Planning for the Superbowl
It is hard to believe it has been a year already. At this time last year, we were in the last steps of getting ready for our big trip - packing up the apartment, saying goodbye to everyone and trying out our backpacks for the first time. Needless to say, this year isn't quite as exciting, but we do have something to look forward to... The Patriots are on their way to the Superbowl and we are about to host our favorite party of the year - Superbowl Sunday!

I am working on the menu, but haven't yet finalized it. Since this is our 9th annual party, the menu is always a mix of party favorites and some new things I have been wanting to try out.

At the moment, these are the contenders:

Lamb Meatballs with mint yogurt sauce
Crudite with herbed yogurt dip
Stellina’s potato and basil spread
Spinach Artichoke Dip
7 layer dip

Toppings (sour cream, scallions, cheese)
Corn bread

Congo bars
Whoopie Pies

The menu is always a I am mostly still trying to figure out the right mix of appetizers. Hopefully I will come to a decision in the next couple of days...

My Sister's Art Opening Tomorrow Night!
For those of you in New York, I would definitely recommend that you check out this art opening of my very talented sister!! If you can't make it tomorrow night, you can drop by at any point during the show through July 25.


Petra Projects presents


Works by:

Matt Phillips
Eliza Stamps

Opening Reception: June 28, 2007 6-9pm
Exhibition on view through July 25

Mehr Gallery
436 W. 18th St., NYC


Petra Projects is pleased to present, orderline, at Mehr Gallery,
featuring the paintings of Matt Phillips and the drawings and textiles
of Eliza Stamps in a two-person show exhibiting June 29-July 25, 2007.
orderline opens June 28, 6 to 9pm.

Matt Phillips views painting as an "evolving and living language" as
artists attempt to discover a means by which to express the world
around them. Phillips' interest is rooted in how color interaction
evokes a specific light, describes space, or depicts a unique form, as
well as in the use of repetitive and discrete marks to arrive at a
final image. His approach results in "describing forms in varying
states of expansion and compression, materialization and dissolution".
Phillips seeks to surpass the simplicity of forms by referencing
quilts, mosaics, architecture and other tangible objects, thereby
creating multiple visual possibilities.

Originally from Roanoke, Virginia, Matt Phillips received a Bachelors
Degree in Visual Art and Art History from Hampshire College. After
participating in exhibitions in both New York and Virginia, Phillips
pursued a Masters of Fine Arts Degree from Boston University in May
2007 with a Constantin Alajalov Scholarship and in 2007 was honored as
a Kahn Award Finalist.

Eliza Stamps works between textiles and drawings, creating symmetry
between the movements of needles and pencils. In both mediums, she
reflects the use of order in all aspects of existence, "the passage of
people and animals through space, the movement of cells through the
body, the transition of emotions through the psyche". Each piece
ultimately explores shape and composition, providing a sense of metric
sequence to both animate and inanimate matters.

Eliza spent her formative years in Newton, Massachusetts, and pursued
a Bachelors Degree in Visual Art and Art History at Bates College.
From there, she went on to receive a Masters of Fine Arts Degree from
Pratt Institute in 2006. Stamps also works as an art educator in
Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan middle schools integrating visual arts
into curricula ranging from ESL to Social Studies. She recently
participated in exhibitions at 440 Gallery, and Gallery on Dean, both
in Brooklyn, NY.

For additional information or images please contact Anastasia Rogers
at 1.917.679.5496 or

Lots of goodbyes
The last week has been action-packed and pretty emotional, too. We have been busy bees tying up what seems like a never-ending string of final details before we leave. We have also been fortunate enough to be able to spend some quality time with both our families. We spent the first part of the week in Newton visiting with Mirm's family, and then Jay's mom came up from Alabama to visit this weekend.

We had a lot of fun on Saturday night seeing so many of our friends at Soda in Brooklyn. Tonight we had a small dinner with a few friends at Samara and Matt's house. Thanks for the chili! Samara started cooking at 9AM this morning making the chili. (Turns out that the chili recipe that Mirm wrote actually works, so feel free to try it.)

Take a look at the lovely pictures. We promise that the photography quality will pick up once we are on our way.
One week!
We are leaving a week from tomorrow! Hard to believe that we are this close to a trip we have been planning (read: thinking about) for SO long. After a little deliberation, we decided that we should move our tickets forward a couple weeks and get going on the trip. Thanks to Air New Zealand, it was much cheaper for us to re-book our tickets to add a stop in the Cook Islands rather than fly to Auckland directly 2 weeks early. We are going to the Cook Islands on January 31st and then will head to Auckland on February 10th. Wish us luck in the last week of craziness getting ready to go.

P.S. Make sure to send good vibes to the Pats that must be recovering from a sad loss to Indy on Sunday. It will be tough withdrawal adjusting to the NFL off season, but at least I will have something to distract me Winking
The end of work...
So we are both done working... very strange! For the most part, this last week has been very busy with wrapping things up at work. My co-workers threw me a going away party on Thursday night, which was a great ending. I have worked with lots of fantastic people at SchoolNet and it was nice to be able to say goodbye. The idea of being done with work has always seemed like it would be a great relief, but it doesn't quite seem that way yet. Mostly, I can't really get my mind around it, but I imagine with time, I will adjust Winking

Now we just need to focus on getting things in order before we leave. The sublet process continues to be a bit of a bear. People have been by to see it, but either it hasn't worked for them or it hasn't worked for us. Hopefully in the next week, we will find someone. Otherwise, more drastic steps will be necessary.

This weekend we are seeing friends and of course we will be focusing on the Patriots on Sunday afternoon. GO PATS!!
A little more than 6 weeks to go!
We have a little more than six weeks to go before we take off on this adventure. We are leaving New York on February 13 headed for San Francisco. We'll spend a couple of days in SF with my friend Liz (thanks Liz!) before we board our flight to Auckland on February 15th. My mom is meeting us in San Francisco and joining us for the first leg of the trip in New Zealand.

Our itinerary in New Zealand has already been planned out in detail, so hopefully that part of the trip will help us ease into the lifestyle ahead.
Getting ready
Well, I have spent the last several days trying to figure out how to get this site set-up. As some of you may know, I have been really bad about updating this site in the last few years. In fact, I haven't updated it since right after Jay and I got married.

That is all changing now Happy We are getting set-up so that we can keep you updated on our upcoming trip. My hope is that once I get this set-up properly, it will be little work while we are on the road.