Monday, January 31, 2011

It's my birthday.....

and I can ramble if I want to! Today, I turn 39. Why is this a significant age for me? It is an age my mother never got to see. Read my post about turning 38 here for a refresher.

I walked through that door, not by my own strength or luck, but by God's grace. He has given me another year and for that, I am truly thankful. It's the best birthday gift I could receive, I truly do not need anything more.

How have I handled this past year....I guess for the truth you would have to ask my family. It was kind of surreal, but not all-consuming. It made me realize I need to work on slowing down and appreciating all the gifts in my life - my family, my friends, my health, and most of all, my faith. Did I perfect this - nope, I'm still a work in progress!

I do not make New Year's Resolutions....I wait until the last day of January to take stock of my life. So this year, I am focusing on being more grateful in the midst of all circumstances.

So here's to my last year in my 30's.....for me, turning 40 next year won't be so bad....just another door to go through that I will be grateful for when the time comes.

"11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jerome Family Girls' Day Out 2010

It took us three years, but the Jerome side of the family finally organized another Girls' Day Out in Pittsburgh. We began our day at Lidia's restaurant and enjoyed a wonderful brunch together. You will notice one male in our crowd....Pap came as our honorary "Grandma"....we really enjoyed having him there. Darrell's side of the family is a little short on females....only four granddaughters out of 13 they stick together.
I ordered a grilled octopus plate, and Ann-Marie was brave enough to try it...see below! She liked it so much that she kept picking pieces of octopus off of my plate!

Ann-Marie took control of the camera and took a picture of the enormous glass chandelier in the restaurant.....
Next stop was Phipp's conservatory, where we enjoyed the last day of the winter show. Needless to say, we had one last shot of Christmas, as there were many poinsettas, Christmas trees and Christmas music playing.

Ann-Marie has a special gardening relationship with her Aunt Toni, so she spent most of her time talking to Aunt Toni about what flowers and plants she was seeing and enjoying.
We made the four girl cousins endure many photo sessions along the way.....above is my personal favorite. We treasure the times we can get them all together as the oldest, Natalie, is in college and is heading off at the end of the month to study in France for four months.
The last time we all visited the Phipps was when they had the Chihuly glass exhibit and we were pleasantly surprised to see how much glass sculptures they had kept.

Can you spot the snowman and snowwoman in the above picture?
Here's what we would like to say to winter......but I hear we have more of the white stuff coming so I'll just enjoy this picture until Spring.

What a memorable day! Time spent with family is precious!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Date night - Jerome style

Date night at the Jerome residence is on Tuesday night. It came about after a rough move from Maryland almost 4 years ago and 7 months living with Darrell's dad. Needless to say, funds were low, so creativity was high. For the past (almost) four years, Darrell and I have tried to keep Tuesday night open for us. Typically, we don't leave the house and the children don't either. When the kids were younger, we would feed them kid-friendly food, put them to bed (a little early?), and make an adult-only meal. Nowadays, we rent a special movie on Tuesday nights, still feed the kids a kid-friendly meal and let them watch their movie while we eat our meal and catch up with each other. Sometimes we get take-out, but most of the time one of us finds a cool recipe to try and we (o.k., usually Darrell) makes it. We really look forward to our adult-only meals on Tuesday nights. Above was tonight's dish.....Kale Lasagna Diavolo from the magazine Vegetarian Times, January/February 2011 issue. Excellent! The conversation and company was excellent too! We do occasionally get a babysitter and go out for a date night, but this keeps us connected on a weekly basis. How do you and your significant other stay connected during the week?