Friday, June 28, 2013

You and Your Nuts, Outside Now!

Remember that time that I found a chipmunk trapped in cellophane in our basement???

Seriously, why does this stuff happen to me? Oh the joys of living on a wooded lot. When we host outdoor parties, we don't worry as much about mosquitos, but more so field mice and "chippies" running across our guests feet. While wearing sandals. Oops.

Last night, my business partner and I were in the basement creating a few centerpieces for one of our brides. Nothing unusual, right? It's all fun and games until Traci asks me to grab something out of my tool drawer. As I reach for the drawer, something moves and something rustles. I knew before I spotted it that it was a move larger than a spider. Way larger. After screaming and jumping, I spotted it.

There, trapped in the plastic wrap covering my extra mattress set, is a stinking chipmunk. In my house. Our eyes met and the sweat began to pool in my armpits. That's what happens when I see a spider, so you can imagine my deodorant immediately waving the white flag at the sight of a chipmunk INSIDE my home. My deod was like "sister, I am not equipped for this. You're on your own. Try something stronger!"

What do you do when you find a chipmunk wrapped against a mattress? You run and grab the Hubs. He was given three orders. 1. Come grab this animal NOW. 2. You better grab some thick gloves. 3. H.U.R.R.Y.

From here, I'll speed up the process for you, but it involved the following:
  • A scurrying chippie
  • Maneuvering a large mattress a few different ways as to not crush the munk, but as to not free him either. You want to see me really freak out....set that bad boy free in my house. I DO NOT dare you.
  • Tearing the plastic to create a grab hole
  • Traci creating a barrier with an old towel
  • One chippie being airlifted by his tail
  • One wife holding open an old clothe laundry bag while shrieking at the sight of said chippie coming toward her hands
  • One wife closing said bag around the Hubs hands and forgetting to release his poor hand, all while shrieking so loudly that she cannot hear him repeatedly saying "let me go! let me go!"

I'm happy to report that all of us survived, chippie included. My deodorant, sadly, did not fair as well. RIP Degree Sport. It's not you, it's me. And the crazy crap that happens to my house. Yes, we can still be friends.

I wish I had taken a photo at the time, but sadly "grab the iPhone" was not one of the thoughts that ran through my mind amongst the chaos. I wish it had though, because how many people get to see a chipmunk secured by plastic in their basement?? Honestly. How does this stuff happen?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Little Things

So this is what my blog has to come apparently. Behold, a public restroom photo.

Yep, folks. That just happened. I not only found inspiration in a public bathroom, BUT I also whipped out the old iPhone and took a picture in a bathroom stall. Creeper much?

Why is this stall blog worthy and photo worthy you're probably asking yourself? I will tell you why. See the 1 inch gap between the stall door and the door frame? Exactly. There isn't one for you to notice. Finally people, someone gets it! Someone gets me. They have heard my cries.

I've often wondered why in the world there must be such a huge gap between stall doors in communal bathrooms? Why is it necessary to leave enough space that an innocent bystander is forced to take part in your potty experience? Why is it necessary to be able to see if the person in stall 3 has on her Tuesday undies when it is clearly Wednesday? And why, oh why, does the much awaited "open stall" always seem to be the one that faces the entrance so that every single person who walks in gets to see your business and how you handle it? Thanks, but no thanks. I for one, like to keep my business private. You're welcome.

So to the genius behind the door design at a local restaurant, I'd like to hug you, high five you, and create a billboard in your honor to inspire others in the potty industry that clearly are not as wise as you. You're a game changer, yes, you are. Thanks for being a protector of all things private, intimate, and personal. Now come and get your high five! Don't worry, I washed my hands;)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's Complete!

Our home facelift is finally complete! So long chipping paint. Welcome to the big show, new aqua door.


What do you think of our girl?
 Minus the broken stone step, thanks, brutal winter and ice.

Aches, Floods, Hagglers, and Buzz Lightyear

You know you're out of shape when literally everything hurts after a 1.5 day garage sale. I'm pretty sure somewhere amongst the junk chaos, I was hit by a really big truck and drug about 50 feet. And then reversed over and hit again.

With all of that being said, I'd call the weekend a success! A damp success, but a triumph none the less.

With what I'm pretty sure was a rare, and near impossible, Illinois hurricane, we found ourselves quickly in an awkward position. The sale had been listed in the newspaper for 4 days leading up to Friday. It was on Craigslist, Facebook, etc... We were ready and armed with massive amounts of stuff. Cue unexpected weather alert sirens, gale force winds, and flash flood warnings. Awesome.

Do we open in a monsoon? Do we postpone til next week and eat the fee it cost to post it in the paper. Will people still show up, be upset and ring my doorbell with fiery torches and demand to see my junk???? AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

We quickly scrambled, rolled up our sleeves and moved furniture out of our sun room and to make a garage/sun room sale. Ah, maybe that's why my everything hurts? I kid you not, I moved furniture inside, and then outside when the rain stopped, and then inside again, and outside, for two days straight.

And although I'm semi-complaining and sharing the not so glamorous side of our experience (seriously, is there really a glamorous side to yard sales?), we still had a great turn out and made some good money. Well, 3 of us did out of the 5 participating. Not too shabby for a hurricane like sale.

And my words of wisdom after this weekend's experience are:
  1. Have a rain plan. Whether it's to postpone or to allow for a larger space if needed, have that plan set ahead of time to avoid scrambling. I'd start scurrying and then I'd get overwhelmed, sit down, tell my hubs that I "just can't do this, it's too much", and then I'd pull up my big girl shorts and scurry again. Mentally AND physically draining.
  2. Price everything, but know what you're really willing to take should they haggle. Which they will.
  3. Don't slash your prices too early! My mom was slashing them at 9:30am until I told her to chill and slash after lunch. What's the rush?
  4. We tried our best to organize by theme or room in the house with appropriate signage. A few people commented on how it was a great sale. Thanks to the awful weather, I can only assume it was due to our feeble attempts to organize because that place was packed in like sardines so I know it wasn't the "feel" of our space.
I think it's safe to say that it'll be awhile before we host another large sale at our place. And to all of my items that found themselves new, loving homes, I bid you farewell. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here anymore.

A boy came to the sale and left as Buzz Lightyear.
He was a happy shopper! $1 never soared so far down my driveway before.

Mom and Grandma debating the world's problems as they pertain to garage sales.
Um, not really.

Even the rain can't keep this Pig down. He was dying to meet and greet/ guard his stuff.

Ah, finally over and able to walk down the drive without dodging hagglers.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Don't Rain on My...

...Parade Garage Sale. It's been rumored that I have "hoarder" tendencies. I take no claim on those accusations. I like to collect. Not hoard. Those are two totally different things. Right?

After moving in as husband and wife, we found that a lot of our items were duplicates or just plain things that we didn't want or need as we started a fresh life together. Translation, our basement has been a cave of where future yard sale items go to die. It's been like a maze down there and I WANT THE STUFF GONE. I'm convinced we're providing spider condominiums down there. Pretty sure of it, actually.

All week I've been working on the sale. Cleaning, organizing, pricing, sorting, hauling, lifting, cursing the day I bought things, etc... And today, the BIG day when the sale kicks off at 1pm, the clouds have parted rolled in, along with darkness, looming hail the size of golf balls, thunder, lightning, and rain and high winds. Lovely.

We've already lost power once and each time the storm alert radio sounds throughout the office, I die a little inside. I just told a coworker that I was leaving at 10:30am to go drink heavily amongst the mounds of clutter in my garage and house. Clearly, I was kidding. Sort of. Not really.

Why??????? Why, storm why today? No, I don't want to head to the office basement in case of tornado. I want to be in my driveway peddling items to people who probably don't even need my old blender in the first place.

And just to give you a beautiful look at what we're experiencing right now, here you go, friends. Eat your heart out.  That is the storm image on our Doppler right now. See the bright red area? Yeah, that's directly over us.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Without Borders

Last night my parents treated the Hubs and me to a Hillsong United concert as our first anniversary gift. It was every bit of incredible that I knew it would be. Magic is what you get when you combine ridiculously talented vocals with songs that speak directly to your soul. I was plum worn out by the time we left. I cannot fathom how bone tired the band must be every night. They never stopped singing, dancing, running, jumping, praising, and worshiping. Incredible.

I've always loved concerts. The lights, the sounds, the energy. But what I LOVE about Christian concerts is the soul that you feel on top of the lights, the sounds, and the energy. When there are thousands of people singing from their soul, you just know the Lord is there. And the diversity that Hillsong brings in its fan base is incredible. I don't know where else I'd find myself surrounded by so many nationalities. It was nuts. And although I know my God is BIG, it's always an incredible reminder that He speaks every language. He hears prayers from mouths that look and sound nothing like mine. He is mine, but He is theirs too. He's all of ours. He is without borders. Incredible.

And by the end of the show, it's safe to say that I fell in love. Every once in awhile, a song will worm its way into my heart and that happened last night. "Oceans" spoke life into me. Every word. From the minute the ocean appeared on the screen and the waves began to roll, I was lost.

I know not everyone believes what I believe, but I'm not sure how you can hear God-given talent quite like Taya Smith sing lyrics that only the Lord could inspire and not believe that He exists? And not believe that He saves? And lastly, how can you not believe that He alone will keep your eyes above the water and give us a trust that's without borders? Again, I cannot fathom it. He was so very real and present and I'm so grateful to have been in that room last night. I know this song will be my anthem for however long it seems to grip me. I felt a stirring through those lyrics that I've felt creeping in over the last year, but that I could conveniently tuck away and move along with my routine. Not anymore. Lead me. Take me deeper. But please keep my eyes about the waves. That's all I ask.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

If you have a few minutes, this is worth the time. She's incredible.
Turn it way, way up and let the waves roll.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Backwards World

Do you ever look around this tiny little thing called the world and think "what the crap is going on?" Because I do. I do it all the time.

Last night the Hubs and I were watching a new show about the number one resale shop in the country. "Resale Royalty" follows around the owners and employees of a high-end, women's resale shop in St. Louis. To be 100% transparent, it's actually quite intriguing. The Hubs didn't even get up to go read in the other room, which is usually how I gauge whether or not he approves of my show selections. He watched and even participated in friendly dialouge while we watched. Impressive.

Aside from being annoyed by the voices of the characters, I walked away from the show feeling slightly disturbed, torn, bewildered and guilty. Side note- seriously, does everyone in St. Louis have an obnoxious odd, squeaky voice? And does everyone in that city abbreviate everything too or is it just these girls? If so, I don't think I can go there. Ever. Anyway. I was torn because I actually like the concept of the show. Y'all know I love a deal so this show is right up my alley, BUT I completely struggle with some of the extravagance that I see unfolding through my screen.

Why would anyone need to have their home built around their closet? I love clothes too, granted you may not guess that by my humble wardrobe, but come on? Why does someone need half a million dollars worth of clothing, shoes, and handbags? Why is that even remotely justifiable? I cannot wrap my brain around it and quite frankly, I don't think I should be able to. All it does is make me feel guilty, which is bewildering because I'm not even the owner of the extravagance.

Half way through the episode I asked my husband how we can live in a world where people spend $3,000 on a dress that they never wear, that still has the tags on it 2 years later, and yet every few minutes, someone on this planet dies from lack of drinking water? How? Why?

I understand that this might be a stretch for most people. I doubt everyone sits in their living room and equates a random reality show about clothing to the harsh existence of famine and dehydration. At times, I wish my mind didn't take things to the extreme like it does, but come'on. What the crap is going on?

Style Network, how about a show called "Resale Rescue"? Or something glamorous where fabulous people who have been blessed beyond all they could ask or imagine resell their "new with tag" items to build wells in Africa? Or put teen girls through school to get an education and help eliminate human trafficing? Maybe call it Armani for AIDS Awareness? Or Pucci for Produce in Haiti? Manolos for Meals also has a nice little ring to it, don't you think?

Yep, friends, I get all of those activist thoughts from watching 30 minutes of a clothing show. It's exhausting being attached to this brain at times.

Monday, June 10, 2013

"It's really growin' now!"

Grass has become my new sand. Long gone are my weekend beach days that sweetly reek of SPF 15 and saltwater. Adios to the days of beachy hair and golden, freckled shoulders. Now when Saturday rolls around, I find myself brushing the mud and mulch off of my feet where sand once clung.  Instead of freshly, fried seafood on Red's deck over happy hour, we hit up Lowe's and the Hibachi Grill. Ballers, I know.

Ironically, I don't mind. Although I do miss the beach. And freckles. And sand. And crunchy hair...

However, I've loved turning our yard into our own sanctuary. It's definitely been a labor of love and weeds. And quickly I'm learning that although the Hubs does not enjoy Lowe's quite like I do, once he actually finishes a project, he's the proudest "project father" in the world. Like, so proud I swear I caught him talking to his completed tree-scape last week. Actually, I know I did. He can't walk past it without patting himself on the back. It's kind of cute. Now if I could just get him to fall in love with Lowe's trips, we'd be all good in da hood. #springbrookthuglife

And to give you a little tour of our work in progress of a sanctuary...

Before- looking pretty beat down and bare after the winter.

Current- looking much fuller and mulchier (and, yes, I just made that a word).

The Hubs built this fire pit from scratch. So very proud. #Letsburnsomething #Smores

And our humble little garden of tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Shout out to our own personal gardener, Tanner! #growyourown #organic  #greenthumb

With a hundred few more hours and TLC, I hope the fruits of our labor grow as rapdily as this little cuties muscles! I've always had a soft spot for the kid.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday High Fives

It's Friday, It's Friday, It's FFRRRRIIIIDDDDAAAAYYYY! I thought this day would never get here. I'm not sure if it was the rain or the cold temps, but this week was a draggin' along. Drag.Ing.

High Fives this week compliments of:
  • Getting our home painted in between rain breaks
  • Cranking out some much need yard work
    • Although low fives and snake bites go to the rain, yet again, for eliminating about 15 other yard projects that can't be done in the mud and mist (remember those nasty things called "snake bites" from childhood??? You know the ones where people would twist your arm skin in two different directions and think it was funny? It was not funny. At all.  Oh, the pain and injustice on our poor, innocent skin! I digress...)
  • Eating cake 3 days in a row compliments of anniversary cake! #letthemeatcake
  • Netflix emailing me that my beloved season 3 of Pretty Little Liars is now available! Heck yeah! I've been paying $1.99 an episode for the last 2 weeks and there are like 27 episodes. I'm addicted, folks.
    • Netflix, thank you. I love you. If I wasn't already married, I'd marry you.
  • Planning a fun gathering this weekend for the Hubs' Birthday. I live for gatherings.
  • Chatting with one of my besties who is about to have her first baby in days. Any day now! Woohoooooo! Man, I wish I could be there.
  • Busting out the spray paint outdoors. I swear I was shaving years off of my life when I'd spray something in the basement. #deathbyspraypaint
  • Nellie's Barn Sale this weekend and treasure hunting.
  • A finished fire pit compliments of the Hubs. It looks awesome. And after seeing that item on his honey do list since last July, I'm so glad I can stop asking about it it's finished. #stop,smoretime
  • Early dismissal today and every Friday for 2 months. Now you're speaking my language, work. High five to you for being amaze-balls!
Happy Friday everyone!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Husband's Perspective, Part 2

As we wrap up the anniversary talk and move on to more celebrations like the hubs' Birthday and our annual Freibergapalooza trip next, I wanted to share Tim's final thoughts after 365 days of wedded bliss;)

And although he's not always a man of many words, I for one, have loved seeing his side of our little story through his written voice. So thanks for humoring us this week, friends. Consider it your anniversary gift to us. No really, you shouldn't have!

Me: What's one or two things that challenged you, that you weren't expecting?

 Tim: The first thing that has been challenging for me (especially after having lived as a single, adult male for 14 years) is that getting married is essentially like moving back in with your mom. And I don't mean that negatively. What I mean is, when you live by yourself, you can do things of your own accord. For instance, if I wanted to leave a dirty plate in the sink for say....a week, I was more than able to do that in my previous existence. Or if I didn't change my sheets for 3 weeks, again, perfectly fine. These things would have never flown when I lived with my mom and they certainly don't fly now. The challenge really lies in adjusting to what the other person is use to or wants. I still don't see a major issue if I use my towel for 7 days straight, but I am now expected to wash it more regularly, so I do.....happily. It has just been one of the challenges that you never really think about beforehand or really expect. Not because it isn't important, just because you never think about things like that or never think that someone else might do them differently and want you to change. Plus, I am apparently an odd person, so I have A LOT of things that I need to adjust and it's just darn hard remembering them all.

The other thing that has been challenging is just living with a woman. Sure, I grew up with a mom and two sisters, but that was family. We could yell, cuss, fight and it seemed normal because we were siblings. So now I find myself in a maze of trying to figure out a woman's emotions and thoughts. I have no idea how these two things EVER come together in a woman's head, but I am desperately trying to learn. So she may not "tell" you that she is thinking something or wants you to do something, but you should somehow know on your own. I still don't know how it works and I am guessing I never will, but it has certainly been a learning experience and something I think you may get use to....probably about the time you are too old to have it do you any good.

Me: If you could sum up our first year in 3-4 words, what would they be?

Tim: Exciting, challenging, a learning experience and one of the best experiences a person could go through.
Special thanks to Tim for playing along this week. You're a good sport, sweets! And as all good sports deserve, please find these handsome, as well as embarrassing photos below as my heartfelt thank you;)

Oh so handsome.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Husband's Perspective, Part 1

To give everyone a little break from my "voice", I thought it'd be fun to invite the hubs, or Tim as the rest of the world calls him, a chance to chat as a guest blogger for the next two days. In an attempt to not overwhelm him or give him any excuse to say "thanks, but not thanks", I gave him 5 questions to answer in his own words. I know I'm biased, but I think his answers are pretty honest and even a little humorous.

Without further ado, I give you my hubs' humble perspective on the first year of marriage:
Me: What's been the highlight of your first year of marriage?

Tim: I would say the highlight of my first year of marriage would be the feeling of being excited to come home every day. It's fun and exciting to know that when you get home someone who you love hanging out with is already there waiting for you and the two of you have the whole night together to do whatever, be silly and rehash the day with. So, no matter what is happening in the world or what the day has brought, I love feeling excited that my best friend is going to be there when I get back.

Me: Has marriage taught you anything about yourself?

Tim: One of the biggest things I've learned is that the way I do things, or have always done things, may not be the way the rest of the world does it. As you can imagine, this has come as a huge shock to me as I have the tendency to think that I do every single thing in life perfectly. So when you do something that you have done for all of your independent, adult life and someone looks at you like you may be crazy for doing it that way, you start to question if other people would find this odd as well. I have seen this look countless times throughout the past year, so I am starting to question everything I do now.....I wonder if Matt Damon leaves a dirty fork in the sink? No real reason to think of Matt Damon, just wonder if he does stuff like that as well. If he does, is it normal?

Me: Has it taught you anything about me (Britt)?

Tim: One of the biggest things that I've learned about Brittany is that she is quirky. I think I knew this already, but not to the extent that I am learning now. Just little things like having to check the bed for bugs before we go to bed.....having to have a fan running at all times when going to sleep....having to wash your hands before touching a fork, even though the only thing you've touched since the last time you washed your hands is a doorknob, etc, etc. Some of them are endearing and even cute. Some are just downright odd to me. An odd one would be the mystical "sigh". This is tricky because it has 50 different potential meanings and her quirkiness makes it impossible to determine which one. It could mean she is angry, relaxed, exasperated, just plain over it.....the list goes on and on. Sometimes I just blatantly ask what that sigh meant. I never know if I am getting a legitimate answer, but I figure if I'm asking, I am at least trying. Either way, I'm learning a lot of these things now and none of them have really bothered me or run me off yet, it's just stuff you never know about a person until you live with them 24/7. The nice part is, we usually get a good laugh out of them when I first figure them out. Well, at least I do.

A round of applause for my handsome guest blogger, please. Tomorrow we'll finish up with the two things that have challenged him the most this first year.

Thanks, Timmy! You're the best! Now go wash your hands:)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Marital Pearls

I always joke with people that I'm full of marital wisdom when they ask how long I've been married. A marriage expert I am not. Especially only after a year of marital bliss.

With that being said, I do think I've learned a few teeny, tiny pearls of wisdom in this area, and I know that I'll continue to be a student of marriage for as long as my feet walk this earth.

Marriage is hard. Those words have been muttered and shared with me/us since we started our pre-marital counseling. I knew that it wasn't going to be a cake walk, but 9 out of 10 people who shared that statement also shared that it would be worth it. So with the vows said, homes joined, and lives woven together, we took the leap.



Marriage is fun! I've seen it where marriage is described as getting to have a slumber party with your best friend every night of the week, even on homework nights, and it's so true. Every day when I get off of work, I get to head home to my best friend and best dog. I love it.

Marriage is learning new things about yourself. I never knew that I'd love cooking for my husband as much as I do. A prize winning chef I am not, but I truly enjoy preparing meals for my little family more than I ever thought possible. I'm also learning more about my communication style and my sensitivity level. Our pastor shared with us that men are not mind readers. Word. It'd be a lot easier if they were. But alas, they are not and I'm trying to be more clear. Mean what I say, say what I mean, preferably before one or the both of us gets agitated and finding ourselves arguing over vacuuming when I was pretty sure "my look" explained that it was time to vacuum. (And, I'm not a slave driver who forces her husband to vacuum before you go calling the Husbands' Rights Coalition. He actually likes vacuuming and I despise it, so I dust and scrub and he hits the floors. Win, win.)

Marriage is learning new things about your spouse. A lot of new things. Sometimes the new things warm your heart. Some things make you go "hmm, that's interesting" and others make you go "what the monkey was that?!" And I write this with confidence as I KNOW that Tim would say the same so it's all good. Sometimes I even shock myself with the things I say or do. You just never truly stop learning the ins and outs of someone when you're with them every day. In stress and relaxation. In celebrations and in sorrow. In a clean home and in chaos. People are ever changing and ever evolving.

Marriage is hard. Dating is hard, who are we kidding? So why wouldn't marriage be harder? There's more of everything in marriage (commitment, communication, time together, bills and finances, decisions, family, etc) so when there's more, there's more weight and meaning. Getting married in your 30's also means that the way you've taught yourself to operate in adulthood isn't necessarily the best way for you as a couple. That has been a hard to pill to swallow at times. Especially when the way I've done everything on my own for 16 years is clearly the best way. Duh;) Or is it?

I make no qualms about this past year being the hardest year of my life. 95% of my world transitioned this year, which I'm sure you're tired of hearing about on this little blog. Unfamiliar became my new norm. Feeling somewhat lost in my everyday world became a more familiar feeling than I would like. Some days were a major struggle for me and I didn't always do my best to talk through my feelings. Our first year of marriage was supposed to be bliss, so I'd tuck everything inside. Hindsight, not always smart. Tears multiply when held behind a dam. And when that dam breaks, its harder to get to the root of the cause. The true cause. Am I really hurt by my husband not jumping excitedly at the chance to go look at new flooring or am I battling something different inside? Sometimes I wasn't even quite sure myself. And here I was, crying to my husband whose confused and most likely scared at the amount of tears over looking at carpet samples on a riveting Saturday afternoon.

So on the "hard" level, what I'm slowly learning is that communication is key (and all the married people said in unison "duh".). Men and women are very different, and if you've had a brother or a father, you know that already. But somehow when you're a new husband and new wife, I don't know that you're always prepared for just how different. My advice to myself moving forward in year two, aside from continuing to communicate more openly and honestly with my husband, is to also talk to others who have been there. Don't bash your hubs or vent out of anger, but do share your struggles as a way to grow in them, not bottle them up. Maybe they're the same struggles that a lot of couples face. Maybe being able to laugh about some of the shared challenges would help? Maybe they'll have advice on how they handled similar challenges or maybe they'll just listen. Even though marriage is hard, it was never designed to go at it alone. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's the whole point to its design.

Marriage is worth it. Even though this year was challenging, Tim is still my best friend and the one whom  my soul loves. No one can make me crazier at times, and even hurt at times, but it's because no one holds my heart quite like he does. I have given away my last name for him and in turn, he has given me his. He protects me and provides for me. He is the one who goes through life's ups and downs by my side and he's the one who will learn all things marriage right alongside of me.

As the great movie quote from Runaway Bride so rawly and honestly states "Look, I guarantee there’ll be tough times. I guarantee that at some time, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you’re the only one for me."

Here's to year two, and three, four, twelve, twenty-four... Here's to figuring this little thing they call marriage out together. Here's to weathering the storms and challenges together and holding tight to our commitment and values as a team. And here's to taking our first year and using it as a foundation for the future.

Monday, June 3, 2013

One Year Down...

...many more to go!

This weekend we celebrated our first anniversary and I'm not quite sure where the year went! Tomorrow I'll share some of my small, if not tiny, pearls of wisdom after my first year of marriage, but today, I thought I'd just share part of our day with you.

As per usual, the Illinois weather was determined to put on its pouty pants and what could've been a fun day of sun, sand and water at Lake Geneva, was instead, gloomy, damp and chilly. So we ended up staying in town and going out to a nice dinner here.

The gloom and chill did not stop us from exchanging gifts, enjoying a nice breakfast together, and of course, we enjoyed a little faux wedding cake. I even received pretty flowers on Friday evening and if you know me, you know I love getting flowers. They just make me so happy inside. And I loved that the note reminded me that a year ago, on that date, we were at our rehearsal dinner!

Whatever genius dubbed the first anniversary a "paper" celebration, thank you. Not really. Paper is HARD. And shopping for my hubs is not easy in itself. He doesn't really want for much and he isn't really a things person. Over the last year, I've learned that he's sort of a minimalist, so what do you get a minimalist? It's not easy, I tell you.

So in the theme of paper, I created a sub-theme of travel and adventure. The mister's gift was made up of a few new opportunities for adventure together:

 Sorry for the poor photo quality.

  • A customizable map (entitled "Oh Darling, Let's Be Adventurers") of the places we've been and a vast opportunity for more "pins" for our new collection. We had fun adding in our pins that morning.
  • Tickets to a Cubs game this summer (along with some Cubs, edible memorabilia because even minimalists like to eat).
  • An email registration as official volunteers of the Iron Man Madison 2013. I was pretty proud of this one if I may say so. He's talked about wanting to volunteer at a race like this together, so I did some research and we're now the proud course marshalls together at a street corner in Madison.
And the hubs gave me an "anniversary basket" as he dubbed it, filled with:
  • Candy
  • Beautiful earrings and bracelet set
  • A gas card (which serves as his "paper" he says)
  • A sweet card
He also made us breakfast and made me a mimosa. Delish.

And after having a wedding in South Carolina, we didn't have the opportunity to save the top tier of wedding cake to pull out and enjoy, so I bought a little faux top instead. Moving everything 1,000 miles does not lend itself to keeping an already frozen cake frozen, so we improvised. I'm guessing it may have been a little fresher this way anyway, so it's all good.

And thanks to our families and friends, we received a lot of unexpected well wishes. We even received a card that contained different paper samples which cracked me up. Apparently Blogger likes this photo better upside down. Thanks, Mandy!

Cheers to our first year! We made it! And I'm already thinking ahead for next year's traditional gift theme now that I know how hard these can be. Cotton? Really?!

The Watermelon Conundrum

This weekend the hubs and I drove past a woman picking up a broken watermelon on the side of the road. A busy road to be exact. We first saw the smashed pink guts on the sidewalk. Then we saw a woman carrying what was left of her watermelon back down the street to her vehicle. News worthy? Probably not.

BUT, she was driving an SUV. So, what inquiring minds want to know is, how the heck did she lose a watermelon out of an SUV? A pick-up truck, maybe. But an SUV; I'm just stumped. Did a door fly open as she drove down a completely straight road??? Was it on the roof and rolled off?  Who the heck knows, much to my dismay.

Nothing ruins your day quite like your watermelon falling out of your SUV.