Happy 8 Years to Us!

It has been a crazy fantastic and wild ride, these last 8 years!!  We have been tested, pushed to our limits, had our fair share of frustrations…but isn’t that what makes the good parts so good?  No one said life would be easy.  Marriage is just as much work as everything else in life.  Parenting. Jobs. Being healthy. Being happy.  Choosing to give your best and do the right thing, even when you may not want to.

I will be as transparent as I can, and say that year 7 was undoubtedly the toughest year.  We added a business and with that, our daily routines changed, my role as ‘homemaker turned business woman’ really took off.  I struggle daily trying to find the balance of 1950’s housewife (which I LOVE!) and being an entrepreneur (which I also LOVE!)

I will tell you one of my secrets; just don’t quit.  I will rest, I will cry if needed, I will sulk momentarily, or throw myself a quick pity party, but then I get right back up and fight for my purpose.  I fell in love with my husband 10 years ago, silly kids back then.  At 26 I thought I knew it all.

At 36, I can tell you I know nothing!! haha

I know enough, but I don’t know it all.

I know that it’s important to compromise in a marriage, for it to work.

I know that communication is key.  Blabbing to others about problems will do nothing, unless you learn to work them out together.

I know that at the end of the day, we are both tired and exhausted, but to go the extra mile and make a fresh warm meal is what my husband needs.

I know that date nights and carving out KID FREE time somehow almost every day is essential to us.

I know that the more that I focus on my husband’s good qualities vs any negative, that is what I will get more of.  (he taught me that) No one is perfect, we are human and we are bound to annoy the crap out of each other, but look past the imperfections…like the laundry outside of the hamper, or the toilet paper that needs to be put back on the roll.

I know that putting away the iPhones, ipads, laptops, etc for a little awhile refreshes us and allows us to talk freely without distractions.

I know that one day, when the kids are grown and out of the house, and the dogs are really old, or perhaps no longer with us, we will still have each other.  That is why I work as hard on my marriage, if not more, than I do at anything else.

As for our anniversary?  We got some amazing news that our perc test passed at the land!!

To celebrate 8 years, we went to one of favorite spots, Pane Vino.

It was nice and warm, the sun was still out and we enjoyed an outside table.

I love this restaurant right on the river. Lobster French!!

For dessert we shared some delicious raspberry creme brulee tasting thing! It was super yummy.

Joe wanted to take a photo of our view…

He gave me a super sweet card with a champagne bottle and inside said let’s celebrate. I kind of giggled thinking well, we are just going to dinner but I guess that’s a celebration?

But then after dinner he drove to the little beach we love and presented me with a gift of champagne flutes!! I still had not caught on what he was doing…

It was a moment later I noticed the Yeti cooler with a bottle of Rosé champagne and our beach blanket.

To say that I was surprised, is an understatement.

It’s the little things that mean the most, isn’t it?  Sure the fancy champagne was amazing, but more than that it was the mere thought and efforts he put into this little beach excursion.

He told me that I gave him the idea; the other day we were discussing anniversaries and how other couples don’t do a lot.  Maybe a card, maybe not.  It’s not about spending the money but it’s really about the effort.

Last year we did go back to where we said “I do” but neither of us put in much more work than that…and honestly?  Shame on us.  You can’t expect a marriage to run well on its own.   One thing I have learned is that one of you may be putting in more effort than the other, but that will always ebb and flow.

 

So my advice to any married couple is, take the chances and do the spontaneous.  We both realized that a bottle of champagne, a beach blanket and some music were MORE than amazing.  Just us two being goofy and silly–something that can easily be left behind when you’re building a business and raising babies.

So cheers to us.

Cheers to the last year, in particular that shook us, changed us, helped us grow and see how precious a marriage really is.

Cheers to the years ahead.

Cheers to love, faith, and friendship.

I love being your Queen Joseph and I cherish every special moment like this that you create for us.

PS. he did say he thought about taking us to the land, which is ironic because in my letter to him, it said next year we can go click champagne flutes on our foundation of our house.  He opted for the beach this year since he knows my soul loves the sand and water.

My best friend, happy anniversary.  I love you!

Birthday Wishlist

With July comes another year around the sun! I love my birthday and always have. There’s something about being born into this earth that seems so special to me.

I know a lot of people, especially ladies don’t like to tell their age or get upset about turning older…but I love it! Sure wrinkles and sore joints are not always fun, but I truly look at each year as it’s own gift.

I also have been wishing for a few things so I figured I’d share what’s on my list!

1. Candles

I’m obsessed with Bath and Body Works candles. I like Yankee too but man oh man, some of these smell soooo good! With two dogs as much as I clean, I can’t stand the smell of dog when you walk into a house. I feel like these help?!

2. Sleep mask

I got a free one awhile back with some VS pajamas. I have been wearing it more now that the sun is up so early, and it does help me sleep “in” until 6:30! #momlife #puppylife

3. Magnolia Table

I fell in love with The Magnolia story and the Gaines family. I related so much to them and love their core life values. I’ve been eyeing this cookbook since it came out and have heard nothing but great things about the recipes!

4. Journals

I feel like these are always on my lists…but I love them and use them all the time! From keeping notes to actually journaling, I believe everyone could use a journal.

5. Notepads

Magnetic or not, I could use some more cute notepads! Lists are what keep me (sort of) sane and I’m always jotting down things we need from the store or notes to the Sitter.

6. Good Bubbly

This was on my list last year, and it was that good it needed to be back on this year! I love a good dry rosé bubbly. I can’t drink cheap wine. If I’m going to indulge I want it to be worth it.

Mother’s Day 2018

I still can’t believe that I’ve been a mom for 5 years.  It seems like yesterday I was just meeting Joe, but really that was ten years ago.

Crazy.

Sunday morning Joe got up with the dogs (after miss Bailey woke me up at 4:30!) around 7 and shortly thereafter Bradley woke up and then Brooke.  Joe wanted to go grab some breakfast for us and took Bradley.  It was nice to just lounge in bed with my girl!  Soon the boys were back with breakfast bagel sandwiches and my beloved Green Tea Latte from Starbucks.  It’s one of our favorite little traditions in the Summer–he pops out for a bit and brings back treats.

He knew I was out of my water bottles; I either lose them or I wear them out!! I’m loving the ones that keep your water cold all day.  Thanks babe!

Brooke gave me two cards and a potted plant she made in pre-k. So sweet!

We just had a nice quiet morning; Joe went and visited his grams with Bradley, and I did some dishes and got ready for our outing!

This year I wanted to go out for brunch at one of our favorite restaurants, The Revelry.  My dad, step-mom & sister joined us and it was perfect!  We enjoyed lots of oysters, cornbread, and I ordered mimosas & shrimp and grits.  OMG so GOOD!! Anyone have a good shrimp & grits recipe?? I need to try to make that at home…

The kids were excellent and loving their special tiki drinks, aka pineapple juice.  We went for a little drive afterwards and then home.  Joe took Brooke to grab some dinner items, while I cuddled with Bradley.  Heavenly!  Once he got home, Bradley ran downstairs and I was alone watching Fixer Upper for about an hour.  I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself!  It was weird, but enjoyable.

I came downstairs to quite a spread! My husband had his new smoker going, the grill, stove and sous vide.  Not to mention the chaos that is our children/dogs all together around dinner time.  I definitely giggled as I heard from above the noise.

 

Caprese salad, green beans, sautéd mushrooms, bone marrow with garlic crostini and a dry aged steak we picked up at the meat market down town.  Holy. Cow. It was so amazing! I couldn’t believe how delicious it turned out to be…even down to dessert which was a mini key lime pie he grabbed at Wegmans.

It was a beautiful day; no stress and full of love and relaxation…and full bellies!

The boys.

I am for sure one blessed momma.

Thank you Brooke and Bradley, for making me a better person.  I didn’t know the depths of love and selfless giving until I had you.  You two make our world a much better place by being in it.  Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy.

Meeting The Real Housewives

Saturday night my friend got us tickets to go see some of the Real Housewives at a nearby casino.  We were going to make it a real “Girls Night” and stay in the hotel, have a nice dinner, enjoy the show and SLEEP IN the following morning.  However, #momlife called and Brooke had dance pictures scheduled for 8:30 the next morning. #Awesome.  It’s all good though we made it work!  My amazing husband arranged to get out of work early so that he could drive me (it’s a bit of a drive and I didn’t want to drive home late alone). We had a couples dinner and he played some Blackjack, (and won!) while Ann and I were watching the show. In all honesty, the TV series itself doesn’t do much for me any more…and I can only tolerate it in small amounts, BUT I have always loved me some Teresa Guidice and I may or may not have read/own most of her books!

I decided to bust out the Loubs for this special occasion!

This girl and I have been friends since Freshmen year of college–straight up first day of school we met!  1999…we majored in the same field, Secondary Education English.  She may have taught me how to party and to rock confidence like no other.  I was her maid of honor 13 years ago, and she was mine 8 years this July. We live 2.5 hours apart and between jobs, kids, and life, we rarely get to see each other!! But when we catch up, watch out world!

Ann and her husband Brennan

My sweet hubby!!

Aside from the delicious bottle of Rosé bubbly we shared, and oysters, this dish was outstanding! Lobster, shrimp & scallops in a scampi sauce over asparagus.  I died! I will be recreating this dish in the future!

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We sat 2nd row, yes SECOND row!! She hooked us up with these seats!  The stage was set up much like Live with Andy Cohen and the whole bit was a Q&A sesh with our questions! One of Ann’s questions was picked!

It was pretty entertaining and the crowd was fun.  Teresa, Ashley & Brandi were really down to earth! Ashely is hysterical and Brandi is a bit of a #hotmess but hey, aren’t we all? She is definitely more on the raw/raunchy side.  Teresa was really quite calm and really cool.  She did mention “camp” which I giggled at because, girl, I love ya but jail is jail.  She did say however, she often wonders if she should have done the show or not.  I can’t imagine putting my life on display like that for all to see…it takes guts I tell ya!

We decided right before we went in to do the “meet and greet” which just meant getting a few hugs and photos.  The cost supposedly went to a charity, but when do we ever do stuff like this? Never.  I am not mad about paying a little extra for this experience!

Ann was the first in line to get her photo op!

I can’t remember exactly what we were all laughing at but I could have stood up there and talked to them for awhile!

I really wanted to hug T and I totally #fangirled and told her how I have all her cookbooks and that she’s totally my favorite. As I went to walk away after photos, I did tell her good luck and that she’s a great mom.  Lord knows us mommas always need extra support. With her husband in jail, and just losing her mom, I can’t imagine how hard it must be raising 4 girls on her own.

They were all so nice!  The only bad part was how quick it went! I could have curled up with another glass of bubbly or two…

I think it was Brandi who said something first, but the next thing I knew, they were all complimenting me on my hair! LOL

The all wanted to know who does it and how does it look so healthy! I about died.  I get my hair inspiration FROM The Real Housewives so it made my night.

As I turned to leave Teresa asked, ‘hey what’s your name?!’ I replied, “Jenn!” And they all said, “Bye Jenn!! Thanks for coming!” It was totally cool, I can’t lie!

Thanks again B for an unbelievable night!! I don’t know if we could top this one…but I’m willing to try!

PS we totally went back and forth months on what to wear!! Ann went with a hot little Express lace jumpsuit & red moto jacket & and did my black moto jacket & leggings from Express and Banana Republic top.

Accessories: Stella & Dot baby!

Curling wands = big hair!