Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Katrina–Looking back 6 years…

Many years ago a hurricane was brewing in the gulf. I did not pay much attention to it as we did not know it’s track. On a Friday, I packed up a small bag of things and headed to Baton Rouge to go out with Ashley. I brought 2 changes of clothes, makeup and my flat iron. That was it. I arrived in Baton Rouge and we went out. We got in late and went to bed without looking at the news.

That next morning, our mom woke us up asking if we were coming home to evacuate. There was no way to get back into Nola with full evacuation already happening of the city. We packed up a few things for Ashley and went to Hammond. The roads were packed. It was like nothing I had seen before. The following day we packed 30 people into my parents house and were ready for a party like Ivan. (Ivan was a huge threat, but at the last minute it went to our east and we barely got any rain. It was a true hurricane party.)

The evacuees in my house included all my dad’s family: my aunts and their families, Sarah and her mom and a few other random boyfriends. They evacuated from New Orleans and Slidell.

Monday the storm hit. It was fun at first as you can see from the photos.


Then trees started falling. Many fell around my parents house. One fell on it and one fell on my brothers car.


After the storm, we cleaned the yard, picked up fallen down trees. My dad WALKED to work – (That is a story worthy of its own blog post). Things appeared to be fine in Nola. We knew Slidell was probably flooded, but it appeared Nola was fine. Until the levees broke. We started getting video of Lakeview, which is where one of my aunt’s lived. All in all, everyone who had evacuated to our house, lost their house.

Things in New Orleans got tense and I think you know the rest of the story.

A few weeks later we went to clean my aunts house in Slidell. Even though there was total destruction, we seemed to have fun…

Ginakatrina 056Ginakatrina 069Ginakatrina 073Ginakatrina 076Ginakatrina 077

(Andrew being Gina…)Ginakatrina 079

Clearly, I am showing the “light” side of the event we refer to as “the storm”. While it was completely devastating, there were a lot of funny moments and I am glad I could share just a few of those with you.

Love and Hugs, Lizzie

Monday, August 29, 2011

Birthday Boy = Alex

A few weeks ago marked the big 23rd birthday for my baby brother, Alex. Of course, we surprised him at work and had dinner at the bar. What a cutie!IMG_4249

Then the box from Samir and Chad arrived:


We took a family pic with the birthday princess:


The following day we had a birthday party for him at the house:IMG_4262

And he got presents (beer shirts for work):



Happy Birthday Alex! You are my favorite birthday princess ever!


Bonus things to know:
1. The blow cake is a regular prop at all family birthday parties.
2. The bulldog bag on the table is also required to make an appearance at all family birthday parties.
3. Alex wore the tiara and sash while having a beer after work.

Love and Hugs, Lizzie

Friday, August 26, 2011

Family Friday Update

Hey kids! Sorry I missed yesterday. Here is a general update for your enjoyment.

Doug is still holding my feet to the fire about budgeting. We just had a budget committee meeting for next month. I think I am getting better…maybe?

Ashley is excited Andrew is coming home in 12 days! She is also now a fan of G-chat.

Alex is awesome. There is a new awesome video of him doing a magic trick on facebook.

We have the best parents in the world! Dad and Mom! Mom spent hours with me trying to make save the dates, but alas they did not work out. Dad is all over the place fixing things at the Shack and the mansion. Just today he was carpeting stairs in Ashley’s house. The man can do anything (especially with the help of youtube.)

Doug is working a bunch and enjoys riding his bike to work and back to his place.

We just bought me a road bike. It was mainly a gift for DB so he can get me riding. I will update you on that.

Normandy Beach is 95% back to normal. Thank God.
Hoodrat/Kit says hello. He is fantastic as usual.

This weekend Riley Bean turns 1. I will be attending that rockin’ birthday party. I was suppose to help his mom, but evidently I am a slacker! I am sorry Courts!

I MIGHT have talked DB into doing a post once a week. MAYBE?

In sad news, a good friend of mine lost her mother yesterday. She had a stroke. She was a very sweet lady. I only had the chance to meet her once as she attended one of our NORC dinners. Please pray for her and her family. Hugs to you Stacey.

I will be attending a separate funeral today in honor of Sam. Please say a prayer for them also.

Love and Hugs, Lizzie

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A friend lost on earth and heaven gains an angel.

Yesterday God gained a new angel. Sam Notariano passed away on August 23 at the age of 25. He was hospitalized a few days ago and passed away in the hospital. I spent a lot of time at his house as a kid as I was best friends with his sister, Lauren.

Please say a little prayer for him and his family today. 

I found a fun picture of us. We were in a closet in a hospital room waiting for Alia (his niece) to be born in 2006. This is how I will choose to remember him.


Rest in Peace Sam. You are loved and always will be.  Watch over us as our newest and most comedic guardian angel.

Love and Hugs, Lizzie

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seattle–post cruise

After we disembarked (the second family off the ENTIRE ship at 7:15 with our concierge!), we walked across the street to our hotel. One out of three rooms were ready. Some of us napped, other read and others went for a beer.

After we were well rested, we walked uphill and then downhill to take the Underground Tour. It is a really fascinating story about how the 1st floor of all buildings became the basement and the second story became the front door. For more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Underground

Here a few pictures I took:


At the end of the tour you get dumped into a gift shop. It had all kinds of things like one of the first toilets ever produced!IMG_4204IMG_4205

Doug was fascinated:


The next morning, everyone left. Doug and I stayed an extra day to 1. see more of Seattle and 2. hang with Shawn and Lauren. One day while walking around I got too hungry and we ended up at this little restaurant. I can’t say much for the service or the food, but at least we got a cute picture out of it…IMG_4208

We also spent a lot of time in the Pike’s Place Market (the place where the throw the fish and sell all kinds of things). It reminded me of the French Market in NOLA in January.


We enjoyed one of Seattle’s microbreweries and visited the FIRST EVER Starbucks.



All in all, Seattle is a really beautiful city. It has schizophrenic weather – cold until the sun comes out then it is way too hot until you walk into the shade and you are freezing – ALL IN AUGUST.

It is also very hilly. I was very surprised to see the steep inclines all over the city. It looks very similar to San Francisco – believe it or not.

One fun story includes Shawn, Doug, Lauren and I going to find the “best cupcakes” in the city. We walked uphill for what felt like 10 miles (it was probably 2 miles) to find this little cupcake place. I was not a happy camper on the way there, but the way home was pretty nice. Downhill all the way…

Thank you Mom and Dad for bringing us to Seattle and on the Alaskan Cruise. It is such a gift to have parents like you. Doug and I love you very much.

Love and Hugs, Lizzie

Monday, August 22, 2011

Alaskan Cruise–Day 7–our travel day home

The last full day of our cruise was spent sailing back to Seattle. We ate a bunch and enjoyed the suite. Not only did their suite look sweet, but it also came with a butler, concierge and maid (for a lack of a better term.) We were waited on hand and foot. They gave us snacks every day at 5 so we did not have to eat with the regular cruise people. ha! It was really nice!

Now I will give you a tour of the suite:

The front door was wood (all others were metal):


The living room:


The Master bedroom (with front balcony access):


The Master bath had a stand up shower, bathtub, two sinks and a large dressing closet:


The side balcony:


The front balcony:


And here is a picture of Alex’s room. Doug and I had the same space Smile. A little different. You can see why we spent so much time in Mom and Dad’s room. They had real light from the sun.

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Love and Hugs, Lizzie