Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!!  
Gillen cousins (sans Scott) with Grandma and Grandpa

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Celebrate we will

In this season let us not take one another and the moments we share for granted.  Love your family.  Love your friends.  Celebrate every moment, because life is short...but sweet, for certain.  ♥

So blog readers what are you planning to do to celebrate this Christmas season?


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Busy lil KT Bee!

Oh well hello there...why yes world I am still here.  Actually I've been here, there and EVERYWHERE lately!  Hmmm so at last update I'd spent lots of time and energy fixing up my house.  Since then it's been non-stop excitement!  Some highlights include...

Jessica's Bachelorette Party in NYC!  Shopping in the city and then out to Lips, the best in drag queen dining!

A good time was had by all ;o)



Then came the Oireachtas.  G'bless you, you say?  It's pronounced Oh-rock-tis.  It's the regional Irish step dance competition.  Lots of crazy Irish people running around the Providence Convention Center.  
 and really what would an Irish dance competition be without a trip to an Irish pub? 

Then of course it was Thanksgiving.  Good food, good wine, family...who can ask for anything more?  

And now you ask yourself...can there be any more?  How is this girl still upright?  (I mean wouldn't you need a day or three off after all this??? The answer is yes, but I still go to work because I like to take fantastic vacations to exotic destinations...or pretty much Ireland, that's exotic right?)  

BUT WAIT...there IS more!

Well my friends Jessica had her last bash as a of course she got married!
 It was a beautiful wedding...and one heckuva party!!

Can there be more?  of course...I said I've been busy!!!!

I am the youth director of my church's youth group, and we had a fundraiser this past weekend to help pay for stuff we do.  It's an annual event that really helps set the mood for Christmas!  We decorated and sold 170 Christmas wreaths to the parish in two days! 

*phew*  Are you tired yet?  I know I am!!  The fun doesn't stop here...Christmas time is always a busy and yet rewarding time of the year.  You get to shower your friends and family with love and gifties...and really who doesn't love when that happens!?!?!?! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Home Sweet Construction Zone

Two years ago TODAY I did something wild.  Something crazy.  Something absolutely adult and responsible (wait what?).  Ya that's right folks...I bought a house.  In the past two years my family and friends have very generously has helped with many many projects on this little fixer upper...I'm going to let the pictures tell the story. (keeping in mind that there was NO wallpaper in the was all paint)

 really who cements rocks (yes actual rocks) onto a bathroom wall???

dining room...
new dining chairs are on the "to purchase" list...the table was originally my great grandmothers
living room...
loved the wood stove but sadly it was not up to now lives in the shed
yes that IS Criminal Minds on my TV
I'm gonna go ahead and remind you that this is all hand-painted. 


the paint cans are the primer for the breezeway...ever ongoing projects!

oh ya we had to rebuild walls on the garage and the breezeway because they were rotting...

yep even my 90 year old gramps lends a hand!

Mike the Realtor...yes even the doors are painted

ta daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

nothing like Little Marks and a pitcher of beer after a hard day's work!
and not to mention the repainting of the hallways, bedrooms, ripping up green shag carpet on the upstairs landing and orange shag carpet out of the basement, finding bees nests underneath the floor of the former closet in the breezeway, rotting garage doors, complete window replacement, and so much more still to do!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm a lucky girl!

According to the Urban Dictionary "best friend" is defined as:

"Best Friends are very special people in your life. They are the first people you think about when you make plans. They are the first people you go to when you need someone to talk to. You will phone them up just to talk about nothing, or the most important things in your life. When you’re sad they will try their hardest to cheer you up. They give the best hugs in the world! They are the shoulder to cry on, because you know that they truly care about you. In most cases they would take a bullet for you, coz it would be too painful to watch you get hurt."

First of all "coz" = because.  And since I decided to quote instead of paraphrase I can't justify changing it!
Anymahoo...back to best friends and why I'm such a lucky girl.  I am lucky because I have two best friends.  Two very special women who I would absolutely jump in front of a bus for...or even face down a spider for (now that is a big deal!).  

*drumroll please*
I'm standing on my tippy toes...I'm so short!
Anyone else think it's hilarious that both of my besties are super tall with red hair?  Anyone?  
Kimberlee and I have been friends since high school.  We had a free period together sophomore year and the rest was history.  I really don't know WHY we weren't friends freshman year, we just never had the same classes I suppose.  (and her being a "W" last name and me being a "B" we just were not destined to be in the same homeroom.)  So really the fact that we are sisters now is just fate.  I can't tell you how lucky I am to have her in my life. 

Speaking of fate...I met Megan in the quad freshman year.  We just happened to be watching the football team walk through on the way to practice.  Several "tight end" jokes later and we were fast friends, pledge sisters and roommates for the next three years.  Really anyone capable of living in the same space as me for three whole years deserves a medal.  Or a really big drink....or both!  

This past weekend the stars aligned and I was able to enjoy both of these amazing ladies in the same space at the same time.  Since I live in CT, Meg lives in MA and Kim...well Kim lives in's really quite the accomplishment!  And it was truly a special occasion too.  Kimberlee is +1 these days...she's expecting a little baby in February!  I'm beyond excited.  Beyond.  I have to tell myself NOT to buy every cute little baby thing I see.  It's quite the test of willpower considering I am such an accomplished shopper! 

I have spent some time this week thinking about my life and my friends.  How happy and lucky I am to have these "soulmates" as they would be called if life was like Sex And The City.  How even if I'm feeling low and alone all I have to do is call them and they are willing to lend and ear or give me the kick in the ass I need to get me moving again.  How even when I don't know my right from my left and can't think of the words to make it make sense they know EXACTLY what I am talking about.  How time and distance don't matter...if they are in the next room, the next state or a country across the sea their love and care reaches beyond those boundaries.  I may not see them every day or every week or every month, but they are always there.  Through thick and thin these are my friends and I love them dearly.  

They make me feel tall, cause that's what best friends do!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Think Pink!

So as many of you know pink is one of my favorite colors.  I rock it with pride.  Even more so because it's a color with a cause.  Just in case you haven't heard...October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  

Breast cancer.  Those are two very scary words.  I challenge you to find a single person who has not been personally touched by those words.  I could spout off statistics and facts, but that's not what this blog is about.  This blog is about telling my story. 

My story begins in 1988.  I was seven years old and my grandmother was fighting breast cancer.  She was fighting for her life and I didn't even know it.  My grandmother was a fighter, a woman who didn't take much from anyone, had no problems telling it like it is and had an attitude all her own.  I am oft told that I am  like her. Basically I put the ass in sass. 
Frances and George dancing in the kitchen
I found out that she was a survivor when I was in high school, and one random day was talking about Breast Cancer with Dad.  Complete shock.  I had no idea.  Honestly it took a while to sink in...I just didn't believe it at first.  Not possible, no way.  But it was true.  She had survived 13 years when she passed away in 2001.  I was lucky enough to be able to visit with her before she passed and say our goodbyes.  I miss her every day.  

My story doesn't end with my loss.  I was lucky to have a woman like my Grandma Fran in my life, and I want to honor her.  I honor her by being me, living every day to my potential and by walking with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

In 2000, as a sophomore in college, my sorority, Theta Phi Alpha decided to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event in Boston.  I was more than happy to help raise funds and walk for this cause that is close to my heart.  

Since 2000 I have walked in Boston every year.  In college with Theta Phi and then with team Got P!nk ever since.  That's ten years of walking for my grandmother.  Ten years of putting one foot in front of the other towards hope that someday, no woman or man will have to battle those two scary words.  Breast Cancer. 

I am not the only one of my friends to be touched by Breast Cancer.  Everyone has a story.  One of my best friends lost her aunt last year during her second battle with the disease.  As an adopted member of their family, the loss of Ellen, who fought courageously for so long, is hard.  Ellen was another of the world's sassy ladies who was taken too soon.  Another friend's mother is celebrating 5 years cancer free this year.  She is a great example of the power each of us possess inside.  We have the power and strength to achieve and overcome anything thrown in our direction.  Another's grandmother was just diagnosed in the past month.  The stories keep coming.  We are all touched by Breast Cancer.  

If you're looking for a way to help, want to earn some warm fuzzy feelings by doing something good, or you're just looking for a tax write off at the end of the year consider donating to Making Strides.  It's not too late!  Here are some pictures from the 2010 walk!  

Got P!nk 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

You're in UCONN Country!

So my mastery of the kitchen was not purely for my own gastronomical delight (this time).  I made the chocolate chip pumpkin bread and some tasty Avoca fruit salad all for an adventure in tailgating. 

So the backstory...Christmas 2009: Beth, Jim, and I decided to give Mom and Dad something they wouldn't be able to use for months and months.  Below is what they opened when we had family Christmas...the promise of a day of family togetherness cheering on Mom and Dad's Alma Mater on the football field.  A brilliant idea if I do say so myself. 
Once the schedule was released Mom and Dad chose the game.  UCONN v. University of Buffalo.  It's a bit of fun considering both Dad's sisters live in Buffalo.  

So the morning of the game the family packed up and got to the parking lot just before it "opened" at about 7:50am.  We were not the first ones there, but we did get a pretty good spot!  
by 9 the field behind the trucks was full of cars
Rentschler Field, or The Rent as it's referred to here in the Cee Tee, was built on an airfield that used to be a part of the Pratt & Whitney campus.  So on weekends in the fall the airfields become "UCONN Country" where loads of fans come together and enjoy the traditional pre-football meal.  We like the rest of the football fans enjoyed our space in the sun to the fullest.  Many started with breakfast (as did we) and continued until lunchtime.  The game started at noon so the nation packed up the tailgate city and headed into the stadium. 

Granted I'm more of a rugby kinda girl than football, but I must say this was a good game.  Tied at the half (due to a bogus call by the refs, not that it ended up making a difference) UCONN won the day 45 to 21.  
UCONN takes the field
the marching band made a shamrock at halftime!!!
Buffalo in a last ditch effort
The weather was not your typical Saturday in late September, getting to the high 80s at the peak of the sun, which means we melted a bit.  All in all it was a lovely day and Mom proclaimed that going forward this will be a yearly event.  GO UCONN!
Happy Family Football Day!