We got married at the JW Marriott in San Antonio, Texas on November 21, 2015. One hundred relatives and friends from all over the country were there to celebrate with us. We honeymooned for a week in beautiful St. Maarten and St. Barth’s. You can see more details about our big day here: StefandWill.com
Robyn (and Eric, couldn’t have done it without him!) had a baby, which makes me a proud aunt! Layla Lee Cervantes was born May 31st, 2013. She just celebrated her first birthday and she’s really freakin’ cute.
Obviously my mother is just so incredibly excited to finally be a grandmother. Here she is with Layla on Easter getting in some quality reading time with her little grandbaby. And here’s another picture: Layla on her first birthday… drooling over some cake!
I had been looking for furniture for the guest bedroom since we moved in (over 12 months ago, LOL) but i just couldn’t bring myself to spend the kind of money it was going to take to achieve the look i was going for. So the 2nd bedroom was operating primarily as Pogo’s favorite napping place, and secondarily as a big closet with all the stuff we didn’t care to organize immediately (read: ever). Fast-forward to 1 month before my birthday… my sister & brother-in-law were coming to visit and i was desperate to create an acceptable guest suite!
So i caved in & purchased an old dresser i’d seen on Craigslist for months… it was solid oak and a steal of a deal (only $200!) but it needed to be brought into this decade. I decided this would be my first “shabby-chic-furniture-re-painting-project” that all the kids on Pinterest were doing. So we hit up Home Depot and called up some friends (Thanks Brett & Julia!) and got to work…
The results were exactly what i was hoping for. Now, i can’t wait to try different pieces of furniture! Before doing this project, i would have never considered myself a “handy woman”… crafty, but not HANDY. Here are a few helpful tips for anyone who is interested!
1) Cleaning, Sanding & Priming the furniture is KEY! I’ve seen some articles & blog posts on the web that lead people to believe that you can skip some or all of these steps and to that i say… “You will regret it!”
2) Here are some of the supplies i used:
The eco-friendly drop cloth was a nice idea, and i was trying to be “green” but it’s not practical to use when the item you are painting is close to 100 lbs. It ripped instantaneously. The paint color i used was called “Parchment Paper” and i got it at Home Depot (I don’t recall the brand, though… sorry!)
3) Give it Time! I waited 24-48 hours in between each coat. (2 coats of primer, 2 coats of paint, 1 coat of finish)
4) Remember the details! I spent extra time cleaning the old hardware (try “Brasso” but wear gloves, that stuff is HARSH!), and lining the drawers ($4/roll at Home Goods) and was very pleased with the final product.
Fall, Autumn, Harvest Time.
I know these are foreign words to most Texans, but here on the
East Coast it’s the BEST TIME of the year! It’s chilly, but not freezing. The leaves are changing colors — and i don’t mean from green to brown. I’m talking about red, orange, yellow, and PURPLE. Colors that just don’t seem real!
So naturally with all this beauty around me (& as any good NE’er should) I had to pick apples & pumpkins! Together with Lenny & Kaitlyn, Will & I visited the Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, CT. It was a HUGE orchard with acres & acres of apple trees to pick from. There was also a corn maze that we did not get to attempt, due to the late afternoon showers. But we sure did not miss the market & the warm apple cider donuts. (Added Bonus: There is one Sonic Drive-In in CT. We stopped there on the drive home!)
Let there be no mistake about it… I understand that Fall also means that Winter is right around the corner. And with temps in the 30’s this week, a town still cleaning up from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and a pending Nor’Easter looming later this week… i’m FULLY aware of the not-so-fun days in my near future. But let’s just enjoy this gorgeous season for a little bit longer.
Julia & I ran the Hartford Half Marathon on Saturday, October 13th. It wasn’t my fastest time, but it was definitely the most enjoyable race to date.
We drove to Suffield, CT on Friday night and stayed at Brett’s mom’s house which was a 20 minute drive to the start line. After the race, we had lunch at Salute & then we stopped at a local farmer’s market to buy the world’s most delicious honey greek yogurt & homemade ice cream. What a treat!
Update: Sweet baby Avery passed away on 4/30/12. Rest in peace, little angel.
Avery Lynn Canahuati, the 5 month old daughter of my childhood friend Laura & her husband Mike, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) last Friday. SMA is an incurable genetic disease that will likely take Avery’s life before age 2. Instead of spending their time being sad & angry, Laura & Mike decided to make every minute of her life here on Earth count. Please join me in praying that Avery has a full & wonderful life. Let us lift up her parents as well, that they have the strength and courage to continue sharing their difficult story to inform others so that one day there will be research for SMA and God-willing, someday… a cure. Follow their blog and watch Avery check items off of her bucket list!
Learn about this terrible disease. Be inspired by this beautiful baby girl.
In January 2012, a full two years after my big move to the NE we finally booked a winter trip to Bromley Sun Mountain in southern Vermont. (backstory: The first and only time i participated in snow sports was in 2004, during an APO national convention. We took a train from downtown Denver to Winter Park Colorado. I skipped my beginner lesson because i was a natural on skis and was up on some pretty decent Blues by the end of the day!) Will & Lenny have snowboarded before so i decided to give that a try this time. As an added bonus, Claudia planned a visit just in time to join us!
We all headed to Vermont around 4pm on a Thursday. Arlington, VT is supposed to be a 3 hour drive from where we live. However, due to snow/icy weather & questionable narrow/dark roads we arrived at our cabin around 9pm. Scates, John Louis & their ladies would be joining us the following night but we wanted to be up early on Friday for a “Snowboard Starters” group lesson so we arranged to be at the cabin the night before. The next morning, we lucked out and got placed in a small group with two very talented and helpful instructors: Tony & Ollie. They taught us the basics and had us making turns by lunch time. After lunch, we got up on the lift and made several passes down a mild course. Will happened to be the snowboarding all-star in the group and he was connecting his turns like a pro!
Even the guys (who had taken lessons before) were surprised at how great our instructors were. We were all doing very well on our boards. On day one, we had about 5 full hours of instruction and even though we were all exhausted and ready to call it a day… we were still very much looking forward to day two.
When we got back to the cabin we got cleaned up, made some dinner and waited for the rest of the group to arrive. Once everyone arrived we partied a little bit, some more than others (ahem, CLAUDIA ha!) but we were all up the next day and back at Bromley for more.
It was a fantastic weekend, and two days of snowboarding was all that it took to get me hooked. Our friends who live in Norwalk (the Lackey’s) are avid snowboarders and they inspired us to buy our own equipment. When we got home, Lenny introduced us to Joe (the owner of Capsule Board Shop in Cos Cob) and less than 2 weeks later I was a proud owner of a new beautiful Signal Snowboard! Will’s board came in a few weeks later… it took a little longer to arrive since he had to special order one in his size. We are now itching to hit the slopes again ASAP. We’ve got multiple friends who want to take weekend or day trips with us, so i’ll continue to post about our new fun hobby!
It’s almost that time of year again… time for me to “fly south” for Christmas. It’s the only trip i ever get to take sans the work laptop so i’m pretty pumped about that. BUT, additionally… this year my best childhood friend, Crystal Orr, is getting married on New Year’s Eve. So my trip home is being shifted back a few days (i arrive in Texas on Christmas eve), but that just means i get to stay a few days later. Will & I will celebrate together on Friday before i leave, but we wanted the chance to enjoy all our friends too before the holidays take us in different directions. So we hosted a party at our apartment. An intimate gathering of our favorite people – it was a blast!
I had originally ordered Delicious Tamales from San Antonio for the party. I even paid $40 extra for 3 day shipping, but when i called to confirm the delivery date they told me it would take 10 days, bummer! So my foodie co-worker (& local celebrity blogger), Chris Preovolos, had this bright idea: “Why don’t we just make them ourselves??”… Ummm, because i have no idea how to!! Could we pull it off??
Thanks to Chris’s cooking skills & about 8 hours of assembly & steaming we ended up with some amazingly “delicious tamales” here in CT. Having access to La Marqueta (the chain of Spanish grocers here in Southern Fairfield County) was a huge help as well. Oh yes, and we also had a festive photo booth set up. Here are a few of the highlights from Santa’s Studio: