June 2003 - Undergrad graduation party Holy youngness - and tanness - and skinnyness. This past Monday Ryan and I celebrated our seven-year wedding anniversary. I got all artsy-fartsy this year and made him one of those picture scrapbooks that you create on your computer and send away for. I only included pictures taken after we got married so this one didn’t make the cut but since it involved me pulling out all my old pictures burned onto CDs I flipped through the 10 year plus stuff as well and discovered some of our earliest pictures together. Thank you Ryan for a wonderful decade+ together and 7 lovely years of marriage.

June 2003 – Undergrad graduation party

Holy youngness – and tanness – and skinnyness.

This past Monday Ryan and I celebrated our seven-year wedding anniversary. I got all artsy-fartsy this year and made him one of those picture scrapbooks that you create on your computer and send away for. I only included pictures taken after we got married so this one didn’t make the cut but since it involved me pulling out all my old pictures burned onto CDs I flipped through the 10 year plus stuff as well and discovered some of our earliest pictures together.

Thank you Ryan for a wonderful decade+ together and 7 lovely years of marriage.

This little guy made me the proudest mama at his annual check up by losing 1.5 lbs… Making him merely overweight as opposed to entering obese territory. To him I award the highest of fives. Now time for me to follow his lead!

This little guy made me the proudest mama at his annual check up by losing 1.5 lbs… Making him merely overweight as opposed to entering obese territory.

To him I award the highest of fives.

Now time for me to follow his lead!

Eating my way around the world: Meske

I have a dream of visiting almost every country in the world. But alas, monetary constraints and limited PTO days typically put a stop to those dreams (and I’m too scared to ever just quit my job and see the world jumping from hostel to hostel and job to job while abroad – which is why Liz at OneTwentyFive is so amazing – because she did just that… and a lot more!)

So I came up with an alternative idea. Use my close proximity to the melting pot that is NYC to eat my way around the world… without leaving the metro-New York area. We started several months ago with me heading into the city on Friday in the evenings until my work schedule got in the way, but I’m hoping to start it up again soon. But until that happens, I’ll regale you on where I’ve been in the world so far!

First up was Ethiopia

This was perhaps the best place to start with because the food was so different from anything I’ve ever had before, yet absolutely amazing.

First up the food: 2/2 Musubis

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For some context, the main basis of an Ethiopian meal is their bread (injera), a spongy crepe that was used as both a plate and an eating vehicle (as you eat your food with the bread, not with a fork or knife). Not having a clue as to what dishes we might actually like we went with their big combination platter called the Meskerem Combo , which included Tibs Wat (a prime beef dish served in berbere sauce), Gomen Besaega (Prime beef finished with collard greens), Yebeg Alecha (lamb stew), Miser A Lech (split lentils), and Miser Wat (uh…. More split lentils). We also ordered a serving of Kitfo (think beef tartar) – this one was my favorite.

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And I had to get a glass um bottle of their honey wine. Delish!

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Service: 1/1 Musubi

I give my server a lot of credit. She didn’t speak a lot of English but as we were the only ones in the restaurant that looked / sounded like it was our first time, she really worked hard to make sure we didn’t order anything we wouldn’t like – her big concern was that we didn’t understand that Kitfo was raw beef.

Ambiance: 0/1 Musubi

They are getting a docked point here because well… there just wasn’t any ambiance. But I actually thought it added an authentic feel to the place – crooked pictures on the wall and our table was almost in a hallway connecting the main dining room to the back room, and my chair was sort of broken. But seriously, don’t let any of this deter you!

Price to Portion: 1/1 Musubi

I hate discussing money but I’d want to know… before tax and tip, a dinner that included 2 entrees (which filled up two pretty hefty eaters) and a bottle of wine was around $56. In NYC. And I think half our bill was that bottle of wine. Rachael Ray could even come here on her $40 a Day show and eat even cheaper because she would tip crappily. (Going off on a tangent here but have you ever done the math on her show? She’ll be like “at $18 plus $1.30 for tax and tip…” Seriously?!)

In summary: that’s musubi

Scenes from the 4th of July My friend grew up in a suburban CT town in a good school district and close enough to the metropolitan areas for work commuting to not be a huge pain. Quintessential suburban life type of stuff. And then when she and her brother were grown and off on their own, her parents said, enough of this, sold their place and retired out to the most beautiful lake house in upstate CT (okay, more like middle CT… but it seems upstate to me). And not only do they love to be relaxing at their lakefront property, but they love to play host/hostess to everyone, with clambakes throughout the summer and a huge 4th of July party. It’s times like this that I am “lucky I live CT.”

Scenes from the 4th of July

My friend grew up in a suburban CT town in a good school district and close enough to the metropolitan areas for work commuting to not be a huge pain. Quintessential suburban life type of stuff. And then when she and her brother were grown and off on their own, her parents said, enough of this, sold their place and retired out to the most beautiful lake house in upstate CT (okay, more like middle CT… but it seems upstate to me). And not only do they love to be relaxing at their lakefront property, but they love to play host/hostess to everyone, with clambakes throughout the summer and a huge 4th of July party.

It’s times like this that I am “lucky I live CT.”

Scenes from this weekend This weekend started off with ambitions to just relax, nap, eat, and maybe catch a movie. So there I was on Saturday morning, calm and not-stressed, prepping lunch while Ryan worked on breakfast, when my velociraptor Sushi started clawing at the furniture. I was pissed. Not like my furniture isn’t already banged up and clawed but the little monsters usually wait until I’m not home to yell at them.  But this time, Sushi would claw. I would yell. Sushi would look apologetic. I would go back to chopping vegetables. Sushi would attack the furniture. Non-stop until I finally saw what had him so obsessed. Water leaking from our ceiling. We had countless leaks over the years. Leaks that ended with Ryan cutting apart our ceiling only to never find the source or ever have a leak in that location again. So this time we waited. It was a fluke again. It would stop and we’d never be bothered with it again. It didn’t stop. 24 hours later, our drip-collecting pot was filled. I barely slept I was so worried about our house and 8 AM on Sunday found us at Home Depot to get the items we needed to tear apart our ceiling. (I’ve told this story a lot over the past couple of days, and I always say “we”, but let’s get this straight, anything to do with handyman work… it’s really just Ryan. I “supervise”.) By the way, the Home Depot parking lot on a Sunday morning…. packed! WHAT????? So we ate breakfast and then I anxiously watched as Ryan took a saw to our ceiling. And as he cut, the drywall was so wet it started to disintegrate in places. BUT, he found the leak. A hole in our bathroom pipes that clearly had already been patched (see upper right hand picture) sometime before we bought the place back in 2005. So Ryan is the hero of the weekend, fixing my falling apart house while I played cleaner upper and followed along behind him with a garbage bag to pick up our disintegrating ceiling. And as for our genius leak finder Sushi? With his hard work done the day before, he pretty much hung out in the orange box all day and looked unimpressed with what we were doing. (The other two munchkins were smart enough to steer clear of the room.) I did end up getting my nap in though. After the leak was repaired I passed out for most of Sunday afternoon due to all the stress of…. um…. watching….

Scenes from this weekend

This weekend started off with ambitions to just relax, nap, eat, and maybe catch a movie. So there I was on Saturday morning, calm and not-stressed, prepping lunch while Ryan worked on breakfast, when my velociraptor Sushi started clawing at the furniture. I was pissed. Not like my furniture isn’t already banged up and clawed but the little monsters usually wait until I’m not home to yell at them.

But this time, Sushi would claw. I would yell. Sushi would look apologetic. I would go back to chopping vegetables. Sushi would attack the furniture. Non-stop until I finally saw what had him so obsessed. Water leaking from our ceiling.

We had countless leaks over the years. Leaks that ended with Ryan cutting apart our ceiling only to never find the source or ever have a leak in that location again. So this time we waited. It was a fluke again. It would stop and we’d never be bothered with it again.

It didn’t stop. 24 hours later, our drip-collecting pot was filled. I barely slept I was so worried about our house and 8 AM on Sunday found us at Home Depot to get the items we needed to tear apart our ceiling. (I’ve told this story a lot over the past couple of days, and I always say “we”, but let’s get this straight, anything to do with handyman work… it’s really just Ryan. I “supervise”.) By the way, the Home Depot parking lot on a Sunday morning…. packed! WHAT?????

So we ate breakfast and then I anxiously watched as Ryan took a saw to our ceiling. And as he cut, the drywall was so wet it started to disintegrate in places. BUT, he found the leak. A hole in our bathroom pipes that clearly had already been patched (see upper right hand picture) sometime before we bought the place back in 2005. So Ryan is the hero of the weekend, fixing my falling apart house while I played cleaner upper and followed along behind him with a garbage bag to pick up our disintegrating ceiling. And as for our genius leak finder Sushi? With his hard work done the day before, he pretty much hung out in the orange box all day and looked unimpressed with what we were doing. (The other two munchkins were smart enough to steer clear of the room.)

I did end up getting my nap in though. After the leak was repaired I passed out for most of Sunday afternoon due to all the stress of…. um…. watching….

I teased my British co-worker across the pond for trying to schedule a meeting with me on “the anniversary of my independence from [them].” The joke did not go over well.

Too soon?