Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Girls weekend is on!

Dates are set, airline tickets have been purchased, and Girls Weekend is on! Well actually, for my mom it's more like a month, for me a week, and for Katie 4 days...but I'm going to refer to the time we are all going to be there together as Girls Weekend. By 'there' I mean Naples Florida :)

Our beach...

Last time Mom and I were in Naples together...

Katie had been planning to fly down from PA to visit us in Atlanta this Fall, when I thought maybe we could make more of a vacation out of it. My mom had already told me I was welcome to join her at the condo in Naples (once my Grandpa's place) since she would be there the month of October, so I extended that invitation to Katie, and now in about 3 weeks we'll all be relaxing on the beach (as long as no hurricanes come our way).

For as long as I've been friends with Katie (since 9th grade), she has always come to Cape Cod in the summers to spend a week with me and my family. She fell in love with the Cape and the house and the beach, like many do, and I always appreciated all of the times she made the trip up from PA to MA. The past 2 summers she wasn't able to make it to the Cape (getting older sadly equals not being able to take week vacations whenever you want), so our trip to Naples is going to make up for it! Hey, think they have a Lost Dog Pub down there? ;)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend Update

Friday night Rob suggested we have dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and watch a movie at home. It had been forever since I ate at CPK, so it was a nice treat. I forgot how much I love that place. I got the buffalo chicken pizza (I love anything with buffalo sauce on it, and Rob doesn't, so I get my buffalo fixes when we go out, rather than at home) and Rob got the California club pizza (he's on an avocado kick, so that pizza fit the bill). For our movie, we watched The Informant...started out strong, but the story dragged after a while. Love Matt Damon, juat not big fans of this movie.

Saturday I asked Rob if we could go to the event at the SPCA, of course he said sure, but really I never should have suggested we go. The back story to this outing, is that earlier in the week while looking for jobs I checked out the animal shelter websites. After finding no career opportunities on their websites, I looked at their dogs available for adoption and fell in love with Christopher, a terrier mix. So we were really going to the SPCA event to see Christopher in person. He was an adorable, really playful, really energetic, somewhat vocal pup, who is probably in need of some serious training. Then again, he's only 5 months old, what do you expect? As much as we liked him, and as much as I wanted to adopt a dog right then and there (you should have seen/heard how sad and jealous all the other shelter dogs were when we took Christopher out of his cage to go outside, breaks your heart), we left the way we came, just the 2 of us. I was probably a little too emotional on the car ride home, poor Rob having to deal with me and my crazy love of dogs, but I did realize it just wasn't the right time and we would have been rushing into something that requires a little more planning and preparation.

Sunday=football. Now that we have Direct TV NFL Sunday Ticket, we can watch my Steelers and Rob's Lions every week. Today was the first Steelers game I have seen in a long time that didn't come down to the last minute. It was pretty great having a game I could feel somewhat relaxed watching, since they were up by 18 at half time. I like that we have so many quarterback options, and I love Rashard Mendenhall. And coach Tomlin's sweet shades...

Tonight for dinner=Hungarian goulash. The slow cooker is back! I got my amazing slow cooker, that can also fry, bake, roast or steam, last year for my birthday and I have gotten a lot of use out of it. But summer time just doesn't scream slow cooker time, so it hasn't been out of the cabinet much lately. Today I thought I'd try a new recipe, so found this one in the slow cooker cookbook Lisa gave me last year. It's basically a couple pounds of cubed beef chuck and sliced onions in the pot, with a mixture of beef broth, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, paprika, chopped garlic, salt and pepper on top. I took out the caraway seeds, because I'm not really a fan. The last 30 min. of cooking you add sliced bell pepper, and a water&flour mixture. Served over noodles, it's delicious!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Last night I attempted Chicken Marsala for the first time, and it was a delicious success if I don't say so myself! Weeks ago Rob suggested I make it for dinner while his family was visiting, but I decided against trying something I knew nothing about making for guests. Rob did the grocery shopping on Sunday and came home with organic chicken breasts and muchrooms (his favorite ingredient that I frequently add to recipes that otherwise don't include mushrooms just for him). I took it as a hint to make chicken marsala, though he said that didn't even cross his mind when he bought the stuff.

It must have been a really long time since I ate this dish, because I forgot how much flavor it has to it! I never order it when we go out, thinking it's too plain, but next time I might just have to try it. I used Emeril's recipe, and while I normally wouldn't use that much oil and butter in one meal, it was worth it this time.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Traffic jams and airplanes

What is the number one thing that people familiar with Atlanta will tell you about Atlanta when they hear that's where you are moving to? That the traffic is terrible! I can't tell you how many times I heard this bit of advice, more like warning, from people. I believed them, but really, what city doesn't have traffic problems? Now that I'm here, I can officially tell you it sucks more than most other cities!

First off, many of the highways are 12 lanes wide. Second, most of the time all of those lanes are filled with vehicles. I tend to stay in lanes closest to the right hand side so I don't miss my exit and because with all those lanes and cars it gets a little overwhelming to be in the middle of the traffic nightmare. Of course rush hour(s) is really bad, and we are very lucky that Rob's office is only about 8 miles away from our apartment in the less busy direction, but even when it's 2pm on a Tuesday the highways are busy. Where is everyone going all the time?

Once you get over the amount of traffic, you have to get use to ramp meters and pace vehicles. Ramp meters are basically traffic lights at on-ramps that try to regulate the amount of traffic entering the highway by flashing alternating red and green signals. Only 1 vehicle per green light is supposed to merge onto the highway. Not long ago, we were stuck behind a pace vehicle going below the speed limit after picking Rob up from work. It's a good thing Rob has better distance vision than I do, because he was able to read the flashing sign above the truck that read 'Do not pass pace vehicle.' Besides the efforts to regulate traffic volume and congestion, the worst are all of the accidents! I honestly do not know if I have ever driven on the highway without seeing cars pulled over on the side of the road (or just blocking lanes of traffic) due to cars running into each other. I won't even get into what Rob would say is the biggest problem with driving in Atlanta...the abundance of idiotic, careless, inexperienced drivers who do whatever they want whenever they want.

And today, only 10 miles away from our apartment, Atlanta motorists had to deal with a plane landing on the highway! I'm not really surprised this happened in Atlanta- with everything else wrong with the traffic situation why not add a random plane landing into the mix? But I am surprised that there was enough room for the plane to land without hitting another vehicle. Hats off to that pilot!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I have never really been the type of girl who needed my guy to kill bugs for me, but if he's around I always appreciate his assistance with such matters. Rob and my Dad might disagree with me, saying the screeching sound I make when dealing with bugs proves I need help. But ask Lisa who took care of the spiders in the Cape house this summer...not her! Anyway, I never really needed a guy to kill the bugs for me until we moved to the South...the home of the palmetto bug.

In case you haven't spent much time in the South, I should tell you that a palmetto bug is just a cute way of saying cockroach. They are large, disgusting, and one of the fastest running insects around, which I found out the hard way. One night last week I was watching TV when I saw a baby palmetto bug crawling up the living room wall from behind the TV. Rob had already gone to bed, so I grabbed a chair and paper towel from the kitchen and squished the little sucker. No problem.

Fast forward to the following night. Rob was already sleeping (note: I have and always will be the night owl of the house, and Rob is the opposite), when I walked into our sink/closet area to get ready for bed. Before I even turned on the light, I saw a rather large dark spot on the carpet near the door that connects the bedroom and sink/closet area. No way I thought. I turned on the light and yes way. It was a huge palmetto bug. I grabbed some tissues and it was already half way up the wall. I shrieked a little, tried to squish the bug, but all I really ended up doing was brushing him onto the floor. He was just too big, I could not bring myself to squish something that big. So I went into the bedroom and stood at the foot of the bed saying Rob's name over and over, a little louder each time, until finally he got up and I told him he needed to kill a bug for me. He was still half asleep but said something along the lines of, 'a bug? right now? are you serious?' By the time he walked into the sink/closet area, the thing had run across the floor and hid somewhere back behind Rob's safe in the closet. Rob went back to bed, and I stayed in that closet for a good 15 minutes trying to find it, with no luck. I did not sleep well that night.

The next day I was walking on egg shells throughout the apartment, convinced it was going to show up at one point or another. But I never saw it. Rob tried to convince me that it could have been anywhere by then- back outside, under the carpet, down the drain, in another apartment, etc. I almost believed him, until last night. I was filling out a survey online for a job application I was filling out and decided to take my laptop into the bedroom where I could concentrate better. As soon as I sat on the bed, I jumped up and ran back to the living room to tell Rob the bug was back and crawling up our bedroom wall! I thank God for Rob, my palmetto bug killer, and for being able to sleep better at night...until the next one shows up.

Friday, September 17, 2010


This week my youngest sister Michelle had her first sorority mixer. Besides the fact that it was on a Tuesday night and she was going as Pocahontas, Rob and I couldn't believe that Michelle was old enough to have mixers to go to! Well mostly Rob couldn't believe it. When I told him about it, he shook his head and said, "that's why I don't want to have any girls, well I do, but look what you have to worry about, one word...mixers."

I cracked up laughing, because poor Rob knows more about mixers than he ever wanted to. We started dating before I even went to my first sorority mixer, so there were plenty of nights I dressed up as who knows what and went out without him to some frat house. He was such a good sport :)

I told him there is nothing wrong with mixers, and he replied, "yeah well who even knows what the themes will be in 20 years." And in his best girly voice, that sounded more like a 5yr old than a college aged girl, he said, "Dad- I'm going to a mixer tonight and the theme is prostitutes and pimps!"

Mixer Flashback...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

House hunting

Last weekend we went house hunting! No, Rob and I aren't buying a house right now, heck we don't even know what state we'll be living in in the next 5 years. By 'we' I mean me, my mother-in-law and her husband. Rob was busy running and studying, or he might have gone too.

Long story short, Ann and John (the in-laws), met and got married in Rob's home state of Michigan in 2007. A few years ago they bought a second home in Savannah. Soon after, Ann was offered a great job at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and they moved from the Midwest to the South. Then they decided to move out of their Atlanta apartment and live in their Savannah house full time, so Ann started a new job in Savannah. Turns out she missed her old job in Atlanta, and they missed her a lot too. She is going to have her old job back starting in October, but they decided not to go the apartment living route this time. Which brings us to last weekend, when I went house hunting with them in the NE Atlanta area.

We looked at about 10 homes that day, and they were all lovely homes I only dream of living in some day, but I really got to see what a stressful process finding the right house can be. Ann was all ready with her self made spreadsheets so she could rate different things about each of the homes. I teased her a little that "Christmas Tree" was one of her categories on the chart (as in where you could put the tree in the house), but I realized she had a point. A few weeks ago, something on TV got me thinking about the holidays and I looked around our apartment and thought wow, even with more space than we had in Boston we still don't have a good place to put a Christmas tree!

After seeing each house Ann would ask us for our 'overall wow factor' rating from 1-5. Lucky for us, well I should say them, our wow factor ratings went higher and higher as the day progressed. The first few homes were 2-3's, and then we had a few 4.5's in the middle, and the second to last house we saw was the first and last to get 5's across the board. It was the only house we saw that had a dog in the backyard for us to visit with, and though Rob will say I gave it a 5 because I fell in love with the dog, I promise you that was not the case! It was the perfect house for them- very open 1st floor, super fun basement I know us 'kids' will enjoy and of all the homes it had the most character/uniqueness to it.

Sunday they put an offer on the house, Monday they reached an agreement with the seller, and the closing date is set for October 15th! Living in the same state as them made us feel close to them already, but in reality 4 hours isn't close-close. Now they will be 20 minutes away, that's close! I'm lucky to have a mother-in-law that I would rather have living 20 minutes away than 4 hours, because I know that isn't always the case! Yay for having more family in Atlanta, and cheers to the Pekarek's on their new home :)

Ann and John at their wedding in May 2007

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New week, new name

This week was mostly dedicated to officially changing my name and becoming a Georgia resident. Anyone who has gotten married knows what a hassle it can be to change your name. Changing it at the same time you are converting all of your Massachusetts things to Georgia things only makes it even more of a pain.

Even though we got married over a month ago, in my mind my last name is still Eddy. People love calling me Mrs. Porter *wink wink smile* and I love it too, but inside I'm thinking yeah kind of, not really..someday. To me my name is whatever my drivers license and credit cards say my name is. I have not been signing my name as Jessica Porter either, because I haven't had any proof in my wallet to back up that name. Well, 2 days ago I got my official temporary Georgia drivers license! The permanent plastic one comes in the mail in a couple of weeks.

At the Department of Driver Services while waiting for my number to be called, I realized that hey I'm going to have to sign my new name on my ID and it has been months since I practiced. So I signed Porter a bunch of times all over the inside of my check book and decided I was ready. One of my least favorite letters to write in cursive is the letter r, so I had to get over that. When the time came to actually sign the screen with my signature that would be printed on my ID, I was so scared and preoccupied with the questions the DDS worker kept asking me (Tell me again why your lease you signed on August 13th says Jessica Eddy when you were married before that on July 31st, why doesn't it say Porter there, hmmm??!) that my signature got a little messed up. Not the Porter part, but the Jessica part. I showed Rob my ID and he said it looks like my first name is Dustin.

After that fiasco I went to the Social Security Office and applied for a new SS card with my new name on it. Then I went to the county tax commissioner's office to get my GA registration and license plate, which was more of a zoo than the DDS. I was convinced they were going to send me away for missing some piece of paperwork or something after waiting for 25 minutes, but luckily that didn't happen, and now both me and my car are official Georgia residents.

I'm still waiting for the name change to go through on all of my credit cards and bank accounts. Next up will be changing the passport so that I am all set for the New Years Caribbean Cruise!!

Thought I'd throw in this picture to celebrate NFL games starting this week. How appropriate that my team is playing the Atlanta Falcons...go Steelers, kill Matty Ryan.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


It has been a whirlwind of a week, but things are feeling a little more back to normal now. For starters, I'm back in Atlanta. The short notice 10 day trip I took seemed to throw me off balance a bit. Especially when you consider I had only lived in Atlanta for all of 12 days before I flew out of town. It was almost like my time in Atlanta had been an extended stay or vacation, not a permanent move. After being in Chicago for only a couple of days, Rob called and told me he ate at California Pizza Kitchen and was looking at microwaves in Target (yes, we have a microwave now...Rob lasted one day without me at home to cook for him before he bought one ;) It took me 10 minutes into the conversation before I realized I was envisioning him at the CPK in Boston, and the Target in Watertown.

Grandma Bobinette passed away the day after I wrote my blog entry about it, very early on September 1st. I had a feeling when we said goodbye to her that evening at the hospital that that really might be the final goodbye. I don't know if we were ready for it. I don't think you can ever be really ready for a death. But after spending her final days by her side in her hospital room, I think we had accepted what was coming, and felt comfort knowing she was surrounded by her loved ones at the end. My mom planned a very nice memorial service for her the Friday after her passing, followed by a lunch at her long time favorite restaurant The Wellington, where we toasted to her with bloody marys. She will be loved, missed, and remembered always.

My time in Chicago wasn't all sad though. My Dad's mom, Grandma Doris, lives there too. It was nice to spend quality time with her, and explore her old house and all of her many many photo albums, some dating back to when I was first born. Lisa and I realized we had not been to Grandma's house since new years Y2K...when we were all freaking out and preparing for the worst, and were mildly disappointed when not even a single light went out at midnight.

From Chicago I flew to Savannah to spend Labor Day weekend at the in-law's house, along with Rob, Rob's bro Tom, gf Linnea, step-bro Justin and wife Hilary. And Bailey their labradoodle who turned 5 yrs old today! They have a beautiful home, and it's always fun spending time there with everyone. It was the usual Labor Day weekend, full of college football, the pool, too much food, and walking around downtown Savannah. The only disappointing thing was that up until last week I had it in my head that Savannah was a 2 hour drive from Atlanta....nope, it's 4 hours. I realized I had no reason for assuming it was a 2 hour drive, other than the fact that both cities are in Georgia. Again I must remind myself, you're not in Massachusetts anymore! Georgia is much bigger.