Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lesson Number Two.

I had my second lesson at Sea Crest Equestrian Center Sunday! Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to share because I went by myself. I rode Giorgio again and he was great (but just as lazy)! This lesson I rode with Bre Pickens, the barn owner, because Carlo was away at a horse show in Wellington.

I enjoyed my lesson with Bre! She was pretty aware of what I was doing right and wrong and she also knew Giorgio well since she also rides him. I did more jumping in this lesson than in the last one. I just have to say, I feel so comfortable riding! It is like I never took a break from it; except for the soreness! OUCH! I was sore yesterday and today but definitely not as bad as last time.

After my last lesson I was sore until Thursday, so I didn't do my workouts on my lunch breaks that week. Then when we got back from Chicago we got sick and I didn't workout that week either. I know that is so bad! But I was back at it yesterday! Even though my legs were sore, I pushed through it and worked out at lunch. I am so happy that I did! I did a total of 200 crunches, free weights and resistance machines for my arms and 5 miles on the stationary bike. I did the first two miles on one low level and them bumped it up to give me a variety of hills and resistance for the last three miles. I am glad I made myself workout yesterday despite being sore from my lesson but today was not so good.

Last night my lower back was aching really bad. I had to catch my breath at times it was so painful... really weird! I have never experienced that before, maybe I over did it. It took me a long time to fall asleep but this morning brought some relief and throughout the day today the pain has gotten better. Nick and I have to go to the store together during lunch tomorrow so I won't get anymore workouts in until Thursday and Friday.

I'm continuing to eat pretty healthy and after we go grocery shopping Saturday I am going to plan our meals out for the next week and try some new recipes from Change of Pace and Daily Garnish. I'll let you know how they turn out!

In sports news, Michigan's Men's Basketball team is number one in the nation! Nick and I have caught almost all of the games this year and they are fun to watch! This is the first time they have been number one since they had the "Fab Five" in 1992! This is exciting stuff going on people! Right now Michigan is 19-1 and I read yesterday that this is the best record for the Wolverines in program history! We have a lot of freshman and sophomores on this team so it should be a good few years for the basketball organization. Go Blue!

I hope everyone had a good weekend and is having an even better start to their week!

Image Souces:

Monday, January 28, 2013

She's Moving On.

My little sister, Chelsea, and her son, Elijah, are moving to North Carolina this weekend. We had a get together for them Saturday at my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Donald's house. I am so grateful that they hosted and that we were all able to get together to see Chelsea and Eli before they leave.

Chelsea and Elijah
My Mom and Molder

Tami and Elijah

Grandma, Eli and Dylan

Grandma and Elijah
I had a great time hanging out with my family and holding Elijah! Then the guys decided to do this...

...resulting in multiple falls and injuries. Lucky for them, Aunt Cathy has plenty of bandages - one of the advantages of being a nurse!

The kiddos played in the pool. Those are my second cousins and little brother.

I can't believe that Elijah is four months old (on the 30th) and now the time is here for them to move on. It seems like just yesterday that I got the call from Chelsea telling me she was expecting. Time has just flown by! I feel lucky that I got to be here for Chelsea during her pregnancy, through the birth and first four months of our precious Eli's life. I will certainly cherish those times now that they are moving away.


Your siblings are your life long friends (love them or hate them at times), they are always there. Even though Chelsea and I fought and argued as kids, we always knew that we had each other's backs no matter what. Through moving, death, pets, boyfriends, divorce and re-marriages of our parents, we always had each other to rely on. You don't appreciate or even realize it at the time, but having someone going through the same experiences as you and supporting you is quite special and comforting.

My sister and I have gotten a lot closer as we've gotten older and that just makes here leaving harder to deal with. We will continue to talk daily, like we do now, but it will be weird not seeing her and Eli at family gatherings.

Without getting into the details of my sister's personal life, this move is a huge step for her! I know the unknown is scary but everything is going to turn out wonderfully for them! I wish her the best of luck with her move and settling into a new town! Now I am going to start on planning when I can take a trip to see them again. We are going to Charlotte in June and are talking about driving to the beach for a few days. The town Chelsea is moving to is kind of on the way so hopefully we can work something out!

After Chelsea's Party/Grandma's Birthday, Nick and I went downtown for a few hours. We found a decent spot to hang out, talk and people watch. Then at about 10:30 p.m. it started snowing!!!

Not really... It was some sort of soap machine made to look like snow. I can't tell you how many people ran out there and stuck their tongues out! Did they not realize it was made of soap? We grabbed some Jimmy Johns and headed home at about 11:00 p.m. It was a pretty good day!

Friday, January 25, 2013

My thoughts on The D.

Every morning on our way to work, my husband and I turn on our TuneIn Radio app and listen to 97.1FM "The Ticket". This is a sports talk radio station out of Detroit. They don't always talk about sports; they also talk about the city of Detroit and things that are going on. A little while ago they were talking about how we will know when things are truly turning around for the city and one of those things was when it becomes a place where people want to move their families to.

Nick and I both looked at each other with smiles on our faces. We are probably thinking too much of ourselves but we feel like there is a possibility that we are the start of that change. We are moving ourselves to (or near) the city and we want to start and raise our family there. We want this more than anything! We truly believe with all of our hearts that Detroit, Michigan is where we belong.

I daydream of being someone who can help the city become what it has been in the past. I don't know how yet, but I want to play a part in any way that I can to give Detroit the name that it deserves. Maybe I will volunteer with cleaning up the city or at a shelter, maybe I will be a teacher in Detroit, or maybe I will be a social worker. I don't know yet the exact part I will play but I do feel strongly that once I live there, I will do what I can to help the city come back around, because it IS going to come back around.

In my opinion, Detroit gets a bad rap, mostly from individuals who have never crossed the Michigan border. Yes, there is crime, murder and drugs. What big city doesn't have those things? Most of the crimes/murders are either drug or gang related and last time I checked, I don't partake in either of those things so I count myself to be pretty safe. I'm not saying that I'd go walking around the streets flashing my wallet around in the middle of the night but I am comfortable walking around and spending time in Detroit.

Nick and I went to Detroit for the first few days of our honeymoon (the reason was to attend a Tigers playoff game which did not happen but that is for a future post) and we walked around downtown, stopped at a couple bars, went to the casino and not one time did we feel uncomfortable or like our lives were at risk. If you use common sense and stay away from what looks like a bad area you will be just fine. The rebuilding of the city has already begun downtown; it is cleaner and safer than it was a couple of years ago. The big project in my opinion is going to be cleaning up the bad neighborhoods outside the city; though it can and eventually will be done.

Michigan is a beautiful state and Detroit is a great city with so much history and pride. Detroit deserves to be revived and in time it is going to happen. Michiganders have a lot of pride for their home and the city of Detroit. I know I will be one of those proud lifelong residents some day soon. There is no place like The D.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Chicago, Illinois.

We got into Chicago late Friday night, took a town car to our hotel, checked in and then spent a couple hours at the hotel bar. We are staying at the W - Lakeshore and have a really nice view! We can see the Hancock building from our room! Here is are view.


It was a good start to what has been a great weekend so far! Yesterday was the “warm” day (in the 40’s) so we took advantage and walked around the city.  Lucky for us, we came here with our friend Steven and he has been our own personal tour guide. He's been here a bunch of times and loves the city. This post is going to basically be a photo dump; I have been a picture taking machine! We went to West Egg Café for breakfast; I had the Very Veggie Omelet with breakfast potatoes and an English muffin.


After breakfast we went for a walk to the river and saw some cool buildings and a small Vietnam Memorial.


We came across the Chicago Theater and decided to do a tour. That theater is beautiful! It is so detailed in the way it was designed. I took a ton of pictures there!

We had dinner with Steven’s parents at Webber Grill. The food was delicious! I had the parmesan crusted tilapia with green beans, Nick had salmon with green beans and Steven had a burger. Sorry there are no pictures. After dinner we went up in the Hancock Building to the bar on the 96th floor! We got a table right by one of the floor to ceiling windows overlooking Lake Michigan and the city!

It was a beautiful view but I was nervous and getting a little nauseas from the swaying of the building. I was mostly getting freaked out by being able to feel the building move and was kind of uncomfortable with it. So, we each had a drink and then took off.

We had breakfast this morning at West Egg again, it is so yummy! I had scrammbled egg whites with onions, green peppers and cheese and an english muffin.

Now we are headed out to the Field Museum and I am sure that I will have lots of pictures to share when we return to the hotel!I hope everyone is having a great weekend and staying warmer than we are! The high today is in the 20's and tomorrow it is in the teens!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Windy City.

We just landed in Chicago! We are actually sitting in a Town Car right now on our way to the W Hotel downtown! I haven't taken any pictures yet... but I will have plenty to share soon. I brought my laptop so I can keep you all updated on our trip!

Our flight was pretty good. We did some circling before landing and got lots of cool views of the city lights but no pictures. I didn't think they would turn out being night time and in a plane and all.

Well I am going to go for now. Probably going to have a night cap and then head to bed! I should have another update for you tomorrow! Good night!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Job search - Detroit.

I have been keeping track of job openings within my current company in Detroit for about six months now. I just check periodically to get an idea of what to expect when we are ready to start applying. I was very motivated when I checked yesterday and saw that there are 17 open positions right now! We definitely qualify for a lot of them and we hope that because we already work for the company, they will be more apt to hire us and be flexible with our transfer to Michigan from Florida.

Even thought I am looking at jobs now, I know we won't start applying until about April. Right now our focus is going to be on our house; fixing up the yard, organizing the inside and getting rid of things we don't need. I foresee some spring cleaning and maybe a garage sale in our future.

It will be nice to get things in order and prepare our house to be put on the market. We have done some research into how to sell a house (using a realtor) and also on the homes that have recently sold in our neighborhood. There have been more sales than I expected to see. We had six homes sell this fall/winter and two or three were this past December. All of them were about what we paid for ours two years ago, or more! So we think that's a good sign, along with the fact that it'll be a traditional sale and not a foreclosure or short sale, we hope that'll grab peoples interest.

My hopes for this move are high! I know that I need to stay patient with it and pray about it because we just don't know what is going to happen. We are doing our part to move forward with it but I think the most important thing we are doing is puting it in God's hands and letting him lead us to what is supposed to happen.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Getting back in the saddle.

I have been waiting so long for today to get here! I didn't go to bed until 1:00 a.m. last night but I woke up at 7:00 a.m. ready to go out to the barn for my lesson. Of course, I couldn't go out there that early, as my lesson wasn't until 11:00 a.m. I patiently anxiously waited for 10:00 a.m. to roll around so I could head out there.

I got there about 10:15 a.m., met my trainer, Carlo Graziani, and then met the horse I was going to ride, Giorgio.

I never asked what breed Giorgio is but I believe from the looks of him he is some kind of Warmblood. He is a tall boy, 17 hands high. I'm pretty sure he is the tallest horse I have ever ridden. My dad thought he looked kind of like a moose, especially his chest. Haha!
He isn't very photogenic... I could not get him to perk up or look alive for anything. I didn't try bribing with treats though, I may need to do that next time to get better pictures of him. I enjoyed riding him but he is super LAZY!! I knew today was going to be rough on my legs but I wasn't really prepared to have a lazy horse that I had to constantly apply my leg to to keep him going.
He is a really good boy besides the laziness. He knows what he is doing in the ring but it wasn't to the point where I just got to sit there and go along for the ride. I had to work, but that's going to help make me a better rider.
We started the lesson with a lot of transitions, walk to trot, trot to halt, trot to canter, canter to walk, etc. I think that Carlo was really trying to get a feel for where I am at and what I am capable of after taking a 4 year break from riding. After the transitions we did more cantering around the arena and then it was time for my favorite thing, jumping!
We didn't do to much jumping today (my legs will thank me for that) but we got a few in. Carlo had me trot over a little cross rail and then a small vertical, probably 2 feet high. Then we did a trot in, canter out line over those same two jumps a couple of times. I really like Carlo as a trainer, I think that his style of teaching really fits well with my style of learning. He is nice but I can tell he is also a tough trainer that will push you to try your hardest and do your best. He is very direct and to the point and that works well for me! I am definitely looking forward to my next lesson with him in two weeks.
I am pretty pleased with how today went! I was (and am) sore and tired and I know I probably won't be able to walk tomorrow, but I am so happy about getting back in the saddle again.
Here is a video I put together to share with everyone! I hope you enjoy watching me ride. Thanks to my Dad for taking all of these pictures and videos for me today! It was so nice to have him come out with me and watch me ride.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Sorry I have been missing in action for a few days! Nick's 29th Birthday was this past Sunday! Saturday he went golfing with my Uncle Donald. They played 9 holes and then on his way home he called to see if I wanted to go out with him and play 9 more...and of course I did!


I have only golfed (not including mini golf) one other time about 3 years ago so I really wasn't sure how it was going to go. It turned out I'm not too shabby and Nick is awesome! He should go pro! It was a beautiful day and we had a great time. We are definitely going to keep golfing together!

On our way home from the golf course we saw our neighborhood paraglider! We started seeing him a few months ago. They live in our neighborhood and take off from the elementary schools baseball field right next to us. Apparently he is now giving tours because he now has his phone number flying behind him. My Dad used to fly these, so I know he will like these pictures.


On Sunday we did whatever Nick wanted to do...that consisted of us hanging out at home and me cooking any meal that he wanted. He is pretty easy to please! I made a pot roast in the slow cooker with onion, garlic and carrots. I also made the same bread we had on New Years Day and a Lombardi family favorite, cheesy potatoes (so bad but oh so good!).

I hope Nick had a good birthday, he definitely deserved to! I was worried because we didn't plan anything exciting but he kept telling me we were doing exactly what he wanted, relaxing! It was nice to sit back and relax after all the craziness of the holidays.

In horsie news, I spoke with my trainer today and confirmed my first lesson with him! It's at 11:00 a.m. this Sunday at Sea Crest Equestrian Center! Here are some pictures of the beautiful barn.

I've invited my Dad to come out and watch and also be my photographer/videographer ao I can share with everyone. I am beyond excited! I am also starting to get a little nervous. I'm not sure how I'm going to do since it has been so long since I have ridden. I'm afraid I'm not going to have the stamina to last for a whole hour lesson or that I am going to even remember everything. Everyone keeps telling me it will be like riding a bike; I'm sure hoping they're right. I am thinking that my running and weight lifting for the past two weeks will help with my endurance and strength for riding.

I am loving working out on my lunch break! It was a great idea and the best decision for me. I've been doing intervals of treadmill, weights and abs. Along with eating healthy, I think that I am definitely losing fat and gaining muscle. I'm feeling really good about it!

I'm sorry again for my hiatus! I'll be better about posting SOMETHING in the future, even when I'm not sure what to talk about.