Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Weekend with the Ones I Love

I left Houston Thursday evening expecting one of my very best friends to be arriving only an hour after me. Unfortunately, Andrea's plane from Memphis to Pittsburgh (she had a layover from Huntsville) was CANCELLED!!! Yes, cancelled. Not delayed. Cancelled. The worst part was that she wouldn't be getting in to Pittsburgh until 3pm on Friday now which meant we would lose almost an entire day with each other. While we were initially upset about losing time, we had so much more to be thankful for like the fact that we were all able to travel safely and that Andrea would still be here to spend the rest of the weekend with JP, Maggie and I.

Luckily Andrea's new flight was able to get her into Pittsburgh "on time." She made it in at 3pm and we were SO SO thankful that she was here. After getting Andrea settled we decided to go to Houlihan's for drinks and dinner.

I love her.

We finished out the evening watching a little surprise that JP picked up for me while I was out of town...Harry Potter 7 Part 1!!! It was nice to just chill out on the couch just like we used to back when we lived together!

On Saturday, we started off the day taking Andrea to the Strip District just like we took everyone when they came back in March. We wandered up and down the street, had and amazing breakfast and Andrea got a Penguins hockey shirt! After the Strip, we went on a double decker bus tour of Pittsburgh! Oh it was so much fun. It was a hop on and hop off tour of the city.

It was nice to learn some new things about the city I live in and we got to do some new things...such as...go to the casino! I have NEVER been to a casino or gambled in my entire life. Granted, I'm only 23 and I've only been legally allow to enter a casino for 2.5 years anyways.

Just inside of the casino! It was actually pretty neat!

Once inside, JP headed over to the black jack tables while Anne and I hit the slot machines! I only intended to go in and spend $20 max on the penny slots. Luckily for me, instead of spending $20, I came out with $112.60!

OMG I just won $77.50 at once!

So proud :)

Money, money, money, money...MONEY!

We are super cool...that's why she's one of my BFF's!

As soon as I hit the $77.50 winnings and totalled $112.60, I immediately STOPPED. I am a sore loser and I wanted to come out on top and not push my luck. We met up with JP and went over to the casino restaurant to watch the Penguins game and grab a beer and a snack! We then had to head back to our bus stop to make sure we didn't have to wait another hour for the next one!

Waiting for the bus with Mount Washington in the background.

We finished out the bus tour taking in all of the sites and history of Pittsburgh. There's actually a lot more to experience then you would think! Luckily for us, the tour ended within walking distance of the Hofbrauhaus which was modelled after the original in Germany! Andrea spent many years living in Germany while in grade school since he father was in the military so it seemed like a neat idea and JP and I had been wanting to go.

Can you see us?!

 After all of our fun exploring the city, we headed back our casa. First thing we did was take Maggie on a super long walk! Poor baby had been couped up all day long, but she handled it very well and was so happy to see us! The rest of the night was spent cooking stuffed bell peppers and playing with the Kinect!

Sunday was Easter! I absolutely love Easter and it is my favorite season in the church (see why in Anxiously Awaiting). We woke up and went to the 10am mass at our church, Holy Trinity Catholic Church. JP and I love it there and it's only 1.3 miles away from our house!

We had to take Easter pictures!

After mass I made a yummy brunch of Cake Batter Pancakes (found on How Sweet it is) and sausage! After our tummies were filled, it was time for JP the Easter Bunny to hide eggs for Andrea and I to hunt...yes...we hunted Easter eggs and I am so proud of it. Momma Timmer also hid a Golden Egg in my goodie bag so it was almost like I found it back in Texas! (FYI -- my family always does a really big Easter egg hunt in Sugar Land and this was my first year to miss it!) JP was a trouper and cooperated so well just to make Andrea and I happy.

Just finished the hunt and showing off our loot...and our awesome outfits :)

Maggie hunting her eggs

Maggie had an egg hunt too! I hid different types of treats in her eggs and she got to eat her treats as she found the eggs around our living room!

The rest of the day was spent taking walks with Maggie, naps on the couch and movie watching. All in all it was an amazing day and I am so thankful that I was able to spend my first holiday away from home with 2 of the people dearest to my heart. We had an amazing weekend and as always, it went by WAY to fast. I'm now looking forward to the next time I get to see my Andrea. My next post is a super secret surprise and soon you'll all see why! Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Work Trip Home

How great is it that even though JP and I moved across the country, I was able to keep my job, work from home AND they even want to bring me back every once and a while! This is my second trip back to Houston for work. The first trip was crazy busy and I had to stay in a hotel during our sales conference, but this time I got to be at home with my wonderful Mommy and Daddy :) I am so thankful for them and blessed that they open their doors and let me stay there and bother/hang out with them whenever I want.

The work week was quite busy and I was constantly running around and in meetings, but it made it all worth it knowing I got to go home to my parents and of course, Matt! I flew into Houston on a Thursday and stayed until the following Thursday. This gave me the weekend to spend some much needed time with friends and family.

Friday after work, Ben's girlfriend Olivia came over for a girl's weekend! Ben and Olivia go to Rice University which is less than 30 minutes away from my parents house. Ben was in El Paso for the weekend for a track meet, so Olivia got to experience a much needed girls weekend with me and my friends! Friday evening, Nikki came and pick me up to go to dinner with her family. Thankfully, I was able to calm down my Mexican food craving!!! Thank goodness for Mexican food down south. This is one thing Pittsburgh does NOT have. Seriously, don't even Mexican food in Pittsburgh. If you can't make good queso, then you know the rest of the food is hopeless.

Saturday was pretty much the best girls day ever. It started off with Nikki coming to pick Olivia and I up and we immediately headed to the nail salon for pedicures! It's always fun to get pampered and catch up at the same time. After pedis, we went downtown to the Galleria! This was Olivia's first time to the Houston Galleria and she was able to experience just how overwhelming it is. Good thing she had Nicole and I with her :) Once there, we went to BCBG so I could try on the potential MOH dress that her cousin Katrina had tried on previously. I absolutely LOVED the dress. It's so pretty and I can't wait to wear it on Nikki and Cliff's wedding day. Thanks for not making us wear ugly dresses Nikki! Then we headed to lunch and walked around the mall a bit longer before heading back to Sugar Land. Once we were back home, Olivia and I put on our bathing suits and bee-lined straight for the backyard to soak up some of the afternoon sun. Pittsburgh has made me pale to say the least! About an hour later Kristin came to have a sleepover with me!!! We hung out by the pool for a bit longer and Dad made us some margaritas. If that isn't pure bliss on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I don't know what is. Well, I do wish that JP could have been in Texas with me. That would have made it more perfect. Saturday night, Kristin and I headed downtown to Luke and Courtney's to celebrate Kathy's birthday! It was so much fun seeing all of my Sugar Land friends!

Me and Kristin ready to go out!

Showing off our shoes in the traditional picture place in the Timmer house!

Me and Olivia <3 Love her!

Girls at Courtney and Luke's!
From left to right: Kristen B., Kristin H., Leah, me, Kathy (birthday girl), Courtney, Kristen H. (missing Kristin C and Abby...where are y'all???)

Happy birthday Kathy!

Leah and I with Cory and Aldo!

Sunday was a wonderful lazy day that started off with donuts that Daddy bought! Kristin, Mom and I sat outside looking at ads and enjoying the beautiful morning while Dad and Olivia went to pick Benny Boy up from the airport. I'm pretty sure we ended up spending 90% of the day outside and it was amazing!!! I miss walking around in my bathing suit all day long. It's way to cold up here in Pittsburgh, though it is slowly getting better. Around 4pm we went to Old Navy to check out some cute items that were on sale that we saw in the Sunday ads that morning! We all found some cute stuff...for cheap! Olivia got a really pretty floral spring tank on clearance, Kristin found a scarf, my momma bought me a pretty outfit for Easter (tank, shorts and sweater all on sale or clearance!) and mom bought some boxers for the boys for Easter. All in all a good trip to Old Navy which doesn't always happen. That night dad cooked some steaks and chicken for dinner while Kristin, Olivia and I made cookies!!! Texas cookies to be exact. Kristin had gotten me the cutest cookie cutters (for Christmas but I've been in Pitt!) of the shape of Texas, a horse, a boot, a star and a cowboy hat!

Some of the cookies

Hard at work

Can't you see how hard we're working! We had so much fun, but we apparently made too many cookies because we were starting to run out of decorating ideas!

College Cookies! USMA (West Pointe) for dad, Texas Tech for Kristin, TAMU for me, TAMU CC for Emily (the blue one), Rice for Ben and Olive and last but not least a bloody t.u.

All in all, it was an amazing weekend. The next four days at work were CRAZY busy and I was so thankful to come home to my parents and baby brother every day. I can't wait to be back in my home state again.

Sorry my posts have been so long lately! I'm just trying to catch up! Things have been so busy that I am crazy behind!!! I will be letting you know all about my amazing Easter weekend with JP, Maggie and Andrea very soon! Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Washington DC Anniversary Trip

Okay, so I've been a bad blogger. I got everyone all excited about my DC trip pictures and here we are almost 2 weeks later and I haven't updated my readers! :) It's safe to say that the past few weeks have been CRAZY!!! After we got back from DC, I had to play catch up at work on Tuesday and Wednesday since I missed Monday. On top of playing catch up I had to get ready for my week long trip to Houston. I'm still in Houston and I'll be returning to my loving husband and beautiful pup tomorrow evening. I'll post Houston pictures soon...hopefully.

Now onto our DC trip. JP and I went to Washington DC (only a 4 hour driving trip from Pittsburgh) for our one year anniversary weekend. ONE YEAR? Where has the last year gone. It was an amazing year full of firsts and I am absolutely looking for the 50 + more years to come. Now instead of telling y'all about all of the neat things we did in DC, I'm going to show you in pictures. It was a beautiful and emotional trip. The cherry blossoms were in bloom and spring was trying to be in the air. Anyways, I hope you enjoy!

Here we are day 1 about to head to the Metro station!

Metro in Bethesda, Maryland which is a beautiful little town where we stayed. It was great because the Metro rail was just a few blocks from our hotel and we could take it all around town! We didn't have to move our car until it was time to go home. We're so green :)

In front of the White House. This is as close as you can get. Don't you love the pink cherry blossoms in bloom!

Our first day was a bit gray, quite chilly and extremely windy. This didn't stop us from taking a walking tour and exploring the city.

How awesome is this white squirrel?

In front of the Washington Monument!

We were lucky enough to be visiting during the cherry blossom festival! This is a two week long celebration of the cherry blossoms that Japan gave to the United States. The river basin which you will see further down is lined with cherry blossoms which is so beautiful during the short time that they are in bloom. We were able to catch the beginning of the parade before our walking tour.

Japanese drummers and dancers from Tamagawa University in Japan. Neat performance.

Now onto our walking tour. We started at the WWII Memorial.

Had to take a picture of my home state!

This is one of the statues that is part of the Vietnam War Memorial. It is dedicated to the women that served as nurses to the soldiers during this horrible time. I was very emotional while our tour guide was explaining this memorial to us because my mom was a nurse in the army. Though she wasn't serving during this time since she was too young, she still was a strong woman serving her country and I am so proud of her. I hope she knows that :)

Vietnam War Memorial

The story behind this memorial is so beautiful, deep and thoughtful. The type of stone that was used was specifically imported from India due to its reflective qualities. This memorial is more about reflecting on what happen in Vietnam and our loved ones. It is there to provoke thought and emotions. The story behind the design of this was and how it was chosen is also very interesting. I don't want to bore you so if you're interested here's the wikipedia page.

Another addition to the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial that was constructed to eliminate the controversy around it.

Lincoln Memorial

Here I am climbing up the steps!

You can actually walk around the the back of the Lincoln Memorial (most don't know this) and you can look across the Potomac River and see Arlington Cemetery and what was Robert E. Lee's home before he went on to command the Confederate Army.

Korean War Memorial

This short statement says so much. As the daughter of two retired military personnel, I am so proud to live in this country. I hold all who serve and have served with a very high regard. Thank God for our soldiers and I pray every day that those currently serving stay safe.
I took several pictures in the FDR Memorial, but this one stood out to me. There are 4 quadrents of the memorial, one for each term that FDR was president and each on had a different type of fountain. This was the fountain for his 3rd term during the time of WWII. The randomly set and fallen rocks represent the chaos of this time period beautifully.

We ended our tour at the Tidal Basin which is lined with all of the beautiful cherry blossoms. We were there towards the end of their short lived season.

After our tour we headed to Georgetown Cupcakes! I know what you're thinking and yes, it is the same shop that is on TLC's show 'DC Cupcakes' and yes it was worth the 1.5 hours we waited in line for them. It's just one of those things you have to do at least once!

With my bag of cupcakes in front of the store!

Here's what we got! We both got red velvet with cream cheese frosting, I got a peanut butter fudge and double chocolate and JP got vanilla with chocolate and a mint oreo!

On Saturday night we got to meet up with Sam! I've know Sam since I was a junior in college. He was partners with my roommate Andrea in fish camp and then he was in my subco when I was a MSC LEAD director! I love my Sammy Sam and I'm so glad that he got to show us the casual day to day side of DC!

Sunday, April 10th, 2011. Our one year anniversary. This is supposed to be your "paper" anniversary so this was my card from JP!

The next several pictures are from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I only put up a few since I took A TON of pictures there. I don't want to bore anyone. Here I am with the big, angry hippo!

JP getting eaten by the dinosaur

In front of Capital Hill!

The love of my life

The magnolia trees were absolutely gorgeous

Okay back to the Natural History Museum! Ummm...hello big and beautiful gem!

I just thought this picture was beautiful. It shows that color can be found all around us in its natual state! P.S. Nicole Larimore, I was thinking of you while we were walking around all of the gems, minerals and rocks! My little geologist :)

Before our anniversary dinner. We went to a French restaurant called Mon Ami Gabi! It was amazing.

Since the top of our wedding cake was sitting in my parents deep freeze back in Texas, we had Georgetown cupcakes instead. Red velvet seemed fitting since that we the only cupcake we got the same and they had fondant hearts on top! By the way, I dug into the cake last weekend while at my parents house and will say that it tasted like crap. However, it was the most AMAZING cake ever when it was fresh and delish.

Last day!

On our last day we stayed in Bethesda and went shopping in the beautiful outdoor boutique like shopping area. It was about 5 blocks from our hotel. We enjoyed the warm 75/80 degree air and walked around all morning. I wanted to document this part of the trip somehow as well so I took a picture by all of the beautiful spring flowers!

All in all, our DC trip was absolutely perfect. I got to spend the weekend away with my best friend with no interruptions. We will definitely be going back a few times while we live so close! I mean, it's no different then driving from Houston to Dallas so why not?! If you're planning a trip to DC and have any questions feel free to ask away! I actually used to live in Manasas, VA before moving to Texas :)

I promise that I'll be a better blogger! Next post will be about my week in Houston! It turned out to be more eventful then expected! Until next time...

With love and God bless,
Amy, JP and Maggie

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