Sunday, December 30, 2012

These Streets Will Make You Feel Brand New... Big Lights Will Inspire You

We've had another busy day here on our Christmas Vacation Extravaganza. Today, we split up the group and left Mama H at home for her to enjoy some "me time" and catch up with some friends. While T, K and their significant others headed to shop and watch football at my uncle's house... Dad, E and I set out to the big city. We walked... and walked... and walked... over 40 city blocks. Then we had lunch and walked some more. Despite the cold temperatures, we got to see everything we wanted to, and more. Here are some pictures from today, as well as some from the other night. 

A picture of the tree at Rockefeller than E took, sisters at dinner and the snowfall.

E and Dad in Time Square

The new Freedom Tower, and brunch at Lillie's 

Complete with Mimosas :) 

The boys at the Empire State Building, and at the Statue of Liberty

Needless to say, we've been making the best of this trip and have been enjoying every minute of every day. As I sit here typing, the men are in the kitchen cooking dinner, there is Sunday night football playing in the background, the sound of chatter in the apartment and I am... content. I am happy to be with my family and trying to suck up every last drop before we have to head back on Wednesday. So for now, I will go... but I will be back with a new year post. 

With Love,

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas in the City

Good afternoon everyone and happy weekend. We have been quite busy while away, so we never did a Christmas post, but we hope everyone is enjoying their holidays and spending it surrounded by loved ones. We have been in the US visiting my parents and, even though it hasn't been particularly 'relaxing', we are having a great time and are so happy to be together. Unfortunately, Gram caught pneumonia before our departure and was unable to come. We are extremely sad that she wasn't able to be with us, but we will celebrate when she is better. Mama H is doing really well, and we have been able to spend more time with her than we thought we would be able to. So, here are some pictures to show what we've been upto in the past week.

7 month baby bump. It's growin', movin' & shakin'!

We have been spending time just being together. So, I am going to go and do just that. We will be back with another post soon. But, until then, enjoy the Holidays because they will be gone before you know it, and another year will be upon us. So eat, drink and be merry. Until next time!

With Love,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

7 Swans a Swimmin'

Ok, so I'll be the first to admit that I don't really know how the whole '12 days of Christmas' thing works. Is it a countdown to Christmas? Does 1 start at Christmas or does 12 start twelve days before Christmas.... but either way... I'm saying 7 swans a swimmin' and I'm sticking to it. Good afternoon and happy 7 days until Christmas everyone! I know we've been lazy, and our blog posts have been sporadic, but I found it quite necessary to do a 'week before Christmas kickoff' post. We leave for the States on Saturday and, even though my gifts aren't wrapped yet and I haven't even thought about packing... I am getting more and more excited about our upcoming trip. I find it hard to express how happy I am that we will soon be together as a family. Here are some of the fun times from Christmas' past

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

'Home' For The Holidays

Good Afternoon. It is unseasonable mild out there today, which makes it very hard to believe that Christmas is officially three weeks from today. I find even saying the word 'Christmas' leaves me feeling dizzy and weird. Where have the months gone? September, October and November flew by and I often find myself not only wondering what day of the month it is, but what month it is altogether. Good thing I take lots of pictures...

Don't get me wrong though... my sisters and I love love love the Holiday Season. We bake too much, sing Christmas Carols too loud (we know every song almost off by heart.. no big deal), we wrap gifts until our fingers hurt and we try our absolute best to be our jollyest (I know that's not a word). This year, however, we are finding it a little hard to get into the spirit. We have baked, sang, and wrapped... but something is missing and it doesn't take a psychiatrist to figure out what that 'something(s)' is. What's missing is our parents. We can bake every cookie in the cookbook, sing every song, buy every gift... but the Holidays are about being with your family and, right now, our family is not complete. There is a big hole in our family, and that hole is 320 Miles wide. 

I miss my Mom and Dad every single day. We are so used to being together, that being apart leaves me feeling incomplete. For anyone who has ever had a sick family member, you know that it is life changing and to say that it is always on your mind is an understatement. You live it. You go to bed at night and wake up in the morning feeling it. You laugh and smile as always, but it just isn't the same. For my family, this has become our reality. But becoming a reality doesn't make it any easier. In fact, the longer this goes on... the harder it seems to get. However, Mama doesn't want us to feel this way. I know she wants us to be happy, and strong, which is sometimes easier said than done. We try our best though. We have our bad days, but we try to have mostly good ones. We try to support each other, be there for each other and show each other the strength our mother has instilled in us. She wouldn't want us to feel sorry for ourselves, but would want us to be the best and do the best we can given our situation. 

So, enough for feeling sorry for myself because we are lucky enough to be able to go down to visit my parents for a couple weeks over the Holidays. For the first time in months, we will be together as a family. We will be able to laugh together, smile together, and be a family. I cannot wait to see my Mom and I am sure she can't wait to see her girls (including a 6 month pregnant T). What makes it even more special, is that we will finally be reunited with our fourth sister K and B's Mom and Dad. I cannot wait to see them, as it has been way too long. There will be hugs, lots of wine, and maybe some dancing in our jingle jammies. Just thinking about it warms my heart. 

I am looking forward to us all being together, and trying my best to stay positive until then. I will continue to find the strength I know I have and make the best of the time we have together. The Holidays will be here before we know it, so we must bake, sing and wrap until then. Wishing you all a very happy three weeks until Christmas. And, in case you forgot, here is D and my Christmas Guidelines from last year. 

And, in case this post led you to forget about our usual Christmas Cheer. You can read about it here, here, here and even here.

Lots of Holiday Love,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's Been A While

I have been absent from the blog for the past few months. The desire to write has been gone. Our parents have been living in the States since the end of August as my mother is being treated down there. Not having them around has been extremely difficult. My life has been filled with worry, hope, prayers and sadness in not having my family home together. At times I think about what has gone on the past few months and it feels strange, as though I have been living someone else's life. Through all of this, I am reminded of the things that I am most thankful for, my family and friends, and I have witnessed a level of strength and courage by my mother and father that I cannot quite find the words to explain except to say they are both incredible.

My sisters and I have had the opportunity to visit with my parents. We are trying to make the best of this situation together and although there has been a lot of down times  there have still been many laughs and fun times shared. On my first blogpost 'back', here is a look into my life over the past few months (according to my iphone pics)...

The most special picture in my iphone (just missing dad and Kate!)



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Special Birthday Message for a Very Special Sister

Today is another special day. Today is T's 29th Birthday; her last year as a 20 something. 

Could she have been any cuter?

It's difficult for me to put into words what either of my sisters mean to, or the relationship we have together but... simply put... it is special. As I've said before, growing up we had the normal fights and arguments that all sisters have. However, Mama H always taught us to sort things out, move on, not hold a grudge... We always knew, somewhere deep down, that we loved each other dearly. As we grew we learned, more and more, to see the beauty in one another; appreciate what makes each of us different, but special. When it comes to Tracy, she is sensitive and kind, thoughtful, generous, creative, smart and would do absolutely anything for the people she loves. 

Look at those legs... I want to eat them up
Try not to be distracted by the awesome outfit I am wearing
A business woman from the start
In the upcoming year, T will not only spend her last year in her 20's, but she will also become a first-time Mama. In addition to being the cutest pregnant lady ever, T is going to be an incredible mother. If she is even half as caring, loving, protective and supportive as she has been to me over the years, then this is one lucky baby. 

She is a great listener and an even better advice giver (even when her advice may not be needed haha) and I know I can tell her anything. To my sister, and my best friend, I would like to wish T and very Happy 29th Birthday and an even better 29th year. You are very loved.

With Love,

Friday, November 9, 2012

And the Beauty of a Woman, With Passing Years Only Grows

"And the Beauty of a Woman, With Passing Years Only Grows". These words, spoken by the beautiful Audrey Hepburn, could not be more true or more relevant to this post. Today marks a special birthday for a very special woman. 'A' is a family friend of ours who has become more of a family member than a friend to us over the past few years and for this, we are extremely thankful. Not only is she an incredible friend, but she is a strong, classy, elegant and all-around extraordinary woman from whom I have learnt a lot over the past little while. She truly encompasses the essence of this quote and seems to be, like wine, getting better with age. Last night, I was lucky enough to attend a birthday party in honour of A and I have to say... I was touched by the love and true friendship that was present at this celebration.

Enjoying some nice bubbly!

As I get older, I realize more and more how important it is to surround yourself with strong, smart and positive women. I see the beauty in confidence and strength and appreciate more than ever having this energy in my life. What I loved most about last night was that there was nothing but happiness in the room. No one gossiped, complained or had negative things to say. Instead, everyone was happy and living in the moment; celebrating all that A brings to our lives. 

The beautiful table that D took a lot of time to put together.  
I think that I loved this so much because it reminded me so much of Mama H. Growing up, she was the strongest woman I knew. As is the case today, our mother continues to be strong, positive and one of her favourite quotes, which she lives by is "If you can't say nothin' nice, don't say nothin' at all". She instilled these values in us from a young age, and taught my sisters and I to always be there for each other and bring out the best in one another. My sisters are my best friends... and I think the reason why I have such strong friendships is that I treat my friends like I treat my sisters. And last night, it felt more like a group of 'sisters' than a group of friends. 

Make a wish
A cupcake from A's adorable cupcake cake
The aftermath

As I said before, I felt so lucky to have been included last night and took so much away from that table. I got to know women I had not known before, and got to catch up with those that I do know. All in all, it was a wonderful evening and I hope that A enjoyed it as much as I did. Finally, another quote that truly makes me think of A is

So from all of us at Life of Three and from the entire family, we would like to wish A a very Happy Birthday and an incredible year. It's time to celebrate!

With Love,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane

As was sung by Bob Dylan in his famous song Hurricane "Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane". So here it goes... Being the good daughters we are (most of the time :)) T, K & I piled into the car last Friday Jersey bound. Our plan was to surprise my parents, and spend some time with them for a few days. Little did we know (or we did know and didn't think it would be as bad as they were saying) there was a hurricane barrelling its way towards Jersey. We arrived in good time and were extremely excited to see our parents and their faces when they saw us. Well to say my mother's reaction did not disappoint would be an understatement. She was so happy to see her three girls and we were so happy to see her. Needless to say, there were a few tears. 

After spending the weekend together, K went back with her fiancee, who had been in Jersey for a work training event, and T and I stayed behind. Our intention was to stay until Tuesday, Mom's birthday, and head back so I could be back at work by Wednesday. Since Mama H had some appointments at the hospital, T and I spent most of Monday driving around, shopping and getting groceries. We had seen on the news that the storm would be there by evening, so we wanted to make sure we would have everything in case we couldn't go out. Spoiler alert: we ended up throwing out over $100 worth of groceries over the next couple of days. While driving back to the apartment in the afternoon, we knew things were getting serious when absolutely no one else was out driving or at the stores. Our car was swaying in the wind and we knew it would be safer for us in the apartment... and it was. T and I thought that the American news channels may have been exaggeration the magnitude of Hurricane Sandy, as they sometimes do... But Sandy managed to exceed all expectations. We all sat, T, Mom, Dad and I, while the wind blew roofs off nearby buildings, ripped trees out of the ground, dragged bricks off buildings and caused the night sky to light up like a Christmas tree from all the transformer explosions. We woke up to this the next day. 

We hardly slept last night listening to the violent winds, pounding rain and continuous sirens. It makes me think, once again, of that famous Bob Dylan song:

"One of us had better call up the cops"
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashing
In the hot New Jersey night.

Now, I know Hurricane isn't about an actual Hurricane... but it felt oh so appropriate. Well, T and I didn't get to leave on Tuesday, mainly because we only had a quarter tank left in the car and you couldn't get gas ANYWHERE. But, as always, we made the best of it as a family. We listened to the radio, ordered pizza (when it wasn't sold out... yes sold out) and even had a sing along. It's funny how things happen and tragedies tend to bring people closer together. We even made it out to celebrate Mama H's 60th birthday... which turned out to be an evening that included a long drive, a bar fight and friendly's (story for another time)

Though Hackensack didn't see the devastation that the other parts of New Jersey and New York saw, people did lose their houses to trees, cars to wind and even family members and my heart goes out to those people. None of us were hurt, and T and I made it home safely... in my father's car. He is still in Jersey with my Mom, who is currently undergoing stem cell transplant and though he has power, still cannot get gas (unless, of course, he wants to wait 4 hours to fill up). So, again, we have to count our blessings; be thankful that our situation wasn't as bad as it could have been. 

The car line goes for miles. Estimated wait time: 4 hours
We are home safe and sound and T even had her 5 month ultrasound on Monday. We miss our parents dearly though, and can't wait to be with them again. Well, that's all for now, but hopefully.. my LB sisters will do a post soon about what they have been up to. Please send your prayers to the people who were affected by Hurricane Sandy or donate by visiting the Red Cross site here or by texting Red Cross to 90999 (a $10 donation will be added to your monthly cell phone bill)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

27 Dresses

Good Tuesday afternoon everyone! As I have said many times over the past few weeks, I apologize for our lack of blogging and promise to try and maintain a more consistent posting schedule. I was away for the week of Canadian Thanksgiving with E visiting my Mom and Dad down in Jersey. I know her friends and our family are thinking of her and wondering how she is doing so, to let you know, she is doing well and staying positive. We all miss her here and can't wait for her to be home. The reason I have been so behind on blogging is that I used to do it either first thing in the morning, or late in the afternoon when things had quieted down... but these days, things at the office never quiet down. Well, I have a lull this afternoon so I decided it would be a good time to update everyone on the life of Life of Three.

To begin, T's baby bump is growing! Slowly, but surely... we can finally see a bit of a bump when she's wearing a tight shirt or close fitting sweater. Friends tell us she will 'pop' at about twenty weeks... and we're almost there. She's got to be one of the cutest pregnant girls I know!

My sisters and I are so excited to be Aunties and we don't hide it very well because B says the baby already has more clothes than he does! 

A gift from Auntie K

Babies are very exciting news, but so are weddings! This Sunday was a cold, rainy day so I did what any lazy 25 year old would do... I stayed in, did laundry and watched movies. While flipping through the channels, I noticed that one of my favorite movies was on: 27 Dresses. As we allllll know... I happen to love weddings and anything that has to do with weddings so (as I've mentioned here, here and here), needless to say, I watched it from start to finish and loved every minute. It also got me all reved up for my sister K's wedding; for the venues, the cake and... the dresses... oh the dresses. I have no idea what K has in mind for colour scheme, or time of year even, mainly because we have to hold off on planning until Mama H is home, but that doesn't mean we can't browse :) and boy, have I browsed...

Despite the fact that I prefer longer dresses for Bridesmaids (as you will notice from my choices), this Aidan Mattox Light Mink Cowl Back Sequin Tulle Party Dress is so so so pretty. I love the sparkle because it isn't over done and, though the colour would look better with a tan... it would suit any hair colour. 

Ok, so I may love this Badgley Mischka Buttercup Silk Chiffon Embellished Gown because I could never wear it with my hair colour but hey... they always say you want what you can't have no? Either way, I think this dress is absolutely darling. 

Now my love for this dress MAY have something to do with the fact that navy is my all-time favourite colour, but it could also be because this Badgley Mischka Navy Tiered Silk Chiffon Beaded Side Strapless Gown is simply gorgeous. Unfortunately, it's sold out online... I wonder why?!? 

Again, I'm not in love with short dresses for a the bridesmaids, but maybe it's because it's navy that I really like this Badgley Mischka Navy Shirred and Beaded Jersey Strapless Cocktail dress.. but it could also be the detail. 

Now, I know this isn't necessary a dress that would be my first pick off the rack... but... something about it struck me as being very pretty... and I think it would look lovely next to a crisp white wedding dress. So, this Kay Unger Brown Sugar Silk Jersey Criss Cross Dress is still in my top faves. 
This dress, which happens to be in one of K's favourite colors, is tied with the long navy Badgley Mischka in my books. I love how this blue is the perfect shade and how the little sparkle draws the eye in without being too much. My second vote is definitely going towards this Badgley Mischka Violet Silk Chiffon Embellished Sleeveless Gown

Though it's fun to look and give my opinion... it's just that to me; fun. And I will wear whatever dress my big sis picks out for me... even if it's an awful seafoam coloured off the shoulder mess... because that's what sisters do :) I can't wait for all the wedding planning to start, especially since it will be a time of happiness when our whole family will be together again. But, until then, we keep our mom and dad in our thoughts and hearts and we can't wait to share in all the excitement once they are home. Until next time. 

With Love,