "Save us, O God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise."

1 Chronicles 29:13
Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.

Daniel 2:23
"I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king."

Jonah 2:9
But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD."

Thanksgiving Verses in the Book of Psalm

Psalms of Thanksgiving (NIV)

Psalm 7:17
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Psalm 30:12
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Psalm 35:18
I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you.

Psalm 75:1
We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 95:2
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Psalm 118:19
Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.

Psalm 118:21
I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.

November - Give Thanks!

I am grateful for the weekend. I am grateful for my job but, I am also grateful for time to rest and relax. This is the first weekend in quite awhile that the hubby and I don't have any obligations. I'm not sure what we will do but, hopefully we will take a day trip somewhere on Saturday. Right now, I am just relaxing and enjoying down time without having to do any planning for work. I hope that I continue to appreciate my job as we draw closer to the holidays.

November - Give Thanks!

Today was a rough day for a variety of reasons but, on difficult days you learn to be grateful for your friends. I am grateful for my best friend, my husband. I am grateful for my friends at work.

November - Give Thanks!

Today was a rough day for a variety of reasons but, on difficult days you learn to be grateful for your friends. I am grateful for my best friend, my husband and I am grateful for my friends at work.

November - Give Thanks!

Today, I am thankful for the ability to travel. The principal and I went to a workshop on Middle States Association Accreditation in Philadelphia. We left Astoria around 6 AM and returned to Astoria around 5:30 PM. It was a long but productive day. It was nice to have time to talk with the principal while learning ways to better our school community.

November - Give Thanks!

I am grateful for the ability to run, jump, and play sports. Tonight, I went to play volleyball with a recreational team in Happauge. We spend a lot of time laughing and goofing around but, eventually get to play some volleyball. We may not be the best players in the world but, we certainly have a good time.

November - Give Thanks!

I am grateful for the beauty of God's creations. Today, the hubby, mommy, the brother's girlfriend and I went to Planting Fields Arboretum. The changing leaving were just beautiful and the pink tea house is still my favorite park. I can't wait to use our new picnic basket there in the Spring.

Host a Cookie Swap Party

Host a Cookie Swap Party

November - Give Thanks!

Today, I am thankful for other cultures. I am grateful that we are able to learn more about one another.

Tomorrow begins a three day holiday for one of my Muslim students. He shared with me a little bit about what the holiday means for him.

Here is what wikipedia has to say:
Id ul-Adha (‘Īdu l-’Aḍḥā)
Official nameArabic: عيد الأضحى
‘Īdu l-’Aḍḥā
Also calledFestival of Sacrifice,
Sacrifice Feast
SignificanceCommemoration of Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to sacrifice his eldest son Ishmaelin obedience to a command from Allah - and Ishmael's acceptance of this command.
Marks the end of the Pilgrimage to sundown, and ask God for forgiveness.

November - Give Thanks!

I am grateful for the beauty of God's creations. Today, the hubby, mommy, the brother's girlfriend and I visited Planting Fields Arboretum. It was breathtaking. All of the leaves were changing colors. It was lovely to see the pink, tea house. I think I would be wonderfully fun to have a tea party or picnic by that pink house. This place is special to the hubby and I because we took our engagement pictures there and because we have had several picnics on the ground. In the summer, they have the most spectacular roses and hydrangea. I can't wait until the weather is warm so we can use our new picnic set.

November - Give Thanks!

Today is my 27th birthday and my mother's birthday. I am grateful for my mother who gave me life but, also has given me so much everyday. Thanks mommy!

"A rich life is a life spent with others..."

Happy birthday to mommy and I!

This was my first married birthday. This was the first time my mom addressed a card to me as "Mrs." I suppose this is a monumental birthday.

The hubby and I celebrated last night with a wonderful dinner at a super yummy French restaurant. The food was absolutely incredible. This morning I was greeted with some presents, ALL OF THE GARBAGE TAKE OUT, and breakfast in bed. (Yes, I know...I am incredibly excited about the garbage being taken out as I detest doing it!)

We were very lucky to have two of my three brothers home for our birthday. One came up from DC with his girlfriend and the other came home from college for our special day. The whole kitten caboodle went to dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant.

My mother and I are certainly very rich because of all of the time we got to spend with family this weekend!

He's Baaaack!

Yes, I've done it. I've posted for the first time in a looooong while. In fact, when I explained to the wife that I was blogging, she responded: "That's different!"

As the Girl points out, we have spent much of November doing various activities with friends and families. Last night's dinner and this morning's breakfast have tied together a theme for the weekend: FOOD...lots and lots of rich, delicious, unhealthy-but-tasty food.

Friday night was spent at a French restaurant in our neighborhood. I'm not really a fan of French food, but the entire dinner was fantastic. We had staples like French Onion soup and tried some newer dishes, such as a rich cream of mushroom soup and pan-seared duck. Very rich food, but reasonably priced considering the experience and the neighborhood. We brought one of our favorites wines (a Chilean white...probably should have been French, huh?) and even had a great dessert resembling a French twist on tiramisu.

Saturday night was price fixed and delicious. We ate at an Italian restaurant with family and enjoyed sea scallops and a rich chocolate tort with pistachio ice cream. My father used to eat pistachio pudding when I was a kid, so I thought of him when I had the dessert.

Sunday morning found us having a tasty brunch with the Girl's family. Pancakes, French toast, Eggs Benedict - in other words, the works. It was great to help cook the meal and enjoy a big family dinner, which I rarely did as a child, since I come from a smaller family.

There is, however, a down side to all this wonderful cuisine. You end up with "food coma" at the end of the day. In fact, dinner tonight is apparently a roasted turkey, so I will probably be asleep quite early tonight!

No matter, the weekend has been great so far. I only wish we could have gotten the Girl's other brother and my parents up, too. Oh well. Hopefully there will be many more opportunities in the future.

November - Give Thanks!

I am thankful for my awesome coworkers, friends, and family who have made the day before my birthday such a wonderful day!

I started my morning with the cake from my friend Katie at work. She made a chocolate gluten free cake with peanut butter icing. YUM!

This afternoon my friend Carolyn had an edible arrangement delivered to work. LOTS of chocolate covered fruit!!! AND a turkey balloon!

When I got home from work, my family had a BEAUTIFUL flower arrangement delivered to the apartment!

Tonight, the hubby made a dinner reservation at a new French restaurant near our apartment!

Tomorrow, the family and I are going to an Italian restaurant for dinner.


Veteran's Day at Robinson's Tea Room

On Thursday, I had a day off for Veteran's Day. My friend and I went to Stonybrook to Robinson's Tea Room. I had never been to high tea before. We had a wonderful experience from start to finish. You must call for a reservation at least 24 hours ahead of time as the reservations fill up quickly. The staff was incredibly friendly and accommodating. The food was outstanding and the decor was adorable. Here are few pictures from experience:

November - Give Thanks!

Today, I am thankful for the Veteran's that fought to maintain the freedom we enjoy each day. In particular, I would like to thank my classmate TJ Hromisin, University of Scranton '05.

Another classmate of ours has started the Thomas Jerome House for troops with traumatic brain injuries. To read more visit .

Prayer for Veterans Day

We ask for blessings on all those who have served their country in the armed forces.
We ask for healing for the veterans who have been wounded, in body and soul, in conflicts around the globe.
We pray especially for the young men and women, in the thousands, who are coming home from Iraq with injured bodies and traumatized spirits.
Bring solace to them, O Lord; may we pray for them when they cannot pray.
We ask for, echoing John Paul II, an end to wars and the dawning of a new era of peace,
As a way to honor all the veterans of past wars.

Have mercy on all our veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq,
Bring peace to their hearts and peace to the regions they fought in.
Bless all the soldiers who served in non-combative posts;
May their calling to service continue in their lives in many positive ways.

Give us all the creative vision to see a world which, grown weary with fighting,
Moves to affirming the life of every human being and so moves beyond war.
Hear our prayer, O Prince of Peace, hear our prayer

November - Give Thanks!

I am thankful all of the civil servants that keep us safe each day.

Tonight, my mother went shopping at the Vera Bradley sale at Roosevelt Field Mall. Unfortunately, shortly after she left, there was a fire on the first floor of the Mall. I am grateful for the police officers and fire fighters that kept the people in the Mall safe tonight.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of mercy,
who through your Son gave us a marvelous example of charity
and the great commandment of love for one another.
Send down your blessings on these your servants,
who so generously devote themselves to helping others,
and protect them always as they work to protect us all.
Grant them courage when they are afraid,
wisdom when they must make quick decisions,
strength when they are weary,
and compassion in all their work.
When the alarm sounds
and they are called to aid both friend and stranger,
let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

-adapted from the Book of Blessings, #587, by Diana Macalintal

November - Give Thanks...

Today, I am thankful for my friends. As I said yesterday, I have wonderful people I work with that I am lucky to call friends. I have incredible women that I went to high school with that I am still friends with. I am married to my best friend.

Friends keep me smiling even on the most difficult day. I am grateful for each and every one of them.

November - Give Thanks...

Today, I am thankful for my job. While I may moan and groan when the alarm clock goes off in the morning, I have wonderful job that makes a difference in the lives of young people. I have fabulous colleagues that I am proud to call my friends and/or extended family. I spend my day with fabulous people in a wonderful environment.

I wish that each day I could keep in mind how luky I am to have such a wonderful job.

Our Vacuum Ate a Wookie

I've been searching the internet looking for information on how to fix our vacuum. I came across another post with this title and I think it describes my situation perfectly.

This evening we tried to vacuum the apartment. Well, it appears as though my long-ish hair has broken the carpet attachment for the vacuum. Not to be gross but, my hair has wrapped itself around the turny part of the attachment and now the piece won't turn and won't suck stuff up.

My friend Sara says that you can just cut the hair off and then check the belt to see if it is broken. Unfortunately, the only belts I know about are the ones that go around your waist.

My description of the vacuum is that it is a Kenmore with a little critter thing with wheels, a tuby piece, and a sucky part. Is that helpful?

Anywho ... in the process, the hubby is fixing our doorknob which seems to be coming off the door.

Any ideas to help me fix the vacuum?

November - Give Thanks!

Today, I am thankful for creativity.

I've started planning something fun for the Spring for a friend of mine. The hubby and I have created a few fun things using her favorite colors.

When the event happens, I will post the things we made. We've been having so much fun creating things together!

November - Give Thanks!

Today, I am thankful for food to eat.

This morning we proctored the SAT and were given breakfast. For lunch, we went out with our friends for German food. For dinner, we enjoyed pasta and vodka sauce that a friend gave us as a bridal shower gift.

We went to church this evening and the priest was telling us about the food pantry at the church. Last Thursday, there were twenty five families lined up to receive a bag of food. The food pantry in nearly empty and we are approaching the holiday season.

Please keep your local food pantry and those in need in your thoughts and prayer.
Would you consider giving a nonperishable item to someone in need?

Prayer for the Needy
Grant, Lord, that I may gladly share what I have with the needy, humbly ask for what I need from him who has, sincerely admit the evil I have done, calmly bear the evil I suffer, not envy my neighbor for his blessings, and thank You unceasingly whenever You hear my prayer.

November - Give Thanks...

I am thankful for a warm, dry, comfortable place to live.

On Friday nights in the Winter a local ELCA Lutheran church opens its doors to homeless men. This church has a wonderful ministry in the community. They also have a food pantry for local families in need. You can learn more about their ministries at

In Gratitude

Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.
From The Catholic Prayer Book, compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley.

Fake Friday

Why is today fake Friday?
I have to go to work tomorrow! ARG! The hubby and I are proctoring the SATs. Hopefully, things will go smoothly and we will still have most of the day to relax after they are over. We definitely need to do a little cleaning this weekend.

Normally, I celebrate Friday. I love Fridays. Two whole days to recover from the previous week and get ready for the following week. Two glorious mornings to sleep in. Two fabulous days to enjoy sunshine and relaxation.

The good news is that we have Thursday off so I get my two wonderful days, just not together.

This week was super busy and super productive even up until the last second. It was a little weird when I made a phone call to an agency at 3:30 today and the woman on the other end of the phone was completely crazed. My general rule of thumb is if you are too hyper to speak coherently let the call go to voicemail.

On a side note...

I officially feel old. One of my former students is engaged. YIKES! My 27th birthday is coming up on the 13th.

I share my special day with my mother. It is wonderful being able to share our birthdays. I have absolutely no idea what we will do to celebrate.

Will my birthday be different now that I am married?

There will be lots of firsts this year. We had our first married Halloween. Our first married birthdays. Our first married Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. It will be lots of fun.

At the moment, our biggest "married" challenge is figuring out how we will celebrate the holidays. We have not come to a conclusion yet. However, to avoid making the decision, I have seriously been looking at some cruises over the holidays. (Don't worry. I won't do it. But, it would be easier than making the decision.) The most difficult part of the holidays is that no matter what decision we make we will be disappointing someone. I HATE THAT!

Coming up for air...

I never would have thought that things would be so busy.

Everything is a good busy though.

I've started my part time contract work again which is five additional hours a week. We've been out and about just about every weekend with family or friends. This weekend we are protoring the SAT on Saturday. I'm not sure if we are doing anything on Sunday, except church. I'm looking forward to Veteran's Day because I do not have to work but, I think I may try to visit some very special people that day (if they are available). The week after that I am going to a conference for the day with the principal in Philly. (Down and back, one day, YIKES!) Tonight, I am working late for the school's Open House. Grades are due next Friday. Last week, we were at a conference for three days.

The hubby has been working his usual hours (a couple of late nights during the week).

Last night, it was was nice to to just relax. We were able to eat dinner together at a normal hour. I cooked Shrimp and String Beans with Garlic Soy Sauce. It was tasty but, I still wish it was TSUBO (my favorite Japanese Restaurant on Long Island). Hopefully, we will get there soon. But, a nice dinner together is always a welcomed change from the hurried take out routine. We even cleaned a little last night!

I'm glad I decided to do the November -Give Thanks... because it lets me stop and think about what I am grateful for each day.

November - Give Thanks...

Today, I am thankful for education.

I am grateful that some of my students want to learn more and crave understanding.

I am grateful for their parents who provide them with this opportunity.

I am grateful for my teachers who gave me the foundation I need to do my job well.

I am grateful for the persistence and dedication of the teachers that I work with.

I am grateful for my parents who instilled the value of a good education in me.

November-Give Thanks!

Today, I am thankful for my right to vote.

The hubby and I got up bright and early this morning to vote. Everything went smoothly. I kind of missed the switches in the voting booth. I found it difficult to read the ballot. But, I got a lovely little pop up on the scanner that says my vote was counted! I was the 17th person to cast a vote in my polling center this morning! Go me!

Tonight as I was driving home, I loved seeing that the Empire State Building was dressed up for the occasion!

Where have I been?

On Wednesday, the faculty left for ECLEC. We have been eagerly waiting for this since the last one three years ago. We were privileged to ride together in the new school van. It was a nice treat to be able to be together. In the past, we have been split up in to various cars. This conference was a wonderful opportunity for fun, fellowship, rejuvenation, and professional development. I can honestly say I don't think I have ever laughed so hard. I learned to play two new card games. (I don't know that I am particularly good at either.) We talked a lot about how to help our struggling students, how to do motivate them to do homework and bullying.
(It is unfortunate that bullying is such a big issue.) We returned on Friday. I slept to make up for all of the lost sleep over the past few days.

On Saturday, the hubby, some friends, and I joined my family for Fordham v. Georgetown in the Bronx. The team won and we got to have some tasty italian food on Arthur Ave.

On Sunday, we went to my parents house to help hand out candy and celebrate Halloween. I broke out the old green M&M costume. We had a few laughs. There were several children dressed as Michael Jackson. ( A sign of the times...I guess...)

November-Give Thanks!

I am stealing her friend's idea on Facebook and posting a new "thing I am thankful for" each day in November.

Today, I am thankful for my awesome job, getting to do something I really love to do and work with great people, and teach teenagers, who need someone to believe in them. I doI