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!

When life throws you lemons…..

…learn to make lemonade, the saying goes.  We have it in Spanish too, except our lemons come from the sky, not from life.  Religion ties into everything in our culture, doesn’t it?

I have several posts ready to go, including the much acclaimed and requested Chicken Vaca Frita recipe (with Congri Oriental to boot!), and I’ll get to them soon enough.  First, there is something that I have been debating whether to share or not, but I will.  I will need an outlet.

It seems our long awaited plans of multiplying the Lambie clan has hit a snag, and we will have to go the assisted route in order to see our family grow.  Those of you who know us personally KNOW how much we want to have kids, so you can understand that this has us worried and excited at the same time.

We are not sad; on the contrary we are excited to be able to somehow have our own.  And yes, I’m a  bit ansy, but what else is new?  I’m facing a big unknown, and I don’t do well with unknowns.

Emotionally it will be a trying time.  I’ve already picked up cross stitching and Kundalini Yoga to help manage the stress.

Needless to say, it will be quite the year for us 2010-2011 which hopefully will bring us the long awaited news of new life.  Please, as you read the recipes, and try them out, keep us in your prayers so that the Lord will look favorably upon us and bless us with little ones.

On an entirely different note, since I am now ORGANIZED with my work, look for more blogging to ensue as we welcome my cousin’s daughter Sofia, I take you to Santiago, Chile, and yes, show you how to make a killer Chicken Vaca Frita!

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!

The Lambies go to Fenway!

Baseball has always been a part of my life.  Papi used to take us to the Hiram Birthorn for the MLB exhibition games and we always hoped Puerto Rico would get an MLB team.  In the meantime we would be die hard fans of the Puerto Rican winter league Cangrejeros de Santurce!

On the MLB we as a family were die-hard Altlanta Braves fan. Yes I know Ted is a commie and so is his wife.  But we lived in PR and really didn’t know much about Ted.  All we knew is that we had three teams to choose from: WGN Chicago Cubs, WOR New York Mets (I had the biggest crush on Keith Hernandez) and WTBS Atlanta Braves (my crush on Dale Murphy and subsequently Damon Berryhill were bigger).   And so we liked and loved America’s team, the Braves.  As fans we wetn to Atlanta a couple of times to see them play, and I once drove from Maryland to Pittsburgh to see a 1992 playoff game (Avery was pitching and it was a bad game).

But I digress; the point is I, as any Cuban-American, have always loved baseball and loved going to games at the park.  However, Boston Red Sox tickets are HARD to come by; I mean, two weeks ago they celebrated 500 consecutive SOLD OUT games.  Here you have no choice but to watch the games on TV (Yes Marta, I’m talking to you!).  And Alan, as the newly minted American Citizen that he is (1.5 years) LOVES baseball and is a DIE HARD fan of the Boston Red Sox (and so am I).

So the other day the Marlins were in town, and my curious nature got the best of me….breaking from my dissertation work I decided to check if there were tickets available.

OMG Alan, there are tickets available for the game!

“Buy them!”  Notice there was no hesitation in his answer and we really are in la prángana.

We didn’t even care where we were seating; I mean tickets available and for $30?? @ Fenway Park?  what is there to think?  So off we went on a not so great day for baseball for our Fenway adventure – our first time at a RedSox game in Fenway Park.  It wasn’t really cold, but it was drizzling and damp, so taking pictures was a challenge.

Alan @ Fenway

Alan @ Fenway

As you can see Alan was decked out in New England gear and happy as a little kid to be there!  As you can also see everything was very VERY wet.  I have to admit that walking into Fenway was a bit intimidating.  Why not big, it has a lot of stores, food places, and kiosks…people, lots and LOTS of people…..but nothing really compares to the feeling of walking out to the seats and seeing the Green Monster for the first time.  What???  You don’t know what the Green Monster is?  Let me show you….

The Green "Monstah"

The Green "Monstah"

Doesn’t it look beautiful?  There are seats on top of the Monster, and of course home runs get batted either to it or through it.  It looks small in the picture, but it’s quite impressive in person.  Fenway is a special park, and as such other parks such as Camdem Yards have been designed/remodeled after it.  The field also looked beautiful although it still had the tarp on.  Remember, it was raining.

Alan @Fenway Green

Alan @Fenway Green

Doesn’t he, I mean it, look beautiful?  After a while they took of the tarp and the players took to the field to practice; that’s always been my favorite part of watching baseball in person – getting to see the players warm up and of course, take pictures with Alan’s new camera.  Like this one of team Catcher and Captain Jason Varitek, who is currently having a pretty decent season and rebounding from a bad 2008.

Captain Tek

Captain Tek

Needless to say, I was the one taking pictures; Alan was filming and I don’t have the upgrade here to show you video just yet.  And as you can see we weren’t the only ones either taking pictures, video or even trying for autographs.  Alan missed Beckett by a matter of seconds.

In the end the RedSox lost 2-1 to the Marlins, after a 3.5 hour rain delay after the 5th inning.  The umpires chose to call the game and give the win to the Marlins.  We were VERY disappointed.  Not because they lost, but because we couldn’t really see a game.

So, since we are moving to Rochester, NY, which is about an hour away from Toronto (as in home of the Toronto Blue Jays, division rivals of the Red Sox), we found it completely appropriate to buy two tickets for the August 18th game.  And this time we’ll be sitting by Third Base, right behind the dugout!  How to I feel about this?  Well I’ll be there with my RedSox jersey on, and the Gaelic Red Sox Hat.

Let's Go Red Sox!

Let's Go Red Sox!

It may not be Fenway Park, but it’s a dome (no rain) and we have better seats (actually we have seats whenever we want since regular games are not sold out), and it will be our new way of watching the Red Sox L-I-V-E!!!!!!!

Waiting for Opening Day!

Even for some of my passions like baseball, life is on hold.  But that one I don’t control.  However, I’m 100% ready for our home opener against Tampa Bay.  Yes folks I’m a proud card carrying citizen of Red Sox Nation.  See how ready I am?  As ready as Lowell, Beckett, Pedroia, Youkilis and BIG PAPI are!

Me Baseball Ready!

Me Baseball Ready!

In the words of Big Papi “Papi says, there is a secret to hitting home runs.  Shhhhhhh, it’s a secret“.  Let’s Go Red Sox!

Take me out to the ballgame! (and why it’s on the NIH server beats the heck out of me!)

Who’s your team?