Sunday, November 15, 2009

October Birthdays

Dave and I both share October birthdays. He is the 13th and I am the 17th. So for 4 days, we are the same age...then I reclaim my status of the older one. This year was really fun as we celebrated for what seemed like a couple of weeks. There are several people at work that also have October birthdays ~ so we started off the celebrations with a birthday night at the Cheesecake Factory. It was really fun & we walked away with gifts...the most hilarious gifts at that. I received a leopard print Snuggie and Dave got a blue one!!

Then, for Dave's real birthday we decided to cook at home. I tried making candied pecans for the first time and Dave grilled steaks. The pecans were super easy and definitely a fun addition to our salad. Dave's steaks were awesome. Our friend, Lorenzo taught us to sear them first on the stove and then cook them slowly on the grill - delicious!

On Saturday morning, we decided to try a new breakfast restaurant called Deluca's in the Strip District. I believe it has been on one of the food shows ~ Man v. Food, maybe?! Anyway, really yummy and kind of reminds me of the Paris Coffee Shop in FW. Dave had a great omelet and I tried the crepes.

We continued our week of eating at a neighborhood BYOB restaurant. Jen and Jon have been recommending this place for a while ~ right down the street from us and fun, intimate atmosphere. It is called Cafe Du Jour and was the perfect place to end our birthday celebrations.

It was such a fun week and I look forward to sharing more birthday weeks with the October babies in the future!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Charlotte, NC

A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of going to Charlotte, NC to visit 2 of Dave's best friends. Scott and his wife, Kristi, live in Charlotte while Jason and his wife, Amber live in Kansas City. So we all met in Charlotte and had such a fun weekend hanging out! I had never been to Charlotte, but Dave worked there for a semester in college ~ so it was neat to see a part of his past and visualize where Scott and Kristi are now.

Here is the group: Amber,, Jason, Kristi, Scott, Dave and me. We arrived Friday night and were so excited to have some yummy Mexican food ~ a delicacy we do not have up here in Pittsburgh. It was such a treat to catch up with everyone on their lives, jobs, families, etc. These friends are so fun because I always feel like we just pick right back up. It had been several months, maybe even a year since we last saw them and didn't miss a beat. Such special friendships!

Of course the boys talked and watched a lot of sports! They all lived together in college and if I had to picture them back in time, I bet this sums it up pretty well.

They were sweet to satisfy our Mexican food craving on Friday and didn't stop there. We had sushi on Saturday afternoon! We have found some good places for this up here ~ but I still miss my Piranha's, Sushi Axiom and Edohana in FW. We spent the afternoon watching football at a sports bar/bowling alley. I really loved getting to catch up with Kristi and Amber while the boys were mesmerized by 20 different games. It is so fun to know we are all in the same stage of life ~ just doing it in different states. I love hanging out with Dave's friend's wives. (In fact, I get to do it again this weekend!). They are all so sweet spirited and fun!

In fact, after several hours of watching sports, we decided to partake in a little action ourselves! We bowled for a little bit. We did Guys v Girls....and unfortunately, us girls did not win. However, we decided it might have been a little strange if we beat our husbands at bowling.

We had a great dinner Saturday night and really enjoyed visiting their church on Sunday morning. We were a little bummed we didn't get to see Scott play his guitar, but he was kind of enough to bow out that weekend so he could avoid their practice on Saturday. After church, we decided to get back to PA, but not without stopping by Trader Joe's to pick up some (or a lot, rather) of Two Buck Chuck. We love that most of their wine is so cheap and unfortunately, the Trader's Joes in PA doesn't sell wine because only the state can sell it. Boo! So anyway, lots of wine later, we were on our way home.

It was a really memorable trip! We look forward to the next visit with these two couples ~ either Kansas City or Pittsburgh! Thank you all for a fun weekend!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hiking with the Grossmans

When we first moved to Pittsburgh, I transferred my Junior League membership to maintain my active status. I had fully intended to take a leave of absence for a year until we got settled. Somehow, I was talked into attending a meeting 2 weeks after moving. I am SO glad I went! I had the opportunity to meet some people the very first night ~ Bianca, Janet & Jen H ~ also transfers. Within a couple of weeks, I received an email from Jen Grossman. She was the transfer advisor at the time and literally, she and her husband took Dave and I under their wings. Since then, Keri & Stephen have moved up from Atlanta and jumped in the mix with all of these fun friends. They have been so sweet, inviting us to dinner, birthday celebrations, we cheered the Penguins on in the Stanley Cup together ~ a much appreciated act of kindness for 2 newbies to Pittsburgh.

Jen G. has now taken on the Special Events coordinator position. A few weeks ago, she planned a hiking + wine afternoon. Great idea! Most of you know, it would take wine to get me hiking. ;-) She planned it at the perfect time because the trees were really starting to change. It was gorgeous ~ about a 3 mile hike (perfect, not too long). Here is some of what we saw.

Dave was laughing at this picture ~ no we didn't hike on the road the whole time. I just thought the trees were pretty at this point.
A little more accurate photo of the actual hiking.
The BEST part of our trip was the pet cemetery we stumbled upon. Now, we had a guide and there were other non-JL people on the hike, so we were trying to be on our best behavior...but this was too much! Anna Solerto literally had 10-15 headstones, all with different haikus (?!). We were cracking up!!
Here is Dave, Jon & Jen. Great day! Thanks Jen for planning a fun outing!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


A little shot on my camera driving to work....thought the trees were so pretty!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1 Year and Counting...

To celebrate our 1 year anniversary, we decided to take a little vacay to Scottsdale, Arizona. We were so excited about a trip together and to a place with some serious sunshine! We woke up super early on Thursday morning for our 7 am flight. It turned out great because we arrived in Phoenix at 9 am with the time change. However, to us, it felt like noon and we were getting so hungry! We decided we must visit In-N-Out while on this trip - so we headed there from the aiport. We pulled into the parking lot at 9:50 to learn they didn't open until we waited....

and it was totally worth it! In fact, we were number 6 by the time we got in and ordered at 10:20! Such yummy food - we even hit it on our way back to the airport on Monday. =)

After our trip to eat, we went to our hotel. This is the same hotel Mom and I stayed in last summer. We love the way it is set in the mountain and has such pretty landscaping for the desert!

We immediately went to the pool. It has been in the 60s and 70s in Pittsburgh lately, so we welcomed an overdose of dry heat!

and of course, Dave had to hit up the slide!

We had lots of yummy, long dinners together which was such a treat! It was fun to be away from work and just really hang out together, talk about our goals, ideas on life, etc. Here we are at the Roaring Fork - owned by same people as Eddie V's. So that was really fun - had a southwestern chili mac 'n cheese. Delicious!

We also got to spend an evening with Luke, Brett's best friend, and his gf Stephanie. We had not met her yet - so that was fun to get to learn all about her and catch up on Luke. We had a really good time with them and hope we get to hang out again soon! I think this restaurant was Chelsea's Kitchen. We had a great table outside, which turned out to be very hot! But we get so little of that up in PA, we were loving it anyway.

More outside eating and I have officially decided that everyone should always drink orange juice from wine glasses. I don't think it tastes any better - but certainly is more fun!

Fun, fun trip! Definitely a place we would love to go back too!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

life is good...

This weekend has been really good! We were finally here for a little bit without any obligations. We were really excited for Tech and KU football - nice wins all around I might add. Last night, we had the pleasure of meeting some friends of ours from Fort Worth for dinner. John, Sara and Avery are moving to Pittsburgh. We are really happy about that and enjoyed a fun dinner at Cheesecake Factory discussing all that Pittsburgh is. They are moving up in the next couple of months and I am anxiously awaiting their permanent arrival!

So Dave and I had an extra skip in our step after all things good this weekend. We decided to attend early church this morning and on our way to the car, we discovered this:

Boo! Our parking garage has had many of these incidents lately, but we thought we were safe considering our cars are closest to the elevators and doors (thinking they got the most traffic). Apparently not! Thankfully, nothing was taken - really just a huge pain more than anything.

I felt so bad for Dave! He already had a little headache this morning and this certainly didn't help matters there. But then I was quickly reminded why I married him - his positive outlook on life, even in the not so fun times. His ability to find the humor in anything makes life much more fun! So what did he do? Cleaned out the car, grabbed a garbage bag and asked if I could make letters out of duct tape. Um, sure...

Now this is definitely laced with a slight hint of sarcasm - but it cracked us up and allowed us to go back inside not letting this little hiccup ruin our day.

Yes, life is good...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wine + Cake - yum!

Like I mentioned in our last post...on our anniversary we had some delicious treats! Mom was so sweet to overnight/over dry ice the top of our wedding cake. Mom and I were nervous as to whether it would actually make it in an edible format. Dave and I were nervous to actually try it!

It was really special when we got married that our sweet friends, Scott and Kristi, gave us two bottles of wine. We were to open one on our 1 year and one on our 5 year. I thought it was such a neat idea and something we were really looking forward to this year. It was quite delicious too!

Dave serving us up some slices! Turns out - it was delicious!! We did a chambord flavor and maybe it had time to really soak in, but it really good. So good, we decided to have another slice for the next 2 days!

Happy Anniversary Dave!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

1st Anniversary

Well exactly one year ago, David and I walked down the aisle and became husband and wife. It has gone by SO fast. We can hardly believe it!

We have had a wonderful day celebrating this year. We started off with a trip to Carribou Coffee to read the paper, have breakfast and reminisce. Then, we headed to Church, our new Church - Northway Christian Community Church. We had grand intentions of playing golf, but unfortunately that didn't work out because the course was having a tournament. So we hung out on the couch for the afternoon. We cooked dinner together this evening and drank a bottle of wine from Scott and Kristi. Our sweet friends gave us this bottle and another bottle for our wedding gift to drink on our 5 year anniversary. So fun!

Then, we tasted the top level of our cake while wathcing our wedding video. (pics to be posted soon) The cake was surprisingly delicious and the video was hilarious!! We had fun watching people dance and we were so encouraged by the words of Pastor Gorham and Pastor Laubaugh from our ceremony.

We are so excited to have one year behind us...and quite the busy year I might add. I can't imagine doing this year without Dave. It had been a bit of an emotional roller coaster and through it all, I would say we are closer and happier than I ever could have imagined. I am anxiously awaiting this next year together.

Thank you all for your wonderful support this year - particularly our familes! You all made our wedding celebration a time we will never forget! We are looking forward to many more anniversary celebrations!!

I love you Dave! Who knew we would be living in Pittsburgh one year ago today? Thank you for making life so fun! I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us next.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nemacolin with Mom & Marianne

So Mom had been talking to Marianne and I for some time now about doing a girl's weekend somewhere. It just so happened that Dave was going to be gone on his "Man Trip" during the first weekend in August.

**sidenote** Yes, a "Man Trip." This entailed 17 guys from Dave's pledge class flying to Colorado from all over the country to engage in a number of "Manly Activities." White water rafting, hiking, mountain biking, you name it. They had a blast! Dave has a great group of friends from KU and it makes me so happy that they continue to take time to cultivate those relationships. See Dave's facebook for "Man Trip" pics - they are quite hilarious. ;-)

Mom, Marianne and I decided this was a great weekend to work in a girl's trip. Mom did some researching and found Nemacolin ( I was SO excited because it was only 1.5 hours away from Pittsburgh. I had been out of town for 6 weekends in a row up until then and certainly appreciated not having to fly again. It wasn't until we arrived, I realized how cool it was! Think Dirty Dancing...this place has a million activities! Something for everyone - snow skiing, volleyball, little girl's spa, pizza/ice cream parlor, 2 golf courses, shooting range, ropes course, cooking classes, arcade, bowling alley and dog sledding!

Here is Marianne and me

For our activities, we opted for some spa treatments. So fun! We all got manicures together that evening and then massages the next day.

They also had a great pool with comfy chairs! I spent a little too much time out there as you can see below. But we haven't had the opportunity for a lot of pool time in PA, so I am soaking it all in while I can. I am dreading the winter coming back.

Here is us before dinner on Saturday. We ate at a yummy steakhouse on the property!

Here is Marianne teaching Mom how to pose for a picture - ha!

Nemacolin was such a great getaway! I can't wait to go back! On our way to the airport, we had 20 extra minutes on the road. Mom was wanting to see the new casino that had just opened. So we literally jumped out of the car, ran inside, played $20 in slots and left in 15 minutes.

Wheel of Fortune was good to us! Mom gave me a couple of dollars left from her winnings and I won $175! I like this place already!

We then jumped back in the car and headed for the airport. In our typical fashion, racing to the airport to take loved ones there makes it a lot easier to say goodbye! There isn't too much time to think about it. Cassie and Lindsey can attest to this too. =) Thankfully, Dave was coming home later that night. I had such a great time with the girls - I didn't want it to end.

Knowing them, I bet they come back ;-)

Monday, August 10, 2009

marianne + brett

So clearly I am way behind on blogs because I am currently posting about a visit we received in March! Ah! That is horrible! But I would be remis to continue blogging without including this special trip.

In March, Marianne (my sister) and Brett (Dave's brother) flew up to Pittsburgh. We had so much fun showing them our new home, playing board games, going to dinner, shopping and mostly laughing a lot! We missed you Julie!

Here is Marianne and Brett at the airport.

On Saturday, we had so much fun shopping and sitting on our patio. Here is our view of one direction. Can you believe all those houses in the hills?! So close!!
Here is Marianne and myself from the other direction. It is hilarious because there is parallel parking underneath us. Dave and Brett found it so funny to watch people attempt to park. There are those that try to pull straight in, those that hit the curb, those that reverse and pull forward multiple times. Who knew we required such cheap entertainment?

Then we decided to take them on the same tourist attraction we took our moms on! These are the trolleys that take you to the top of Mount Washington. Here is the view of Pittsburgh from here at night. So pretty where the three rivers come together!

Here is Marianne and Me up top.
Brett and David
We went to this new restaurant (to us). They had a great deck overlooking the city. We decided to get a drink before. the restaurant wasn't too popular for dining. We cracked up because we were literally the only ones in there at 8 pm!! Suffice to say, the food was actually really good, but as you can see, they needed a little updating. Probably awesome in its prime - circa '74.
The great thing about these two is that we still have a blast where ever we go!

Thanks so much again Marianne and Brett for coming up! It made for such a special weekend for Dave and me. We hope it isn't long before you back! We love you both so much!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I love the rain!

So usually I am not a rainy day fan unless I am able to stay home on the couch watching the tv, falling in and out of sleep. After moving to Pittsburgh, I have a whole new appreciation for rain. These are some pics of how the scene has changed since we have been here. I don't have any to capture the first couple weeks which was basically snow & no sun.

Then we got to this point in late March...some sun, mostly brown but the evergreens.

Just made for some depressing drives to work...

Then came the rain!! I mean boatloads (to take a quote from my nephew Grayson) of rain! Look how pretty it is getting! The hills are covered in gorgeous shades of green. I can't wait for this summer and the fall when we start to see reds, oranges and yellows in the mix!

This is the business park we work in - called Southpointe. It is basically just huge office buildings built in the hills with a golf course all throughout.

This new place I call home is really starting to win me over ;-)