The Games

The main reason we decided to take our New York trip when we did was that my cousin’s basketball team had non-conference games scheduled upstate, which seemed like a really cool coincidence. It probably won’t happen again, so I knew that my mom and I needed to take advantage of the opportunity. They won both games, against Binghamton and Cornell, which means they’re 2-0 when I’m in attendance. Hope they will win their game when I visit Baltimore next month and I can officially call myself a good luck charm.

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We didn’t get to explore the Binghamton campus very much, but it looks like its a pretty sizeable school. We had a great dinner in a cool area by the river at the Lost Dog Café. It was great how many family members and friends made the trek from all around New York to come to the games as well.

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Ithaca was freezing and dreary when we were there. It’s a bit of a trek to get to because it isn’t near any of the main highways that run through the area.  When we first arrived we had a great lunch at a place downtown but I can’t remember the name.

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Empire State: The Catskills

For the second part of our New York visit, my mom and I spent 4 days in the Catskills region, where her hometown is located. We have many family and friends still in the area, so there were lots of people to see, and I always love hearing stories about her childhood and seeing where they took place.

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View from our family friends’ home, where we stayed.

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Visiting the site of my grandpa’s house, my mother’s childhood home, which was destroyed in a flood in 2007

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Downtown Roscoe, where my cousins and I spent hours riding our bikes and golf cart

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Spent some time at the lake house and Clear Lake, a staple in all of my Roscoe summer trips

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Saw some of the local landmarks on our long drives around the area

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As long as I’ve been going to visit Roscoe, the town has been in a pretty constant state after experiencing it’s bust in the middle of the 20th century. While there are many business that have been around for years, there are two spaces where restaurants go in and out, and a few vacant storefronts downtown. Of course, the recession hit this small town even harder than most places, so I was happy to see that two new business have cropped up, Roscoe Beer Co. and Prohibition Distillery.

It’s always great to go back to a place where you have really fond memories and hope to spend more time in the future. I still need to share details from the games, but I figured this part of the trip deserved it’s own post.

Surprise!

I just returned on Monday from a week in New York! It was a wonderful trip, with lots of different highlights, and I will be sharing more soon. But, in the meantime, I had to update that I was able to check something off my 30 Before 30 list. A large part of the reason we made the trip at this time was to see a few of the games my cousin’s basketball team was playing. My mom and I surprised him on the court at the first game in Binghamton, and it was awesome!

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Lately

Well hello there! How have you been?

I apologize for my little 2 week blogging hiatus. I didn’t plan it, but it happened anyway. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

North Carolina trip

The weekend of July 20th I ventured to North Carolina for the wedding of one of my best childhood friends. Her family lived a few streets over from mine for a few years during elementary school, and our whole families were close with one another. After they moved to the east coast, I visited a few times and they came back to Colorado a few times, but I hadn’t seen them since 2007. I was obviously excited about the weekend, but didn’t have much time to think about it or my expectations. Sometimes, I find that’s for the best, because the weekend ended up being absolutely amazing. I was able to catch up with the bride at the rehearsal dinner (usually unheard of during a wedding weekend), spend time with my bff Kevin (the bride’s brother) and meet a bunch of fun new people.

Early birthday gift

I received my first birthday gift earlier this week from my parents, a DSLR camera. I’ve been wanting one for a few months now, mostly to take better travel pictures and upgrade the blog a bit. I got the Rebel T3i and an extra lens, which will be a good start according to a photographer friend I consulted when making my wish list. I tested it out this weekend at my friend’s family’s ranch, which has lots of beautiful scenery. I definitely need to take a class or spend some time working on my shots but it was a lot of fun.

Work

I don’t think I’ve written much about my job, which I got back in May , but I am still loving it. One of the best perks about it are the summer hours, which include 1/2 day Fridays, Mondays off and the week of the 4th of July off, all in addition to regular PTO. Well, our ‘busy season’ started on August 1, so it’s really ramping up!  It will be weird to get back to a 40 hour work week (I haven’t worked one since February of 2011), but I’m not dreading it, which I feel blessed about.

Lily

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Luke and I decided to get a puppy. We picked her up from the breeder last Wednesday, and have been having a great time with her, while adjusting to the demands of puppy ownership. We really struggled with selecting a name, but eventually chose Lily. Here are a few pictures of our new addition. If I do say so myself, she is adorable! (In the first two pictures, which are from the breeder, she’s wearing the orange collar.)

5 Weekend Highlights

Luke’s mom has been in town visiting us, and we’ve had a great time taking her to our favorite local restaurants and showing her around. On Saturday night I cooked this risotto recipe for the two of them. This is one of the only times I’ve cooked for someone other than Luke and me, so it was fun to get another person’s perspective.

I bought Easter egg colored candles for the candle holder to replace the usual red ones. Loving the look of our place decorated for Easter.

My parents hosted a brunch for my brother’s birthday on Sunday. My mom cooked an unbelievable amount of food and it was delicious. This was his cake.

The weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend, which led to the last two highlights. One was the nice walk I went on with my mom and Luke’s mom along the Highline Canal. The other was sitting on our front patio with cocktails on Friday afternoon.

What St. Patrick’s Day Means to Me

My grandfather was born on March 17, 1920. With those close to me who have passed away, it seems that a day always emerges where they are on my mind the most and where my family celebrates them. My Aunt Jo, for example, who was so full of love, died on Valentine’s Day, which is so fitting because of the kind of woman she was, so we celebrate her on that day.

For my grandfather, this day is his birthday, St. Patrick’s Day. Though his ancestry is German, a little Scotch and a little English, and it was his wife (my grandmother) who was Irish, he one day became convinced he was Irish and lived the lifestyle more fully than I’ve ever seen. A friend of his visited Ireland, and on a walk through a cemetery found a number of headstones with the name “Bury,” his last name, on them. After hearing this and seeing the pictures, my grandfather became the most patriotic Irishmen you’ve ever met. He read countless books by Irish authors and about Irish history, drank Tullamore Dew and even visited Ireland on a two-week trip, despite needing his cane and his declining health.

My grandfather was the sweetest man I’ve ever met, and I miss him every day, but especially today.

Our Chrismas

This Christmas will be the 5th that Luke and I are together for… or I suppose I should say, in a relationship for. You see, in 5 years, we have never spent Christmas Day together. People have always thought this was kind of weird, and maybe it is, but to me it’s a testament to how dedicated we each are to our own families… and what we will eventually bring together to make our family someday. We both come from families with very time-honored traditions. Neither of us grew up going to Cabo one year, staying home the next, visiting family in Chicago another, we always had Christmas at home with our entire families, doing the same things each year. So, neither of us feels quite ready to sacrifice that special time, yet.

To make up for being apart for the big holiday, which is difficult, though we both know we are where we should be, we have a tradition of having our own Christmas before we part. And tonight, we are celebrating it before Luke flies home to California tomorrow. I make a big, fancy dinner, we open our gifts, and then eat dessert while watching a Christmas movie. It’s become something very special to us.

Tonight I will be making pork tenderloin in a pear cream sauce, risotto and a caesar salad. Depending on how they turn out, I will be sure to share the recipe. Also, if you know of any good cocktails requiring peach schnapps, let me know. I had to buy a whole bottle (isn’t it pretty?) and will only use a little bit tonight.