Category Archives: Family

Celebrating My Grandmother!

You may have been wondering?  WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARM-ANNE SANDIEGO!?  Well I spent a long weekend in Richmond, Indiana.  Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus Richmond, Indiana.  This is where my family gathered to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday.  Although, once you see the pictures, I may have to convince you that she is 80.  This woman can’t be a day over 60!  She drives all over tarnation (well from her house in Indiana to Delaware and Massachusetts), and travels all over the world.  Last year she visited Egypt and the Holy Land.  This year she took a three week cruise (with one of her daughters and granddaughters) through the Panama Canal!

Anyway, it was a busy weekend.  I was super-psyched to see my extended family.  Even though Matt and I have been engaged for almost 6 months, I haven’t seen most of my family since before then.  So we got to discuss wedding!

But back to the weekend.  We visited with my dad’s sister and mom (yay for family in the same town!) Saturday afternoon before dinner at the Olde Richmond Inn.

Here is the birthday girl receiving her present from her grandchildren:

It was a TLD (tacky little dish) purchased at Goodwill, due to her propensity to collect such rare items.

Dinner was actually delicious.  I had Cajun grilled tilapia (hesitant to get fish in the midwest, but it was DELICIOUS)

My grandmother and her children (my mom is on the right if you were wondering):

And with her children, their spouses, her grandchildren (and their intended spouses), and her siblings and their significant others:

Sunday morning we all went to 8:30 church (ugh!) then back to my grandmother’s for some brunch.  My stepbrother and sister-in-law came down from Chicago and brought the boys!  I was so excited!  I haven’t seen Owen (3, one of my ring bearers), since he was 2 months old.  And I’d never met Henry.  They are so adorable!  Here’s little Henry, just happy!

Finally we went over to the hall to decorate for the real reason for the weekend: THE PARTY!  Here’s the picture table dedicated to my grandmother:

There was a huge turnout.  And we ended the day with some singing!

Yes, we like to sing songs about moonshine!

It was a wonderful party, and my grandmother got to be queen for the day!


So after eating all of that WONDERFUL food that I talked about in my earlier posts Part 1 and 2.  I knew that I needed to eat veggies NOW!  The other day Susan asked about how we crave after indulging, and seriously, I just want to eat veggies and DRINK WATER!!  LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER!

Thus, when we went out to dinner with Matt’s mom’s family to the S&S Cafeteria, I only ordered vegetables (and fruit):

A very tasty fruit salad (sometimes fruit cocktails have one general taste, but this one I could taste ALL of the fruits), stewed tomatoes and okra, and mashed potatoes.  Very satisfying and I felt pretty healthy after this meal.

Saturday we celebrated Matt’s grandad’s 95th birthday (Really we should take health tips from him, he is in GREAT shape and has a cane, but doesn’t really need it).  Since everyone else in Matt’s family had gone early to get the hall ready for the party, Matt and I had the house to ourselves.  I started the day with peanut butter spoon, banana, and sausage balls

(Peanut butter spoon not shown, ate it too fast!)

After that, Matt and I did two loops around the neighborhood (we did one on January first).  It’s about 3/4 of a mile according to mapmyrun with a pretty nice hill right in the middle.

Afterwards, I did a modified workout #3 from my holiday planning twice:

  1. Warm Up: Buttkicks, High Knees, Jumping Jacks
  2. Elbows to Knees: 12x
  3. 1 Legged Pistol Squats: 12x
  4. Front & Side Raises: 12x
  5. Crunch & Punch: 12x
  6. Scissor Runs: 12x
  7. Fast Side Lunges: 1 minute
  8. Push ups & tricep dips: 12x each
  9. Side Plank Crunch:12x each side
  10. 100′s (the abs pilates move)
  11. Flutter Kicks, Scissor Kicks, Leg Lifts: 12x each side

I realized that I had “elbows to knees” twice and a lack of arm exercises, so I added in pushups and triceps.  Since I was doing this in the living room and didn’t have weights, I picked up two liters for my front and side arm raises.

After 4 days of traveling in a car, my muscles were BEGGING to be used and stretched.  My “week” of rest is over.  I can’t wait to get back to the gym.  I also really enjoyed my ab exercises.  I think from all of the sitting in the car, my stomach was OBVIOUSLY not being used, and thus felt GREAT to be exercised!

Then we went to the 95th birthday party.  I didn’t really want cake (I would much rather prefer homemade cakes, that excuse usually gets me out of some cakes!), so I had two plates of the following:

Cracker, candy almonds, nuts, m&m’s . . mmmm

We then went out to Calhoun’s for dinner, meeting up with Matt’s friend Matt (whose wife reads my blog YAY in a non stalkerish way . . . HI KRISTIN!)  Thus Matt (the friend) told my Matt’s family about the blog and I began to be free to take pictures of my food at restaurants.  His mom said “Oh pictures to say ‘Look at how healthy I am eating’?” Sarcastically I should say, “Yeah, just like this meal.”

Ribs, baked potato, onion rings from Matt’s mom’s salad (the entire family has an aversion to onions that I just do NOT understand).  Not pictured is my salad for appetizer.  Also, I ate all of the ribs, but only about 1/3 of the potato.  I was FULL!

Sunday had a few more good foods:  banana and only TWO sausage balls before church.  Then a half size spinach-shrimp salad at Applebees.

Snacked on some more nuts and a cookie or two then wasn’t too hungry, so after we got to the Knoxville airport, we went to Quiznos.  I got a veggie sub without cheese.  Since the only size they have in airports is “regular”, I had the ingenious idea to just take all of my veggies from half of the sub and combine them into one half of the sub.  IT WAS STUFFED!

The sub had onions, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce, some vinegarette, and GUACAMOLE!! (I love guacamole, and need to add it into my diet more!)

Now we’re sitting in the Charlotte airport.  Our original flight plan was supposed to go through DCA, but it was cancelled Friday, so we were rerouted through Charlotte. Now our CLT to BOS flight is delayed by an hour.    At least it gave me a chance to finish up this post!

Back to reality tomorrow. It was a great 1.5 week vacation.  Now just 2.75 days of work until I go BACK to the ‘Nati for Amy’s wedding!

Healthy Food Lovers Beware: Part 2

Part 2: Atlanta, Bowl games, and New Year’s Eve

So after my nonhealthy food adventures north of the Mason-Dixon line, we returned to the south for some true southern fattening cooking.

New Year’s Eve morning we headed to Atlanta with Matt’s parents to go to the Chick-Fil-A bowl. Again, started the day out innocently with healthy apples and peanut butter.

I have OD’d on apples, plus they usually make me MORE hungry.  But everything’s better with peanut butter!

On our drive down, we stopped at Arby’s (something that we don’t have up in Boston) and I ate one of the very few versions of red meat that passes my lips . . AN ARBY’S REGULAR!!  Mmmmm . . .

Finally made it to Georgia.  We stayed with some of my family and headed down to the game with my mom and step dad where the six of us ate at the Varsity!  You wanna talk about a greasy spoon!  I had a grilled chicken sandwich (to get SOME sort of protein) and the tastiest onion rings EVER!!

Matt had a chili cheese burger, a chili dog, and french fries.  Can’t you just feel the arteries clogging up?

On to the game!  The Chick-Fil-A bowl was University of Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech.  Matt and I went to Virginia Tech for grad school (where we met, awww!) and his parents (and many members of his family) have degrees from Tennessee.  We got tickets with his parents in the UT section and were proudly wearing our maroon!  I don’t want to bad mouth the UT fans, but they were kind of obnoxious. I mean seriously, VT was #12 going into the game with a 9-3 record.  UT had a 7-5 record and was not ranked.  Although who knows what the VT fans were like in their section, and I wasn’t about to open my mouth until we put some points on the board.  Our UT neighbors were especially miffed when we pulled a “Texas” and made the officials put two seconds back on the clock to kick a field goal at the end of the first half.  I won’t bore you with more football talk, so long story short . . . HOKIES WIN!!  We dominated the second half and won 37-14.  I had a two bowl game losing streak going into the game (in bowls that I had attended), so I was VERY happy for VT!! YAY!

Here’s Matt and I at the end of the game:

Perhaps I should have put the flash on . . .

After the game, we walked to Five Points to watch the Peach Drop and ring in 2010.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  Resolutions and Back on Track goals are soon to follow.  Now back to watching football . . . the Big Ten is doing well!  Ohio State and Penn State both won.  Purdue beat WVU in basketball (to become 13-0).  Also, Purdue practically won the Rose Bowl!  (Since they are responsible for one of OSU’s two losses!)

Hope you all had a wonderful New Year and are preparing for an even better 2010!!

Healthy Food Lovers Beware: Part 1

Part 1:  Cincinnati Family Time

Warning:  the foods consumed in the last few days (many of which will be featured in these posts) are by NO MEANS considered healthy foods.  Napking may be required to wipe the drool from your chin.

So let’s see, Matt and I headed up to Cincinnati at 8am on Tuesday morning to visit with my dad’s family (especially my little brother who will be deployed in a month or two).  The day started out innocently enough with a mini Clif bar:

Then Matt decided to stop at Chick-Fil-A around 10:30.  For some reason, the two mini croissants he ate at 8am were just not holding him . . . SURPRISE SURPRISE!  I need to teach the boy about fiber and protein . . .  Anyway, I love Chick-Fil-A and rarely get to eat it, so, I had to get a chicken biscuit . . .

I do love their diet lemonade, too!!  Anyway, when we got to Cincinnati, we decided to head over to Skyline for some Cincinnati chili!  Matt loves it!  I’ve heard it might be a Cincinnati thing, but I love it!  I only got two coneys (no cheese).

My brothers each had four coneys!  CHUBBY BOYS!  Here’s my brother, Tom, enjoying his coneys

And no trip to Cincinnati is complete without some Graeter’s ice cream!  This is where I worked in high school. My favorite is Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip!  Matt got some Buckeye Blitz.  This ice cream is so rich and good!  The giant chocolate chips are made by pouring liquid bittersweet in to the ice cream and letting it break how it will as it cools.

After all of this eating of WONDERFUL food (tasty yet very rich), we had dinner at my dad’s.  He made a roast with salad and baked potatoes.  Thank goodness I am not a big red meat fan, so it was easy to say no to fatty meat and yes to a baked potato and this tasty salad:

Following dinner, we stretched Christmas out just a bit more, and celebrated with my dad and brothers.  My younger brother, Tom, did a wonderful job of wrapping his present:

Don’t you love the note from my stepdad informing my brother that this was his present to me?

My dad got Matt and me matching sweaters.  Aren’t we fashionable?

At least they look warm.

Then we met up with some of my friends and Tom’s friends for some drinks at BW3′s.  I love this place as a place to hangout, and wish we had it up in Beantown!

I had four glasses of wine at BW’s (thank goodness Matt was driving home).

Wednesday morning, we woke up and drove to Richmond, Indiana to visit with Grandma (dad’s mom) and Grandmother (mom’s mom).  It was so nice to visit with family.  Towards the end of the evening, we had to do a few family pictures to document the occasion.

Grandmother, Tom, and Grandma

Matt, Aunt Sue, Dad, Me, Tom, Becky, Grandma

And finally,

Me and Cpl. Tom of the USMC.  He’s leaving for a 7-14 month tour of Afghanistan (his second tour).  It was so hard to say good bye.  Can’t even type about it now without tearing up.    Please keep him and all of our service men and women in your prayers.

Coming up . . . part 2 . . . and you thought there couldn’t possibly be more bad food in the country!


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