Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

To all my fabulous, wonderful, blog friends...

Have a wonderful, merry, heartfelt Christmas, and a wonderful start to the New Year.

On behalf of Scott, he would like to say Thank You for all the incredible comments, prayers, and thoughts that have been sent his way. They mean a lot.

Check you next year!


Almost forgot... wanted to send a few snowy pictures a friend of ours took while in Paris 2 weeks ago.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons...

This week Scott and I had to go to Orlando for two days of tests.  We thought about driving back and forth, but the first appt was at 6:45am, so instead of driving and hour and a half, my thought was "HOTEL"... so we booked a room near the medical center for two nights, and decided to turn it into a mini-vacation.

Orlando... sometimes I don't give that town any credit other than a town built around Disney.  We rarely drive past the Disney exits... we enter that magical area... and as they so cleverly designed it, we never have to leave.  The memories of my kids growing up going there year after year, many times a year (season pass) have made life all the richer.

So... now we were venturing into Orlando, the city. Our hotel, of course, was near another theme park... Sea World.  All the hotels are so themed, so we were treated to a 1950's style hotel with aquas and yellows and polka dots.  It was really cute.  Big flatscreen TV's were everywhere, with very calming videos of sea creatures swimming slowly by.  Here is the pool area... told you everything in this town is themed...

The first night, as we parked in the lot, we were treated to the Sea World nightly fireworks show just over the fence.

I did some research before we left, and did I have a surprise for Scott.  The first night we drove to Winter Park (a suburb) and went to a restaurant called The Paris Bistro on Park Avenue.... need I say more?  It was FABULOUS.  I ordered Bistro Salad and Cunard Aux Peches (although I chose the cherry sauce), and Scott ordered Onion Soup and Lapin Aux Pruneaux.  Both dishes were fantastic.  I was too embarrassed to take a picture of our food like I do in Paris, but I have to say, the meal was as good as anything we've had there.  Here are a few shots I took from outside the restaurant...

You walked along here to the restaurant entrance.

If you look closely, you can see the red velvet banquets, and the gold and red toile wall paper... tres chic!  If you are ever in Orlando... be sure to give this place a try. It is in the middle of a very upscale shopping area.

Speaking of shopping... it's not my favorite thing to do, especially malls... but the following day, it was so blasted cold ( was 25 degrees that morning) that we decided to try out Mall of Millenia after his appt that morning. 

 As far as malls go, this one is TOPS.  It's really open and airy and beautiful... pristine bathrooms and public areas, and the most whimsical Christmas decorations I've ever seen.  Scott allowed me to shop for my Christmas presents from him, so that did make it a little tolerable.  Yes, there was a Louis Vuitton store, and I swear that man would have sprung for one, but I had set a budget for Christmas, which was light years from the price of that purse, but it was absolutely gorgeous in person and so sleek to the hand!

Even though Scott would have bought it, I am the sensible one, and instead chose this little number...

 The Cuisinart Griddler. As you can see, it can be a panini press, a half grill/half griddle, or full grill/full griddle... and bonus, the heating plates go in the dishwasher!

We leisurely walked the mall, stopped for coffee and walked again.  For dinner we went to Brio Tuscan Grille... we weren't expecting much for a mall restaurant, but we were blown away by the food.  Again, a meal we will remember.  I had crab and shrimp cakes, and Scott had grilled salmon over angel hair pasta.  YUM.

So we had a wonderful few days of eating and shopping.  A time that could have been depressing and ugly, was actually a lot of fun. Hope you've enjoyed this impromptu tour of Orlando.

To coin a phrase... when Life Gives you Lemons...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oh, that Blue Box!

Hope this finds everyone having a wonderful Christmas season.... I know I am!  I felt the need this year to keep it simple, plan ahead, and get it all done early.  As of today, I am totally finished shopping, wrapping, and decorating.  I've never been this organized, and I have to say, it has really made this time of year more fun.  Almost all the gifts I bought are in a particular theme, which has made it so creative.  I have not agonized this year over the "perfect gift" but instead, bought what I liked, with the person in mind, and moved on from there.  Simple, easy, stress free.

Now speaking of gifts... I told you all a few posts ago, that I would share my Tiffany moment with you... so here we go...

Back in the summer, I went to the beach with a group of girls that I hang with. We all frequent the same beach, about an hour from where we all live, where a friend has a beach house she rents out.  This particular week, we all had kids and husbands in tow.  Fun, but... well... we all decided to plan a girl's weekend for the end of October... no kids, no husbands.

About two weeks before the weekend, is when we found out that Scott's cancer was back. At this point, I considered canceling, but decided just to show up if I could.  As I shared before, this was really hard news to take.  This is the time which I was Googling every minute of everyday, spending time on the phone, and in the library.  I had massive headaches everyday as well.  Scott knew this was stressing me out, but that's just life sometimes.  He insisted I go to the beach, and not Google or read anything about cancer while I was there.  I went, planning to come home after two days.  I felt bad leaving him.

Well... once I was at the beach, it was SO relaxing, and beautiful, and fun.  On the third day, I knew I should head home, but as sunset was imminent, and I was sitting in my beach chair with sand between my toes, sans headache, I called Scott from my cell, and told him I was staying until Sunday... was that okay???? "Sure" he said, but deep down, I knew he wanted me HOME.

An hour or so later, I got a text from my oldest daughter, that said, "Why is there a blue Tiffany bag hanging from the light in the breakfast room?"  

WHAT???????  I read this text to my friends, and we had no idea what to make of it.  I didn't dare mention it to Scott, because if there really was a bag there, he would kill my daughter for telling me!

I stewed about this all evening and night and into the next day.  I felt TERRIBLE that I didn't go home as planned, especially since there was obviously a gift waiting for me.

So Sunday afternoon, I walked in to a perfectly clean house, lunch ready and waiting, and a Tiffany bag hanging right over the table.  I "acted" surprised... and let me tell you, I'm a terrible actor.  

The bag was empty!!!  Well... it had a card inside with a clue to the blue box... like a scavenger hunt.  From that box, was another clue, to another blue box.  I know he really wanted to show me how much he appreciated all the support.  SO sweet!

Later, I of course had to admit that I knew about the bag.  He said, "I know... I told Meagan to text you that, just so you'd worry about it all night!"  Can you even believe that????   I knew he wanted me home :).

Inside the first box was a sterling silver band, that had I Love You printed all the way around.  The second box had the matching bracelet.  I wear them both every, single day.  Simple, elegant, perfect!

One of my goals during this whole ordeal, has been to de-stress Scott's life as much as possible.  Last night was perfect.  He came home to cajun bean soup in the crock pot, an open bottle of red wine, (Dr. orders...did I mention Scott loves his new Dr ;), candles lit, and music playing... it was wonderful. 

Take time this season to be intentional...if you don't, the season will pass you by, and you'll wonder where the magic went.  In our family, we are all getting together on Thursday nights throughout the holidays, and having game night.  I have also planned a Christmas Tea for my daughters, granddaughter, and mom.  I am even going to decorate cookies, something I usually decide is too much trouble, and too messy.  This year, I feel free to do this, because I am not stressed. 

Now finish up your shopping, keep it simple, and enjoy... 

Teri's orders!

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