Sunday, April 25, 2010

House Updates

Ahh, the joys of home-ownership... We live in an old house. Old houses often need repairs. I know this. So, it was no big deal when we noticed a small water spot on our bathroom ceiling. Phil is pretty handy, so he went up to the roof to see if he could patch it up. He was not so successful, but it didn't appear to get any worse, so we let it ride for awhile. And then, a few weeks ago, we notice another spot forming on our kitchen ceiling. Uh-oh.

So, we made a call, and had a roofer come out to give us an estimate of the damage. We were hoping for a minor repair...a quick fix... maybe even something Phil and I could manage. Of course, his recommendation was... a new roof. UGHHHHHH.

And who knew roofs were so expensive?! I thought I was going to have a heart attack when he told me his estimate (and that was WITH the OU alumni discount... turns out we were working with a former bobcat!).

But, I guess we can't ride it out any longer. Especially since during the heavy monsoon last night, our bathroom turned into a slip-and-slide. Very dangerous for an accident prone person such as myself...

ANYWAYS, a little good news to go with the bad. Our kitchen is FINALLY done! Yes, here are some pictures of the renovations...

BEFORE:





AFTER:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Keeneland


I LOVE living in Florida, but there are some things I really miss about living in the bluegrass state (besides my friends and family)...

Keeneland, a famous venue for thoroughbred horse racing and sales, is always a highlight during my trips home (Remember the movie Seabiscuit? Part of it was filmed there! Practically right in our own backyard!). It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL and so much fun! The pictures featured here are compliments of my younger sister and talented photographer, Caitlin.

Unfortunately, Keeneland is only open for races 2 months a year; spring season begins in April and is then closed until the fall season in October. Phil and I usually plan a whole trip home just to enjoy horses, bourbon, gambling, sunshine and friends. This year, our April has been SOO busy that we couldn't find a free weekend! Bummer. And then I started looking at the fall calendar and realized that our fall has practically filled up, too! Guess there are no pony races in our 2010 future.

I was, however, glad to hear that my parents have been able to get out and enjoy the Keeneland festivities this year! Yesterday was my dad's birthday (I won't say how old... ) and some of their best college friends, the Waldners and the Heverins, decided to take him out for a birthday/end of tax season celebration. And, I guess I even brought them a little bit of gambling luck! My dad won some $$ betting on "Becky's Kitten," and then again with "Captain Obvious" (a nickname I gave him when we were standing outside in the snow and he said "It's snowing.").

Maybe this means it is my lucky year?! Hope that luck is around in August when we head out west to VEGAS!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Running in Circles

So, thanks to Mario, we found that Phelps loves chasing the laser pointer! She is so funny and was seriously entertained for over an hour with this game. Guess we always have another option if we are too lazy to walk the dog at night! (click play to see video below):

video

Livin' on a Prayer

Saturday, Leanne, Dan and Joey went down to the St. Pete Times Forum to watch the Jon Bon Jovi concert!  Dan and Leanne are hard core fans, so they bought our tickets through the "fan club."  I was making fun of them for being such dorks, but it ended up being REALLY cool!  We got to walk in through the VIP section and sat on the floor... in the 13TH ROW!!!  Right in front of Richie Sambora!  By far the closest I've ever been to a live performer!  And, even though I'm not a crazy Bon Jovi fan, it was a really good show!

 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Visitors: Round Three

This weekend, I was unable to fly up to Illinois for my Grandmother's funeral because we had so many friends/family coming to visit us this weekend.  At first, I was really upset that I had to miss it, but then my mom reminded me that funerals are for the living and there are many ways to honor and celebrate someone's life.  I am so thankful for the fun and support I recieved from my wonderful friends and family this weekend (as you will see, we stayed REALLY busy!).  Although I was not physically there, my thoughts were and prayers were with my family, especially my Dad, Uncle Bob and Aunt Sarah....

Anyways, my brother-in-law, Tad, was first to fly in on Thursday.  After Phil got off work, we headed over to Monstah Lobstah!!!  The guys were very excited about their 5 lb lobsters! 




My girls came in late (VERY LATE... Megan got delayed in Atlanta and didn't land until 2:30 AM!).  But, they all arrived safely.  Friday, the girls headed down to Clearwater Beach for some sun and drinks at Frenchy's! 




The boys stayed around the house and took the boat out fishing in the Bay...


Saturday, we went to the beach (again)...





And the boys headed down to Siesta Keys to meet up with one of Tad's college friends, Wong, who now lives in Ft. Myers.



When they got back to Tampa, we decided to grill out, play some cornhole and relax at our house...


After a nice dinner, we headed out to Channelside for some drinks and dancing at Stumps!  We had a great time... and even got the boys up dancing! 




Sunday, we traveled up to Crystal River to go swimming with the manatees (my favorite animal)!  Thanks to Phil's great hotel hook-up, we got a FREE pontoon rental for the day!  SO MUCH FUN!!!! 

And, we actually got a few underwater photos of the manatees!



We ended the night with an authentic Greek dinner at Tarpon Springs.  This is a Greek waterfront community known for sponge diving... and of course, good greek food.  We ordered some flaming cheese (OPA!), gyros, spanokopita, and broiled octopus (which was really disappointing, but when in Rome....).  

  

I was so thankful I took Monday off work, so I had some time to RECOVER from my VACATION! :)  I had such an awesome time with my friends and family!!!!! 

A Tribute to Grandma McGaughey

As many of you know, my Grandmother, Nancy Ann McGaughey passed away on Tuesday night.  As sad as I am, I know that this was a blessing.  She has suffered so much in the last several years and is now finally able to rest in peace.    

I am in the process of scanning pictures and uploading a video slideshow of her.  I will post these pics and stories at a later date.

I do want to thank everyone for the kind words, cards, flowers, etc. I have recieved over the past few days. I am very lucky to have such wonderful friends and family; I truely appreciate your support!

"Softly the leaves of memory fall
Gently, I gather and treasure them all.
Unseen, unheard you are always near
So missed, so loved, so very dear.
No longer in our lives to share
But in our hearts, you're always there."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

"This is the day that the lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Church followed by good food with great friends! Happy Easter!

Since Kerri is a chef, she always goes all out for holiday meals and prepares a ton of gourmet food! I'm getting really spoiled!! Especially since I don't like to cook (Just for the record, I CAN cook, and I DO cook, I just don't enjoy it...).

Anyways, I have a salad that I've made a few times for various potlucks and dinner guests that is always a hit, so I volunteered to bring it and thought that someone out there might enjoy the recipe!

Dressing: combine 2 tblsp sesame seed, 1 tblsp poppy seed, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce and 1 tblsp minced onion in a bowl. Wisk and chill for 1 hour.

Salad: in a large bowl, combine 10 oz spinach, 1/4 cup of sliced almonds, feta cheese, and sliced strawberries.



It's delicious and nutritious! Enjoy!

Puppy Update

Yesterday, we took Phelps down to Fort DeSoto dog beach to meet Sam and his foster mom, Natasha. Sam is a great pyrenees mix, so he was not pure white like the others we've met. He was big and shaggy with big black spots! He was not the most attractive dog there but he was SO SWEET! Truely like a big cuddely Teddy bear! He was totally chill and mellow (total opposite of our nut now).

He's 8 months old and weighs around 70 lbs, but he's still got some growing to do! Natasha said they don't fully stop growing until 2 years! He was really malnourished when he got placed in foster care (about a month ago), but has since gained around 25 lbs and is now @ a healthy weight for his age/size.

No guarantees, but we may have found the newest member of the Zawadzki clan!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

NCAA: Round Four

Saturday was a day of frustration for me. I woke up after a not-so-good night sleep to a beautiful, warm, sunny day. This sounds wonderful, but I was so congested I could not even step outside without sneezing all over the place. Allergy season is here in full effect and my Claritin has failed me!!
THEN, my mom calls me to tell me that Caitlin (my younger sister in the peace corps) would be traveling into San, Africa so we could skype with her! I was so excited because I haven't actually seen her since JULY and have only been able to correspond with her via email and written letters (so 1950s, I know)! Again, good news, right?! WRONG! I spent about 2 hours trying to get our Internet fixed and missed the whole family chat! I think we must have a Virus or something because both of our computers are slowly dying... Thank goodness for my blackberry!

Anyways, I was really bummed I missed Caitlin but was super excited to watch my cats take on West Virginia for a chance to make it to the FINAL FOUR!! I never thought that we'd be a national champion contender again so quickly after the past several years. Last year we weren't even good enough to be IN the tournament (what I like to refer to as the Dark Ages under ex-coach Billy Gillespie), let alone the elite eight! Coach Cal has certainly given the fans something to be excited about!! And what a year its been!

Unfortunately, we lost and it wasn't pretty. Our team's inexperience and immaturity finally got the best of us. It's kinda hard to win a game when you don't make any of your 3 point or free throw attempts! Thankfully, my depression didn't last too long. A little retail therapy was just what the doctor ordered!

What do you think the chances of all of our studs pulling a UF and staying one more year?! Not likely, but I'm a UK fan... Unrealistically optimistic!