Saturday, September 26, 2009


so i'm long overdue for updating the just keeps happening oh so quickly! we've just had so many blogtastic moments in our life recently, but i must specifically write about this one...

you see we had been planning a game night with our dear friends jaq and abby for quite some time now since it had been at least a month since our last fantastic game night. they're quite wonderful, frantic and fun.

so we had planned on last saturday night. ry and i had been getting very excited and were preparing for the day to come when jaq facebooked with terrible news. abby had to cancel...she was off to nascar.

we giggled to ourselves and told jaq she should still come over, so of course she did. and then the honesty began!!!

jaq came before the arranged 6pm time and decided she had to drive around near the beach until 6pm. i only found this out because i called her to see what her eta was because we were making hummus and needed some more chick peas. we laughed at her for being silly and told her that we HONESTLY didn't mind if she showed up early. the more jaq in our lives, the better.

so she came and we all adventured together for the chick peas and came back and finished the hummus. we all decided together that it wasn't great, but for the picture's sake, jaq pretended to love it. this was one of the lesser honest moments of the evening ;)

so then ryan was honest with us and told us all he wanted to do was go for a walk. so we bundled up ... and dressed like twins and went on our way:

our walk was awesome. we started talking about church. and what church means. and what church should look like. and what we like/dislike in a church. it was so nice to have a real conversation and just try to figure out what we think and want church to look like for us. sigh, we enjoy conversations like that.

so we got back and we were still talking about church and looking at the websites of the different churches we each were trying out the next day when i asked jaq if she had eaten any dinner. she said no and i could tell she was hungry...and we told her she had to be honest with us and just tell us she was hungry. so she finally let out her secret that yes, she would like some we got to work!!!


...and some delightful tea, courtesy of nate, nick, brad and dan...a delightful wedding present, indeed:

so we sat and ate our delightful treats and just continued to enjoy each other and discussed the importance of honesty in friendship. it's such a cool mark of a good friendship when you can be completely honest with telling them you're hungry and really need some chocolate chip banana pancakes before you pass out!

the other important detail of this night was that we had to celebrate jaq's birthday that had just occurred. and by just occurred, i mean two weeks ago. we had spent the afternoon preparing and we came up with this treat:

yes, that is a tea cup. and it MIGHT look like a delicious mocha, but in fact it is a cupcake...

so after three hours of our "game night" we finally settled in and broke out our all time favorite game...frantic four. if you've never played it before, you should definitely come over to our house so we can introduce you to the wonderful creation that will some day make us, jaq and amy dodd millions!!

we finished off our night with some phase 10 that ryan ended up winning. i think it was only because i kept using my skips on jaq so ryan wouldn't feel bad and he could catch up to us when he was losing...but that clearly backfired. oh well...he was a gracious winner..


By then the hour was approaching 11 and we decided to call it a night. it was such a fun evening full of unexpected events. we always have fun with jaq, but we definitely reached new heights ... and learned the importance of honest friendship and how good conversation can be so encouraging when you least expect it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

our friend juan.

this post is dedicated to our friend juan. juan is one of the best friends you could ever ask for. he always knows how to make you smile. for instance, the other day we received an email telling us to expect a package with a special "delivery". we were quite excited and were anticipating a great surprise when we returned home from work the next day.

so we got home from work and found a box on our porch and quickly brought it inside to open. pleasure stallion helped:

Pleasure Stallion is always such a great helper when it comes to such things. We accredit it to her short stay with nate, nick, brad and dan. Anyways, Pleasure Stallion wanted to open up the package and see, so we got right to it:

To all three of our delight, we found the best surprise in that box we could ever ask for!!!!! TWO PLEASURE PENGUINS!!!!!!!!!! We were so excited, but we were nervous because they'd been cooped up in a box for SO long, so Ryan quickly jumped into action:

It was a good thing that Ry knew CPR, otherwise we don't think the Pleasure Penguins would have survived! They survived the close call and we welcomed them both with open arms :)

They are so snuggly and cuddly and PERFECT for our family. While we didn't want to stop snuggling with the pleasure penguins, we had to let them bond with pleasure stallion:

After the three of them bonded, we took a family photo:

We obviously couldn't be happier to have these two WONDERFUL new additions to our home. And the fact that they came specially from Juan make them that much more special.

Juan is one of the most coolest people we know
when he's in Iraq we know he won't see snow
he just gave us the the best present ever
wow we think he is really clever

we can't wait til juan comes home
but for now in the dessert he'll roam
juan we hope you like these pics
our penguins sure give us lots of kicks

we love them so much we hope you see
they make us want to jump with glee
thanks so much for being so great
juan for you we'll never have hate

juan we love you and wait for the day
that we get to see your face and say
how much we appreciate you as a friend
we hope your time in Iraq soon will end!!

thanks, juan. you're the best!!!!!!!!! we love you and we miss you and we can't wait for you to come home!!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

it's official: we're foodies.

i suppose you might have gathered from our previous posts that we like food. a lot. and we didn't think we were THAT much a fan of food until the other night...

so it was Friday and we decided that we would go out since we received a couple of restaurant gift certificates for wedding gifts. note to self: gift certificates that facilitate dates for poor newlyweds is an extremely GOOD idea.

anyways we came home from work and got all dressed up and went out for our first date since the wedding. it was our two month anniversary, why not celebrate?

anyways, we went out to the grapevine in salem. it was lovely just having the opportunity to go out and not have to cook for ourselves, even though we absolutely love to cook. now we had eaten at the grapevine twice before...once we loved it. the other was alright. we decided this would be our make or break time.

so we're sitting there. i ordered a glass of wine, which was delicious, as well as a salad with goat cheese and ry ordered the fish chowder. i'm obsessed with goat cheese so i loved my salad, and ryan's chowder was alright.

then the main course came. as well as the realization that we're foodies. you see, we picked up on the slightest things that normal people wouldn't notice or even bother to comment mmm could have used a little less salt to accomodate for the saltiness of the proscuitto paired with my pork tenderloin. and hmm, should have reduced the pinot noir sauce just a little bit longer for the filet ryan ordered. WHOOPS! who goes on a date and sits and critiques the good points and bad points of the food?! we quickly realized what we were doing and tried to stop...but we just couldn't! it was quite funny by the end of the night. was so so so wonderful just to be able to go out for a night and just enjoy each other without a to-do list and to not have to pay for dinner...we were very thankful. maybe next time we'll leave our foodie brains at home...

Monday, September 7, 2009

welcome to the dumas family bed&breakfast...

***warning - this one is super long and filled with lots of pictures

so this past weekend cousin, daddy and pat-ricia all came to visit us!!!! we were so very excited for many reasons. 1-none of them had been here before. 2-we love cousin. 3-it was my father and pat's first time here for more than 24 hours in a VERY long long time...if ever...

we forgot the camera for this part so we'll have to use cousin came on the train thursday after she had finished all her classes. she arrived around 6:30pm and we wandered to south station to pick her up. we didn't want to deal with traffic so ry lugged cousin's very heavy bag back to the car and then we went in search of some cupcakes...which we wandered up and down Hanover St. to find...and then we learned the place we were looking for no longer existed. don't worry, there were still cupcakes. lots of cupcakes. so we each got a cupcake and then headed back home to make cousin her fav kind of pizza...buffalo chicken pizza!! we had made it the night before and put it in the fridge on a platter and it took ryan, cousin and three spatulas to get it onto the pizza oven:

but don't worry... it may have looked rustic, but it was DELISH!!!!

Then we set up cousin in her bed on the living room floor and she snuggled with pleasure stallion...we hear pleasure stallion has replaced something else snuggly...she said something about her old snuggle bunny liking the yankees... (just kidding about the replacement...)

so i worked the next day while ry stayed home to entertain cousin...however, cousin slept until she was practically asleep the whole time i was at work :) when i got home we had some snacks and taught cousin the tastiness of cold pizza (she had never had it...)

then we prepared dinner. buffalo salmon, baked potatoes and corn on the cob.

we then, of course had to get some ice cream since cousin hadn't had it since she'd been to school. when we got there we saw that their flag was all ry went to work...


we got our yummy ice cream and headed to the beach...and we had a little photo op:

but then we gave cousin the camera and this is what happened:

hmmm...the camera wasn't her friend...

here was the best one:

then we tried REALLY hard to get shots of the three of us...

ryan was sleeping...

i forgot to smile and ryan was still sleeping...

and then cousin fell asleep, too... we gave up and tried for the lifeguard chair:



it was super pretty:

then after ice cream we came home to START the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake:

and it FINALLY went in the oven at 10:33...

so the next day we woke up and played some tennis (we forgot the camera again...sorry...) and then came home to clean. cousin mopped. she's the best mopper ever. she also broomed...

then my father and pat-ricia arrived bearing TREATS!!!! most importantly wegmans cookie cake:

we ate some lunch and decided to wander to ocean lawn! they insist that you can't help but smile while skipping:

we played some bocce. it was oldies vs. goodies. i mean not so oldies. cousin concentrated VERY hard and she was our best player:

probably the most beautiful bocce court ever:

this was the time the goodies got ALL FOUR possible points. yes we were THAT good. must be because cousin and i stick our tongues out while throwing:

goodies won! no surprise there ;)

after bocce we explored the rocks:

...and pat found a treasure. it was stuck to a rock, though, so she couldn't bring it home :(

so we adventured home and made fresh mango....slushies...

and cousin taught ry how to stand:

then the surprise dinner was started!

and then the gnocchi with chili goat cheese sauce was finished!!!

...daddy told us it was as good as his grandfathers...which he has been trying to duplicate for years. don't worry, it was only our second time making them. needless to say, they didn't disappear this time :) :)

we finished off the evening with some white chocolate raspberry cheesecake:

...and some games:

then we tucked cousin into her new bed (the couch) and pleasure stallion wanted to join. again.

so we woke up sunday morning and waited for cousin to arise and my father started the "pumpkin pancakes". he had some problems, though. he couldn't quite figure out how to use the can's difficult, you know:

and then we realized we bought squash.

they were still delish!

and then it was off to boston...first stop: dunks.

we explored the public garden:

and made some friends with ducks...

...and a magician.

then we found some flowers that matched cousins shirt and we were very excited!!!

so we made her climb in :)

don't worry, i followed.


then it was off to the north end for lunch!

we giggled at this sight:

and cousin found a shirt she was VERY tempted to buy...

...and then i forgot to take more pictures when we got home from boston. but we had a relaxing meal and sat around chatting and enjoying ourselves. the weekend absolutely flew by...but i guess that's what happens when you're having lots of fun!!

so dad and pat left this morning at 7:30. they woke us up to say bye. they tried waking cousin...but she rolled over. not for long, though, since we had to deliver her to the train station this morning. so we packed her a lunch:

and sadly sent her on her way...

it was quite a wonderful weekend and we loved every second of it. we love being able to have family come to visit us. it was the perfect mix of adventuring and relaxing. we can't wait for more visitors!!!