Home Sweet Home

We’re home!

It feels so good to be back at our place. I was feeling ‘home sick’ by Saturday night.

Don’t know when I’ll finish the trip details – hopefully by the end of the week.

The trip was great! We saw a lot of interesting places and things.  Made some new friends. And, learned that people in Michigan have never heard of Amish Macaroni Salad!

All in all, we had a great time.

Of course, all the pictures are here. And, I am in the process of adding more… later (too tired right now). But, I believe Greg is going to be uploading his pictures soon and you can see his here.

Well, I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!


Michigan Trip: Day 1

First, I will state that the flight wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating. And, I was the only one that shedded a tear or two (for some reason the take off was really scary for me – and the turbulance afterwards). Amelia was fantastic on the flight!

On to the Day:

We were up by 6am – all of us! We finished up any last minute packing and went through everything three more times to make sure we weren’t forgetting anything. By 7:10 we were on our way to the airport! Thankfully, the drive to the airport is less than 10 minutes. We parked in the long term parking lot and caught the bus over to the terminal. We checked our ONE LUGGAGE and had to pay $25 because it was six pounds over the weight limit. SIX FREAKING POUNDS! And, at first the lady was going to charge us $50 for being over the weight limit, but since we booked our flight back in Feb, we only had to pay the $25. So, I told Greg that the luggage is going on a diet and will be under the weight limit on the way back (or we’ll have to pay another $25).

Going through security was a breeze. It was so cool to use our passports when we were asked for identification.

By 8:15am we were walking to our gate – all the way at the end. At least it was my lucky number, 11. We stopped and bought some breakfast and ate at the gate. My Mom called and we chatted for a few minutes and by 8:50-9:00 they made the boarding call. Greg and I were the very first people on the plan!

My Family on the Plane

The flight was uneventful; there was a lot of turbulance at first, but once we were above the clounds it was a pretty smooth ride.

Here are some pictures from the window:

Still in MD

above the clouds

Amelia sleeping on the plane

And, sometime between 10am and 11am we arrived in Michigan!

The plane that brought us to Michigan

I didn’t like the airport. Our gate, when we arrived, was nearly at the opposite end of where the luggage claim place was. For some reason I was pretty irritable and grumpy once we landed. Might have been due to the exhaustion and having to carry Amelia through the crowded airport, who knows, either way I had a short fuse.

We had a short wait for Greg’s Dad to pick us up. The weather was about 50 degrees when we arrived – much cooler than when we left MD!

Our first stop was the house to drop off our luggage and then we were off to Frankenmuth, MI.

After nearly two hours in the car (remember I have a short attention span and was already cranky. But, I did nap part of the way there) we arrive! Our first stop was for lunch since we were all hungry. We had lunch at the famous Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth. It was an interesting lunch. Greg’s Dad and I ordered the “all you can eat” meal which comes with everything under the sun served to you. The food was interesting, the chicken, which they are famous for, wasn’t all that great. The atmosphere of the place is what made the visit so interesting. Oh, and they’re famous bakery shop below the restaurant! Greg and I couldn’t resist the temptation and bought a few truffels and a bottle of wine. Here are some pictures:


World Famous Chicken

Cupcake Cake

Huge Brownie Cheesecake

After a little shopping at the bakery, we headed over to Bronner’s. Bronner’s puts Valley View Farms to shame with the Christmas decor; this place is massive! We didn’t have much time to explore because the place closes at 5:30pm and we got there just before 5. We did buy a personalized ornimate with “Greg, Amelia, and Jess 2008 Trip to Michigan” on it and two shot glasses (one for Greg’s co-worker). Here are a few pictures from the store:


Christmas Galore!

Inside a Gingerbread House

After Bronner’s we stopped at the Bavarian Inn’s “park”. To get to the Inn you go over this awesome covered bridge:

Covered Bridge

entrance to the bridge

The park has a peacock pen and this one peacock had its feathers on full display:

peacock on display

after hanging out in the park, we stopped for some cheese and fudge:


Greg and Amelia at the Cheese Haus

Frankenmuth Fudge

after we stocked up on our goodies we headed home, a nearly two hour drive!

The rest of the day was spent at the house catching up. Amelia didn’t go to bed until 11pm (she did ‘nap’ on the way home from Frankenmuth).

Of course, you can see ALL the pictures of the trip here.






Ready… Set… GO!

We’re all packed and ready to go!

The packing wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be (although, I don’t know why I thought it was going to be difficult).

We’re taking one, huge, suitcase; a carry-on; and my laptop bag and camera bag. I don’t understand how people over pack; I want to bring as little as possible with me.

Our errands this afternoon went down without a hitch. We exchanged shirts at Casual Male and bought two more shorts for Greg (since the sale was still going on); Target was simple, we bought $15 worth of travel sized items and I refilled my inhaler (since Sean had my newer one – I didn’t even realise a month had already passed); then we went to Bennigan’s for lunch. Greg’s Dad called while we were there and we re-hashed our plans for the next five days; and, finally, my trip to the beauty parlor/nail place was… disappointing. Maybe I was expecting too much after what my Mom told me about her experience. But, in addition to the pedicure I had my eyes waxed and spent a total of $28, so I didn’t waste that much money. Greg did come with me, but he sat on the side and played Bubble Pop and went through my text messages.

I still don’t know, 100%, what we’re doing in Michigan… well, at least what we’re going to be doing on what days. I guess it will all be a surprise and that could be fun… I hope.

Greg warned me this morning about how he becomes a bitch when he travels via airplane, and I did get a small sample of his bitchy-self. I was trying to get a head start on some light cleaning (mainly the kitchen) and he was like “We can do that later, we need to go now.” with a tint of an attitude. I didn’t pay any attention because we were on schedule (time-wise) with our morning routine. But tomorrow morning could be interesting – Greg wants to get up around 6am and be out of the house by 6:45 (we’re going to load the car up tonight so the morning goes a little smoothly). Greg isn’t the most punctual person I know, so this – his being bitchy about being somewhere on time – is going to be somewhat fun, if not interesting.

Alright, well it’s about 9:30 so I am going to pack up the laptop and head into the shower for some last minute shaving (of the legs), get ready for Top Chef (if I can stay awake late enough) and then before I know it – I will be sitting in the airport waiting to board the plane!


Have a great weekend if I don’t stop by before hand (but I’m pretty sure I will. After all, I have to upload the hundreds of pictures sometime during the trip)!


T minus…

Less than 36 hours until we’re in an airplane and on our way to Michigan!

Gee, these last three months have flown by! I remember when we booked the airfare back in February that Amelia would be 16 months old when we visit, and she had just turned 13 months!

I am starting to freak out, just a little bit more, about the flight. I’m more worried about Amelia than I am about myself (second airplane ride in my 29 years of life); I worry about Amelia crying the entire length of the plane ride (all one hour and 34 minutes). It has been suggested that I give her a ‘shot’ of Benadryl to make her drowsy, but I don’t feel comfortable with that. My only solution is to tough it out if she cries. God, help me now!

There is some good news for the day:

Detroit Tigers, here we come!

We got tickets to the Tigers game!!!

It took some persuasive talking and … other things… to convince Greg to purchase the tickets/research for tickets. As I mentioned earlier, he was ‘boycotting’ StubHub and their legalized scalping. But, nonetheless, I am uber excited about going to the game, as is Greg’s Dad and step-sister, Renee. I am, on the other hand, worried about the time of the game and Amelia. Amelia has a pretty good routine of going to bed between 7:30-7:45pm and the game doesn’t start until 7:05pm. Amelia has THREE teeth coming in right now and, according to the babysitting, has been a bit of a nightmare these last two days (towards the end of the afternoon), but… I am sure there is going to be icee’s or frozen fruit juice of some sort that I can give her to ease any ‘growing pains’ she might be going through. But, even still, I fear she’ll be a handful.

Am I ready for the travel? Yes and No.

I am ready in the sense of packing (started on Saturday), I’ve got my “DO NOT FORGET” list on the refrigerator, we’ve eaten/used/thrown away anything that might… expire… while we’re gone for nearly 5 days; given out our flight information and phone numbers to those of importance… and that’s really all I have to do to prepare. Greg and I are both leaving work early tomorrow to run some last minute errands (one being to return our favorite blue shirt to the store because it shrunk 6+ inches after I washed it in cold water and hung it to dry), and – for the first time in my life – stop by the beauty shop for a pedicure! I feel the need to try something new and be pampered. And, Greg is going to accompany me; don’t know if he’s going to get a pedicure or not (hoping to convince him to do so), but he said he will join me.

Now, in the mental, psychological sense of what I’m about to embark on, I don’t think it has ‘hit’ me yet. Which is kinda scary because now I wonder what I am going to be like when I am less than two days from our cruise! Maybe the realization of my traveling, via airplane with a 16 month old, hasn’t really creeped into my consciousness. Although, by tomorrow night or Thursday morning I feel confident I’ll feel the realization… all the way into a anxiety/panic attack! I believe it’s the plane ride that I am mostly fearing and I need to not let that get to me… I wonder if the bars are open at 7am in the airport…

Anyway, I should get ready for bed and all that jazz…

or something of that nature!

I’m Still Here

We’ve been pretty busy this week… although we haven’t really done anything.

Monday we did our grocery shopping and then went out to dinner.

Tuesday we went to the airport park and then to the mall to window shop for wedding bands and ended up having an… misunderstanding (which I will elaborate more in a bit), which took us nearly an hour to clear (as we were in the parking lot).

Wednesday was cleaning night, Top Chef, and late night sex (which, I might add, was something amazing and new)

Tonight, Thursday, Lisa and I had crabs for dinner. She had a gift certificate for a local restaurant, SeaSide, that was about to expire so we ordered two dozen crabs and ate them at my place. She just left about 25 minutes ago (it’s 9:33 as I type this). We were done eating the crabs by 8:00 and we just sat and talked, and talked, and talked. Mostly, we talked about people that we used to work with and some of the people that we currently work with. Lisa is one of the few (and my few I mean like one of two people) that I know I can talk to and she won’t say shit behind my back (especially if we talk about co-workers). It’s rare to find someone, that you work with, like that.

Tomorrow, Friday, we might see a movie since we haven’t seen one since The Simpsons back in July.

Saturday is the air show, which Greg is planning on spending all day there (to test out his new camera) and then we’re probably going to get a hotel room somewhere in the area. There is something about staying in a hotel and hotel sex that is so exciting.

Sunday we bring Amelia back home. Gosh, I miss Amelia. I talk to her, on the phone, at least twice a day. She’s saying new words and so much more. My Mom was telling me the other day that Amelia is enthralled with Lucy (the horse) and wants to follow her, Lucy, all around the yard and imitates Lucy’s … snot blowing (I can’t think of a better description, but that’s what Lucy is doing). After Mom told me all that, the first thing I said was “Oh great. Pretty soon Amelia will be telling you she wants a pony and you’re going to get her one.” My Mom’s reply “Damn straight. If my Baby wants a pony, she’s going to get one.” Yeah, and she isn’t joking. My Mom is going to seriously spoil her granddaughter.

This afternoon I started a book, Addicted , that a co-worker handed off to me. I read the bookfrom 1:30 until 6:00 and nearly finished it (either I’m a fast reader, or I had very few interruptions). I don’t know how I feel about the book. It’s written ok, nothing spectacular. The story is interesting (but that could be due to my raging hormones) and it does have me reading for more as it’s a borderline (erotic) graphic novel. But, the book isn’t stimulating my brain; it doesn’t cause me to think about the story. Generally, that’s why I don’t read “romance novels”, it’s just fluff to me. But, I guess in this case, I’m bored at work (obviously if I nearly read the whole book in 4.5 hours) and willing to read something that don’t interest me.

So, about the ‘misunderstanding’ Greg (and I) had. I’ve been showing the type of wedding bands that I want and have told him how I want something unique and different and NOT a solid band. Greg felt that I wanted something flashy and show-off-ish, which isn’t why I wanted something other than a solid band. So, we were looking at a few bands (yes, I have pictures, just too lazy to get the camera and upload) and apparently Greg misunderstood the questions I was asking the sales clerk (when I would ask about the total carat weight, etc) because he thought I would want something bigger, when in fact I was making sure it wasn’t too big. Yadda Yadda Yadda… nearly and hour later I told Greg that I am going to leave it up to him to find, and buy, my wedding band. Initially, he said he wanted to do this, the wedding band shopping, together, but I told him I am going to leave it up to him. And, so far, he’s taken this ‘challenge’ seriously and showed me some things he likes to get my feedback and such. But, we’ll see what happens.

This time next week I’ll be in Michigan! I am bummed, though, because Greg and I, along with 5 other people, will not be attending a Tigers game as we had anticipated. Why? Because ‘scalpers’, also known as company season ticket holders, bought a lot of the seats (in the bench seat section) and are charging nearly 5x’s the face value. Basically, aside from the “obstructed view” seats, there isn’t any place left where we could buy seven seats. Greg was looking on StubHub and said, between two sellers, alone, they had a combined 44 seats in the bench seat section. The tickets in that section generally range between $15-$18 a seat and these two holders were asking $55 a seat! I am pretty bummed about not going to a game, as is Greg. I just hope we’ll be able to go to a game something this season!

While we’re in Michigan, we’re going to head over to the Toldeo Zoo, probably on Saturday. Greg is excited about the zoo because they have alpaca’s. Of all things to be tickled pink about, it’s the alpaca. He’s so weird. Also, while we’re in Michigan, we plan on visiting a park on the lake. I don’t know the name of the park or anything. Actually, I don’t know much of what’s going on during the trip and I’m a little hesitant. Not that I’m an ‘control freak’ when it comes to trips or anything, I just like to know what’s going on because I hate to waste time when I’m somewhere new.


Oh, and get this. I am starting to get sick. How great is that? Yesterday, I noticed a pressure feeling (as if someone had there thumb pressing into the side of my neck) as if my thyroid was swollen or inflamed (as it has done so in the past). Thought nothing of it as it usually goes away. Well, as the day progressed, a cough developed (ever so slightly) and then a sore throat feeling started. Now, as of today, the throat is all sorts of itchy and irritated. The cough is still here (and painful) and I don’t think the symptoms are going to go away – at least anytime soon. Fuck.


Friends, Travel, & Amelia

Today was weird; Greg, Mom and I all thought it was Sunday. Today felt like a Sunday. Thankfully, it isn’t Sunday – yet; it will be in 59 minutes.

Greg and I didn’t get home until 12:30am after the concert. But, I’ll write all about Blue Man Group later.

Amelia woke up at 7:30 and Greg took care of her while I slept until 8:30 (have I mentioned how awesome Greg is?). Once I was up I started on the laundry and completed 3 loads; yay me.

Greg decided to take a nap at 9 and I took care of Amelia. She was one cranky baby. Nothing made her happy; she would cling to me like she wanted to be held but as soon as I had her in my arms she would wriggle to get out. There was no winning with her. Finally at 10am she decided to take her first nap. As soon as she was in the crib I went to wake up Greg. Greg and I laid in bed and chatted until 10:30, at which I got online to check email and started to write Jay back (congratulating him on passing his exam and replying to his decision to set short and long term goals) but I was constantly distracted and didn’t finish that task until a little after 1pm; and Amelia slept until 11:30!

 Around 1:30 we left to go to Target. Our goal was to get new sippy cups for Amelia (as Max, the dog, ate one of her cups while at Moms and the lid to another cup broke), get another bookcase and to look at microwaves. We ended spending over two hours in Target! Oh, and we bought a RED microwave! next, when we feel the need, we’re going to get a RED toaster (how geeky am I?)! I get so excited over the smallest things.

While we were at Target, Amelia’s sour mood followed and the only thing that kept her happy was when she could walk with us (she refused to sit in the shopping cart)!

Running through Target

At least she behaved, mostly. Actually, I was rather surprised at how well she did and her lack of interest in tearing things off the shelf. Of course, the one shelf she tried her hardest to destroy was the shelf that hosted all the baby-food in GLASS jars; only one made it to the floor and didn’t break! Then, when we were in the clothing section, Amelia decides to have a little shopping spree and just grabs clothes, willie nillie, off the racks and carry them over to our cart!

I'll take this...
... and this...
la dee da...

Unfortunately, she selected clothes that we too small.

Amelia’s mood didn’t improve any when we came home and she fought sleep until 4:30! I called my Mom and she said it sounded like Amelia was starting the ‘terrible twos’ early and then she went on to remind me of how much I kept saying that I couldn’t wait until Amelia was at this stage after she was born; I reminded Mom that I wasn’t complaining about Amelia’s random moments of fussiness or crying, but just letting her know what’s going on (after all, she asks me every time we talk on the phone what Amelia’s up to).

Fast forward to about 7:30,  Amelia was already fed, bathed, and in bed (though not asleep; that won’t happen until nearly 10pm!) and I see my girlfriend Kara is online. Kara and I started at PRP at the same time (we were in training together) and our friendship was pretty much instantaneous! Kara is going to be one of my bridesmaids, along with Michele and my cousin April is going to be my maid of honor. Kara and I chatted for nearly two hours. Kara always knows what to say to make me feel so special to her; for example:

Kara (2/16/2008 8:36:35 PM): I’m so proud of you for just being who you are.  I have never met a person who was more true to themselves than you are.  You are such an amazing person. 
Jessica (2/16/2008 8:37:39 PM): *sniff* you’re making me all emotional and teary-eyed!

Kara (2/16/2008 8:38:32 PM): Well, I just adore you.  You will always be my friend!  I will MAKE you ALWAYS be my friend!  So don’t get any ideas.

Mostly, Kara and I talked about wedding stuff . Here are some excerpts from our chat (and show what silly sense of humor she has):

Kara (2/16/2008 8:57:07 PM): I’m glad you like saturated color tones and not pastels.  I would not like it if I had to wear a pastel bridesmaid gown.  I would and will if you end up choosing one in that color but red is soooo much better!
Jessica (2/16/2008 8:57:54 PM): oh, this isn’t going to be a girly, prissy wedding
Jessica  (2/16/2008 8:58:10 PM): all bold, vibrant fall colors

Kara (2/16/2008 8:58:18 PM): So I shouldn’t worry about shaving my pits, then?
Kara (2/16/2008 8:58:24 PM): Great!

Shortly after we were talking about dresses and she was telling me about her friend Lisa and her experiance with the David’s Bridal that’s near where I live…

Jessica  (2/16/2008 9:07:43 PM): well, since this is all new to me – it would be awesome if you could accompany me one day
Kara (2/16/2008 9:08:04 PM): That ought to be good for a laugh!  We’ll have those salespeople in tears.
Jessica  (2/16/2008 9:08:59 PM): with my brutal honesty and indecisive mind, it could be an adventure for them
Kara (2/16/2008 9:09:16 PM): At the very least.

We also talked about locations for the ceremony and reception; she told me about her sister’s reception and Church:

Kara (2/16/2008 7:59:08 PM): My sister had her wedding reception at the King of France Tavern in Annapolis.  It included food and drink for about 60 people (maybe fewer, I’d have to check) for less than $4k. 
Jessica Frye (2/16/2008 7:59:27 PM): where was the ceremony?
Jessica Frye (2/16/2008 7:59:48 PM): ideally, I’d like the reception and ceremony at the same place
Kara (2/16/2008 8:00:05 PM): At St. Mary’s Church.  You can only join if you’re Catholic and live in Annapolis.  They’re snobs.
Kara (2/16/2008 8:00:27 PM): Ideally that would be ideal, wouldn’t it?
Jessica (2/16/2008 8:00:32 PM): lol
Jessica (2/16/2008 8:00:52 PM): well, given that Greg and I already have a baby – we wouldn’t be ‘approved’ of anyway in a Catholic church
Jessica (2/16/2008 8:01:14 PM): even more so if they knew i was still married at the time of conception and birth!
Kara (2/16/2008 8:01:21 PM): They don’t mind.  They just want your money.
Kara (2/16/2008 8:01:36 PM): It’s the Catholic doctrine.  Pay us, we’ll forgive anything.

This is what Kara had to say about her divorce:

Jessica (2/16/2008 8:18:21 PM): is your divorce coming to an end?
Kara (2/16/2008 8:20:03 PM): In the next few months.  B*** got the taxes done finally and we’re going to meet soon and take care of the rest.  Then we can do the paperwork.  I will probably just casually change my name prior to the divorce.  Otherwise I have to pay $70 and place an ad in two newspapers.  Ridiculous!

Kara (2/16/2008 8:20:58 PM): Now the next time I get married, I will have my wedding date on Sep 9 so we will always share an anniversary!
Jessica (2/16/2008 8:21:18 PM): so, aside from returning to the original Kara, what else is coming from the divorce?
Jessica (2/16/2008 8:21:29 PM): Your wedding would be Sept 6
Jessica (2/16/2008 8:21:34 PM): close though
Kara (2/16/2008 8:22:52 PM): I am getting Frequent Flyer Miles and don’t have to pay any of the fines for being late on the 2004, 2005, or 2006 taxes.  I am getting my health care paid until October 2009. 
Kara (2/16/2008 8:23:07 PM): I meant the 6th.  The computer typed it wrong.
Kara (2/16/2008 8:23:56 PM): I am also getting my virginity back.

And somewhere in the conversation Kara offered to make my wedding vail!

It was so awesome to catch-up with Kara. We haven’t seen each other in over a year (she visited me when I was in the hospital last Jan, just before I had Amelia, while sick with pneumonia); we’ve been trying to get together but our schedules conflict too often (she runs her own business and well, I’m just busy).

A little after 9pm we headed our seperate ways; she went to bed and I went to help Greg try to get Amelia to fall asleep. Amelia wasn’t being fussy or anything, she just couldn’t fall asleep. As soon as I got into our bed, Amelia crawled onto my chest and layed her head down and began to suck her thumb. That last about 2 minutes. Amelia didn’t fall asleep until around 10pm! Greg and I are hoping she’ll sleep in tomorrow morning, but just our luck – she’ll be up at 6:30am.

Once Amelia was asleep, I asked Greg to call his Dad and confirm our travel plan ideas and we’re now booked for a flight to Michigan! Here’s the email itinerary:

Reservation Summary



Thursday, May 22

Flight: Northwest Airlines
Depart: Baltimore/Washington Balt/Wash Intl, DC (BWI) Thu. May 22 9 AM
Arrive: Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport, MI (DTW) Thu. May 22 10 AM
Cabin: Coach
Seats: Seats will be available within 90 days of departure.

Monday, May 26

Flight: Northwest Airlines
Depart: Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport, MI (DTW) Mon. May 26 3 PM
Arrive: Baltimore/Washington Balt/Wash Intl, DC (BWI) Mon. May 26 4
Cabin: Coach
Seats: Seats will be available within 90 days of departure.
Once the tickets were paid for I added the new countdown ticker on the side!! I’m so excited that I am flying somewhere! Oh, and the reservations were choosen by the type of plane we’ll be flying on – as it was Greg’s request. So, on the way back we’ll be flying on a DC10 which is a plane he’s never flown on; oh, the simple things that make Greg happy!

First Day of 2008

I wrote my first check for 2008 today at Giant!

And, that’s about it for excitement.

Greg and I stayed up until midnight last night; watched all the fireworks go off around us (Glen Burnie and Pasadena) and then went to bed. Such an eventful night, right?

Our first day of the new year was very uneventful. We took down the Christmas decorations and put them away; cleaned the kitchen only to mess it up again; washed about five loads of laundry; ran to the grocery store for a few items; tried a new recipe with mixed results and Sean and Aaron visited for about a half hour. I was able to upload the pictures from yesterday onto Flickr, and here are a few favorites:

mini martini line up
Sean and the giant Raspberry Long Island Tea
Brother and Sister
Amelia using her new sippy cup
Cabbage Patch Baby

Doesn’t that last picture look like a baby-doll head? Amelia was being goofy and resting her head on the table.

Greg and I have been talking about our travel plans for 2008. We’re considering more smaller trips than the one big trip to Seattle. The smaller trips would be to New York (to see a game at Yankee Stadium), Atlanta (to visit the new-ish aquarium), Alabama, and Michigan with Alabama and Michigan to visit family.

We were looking up airfare the other night to Atlanta and Alabama and it’s slightly discouraging that it will cost between $700-$900 in airfare alone! Yeesh. At least we have a little time for the travel planning and we’re thinking about contacting a travel agency for a few things.

Not much talk going on about our wedding. I’ve picked up two more magazines and a “weddings for dummies” booklet but I haven’t even touched them.

I really need to start working on Amelia’s birthday party. Actually, I should be working on the eVites right now… But, Greg and I are going to use this weekend to start planning the food and things related (we get paid this Friday so it will help us figure our budget).

With that being said, I am going to work on the eVites…