Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let the house hunt begin

After 2.5 years in our awful apartment, Jeff and I decided it was a good time to buy a house. We had considered buying a house about 2 years ago, viewed several properties and weren't really "wowed" by anything. Now with the extension of the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit and the hatred toward apartment living we thought we'd start looking again.

We met with Amber, our realtor, about two weeks ago. I know Amber through an internet board I frequent but had yet to meet her in person. However, after our meeting both Jeff and I were well at-ease with Amber and her competence and confidence to find us a house. We've narrowed down our search to Gahanna and Blacklick. We've been east-siders since we moved to Columbus and have really grown to love Gahanna. Blacklick is the next suburb over so it's still in the same area. Plus we can't move any farther than 10 miles from Mr. Sushi. :)

Jeff and I are looking for the most bang for our buck. The real estate market is on the upswing but there are still deals to be had! We're hoping that we can take advantage of one of these deals. Tonight is the first night we're actually looking at houses. I can't wait to see what Amber has picked out for us! We've been looking at a ton online but it's never the same as actually stepping foot into the house and picturing yourself there. Hopefully we'll find a house that speaks "home" to us.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Jeff and I will be doing the usual "Triangle of Travel" meaning we'll be driving from Columbus to Toledo (my parents) then to Lorain (his parents) then back to Columbus. Luckily neither of us works in retail anymore so we don't have to rush to get back for someone to be to work the day after Christmas. Yay!

Here's hoping you and yours have a very happy, safe and purrfect holiday!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This year is the first year that I feel like I can really enjoy Christmas. Neither Jeff or I are working a second job allowing us to actually spend more than 48 hours with family before having to quickly return home to get to a retail job. I've spent many evenings baking cookies. I even bought a cookie press! I feel like I'm ahead of the game on my Christmas shopping and sending out my Christmas cards. And for a girl who never really liked Christmas (thanks to working retail for 5 years) I feel like I'm actually getting into the spirit.

The tiny apartment isn't exactly the ideal environment for a "Christmas Scenery Spectacular" but I think we've done well with our few decorations.

This is our small but full Christmas tree. I cram as many ornaments as I can on it every year. It's only about 2 feet tall but it's perfect for our small space.

Notice Jeff's Homer nutcracker. He's very proud of it. We had to take the zombies off of this shelf to make room for our decorations.

This is my Dollar Store wreath. No joke! I bought all the materials, including the wreath, from the Dollar Store. Total cost = $6.00. Perfect for the person who's thrifty and crafty.

This weekend was also "Christmas Party" weekend for us. I had a party on Friday night with some girls I know online. It was a lot of fun and even Santa made an appearance. I sat on his lap and asked for a house. We'll see if he can fit it under the tree Christmas morning....

Last night we had Jeff's work party. He works with some amazing people and they're a lot of fun. His boss hosted the party at their drop dead gorgeous home in Powell. They even had it catered from Whole Foods. Yummy! They did a White Elephant gift exchange. You wouldn't believe some of the gifts that went around! Some of the best gifts included a Potty Putter, a belly dancing kit, and capsules that help deodorize your dog's poo. It was an interesting night, to say the least!

Today was my Christmas party for all of our BDSRA families. We had 13 families and their affected children come to the party and it wasn't just families from central Ohio either. We had 3 families from Michigan, one from Pittsburgh and another from Indiana. Santa Claus also made an appearance at this party and the kids were so excited to see him! It made my day, week, and year. I don't get to see my families often enough so it was nice to catch up and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Here's hoping your holiday season is filled with fun, family, and happiness. I hope Santa brings you everything you want. If you happen to see him, please remind him of my wish for a house ;)

Until next time....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Time well spent

I recently got back from visiting my grandparents at their home in Hayesville, North Carolina. They've lived down there permanently since 1994 but have always spent their winters there since before I was born. Grandparents are truly amazing people. I know I'm very lucky because 3 of my 4 grandparents are still living and I'm 26 years old. I lost my grandfather (my mom's dad) in February 2008 and it was very hard losing my first grandparent. However, since his death, I feel like I've made more of an effort to stay in touch with my family.

My grandparents in North Carolina are my dad's parents. I am their ONLY grandchild. To answer your questions, yes, I'm spoiled rotten. But seriously, my grandparents have always gone out of their way to make sure I have everything I need, including a car, college education, clothes, etc. I feel like I used to take their gifts and support for granted, but I've worked hard to better appreciate these sorts of things. I hope they know how grateful I am.

As a young person, I never thought of my grandparents as "old" people. I always thought they were full of life, loving everyone (including me) and always gracious. Now that I'm older, I can start to see how "old" my grandparents really are, but in a very funny way! They are so particular about things! They are amazed about the things I can find them on the internet (like peanut butter pretzels and websites with information about people in our family). They have very strong opinions about politics and Bill O'Reilly (who my grandfather LOVES and DVRs everyday). They like their food a certain way and become irritated if something is out of routine.

But at age 83 and 80, I think they deserve to do things however they want. Not to mention all the lovely things they do like try to make me pancakes for breakfast, make sure my rental car is paid for and the gas to go in it, try to keep up with me even though the emphysema and Parkinson's is holding them back, and always make sure I want for nothing.

My mom's mom is a whole different kind of grandparent and person. This is a woman who grew up during the Depression and still spends like she has nothing. She makes the BEST pie crust I've ever had! She would never have a second thought about making a full dinner for the upcoming holiday. And while she never really spoiled us grandchildren (7 of us, me being the youngest) we were always sent birthday cards, invited to spend the night whenever we wanted, and always told how proud they were of us. My grandmother gave me my love of crockpotting and bean soup, she often took care of me when my parents were working, and always had Trident gum available.

Amazing people.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Celebrating our 1 year anniversary

Saturday we celebrated the big anniversary. It was also a day for celebrating someone else's love: our good friends Josh and Deanna. Jeff and Josh were good friends throughout school and even college roommates. Jeff was honored when Josh asked him to be a groomsman. Josh was in our wedding last year and Deanna came with Josh. So it was nice to turn around 1 year later and help the 2 of them celebrate their Big Day.

The newly married couple even surprised us at the reception by having the DJ announce our names and that we were celebrating our first wedding anniversary. It was very sweet. We also got to have champagne and fresh (not still-frozen-after-one-year) wedding cake. We got to catch up with old friends and made a few new ones along the way.

You may notice that Deanna's dress is very vintage. She wore her "man of honor's" mother's dress from the early 1980's. It was nice to see a bride in something a little retro and classic. I think everyone was pleasantly surprised when they saw her walk down the aisle.

Here are a few shots from the day:

Friday, November 6, 2009

This Saturday marks the 1 year wedding anniversary for Jeff and I. I can't believe how quickly one year has passed. It's been a year of traveling, weddings, job hunting, happiness and much more. I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. He's my rock, my strength, my equal and my balance. He spoils me yet challenges me. Happy anniversary baby!

I'll leave you with some pictures of our Big Day:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween! It seems fitting to post a Lucy picture since she's already dressed for the holiday:

Okay, so it's not the most threatening picture. But she is all black and she crosses our paths everyday. No bad luck around here.

Jeff and I have a Halloween tradition -- he gets to choose one movie and I have to watch it. We started this tradition 2 years ago. The first movie was Videodrome, a Cronenberg classic. Last year we watched Army of Darkness. Continuing with the Bruce Campbell theme, tonight we watched Bubba Ho-tep. Videodrome was the weirdest movie, by far! However, Jeff has a very large shelf of DVDs and I know he has much weirder movie choices for the future. Only 364 days until his next selection.

Do you like Greek/Mediterranean food? If you get the chance, c'mon over to Gahanna and visit Pomegranate. It's quickly becoming our favorite local restaurant. Delicious hummus and pita, an amazing Lemon Chicken Soup, and baklava that will knock your socks off! :) Put it on your list of places to try.

Until next time,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lucy's 2 Year Adoption Anniversary

Sorry for the delay in posting! It's been a hectic couple of weeks for Jeff and I. I turned 26 this month and since I told Jeff that I would stop complaining about the events of my birthday, I'll leave it at that. But I do want to thank everyone who went out of their way to make my birthday special (even those who got to it a little later than hoped).

But the title of this post indicates that it isn't about me, it's about our cat Lucy!

Lucy has been a member of the Lombardi household for 2 years now. Shortly after Jeff and I moved into our new apartment, we talked about getting a pet. We knew a dog would be too much work, but Jeff was worried about his allergic reaction to cats. Being the convincing woman I am, I convinced Jeff that we should look into getting a cat and just "try it out". And with a somewhat reluctant "okay" (at the time) the search began!

I found Lucy on Craigslist. She was one of about fifteen cats that belonged to a man who rescued them with his fiance. Well his fiance not only left him, but left him with 15 cats with no home. Her pictures on Craigslist and the descriptions from his email were all that it took to request a meeting with Lucy.

He told us she was small but we didn't realize just how small she was until she came for a visit. Lucy is the smallest adult cat I've ever seen! Even the vet's office comments every time we bring her in on how tiny she is. She warmed up to Jeff right away and I don't think she's left his side (or side of the bed) since. She is devoted to him, and him to her. And Jeff's allergies were never even an issue.

Name: Lucy
Aliases: Lucy Loo, Lucy Loo Lombardi
Likes: Black rats, cereal milk, sharpening her claws on the carpet, playing fetch, Jeff
Dislikes: Getting her feet wet, Mew-Mew, canned wet food
Most known for: Being so TINY!
You'll most likely find her: Creeping under the dining room table or asleep on the couch
Why we love her: She's our first pet together and she has the best personality. She's the most vocal animal we've ever had and she's such a sweetheart.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

So how was Cupcake Camp Columbus?

In one word: AMAZING! There were 39 different cupcakes on hand and 25 bakers. There were large cupcakes, small cupcakes, interesting cupcakes, delicious cupcakes, stuffed cupcakes, and the list goes on. Some of the best ones included:

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in Best of Halloween category

Monster Muenster in the Best Ohio category

Frosted Root Beer Float in Best Decorated Category

Jeff and I had a gameplan. We would each grab a plate and go after the cupcakes we wanted/as many as we could grab. We would then meet up in the corner of the room and exchange bites. Here's how the plates looked when we started:

Here's how we looked while we enjoyed our earnings....

And of course, the aftermath:

I lost count as to how many cupcakes we actually ended up eating, but the sugar high we had was enough to tell me that we had WAY too many! :)

Until next time....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mew-Mew's One Year Adoption Anniversary

One year ago last month, we were lucky enough to welcome Mew-Mew into our home. Jeff and I had been looking for another cat. We had had Lucy for almost one year and thought she was feeling pretty lonely (she would sprint to the door when we came home from work). Jeff was still working at Whole Foods at the time and had a co-worker who was moving and couldn't take her pets with her. She had a dog and a cat. We couldn't bear the thought of this poor cat going to a shelter so we said that we would take her. And now, one year later, we couldn't imagine our lives without her.

Name: Mew-Mew
Aliases: Moo-Moo, Mewey, Mewers, Spicy Mewers, Executive Mewers
Likes: Lunch meat, deli cheese, chicken, white rats, beating up Lucy
Dislikes: Harness and leash, fresh breath, being wet, Lucy
Most known for: Random attacks on feet
You'll most likely find her: sleeping on her cat castle
Why we love her: She can be very loving; she's always ready to play; she makes funny noises in anticipation of getting canned food

Neither of us have ever had a cat like her and I'm sure we never will again. One thing's for certain, Mew-Mew is here to stay.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Revenge of the Sweet Tooth

Nothing like starting off your week with a 9:00am Monday morning dentist appointment to have 2 cavities drilled and filled. Many of you may know this but I've had my share of mouth issues within the past year. It was around this time last year when I had 3 wisdom teeth removed (I was magically only born with 3 wisdom teeth). Then in March I went through a month-long ordeal of figuring out why my gums hurt on the upper right hand side of my mouth. It turned out that a piece of bone (left over from my wisdom teeth surgery) was trying to push its way through my gums. If you were just thinking "OUCH" you were dead on. And now last month's cleaning appointment revealed that I had two small cavities. Going back to the dentist in six months will be all too soon, in my opinion!

However, with an event that Jeff and I are going to this weekend, I might find myself back in the dentist's office with even more cavities! Introducing, Revenge at CupcakeCampColumbus! This Saturday, October 10th, Jeff and I will be tasting approximately 40 cupcakes that will be competing in 6 different categories. Some of the categories include, "Best Decorated", "Best Halloween-Themed" and even "Best Vegan". Tickets to the event were only $10 and the proceeds go to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

Here are just a few pictures from the last CupcakeCamp back in May.

Let the drooling and diabetic comas begin!

Until next time....

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm in the future also

So last night Jeff and I went to see Mike Birbiglia at the Capital Theater in downtown Columbs. The show started at 8:00 and when we got there at 7:00 we decided to buy our shirts before the show.

Jeff's t-shirt purchase

My t-shirt purchase

The opening act was a guy named Geoff Tate from Cinci. He was very funny. The thing that bugged me the most was that after Geoff's act, they raised the house lights and made us wait another 30 minutes before Mike came on stage! Now I'm already fighting to stay awake passed 9:00pm on most nights, but to have me out on the town, after a long day of work, and then make me sit in a comfy theater chair while NOTHING is happening, I'm lucky I didn't drift right off to sleep.

Finally, Mike came on stage and did about an hour long set. He was very funny with a good mix of old stuff and new stuff. He did some of my favorite jokes including how he passed "Introduction to Computers and Networks" in college as well as the "Guitar Guy" song. Jeff and I both really enjoyed ourselves.

Jeff and I saw Mike about a year ago when he came to the Funny Bone before going on Broadway to do "Sleepwalk with Me". Here is a picture of the three of us after the Funny Bone show last year:

Jeff, me and Mike Birbiglia -- 2008

Hope everyone has a great weekend! We're heading up north to spend time with Jeff's parents, and a couple good friends that we don't see often enough. Until next time.....


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hopped on the Blog Train

Welcome readers! This is my first attemp at "blogging" but mostly an attempt to see if my life is really interesting enough for other people to read. Now I would be quick to answer that question with a firm "no" but seeing as though I have friends in every different location, and family too, I'm hoping to stay connected with those who love and care about me.

I figured the first post could be could be a "Getting to Know You" post or even a refresher course for those who think they know me pretty well.

Name: Amy Katherine Lombardi

Birthday: October 15th (*ahem)

Sign: Libra

Occupation: Coordinator of Family Services for the Batten Disease Support and Research Association

Marital Status: Married to my wonderful husband, Jeff

Swanton, Ohio -- home of the Corn Festival

Current location: Gahanna, Ohio -- home of Mr. Sushi, my favorite restaurant ever!

Pets: Lucy and Mew Mew

What other things can you expect from my blog: I'm hoping to share recipes, jokes, personal stories, fun things, sad things, EVERYTHING! But especially way too many stories and pictures of my cats, hence the blog name.
Enjoy and have a great day!