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Posts from the ‘love’ Category

33

Happy Birthday, Tristan!

Tristan at the Cliffs of Moher. (Ireland, 2009)

This is the 5th birthday of yours that we will be celebrating together. I had to stop and count because it seems like we’ve been together forever.  We missed your birthday our first year together, just by a couple of months.

I remember our first date, which we lovingly refer to as “The Awkward Seven”. For it was a day-date, first meeting type of thing, but we were both nervous and it was pretty awkward at the beginning. When I think back on it I think it’s pretty amazing that we ended up sticking it out, and are able to count our first date as our Anniversary. We’re kind of an unlikely pair… but after that first date, there was no looking back. 

Taking a break on Alcatraz island. (San Francisco, 2009)

I’m excited about our future together, and think 2011 is going to be a great year for us. There is no one I’d rather see the world with!!

Having crossed Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. (Northern Ireland, 2009)

Happy Birthday, my love! 

Sunset on Bluefields Bay. (Jamaica, 2010)

 

Love, me.

Loving Lilly

I wanted to post this last weekend, but I was too busy dying. I’m still sick, but with moments of lucidity thrown in for good measure. In fact, I now have a horrible cold on top of everything else (thanks Medrol Dospak!), and am scheduled for a CT scan tomorrow. Funzies.

Last weekend (February 6th, to be exact!) was our 1 year anniversary of adopting Lilly. And yet, I have try reaaaaaally hard to try to remember a time when we didn’t have her. Oh wait, come to think of it, there was a time that I didn’t feel the urge to vacuum  Every. Single. Day.

Here was our first glimpse of the lovely little one that was going to WORM her way into our hearts.

This was her photo on the Humane Society website that I fell in love with immediately. I looked at it every day for a week, and then fretted about someone else adopting her before we could get there on the weekend. Her name at the Humane Society was “Precious”… which… ick. While she was indeed precious, I am not that girl. So we hemmed and hawed trying to think of an appropriate name for her. We tried lots of Irish place names (as we had taken a trip to Ireland together not long before), but those only seem to work for boys, not girls. Hrmph. Then we thought about her coloring, and the fact that we had a trip to Greece in the pipeline for later that year (or so we thought – thanks Greek economy! Tis okay though, we ended up in Jamaica that fall. Not too shabby).

We settled on Lillith, which means “Of the darkness” in Greek. It sounds kinda dark, I suppose. But then, T and I are kinda dark. Sometimes. Plus, she’s mostly black. It just works. And I’m allll about shortened nicknames, and have always loved the name Lilly. So, Lilly she is.  

The day we met her, is the day we brought her home. We went to visit her, played with her in the playyard, went to lunch while our application was being reviewed, found out we were approved, came back and took her home the same afternoon. It was all so quick! She shivered and shook on the way home in the backseat with me, and I fell a little bit more in love with her.

Here is a photo from the day we brought her home. This is outside in our front yard, she hadn’t even been inside the house  yet…

Checking out me and my camera

First bath!

Throughout the year we’ve had a lot of fun watching her grow… playing in the snow… nosing around in my garden, playing with her pool, making new friends, and destroying LOTS of toys. Thankfully, toys are all she really ever destroys. (But seriously if my 44 lb Aussie can destroy the EXTREME KONG, wtf do other bigger dogs chew/play with!?!?!)

She was so tiny!

In the snow, February 2010

In the snow, December 2010

Trying out the pool, with Bella

March 2010

September 2010

I think she likes it here…

Stealing my side of the couch!

Mmmm, stick!

I think we’ll keep her.

We love her so.

Puppy kisses!

 

~

A Charleston Wedding…

The Holy City

We were in Charleston last weekend, for a wedding! The groom was Tristan’s friend, (Brandon), and he served as an usher in the wedding. This was a completely Tristan-centric event (unlike the other weddings we’ve attended together), as I had only met most of the “gang” a few times over the course of our relationship. Given that, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, a fabulous time was had by all!! I was honestly a bit surprised at what a good time I had. (which is always a good thing!). It was a weekend full of absolutely gorgeous weather. Charleston is one of my favorite places on earth, and I was thrilled to be there!

We left home bright and early Saturday morning, being Lilly-free after taking her to my parents house late Friday evening. It started out as a lovely drive, stress free, etc… and then, we hit Columbia. After a couple of minor hiccups, we rented a car whose A/C was WORKING, ditched my car at the Columbia airport (grumble, grumble), and made it to Charleston JUST in time for the wedding rehearsal. I dropped T off with his friends and went to check in at the hotel and unload our stuff.

We stayed at The Mills House Hotel on Meeting Street, which I had always heard was beautiful, but had never stayed at. (It is technically a “Holiday Inn” hotel, and thus I stayed away from it for that reason in the past; choosing instead to stay in independent inns or B&Bs). However, this was where the wedding party was staying, and it was beautiful. I’m happy we chose to stay there. (Though I doubt I’d return – opting instead for my usual places).

Mills House – it’s pink!

After the rehearsal was over, I picked the guys up and we headed back to the Mills House to get spruced up for the Rehearsal Dinner…

The dinner was at 82 Queen, about 25 steps away from the hotel. It was lovely dinner for maybe 25-30 of us, hosted by Brandon’s parents. We lingered for hours, and after we could linger no more, the guys went out for a drink at The Blind Tiger Pub. I was exhausted (thanks to my uber-busy schedule ALL the time) and headed up to the room to check email and check out Jane Lynch hosting SNL.

Sunday morning T and I decided to walk across the street to eat breakfast at Poogan’s Porch. After waiting about 15 mins for a table, and enjoying a mimosa at the bar, we were led upstairs to our table.

I had the Fried Green Tomato Eggs Benedict. Tristan had something along the lines of  “Down Home Breakfast”. We were both a bit underwhelmed. Nothing but the coffee was hot enough for my liking. (Again, during all of my time spent in Charleston prior to this trip, I had never eaten at Poogan’s. I suppose I should just trust my gut, and stay away from the ‘”touristy” spots, regardless of whether our room looked out onto their cute little porch, or not). It wasn’t BAD, by any means – but it wasn’t really good either. Oh, and we didn’t see their ghost.

After changing shoes… (I thought I’d be smart and wear my Avias to walk around town in, to save my feet for my heels later – MISTAKE – I ended up giving myself a blister. How the hell did that happen?!?!)… we headed out to stroll around Charleston and do some light shopping.

The Battery

Waterfront Park

Rainbow Row

I explored the market area  for trinkets for myself, and gifts for others. I ended up with a candle-holder for moi, but put the other souvenirs off until Monday.

Feet inexplicably sore, we headed back to the hotel for Tristan to start getting ready for the wedding. As part of the wedding party, he needed to be there 2 hours before I did. He got dressed, looking particularly handsome, and headed out. I followed suit, and met him over on the other side of the peninsula at The Historic Rice Mill for the ceremony.

Brandon & Laura

The wedding itself was beautiful and very moving. It was by far one of the most gorgeous days I’ve ever experienced. From the views of the marina, to the blue-blue skies, to the emotions expressed by everyone involved, it was a memorable one for sure.

First dance

After the ceremony we headed inside for cocktail hour, and the guys headed out to take more photos – this time with the bride. This was by far the most “uncomfortable” time for me during the weekend – when every single person I knew there was outside taking photos. I stood at the bar, vodka tonic in hand, willing the clock to speed up, and for Tristan to reappear. Awk. Ward. But, it passed, and life goes on…

We sat down for dinner, where there was some (comical) trouble with our table thanks to the wedding planner, and I finally got to have what I had been waiting all weekend for… Shrimp and Grits! It was divine. Tristan, self-proclaimed grits hater, was converted this weekend. (Ha!).  I plan to make a Grits and Roasted Veggie dish this weekend, with grits purchased in Charleston.

After dinner and cake, we headed out to the patio where we remained for most of the evening. There were drinks flowing, cigars smoking, mosquitos biting (me!), and lots of laughter to be had.

When it came time to leave the Rice Mill, we made plans to meet up back in town at The Rooftop Bar. There I was finally able to talk to the bride and reminisce. Now, we don’t know each other that well, but we do have former acquaintances in common from the past (like 2004, past). So that was fun. She was still rocking her wedding dress, and scoring free drinks. She was a very calm bride, and I admired that about her.

We left the bar before anyone else… because we are OLD now. 🙂

Monday… We slept in a bit (see the aforementioned drinking! ha!), ordered room service, packed up and checked out. After saying goodbye to some of T’s friends, we headed out to do some more shopping. I knew that I wanted to bring home pralines (world-famous!) for our parents; and that I wanted to get a gift for Gracie (who turned a year old while I was away!).

As afternoon rolled around, it was clearly time to head home… we were tiring out, and I was anxious to get home to Lilly! (I certainly miss her when I travel! But I knew  that she was in good hands, living it up with Bella).

All in all, it was a fantastic and busy weekend away. The bride and groom are in Belize on their honeymoon right now, and I wish them all the best. I hope that we can  get together with them again later this fall. Soon it will be our turn to go away… we leave for Jamaica in a week!

~

New year, new decade

“Accept everything about yourself–I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end–no apologies, no regrets.” – Kissinger

 

As I sit here drinking the last of the Clicquot in a mimosa…my thoughts turn to the start of a new year. What will the new year, this new decade hold for me?

I find “beginnings” exciting – and the start of new year always seems like a fresh start, whether you need one or not.

I know it has been a bad year for many, but 2009 has been a great year for me. Tristan and I both have good jobs and are healthy and happy. We’ve clawed our way through the mire that is love/relationships/life and emerged on the other side, holding hands and smiling. We travelled to Ireland together in 2009. I am happyhappyhappy, and that is not always something I have been able to say.

This is the year that I am going to learn to knit, and to speak Greek.

(Tristan and I are planning on going to Greece in October, and I am already very excited. I make it a point to try to learn at least a little of the language of the place I’m visiting before I go… hence the Greek. Oh, and I’m determined to learn the Greek alphabet as well.  So at least I’ll be able to read signs! I think we will probably splash out and get the Rosetta Stone Greek Language program – it’s expensive, but I’m thinking it will be well worth it).

But I digress…  

I will be 32 this first year of the new decade. I must be more conscious of myself and my needs… Tristan says that my ‘New Year’s Resolution’ should be to be more selfish! I think I need to find more balance, between everything going on in my life. I find myself giving, giving, giving – and while I enjoy it, sometimes I need to take. More time for me… for exercise, for meditation, for writing. More time to see those that I love. I must get back to Illinois soon to see my Gram. Hopefully in February, for a long weekend if nothing else. Then in May I will be taking Tristan back with me so that we can celebrate her 80th birthday. She is an amazing person, and I love her very much. I don’t see her nearly as often as I used to… it’s been just over a year now, and that is too long.

There is a puppy for us on the not-so-distant horizon, which I am terribly excited about. After losing Kensie to oral melanoma in 2008, I think it is time.

My new raise begins on the 4th… huzzah and hooray for a raise, and a job that I enjoy.

In 2010 I will be optimistic, and not as critical of myself. I will focus on making myself as healthy as can be – for me.  

 Here’s to a wonderful, healthy, happy 2010!

Shangri-La la la la

Happiness will not just come to you. Sometimes, you have to look for it; sometimes, you have to create it.

I have created quite the happy little world these past couple of years. The very occasional rough patch aside (which are a given for everyone), life is good. Great, even. Life is great.

I am happy in love, and happy in life.

My job will be changing soon, and only time will tell how it will all play out. Lots of changes are afoot… with more work and responsibility (which comes with a raise). Things will be a bit crazy, but should settle back down in mid-January 2010. I am not going to stress it though, what would the point be?

Happiness is…  Being secure in my life. My decisions, my home, my relationship, my chosen life path.

I’ve learned that amazing things happen every day, if you’re open to them. Something good happens every day…  something beautiful,  ironic  or just plain silly…  things that simply happen over the course of a day.  I love them all. I try to think about what my day was like  everynight before I go to bed: What good things happened to me today? What a fantastic question to ask.

I think I’m happier, and much more able to deal with the crappy things in life, because I’ve become more focused on the positive over the past few years. Sure, it’s hard some days… I won’t deny wigging out now and then because of the hours I work. I get stressed like anyone else — but “hard” isn’t “impossible”.  Certain things in life have seemed impossible before. Thankfully those days are long gone.  Banished away.

This year of being 30 (soon to be 31, eeks), has been an important, crazy, fun, hectic time. I have a million memories already, and I want to remember everything.  I’ve always enjoyed having a record of where I’ve been, and I’ve already been some incredible places this year.