When in Rome...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We did it! We finally decided on the accommodations for our honeymoon in Rome, and to say we are incredibly thrilled would be a complete understatement. After much consideration, and mulling over several books and websites, we decided on the hotel pictured above: Hotel Barocco. The hotel received good reviews on every website we visited, and we were even able to get an upgraded room with a view and a queen sized bed (a plus for a honeymoon). It seems to be within walking distance to many of the popular attractions and it’s close to the metro line (we all know how much I love public transportation).

While in Italy, we plan on taking two day trips by train: one to Florence and one to Naples. We also plan on enjoying the start of the holiday season in a different country! Although I’m really looking forward to going back to Italy and seeing Rome, I am even more excited to be with Adam when he takes his first trip outside of the U.S. (because seeing Niagara Falls in Canada didn’t really count.) I know that he is going to love the trip, and he has already downloaded the entire Italian language on his computer (he walks around with huge headphones on repeating, “scusi" followed by a variety of different questions.)

Now we have both a wonderful wedding and an amazing honeymoon to look forward to for the next 5 months.

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"We Soldiers Really Like Cookies"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

About 4 months ago, I attended a training session at work so that I could go do some outreach at military bases and installations across Maryland. I have been to a few so far, mostly speaking to service members about benefits that the VA has to offer once they retire.

Last week, I was assigned to go to Fort Detrick in Frederick, and my day was scheduled so people could come individually to ask me questions about their benefits. My last person of the day never showed up, so I called to see why she had missed her appointment.

The phone rang, and then an older woman, about 85, picked up.

"Hi," I said, "I'm calling from the Department of Veterans Affairs. You had an appointment today that you missed, is there anything I can help you with?"

"Oh yes," she said, "for 1 year, I wrote to a young man in the Army who was stationed in Iraq. He wrote me the nicest letters and I began to think of him as a son. My husband is deceased and I have no children, so I really looked forward to my letters from this young man. Altogether, I got about 50 letters from him while he was abroad and also while he was being treated for injuries at a military hospital in Texas. I sent him care packages, including homemade cookies, and he would always write thank you notes that said, "we soldiers love cookies." About a month ago, I sent him a letter, and the letter was returned with a stamp on it that just said "DECEASED"."

I could hear her starting to cry over the phone as she explained how harsh that big red stamped word seemed on the front of the hand-written envelope. I felt awful, and my heart broke for this woman.

She wanted to find his family's address so that she could mail them all of the letters he had written over the past year. Unfortunately, with only the man's name, there wasn't much I could do to help her, which made me feel even worse.

On days when I am tired and really don't want to be at work, I remind myself that each and every folder I pick up is someone who fought for this country and was injured in the process. So many people are so wrapped up in their own lives, that they forget about the thousands of men and women in foreign countries serving in the military, whose families and friends sit at home and worry about them. Then, an old woman comes along, who thinks of a man that she has never met like he is her own biological son, loves him when he is alive and mourns him when he is gone and it makes you remember all of those soldiers.

Just a story I thought I would share, since the experience really made me think about the people I work for everyday.

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6 Months to Go!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Less than six months until the big day and I can't believe the past year that we've have been engaged has gone so quickly! I actually feel really good about everything, and know that for the time being, most of the planning is under control.

Last night, we went to the mall to register at Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn. I thought it would be fun, and it was, but it actually also ended up being stressful at the same time. Adam, (whom I let use the scan gun as a bargaining tool to get him to come with me) was standing right behind me ready to point and shoot (and scanning who knows what else in his boredom) as I was attempting to imagine the material possessions that would be crucial once married life begins.

It's kind of hard to figure out if you're REALLY going to need 8 champagne flutes, a gourmet garlic press or a digital meat thermometer in your life after you're married, when you most certainly do not use them before you're married. So, I pretty much stuck to the important things: pots and pans, towels, bedding and of course, margarita glasses (because seriously, what's a good marriage without good margaritas?!?).

Next weekend, we are taking a mini-trip to Delaware to look at wedding rings and hit up the Italian Festival in Wilmington, where our whole relationship started 3 years ago! I'm pretty excited about it, but first I have to make it through another week of work and class.

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Quick Recap

Monday, June 1, 2009

So....it's been awhile.

Life has been pretty crazy recently! I decided to take a graduate course this summer, so the professor crammed 14 weeks of work into 4. Needless to say, the class owns me until June 18th, but after that I will be home free until the end of August.

Class is just the beginning of the busy life I lead! Memorial Day weekend, Adam and I went to a beautiful wedding in Ohio. Although the wedding was very nice, it was my first visit to Ohio, and I must say, I wasn't very impressed. I don't think I want to move there anytime soon.

We also went to a housewarming party for my sister and brother-in-law! It was really fun, and they have worked so hard on their house. It looks beautiful, I wish I would have taken some pictures to post.

Adam and I are getting ready to book our honeymoon to ROME (a wonderful wedding gift from his parents) and we are so excited. The picture above is one of the hotels we're considering. The big day is only about 6 months away and there is so much to look forward to! We are also planning a long weekend trip to Boston with 3 other friends this summer sometime.

So that, in a nutshell, it what's been going on with me for the past 2 weeks or so. Nothing too exciting, but definitely enjoying summer so far.

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