Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Weekend Recap, Part Deux

OK, sorry for bailing Monday night before finishing my weekend recap. It honestly wasn't that exciting of a weekend, so I'm afraid the 48 hours of anticipation will be for naught. ;)

Where did we leave off? Oh right, dinner with the grandparents on Saturday night. After dinner, Nick, my parents, and I headed up to my parents' friends' ski condo. Their condo complex has a well-appointed clubhouse, with a fitness area, bar/lounge, game room, and most importantly - two indoor pools & a hot tub! Hence the emergency bathing suit shopping. Sorry, Teeny - that's not very exciting. ;)

The hot tub was, of course, lovely, especially in contrast to the -3 degree weather outside. At one point, Nick & I were in the hot tub with my mother and her friend's daughter, who is 12 years old & the closest thing I have to a first cousin. I asked her how her math tutoring was going (she's being tutored by my company), to which she replied, "Good. But it doesn't matter that much because I'm going to marry Johnny Depp & we'll have someone to buy our groceries & do our taxes for us." I nearly drowned laughing. :)

The conversation then went something like this:
Me: Yeah, I'm horrible at math too.
Sarah:* Well, you should do the same thing then.
Me (without thinking): Yeah? Then who should I marry?
Sarah: What about him? (points to Nick)

Thank God & all the saints that be - he didn't run screaming out of the hot tub! In fact, he said, "
She's smart, I like her." Hmmm. That's good. :)

After our hot tubbing was done, we all (Mum, Dad, Nick, parents' friends, their two kids, and I) headed back to their condo to enjoy some appetizers & beverages. My favorite moments:
  1. My mum & I each accusing the other of being half in the bag (and we were both right!)
  2. We're all pretty big talkers & Sarah turned to Nick at one point & said, "You're too quiet. You should talk more."
  3. Sarah tried to teach us a game called "Wanna Buy a Duck?" We were absolutely abysmal at it. Disgusted, she said, "A bunch of 7th grade girls did better at this game than you people."
The rest of the weekend was a lot quieter. We slept late on Sunday morning, Mum made pancakes for breakfast, and we were on the road by about 1pm. We had a nice ride home & spent the afternoon watching Napoleon Dynamite & mucking around on our laptops. It was v. comfortable. :)

*(Names have been changed to protect the innocent, and adorable.)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Weekend Recap

"My weekend was good, thanks. How was yours?" The standard conversation of the Monday morning workday. But we don't usually tell people how our weekend really went, do we? Usually because we don't want to bore them/take up their time by telling them what we did in detail. But guess what? You're my captive audience, so I'm going to tell you. ;)

Friday - after a late (and cold!) start, Nick & I arrived at my parents' house in NH around 10pm. Got settled in, then spent about two hours catching up with them & my grandma while nursing a beer. Off to bed a little past midnight.

Saturday - up at 7am for an 8am haircut, then chatted with parents about the state of the American health care system over coffee. Nick slumbered peacefully until 9am. ;) Mucked about the house in PJs until lunchtime, then off to Wal-mart after lunch. I know - wicked exciting, huh? Trust me, I don't go to NH just for the trips to scary, hick-infested Wal-mart. The oil in my grandfather's car needed to be changed & Nick needed to buy an unexpected bathing suit (more on that later).

I came away with a copy of Moulin Rouge (because what girl can live without?) & the above clothing for the little nephew. Little, in this case, is a highly relative word. The sweatshirt is for 3-year olds and the track pants for 18-month olds. W will be a year old in a couple of weeks & those clothes will just about fit him!

After returning from the dreaded Wal-mart, we took a quick nap before heading over to my grandparents' new house. They (mother's parents) have only been there for a couple of weeks & are still getting settled in. Nick & I had a lovely visit & dinner with them, my parents, and my other grandma.

The highlights? Nick getting brownie points in my grandfather's eyes by asking for a glass of scotch & my grandmother in rare comic form. My mother's mother is a funny little lady, but she's been a bit down lately. Saturday night, though, she was on point. I'm giving her my old laptop, so at one point I mentioned that I need to transfer some of my old files off it. I joked that they were pornography & she replied, "Oh, honey, you can leave that on there." At another juncture, I noticed her smiling to someone to the left of me (either Nick or my grandpa). I asked her what she was doing and she said, "Flirting with your boyfriend." Haha, I love it. :)

OK, I'm tired and this post is getting too long. It's not like I had that exciting of a weekend, but I'll postpone the rest until later. Night, all!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Growing Up

Sometimes I have one of those nights that just makes me feel grown-up. And yes, at 25 years old, I know that I do qualify as "grown-up" & have for awhile now. However, I don't always take notice of that. Last night I did.

Nick, my sister, my brother-in-law, and I went out for dinner in Harvard Sq. My parents had given each couple a gift card to Fire & Ice for Christmas and we decided to use them together for a double date! We had a nice time - drinking huge beers, picking out fun combinations of stir fry, and catching up on each other's lives. My sister & brother-in-law are great and they haven't spent too much time with Nick yet. So it made me feel good that everyone had a nice time.

After saying goodbye in front of the restaurant, Nick & I walked down Brattle St. to my car. I like parking on Brattle when I'm in Harvard Sq. because the walk back takes me past the beautiful old church above. Rambling down the street, arm tucked into Nick's, I thought about how we'd look to 14-year old Stacey. I think she'd be very impressed - with my handsome boyfriend, my dinner out in Harvard Sq., and my cute outfit! ;)

When we got to South Boston, we hopped into pajamas & bought our airline tickets to Scotland online. It was my first purchase with the new credit card. Buying airline tix for a trip to Scotland with my boyfriend! 14-year old Stacey was beside herself with envy. ;)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Baby's First Credit Card

That's right, kids. Stacey's got her first credit card! Scary, huh? ;)

It's probably hard to believe that this is my first card. I am 25 years old, after all, and my generation looooves ourselves some debt. I've always been a little nervous of getting a credit card & going nuts. I don't have the best self-control, but I feel ready for the responsibility. Plus, assuming I do get into grad school for next fall, I'll feel more comfortable having some kind of emergency money to fall back on.

Don't worry - I didn't post an actual picture of my card on the web. That would be the acme of foolishness. However, that is the sample picture of my exact card from the Bank of America website. The best thing? It's a National Trust for Historic Preservation rewards card! That means a portion of every dollar I spend goes to the National Trust. As a history buff & an aspiring museum curator, that makes me happy. :)

Oh, and guess who's breaking in the new card by buying her airline ticket to Scotland? That's right - this girl!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

"Who is this Schmuck?"

OK, I'm hopping on the bandwagon. Inspired by Elisabeth, Teeny, Drama Queen, and Helen, I've decided to share the story of how Nick & I first met. If you've been a reader since at least September, you know how our first date went and how our "let's be boyfriend-girlfriend" conversation went. However, I never told the story of how we actually met. Beware - this looks to be a pretty long post. You may want to skim. ;)

Sometime last spring, the older sister of one of my long-time friends posted a comment on my Myspace page - "Hey Stacey, I've got a nice guy for you if you're ever interested." At the time, I wasn't. A v. serious relationship had ended in November, another short-lived but initially promising relationship ended in April, and an ill-fated reconnection with my high school ex ended in May. I needed a dating embargo - and badly.

I took the summer off, focusing instead on spending time with friends & family (my little nephew in particular). By the end of August, though, I was feeling ready to give it another go. Enter Nick.

Just before Labor Day weekend, I got a friend request on Myspace from a guy I didn't know. Now, like I'm sure most of you do, I get all kinds of random friend requests. However, if I don't know people personally, I don't approve the request. When some guy named Nick requested I be his friend, I think I actually said out loud, "Who is this schmuck?"

However, when I clicked on his profile, I noticed that he was friends with my old friend Christie & her sister. "Hmmm," I though to myself, "they think they're so sneaky." Despite my general suspicion at matchmaking attempts, his profile actually looked pretty good. Friends & family important - check. Likes history, photography, good movies, good music, the Sox - check. Handsome - check. Funny - check. So I approved the request & wrote back to his message.

About a week later, I went to a cookout at my old friend's house. I knew my friends Lissa, Ben & Vera were going to be there, but didn't know who else. Looking back, I can't believe I didn't see it coming. ;)

I arrived bearing a potted mum plant, spinach dip, and Stacy's pita chips (seriously - who brings their namesake chips to a party?). Greeted Christie, got the food settled, put my purse in the kitchen, popped open a beer, and looked around. Guess who was sitting on the other side of the fire?

We didn't get to talk much that day - just the typical, "Hi, I'm Stacey. Hi, I'm Nick. blah blah blah." However, I was definitely intrigued. Still handsome - check. Still funny - check. Good with kids (an unexpected bonus) - check ++.

Since I've become a v. loving auntie myself, I've paid much more attention to men's reactions to kids. Do they recoil in horror or dive in with humor & grace? Nick's the latter of the two. He was also lucky that day to have two perfect foils. He's known Christie's sister's kids practically since they were born, so they love him. (At one point, the 18-month old boy crawled up into his "Uncle Nick's" lap, stuck his thumb in his mouth, and promptly fell asleep. Nick looked up, happened to catch my eye, and smiled. I think I went weak in the knees.)

The next day, I messaged him on Myspace & suggested a lunch date for the following weekend. Still can't believe my own cheek. ;) However, I guess I passed muster at the cookout as well, because he accepted. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A (Temporary) Home in the Mountains

That's right, the view above will be mine & Nick's for one night in March. Envious? Heck, I'm already jealous of my "two months from now" self. ;)

I booked a double room for us at Crossal House B&B today. If you like mountain views, you have to click on "Pictures" and enjoy the scenery around the B&B. You're looking at the Red Cuillin mountain range on the Isle of Skye, one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cringeworthy is Right!

A few weeks ago, Sarah posted about a website that requests people send in their cringe-worthy adolescent ramblings - from diaries, poems, short stories, etc. Sarah then entertained us with a hilarious tidbit from her own 18-year old journal. Inspired, I vowed to dig up my old diaries & see what ridiculously over-dramatic gems I could find myself. Here are a few of my favorites:
  1. April 1997 - "Sometimes my relationships w/ my ex-boyfriends amaze me. I mean, I haven't spoken to Ryan since we broke up, I saw Brian yesterday + was cold to him, etc. Out of all my ex-boys, only two could I conceivably fool around w/ again."
  2. August 1999 (in reference to my one of my Canadian "summer boyfriends") - "So this wound on my heart makes three . . . But I'll continue to love. Just much more cautiously from now on. And, you know, I'm only 17 (going on 18). I'm not looking for a soul mate. Just someone who intrigues me and I like as much as he likes me. Sounds simple, right? Not for me."
  3. June 2000 - "I swear to God, I never, ever learn. I've graduated from high school now. And, looking back, I see myself making the same mistakes over and over again . . . Hopefully, I've learned a thing or two. Maybe I won't be so blind in college."
  4. April 2001 - "I thought I might have better luck with guys in college. Nope. I had all kinds of hook-ups @ the beginning of the year and one almost-relationship w/ John, but nothing significant. Hey, I expected as much, right?"
There were others, but most of them required more background information & some included information that I'm choosing not to publish. My parents do read this little ol' blog sometimes & they don't need to know some of those details. ;)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Holiday in Inverness

In my continuing plans for our trip to Scotland in March, I've found a B&B in Inverness for day 1 of our trip away from Edinburgh. I spent some time in Inverness (a few days) when I was studying at Edinburgh. I was with many other "young Americans abroad," so I spent most of that time in the pubs, drinking far too many pints & signing karaoke very poorly ("You've Lost that Loving Feeling" was our standard) to the bemusement of the locals.

Nick, however, has never been to Inverness & I'm looking forward to spending some (semi-) sober time there with him. The bed & breakfast is adorable and comes complete with two Labrador dogs -
Molly & Jess! We're booking the room sometime today (perhaps between playoff games). :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Delurking is Fun!

Hey everybody - it's National Delurking Week! OK, maybe not national. I really don't know who all is doing this, besides Rock Star Mommy and Teeny. But Teeny lives in Scotland, so there! We can call it International. ;)

At any rate, I know most of the people who show up on my Site Meter. However, there are definitely some people who check out my blog fairly regularly & have yet to comment. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, January 08, 2007

"Hill Farm"

I just love that way that sounds. Sorry, I'll explain. ;)

I've been browsing the web, looking for good B&B's for the upcoming trip to Scotland. By the way, I just typed "bed" instead of "web." I think I need to snuggle into my "web" sooner than later!

I found an lovely looking one in the town of Carbost on the west coast of the Isle of Skye. It's called
Drynoch Farmhouse and check out how cute it is! It describes itself as a working hill farm, with 400 Blackface sheep & 16 head of cattle. It's also right on the ocean. In my mind (influenced by a lifetime of summers spent on Prince Edward Island), you can't get better than a farm right on the ocean!

I also noticed that the B&B provides flowers & chocolates, to "
add a lovely touch if a special occasion happens to fall during your holiday." I may or may not have pointed this out to Nick already, as our 6-month anniversary will be the week before our trip to Scotland. ;)

Friday, January 05, 2007

New York Redux

One of my favorite photos from this past weekend. Taken from the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park, looking southwest towards the George Washington Bridge. Composition - my idea. Black & white execution - Nick's. We're a good team. :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Plans for the '07

OK, I know I'm a bit late with the New Year's resolutions post, it being the 3rd of January and all. I don't usually make resolutions. I don't like them because I don't usually keep them.

However, I'm going to give myself a few "gimmes" this year. By that, I mean things that I've already done or planned to do in '07. It's like when you write a To-Do list on a piece of paper and include something like, "Write To-Do List." You get to cross it off immediately & everyone's happy - brilliant!

Without further ado, here are my Top 5 resolutions for 2007 (in no particular order):
  1. Finally get back to Scotland! This one is a total gimme, since I've already taken the vacation time (as has Nick), found us a place to stay, and will be buying the plane tix in the next couple of weeks. But whatever. ;) This was my resolution two years ago & I'm finally fulfilling it - with the handsome man above for company, no less!
  2. Finish my personal statement & submit my application for grad school. This is kind of another gimme, as that will be done in the next week or so (!).
  3. If #2 doesn't lead to an acceptance letter at State U, find a new job at some point. My two-year anniversary at this job will be at the end of this month. It's been a good run. However, I'm tired of being so far away from my passion - history.
  4. Treat that man above like a king. He's damn good to me, sometimes better than I deserve.
  5. Stay in touch with old friends. I generally do a good job of staying in touch with friends, but I can do better. For example, I can call my friends on the West Coast, in Canada, and in the UK more often. More to the point, I can have dinner/drinks/coffee with my friends in Boston more often.
If you kids have made any New Year's resolutions, best of luck!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


And yeah, I know I'm not the first one to use that title. Had a great weekend in New York, ringing in the new year with Nick, best friend Rach, study abroad friend Kristin, and other assorted people. I'm tired tonight, so I'll just give you the pics and a quick recap. The New Year's resolutions can wait until tomorrow night. ;)

Highlights -
  • Roaming the Cloisters with Nick on Sunday afternoon
  • Spending time just relaxing in Rach's apartment with her, her puppy Vixen & the boy
  • My first New Year's kiss from a boyfriend - ever
  • Walking from 54th St. to 41st St. with an open container
Lowlights -
  • Walking thirteen city blocks in 4" heels
  • Consequently shedding said heels at the bar (my feet were black)
  • Spilling my beer - all over the bar, my shoes, my purse, and the floor
It was quite the night, kids. ;)