Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Baby Acosta

It's official there will be a baby Acosta arriving this year. I have known for a few weeks but I wanted to wait to blog about it. My best friend Shannon ( 1/3 of the brain see post "Friends") announced she and David are expecting their first child and the estimated due date is December 15th. I was excited just to hear she was prego but more excited when I found out the due date is just 4 days before my b-day. I have already given her the heads up on having a baby so close to Christmas. You have to make sure to ALWAYS buy the child two distinct gifts, one for the b-day and one for the holiday. You don't get to combined gifts just because it's easier. I know from experience that you feel cheated when you get one big Christmas gift and they say "well it's for your b-day too". Birthdays are special days meant for celebration, so Shan always throw the baby a b-day party ( I know u will) and make sure they don't feel overlooked :)

Anyway I am getting off on a tangent, back to Shan being prego. It is hard for me to believe my friend of 14 years is going to be a mom. She will be an amazing mom but still a mom. It's crazy how time flys and all of the sudden you are all grown up. I am so happy for Shan and Dave and I can't wait to meet the new addition. How exciting and I am sure terrifying becoming new parents. I am a little sad that I can't watch all the stages Shannon will go through during the pregnancy and not being there to greet the new one when he/she enters the world but hopefully I will get to meet the little one soon after. The new addition will be the first great-grandchild on Shannon's side and David's mom's 1st grandchild so it will be spoiled and rightly so. I told Shan, think of all the little cute outfits you get to buy ( we love to shop) or the cute little blankets and toys etc.. She no longer will have to make excuses on why to shop ( just teasing). Besides all the clothes, she gets to decorate a whole room and she loves to do that. So along with all the greatness new ones bring you, Shan, you get bonus on doing the things you love to do.

As soon as Shan told me they were expecting, I started to think about throwing her a baby shower. I wasn't really sure how it was going to work out since we do live in different states but it turns out she plans on coming home in July for another event, which makes it perfect for me to plan a shower. The other third of the brain, Carrie, lives close to Shannon but said she wanted to help plan and throw the shower for her back home so we are in the midst of doing that. So many cute ideas when it comes to celebrating babies. I know July is early to have a shower for someone due in December but we have to have it when she is home so that her family and friends can celebrate her and the soon to be baby Acosta.

Shan, I am so privileged to watch you go through another stage of your life and I am very lucky to have you as a friend. So make sure you keep your blog updated so us back home knows what is going on. Congratulations to you and David!!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Many Thanks

Memorial Day, a day to take time and acknowledge the men and women who have served our country. I am going to take this opportunity to say

THANK YOU to all who served our country and made it the way it is today. We have freedom because of you and that is the greatest gift anyone could receive.

Thank you, thank you and thank you!!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I am not sure if the universe is against me or if I just bring it upon myself but ever since I made the appointment to take this dreaded GMAT, life has thrown me a few major curve balls that have distracted me.

The appointment for the test was made a month in advance to give myself enough time to study and take a few practice tests, figuring that was plenty of time. A few days after the appointment was made, my father went into the hospital for a week. Of course I spent that time with him, I mean family always comes first, even before myself. After that week, I started to study at every chance I got but it seemed that there were very few chances. It didn't help that the weather was getting better which has always made it hard for me to concentrate on anything but being outside. Then last Saturday I got a frantic call from my sister asking me for directions to a hospital here. Kevin, Ralf's ( my brother-in-law) brother, was rushed to the hospital because he was having a lot of problems. After running tests, they found a tumor on the front of his brain. There was so much pressure in that area that they were going to drill holes in his head to relive it so that the brain could settle back into place. After breakfast on Sunday, I went to the hospital to sit with my sister and Ralf's family to wait for Kevin's surgery to be done. It took over 7 hours but they removed most of the tumor and to all of our surprise, he is home now. They are waiting for the biopsy results on the tumor but at least everything is ok for now. I know I didn't have to go on Sunday and spend all day there but again, my family comes first and my sister needed me and my other sister to distract her from what was going on. Well at least we kept her entertained. In some twisted way, I enjoyed talking and spending time with my sisters that day. After watching my dad sick in the hospital and the shocking news about Kevin ( he is only a few years older than me and that is really young :) ), I just didn't find the GMAT that important.

On top of the family drama, I was stressed. Stressed because I didn't have time to study, I didn't have time to go to the gym and I was exhausted. I know I sound like I am complaining but really I'm just looking for advice on how to handle life when it seems overbearing. Lucky for me, I do have a solid circle of friends and family that I can lean on when needed. The only solution I came up with was rescheduling my GMAT appointment. This will give me another month to study and hopefully I can figure out how to find time to prepare and deal with life's curve balls.

Thanks to my love, family and friends who helped me through this last month. Just warning you looks like my summer will be as busy, so expect those crazy phone calls :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sad Saturday

The energy around Buffalo before Saturday's game was intense. The party-in-the-plaza started at 11 am and it was perfect weather to celebrate outside. Even my sister who just got back from visiting my nephew in Japan called me to see if I wanted to go party and watch the game in the plaza. I had to decline the invite since I already had plans to BBQ and watch the game at Marissa's house. Plus I was not going to stand for hours, in the sun, surrounded by thousands of people and only be allowed 3 beers. :) After the first party-in-the-plaza, the event coordinators decided to limit anyone of drinking age to 3 beers in order to keep the event family friendly.

We got to Marissa's house just before the opening face-off, everyone was pumped for the game. Even little Madison had on her Sabres hoody sweatshirt on. The game was exciting and nerve racking, I gave myself a stomach ache again. The Sabres scored the first goal and then Ottawa the next 2 and then of course the Sabres tie it up in the 3rd period. They did have a few chances to score the winning goal but it just wasn't in the cards for them. Drury got hit right in the face while standing in front of the Senators goal, which unfortunately stopped the puck from scoring. Then the Sabres set up to score again and those dirty Senators slid into the net, knocking it off it's spot which again prevented the puck from scoring. I swear the player did it on purpose. So off to OT the game went. I was nervous but confident we would score first, I mean it seemed that the Sabres had enough experience with OT that it would be simple for them. Unfortunately for Sabre fans and the city of Buffalo, the Senators scored. It was such a disappointment that all of us watching the game just stared at the TV in disbelief. It was such a let down after all the excitement and emotions that went into the playoffs.

The commentators had annoyed us all game and now that the Senators won, we couldn't bare to hear another word out of their mouths. Marissa and Eric started to get the food ready to be BBQ and J and I went outside to play with Madison and practice playing Horseballs. Horseballs is such a fun game for outside. You sent up these "racks" 10-20 feet apart and they are color coded. The top rung is red and worth 3 points, the middle rung is yellow and worth 2 point and the bottom one is blue and worth 1 point. You swing the balls ( two tennis balls attached with a short piece of rope) and aim for the opposite rack. You score by getting the balls to land on one of the rungs and can knock your opponents off too, which doesn't let them score. The first person or team to reach 21 wins.

While the food was cooking, Marissa was talking with her neighbors and we decided to put a small wager on the horse race coming up. It was going to be on after they got done talking about the hockey game. The Preakness is the second jewel of the Triple Crown and Street Sense was the favorite to win. There were 9 horses and 9 people between us and the people over at the neighbors so we wrote the names of the horse on pieces of paper, gave $5 each and picked a horse. Eric picked Street Sense, I picked Curlin and J got Xchanger. The food was done cooking just in time for us to make a plate and sit down to watch the race. I personally don't enjoy horse racing that much but I do watch it time to time. Well Xchanger was in the lead for a little bit but Street Sense made his move and he was leading the pack the last stretch of the track. Curlin came up the side and in a photo-finish won. I didn't even realize I had the horse that won, I was still in a daze from the Sabres losing. We finished eating and decided to head home. I was really exhausted from the day.

The Sabres had one hell of a season this year and unfortunately we are very unlikely to see this team as they are for next year. In a way I am glad they lost because now I can concentrate on studying but it would have been great to see the Stanley Cup for the first time reside in Buffalo. We love the hometown team and are looking forward to see what next season brings.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Let's go Sabres!! They were in a do or die situation on Wednesday night against Ottawa and they won. They were in Ottawa, down three games and started the game with a goal just 9 seconds into it. Yep 9 seconds!!! They were back to playing offense and their defense was extraordinary.

The fans in Buffalo are amazing. There were 9,800 people at HSBC arena last night watching the game on two 12' by 9' TVs and cheering like the team was playing at home. The energy around here is entertaining. Everyone, everywhere is talking about the team and how they are going to go to game 7 in this series. Game 5 is Saturday in Buffalo and I believe is sold out. The Sabres organization released more tickets this morning at 9 am and by 9:03 am, they were no longer available on the Internet. The game is going to be crazy and the fans will be cheering on Saturday.


To a few of my Canadian's not over until it's over :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

10 Fitch

For Mother's Day weekend, J's parents asked us to join them at 10 Fitch, a Bed and Breakfast located in Auburn, NY. They had gone to this Inn earlier this year and befriended the owner and Inn Keepers.
This was my first experience at a Bed and Breakfast and I wasn't too sure what to expect. I am uncomfortable with people waiting on me and I knew that the staff does that at B&B's. I was nervous about it being awkward essentially staying at a stranger's home. The fact that I was staying at a B&B with J's parents made me nervous. His parents are great, but it's always nerve wracking getting to know the boyfriend's parents.

As soon as we arrived, all of my nervousness and concerns subsided. The Inn is beautiful. You walk into the main foyer, to your left is a library/sitting room and to your right is the kitchen. Off of the library is a solarium with a gorgeous view of the grounds. This leads into another sitting room with fireplace and dinning room. We were the last ones to arrive so we got the last room, The Gardenview ( I would have picked this one :) ). I loved the room. It was decorated in soft greens, yellows and pinks. It has this really neat frog print on some pillows which matched the print on one side of the comforter. There was a little room inside our room which had a TV, two wicker chairs and a round ottoman. Each room at the Inn has it's own private bathroom. I absolutely loved the tile that the bathroom had. The shower was pretty impressive too. J's sister was teasing us because our room shared a wall with his parents but that didn't bother us.
After looking at the rooms, we joined his parents, M, J and Katie downstairs where Katie had cheese, crackers, fruit and wine ready for us. She is this young, bubbly, smiling and friendly Inn keeper . The owners were out of town so Katie ans Sean ( her boyfriend) were doing all the work for us. Well mostly Katie but Sean did help when he could. He had to work at the Sushi restaurant he is a chef at. We gathered outside, ate, drank and listened to J's mom tell us all about her trip to Spain. It's pretty impressive that for her 60 birthday, her and a couple of friends walked 75 miles ( I believe) through Spain over a period of 5 or 6 days. She had gifts for everyone. I got this really pretty red purse and cute silver hoop earrings. She also shared some postcards and such that she got on her trip. The pictures are yet to come, I think she said there are about 1,000 she took. After drinking a couple bottles of wine, the men went off in search of more wine and snacks. Us ladies sat around and talked for a little longer and then got ready for dinner.

We arrived at an Italian restaurant around 8pm for dinner. J and I ordered beers at the bar while we waited to be seated. The wait was much shorted than anticipated. I was having a hard time deciding what I was going to order since I was not exactly hungry after the cheese and crackers. Everything sounded good on the menu. I settled on a steak salad and it was delicious. It was really nice to be out to dinner with everyone, relaxing, drinking, eating and having good conversations. I like when everyone is laughing and enjoying each other's company. After dinner it was back to the Inn for for bed. I was exhausted.

The sun was shinning the next morning when we got up around 8am. I could hear a ball bouncing outside and to my delight, Sean was outside playing catch with his and Katie's dog Gully. He is a really cute dog. Black poodle mix and very friendly. He loves his mama for sure, he followed her around everywhere. It was very sweet. After getting ready for the day, J and I went downstairs to find everyone waiting for us except for mom. The wine and food did not sit with her well and she had been up off and on throughout the night sick. She did miss out on an amazing breakfast Katie and Sean prepared. It was a quiche served with a salad and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I wasn't sure about how salad and coffee would go together but it was delicious. After breakfast was over, mom joined us downstairs and let us know she was feeling much better.

After some discussion, it was decided that M and J would go to an Antique shop and come back at 1pm to pick mom up and meet J, me and dad in Skaneateles at Kabuki for lunch. Kabuki is the Japanese/Sushi place that Sean is a chef at. Skaneateles is a beautiful town just 10 minutes from where we were staying. It is right on the lake and the view is breath taking. There are shops and restaurants of all sorts up and down the main road. The lake is so clean and clear that you can see to the bottom even when you are out on the pier. J, dad and I walked in and out of the stores, not really looking for anything but just to see what each one was all about. There was a small wine store that offered tastings, of course J and I participated with that. *wink*

The pier at night

View from the pier

Village shops

Village Park
( For more pictures, check out Rel's blog- under the microscope)

At about 1:30pm we met up with group at Kabuki and enjoyed wonderful Japanese food and sushi. I ordered crab cakes that came with steamed rice with a seafood sauce on top. It was really really good. J ordered some sushi rolls and pieces. He liked his lunch too. We suggested that M should try goat cheese in the lobster/goat cheese salad. I got a chance to try a little and it was delicious. I am not too sure if we convinced M that goat cheese is tasty but she did say it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be.

After lunch and some coffee, we went back to the Inn to get ready for dinner. J's mom and Katie had worked together on planning what we were going to have that night. After everyone caught a short nap, we met in the dinning room. Katie brought out the first course. It was a salad with figs wrapped in goat cheese and bacon on top with balsamic vinaigrette. It was superb. I never really had fig but the combination was perfect. The main course was a grilled salmon steak on spinach with cranberries and pine nuts on top of red potatoes. I was impressed by the presentation and taste of the meal. The food the whole weekend was phenomenal. Little did I know what was in store for breakfast the next morning. We went into the library after dinner to watch the Sabres play Ottawa in game 2 of the conference finals. I was trying to contain my enthusiasm for the game but F bombs and such were flying by the 2nd period. Katie also served Orange Chocolate Souffle for dessert by the 2nd period along with coffee. It was really good. All warm and chocolaty and melted in your mouth. I could only eat half of it though. Sorry Katie. I was full from dinner and so nervous about the hockey game that I gave myself a stomach ache. They ended up tying the game with seconds left in regulation and lost the game in 2nd overtime. By then, everyone had gone to bed and J and I were exhausted.

Sunday morning was sunny again and the house smelled of cinnamon. Yummy!! I was running a little behind getting ready for breakfast that would be served at 9:30am so I had to stop doing my hair and join the family downstairs. Katie served us waffles with cinnamon bananas and whip cream. They were so good. I have never had anything like it. I love sweets, especially in the morning and these were just the thing I needed. After we were done we took some pictures outside by this beautiful tree with purple flowers on it and finished packing to go home. The guys packed the cars while I finished getting ready and we all met downstairs by the cars. We hugged goodbye and hit the road to home by 10:30 am.

My weekend was amazing. J and I don't really get to spend a lot of time together during the week so this was perfect for us. It was nice that J's mom had 2 out of 3 children around to celebrate Mother's day. I can't wait to go back to the area. My thoughts on B&B's are forever changed.

Thanks to J's parents and Katie who made this weekend happen

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Letter to My Mom

Dear Mom,

I have been thinking about this letter for a long time. I have been trying for years to figure a way to let you and everyone around you known how much I appreciate having you as my mom.

In the first few years of my life, you were the one I depended on for everything. I had others, dad, grandma, my aunts but you were the one I went to first. I knew even at a young age you would provide me with the truth, protect me when needed and love me no matter what I did. You even set a place at the dinner table so my friends ( the imaginary type) could sit with me while I ate. When I decided to be a brat and throw tantrums, you ignored me, knowing as wise mothers do, that if you gave into them, they would never stop. Thank goodness for you, that method worked. I eventually stopped, you were right ( as always). I have always envied your patience, I have none. As things around you become hectic and crazy, you stay calm and collected, never letting your tough image crack. I used to think there was nothing that would make you cry. You weren't like the other moms, you could take on anything. I remember the first time I saw you cry ( well the first time you let me witness it). I couldn't believe it!! I wanted to make it stop, you are my mom and you can not be sad!! I realize now, you are human and sometimes you just have to cry but when I was little I would cry if I thought you were sad. I never want you to be sad. You only deserve happiness in your life.

When I got a little older, you guided me through the tough stages of growing up ( pre-teen/teen years). The strange hair cuts I had, the clothes I insisted on wearing, trying to fit in, you let me be who I wanted to be as long as I was true to myself. I felt awkward in middle school, I was taller than everyone, you showed me to embrace my height. I was chubby too ( I know you disagree but look at the pictures) and you had me believing it was due to "baby fat" until I was a junior in high school. I used to get annoyed when you would say that but I realize now it was to prevent me from obsessing about it and to teach me to love myself for me. I also know if it was a real issue, you would have addressed it. I still depended on you for everything, I wouldn't admit it then, but it was because of you that I didn't do drugs, or get in trouble. I didn't want to disappoint you. That is worse than any punishment. You kept the forum for "taboo" topics wide open. I would come into your room almost every night and talk to you about everything that is going on in my life. Who likes who, who is having sex, who is doing drugs, who is mad at who (girls that age were always mad at someone) or what the new "in" thing was and you would just listen. You would talk with me as long as I wanted, even though you had to get up for work at 4am. I know you gave me little lessons here and there using Oprah or Montel after school as the tools and I listened. I really want you to know that I listened and heard every tid bit of advice and information you gave me. Your voice came creeping into my head a lot of times when I was faced with a decision to make. I couldn't have gotten through those years as successfully as I did without you.

After graduating from high school, I had college to face. You had made college seem important but left all the decisions up to me. I wanted to stay local and go to a community college ( that's what everyone was doing) and you wanted me to go away to a 4 year school. I choose to stay local. I was convinced you wanted me to go away, so I wouldn't date the person I was dating. How silly was I at that age? It's not in you to be selfish like that. I did want you to know, you were right, I should have gone to a 4 year school, well I think I would had a little more fun. You were also right about the boyfriend at the time. Actually come to think of it, you have always been right about my relationships. Now that I was a grown up ( 18 and all), you left the life decisions up to me. You even let me move out without question when I was only 20. I thought I could do it all at 20. Work, go to school, party with my friends. The truth, I could do it, but not without you. I missed our nightly talks, your smiling face when I got home and watching Jeopardy with you. Then the tables turned and you needed me at this time of our lives. This is when I learned what being a strong women really meant. You are my inspiration for life.
I am looking forward to the next stage of my life, hopefully marriage and children, and I know I am prepared because of all that you have taught me. I am truly grateful that you are my mom, I couldn't have picked a better one if I had to. For all your hard work and dedication to your family I want you to know you are appreciated. I love you mom and you are my world.
Love your daughter.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Cinco de Mayo

This past Saturday was Cinco de Mayo and around here the place to celebrate it is Cozumel. It was exactly what I needed after the week I had.

The week started out with my dad going into the hospital with pneumonia. He went to the Dr's because he was having a hard time breathing and they admitted him to the hospital to run tests and to get him on heavy antibiotics. While doing all the testing, they came across a problem with his heart. This only meant that he would be staying longer than he expected, which did not make him happy. They put a heart monitor on him to find out if this problem was a side effect of his the meds they gave him or if it was a problem that needed more attention. It turns out that his right and left atrium's were not pumping as strong as they should be. If I understood the Dr correctly, this could cause blood clots and we know that is not good. So after a few days of observation, antibiotics, blood thinners ( via a shot) and rest, my dad was ready to come home on Friday. His Dr wanted him to stay a few more days so that the transition from the shot to a pill would happen in the hospital but 5 days in there was more then my dad could handle. He had to learn how to administer the shot before being released. The good news is that my dad is on the road to getting healthier, the bad news, he had to miss his trip to Reno today, Dr's orders. He and my brother bowl in the USBC National Tournament every year. My dad has been participating in this tournament every year since I can remember. My brother joined him a few years ago when he became eligible to bowl. Unfortunately, my dad has to sit out this one. But there is always next year.

The weather was perfect for cerveza que bebe ( drinking beer) on the patio of Cozumel to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. It was sunny, breezing and in the mid 60's. According to, Cinco de Mayo commemorates an initial victory of Mexican over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Honestly I wasn't sure what it was for, I thought it was their Independence day, which I found out is in September. For whatever reason it happens, I am grateful!! J and I met M and E at there house and headed downtown. The parking is not exactly great for this event especially if you don't start celebrating by noon. We had to park our cars a few streets away and hike it to the bar. For the guys it's no big deal because they have sneakers or shoes on but of course us girls dress for fashion not comfort. We let the guys go get the cars and pick us up when we were ready to go home :) The place was already packed with partiers when we got there at 4pm. If I had to guess I would say about 200 people were there when we arrived and more then that when we left a few hours later. It was an hour wait for a table so we gave the girl our name and grabbed a few Coronas to enjoy. It is the perfect setting to "people watch". That is my favorite thing to do in a large, busy area of people. There are always "interesting" groups or individuals who amuse me while I am out. My personal favorite are the older guys who are still stuck in the 70's or 80's and still think they are cool. We finally got seated and it took forever to order but it was worth the wait. The food is excellent. After eating we deiced to leave and go hang out with M's parents who were in town this weekend. They are a blast!!

To top off the great ending to a not so great week, the Sabres won the series against the Rangers on Sunday in NY. They are off to face Ottawa in the Conference final starting on Thursday. The Sabres have home ice advantage so the first game will be at home. Ottawa is a tough team but the Sabres are playing to win this year!! GO SABRES