Saturday, May 30, 2015

Recipe for a perfect weekend

What's the recipe for a perfect weekend?


  • Eight extra hours off work on Friday 
  • Dinner with a special sister
  • A perfect night under the stars, chatting with friends, and listening to some great tunes at Fairport Brewing
  • Getting up early on Saturday and getting some delicious bagels
  • A trip to Canandaigua to get some sweet yellow, orange and white pansies for the garden, followed by lunch at PUDGIES!
  • A full day of yard work
  • Dinner with the family
  • An evening walk with Pup
Enjoy each ingredient as it happens. Add a dash of sunshine, and throw in a thunderstorm or two.

BONUS: Realize it's only Saturday night and there's a whole other day ahead! More yard work, and the promise of a nap. What a perfect weekend!

Perfect Weekend Post-Script: The wind and rain swept in on Saturday afternoon, and, 


the temperature dropped from 80 and humid to 48, with pouring, cold, non-stop rain. WHAT A BUZZKILL.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Presenting: Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Wilkins!

They are wed! Knot-tied! Married!

What a wonderful wedding weekend it was! Beaming groom, beautiful bride, handsome wedding party. Nic and Carol, along with the Wilkins family hosted a great event that started with rehearsal on Friday night at my old church, St. Mary's. After rehearsal, we headed over to Patrick's parent's place for a delicious (although chillingly cold ~ what's up with the cold weather?!) picnic, after which we headed back to the hotel and Cam and Alex, Annalisse's beau, went swimming.

We stayed at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Hotel (about 10 miles east of Massena), which was really, really nice, with great accommodations and amenities. It really felt a little like a destination wedding with very nice rooms and a nice pool and spa area. Most of our family, and Patrick's as well, stayed right at the hotel, which also played host to the reception, so it was very convenient.

On Saturday morning, we got up bright and early and Annalisse headed up to "Wedding Central," where the bridesmaids and the bride sipped mimosas and had their hair and make-up done. At around 12:30pm, Nic slipped into her dress and was transformed into a bride. So beautiful! Then, it was into the limo and off to St. Mary's for the bridal party.

Nic was walked down the aisle by her Uncle Gary, who stood in for Nic's dad Denny who passed away when she was five months old. It was very touching, and there were several tributes to Denny throughout the day. He would be so proud of her! After the ceremony, which featured a historic kiss planted on Nicole by Patrick, it was time for pictures all around. It was so wonderful to have all of Mom and Dad's grandkids there, especially Anthony who lives in North Carolina as we don't see him as often as we would like.

After pictures, we headed to the reception for dinner and a raucous party [there may have even been some table-top dancing by some of Patrick's relatives...]. It was tons of fun, with a really great DJ who played a little something for everyone, and happily took requests. After dinner, the lights went down and the room turned into a night club. Even Cam got out there dancing! Everyone agreed it was a wonderful night following a very happy and memorable day. Nic and Patrick are now off to Maryland for their honeymoon. I hope they have a great time, and enjoy settling into married life when they return!

A picture is worth a thousand words:

Rehearsal hijinks
Pensive Anthony
Groomsmen Gifts - Patrick made them (he's super crafty!!)
A cake for Patrick
Cute cups at the rehearsal dinner picnic 
A hanger with Nic's future name on it. Patrick
made one for each bridesmaid. Did I mention he's crafty? 
Elevator Selfie
Nic and Uncle Gary
Alex and Annie
Da boyz
Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins!
Cousin Caroline and Annalisse
The cousins...all grown up!
Our family
The wedding party
Drew and Nic
Yummy cupcakes - Uncle Larry made the stand 
What would be an wedding without Italian cookies?! 
Super cute centerpieces
Proud Carol and Paul  
First Dance
"Just the Way You Are"
Cutting the cake
I sense a height difference... 
The Bakers 
Anthony kicks it up a notch with his new
bandana from the gift shop

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Round-Up

Crew Kids
Hello! It's been a while. How have you been?

Well,  we've been super busy which is why I have not taken five minutes to update the blog (my bad!). That's actually a pretty lame excuse for not popping in, so here is the

Monday round-up!
  • Annalisse's sophomore year at SU has wrapped up after a couple of intense weeks, and she is making out pretty good this semester. So far, she has three A- grades, and a C (HIP HIP HOORAY) in Chem. What an ordeal this has been! She's done very well on the chem homework and lab work, but the tests have been a real challenges. We are crying tears of joy! She does not need to retake it (it was real close...)!
  • Additionally, she secured a position as a Volunteer Coordinator for next fall where she'll be coordinating the volunteers for different nutrition-related community programs. She's super excited about that! Many victories this term after a rocky adjustment in the fall (mostly being heartbroken about not making the improv team - which she will trying out for again this fall).
  • Cam is starting his last week of classes, with finals next week. In another world, he would be done with his bachelor's degree, but, alas, he'll be at RIT through Fall 2016 (we think) getting his master's degree. He's all set to do 40 hours a week of research at RIT this summer, which will be a pretty sweet gig.
  • The last three weekends have been all about crew. Two weekends in Saratoga, and this past weekend in Philadelphia (which deserves it's own "bullet") has really kept us running.
  • Our new car finally came (!), and we picked it up at 8am last Thursday, promptly taking it on a trip to Philadelphia (730 miles to break it in). It. Is. Awesome! Loaded, and it smells so good! Just plain fun to drive and ride in.
    Our sweet ride!
  • Dad Vail Regatta: Cam competed in his last regatta up against some really competitive teams. Although his boat did not make it past the second qualifier, they put up a good fight, coming in 4th, just short of being in the semi-finals. They arrived home at 1am on Sunday morning, and rumor has it (from a reliable source: his sister) that the crew kids had a rockin' party that went through the night. Then, he texted me yesterday to say that he received an RIT oar blade from the team as a graduation present/last season (even though he's not graduating ~ you get the picture). It was a pretty huge event, but a very nice, sunny day at a beautiful venue. A good way to say goodbye to crew.
  • Philadelphia: We had a ton of fun exploring Philly. We were lucky enough to find a hotel near "Old City," the historic section, and we were within walking distance to all the great historic sites: Constitution Hall, The Liberty Bell, Penn's Landing, Chinatown, all the Ben Franklin stuff...! The restaurants were great, and we were able to spend some time with our old friends Chris and Marie (with dinner at the historic City Tavern), and Brady and Linda, a friend from Philadelphia who moved to Fairport for several years, and then moved back home. We walked quite a distance around the city (according to my Fitbit: 30,000 steps on Friday, 25,000 on Saturday ~ as evidenced by the blisters on the bottom of my feet). Both kids really liked the city as well. It just has a fun, colonial vibe!! We were total tourists and not ashamed to admit it! :)
The next couple of weeks will also keep us running. This weekend we will finally get to the Fairport farmer's market (first time this year), then Annalisse and are getting pedis and going shopping for shoes and a chunky necklace for Nicole and Patrick's wedding next weekend. It has come up so fast!!! Then, before you know it it will be June and GIRL'S WEEKEND! Bring it on!

Scenes from Philadelphia