Thursday, June 25, 2009

Honeymoon chronicles...

My granddad was quite the traveler. He even took my grandmother on an "Around the World" trip--you know, the kind you only ever hear about in the movies. On these trips he took thousands of pictures (and that's when you had to use film!) and not only did he snap the photos he kept an accurate record of exactly what the pictures were of and the stories of their travels.

This was a lesson he constantly tried to instill in us and while I've done an "ok" job through the years, I don't think I can say I've exactly lived up to his high standards. So, in an effort to remedy that, I've decided to start posting occasionally about our fabulous honeymoon. Even though it was over three years ago, most of it is still pretty fresh in my memory and I figure I better get a written account of our travels before my brain turns to baby mush! :)

Andy and I were married on December 17, 2005 and while we took a short trip to Rehobeth Beach for two days after the wedding, we postponed the honeymoon until after Christmas. We then left on December 28 for the first stop of our trip, Paris!

I worked every angle I could to get us upgraded on our flight, but back then I wasn't traveling at all, so I had zero clout with United. I did get us some complimentary champagne though, so that's something! Aside from that, the flight was pretty standard, and we arrived bright and early at Charles de Gaulle in what can only be described as brisk temperatures.

As a side note, we really did not plan ahead as much for this trip as we probably should have. The wedding was really the focus and while we had our rooms and some travel books, we didn't have a super solid plan of attack. Fortunately, we ran into a lot of helpful people along the way, including two younger Americans at the airport who just happened to be going to our exact hotel. Thank goodness or I'm not sure we would have figured out how to get there! (I'll also point out that they told us where they were headed before we said where we were going, so don't worry, we were smart travelers in that sense).

We made it to our hotel around 9:00 a.m. and were way too early to check-in, so after dropping off our bags, we bundled up and headed out into the streets of Paris!

Up next...a great sandwich, the Eiffel Tower, and finally a warm shower!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Andy's fishing trip...

I urged Andy to guest post about his fishing trip this past weekend, but he thinks it would be more fun for me to test out my "ghost writing" skills. We'll see how this goes...

As a Father's Day present, Andy invited his dad for a fishing trip to Chincoteague for the weekend. Growing up, Andy's family spent lots of time there camping and fishing so it was a great trip down memory lane for them. As a bonus, his mom was also able to tag along for the fun.

They headed out relatively early on Saturday morning and though it poured down rain for most of their drive, they were optimistic that the weather would clear up for their weekend. They did have some spurts of bad weather, but it sounds like for the most part the sun was shining.

They stayed in a cute little hotel overlooking the water (and the boats). They had a great balcony and it sounds like a lot of their time was spent relaxing out there watching the boats and some pretty awesome sunsets. I understand a pretty wild game of Crazy 8's also ensued...those Gribbles can be pretty competitive! :)

Flounder fishing was the main goal, and while they didn't get too much fising time in due to choppy water, they did catch two big ones on Monday before they had to head home.

Turns out their biggest victory was in catching mussels! Who knew!? They caught roughly four dozen and were able to make quite an afternoon feast out of them. They even caught some oysters and enjoyed them "on the half shell" though I don't think they found any pearls...or at least if they did they're hiding them from me! :)

From all reports I've heard, they had a fantastic time and it was a great Father's Day weekend! Andy is so thoughtful and a great son, I'm hoping baby boy follows in his footsteps!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Weekend...

Despite some stormy weather, we all had a great Father's Day weekend! Andy took his dad for a fishing trip (more on that in a later post) and I got to spend the weekend with my dad.

On Saturday, my mom and I were supposed to have a golf tournament but it was postponed due to the rainy weather, so instead, we shopped! We didn't really spend any money, but had fun looking at all the stuff we registered for and "ooohhhing" and "aaaahing" over all the cute baby clothes. We then headed to my parent's house for an afternoon of watching the US Open with my dad.

Saturday night, Mark and Kathleen came over to my folk's house and as our gift to my dad we made him a lobster dinner! (My mom had to go to graduation, but she can't eat shell fish anyhow, so don't think we left her out.)

We've had lobster feasts before, but Andy has always been there to facilitate the actual cooking part. We were certainly at a loss without him there, and it didn't help that while I love lobster, baby boy wasn't really in the mood for it and thus I wasn't too keen on helping to cook them. Oops! But, Mark and Kathleen did a great job, and my dad couldn't have been happier (it helped that we got him a 2.87 pound lobster!)

I then spent the night at their house and was able to go to church with them in the morning and then for a great breakfast before playing golf in the afternoon. We had a great time on the course, and though the skies looked a little iffy at times, the rain held off---Mother Nature's way of saying "Happy Father's Day?" Perhaps.

I hope all the dads and dads-to-be out there (especially Andy!) enjoyed a great Father's Day, you certainly deserve it! :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

A little Blue Jay...

Our brother-in-law, Shawn, plays for the Toronto Blue Jays, so what better "yay you're having a boy" gift than some Blue Jays attire! I love the tiny Nike swoosh on the onsie, too cute!

Thanks Uncle Shawn and Auntie Heidi!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A most fancy burp cloth...

My sister-in-law, Bebe, is one of the craftiest people I know. There isn't anything she can't make with her own two hands, and if she hasn't figured out how to do something, she just picks up a book and teaches herself. I'm quite envious, but at the same time we do tend to reap the benefits of her craftiness, so I suppose it all works out!

Her latest project was a burp cloth for baby boy Gribble. It seems far too nice for us to use but will be a great addition to our sailor themed nursery.

Thanks Bebe!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My dear friend Alissa...

Last night I met my very good friend Alissa for dinner. It had been three years (boy time flies) since we'd seen one another, but from the minute we started chatting it was as if we simply picked up where we had left off. I suppose that's how it is with really good friends.

Here (in no particular order) is a small list of my favorite "Alissa" memories:

1. Sharing our love of volleyball--we went to four camps together and while I could never understand how she could go without knee pads, she was one of my favorite people to play with--even if we did crash into one another on occasion!
2. Our shared obsession with "jellies" from Old Navy. I believe between the two of us we owned every color they made...wonder if they'll make another come back? (Let's hope not)
3. Her Christmas Eve birthday
4. Our shared appreciation for the songs "Shoebox" and "Go Go Go Joseph"
5. Skiing at Wintergreen and White Tail together.
6. Our mutual excitement over the annual sale at Nordstrom--ahh discounted Doc Martins, what a find!
7. Getting to attend both her Bat Mitzvah and her confirmation. I love that I got to learn about her religion and that I was able to share in those special moments with her.
8. Her mom. I miss her greatly and will always remember the lessons I learned from her about tolerance and being open minded, aware and respectful of the differences in others. She was an amazing woman and while she might not always like to admit it, I see a great deal of her in Alissa.

I hope we don't go another three years before seeing one another again, but regardless of how often we see one another, I'm very fortunate to have such great memories that I've shared with a truly great friend.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Gribble Gathering...

We typically have to wait until Christmas for this to happen, but miraculously, last night we were able to get the entire Gribble family together for a BBQ!

Heidi, Shawn and Garrett were in town from Toronto, so that is what sparked the gathering. It is amazing how big Garrett is getting! He is too cute and loved playing with Liddy! By the end of the night he was even giving her kisses on the lips---I think this was good training for when Liddy's baby brother comes a calling!

As for the other nephews, they were all in great spirits, perhaps the fact that this is their last week of school before summer vacation begins might have had something to do with it. They are all getting so grown up---Drew is almost as big as Andy!

Kurt's 8th birthday is today, so we were also able to celebrate that special occasion last night. I think he ended up with more chocolate cake on his face and hands than he did in his mouth--guess you're never too old to be a messy cake eater! :)

We also took advantage of us all being together and got some family photos. There were lots of us snapping shots, so I'm hopeful that others may have caught some better pictures. It is no small task to get 10 adults, six boys, and a dog to cooperate...though I fear the adults may have been more challenging at times than the youngsters! At least baby boy Gribble was cooperating! :)

Ommy and Poppy were great hosts and while adding a seventh grandson into the mix might seem daunting, I know they're ready for our little guy to join the party!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fiesta de Bebe!

For about two months now, we've had on our calendar a BBQ get together at Greg and Erica's with our other friends Dave and Alysia. The six of us have been trying to get together since New Year's Eve, and sadly it took until June to make it happen. Regardless, we were really looking forward to a nice BBQ at Greg and Erica's and a chance to check out all the hard work they've been doing to upgrade their patio.

Little did we know that there were some surprises in store for us! For starters our very very good friends, Chris and Aimee were there! They drove up from Richmond to surprise us--very sneaky! On top of that, the BBQ was really a "Fiesta de Bebe" (a mini-baby shower for us!).

It was a great night and we especially loved getting to visit with Chris and Aimee! Greg and Erica's patio is amazing, and was the perfect spot for us to all hang out. I foresee many more evenings out there to come!

The guys played a lot of ladder golf and the gals mostly chit chatted. Erica had a great dinner for us, a huge taco bar, with everything from shrimp and pineapple to steak and grilled peppers! Baby boy and I were quite pleased!

We also got "showered" with gifts, which was totally unexpected but greatly appreciated! Baby boy is very lucky and has some amazing extended Aunts and Uncles!!

Thanks to our amazing friends for coming together for us, we love you guys!!

Boat ride to Occoquan

Considering the amount of rain we've received over the past month, we were thrilled when the forecast for Friday night called for dry weather! We decided to take advantage and went for an evening boat ride to Occoquan for dinner.

I'm pretty much past the point of being able to go fast on the boat. The bumps aren't real good for baby boy or myself, but fortunately, the ride from our marina to Occoquan is all in a "No Wake" zone, which means a nice slow stroll down the river. Now that I can manage!

We packed up a few snacks and some sparkling water and enjoyed a mini-happy hour on the boat. We played some Nat King Cole and couldn't help be thankful as we rode under interstate 95, jam packed with folks still trying to make their way south.

Occoquan is really a cute little town, and while we used to visit it more often when Andy's folks lived nearby, we haven't really been in several years. After a little bit of a debate, neither of us were being very decisive, we found ourselves at Madigan's (previously the C&C Seafood Company). The menu looked pretty good and the setting on the water was even better (that and we got to keep an eye on Wally).

Our meals were mediocre, but the atmosphere was great and we even got to witness some kids eating out before Prom. The girls looked, for the most part, appropriately dressed and the boys looked awkward and uncomfortable in their tuxes, but all were happy just the same.

After dinner we stopped by an ice cream parlor for a scoop (or two)! Nothing better than mint chocolate chip (the green kind of course) and a night time boat ride to start the weekend off right!

Baby boy must have also enjoyed himself as he was rather active that night, and in fact Andy fell asleep with his hand and head on my stomach, too cute! :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

"The Song Remembers When"

As I was driving to my doctor's appointment this morning (baby boy is doing great, strong heart beat, and doctor actually thinks I need to gain a little more weight-love it) I found myself listening to the 90's station on XM. The great thing about that station is you never know what you're going to get, and boy do the songs bring back memories!!

So as I'm cruising down the Fairfax County Parkway, Celine Dione's "Because You Loved Me" came on and all of a sudden I'm back at the 8th Grade Dance, awkwardly dancing (or rather shifting from side to side) with Justin Z. Wow, what a memory. In fact, due to the wonders of Facebook, I have access to a picture of all of us dressed up ready to leave for the dance on my old deck (I kind of miss that old house).

Now, this isn't exactly the most flattering picture for all of us, but we were 13, what do you expect!?

The amazing thing is that Cindy and Kim both have three kids now, Megan M. is on her honeymoon, Shannon is in her umpteenth year of school becoming the great scientist/doctor we all knew she was destined to be, and Megan S. is married and about to have a baby of her own. As for me, I no longer have braces and am about to a mother to a son that I hope never makes fun of me for looking like that! :)

Amazing the memories one song can bring...and when it was over, "I'm a Barbie Girl" came on, which is a whole other story for another day!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Third Trimester

Wow, all of a sudden baby boy and I have moved into the third trimester! Very exciting, but at the same time a little scary! How did the first two go by so fast!? I guess it helped that I was almost 6 weeks pregnant before I found out...oops!

Baby boy has been very active lately--mostly in the morning and right before bed...sign of things to come?! It still makes me stop and pause every time I feel him move, it really is incredible. And I swear if I even for one moment stop and think, gee, I haven't felt him move for awhile, I swear I'll get a little kick, like he's just letting me know everything's ok. I hope he's always this cooperative! :)

I worry that I may jinx some things by mentioning the following, but I also think it is good for me to document this process, so I'll take my chances. I am amazed thus far at how great I've felt. It seems the first question everyone always wants to ask is "well how have you been feeling?" I just have to keep saying "Great!" I wonder if anyone really believes me? But I swear it's true.

Baby boy has been a great little tenant. Aside from the occasional pain in my back, and a somewhat itchy tummy, I really can't complain. I mean come on, he helped me get a hole in one!

I know it will start to get a little harder in this last trimester, but I think we're ready for it. I know that bending over to tee my ball up is going to become more challenging, but Andy has already offered to be my caddy! I might also add that Andy has been fantastic throughout these first 27 weeks--offering to rub my back, taking Liddy out almost 100% of the time, buying me ice cream, indulging my desire to "ooh" and "aah" over all the cute baby clothes, and just being supportive all around. Baby boy and I are lucky to have him around! :)

So here we go baby boy, let's rock this third trimester!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Congratulations Megan and Chuck!

This weekend, one of my oldest friends in the world, Megan, got married. Their wedding took place at Veritas Vineyards (one of our favorite wineries near Wintergreen) on Friday evening. This meant that Andy and I had a great excuse to take a half day on Friday to head down for the festivities.

Since the wedding was close to Wintergreen we were able to just stay there for the night. We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon at the mountain and then got all dolled up and headed back down to the valley for the wedding.

The weather was perfect, there were some dark clouds in the sky, but they moved along and didn't interrupt the outdoor ceremony. The setting was gorgeous with the mountains and the vineyard in the background. The tasting room was open prior to the ceremony, so Andy was able to grab a nice glass of viognier to get things started. I have to admit, it was a challenge being surrounded by all that great wine!

The ceremony was really lovely, with the bridesmaids in gorgeous dresses, and Maid of Honor, Danielle, had an extra accessorie, Megan's dog Dublin! Leave it to Megan to include her pet in the ceremony--I wasn't one bit surprised! The bride made quite the grand entrance, coming in on a horse drawn carriage! She was met by her father and she looked stunning! You could tell that Chuck was speechless!

After the "I do's" and a rare "Unity Wine" ceremony (rather than the typical candle lighting) the couple got the go ahead to seal the deal with a kiss, and they took their first walk as husband and wife. It was really wonderful to witness, and I couldn't help but run through my mind all the memories I have growing up with Megan---how could time have gone so fast!? Weren't we just signing karaoke in her basment or mustering up the courage to ride the Bazerker at King's Dominion!? I guess we really are growing up (cue my kicking baby).

After the ceremony we got to enjoy a fantastic reception. Andy and I were seated at the "Reisling" table, which was made up of old neighbors from Forest Ridge. We got to catch up with some old Park View alum and we even got to spend time with a six week old baby boy, who was adorable! Andy was mesmerized---it was really cute!

Meanwhile, the flowers were gorgeous, the food was delicious, the wine was flowing, and the ice water was tasty! (ha) She also had two gorgeous cakes, a traditional wedding cake and in true Megan fashion, a Redskins cake! Of the two (yes, I had a piece of both) the Redskin's cake was by far the best!

It was a great wedding for a great friend!

Congratulations Megan and Chuck, here's to a lifetime of fond memories, amazing friends, and really good wine!