Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wedding Letters: Part One - Nick's Letter to Anne

When Anne & I were married, we had two ceremonies: A catholic one and a Jewish one, to honor both of our religions. For the Jewish ceremony, the Rabbi had both of us write letters to one another (addressed to the Rabbi) which would be read allowed for all to hear. In honor of our two-year anniversary, we thought it would be nice to share those letters with all of you. First up - my letter to Anne.

Dear Rabbi Kolton,
            I feel so incredibly lucky to have found the most caring, supportive, funny, smart, adorable, beautiful, and of course, loving partner in Anne. If you asked me three years ago if I was going to marry this woman, I honestly would have had no idea. Mainly because she played more hard-to-get than any woman I had dated previously. But I was up for the challenge! I must admit, from the very first time I saw Anne, her infectious smile is what caught my eye. The Mazzeo smile will get you every time -- there is no escaping it -- and I fell victim immediately.
            As our relationship grew stronger, there was no doubt in my mind that she was the one for me. I felt like a kid in high school again, with our phone calls that went on for hours, sometimes until 1 or 2 in the morning. It was so exciting for me to finally be with someone who likes to talk as much as I do. It wasn’t before long that I realized I was falling for this woman, and I was falling hard. I started to miss her when she wasn’t around me, and I found myself anticipating her phone calls on a day-to-day basis. I knew that she felt this way too, because soon we were absolutely inseparable, and talks of a future together was a popular topic for us. 
            Over the past three years, I have really begun to see more meaning in my life, with real responsibilities, and this is largely because of the woman I am marrying today. She met me at a time in my life when I was in somewhat of a rut – I now realize I didn’t have much in the way of real responsibilities. If I planned on being with Anne for the rest of my life, I decided I had better put the pedal to the metal, metaphorically speaking. With her support, my first two years of real estate have been such a life-changing career choice for me primarily because she believes in me, and loves me every step of the way.
I love how she would rather make it a Blockbuster night, and curl up on the couch with a nice glass of wine, as opposed to going out on a Saturday night. I love how she crinkles up her nose when she gets frustrated. I love how she always orders $5 lattes and never finishes them. I love how she will order a side of veggies with her grilled cheese and then end up eating my French Fries. I love how she always knows where my keys are when I forget where I put them just 10 minutes earlier. I love how she sets the DVR for “GLEE” because I never remember. I love how she’d rather eat at a diner than have fine dining. I love how she makes the best baked ziti I have ever tasted. I love how she loves to watch Ultimate Fighting – well, just Chuck Liddell. I love how she pouts when she doesn’t get what she wants, and folds her arms like a little kid. I love how she doesn’t care if I listen to Howard Stern when we’re driving, and she’s able to tune it out and read the newest Harry Potter installment. But most of all, I love us, and I love how she loves me. She is love, and she is all I need.

-Nick Baldwin

Friday, November 11, 2011

Baby Toys / Items Clearly Made with Dad in Mind

As many of you already know, Anne and I are expecting our first child in May. We are both very excited! I'm excited for two reasons, though. The first reason, obviously, being the new baby, but the second being the fact that it will be perfectly acceptable for me to play with toys again! I have compiled a list of baby items that clearly were made with the dad in mind. There is no way a child would get as much pleasure out of these things as a grown man in his 30's. Behold, the top five most awesomest toddler toys and items most likely made with the new dad in mind! They are in order of cool to most awesome.

5) The Android Tablet for Kids

3) The Toilet Buddy

And the best one of all...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Coming May, 2012!

Ladies and Gents, you may have noticed that we haven't been up on our blogging as much as we used to be. My wife especially. Now, we would like to tell you that morning sickness has been one of the main reasons. Yes, that's right...my beautiful wife Anne is officially 12 weeks pregnant, and little Baby Baldwin is due on May 15th, 2012! We couldn't be happier, and we are honored to share our fantastic news with all of you!

                                  So what do you guys think? Is it a boy or a girl? :-)

Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White...Halloween?!?!

It all began with a light snow fall in...October? For New Jersey, that's a rarity. But it didn't take long until trees were collapsing on to power lines and electricity was going out all over town. My wife has to work every 12th Saturday, so she had to commute into Manhattan. All the trains and buses back to New Jersey got cancelled later on in the day, so I had to go pick her up. It felt as if I was in a car commercial, dodging every tree limb that had fallen into the street due to the heavy snow. It took me 90 minutes to make a trip that should only take me 30.

We were one of the few unlucky ones who lost power and heat, so we packed up the pup and are spending two nights in a hotel. Power is not expected to be fully restored until Wednesday. As you can see below, there's a certain K-9 that doesn't seem to mind one bit. He is so spoiled!

Don't worry. Even though we are spending All Hallows Eve in a hotel, my wife and I were able to dress up last week. It's her all-time favorite holiday (aside for Christmas, or any holiday where she receives presents), so there is NO way we would have missed the opportunity to be...Toddlers & Tiaras and Baby Bieber! Yes, I am wearing a REAL diaper! And no, that is not my real hair. Although, a very long time ago I did have hair like that.

Since the wife and I are not putting on costumes today because we're living out of a suitcase for the time being, Barney decided to throw on an outfit (that's right - he made that decision all by himself). He's going as a DEVIL DOG!

                                      Happy Halloween everyone! Stay safe & warm!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Scariest Horror Movie House Is...

With All Hallows Eve approaching, this is the time of year when every house seems to have a creepy look to it. As a real estate agent myself, I probably notice it more so than others. Whenever I go into a house with a client (vacant ones, especially) and there are doors closed, or lights don't turn on, or basements are dark - it gives me the heebee jeebees. I can't let my clients see that I'm freaked out, though, because I'm supposed to be the calm, cool, and collected Realtor that's not afraid of the dark. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fraidy cat all the time. But, I think the reason I get spooked is because I started watching horror movies at a very young age. The first scary movie I ever saw was "The Exorcist." By today's standards, kids probably won't find it as frightening as I did because horror movies now are all about blood & guts. I do remember being in the Washington, DC area some years ago and seeing the house from "The Exorcist" in person. I walked up the famous tall and steep staircase to the side of the home and when I got to the very top...there is was. Not as ominous as it was portrayed in the film, but still creepy nonetheless. Having seen that house in person and knowing what happened to Linda Blair inside (yes, I know it was only a movie), would have to be the house I pick as the scariest house in a movie - EVER! 

This leads me to my question: What is your opinion as the scariest horror movie house of all time? Is it the "Nightmare on Elm St." house where Freddy Krueger crept into the dreams of teenagers? Maybe it's the one from "Halloween" where Jamie Lee Curtis escaped Michael Myers. Perhaps it's the house where Norman Bates kept his dead mother in a rocking chair, in "Psycho." Whichever scary house makes you sleep with the light on, let me know in a comment.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Women Are Always Right. There, I Said It!

Hey, Nick here! Wow, has it really been two weeks since our last blog entry? I’m so sorry, guys. Sometimes life just gets the better of us. 

I wanted to talk about a topic that the women are going to love, and the men might actually hate me for. But you never know – you guys out there just may learn something valuable. It’s time for: Our Women Are ALWAYS Right: 101! 

Men, no matter how you try to spin this, there will most likely be only a handful of times in your relationship when you will actually be 100%, utterly correct about something. Believe me, you will do whatever you can to find that moment when you might actually be right. A moment in a conversation when there’s a teeny inkling of a possibility when you could possibly be right. The moment your wife or girlfriend says, “You’re right,” is probably the most glorious moment of your life. So glorious, in fact, that you will ask her to repeat it. You will celebrate with a beer and call your friends to vast in your “rightness.” You may try and get her to say it on video to keep for all time, but that usually doesn't work out.

The reason I write about this today is because last week my wrongness almost cost me $600! Two short months ago I purchased a fancy new cell phone. One with a big touch screen that basically does everything but my laundry. The salesman at the store talked me into getting this protector case for it that is supposed to make the phone break-proof. I hated this case. It’s big and bulky and looked like I had a DVD player on my hip. My wife warned me time and time again, “Don’t take that phone out of the case. You’re going to drop it.” She must have told me that a dozen times, but I’m too stubborn to acknowledge it. In my mind, there was absolutely NO WAY I would ever drop this phone. I was so delicate with it. I handled it like a newborn baby – ever so gently. ‘I didn’t need that stupid cell phone case,’ I thought. ‘I’ll show HER!’

Well, last weekend I was out with clients showing houses and just as we got to the last house I took my phone out of my pocket and it slipped from my hand. I swear, it seemed like a slow motion scene in a movie as my phone fell from my fingers and crashed, screen first, to the concrete. 

After leaving my clients, I spent 3 hours at the cell phone store where luckily my insurance covered the damage and only cost $100 (I say only, because it could have been MUCH more than that), and came home to Anne with the, “I told you so” look on her face soaking up her rightness. She didn’t even need to say the words. Needless to say, I’m back to having a phone the size of a DVD player attached to my hip.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11/01 - We Need a Sense of History

On the day before my mother & father's 30th wedding anniversary, 3,000 innocent people lost their lives on American soil. 10 years later, my father reflects in his New Jersey Star Ledger blog.


On the evening of September 10, 2001, my wife and I arrived at a hotel at the Jersey shore to celebrate our anniversary. Next morning, when the planes hit, the first thing I did was call my office in NYC. The father of one of the young women who worked for me was an executive at a company on the upper floors of the World Trade Center. Waiting for some word, she did not come to the phone.

Now, in my mind's eye, it is Friday morning, September 14. I am getting off the train at Hoboken, track 17, next to the lapping waters. Ruins across the Hudson still smoulder. At noon, I leave the office after a useless morning and head out to lunch for lack of anything better to do. Flaky ashes drift over
East 29th Street .
I take a furtive glance down Madison Avenue; the sky fades from peerless blue to murky grey. I start walking, aimlessly, uncertain of which takeout place I should choose.

During the weekend, as self-administered therapy, I clean and re-stain our back deck. Every time a plane flies over into Newark Airport on an altered flight plan, I imagine an explosion.

In those days after the trauma there was plenty of unadulterated existentialism in the air: Resolution to go on with business as usual would be rudely interrupted by speculation about who did this horrendous thing -- and why. People resolved to change daily habits, become more empathic toward others. To remember the dead. In a Vanity Fair editorial, Graydon Carter declared an "end to irony" and called for a return to grounded values. No more cynicism. No more conspicuous consumption.

In retrospect – and I hadn't realized this until now, established as a teacher at Montclair State University, and no longer commuting – the fact that I had been working in the City, day in and day out, for fifteen years had a lot to do with my disposition in the weeks and months after 9/11. I felt as if I were entering the fray every time I emerged from the subway; as if I were a member of the advance-guard for the culture at large, stoically representing "American interests at home" or some such.

We were, each one of us, "soldiers of civilization," indispensable interlocking cogs determined to keep the Huge Machine cranking along. Hence the cosmopolitan surge in eye-contact, the counterintuitive desire to connect with passers-by who would have been ignored in the era before That Day.

The layers of years accrete, and iconic images of billowing smoke and gashed concrete and ruined glass remain in the forefront of my mind, and I still hear the wail of echoing sirens.

But as an historian, I have spent my writing life trying quixotically to make coherence out of events that have already happened. It's not just because, as a writer, I have come to believe that when you live through a global drama of epic proportions you need to memorialize it. And it's not just because I am compelled by a popular pedagogical obligation to "teach the conflicts."

I wish for our students that they will take some time during this grey and dreary week to reflect upon 9/11/01 as a way in to historical consciousness in general.

By Neil Baldwin

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sometimes, All We Are Left With Are Memories

One of the great aspects about being a married couple is that there are certain places and things that add special meaning to your relationship. While those special places and things may not have the same meaning to someone else, that's alright because that's what makes it special. Maybe it's a park bench where he proposed. Maybe it's the way she blows bubbles in her chocolate milk. Maybe it's a now five year old box of macaroni and cheese he gave her on their first date because he knew it's her favorite food. Whatever it is, it's the little things that tend to be near and dear to us, but sometimes all we are left with are the memories.

The reason I speak about this topic is because, as I'm sure everyone knows, Hurricane Irene recently ripped up the East Coast. It hit some areas more severely than others, but left the towns it did hit without looking back. Reports are saying that it was the worst hurricane New Jersey has ever felt. Anne & I are lucky in that we did not lose power or experience any other major damage to our home. Some trees fell, but that's about the extent of it. Other areas were not so fortunate.

This Summer we vacationed in the Catskill Mountains in the towns of Denver, Margaretteville, and Prattsville, NY. These towns were the go-to destinations in the early 1900's. They used to be Summer vacation hot-spots for families back then. Over time, their economy's slipped but the small-town feel is still very appealing. In fact, Winter is now their big season because skiing is very popular there.

                                                Downtown Margaretteville, NY. Pre-Irene

                                             Me - Downtown Margaretteville - Summer, June 2011.

                                        Anne - Downtown Margaretteville - Summer, June 2011.

What you are about to see is downtown Margaretteville post-Irene:

 Photo from HuffingtonPost.com

Below is just a peek at what Prattsville, NY looks like now:

Photo from CNN.com

While Anne & I will now only have the memories of our vacations in the Catskills, that cannot even begin to compare to losing everything! Prattsville has a population of just 700, but nearly every single home was demolished in Irene's wake. There is now a relief effort that has been formed, and you can donate to help rebuild this small town. The relief effort is run by WIOX, a radio station in Roxbury, NY. The number to donate (by check or credit card) is 607-432-1030.

Friday, August 26, 2011

How to Prepare for an East Coast Hurricane

You make some of these:


and these

(Dark and Stormies!)

And you play some of this....

Actually, in all seriousness, the husband and I are in a slight state of nerves/or-are-we-over-reacting. The news is going crazy because it's slated to be the worst storm the east has seen in about 50 years! Then again, NYC did SUCH a great job this winter with warning us about the massive blizzard (note the sarcasm) that I don't blame them for taking extra measures to ensure that everyone stays safe.

 We live 10 miles west of NYC so we are preparing for the worst. We'd rather be over prepared than under. We have stocked up on batteries, non-perishables, water, candles, and our phones will be charged. Because we aren't going to be right on the coast like some of our friends in Hoboken and NYC, we have opened our house to them and we're going to have one big "hurricane sleep-over party''. What better to wait out the storm than with a cocktail and some of your besties?

Stay safe!

Oh...and in case you want to have a hurricane party- here's how to make a Hurricane:


  • 12 ounces light rum
  • 12 ounces dark rum
  • 10 ounces grenadine, or passion fruit syrup
  • 10 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 10 ounces sour mix, or fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons superfine sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 large orange, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices


Mix all the ingredients in a tall pitcher or large pot and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour into a punch bowl and add the ice cubes and orange segments. Serve in tall glasses over ice with straws.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big Giveaway Clue # 2!!!

Hey, Nick here, with the second clue leading up to the reveal of our very first (and HUGE) giveaway, worth $1,000. To refresh your memory, here is our first clue post: Clue # 1. 

The next clue has to do with a certain kind of fashion and/or design that was very popular in Europe during the 1920's. Sorry folks, that's all you'll get outta me for now ;-)

Don't forget...as soon as we hit 150 followers we will reveal the BIG PRIZE! Then, once we hit 200 followers we will open up the contest doors. So, help us make this happen by following our lil old blog by clicking "Join This Site" over to the right column. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Love the One You're With

Recently, on a blogging forum that I am part of, I was asked a question. The question was "Do you love the one you're with, or did that right one get away? Do you think there is someone else out there for you?". It was definitely a question that makes you stop, a little taken aback and think. I mean, this is a forum where us ladies talk about what we ate for lunch, where we want to vacation, basically we shoot the shit and pass some time. These ladies, although I haven't met many in person, I have gotten to ''know''. Some of them pretty well and it was quite shocking to see how candid some of these ladies were. Some of the women who I thought were so happily married said some surprising things such as "I think I settled, but hopefully we'll grow to love one another" and other admitted that her and her husband were separating because HE was the one who let the ''right one'' get away. Our conversations went back and forth for a few hours and it really made me appreciate what I have with Nick a little more than I did before... Here's how I responded...

"I love Nick with all of my heart. He is my everything. He not only taught me how to trust and love, he taught me to love myself. We laugh together, we cry together, we have fun together. But most importantly we have respect for each other. A respect that is the basic foundation of our relationship and sets the tone for who we are together and how we treat eachother. Of course we argue and bicker. We have our ups and we have our downs. But, at the end of the day HE's the one I chose to spend the rest of my life with and we don't let our "downs" define who we are together.

Now, with that being said, yes, I have been in what I thought was love before. It was that 16 years old, first boyfriend, first love, we're invincible and I think I want to spend the rest of my life with you kind of love. Did I think about marrying that first boyfriend I had in high school? Of course. I thought he was the only one out there for me. Looking back at that time in my life and that relationship, would a marriage with him have lasted? No way. Did we have fun together? Did I enjoy that relationship? Of course I did. But it wasn't the real thing like it is with Nick. But I don't think there is anything wrong with having loved someone before Nick, it's human, it's something that made me who I am. Truthfully, with out that first love, I don't know if I would have had the courage and heart to realize that what I have with Nick was the genuine real thing. I needed that experience to have and appreciate what I have with Nick- if that makes sense.

I also happen to think that there IS more than one person out there for you, it's just a matter of who you fit best with. Well that and maybe a little luck and right timing. I'd hate to think if god-forbid, anything bad were to happen to Nick, that if I chose to move on that there wouldn't be someone else out there for me. Will it be that same type of deep love that Nick and I share? Probably not, but then again, every relationship is different. I'm not saying that if Nick were to die I would even want to find someone else at some point, but thinking that there wouldn't even be that option is quite a sad and lonely thought. Just like if something were to happen to Nick, if something were to happen to me, I would hope that Nick would be able to one day find someone else instead of living a sad lonely existence. But this isn't even something I want to think about until we are old, decrepit and grey (even if Nick is almost to that point HA!).

So yes, with all of my heart and all of my soul, I love the one I'm with.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Coming Soon- Our First Giveaway!!!!

For those of you who don't follow us on Facebook, you may have missed our HUGE announcement last night. We are gearing up to do an AWESOME give away. Now you're probably thinking "Oh great, another blogger who is going to give away some books!" Well, think what you want, but this is going to be HUGE. We are partnering up with a great organization for the chance to win a giveaway worth $1,000. Yes, you read that correctly, something worth $1,000. However, the deal with them is we can only begin the contest ONCE we have reached 200 followers.

So, if you are a phantom reader and you want a chance to win, follow our little blog. Once we hit 150 followers we will tell you all just what the prize is and how to officially enter. But until then, stay tuned for some little hints and clues.

Hint One: All of these people have something in common.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

20SB Blog Swap 2011 with Jacqueline from Real Indiana Housewife

So it's here. The 20 Something Bloggers, Blog Swap! 20SB is a blogger forum for the 20 something bloggers out there. It's a place to connect with others,  and to share ideas, meet friends, and discover new blogs. The blog swap is something that 20SB does every year to connect bloggers to new audiences. Swap partners are randomly generated, and today we ''hijack'' each others blogs with posts of our own. 

I was connected to Jacqueline at
She is a newlywed, new mama who is documenting her new journey in mamahood.
She's a super awesome chick who I am lucky to now know!
And now....I bring you Jacqueline's post!

Im super excited to be guest posting on Just Married Real Estate. I just met Anne and from reading her posts and the emailing we've been doing....basically she's the coolest lady I've ever had the random fortune to be blog swapped with.
a little about me. I'm Jacqueline D from real Indiana housewife. i started blogging because of all the people i knew....no one was married...except my parents and their friends....and definitely none of my friends were expecting babies. I needed community and i found it in the blogging world. i love it...it makes me feel ALOT less lonely after having to quit school for my mommy-like dreams [I had a really rough 1st trimester...well....and 3rd really too] .
To be honest, for me to sum up what I did this summer, feels like an impossible feat. This summer, was something so magical and so chotic that I can't belive that it's only a few more weeks till September. Everyday this summer I had something crazy happen to me, and so I'll just tell you about the fun things.
I started NST[non-stress tests, or the most boring medical procdeure ever] twice weekly to make sure my little guy was okay
 BOTH of my cousins left me for the first time to go to far off places--think Bootcamp for the Army and THILAND...I KNOW RIGHT?!--
had a baby shower
see...told you this summer was CRAZY!!
hope YOU all had a good one too!! =)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Home Prices Are Falling, But the Realtors Are Staying High!

Hi, Nick here. Everyone loves to peek into the lives of celebrities. Especially celebrity homes. We are OBSESSED with the way famous people live, so when a celebrity puts their home on the market it's the perfect time to snoop. Rose McGowan of "Charmed" fame put her Loz Feliz, California home on the market recently, and it's priced at $1.85 million - the same price she paid for it in 2004. Now, before I get into Rose's "technique" for getting her home sold, let's have a look inside her digs, shall we?

                                                               The Massive Front Door

                                                     The Impressive Foyer Entry Way
                                       The Spacious Living Room w/ Exposed Beams

A real estate agent myself, I have done many open houses. A good way to attract other real estate agents to visit your listing is to offer food. Realtors LOVE free food. Sandwiches, pizza, sweets, you name it, we are a sucker for it. Rose thought the same thing, so she gave her Realtor some brownies to leave out for the agents to munch on. It seems the brownies had a "special" ingredient in them that impairs ones mental state. Rose was quoted as saying in a recent interview,

"There were eight Realtors and inspectors coming to the house...and you have to get out of your house...and I notice there's a big, huge plate of brownies that said 'Enjoy!' on the surround-wrap...and I just left, I didn't think about it. At 4:30 that afternoon, I get a call from my Realtor saying, 'I'm at my parent teacher conference; was there anything in those brownies?'"

Oh, Rose, what are we going to do with you? Unfortunately, any offers that are written up while someone is under the influence are considered void. But hey, it was worth a shot, right?

(photos & references courtesy of www.outrageousestates.com & www.sfgate.com)


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Family Dinner

No, I'm not talking about Jersey Shore. I'm talking about Sunday dinner with my grandmother.

Tonight Nick and I treated my Nana to dinner. For those of you who don’t know, Nick and I live in the 3rd floor apartment of my grandmother’s house (more on this in another post) and it is actually the house my dad grew up in! We see my grandma at least once a day to say hi and check in on her, but for the past 7 years Sundays have always been our  ‘’dinner date’’ days. In the past, Nana would make a typical 5-6 course Italian meal. The kind that had 4 different pasta dishes, salads, 3 types of chicken and meatballs, and if you didn’t eat at least 3 helpings she would call home to tell my parents that I must be sick! Recently however, Nana’s arthritis has gotten the better of her and hasn’t had the energy to cook, or do much of anything for that matter.  So instead of me cooking tonight we decided to get her out of the house and get her some ribs (she LOVES ribs). We headed over to a little bar/grille near our house and had a nice hour and a half hanging out and eating.

Nights like this with my grandma are my favorite. While living with her isn’t always the easiest, Sunday dinner is something that I look forward to every week. Seeing my grandma healthy and up and moving around makes me so happy. Getting her out of the house was a great end to what was a pretty hectic week.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Newlywed Nutrition: Zero Motivation

Lately my motivation to work out has been non-existent. Normally, I am a 5x/week work-out-aholic. Whether I am walking outside, at the gym, taking a class, doing a workout DVD, I do at least 1hr of activity 5x a week. Lately, not so much. Between this crazy heat wave, my long commute to and from work, laziness, and summer fun, I've been lucky to get in 2hrs/week. I just have no desire to workout and it's so not like me. I love to workout. I plan my day around my workouts, I look forward to my workouts and I even schedule plans with friends around my gym time. Some of my friends think I'm a tad bit obsessed, but I think it's more dedication than anythign else.  I don't just workout for the health benefits and I don't workout to lose weight. I do it because it is a natural stress reliever for me. When I workout on a regular schedule I have more energy, less stress, and I love the way I look. It makes me feel GOOD. I know that I'm in good shape and that skipping the gym every-so-often isn't a huge deal, but working out is a hobby for me. It's something that gets my mind off of everything else going on around me and lets me focus on myself. I want to workout, but lately going to the gym seems like such a chore to me.
So...What do YOU do to stay motivated?


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

But...But...You're SO Young!

If there is one thing I hate, it's when people judge me based on being young and married. I get very sensitive about this subject and it seems to come up quite often. Maybe it's because I am in NYC, and around here it is sort of odd to get married in your early 20's, maybe people are just dumb. But voicing your objection and opinion on my life choices is not only rude and inconsiderate, it's annoying. What sparks this you ask? This morning and my wonderfully awkward train ride to work...
I was minding my own business like every morning, reading my book and I noticed that the woman sitting to my left kept looking at me. She would look at my face, then down to my left hand, and back up to my face again. Now in normal circumstances, I don't start conversations on the train. I like my 40 minutes of peace and quiet in the morning, my "Me" time if you would. But, when you are sitting shoulder to shoulder with someone and their eyes are glued to your face, it's a bit hard to concentrate on reading. I looked over to her and asked her if I could help her with something. She gasped and said "I am so sorry, and I'm not judging you, but are your really married?" The only thing I could say was "Um, excuse me, what?" so she said again But, you're so young! I see the rings on your hand but you just look SO young to be married" Calmly I asked her how young she thought I was and she said 15! When I told her that I was almost 25 she didn't believe me.
Ok,I know I look young. I'm 5'1", skinny, and I get carded to buy tickets to rated R movies, but 15?? This is what I look like today.....
(sorry for the crappy quality, on the phone in my office)
 The rest of the train ride was spent listening to her talk about how she just couldn't believe how young I was and how shocked she was that I was married. She told me to wait on having children because 23 was too young to get married and 25 is way too young to have babies. According to her, I am still a baby myself. Gee, thanks lady!
This wasn't the first time someone has asked how old I was and were shocked when they realized that I was married. I don't get it, even if I was 15 and getting married, it is none of your business! How does my being 24 and married have any impact on your life what-so- ever? I'm not 15, pregnant with my 2nd child, and living in a trailer and married to my 2nd baby-daddy(I know, I know so UN-PC of me, but I'm painting a picture here)! I am 24, have an amazing career, my life together, and most important, a loving husband. I AM young, I know this. I also know that a lot of people my age aren't mature enough for this type of commitment nor do they WANT this type of commitment at this age. But I also know plenty of men and women who are in their 30's who aren't ready or mature enough either.
 Now, I am not saying that I'm the most mature girl in the world, but I did know that when I met Nick, I had something very special and uncommon. I WAS ready and I did WANT to get married. Before Nick, it was hard for me to let anyone into ''my-space" (no not the website)and I didn't let anyone get close to me. I would find the littlest fault in any date I had and quickly end it. I had a 3 year relationship before Nick, but it was long-distance so I didn't have to constantly be around my boyfriend at that time. It was safe. But when I met Nick, I knew I couldn't push him away. I had found someone who accepted me and all of my faults, quirks, fears, etc and loved me despite all of that. I wasn't about to let that go even if I was "young".
While I don't have many friends here on the East Coast who are married, I do have plenty of friends back in MI that are- some even with babies! To me, it's not uncommon to be married in your early 20's. Both of my older sisters got married in their early 20's and so did my mom. Maybe it is a regional thing. I do notice many more women here who are single until their early to mid-thirties and there is nothing wrong with that. But, I don't judge them for taking longer to find someone to spend their life with, so don't judge me because I did it a little quicker. Age is just a number and sometimes people forget that.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Celebrate Good Times! @ Stamna Greek Taverna

  Yesterday was a momentous occasion in the world of Nick's real estate career. He closed his 50th transaction in less than 4 years! It is our little tradition to try a new restaurant every time Nick closes a deal and this time we settled on Greek. 3 summers ago, we went on a family vacation to Greece and fell in love with the food. So when Stamna opened only 10 minutes away from our house, we knew we had to try it.
Athens Greece 2008
Overlooking Athens
Dinner in Crete
 Donkey rides in Santorini

Stamna Greek Taverna is a little Greek place near our house and it is ALWAYS packed. It is owned and operated by a Greek family from a small Island in Greece. They have a pretty big menu with lots to choose from. I really like that they have a big fish selection and veggie meals for me and lots of meat options for my hubby the carnivore.

Nick before dinner.

We were seated outside on the patio and ordered hummus a Greek Salad and grape leaves to start. Nick ordered pork chops and lemon roasted potatoes for his meal and I ordered the grilled salmon and roasted potatoes. The portions were HUGE and we took home at least 1/2 of everything we ordered. After dinner they brought out Loukoumades (fried pastry dough with honey, a lot like Italian Zeppolis) and we ordered frappe's which we haven't had since our vacation. The food was amazing and so authentic. If I had closed my eyes, it would have felt like I was back in Greece.

Our bottle of wine (it's BYOB).

Massive amounts of appetizers!

 Our entrees.

This may have been our first time to Stamna, but we will be going back again!