Saturday, December 29, 2007

Yay! Cat Gaither is engaged!!!!!

I don't know all of the details yet - Cat and Chris are on a plane, in route to San Fran - but I am so excited for both of them. Congrats Love Birds!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Memories

It’s hard to believe Mike’s and my first “married” Christmas has come and gone… This time last year we were up to our ears in wedding plans. Now we’re splitting holidays and building family traditions of our own. It’s been a whirlwind of unfamiliar familiarity! I know I say this all the time, but we are very blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.

Unfortunately I didn’t chronicle any of our time with Eileen and Kiyosi, but I did manage to snag some pictures of Christmas adventures with my family. This batch of photos features a handful of interesting situations my sweet hubby found himself in over the past couple of days. Whether it was cooking lessons with my dad, experiencing my mom’s yoga-ball chair and inversion machine, or family group hugs, our memories have been unforgettable.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Highlight of Thanksgiving

Mike and I had the privilege of spending time with our niece, Lexie, over Thanksgiving. Thanks for the memory and the pic Kiyosi. (And thanks to Duke and Courtney for sharing their beautiful baby girl with us.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We just got back from Tello's visitation... I haven't checked email in days but just opened my computer and found this. It's an email Candice sent Thursday morning - THE DAY BEFORE TELLO'S ACCIDENT! This breaks my heart. She didn't have to lose him to appreciate him God. Candice loved Tello every second of their life together.

Subj: Every day be thankful for what you have and who you are.

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 57 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories. He often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. He knew I loved yellow roses.

With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on. Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two. Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his s teak. Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large package of T-bones, dropped them in her basket.. Hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks. She saw me watching her and she smiled. 'My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don't know.' I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes. 'My husband passed away eight days ago,' I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. 'Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.' She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away. I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy. A quart, I finally decided and moved on to t he ice cream. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone.

I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile! I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine. As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes. 'These are for you,' she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. 'When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for.' She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then sm iled again. I wanted to tell her what she'd done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision. I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn't alone. Oh, you haven't forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel. Every day be thankful for what you have and who you are.
Please pray for my friend Candice Vasquez. Her amazing husband Tello was killed in a freak hunting accident Friday morning. He was only 28. I know it's not for us to understand but this has been awful...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Taking my sis to Oprah tomorrow for her 21st b-day. I haven't seen her this excited about anything in years! Hopefully some good pics and stories to come.

Friday, November 16, 2007

"They love me..." - Coach Mike

Mike has been teaching an undergrad beginner golf class this semester. I know this is somewhat surprising, especially for those of you who are familiar with his golfing abilities, but he saw it as a chance to get out on the range; something that would (hopefully) improve his own game while also contributing to the skill sets of his students.

The whole process has been really cute. Mike watches hours and hours of golf videos online - pointers on grip, swing, stance, etc. Then he takes these lessons out to the range with his kids. Scared he might shank a ball and lose all credibility, he uses other students to demonstrate the video "hints."

Last week he took his class out on the course for the first time. I think they only played 9 holes, but Mike said it was absolutely hilarious. One kid would spend 5 minutes teeing-up and taking practice swings. Then he'd finally go to hit the ball and miss it completely. (Kid, if you're reading this, I totally feel your pain.)

Anyway, the whole reason I am writing about golf 101 is because the kids were so excited to be out on the course that some brought cameras and wanted to take pictures with "Coach Mike." I got an email from him a couple days ago... All that the message said was "they love me" and these pics were attached.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

SCC Member Guest

A friend just sent these over so I thought I would share... They are pics from the pre and post parties at Sedgefield's Member/Guest Golf Tournament a couple weeks ago. Mike played with Brad Harder. They we're in second place in their flight after the first day but didn't end up playing too well on day two.

P.S. Sorry no golf pics, the parties are where the photogs spend their time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mom & Pops in C-ville

My parents just came up to visit us in Charlottesville and we had such a great weekend. On Friday we went to dinner at an Italian restaurant called Fellini’s #9… (It’s a cute little place I’ve been wanting to try around the corner from where I do yoga.) The food, atmosphere and service were all fantastic and, on top of leaving “fat and happy,” we also left with two interesting tid-bits of information: First, the owner came out of the kitchen and gave us the recipe for her olive tapenade (a restaurant-first for me; recipes are typically top secret). And two, we now know why it’s called Fellini’s #9. (Fellini was a famous Italian film producer and the name of the original restaurant. Jaclyn, owner, saw the place was for sale during a random trip to Charlottesville to visit an uncle who was getting a toe amputated. After buying it, she decided to keep the “Fellini’s” for recognition purposes, but added the # 9 to give it her own flair, and in honor nine toe uncle.) A little weird and quirky, but very Charlottesville! I guess it would be like calling a place Starry Night 1 ½…

After dinner we met up with a friend of Mike’s, Jason Allevato, and went in search of live music. Sadly the jazz club we were shooting for was closed so we re-routed to a hip tapas restaurant called Mas. Highlight of the evening was a very large waiter, dressed if full jean overalls, randomly coming up to Mike with a tiny espresso cup in-hand and telling him to wake up… I think he saw Mike yawning from across the room and thought it was very un-cool.

Mom and I woke up early Saturday morning and ventured out in search of some of Charlottesville’s best girly activities (yoga, coffee & shopping), while the boys found their way to the golf course. I couldn’t believe it when they got home (my dad limping because his legs were so sore) and said they had played 34 holes, walking 16 of them. My mom and I had just finished baking cookies and were gearing up for appetizers & wine; the guys wanted to turn on football and take a nap… Where was overall man when I needed him???

We met up with two other friends, Lucy and JJ, for dinner on Saturday and went to a place called Duners. Mike and I had heard a lot about this place (highly recommended from multiple people) and it definitely lived up to the hype! So I’ll pass on the recommendation for anyone visiting C-ville…

Sunday morning my dear hubby proved to be a trooper yet again. Dad and I thought it would be cute to dress Addie in a holiday costume and take the first Bucy family Christmas photo… Needless to say, Mike was not jumping out of his skin to go out in public, foo-foo dog and all, and take Christmas card pictures. I haven’t seen the end product yet, but it very well may end up in your mailbox… Sorry baby, but I’m sure it will give the Summiteers a good laugh!

After the quick photo shoot we all headed to the soccer fields to watch Mike’s law school team play the med school. My parents had to leave early, but you would not have believed how intense things got out there. One guy came up and pushed Mike from behind – no ball anywhere in sight... Another guy fouled one of the Law players and then kicked a ball smack at the back of his head while he was lying on the ground… Ordinarily I would run to Target during the second half of his game, but there was no way I was leaving him on Sunday. Honestly, I was a little worried punches were going to fly, and while I am not sure what I would do if someone hit my husband, I know I would not stay seated on the sidelines!

So that was the weekend. Thanks mom and poppy for coming to visit! All of our parents are welcome anytime!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hope Grows Here Tournament

As most of you know we just wrapped up the 6th Annual Dustin's GreenHouse Golf Tournament, which was held October 15th at Sedgefield Country Club. There are still a few invoices outstanding, but it looks like we will have raised just over $30,000 during the one-day event! To put that in perspective, a typical Globetrotter trip runs approximately $45-50,000, so we are well over half-way to raising what's needed for the 2008 team.

Thank you to all the players, donors, and volunteers who continue to give so much of themselves in order to cultivate opportunity for local students.
Picture 1: Fanny & Bruce Taylor and Brad Harder about to tee off
Picture 2: The famous "Pink Ladies" but in black this year - Lin Bostian, Karen Bills, and Kris Bullock
Picture 3: My sweetie giving me a victory kiss at the post-play party
Picture 4: Jack Murphy and his wife, Michelle
Picture 5: One of Dustin's signs...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Pics from Mexico...

Thanks to Lin Bostian we all have proof we were actually in Mexico... Such an amazing experience with incredible friends. A lot of relaxation, and yes some cocktails too (as you can see).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Yay - My Favorite Holiday

Happy Halloween!
It's only 9:30 and I have already snuck a little piece of candy – shh!
Adds and I are about to go on a walk - in costume of course.
Have fun trick-or-treating...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Addie says Happy Halloween Too!

She wasn't allowed to come to the party, but she still dressed for the occasion! Awe, my little bug...

Boo-thday Pics Cont'd:

A Boo-thday Bash

My dear, dear friend Mollie Perez had a surprise 30th birthday party for her husband Tony this weekend. She planned the whole thing as a Halloween costume party, and did such a fantastic job of keeping it a secret that when Tony walked in (and we all yelled surprise and started singing Happy Birthday), he turned around and said, "who's birthday is it?"
Here are some pics from the night. In case you need a little help deciphering who/what people are, I am also including a quick run down:

Mike: Tim Donaghay (an NBA ref who was caught in some huge gambling circle)

Me: Victoria Beckham (aka. Posh Spice - was hoping Mike would be David Beckham but he refused.)

Mollie and Tony: Danny and Sandy from Greece

Rebecca and Ryan: 70's Girl and Jack Sparrow
Amy and John Geer: Witch and John Geer

Morgan and Bill: Ron Burgundy and Victoria Corenstein from Anchorman

Megan and Tripp: Dog, the Bounty Hunter and Beth (think that's his wife)

Nicole and Brent: Hugh Heffner and Playboy Bunny

Cameron and Brian: Brittney Spears and K-Fed

Stacey and Chuck: Chefs

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Life Journey

Wow, what a hectic, crazy, spectacular, and spiritual month it has been. My mom and I just returned from a five day trip to Mexico. We were part of a group of 13 women, and it may sound outrageous, but in more ways than one this trip felt like a necessary personal journey for me...

We were nestled in an absolutely beautiful mountain town called Ixtapan. It was very clean and simple and the people were incredibly kind. It was the type of place where you could walk the streets at night safely, and where you would look out over a sunrise or sunset and feel the power of God sitting right there beside you.

On top of all of this pure, raw beauty I would head to the spa each day in anticipation of receiving some type of exotic pampering... Whether it was a Swedish massage, a Fango mud wrap, reflexology, a facial, or one of the countless other treatments, we all spent at least two hours of every day dressed in nothing but a robe and absorbing the self-indulgence.

All of this pampering would have been enriching enough, but because of the timing of our trip the experience became even more special to me…

After Dustin's accident my family realized just how fast life is. For several months, maybe even a year, we were able to avoid getting intertwined in the speed of everything – we slowed down and absorbed the graces of life’s simplicities.

However, lately I seem to have devalued the importance of that costly lesson. I have not been home to Charlottesville in almost a month. Between Dustin's tournament and a huge event at work, I've been spending 65+ hours a week in the office... I was up sending emails until 3am the night before we left for Mexico. I had one hour of sleep and packed in about 30 minutes... I am not exaggerating when I say I had no idea what airport we were leaving from or what town we were headed to until I met the girls and got on the bus (to Mexico) Saturday morning. It was like October was "rapid fire" month; I reserved no time for God, my marriage, or for personal growth.

Needless to say, heading to Mexico for five days in the midst of all this seemed like a ridiculous idea. Ironically, it proved to be an invaluable opportunity that gave me the chance to slow down and recognize the person I am in the day-to-day (during the hustle and bustle of everything professional and everything social) and the person I truly want to be – a better wife, a better friend, a better steward of God’s gifts.

Nothing helped to reveal this more than the two yoga instructors we had the privilege of practicing with at the resort. Their classes were unlike anything I have ever experienced before; the classes were not about poses, but about reaching into your soul and finding your spirit.

Just to give a couple examples... We would spend five minutes lying on the floor shaking every muscle in our bodies as fast as we could, and then five minutes in absolute stillness. (This was about exercising stored energy and getting rid of the garbage we carry on a daily basis.)

We would put our legs and feet flat up against a wall and move only our eyes. We rolled them in giant circles: up, down, left, right, diagonal, clockwise, counter-clockwise, and then would cup our palms (over our eyes) and lie in darkness. (This was meant to encourage new sight and to return us to "centeredness.")

They would play music and tell us to dance... (This was all about being free and letting the simplicity of the music guide your movements.)

We would sit on our butts, stretch our arms and legs out as wide as we could, tilt our heads back, stick our tongues out and breathe in and out for 3-5 minutes. We weren't supposed to blink our eyes, look down, or swallow... Just stretch and breathe. (This series was about perseverance and openness - if you don't believe me just try it! It was one of the hardest exercises I did all week.)

We also took classes on meditation, learning about flame and chanting techniques. (In some ways it scares me to talk about all of this. Just trying to put it into words seems to trivialize the intense physical and spiritual power these classes manifested... I guess it could sound cult-ish or scary, but it was neither. It was absolutely beautiful.)

Our instructors would share powerful bits of wisdom like...

"In prayer we talk to God. In meditation we listen."

"We are exposed to so much around us that we have to meditate often to bring ourselves back to who we truly are."

“Pray and meditate as if your life depended on it, because it does.”

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

All of it was truly powerful and life-changing. I walked out of a couple classes in tears because they had such a tremendous impact on my soul.


After all of this “journaling” I do have to stop and ask why me? Why is a 27 year old girl (who has already been afforded so many luxuries and securities in life) given the chance to spend a (selfish) week in Mexico - especially when there are billions of other women in the world who deserve it far more than I do? The only answer I can come up with is that I don't deserve anything of this magnitude... There is absolutely no reason why I should be receiving my second or third spa treatment of the day and about to head off to yoga, while there are families who can't afford to feed their own children just a couple hours down the road...

I know it's unfair and that it makes no rational sense, but I did go... And I did grow and appreciate every minute of the experience. Now I can only use the opportunity to make the world a brighter place. If you are reading this, please help to hold me accountable for not only living what I have learned but also for sharing it with my family, my friends, with our GreenHouse kids, with whomever I am supposed to share this message… I realize (and truly believe) that “when you go within, you will never be without.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

How Appropriate!

A colleague of mine sent this to me earlier today. He told me to pass it on to Mike. Thought it was an interesting request, but once I opened the email I realized exactly why. How appropriate!

P.S. You might have to actually click on the image in order to read the text.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I love you Dustin!

Dustin's 25th birthday was October 1st and it was the first birthday (actual or heaven) when my family could not all be together. My parents were in Wilmington, I was in Charlottesville, and Mal was in Boone. Even though we weren't able to participate in all of our usual birthday traditions, we still shared some very special moments...

At 5:00 that afternoon we all got on a conference call and said a prayer for him. We had each written Dustin a letter, so at the same time and in three different places, we tied our letters to a bundle of balloons and mailed them to heaven. After a little "family time" we invited Dustin's friends to call in and share in the memories. It was so special talking to friends, parents of friends, and even friends of friends he impacted during his time with us on earth. Thank you to everyone who shared a special thought!

Typically we would have also driven to Raleigh to put a sign and fresh flowers out by the accident site. (But again the complicated location thing forced us to postpone the delivery.) My parents finally took the sign Sunday afternoon and found a very special surprise waiting for them when they arrived. The sign we put up in April was still there! For the first time ever, the lawn mower people had not pulled it up. Six months later and there it stood in perfect condition. Since we all felt terribly guilty about not having a new one up on the 1st, this was such a blessing to see...

Lastly, I am thrilled to report we have another sold-out tournament planned for Monday, October 15th. It's the 6th Annual Hope Grows Here Golf Tournament and we'll be kicking it off at Sedgefield Country Club around noon. For everyone who is local, make sure to swing by for the after party. Things should get started around 6:30pm.

Always remember… Thanks to Dustin, hope grows here!

Old News, Old Friends

AGH, I am so overdue on updating the blog! Here's a quick recap from Mike’s 10-year high school reunion last month. (10 years - crazy I know!)

To be completely honest, neither of us were too thrilled about going – a lot of driving for two people who already do a lot of driving… But the reunion weekend ended up being a ton of fun. On top of the fun I managed to walk away with a few thoughts of my own. Here are some quick, random examples of why I’m convinced the social stigmas of our teenage years will never completely leave us:

- They were playing an old soccer video at the reunion and a guy (who I later found out was cut from the team) went behind the screen, in the middle of the video, and pulled the power cord out of the wall. Think he’s still harboring a little animosity?

- The old “class clown” kept up his end of the bargain… He’s the one pictured above, covered in nametags. Mine made his upper, left shoulder. Cute huh?

- The hottie of the high school halls shared his fashion forwardness. He came in madras shorts and a tee shirt, and prepped with some serious hair jell. It was kind-of funny since most of the guys were dressed in suits. (Caleb, if you’re reading this, we love you just the way you are.)

- I confirmed no one wants to be the “odd one out” and that black is still hot. With the exception of two people, every girl at the reunion was dressed in black and white.

I should also mention how lucky I feel to have such wonderful friendships with many of Mike’s high school pals and their spouses. The “empty nester” kids are truly a special group! I hope the memories never stop.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Nic's Bachelorette Party

A group of us spent the weekend at my parents' beach house in Wilmington celebrating a “last hurrah” for Nicole. It was the first time I have ever been to a bachelorette party where everyone (but the bride, of course) was married. Two girls in the group even have babies! With Mike's ten year high school reunion just a couple of days away, and then this dramatic shift in our b-party scene, the realities of our passing 20's is definitely starting to hit me :)

Despite our old age (jk) we still managed to leave our mark on the town. We spent Saturday afternoon shopping, watching football and being lazy. We had dinner at The Bridge Tender (fabulous Gorgonzola Walnut Salad if you ever go), and then we jumped in a limo and headed downtown.

I think we were supposed to bar hop, but our first stop was so much fun we ended up staying all night. A mix of dancing, cocktails and just talking with the girls... It was a near 180 from our parties back in the day, but still a total blast.

Here are a couple pics from the weekend... Mols, Candice and Nic, if you're reading this I love you to pieces!

P.S. Yes, the last picture was taken in the women's bathroom - what we were thinking I do not know!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Waffle Making 101

In my attempt to become a domestic diva I decided to wake up early and make Mike waffles. We were given a fancy-dancy waffle maker for our wedding, so I pulled out some Barefoot Contessa mix and the other necessary ingredients and thought how hard can this be...

Well, just in case you are ever in this same situation, there are two recipes on the back of Barefoot Contessa waffle mix. One is for waffles and the other is for PANCAKES. Of course I am not paying attention to the title (just focused on ingredients), nor have I ever made waffles, so I proceed to brew up some fantastic pancake mix and throw it in our waffle maker. Disaster! The thing split right up the middle when I opened the lid. The mix was "glued" to the waffle grates - top and bottom - which took forever to clean out. Worst part about it was I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I had done wrong... The only thing I could think of was that soy milk was not a good replacement for regular milk. So, yes, I do the exact same thing all over again, but this time with skim milk. Same disaster!!!

I was so incredibly frustrated at this point and close to calling William Sonoma and telling them I think we have a dud waffle maker when I happened to notice the word pancake on the back of Ms. Contessa's mix.

Pancake Ingredients: milk, egg, butter
Waffle Ingredients: water, egg

Arg! Martha would be so disappointed…

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Lexie's First Birthday

Penn State Adventures

Mike has always wanted to take me to a big ten football game... So on Saturday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn and began a five hour drive to State College. The drive up was awesome! We went through West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania and saw absolutely beautiful country side. We got out a couple times in WV so I could say I've actually been to the state (a hot tamale run for me and a Dairy Queen blizzard run for Mike were included in our adventures). Finally, a little before noon we arrived at PSU.

I'm going to take a second here to share a few facts about the weekend and about the Penn State football experience before I go any further...

- Over 100,000 people come to these games
- Hotels sell out years in advance...
- Duke and Courtney (my brother and sister and law) and their 1 year old little girl, Lexie, found a room at Motel 8 for $300 a night
- Duke is a Penn State Alum
- Mike and I did not have a hotel room
- None of us had tickets - the plan was to scalp them at the tailgate
- It was Lexie's first birthday
- The Penn State Nittany Lions were scheduled to play Notre Dame (big game)

So back to the afternoon...

After picking up the other Bucys at the Super Motel 8, the five of us headed to campus and did a quick tour of Duke's undergraduate experience. We toured the Beta house, went to the famous stone Nittany Lion statue, ate lunch in the student union, and walked through the main quad... All of this touring started on the West side of campus, and our progressions eastward eventually led us to Beaver Stadium (the PSU football arena).

Beaver Stadium is unlike any football stadium I have ever seen. It's on campus, but there is probably a 1 mile wide strip of land that surrounds it on the outside. This open space lends itself quite well to NASCAR-like pre-gaming. People bring in campers. They have grills and flat screen TVs. They are dressed - um - spirited. (Nothing like the couture outfits we would wear to a UNC game. I'm talking paint, socks, bags, t-shirts... I even saw a pair of boobs dressed for the occasion.) Duke knew two different groups of tailgaters partaking in the fun, so we spent our 4 hours before the game bouncing back and forth between the spreads.

Mike, on the other hand, hit the scalping circuit the minute we got to Beaver Stadium. I am not exaggerating when I tell you he spent the full four hours looking for tickets. The game had started, Duke had found tickets for his family, and I was sitting on a curb waiting for my husband to return. We were tired, hot, and ticket-less.

We never ended up getting into the game. It was so sad! But while I was manning my curb I did manage to help a group of undercover cops catch a criminal...

Yes, I know it sounds totally outrageous, but it's true. I was sitting on my curb and heard this stampede of people behind me. Freaked out, I turned around and in that very second some kid comes lunging into me. He trips and falls into the street. Within seconds a swarm of cops were on top of him... They slammed his head into the pavement and handcuffed him. Even though I was more ready to cry by this point than I had been throughout Mike's failed ticket search, I managed to snap a pic for the blog!

Since we never got in the game, Mike and I headed to a famous ice cream shop (the Creamery), grabbed me some dinner, and then made the 6 1/2 mile walk back to our car and headed to Charlottesville. We got home around 2 am and - crankily - went straight to bed.

Here is a photo journal of the experience.