Saturday, July 30, 2011

Only 30 more years of work, right??

We shouldn't look at it this way, but really, that's the way it feels some days.  Everyone I know has good and bad days at work, some more good than bad, some more bad than good.  The other day Lianne tells me this story about having a loogie (not sure of the spelling, definitely the first time I've ever typed that word) spit in her ear by a does that happen in a given day to anyone??  And she's pregnant and nausceous, not a great thing to help keep your tummy settled!  Several other friends have horrible co-workers (LC, I'll come and slash her tires, I don't mind!), hate their jobs in general, have a ridiculous drive (my Uncle drives almost two hours each way to work at the moment!), and so on.  But work is a necessary evil, right?  We have to have the job to get paid and keep living the lives we have and want (babies and puppies don't pay for themselves, unforunately!), but at what point do you say enough is enough?  It's only 30 more years, you can push through the bad days, no?  But when you add it up, that's a LONG time (40-50 hours a week or more for 30 years totals more than 70,200 hours of work), and should you really go through life discontent for 40-50 hours a week?  I don't know the answer, I'm actually asking.  Or, do you take the not so great work situation with a grain of salt because, at the end of the day, the rest of your life is quite lovely?  Can we overlook those 40+ hours and see the other hours we have, with our loved ones and friends, having a great time doing the things we really enjoy? 

Not sure what the point is here, really.  I'm currently considering options for going back to school in the next year or so, but will all of the work it takes to get in to school and all the work during school be worth it for the end result, a job or career doing something that makes me happier than my current job?  Obviously, no job is perfect, but will it even be better, in the long run?  Don't know, all you can do is try, right? 

In the meantime, I suppose the best thing to do is to keep plugging away, keep getting paid.  My plan is to try and make the most of the few hours out of work that I have with Mike each night and to try and do my best each day, until I really can't do it anymore.  Or until I become a published psychologist after curing Lindsay Lohan from her addictions (yes, that is plural) and making Britney understand why she needs to show more often. 

We can all dream, right?!  Just my feelings on a quiet work.   Carpe diem!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lloyd Update- 9 Weeks!

Three weeks have already gone by since we last took the new Mahoney to the vet, we were excited to see how he was doing!  He has gained 3+ lbs, weighing in at a whopping 7.2lbs today!  We've been calling him a fatty, but really this is great news and he's doing really well!  He had some more shots (from the sounds coming from the room, you'd have thought he was giving birth) and a fecal (also really popular with Lloyd...), and all's better: no more worms! Yuck, I've never been quite as displeased with illness as when I found out about the worms...

Anyway, Lloyd is a happy, healthy child!  He's doing a great job being a puppy, we've already given up on preserving the furniture and keeping all of our shoes in tact!  He's still terrorizing the cats- poor George's tail might never be the same again- but I think they're finally starting to get adjusted too....maybe.  Fingers crossed that we can sleep in till at least 6:00a tomorrow!!
Playing with Peter, the rabbit

Just an update on how much George & Milton like the puppy.... :)
P.S. Today I legally became a Mahoney by name, pretty crazy!  Yes, it took me this long, but we've been busy, so now we're all Mahoney's.  I guess next up is Citizenship so I'm not the only one in the "other" line at the airport anymore...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Honeymoon Extravaganza in England, Ireland & Italy!!!!

I know this is past-due and probably unnecessary really, but I still feel like the details of our crazy, whirlwind two weeks in Europe should be documented for future reference, when we're old and senile and can't remember what we did on our Honeymoon! I'll try to keep it short, but no promises, I'm a bit wordy on a good day and today is Sunday!

Wednesday, June 8th: Packed the kids and too much luggage in the car, dropped the kid's at the "resort & spa" (NOT a resort & spa in actuality, but that  is another story), and got on our way to England, JAX-NEW-MAN style.

Thursday, June 9th: Arrived in England (thank you Uncle Freddie for picking us up!), took Mike for a quick visit around the village, had lunch in town, and went to see my cousin's cute little apartment.  Were super jet-lagged, so we napped and then had a lovely dinner at The Owls in Standish...yum!!

Friday, June 10th: Spent the morning getting ready and then said goodbye to Grangy at his funeral, cremation and reception at The Beaches.  After the reception, Mike and I went to meet his Dad, Step-Mom, and sisters for dinner and celebration of Mary's 30th Birthday!  Celebrate we did, a bit too much probably, but it was a lovely meal and a lovely evening overall with the Mahoney's! 

Saturday, June 11th: Spent a lovely day out in Chester with the Smith's and Mahoney's.  Chestival, woo hoo!

Sunday, June 12th: After two weeks of marriage, Mike and I again vowed to love each other, for better or worse, forever, at our blessing in St. Wilfrid's Church in Standish, with our families.  We had a beautiful reception following the service, at Ashfield was another perfect wedding day, we're so lucky!!

Monday, June 13th: Got up WAY too early to catch our flight to Ireland as the Mahoney Family took on Dublin!  Arrived at our hotel, got settled, took the bus into Dublin and toured the city on the Hop-on, Hop-off bus that circles the city.  Great first day in Dublin!

Tuesday, June 14th: Went to the hotel pool (it's a Mahoney thing) before eating a full Irish breakfast and heading back into Dublin.  Visited Christ Church before heading to the Guinness Brewery for a tour and a beer, it was fantastic!  Had another great meal out that night in Temple Bar, after having drinks before at THE Temple Bar in Temple Bar-very cool place and a really cool part of the city!

Wednesday, June 15th: Got up even earlier so that Mike and I could catch our next flight to Rome!  Total success with Ryan Air, by the way, they're perfect for crusing around Europe inexpensively!  Spent our first day in Rome with pizza (amazing pizza, I might add!), a great tour of the Colliseum and a nice walk around the city, stumbling upon beautiful churches and ancient buildings.  Great dinner that night at La Hosteria!

Thursday, June 16th:  Spent the day exploring: saw the Pantheon (had gelatto outside the pantheon), Trevi Fountain, el Campo di Fiori, and the Roman Forum. Another great dinner at Mani in Pasta with tiramisu & espresso at a cafe in Travestere!

Friday, June 17th: Vatican Day!  Had a great lunch in Vatican City then toured the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.  We walked around outside St. Peter's Basilica to get some pictures, but decided not wait four hours to get in.  Beautiful part of the city, amazing history!  Had our favorite meal in Rome this night, at a tiny little restaurant near the Piaza de Novano....yummm!!

Saturday, June 18th:  Picked up our rental car and hit the road to Tuscany!  The first stop was Siena, our accommodations being at the Castel del Quattro Torres, a completely amazing castle just outside Siena.  Had a relaxing afternoon drinking wine at the castle and headed into Siena for the afternon and dinner.  Yet another amazing meal (we did a lot of eating and were never disappointed!) in a beautiful place ( I loved the Piaza del Campo here the most, it felt really alive and real, not at touristy!). 

Sunday, June 19th:  Drove through Tuscany towards Greve, stopping for lunch in the tiny village of Castellina-amazing lunch, of course, of bruschetta and a meat & cheese plate-and made it to Greve in the early afternoon.  Greve is a very small, quaint town, so we spent the afternoon at the hotel pool (the only one in Greve!), walked around town and then had yet another amazing meal!  Dinner included pate, papadelle pasta with wild boar sauce (Ah-mazing!), grilled pigeon (Mike was SO excited, he'd read all about it and really wanted to try it!) and roated duck!  Unbelieveable...and yes, you can fit that much meat into one meal!

Monday, June 20th:  Headed out of Tuscany to Florence for our last day/night in Italy.  Had a rough start of things trying to navigate Florence, the roads are tiny and packed with people and all one-ways, not ideal for people traveling to Florence for the first time.  After we dropped the car off (we'd never been so excited to be done driving!), we walked around the city, saw the beautiful Duomo and other ancient buildings!  Had our favorite meal of the trip this night, at La Giostra restaurant.  Beautiful antipasta display served complimentary, with a glass of prosecco!, delicious pasta, and then the mac daddy of a steaks, a One-kilo T-bone steak, the bistec Florentine!  We couldn't get through it all, but it was definitely a great ending to our wonderful trip! 

Tuesday, June 21st:  Headed out of Florence back to Manchester for our last night with my family, before heading home. 

Had a pretty rough trek of things getting home the last day, but we made it and had an amazing time to show for it all.  Nine flights in 14 days, plus buses, trains and rental cars, we never lost our luggage and managed to never want to kill each other, not even once! :)  It was a once in a lifetime trip and we are so glad we did it!  If you ever need books on Italy, just ask!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mike's Birthday Weekend!

Yes, we still celebrate with birthday weekends/weeks!  Mike turned 32 on Tuesday so we spent the weekend before doing birthday things and eating cake-birthday pumpkin cake this year, per Mike's request.  Lianne, Shad & their super cute children came to visit us for the weekend as well, so we got to have a great meal out with them on Saturday night and a full day of fun at the beach and pool on Sunday!  We took Lloyd back to the beach for a walk on Sunday night, he loved it!  Much better than the first time, he was running through the little waves and didn't panic when a "big" wave got him.  By the end of the adventure, he was worn out, sandy and shivering but a much bigger fan of the beach!  I can't wait till I can take him running one day! 

Mike and I had Monday Funday for his birthday; we went to see Horribles Bosses (hilarious-go and see it!!) and had a fantastic lunch at the "famous" Beachside Restaurant in Jax Beach (we had our first oyster shooters and some delicious fish...and maybe a pitcher of beer).  Great day overall, followed by a fancier birthday dinner on Tuesday at Marker 32.  Not gonna lie, I had a groupon which swayed me into pickhing this place, but we were so glad we got to eat there!  We had some ridiculously good food (Mike had salmon, I had crabcakes-all amazing!) and we got to see a dolphin in the marina and about 2,000 stray cats and kittens!  Overall, a pretty good birthday I think (Mike said it was, I promise!) and a great weekend as a whole!  Now back to work for the rest of the week till we can do it all again... :)

Waiting for a treat!

With Daddy

Cold after his dip in the ocean!

Helping Mike unwrap his gifts!

P.S. All of our pictures are now of Lloyd, we have no use for pictures of each other or anything else, so sorry for that from here on out.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Holiday Weekend Happenings!

We had our first visitors to Ponte Vedra/Jacksonville this past weekend-my parents!!  They were the first to brave the drive from Raleigh and had a great weekend here at The Beaches with Mike, Lloyd and I!  We all ate too much and got a bit too much sun, but it was a really nice holiday weekend and we were so glad that they were our first guests!  My parents stayed at the Sawgrass Marriott right around the corner and got to see TPC golf course, "downtown" Jacksonville (this spans a whopping two blocks max), and the beautiful Sawgrass Cabana Club overlooking the beach!  We celebrated being American (everyone except me...when in Rome...) with BBQ, potato salad and corn on the cob, and margaritas, of course!  It was a fantastic weekend and we loved seeing my Mummy and Daddy for a few days!  Lianne and her family are next...get your weekend reservations in after that, we want to see you next!!! 

Vacation destination hotspot,

Mike & Abbie :)

Lloyd "Banks" Mahoney

We know, another weird name for a pet.  But really, when you think about it, we couldn't name him something generic like "Midnight" or "Butch" (gag me on both of those names, and sorry if your pet is named either one, no offense), it had to be a human name that you just don't hear a lot.  Of course, now that Mike has taken to calling him Lloyd Banks (after the rapper), I suppose his name isn't as unique as Milton Gomez or George (just George...George Smith when he's in trouble). 

When we went to "see" Lloyd (I put see in quotes because we all know that two suckers like Mike and I aren't going to turn down a cute baby puppy that needs a good home), we were told that he was 8 weeks old, had had his shots, and was in good health.  Well, let's just say that they lied and we aren't very bright when we're distracted by a tiny puppy wanting to be cuddled.  We took Lloyd to the vet and he was about 5 weeks old when we got him, and not in very good shape.  He needed lots of meds and lots of love, but now at almost 7 weeks, he's healthy, a bit too active already, and ready to learn all the things that puppies need to know (how to sit, how to con his parents into giving him treats, how to get out of baths.etc.)!  Things are going well so far and we're already in love!  Well, most of the time...there have been a couple of incidents/accidents with some really bad smells and some really big clean-up, but mostly we are really excited about bringing Lloyd Banks Mahoney in to our home and lives...woohoo Mahoney's!!

Tired Monkey
Dinner time!

He had a minor leg incident leading to the bag carrier you see here, but he's back in good form and will never, ever need the yellow bag again (Mike will never let it happen agian!)!!
 P.S. He's now almost 4lbs and no longer has worms, fleas, ticks or a bacterial infection.  Just an fyi for anyone that had to listen to us tell you about these issues....he's healthy and ready to play, bring your dogs to the beach!!!