Tag Archives: brother

The Coolest 15-Year-Old in the WORLD

My brother, Luke, sent his writer sister (that’s me) an essay to look over this evening. The essay was titled “Laugh, Play, Family” and in it he wrote:

“Finally, I cannot live without my family; they are the most important people to me in the world. My sister, Caroline, is one of my best friends in the world and without her to keep me in line I do not know where I would be today.”

He continued on to speak of my sister, youngest brother, mom and dad.

How did he get to be so cool and wise at 15 years old? Hell, I would love to think I played a part in it.

Hey, Luke, without you, honey, I would not be even a smidgen of the person I am today. Thank you for teaching me something new every moment since the day you were born.



Filed under August 2008, Eat, Pray, Run

I Have Moved in With Amphibians . . . and Crickets.

Whew! Moving, well, sucks. Sorry, mom, I know how much you hate that word.

But it does. Suck.

On Sunday, we got all of our stuff schlepped over to our new apartment in Ohio, and we sweated, groaned and struggled to do just that. I have places that hurt on my body that I did not even know had the ability to ache.

Oh, well, it’s over now, and we spent much of yesterday evening beginning to get all of our crap organized. We still have a long way to go.

On an exciting note, however, we absolutely love our new home. It is by far the best place either of us have lived. We even have a laundry room! And for those of you who have been spending your quarters on coin-operated machines, you know just how glorious that little factoid is.

We are back in Pittsburgh now, and will be spending the next three and a half weeks with my parents. Dan has some work to finish up here before we make the final move to Ohio.

It has been a while since I have slept at my parents’ for more than a day or two, let alone bunked with my youngest brother, Isaac. So, needless to say, last night was an “interesting” experience. Dan, of course, shared a room with the teenage brother (Luke) who passed out nice and quietly last night. Lucky for them. (;

I, on the other hand, not only roomed with Isaac, but seven other animals and a bag of crickets. Isaac owns a gecko, two frogs, baby turtle, lizard and food for a few of the critters (gecko and lizard) to munch on. Add the amphibians and insects to my two cats sleeping on my bed with me, and I felt like Dr. Doolittle last night.

I nodded off to Cooper and Emerson crunching their kitty food, water swirling in the turtle’s aquarium and, of course, Isaac’s childlike, incessant questions (gotta love him) of “What if the world ended right now?” and other matters of the sort. When the crickets started chirping at 3 a.m., I considered submerging my head in the turtle’s water or smashing Gary the gecko’s cage over my head.

I exaggerate, but I am wondering if perhaps Isaac could at least consider turning off the multicolored lights that adorn the cages. Dimming them?

I woke up in the middle of the night, unsure if I had stumbled into a bad, bad, horribly-themed college keg party.

With amphibians.


Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

I’m Doing the Vacation Happy Dance!

V-ee are here! (That one was for my future father-in-law!)

I know I have already told you all about how fabulous this place is, but, seriously, it is really freaking fabulous.

This is my view every morning from the kitchen table . . .

Totally fabulous, right?

So, anyway, lets kick this Monday off with a little run-down of my weekend:

I left you last on Friday evening, before I had eaten dinner. I can’t really even talk about the modge-podge of a dinner that occurred, but all I can tell you is that it involved leftover soba noodle salad and a few more pierogies — I shudder at the thought of eating another potato-filled noodle pocket any time soon.

Saturday was mostly spent in the car — it takes about eight hours to get to our cottage. Dan and I met my parents at their house and brought McDonald’s Egg McMuffins for everyone (my Dad had a craving). In case you did not know by the way, Egg McMuffins, while not that ultimate breakfast choice, are not a bad option when on the road. At 300 calories, 12 grams of fat it is an Eat This! choice in my favorite Eat This, Not That! book.

I, of course, also had some coffee from my all-time favorite Pittsburgh-based coffee shop, Coffee Tree Roasters — it was much needed after only about 4 1/2 hours of sleep the night before. Packing and my obsession with cleaning before I leave to go anywhere for an extended period of time kept me up a bit later than I would have liked. (Again, please ignore the chipping nail polish . . . my nails have been neglected these past few days).

Also on the road were some Peanut Butter M&M’s, cheese and rye crackers, 1/2 a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich on whole wheat and a few Sour Cream & Onion Pringles. One thing I hate about road trips besides a sore ass from sitting so long — the junk food that often gets mixed into the trip.

The plus: Listening (and dancing) to music from the 90s, playing “I Spy…” and, of course, creating inside jokes that will last the entire vacation.

When we arrived at the cottage, we unpacked and ordered pizza from none other than CAVALLARIO’S!! Now, I know you cannot understand the glory involved in this pie. But, I swear, if you were here to taste the cheesy goodness of it all, then you would get it. I went for two pieces of one of my faves — Pesto, Artichoke and Feta Cheese pizza. Mmmm … I am getting hungry now!

Breakfast the next morning was a small bowl of about 20 Frosted Mini Wheats with about one cup of 1% milk, followed by a sliced apple and coffee.

After breakfast, my mom, sister and I did the leg segment from one of my most favorite workout DVDs, I Want That Body!. Of course, I have only ever done the leg section on the DVD, but, lemme tell you, it is one heck of a workout! I can feel leg muscles today that I didn’t know I had yesterday. All three of us are so pathetic; every time we go to move, we all say, “Oh, my legs! Oh, my butt!”

Following that sweat-session, I slathered myself in SPF 50 and hit the deck with my sister to sunbathe and read for a bit. Of course, I am still white as hell, but the sunshine felt nice. I am currently reading about five books, but the one I am so much enjoying right now is Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott.

A passage to enjoy from this incredible writer:

“For some of us, books are important as almost anything else on Earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. They are full of all the things that you don’t get in real life — wonderful lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. And quality of attention: we may notice amazing details during the course of day, but we rarely let ourselves stop and really pay attention. An author makes you notice, makes you pay attention, and this is a great gift.”

I love that part of the book– and I have read it over and over again — because I could not have put better into words exactly how I feel about the gift of books and writing and language. I cried the first couple of times I read through Ms. Lamott’s words.

After being out in the sun for awhile, I was really quite hungry, so my mom, sister and I made some tuna fish with light mayo, sprinkled it with light cheese and put it on whole grain bread. It was so yummy, but I was stuffed! Something about being in the sun for a bit makes me not as hungry … who knows.

Lunch was followed by my brother, Luke, convincing me to go kayaking with him. He had already spent about two hours and three miles on the thing with Dan, but he wanted to keep going.

Now, lets get one thing straight here: I am not exactly coordinated. I never played a sport that involved balls, bats, sticks or paddles — or anything of the sort — and did it successfully. I was the girl in volleyball class who tossed the ball in the air before my hand hit it just so I could avoid serving the ball the proper way.

So, I was not immediately gung-ho about the event. But I love my brother, so I decided to be a good sport. Truth be told, however, once I got out there I was totally fine. We went about 2 miles and I got an awesome arm workout. Of course, I cannot move too well today, — especially after the dang leg workout — but we had a great time. I love spending time with that kid; he is just hilarious and one of my most favorite people on planet Earth.

I came in and had a few Triscuits with hummus and a small handful of peanut M&M’s while we made dinner. Dinner was grilled ahi tuna and chicken with salad and baked beans. I had a small piece of tuna and chicken; salad with dried blueberries, spicy pecans, apricot cheese and a low-calorie, Trader Joe’s Cranberry Walnut dressing; and a scoop of baked beans.

Later, I had a small bowl of Trader Joe’s Oat Bran Swirls with skim milk for a snack.

I was so pooped by the end of the day that almost as soon as I hit my pillow, I passed out. I slept for about seven hours — a nice change from the usual five.

Today is another beautiful day. So far, I have had a bowl of Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Oats and 1/2 of a semi-sour grapefruit.

And, now, I am just enjoying a cup of coffee (I always drink it black and bold, by the way) and writing to you!

I hope you are all having a fabulous Monday. Enjoy the day wherever you are — it is a fantastic one!


Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run