Summer Travel Plans

In my free moments here and there I have been slowly making plans and doing research for quite a bit of travel this summer! This summer is shaping up to be an adventure for sure! In the coming days, I'm hoping to be like Andrew and blog about the different trips and itineraries I'm working on. I think it will be fun to have all my thoughts and plans in one place finally.

The summer will kick off with Waves Summer Camp at Camp Watermarks from June 27th through July 2nd!

Then I'm home for a week and might be headed to New Orleans for a girls weekend with Thais and Celeste! I have never been to New Orleans but have always wanted to go, so I'm hoping I can save up enough to take this side trip and catch up with two of my best friends who I just don't get to see enough of!A week later, Adam and I will leave again for the Waves Missions trip to Tampa, Florida where we'll be doing some hard labor working on projects such as home improvements. Adam and I will be married 5 years while we're gone, but we'll be celebrating in a few more weeks.

My sister and I then leave right after her birthday on the 4th of August for California. I have never been out west and can't wait to see San Fransisco and Yosemite. We are headed there to celebrate our dad and the life he lead in a couple of the places he loved most in the world. I am really looking forward to this adventure and the memories my sister and I will share forever.

Anna and I land back in Norfolk at the crack of dawn Monday morning, the 9th of August, and Adam and I jet off that Thursday night for ITALY where we'll be celebrating 5 years of married bliss! We'll be visiting Rome, Tuscany (the countryside), Florence, Venice and the Amalfi Coast while in country for 11 days and we'll be joined along the way by some of our OSL best friends (Haley and Justin, Austin and Courtney, Dan and Lisa)!

There is a lot in store for this summer. I LOVE TO TRAVEL and I am so excited to see so many new places both stateside and abroad!

Valentine's Day Celebrations

This Valentine's Day weekend, our small group was invited to join another small group for their 4th Annual Celebration of Marriage evening at the Ratz's. Adam and I as well as Laura and TJ ventured out to the event to represent for our group. We had a lovely dinner potluck style followed by some HILARIOUS games. The Ratz's hosted the game portion of the evening, which was pretty creative I might add.
We started out by listing five items we wanted to get rid of in our house and why.
Then those reasons were read following the statement, "(Spouse's name) wants to get rid of (partnering spouse's name) because...insert reasons for removing's old, she's ugly, ect." It was pretty funny!
Then there was a game of chubby bunny...however the twist was that a wedding vow had to be said clearly with a mouth full of marshmallows.
The next game involved some dress up...I had to style Adam in...
What a trooper! And he wasn't the only one...
Our husbands were good sports in strutting around in their new outfits!
They kept saying, "Do you really put these on like this?" and "Do these stay this tight the WHOLE time you were them?" I guess it was an eye openning experience for the men!

Sunday night we had small group, so we decided to save our Valentine's celebration for Monday.
Adam brought home a beautiful bouquet of pink roses and we went to Zia's for a delicious dinner.
Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

Apples of Gold

Some of you have heard I've been participating in a group mentoring/discipleship program called Apples of Gold that allows some of the younger women in the church to connect with some of the Titus 2 women at Atlantic Shores. This is the test run for our church's Apples of Gold program, but it has been AWESOME so far to say the least.

The first hour is spent in the kitchen where we watch a cooking lesson thematically matched to that days lesson. Kathy Overmeyer is teaching that portion each week and it has been so fun to watch her at work. It's like our own personal, interactive cooking show.Then the second hour, the younger women break off as a group to go over the lesson with one of the mentors who's been assigned that week's lesson. Thus far we've covered kindness, loving your husband and loving your children and these women are a wealth of imformation, experience and wisdom.
Upon finishing the lesson, we all enjoy a time of fellowship and further discussion over lunch, which is a sampling of what we've learned to cook earlier that morning.I am just soaking up every minute with each of these women. Not only am I learning a lot, but I am also getting to meet women from other areas of the church, whom I have not come in contact with which in turn makes our church seem like an even more intimate family. I am so thrilled to be apart of this pilot program and can't wait to encourage other friends to join in when the next session comes around! If you have Apples of Gold at your church, you should definitely check it out or ask about starting the program because it is a wonderful way to connect with different generations of women in the church.

Dinner Club: February family recipes

This month's dinner club theme was family recipes (that you have never made of course), so I decided to give my Nana's lasagna a go. I gave her a call and reviewed the recipe. Then Friday right after school I raced to the store and picked up the ingredients. I sadly was going have to omit the meatballs and sausage this time around due to time had to be ready to leave the house that night at 6pm.

I started out by boiling the noodles and making my sauce. Then I layed my first layer of noodles covering it with the sauce and spooned dollups of Ricotta cheese in an alternating pattern. Finally I covered that layer with mozzerella. I would have put the meat on alternating with the ricotta had I been using meat. Then I layed my next layer and did it all over again until I ran out of noodles and the pan was full. I added more mozzerella on top with some parmesian too. I then covered the tray with foil and stuck it in the oven to bake for an hour so all the cheese would melt and everything would be nice and hot. Then it was off to Laura O's for our dinner club. We had so much good food from corn pudding and sweet potato biscuits to brunswick stew, green beans, and a sausage pasta dish and for dessert there was homemade apple pie and strawberry cookies.I didn't get an after shot until we had dug into the lasagna...oh was yummy and pretty easy to make. I'll definitely be using the recipe again...especially to bring people because it cooks and transports pretty easy.
Sadly I somehow missed getting pictures of all of us at the dinner club this month, but I did get a shot of all the food on a plate. Can you say DELICIOUS! Next month's theme...Alice in Wonderland...should be interesting to see what will be on the menu that night.

An OSL Weekend

This past weekend, OSL had a great get together weekend...two of our far away dwellers were planning to be in town for a visit! Shelby was coming in from Texas on Thursday and Lindsey was coming in from Atlanta on Saturday. (Crazy timing and what a coincidence or good timing huh!?). Of course we took this opportunity to all get together and hang out! Haley and Daniel came in from Richmond to join the rest of the Tidewater crew.

Friday night I met up with Shelby, Cola, Dennis and my mom at Kinkaid's to start the catching up! Things seem to be just peachy for Shelb down in Texas...she's working hard, taking good care of Justin, making great friends, loving running (her new hobby), and even volunteering with the Junior League. Hopefully we'll all get down there for a ladies weekend one of these days to see her new life first hand and get to be apart of her new surroundings!
I had to include this silly shot...classic Shelb fixing her hair and me cheezin' for a picture.
After Kinkaid's, Shelb and I headed over to another local's spot in Norfolk, though I'm drawing a blank on the name at the moment, to meet up with the rest of OSL for dinner.
Then after dinner, we headed over to the Mazzio's for some late night hanging out and dessert. Lisa hadn't been able to join us for dinner since someone needed to be home with the sleeping twins (and they had a babysitter lined up for Saturday night's OSL gathering), so we tried to keep the noise down for the sleeping angels, though we were more successful at some points in the night than at others...but none the less we had lots of fun chatting and continuing to catch up with everybody on the latest of life.
Saturday morning, I had Apples of Gold (a separate post) and met up with everyone that night at a cool restaurant called The Boot in Norfolk. It's a swanky place that uses solely local resources/ products. This is a fave spot for the Mazzio's and the Gage's and we all found out why! The food was DELICIOUS and sophisticated, from scallops and black fettuccine to butternut squash pasta it was all wonderful. Saturday's dinner we were joined by Lindsey, who had come to town to go wedding gown shopping with her sister-in-law-to-be, Adele. (I saw some pictures of possible gowns...and she is going to be quite the beauty!) Again we caught up on the nuances of Linds' life in Atlanta, the Dean's new house, their church shopping experiences and the possibility of buying a boat to add that extra touch of fun to their Georgian lives.
Everyone at dinner Saturday night
(Dustin, Adele, Lindsey, Lisa, Dan, Me, Adam, Adam, Ashley, Austin, Courtney and Haley)
This shot was classic...
Those were a creative appetizer of risotto balls. Pretty tasty and fun to look at, plus I love how happy Adam is in this picture!

We finished out the night hanging out at the Gage's where we continued to talk, while some rock band was played. Another fun development from the evening is that Dan and Lisa may be joining us on the Italy trip as well. If you haven't heard, Adam and I are planning a trip to Italy for our 5 year anniversary this August and we will be joined for a leg of the trip by Courtney, Austin, Haley and Justin and now possibly the Mazzio's as well! The weekend was rounded out by the Gage's joining us chez Herndon for the Superbowl...Shelb was going to stop by, but had to fly back to Texas early due to all the snow storm craziness! Loved seeing everybody...Can't wait for our next chance to visit!

It's beginning to look a lot like...BOSTON!

If I didn't know any better I would think we had moved back to Boston with the weather we got this weekend! I do love a snow storm though (I thought Richmond's would be the only one I would experience this year though)...I don't love them as often as they happened up north, but I welcome an occasional snow. This one came when I needed it most...I have been so busy lately and did not see a break in sight, but the weather Gods helped out and cleared my calendar for three days straight!
Even Samson got acquainted with the white fluffy stuff!
"What is this stuff?"
Then he got to playing in it! Now that was funny to watch.Adam and I took a ride during the storm on Saturday and it was pretty reminiscent of the "white out" I experience up north.
What's a "white out" you might ask if you've never heard of one? It looks a little like this...where all you see is white...When I first heard the term I thought it had something to do with power outages due to snow like a "black out". These piles of snow remind of Boston SO much!
Hopefully they will melt a little faster here then they did up there.
Hope everyone enjoyed the snow and their snow days!

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