Goodbye 2015!

2015 was an interesting year to say the least.  For us really 2015 was the end of 2012 when our sibling quest started.  As we look back it is beneficial to see all that transpired, to understand why 2016 signals a new beginning for us.

Life forever changed when our daughter arrived – 2011-2012 was a blur for us but a WONDERFUL blur.  Parenthood has been the BEST thing to ever happen to us!  We love our little miracle dearly and I cannot describe how much fun its been to watch her grow – even with all the sleeplessness factored in.

Grieving our loss of a sibling has not been easy for me – and honestly I don’t think it ever will be.  It’s one of those things you don’t get over but you learn to live with it.  When I lost Papi I learned that there are things you never get over – you just learn to live with that absence.  This will be one of them.  And I have no choice but to be ok with it, because my daughter deserves my 100% of a Mom and Alan deserves my 100% of a wife.

But not all is sadness and gloom.  2015 saw Alan defend his Master’s Thesis and graduate with his Master’s degree as well as to commence that road to scholar by starting a PhD.  Yes we will be a PhD household.  We are not sure if he will go the academic or the Research industry route – but the good thing is he will be happy either way.  For the first time in years we finally feel excited about our life and like it is going somewhere and we are giddy about that.  Daughter also started her new school which we love but most importantly SHE loves.  We feel its a good environment for her and will continue to develop her “free spirit” unconstrained.  We certainly want her to be whomever and whatever she wants.

On the job front I had a tough year.  I have research projects in the works but nothing stuck this year.  I am kind of under the gun since I go up for tenure next year, so I will have a busy January.  Teaching wise though things are in an upswing.  We participated in a competition of 45 schools and managed to place top 9.  My students and I are overwhelmingly proud of our achievement and cannot wait to see the presentations of the Top 3 teams!

We also continue to grow as entrepreneurs.  In May I entered the direct sales industry with Chloe and Isabel Jewelry.  It has not been easy, but it has taught me a lot about myself, who I am, and how to step out of my comfort zone. We also launched our own retail business and I became a LuLaRoe Fashion Consultant – arguably the most flattering and comfortable clothes you will ever wear.  It’s been a lot of work, and a lot of space – we carry inventory with LuLaRoe – but again, it teaches me every day that I can do anything I want, it helped me recover my feminine side and my self confidence, and has opened me to a world of strong supportive women.  I have made more friends in these past 6 months than in the past 6 years.  And it teaches daughter that she can do anything she wants.

As we look towards 2016 we have many goals to accomplish: tenure, a successful academic year for both Alan and I, daughters continued development, growing our business, blog more, paying down debt and moving into a house and out of an apartment.  We hope God graces us with the health and determination to accomplish this, and on the personal life get back to us as a marriage and as individuals (weight loss anyone?)

We wish you a wonderful 2016 that gives you many blessings and health, and sees your goals reached or at the very least get closer to attainment.

Happy New Year 2016!

 

 

Almost there :)

It’s been quite the quiet pregnancy, cannot complain. We are getting closer to our due date of August 25th, but both Alan and I, and my Mom, think I will be early – just not clear on how early. Were you early or late on your first pregnancy?

As you know, we have no clue as to the sex of our baby – we really want it to be a surprise. But my Mom, since she has some special circumstances that warranted her to know – well SHE KNOWS! We had the ultrasound tech write it down on a paper and put it in an envelope that we mailed to her. So she just sent us a box with gender specific clothing labeled DO NOT OPEN. See?

Do Not Open Box

I know, I know. Most of you are wondering how we can even have that box in the house and not rip it apart. To be honest, it is not that difficult. Since we always knew we wanted to wait, we are at peace with not knowing. Our friends and family have been taking bets. So far only three votes for a boy, and an overwhelming majority believe its a girl. Us? we just want a healthy baby! And DONT GET ANY IDEAS ABOUT ASKING MOM!!!! She is NOT telling!!

Obviously not knowing the sex of the baby slows down your gender specific preparations. For example, we don’t yet have a crib, as I like different colors for girl or boy. So we will have baby Lambie in a bassinet for the first three months. We have neutral clothing for about the first week, and we are having a baby shower this coming weekend so we’ll see what we get there. Once baby is born, then we will go on a shopping spree! (great reason don’t you think?)

I always wanted to do a pregnancy shoot – ever since Demi’s infamous yet beautiful Vanity Fair cover. We just believe that a pregnancy belly is beautiful and is to be embraced and not hidden. So we found a great photographer and we had our shoot. I don’t have the proofs yet, but she did post one picture in Facebook for us to share. I have to admit, I never thought they would look THAT GOOD. We are so happy with the one picture, and CANNOT wait for the rest of the proofs. I think we will have more than enough to work with, what do you think?

Alan & Adriana - 33 Weeks

One more thing to accomplish is a Baby Scrapbook – have any of you ever done one? I wanted to do a photobook scrapbook for our baby, but find that all the pages offered are, you guessed it! Gender Specific…..so that makes it hard. And I really don’t want to wait until baby Lambie is born…we will not have much time then. So if anyone knows a way around this, I’m all for suggestions.

So now we sit here at 34 weeks, counting down the days……we really are so excited and cannot wait for this baby to arrive. We are following as natural a birth as possible at the hospital. We have taken our laboring and hipnobirthing classes in an effort to avoid interventions and pain medications, and to keep me calm and relaxed. What’s that? Did I pack a bag? Not yet, but we have all the elements ready and bought.

Just 6 more weeks until we meet our son or daughter, six more weeks. Seems like such a short time!

I’ve been keeping a Secret

I’ve been quiet for a while and there has been a reason.  Well, there have actually been may reasons but mostly I really haven’t been cooking much and I’ve been keeping a secret.  And the secret I’ve been keeping is the main reason why I really haven’t been cooking that much; that together with my work, and Alan finishing up school – he graduates in May yay!!!!

So what is this secret I’ve been keeping? 

 Pregnancy Ticker

Trust me this has been a hard to keep secret.  We’ve wanted kids for a loooooooong time, but we were a bit on the paranoid side and just kept waiting and waiting until we felt we had surpassed most of the risks so that we could share these wonderful news with the rest of you!

What? the sex of the baby? No clue.  We are not finding out, it will be a surprise for ALL of us.  Do you know how hard it is to buy stuff for a baby you have no clue what the gender is?  The baby marketing industry is either team pink or team blue.  There is no neutral anymore – and what you do find is yellow or green.

Names?  Well if it is a girl it will be Hannah Isabel Lambie, if it is a boy it will be Davi Samuel Lambie.

So as of right now we are 21 weeks pregnant and our next u/s will be on the 28th.  We are VERY excited with our pregnancy and really cannot wait to see our baby again (even if it is on a screen).  We hope that you share our joy!

Finally, I graduated

Last Saturday May 22, I was officially conferred my Doctorate by the University of Rhode Island.  Even though it’s been almost a year since I defended my dissertation, I was really looking forward to the graduation ceremony (and also to being back in RI).

Unfortunately no one in my family came.  Well, I lie.  My family did come and his name is Alan J. Lambie (you all know him as my husband!).  He was the biggest supporter I had during this 6-year adventure in RI and even more so after Papi passed.  And yes, Papi was SORELY missed on that May 22 afternoon in the Ryan Center at the University of Rhode Island.  But somehow I have a feeling Papi didn’t miss it at all.

So, with my one man entourage-video-photographer-family-supporter we set out to RI to stomp our old ground and take some much needed vacation.  Did I mention Alan earned a 4.0 average this past quarter.  Yes a 4.0.  Nerds, I know.

Our graduation weekend started with a much awaited Friday dinner with my advisor, Ruby and her husband Nik, and my Rhode Island adoptive parents, Mike and Nancy James.

Nancy, Me and Mike

I met Mike and Nancy during my last year at the PhD program (summer 2008 to be exact) as I worked as a  waitress at a local Italian restaurant called Cucina Twist.  Mike and Nancy would come every Friday for dinner and sit in my section.  Since they were early birds (5pm) they would always inquire of my progress in the PhD, and my job interviews and my dissertation.  For an entire year Mike and Nancy sat in my section and followed my progress like only parents do – to the point of even buying me a going away present.  Therefore it was only natural that they be a part of our celebration.

The Dholakia's, The James' and The Lambies'

Friday night dinner was at Spain’s of Narragansett, a Spanish restaurant where all 5 times that I’ve been I’ve always had the same thing: Paella Valenciana.  We had reservations for 6pm in order to have an enjoyable dinner and a long sobremesa.  We had a wonderful time, and went to bed quite early.  I needed my beauty sleep 😉

Saturday May 22, I rose early to get my hair done, and even still we were sort of against the clock.  I like to arrive early to places and graduates had to be at the Ryan Center by noon, so I wanted to be there half an hour early.  Torture I know, but it relaxes me; otherwise I would be too stressed.  So once I had hair, and makeup, and earrings and everything else ready we left….but not before Alan captured the moment.

The Graduate

So with academic regalia on hand (gown, hood, and tam) we left, parked and were shuttled to the Ryan Center.  While I was in the back on a line for about an hour, Alan was searching for the best spot to take pictures.   Let’s play Where is Adriana?

The Doctoral Candidates

So after very brief speeches by various Deans and the University President (no I’m not kidding they were actually short) we were off on our way to get hooded.  Getting hooded is what makes a PhD graduation special because it is your advisor (or major professor) – the one person you’ve loved and hated at the same time – who hoods you and makes you a bonafide Dr.  So within academia it is a rite of passage.  I don’t have hooding pictures yet, Alan was taking video at the time and I cannot post video here at WordPress. (I mean I can, but I’d have to buy an upgrade and I don’t really paste that many videos).  So I give you a picture of me and my Diploma instead!

My Diploma and Me

After the ceremony, my advisor Ruby had a small cocktail at her house with friends and future PhDers.  Later that night Alan and I went to dinner, with friends – Gema and Daniel (she graduated from her MBA).  But before I took pictures with my family – Alan!

The proud and happy Hubby

Also, the traditional picture with my advisor Ruby!

Ruby and I

And then we were off to our cocktail hour with even more pictures of all of us!

The Graduates

It was a great day and one that will be in my memory forever.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of myself.  Finishing the PhD took every ounce of energy and motivation I had left, in particular after Papi’s passing.  Which is why we celebrated this event every which way we could.  After all that celebrating we were dead tired but we still had to celebrate the RIGHT way.  And what is the right way you ask, well, the Perrier-Jouet way of course!  Cheers!

My favorite Champagne!

Oh and I’m sure you want to know what my graduation gift was right?  Well, stay tuned.  All I can say is he’s from Jersey and has a smile to DIE for.

Back in Time

I’m not much for Halloween.  I did the usual as a kid, you know the trick or treat, but I wasn’t really big on decorations or costumes.  Probably still traumatized by the time my parents and grandparents thought it would be a good idea to have a Haunted House for my birthday.  You see I was born right in the middle of October – the 15th to be exact.  And this Haunted House extravaganza was for my 5th birthday.  Yes you read right, F-I-F-T-H.

Needless to say I was scared out of my mind, and it took some cajoling and major convincing for me to venture into the Haunted House in the arms of Abuelo.  Unfortunately, our first stop was my bedroom that was now transformed into a morgue.  One of the dead suddenly rose and I screamed.  It didn’t matter that they turned on the lights.  It didn’t matter that the undead was speaking to me reassuring me over and over again that she was Josie, my front door neighbor.  That was it for me and the Haunted House….or Haunted Houses for that matter.  But I digress.

So, I never really celebrate Halloween.  But, here at Rochester one of our professors is a fan of Halloween.  He grew up with block parties of costumed kids and adults, so he and his fiance have one every year.  And 2009 was the 80’s Halloween party.  Dude!

As Alan and I both came of age during the 80’s our biggest problem was deciding what the heck to dress up as.  Magnum! I blurted.  After all, a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and a Tigers’ cap is not that hard to get.  Nope, he said.  He wanted to be a headbanger….you know a heavy metal fan.  Ok I said, but then I want to be Pop – a lá Madonna. ..you know the tul skirt with the leggings, the rubber pulseras and the big hair with the bow.  So we went dressed as Pop and Metal – and boy did we have fun doing it.

Alan’s was much easier than mine.  We got him a wig, a bandanna, zebra tights (no I’m not kidding) and a Def Leppard t-shirt.  A little bit of black eyeliner and  alas! I had a headbanger husband.  See?Alan Headbanger

Me, well that took a bit of effort.  First I washed my hair and used some extra body mousse.  Then I set it up in choronguitos – you know I twirl them tight and set them as mini buns with an elastic.  Then I blow dry the heck out of them.  But what I was most looking forward to was re-enacting the makeup.  Oh boy, did I ever.My 80s Makeup

After the makeup was done, it was on to the outfit, and the hair, and of course the BOW.  Don’t believe me?  What do you think of this?80s Outfit

What’s that? You want a close up of the hair and the bow?  You got it!The finished product

So off we went, eager to see what other people dressed up as, and the comments on our costumes.  Once there, Billy Idol was our host.Billy Idol our Host

Spiderman, was our bartender.Our Bartender - Spidey

Boy George decided to drop by for some entertainment (yes, we had a karaoke machine that YOURS TRULY brought because, ahem, we own one.  I know, shut up!)Boy George

The Ghostbusters made sure no paranormal activity disrupted our fun and, in case we could possibly get bored, Rubik’s Cube was in attendance.Ghostbusters!

Rubik's Cube

Everyone thought I was dressed up as Madonna *sigh*, but EVERYONE loved our costumes.  So much so, that towards the end, one of my co-workers asked me if I had BOUGHT the outfit of if I had DUSTED it off from storage.  That made my day, and made me feel so proud of my 80’s upbringing.  So in the words of Huey Lewis, let’s go back in time and Rock On!Metal & Pop

I’m Baaaaaack!

Hello world!!!!  Greetings from Rochester, NY!

Sorry for the extended absence, but the quarter system hit me like a ton of bricks and I’m just coming up for air.  Unfortunately, to get things going in our new home and my new job, I was forced to neglect my blogging duties.  But fear not, you have not missed much either as my cooking has been almost non-existent.  But that too will change.

As most of you know I defended and PASSED my dissertation on August 18th.  So what was a girl to do to celebrate?  Baseball of course!  So on the 19th we drove (well Alan drove, but that’s really not the point is it?) to Rogers Centre in Toronto (yes, Canada) to see the Blue Jays play, who else? the RED SOX of course!

Alan & Me @ the game

Alan & Me @ the game

See Kikita? We too like to do SelfPortraits and it does not have to be on a Tuesday! Well, really, we sort of have to do self portraits….otherwise we’d have a whole bunch of pictures of me alone (oh wait we have those!) and another bunch of Alan by himelsf…somehow we don’t have as many of those! 😉

Needless to say the RedSox won that game, much to the dismay of the Toronto fans, even if they still ran out of steam at the end of the season to lose to the Angels.

We haven’t had much time to explore Rochester and the Finger Lakes, but we did venture out to see Lake Ontario and caught a really bad sun migraine the next day.  However, we did get some nice pics of the lake.

Sailing on the Lake

Sailing on the Lake

No, no, no.  We weren’t on the sailboat but it’s still a great picture is it not?  I mean really, if I don’t tell you it is a lake, would you think it is a lake?  The interesting thing is that Lake Ontario was once a bay, believe it or not, so it is a salt water lake.  Sort of a captive ocean if you will.  Where were we you ask?  Well, Alan is intent of creating a portoflio of his wife, so I guess you could say I was in a photo session.

My alter ego

My alter ego

I still can’t get over what great pictures the new camera takes….or maybe it is the photographer!

I have much to post, in particular since our anniversary was on July 26th, it has been three years of Papi’s passing, I just turned 39 and we are planning a little family expansion.

I hope you are all still out there, and thank you for sticking around!