Deep End

Last week Steven and I celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary. The week before we celebrated twenty one years since the evening we met.

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We are definitely jump in feet-first kind of people. We knew quickly we were in it for the long haul. Within a month of our meeting we’d met family members, within three months we were engaged, we had bought our first home by eight months and by a year and a week married.

  The Night We Met  Thank God Steven let himself be dragged to my house-party September 27, 1997.

The Night We Met Thank God Steven let himself be dragged to my house-party September 27, 1997.

We jumped into the Deep End… and we’ve never regretted it.

Here’s our Story.

  Family Introductions  Halloween October 31, 1997.

Family Introductions Halloween October 31, 1997.

I apologize for the quality of some of the million images in this piece.

  Our First Home  July 1, 1998

Our First Home July 1, 1998

  Wedding Day  October 4, 1998

Wedding Day October 4, 1998

We celebrated our marriage on the front porch of an Inn in Spring Lake NJ with a total of 37 in attendance. It was a day centered around vows, libation and good food. We had Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding - in keeping with our British theme - we traveled to London for our honeymoon. It was fantastic.

 At the  Tower of London on Our Honeymoon  October 9, 1998.

At the Tower of London on Our Honeymoon October 9, 1998.

We’re planning a trip back to London and the British Isles in a few years with Liam.

  Chalet Ownership  July 24, 2003.

Chalet Ownership July 24, 2003.

Most of you know the story of the Chalet - How our first home had sold and the house we hoped to purchase fell through. I was driving with a girlfriend when we spied the For Sale By Owner sign for the Chalet. It was March and it took a few months to finalize the transaction - because the gentleman who was flipping the chalet needed the paperwork to go through the county government before he could sell; and unfortunately in that time he tried to renege on our agreement unless we paid an additional 20K. Well this saying is true my friends -

A HOUSE IS WORTH WHATEVER SOMEONE IS WILLING TO PAY.

 I love love love  My Home.  Center Hall Colonial Momma just doesn’t have the same ring! Ha

I love love love My Home. Center Hall Colonial Momma just doesn’t have the same ring! Ha

 my first  Red Sox Game  September 30, 2006

my first Red Sox Game September 30, 2006

 Celebrating our  Tenth Anniversary  at Chatham Bars Inn Chatham, MA. September 19, 2008.

Celebrating our Tenth Anniversary at Chatham Bars Inn Chatham, MA. September 19, 2008.

 Our Favorite Beach  Ocean City, NJ  August 22, 2010

Our Favorite Beach Ocean City, NJ August 22, 2010

I know some of you won’t believe a gal from New Jersey could be a Sox fan… I was not a baseball fan at all until I watched the 2003 playoffs… it was exciting and fast paced - I was hooked! I’ve been lucky to be at Fenway Park twice.

We are a baseball loving family. It is the sport we spend allot of time enjoying.

One of our favorite towns is Chatham, MA it’s an idyllic spot on the elbow of Cape Cod full of wonderful restaurants, shops and art.

We are secret New Englanders.

  A Neighborhood Dinner  at Tabor Road Tavern October 15, 2010. I was pregnant with Liam.

A Neighborhood Dinner at Tabor Road Tavern October 15, 2010. I was pregnant with Liam.

 As Lucy and Ricky Ricardo  Bienvenido A Cuba  for our neighborhood  Pubs Around the Hood  celebration March 19, 2011.

As Lucy and Ricky Ricardo Bienvenido A Cuba for our neighborhood Pubs Around the Hood celebration March 19, 2011.

  The Guide  March 19, 2011.

The Guide March 19, 2011.

I’ve kept the walking map all these year - These are very good renderings of our homes.

 Our  First Family Christmas Card  with Fred and a 6 month old Liam December 2011

Our First Family Christmas Card with Fred and a 6 month old Liam December 2011

 Dinner out with Friends  Look at this Cute Baby  March 8, 2012

Dinner out with Friends Look at this Cute Baby March 8, 2012

 Headed out for  My Birthday  Celebration July 12, 2012

Headed out for My Birthday Celebration July 12, 2012

  Lovebird Selfie  July 26, 2013

Lovebird Selfie July 26, 2013

  Willkommen in Deutschland  Our Second Pubs Around The Hood June 7, 2014.

Willkommen in Deutschland Our Second Pubs Around The Hood June 7, 2014.

We’ve celebrated Pubs Around The Hood twice - I can’t recommend this fun Drink & Food Crawl with neighbors enough.

Its a great not having to drive.

Each home picks a country - everyone always adds some decor and dresses in celebratory garb of the land.

Offer a signature drink and small taste of said country staying at each for about an hour before moving on.

First time we were Cuba the Second time we were Germany!

  Pubs Around The Hood Foreign Exchange Program Itinerary .June 7, 2014

Pubs Around The Hood Foreign Exchange Program Itinerary.June 7, 2014

to my neighbors - we need to do this again and soon!

 Liam’s first  Phillies Game  June 14, 2014. The day Jimmy Rollins hit for the Franchise Record.

Liam’s first Phillies Game June 14, 2014. The day Jimmy Rollins hit for the Franchise Record.

  My Bow Tie Men  April 18, 2015

My Bow Tie Men April 18, 2015

 Liam’s  Fifth Birthday Party  June 12, 2016 (nothing to do with Target)

Liam’s Fifth Birthday Party June 12, 2016 (nothing to do with Target)

I still have this image from Liam’s 5th Birthday Party - A Star Wars theme on my phone.

It makes me smile.

 Documenting Liam’s  T-Ball Game  Spring 2017

Documenting Liam’s T-Ball Game Spring 2017

  The Day our Marriage was Blessed  February 17, 2018.

The Day our Marriage was Blessed February 17, 2018.

  Meeting Minnie Mouse  September 25, 2018

Meeting Minnie Mouse September 25, 2018

Disney was amazing. Every bit as magical and wonderful as you think it will be and more.

  Silly Mom and Dad  in 95*degrees photo by Liam September 27, 2018. Twenty-One Years to the Day We Met.

Silly Mom and Dad in 95*degrees photo by Liam September 27, 2018. Twenty-One Years to the Day We Met.

We’ve been blessed and I wouldn’t change a thing. Every event - good or bad has gotten us to this moment. We are wed to the person we were meant to be with. The years we waited for Liam taught us much and we know he was always the boy we were waiting to welcome. Happy Anniversary to my wonderful Husband. I’ll stay in the deep end with you forever!

YOU HAVE GIVEN ME MY LIFE AND I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO SAY THANK YOU ENOUGH. xoxoxo

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til next time.

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Ho Jo's

when i was growing up the 2nd week in August was always vacation. it was the only week my attorney father would take off -  because that was the week the courts were closed. so off we went and although the destination may have changed the accommodations never did.

we stayed at Howard Johnson's.

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i love these old advertisements.

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not only did we stay at HoJo's when we traveled but, there was a location about 30 minutes from home and it was a favorite dining spot of dad's. yum for HoJo burgers!

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i have a Pinterest board devoted to HoJo.

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there wasn't anything that the didn't have their logo on. they sold ice cream, chewing gum, toys,  games - below is a piggy bank.they created the marketing we take as commonplace in 2018.

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did you ever stay at Howard Johnson's? please share your recollections in the comments.

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i know my love of orange and turquoise can be traced back to Howard Johnson! hahaha!

til next time.

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galerie

here's a little story about my porch.

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this is one of my very favorite images of the chalet. it shows both galeries.  you may be saying to yourself what in the world is she talking about? well, in a chalet the outside area on the side or back of the structure are not decks or porches - they are galeries.

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this is the book that taught me all about my little chalet. this glorious slim volume originally published in 1913 - a gift from my husband.  what strikes me funny is the author Mr. Dana lived in NJ.

 

 

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i love the cover art.

before i delve into the porch - here are some details about the chalet. it was built in 1924 - the first house subdivided from an estate - our street name was originally the name of the estate. it was handcrafted by Austrian craftsmen as a vacation home for the Morgan family. they enjoyed winter sports and summer breezes here. we have breathtaking western views during the winter months. back then they had them all year-long.  if you follow me on IG you will have seen how the canopy of green has filled in and we are enveloped by trees.

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 here is the main galerie in 2009 - the entire ceiling with its original tongue and groove boards and nonexistent insulation was rebuilt. yes, those are actually the underside of our bedroom floorboards. which means the floors were either cold in winter or hot in summer.

the grey painted flooring is actually the ceiling of the basement. these are the same floorboards that extend from the interior. which means just like upstairs whatever the weather was outside... it filtered into the basement - it just depended on what good 'ole Mother Nature was up to.

we spent much time reading, relaxing and listening to ballgames on the galerie. Memorial Day Weekend was always the official opening of the season - that's why feeling a bit wistful i'm sharing the story this week.

here's Fred enjoying some winter sport in February 2012.

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i love this picture of my boys in march of 2014 (Fred passed away May 18, 2018 age 17)

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summer 2016 -  we enjoyed the heck out of our upgraded seating!!!

now, this is what you think of when you think of a chalet... with outside galeries you'll see nothing is cantilevered. all the galeries are completely outside structures.  cantilevered interior spaces are not good.

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winter 2017.

the thing about having snow on the ceiling of your basement is - it must be removed... like asap... before it melts into said basement. water was always a concern all year-round.

rain in spring, summer and fall; snow in winter. we dealt with the weather for almost 14 yrs.

 

 

 

 

until the nor'easter of February 2017 - and the inches of water that collected on the floor of the basement by our washer and dryer.

that was when we knew however much loved the galerie it was time to close it in - and we did just that - from studs, windows and radiators to bead-board walls and new flooring.

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this is the last time i ever had to grab towels to soak up the rain right before the final close in. we were so very blessed during construction with regards to weather... i kept praying and God kept listening.

 

 

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the space turned out better than i ever could have imagined. not only did it add more living space to our cozy home. the chalet is weather tight for the first time in 93 yrs. and a humongous bonus is the noise reduction - no longer do sounds from outside filter up through the floorboards into our bedroom or my sons.

my husband and i sleep more soundly.

#whoopwhoop

a favorite chair anchors each side.

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i can't say enough how much i love my porch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

here's the full transformation

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any space in your home you would like to radically retool? please share!

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til next time.

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