Sunday, September 30, 2012

CA {January 2012}

Fernando and I made a quick trip to CA in January to meet our nephew Logan and to be there for his baptism. We flew in late on a friday night and the baptism was the next morning. We met my brother Chico and his wife Lorin at the church for the baptism. The first time I saw my nephew was just minutes before I become his Godmother. It was an amazing experience, both meeting my little nephew for the first time and becoming a Godparent for the first time. Fernando has two Goddaughters however Logan is his first Godson. We were so honored and blessed to be picked for such a position in Logan's life. 
Father Jeremy Leatherby (the same priest who married both Chico and Lorin & Fernando and I) baptized Logan. Welcome home to the Roman Catholic Church Logan John Cardin. 
We are all so blessed. 
At my parent's house after the baptism for scones, muffins and coffee. 
Parents and Godparents with Logan. 
We love him!
Logan John
While in CA we also had a baby shower. My mom planned it as a "Cocktail Baby Shower." There were mango and strawberry margaritas, beer, wine, appetizers, and an ice cream bar. Don't worry, all the pregnant moms were made special alcohol free margaritas! ;)
Also, all of the husbands were invited as well that way we could see all of our family and friends at one party! It was great to catch up with everyone and celebrate our baby girl! I was 6 months pregnant at this point. 


The adorable Logan and his mommy. 


Some funny faces from the party!
Here is a blurry picture of Fernando standing by a sign at the RDU airport. Once we got home from Sacramento we were walking off to plane and saw this in the terminal. The best part was that this digital billboard switched every 5 seconds-- so we stood there waiting for it to flip to his picture and trying not to stand in front of it since the board is right at the top of the escalators. Once it changed to his picture I would yell "okay go!" and Fernando would run in front of the billboard just as it was changing. Everyone must have thought we were crazy. It took us a couple tries and we still only got a couple decent pictures.
The best part is that Fernando doesn't even work for the Imaging and Spine Center... 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Winter {December 2011-March 2012}

We had a fairly busy winter which kicked off with me heading to CA for a trip to visit family and friends. I was there the second weekend in December and was able to see my dear friend Diana Allison (now Diana Freeman) get married as well as be there for my sister-in-law, Lorin's baby shower!
  
Diana and Blake's wedding Rehearsal and Wedding. I attended the wedding rehearsal because I read the Responsorial Psalm for their wedding! They were married at the beautiful Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown Sacramento. 
  I was also able to visit with some friends when I went home. These are my friends Stephanie Khoury and Nicole Ternes. I have known Stephanie since Kindergarten and I met Nicole Freshman year of High School. 
Lorin's "construction" themed baby shower was held at my parent's house and Lorin's sisters and mom helped host as well. Lorin's sister Lea made the amazing cake and our friend Cheryl made the adorable baby carriage cookies as favors for the guests. It was a great baby shower and I am so happy I was able to attend and spend time with family and friends.
For an early Christmas present we gave Fernando's dad tickets to see a Duke Basketball game. The game was Duke vs. UNC Greensboro. His dad had never been to a Duke game at Cameron Indoor, so Fernando had a good night showing him around!
Right before Christmas Fernando's parents took us on a trip to Asheville, NC. Asheville is a little under 4 hours from where we live in NC. Unfortunately we did not bring our camera so we only snapped a few pictures on our phones. The one on the left I call, "The Most Interesting Men in the World." On the right is the Biltmore House and us in the Gardens on the grounds.
We ended up getting two free tickets to see the Biltmore from people that were staying at our hotel. So Fernando's parents, who were previously not going to join us on the tour (since they had been to the Biltmore recently), were able to join us for free! The price to get in is fairly pricey, so we were very happy a nice couple offered us their tickets and we were all able to go and enjoy it together.
 The Biltmore was created by George Vanderbilt in 1895. It is the Largest home in the United States. We took a tour of the home which was beautifully decorated for Christmas. The home has 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The basement has a swimming pool, gymnasium, changing rooms, a bowling alley, servants' quarters, kitchens and more. We could not believe the immensity of this home!
One of our nights in Asheville Fernando's parents treated us to dinner at Grove Park Inn. Not only did we enjoy a delicious dinner, we also were able to walk around the Inn after dinner and enjoy live music and Gingerbread houses. Grove Park Inn is home of the National Gingerbread House Competition. We saw hundreds of Gingerbread houses on display! It was also great  to see how the beautiful hotel decorated for Christmas, trees and lights in every window!

On the left is me decorating our very first Christmas tree and I'm about 23 weeks pregnant. The middle is Baby Boschini's very first Christmas present from my in-laws. It was an adorable outfit. On the right is Fernando and I at Laura's house after midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas day Fernando and I opened presents from each other at our house and video chatted with my family in CA while they opened gifts from us and while we opened their gifts (my parents got us a really nice camera!!). Then we spent the rest of the day with Fernando's parents at Laura's house, although Laura was on call and had to be at the hospital most of the day. :(
The day after Christmas we had dinner at Laura's and thankfully she was not on call, so she was able to join us. Raclettera (or Raclette, as it's also called) is an electric table top grill with little pans that sit underneath for heating up cheese. This is what we used to make dinner! On the grill we heated three different types of meat, shrimp and vegetables and then we ate it with bread and the melted cheese. It was delicious and a fun way to make and eat dinner altogether.
On December 29th our little nephew Logan John Cardin was born. He was 7lbs 8oz and the cutest little bundle of joy. Our whole family was in love from the first second we laid eyes on him! Logan was born in CA so unfortunately Fernando and I weren't able to be there for his birth, however we did make a trip to meet him when he was a couple weeks old.
 Our good friends Tim and Cami Fife & Sean and Ashley Tower both had their babies in November. The second weekend in January we joined them at their church for the "Baby Blessings" of Hailey and Charlie. The Fifes and Towers are both Mormon, so it was interesting to be able to go to their church and experience what they do for their Baby Blessing. We had a nice lunch at the Towers that afternoon.
Our trip to CA to meet Logan and be his Godparents! (More on a blog post to come)
Our baby shower in CA and opening presents from the shower! (More on a blog post to come)
My NC baby shower.
There were a couple friends that were not able to come at the last minute so we decided to invite the husbands to stay for the shower as well! My mother-in-law and sister-in-law threw me a LOVELY baby shower in February here in North Carolina. I was about 31 weeks pregnant at this point.
The people who were able to attend (besides myself, Fernando, and my in-laws) were Sean and Ashley Tower, Emily Heyne, Tom and Carolina Pillion and their three children, and Ana Maria Fraticelli and two of her daughters- Lucy and Maria Teresa.
When my nephew Logan was about six weeks old, my sister-in-law Lorin took him to get some pictures taken. They turned about so perfect!
Our back deck after a day of snow in mid-February! This was the only snow we saw all winter. It barely covered the deck and it didn't stay long, but it was nice to see a little snow nonetheless.
I turned 23 on the 23rd of February! For my birthday, I went out to dinner with my husband, his parents, and his sister to Squid's Restaurant. Thanks again for a wonderful birthday!
On the left is Fernando and I with Raymond Arroyo, the host of EWTN's The World Over. Raymond spoke at North Carolina's 11th Annual Ignited by Truth Conference. He was an amazing speaker!
On the right is my good friend Mary Cervantes. It is a blurry picture so you can't tell very well, but we are both pregnant here! She was about 40 weeks at this point (and ended up delivering a few days after this picture was taken) and I was about 32 weeks. We met Mary and her husband Dan at a Christmas Party a few months before and we hit it off with them right away. We ended up having SO many things in common! Just to name a few: Mary and I were both born and raised in CA (and from roughly the same area too!), we were both pregnant with girls, we were both considering the name Sophia for our baby (they did end up naming their daughter Sophia), we were both Catholic, we both wanted to be stay at home moms, we both have hispanic backgrounds... I could keep going- seriously it started to freak us out that we had so many things in common!
Unfortunately Dan and Mary left in June to move to Arkansas. Dan got a job with Walmart in North West Arkansas. We miss them and wish they would move back to NC! Or maybe we will both end up living in CA in the future! ;)
 One of things I have learned since moving to NC is just how big the rivalry between Duke and UNC is! My husband did his undergrad at Duke, so of course he is a huge Duke fan. He likes to watch all the basketball games, especially during March Madness. This particular one we watched was a game between Duke and UNC. We went with our friend Nick Heyne to Alivia's Durham Bistro. They had a nice outdoor seating area with fire pits and huge screens to watch the game on. We had a good time although unfortunately Duke lost! After the game we went to Cook Out for shakes. On the left is a picture of Nick and I showing our pregnant bellies after eating shakes! haha! I am about 33 weeks pregnant here. Nick, what's your excuse? ;)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Charleston, SC {November 2011}

The first weekend in November we headed even deeper south to South Carolina! This was my first time there. This was not Fernando's first time in SC, but it was his first time visiting Charleston. We both LOVED the city of Charleston. So much so that we talked about moving there!
The first thing we did when we got into town was stop by the Visitors Center and sign up for a vacation time share talk. We knew we wouldn't want to buy into the time share, but we did like the free gifts they were offering! We ended up getting two free tickets to a carriage ride around town, two free tickets to the South Carolina Aquarium on Charleston Harbor, and a free $50 Visa gift card. We figured that was worth our time sitting through their 3 hour presentation!
Thanks to Fernando's colleague, Melissa, we were able to stay at her house on Daniel Island. Daniel Island is only a twenty minute drive from downtown Charleston. 

The carriage ride we took through downtown Charleston.
Our view from the carriage.
Typical Charleston sightings. Including Meeting Street where all the markets are and the Cathedral of John the Baptist (where we attended Mass).
More typical Charleston sightings: Iron work, fountains, pineapples, front porches, and wonderful views of the ocean. Our carriage tour guide told us the story behind the pineapples you see everywhere. He said it symbolized hospitality in Charleston and throughout the south. The legend is that when sailors returned to Charleston from the West Indies, over 150 years ago, they would often bring tropical fruit back to their families. They hung pineapples over their doors to signal that the man of the house was home and that his family could now accept visitors.
Beautiful homes and parks in Charleston.
We used our Visa gift card to treat ourselves to dinner at the delicious Fleet Landing. We ate outside with a lovely view of the water and the full moon that night!
The South Carolina Aquarium. This aquarium has an Albino Alligator (pictured top right). There are only about 12 of these in the world!
Us being kids at the Aquarium.
We couldn't leave town without one more stop to our favorite lemonade maker. He had delicious freshly squeezed lemonade, iced tea lemonades, cranberry lemonades and more!

It ended up being a great trip with perfect weather the whole time we were there. We can't wait to go again and explore more of Charleston! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

NYC {September 2011}

In September of last year we took a trip for a week to New York City! We went for fun, since I had never been before, and to celebrate Fernando's Birthday! We also went to see Fernando's friend and Best Man in our wedding, Matt Toups. Matt was getting his PhD in Physics at Columbia University at the time. He has since graduated, congrats Matt! I mean, Dr. Toups! ;)
This collage is very typical New York. All the classic sights you see in NY.
We of course took a picture of us in front of the Restaurant from Seinfeld!
We got to NY on September 11th, 2011 which happened to be the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. We did not plan this on purpose, but since we were there we wanted to try to get in to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.  We could not however since the tickets had been sold out for quite some time. The picture to the left is the new "One World Trade Center" or "1 WTC" as people call it.
One of the first nights we were in NY we went to Corsino which was a great Italian Restaurant where Matt's girlfriend Renee works. She set aside a table for us with "VIP seating." She even mentioned "baby." We loved the food and had a great dinner with Matt and Renee as our server, of course!
This was one of our favorite parks in NY! It is called The High Line. It is a park that was built on an historic freight rail line and it is elevated above the streets of Manhattan's West Side. The park has a great view of the Hudson river. Our favorite part of this park was the water flowing on part of the sidewalk. You can take your shoes off and put your feet in the water. Ours sure needed a break from all the walking you have to do in NYC! I should have brought more comfortable shoes.
Times Square, NYC.
We saw some beautiful churches while in NY. The images here are from St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan and Corpus Christi Church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Fernando's 29th Birthday! I surprised him with a night at the Hilton on Times Square for his birthday. That night we went to dinner at a Spanish Restaurant on W 46th Street and then went to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. We had a great time and enjoyed some ice cream on Times Square to end the night.
We discovered Westway Diner while we were in NYC and we wish we had discovered on the first day we got into town! We loved it! One of the first things we noticed was that their menu had very reasonable prices which was a breath a fresh air since everything seems to be overpriced in NYC. The second thing that we loved was that they serve breakfast all day, and who doesn't love that!? Also, they are open 24 hours! And the last thing is that they have the most extensive menu I have EVER seen. Seriously, check it out. They serve pretty much everything- all different types of cuisines and within those cuisines a wide array a dishes. We gave it two thumbs up!
Exploring Central Park
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We loved all the exhibits we were able to get to. I swear that museum is big enough to spend a whole week in and still not feel like you saw everything!

We also enjoyed the amazing collection of Religious art at the Met.
Matt & Renee and Fernando & Rachel at lunch on one of our last days in NY. Sorry the picture of Matt and Renee is a bit blurry! :( We had a great lunch with them at a great Mexican Restaurant.
These three guys all live in NYC and they all did their undergrad with Fernando at Duke. Tom Clifton is on the left, Matt Toups is in the middle and Elliot Silver is on the Right. They were Fernando's third, fourth and first year roommates respectively. Thanks to Tom for treating us to lunch and showing us around his company, Animoto. Thanks to Matt for treating us to dinner as well as letting us stay with you for a few nights! And thanks also to Elliot for treating us to lunch and showing us around his Law Firm on Times Square, Skadden.   
 These are Fernando's cousins Hilda and Alexandra. Hilda and her husband Javier graciously let us stay with them while we were in NY. They live in White Plains which is about 30 to 40 minutes outside of the city, depending on traffic. Luckily we drove up to NY instead of flying, that way we had our own car and we were able to drive into the city each day.
Alexandra lives in France. She was one of Fernando's cousins that I had not met and she just happened to be visiting NY at the same time we were. It was great to meet her!
All in all we had a fabulous trip and it was great to be able to spend time with Hilda, Javier and their two boys Santiago and Joaquin.