It was a good week. Cupcakes were eaten.

I haven’t been blogging as regularly this week.

Alas, there has been too much going on (in real life)!  And the Husband is working on a new blog / blog design which means that this little blog will be moving soon, again.  Although, unlike past moves, the content will be moving over as well.  Just a new name.

Enough of that administrative crap stuff.  All of the cool kids are talking about what they did this week.

So here’s a quick glimpse at what I’ve been doing:

week

1.) Volunteering!  This week some girls from my church group went to a homeless shelter to sort shoes for a few hours.  Trying to search for matches in thousands of shoes strewn about the floor, tables, shelves… it’s harder than one might think.

2.) Wearing yellow.  Is this an activity? It should be because I’m wearing the same cardigan today as I wore in the above picture (taken on Tuesday).  It’s ok to wear the same cardigan to work a few days per week, right?  I say yes, I’m hereby giving myself permission.

3.) Brunch with friends!  Well, this is technically from Sunday, but you get the idea.  It was fun, lots of fun.  We went to Sable and it was delicious.

4.) Bachelorette Party!  I went to a bachelorette party last night and we decorated cupcakes.  I ate all three of mine. There was one chocolate, one vanilla, one red velvet… I don’t even like red velvet but I ate it like a champion.  The frosting was delicious.  Seriously, so good.  Then all 20 or so of us ladies went out to the bars. This morning I’m regretting all things ate and drank last night.

I’m pretty sure my body wasn’t made to digest copious amounts of cupcakes, hard cider, and champagne.  Man up, body!

I have very few links to recommend today, but quality over quantity, people:

A great post on the pursuit of happiness.

I wish I had read this post sooner.

I hope everyone is having a most-fantastic week!

100 days and counting (up).

I’m beginning to think that counting up is more fun than counting down!

I mean, there’s no end point, so it can go on and on and the numbers get bigger and not smaller.  So it’s like every day is an accomplishment.

Agreed? Good.

The Husband and I have been married for 100 days today, which seems like quite the accomplishment.  I mean, we surpassed Kim & Kris’ 72 day marriage, so that’s something!

Remember in elementary school when we celebrated the 100 days of school with bringing in 100 of something?  I always chose M&Ms.  It’s crazy how 100 can seem like so much sometimes ($100 for a shirt?!  Heck no!) and so little other times (100 M&Ms?!  I can eat that in one bite).

100 days of marriage positively flew by.  Probably because we spent a good 20+ days of it on vacation.  It’s a hard life we live over here.

After 100 days of dating I wrote a list for the Husband (boyfriend at the time, obviously) of 100 reasons I really liked him – since we hadn’t said the word ‘love’ yet.  I came up with 100 different things to add to that list for our first 200 days together.

Then I ran out of things for 300 and the list has been retired.  I’m only semi-kidding… I could probably still come up with 300+ things, but really, that’s just excessive.  No one needs that much self esteem!  But see, I have a thing for numbers and counting and celebrating the little relationship milestones.

But for 100 days of marriage… I really have nothing.  Other than I did text the Husband to inform him we have been married 100 days.  So sweet, I know.

I will take this opportunity to fill you in on some of the (less expected, by me) perks of being married to the Husband:

  • He’s pretty fun to travel the world with
Yosemite on our pre-wedding-moon.  Everyone should take one of these!

Yosemite on our pre-wedding-moon. Everyone should take one of these!

  • He has a heart for service and volunteering.
  • Silly dancing never gets old.
We excel at the YMCA.

We excel at the YMCA.

  • Hanging out with married friends.  There’s just something different about hanging out with married couples now that we’re married and truly at the same life stage
  • He opens containers that I can’t open (so manly!)
  • He walks our little monster when it’s cold/rainy/I don’t feel like putting pants on
Ah, walking in the summer is so much nicer than the winter.

Ah, walking in the summer is so much nicer than the winter.

  • We get to show up at family events as husband and wife, which is super legit
  • We can relax and be ourselves without having to impress each other or other people.  I especially love being able to intentionally annoy the Husband and then announce, ‘too bad… you’re stuck with me FOREVER!’ and then following it up with a happy/victory dance.
  • He takes care of me when I’m sick/complaining
I was pretty sick on our wedding day.  As in I could barely stand up all morning.  But the Husband was pretty great.

I was pretty sick on our wedding day. As in I could barely stand up all morning. But the Husband was pretty great.

  • Planning is over!  It was a life goal of mine for so long to be married that now that I am, I can breathe a sigh of relief.  In our relationship I went from the stress of convincing the Husband to marry me to the stress of planning a wedding.  Now I’m relaxed and calm and just happy to be.

I hope you’re enjoying the little victories of your day!

love

How I ended up with a Turkish rug I never knew I wanted.

I’m any seller’s dream customer.

I can’t help it, I’m easy to convince that I absolutely need a product.

Even if that product is a $1400 rug.  No, we didn’t actually pay that much, but that was the starting price!

The Monster was kind enough to model our new rug for me!

Our little Monster was kind enough to model our new rug for me!  He usually charges for appearances, but because we fed him today he did this sitting for free.

It all started with a scarf.  We were in Istanbul and I decided that I needed a souvenir scarf, since I hadn’t bought any gifts from Tanzania or Turkey.  So, to the scarf stall we went.

This is when I knew I was in trouble.

The salesman showed me the cheap scarves (the 15 dollar scarves that I wanted to choose between), then he showed me the more expensive scarves (100+ dollars) and then he brought out the $350 scarves and that’s when I drew the line!  But, I must admit I did splurge for the moderately expensive scarf.

It’s beautiful and silk, darn it!  

Anyway, the salesman (at this point realizing I’m a sucker for a good sales pitch) told us that his uncle has a rug store, and quickly escorted us to the small shop down the road.  The Husband wasn’t the most willing participant, but I wanted to see actual Persian rugs.

Well, at first I thought for sure that I would never actually buy one of these rugs.  I mean, I didn’t love any that I was seeing but I did like hearing about how they were made and seeing all the different types.

Then I saw one I wanted.  DAMMIT ALL!  I knew I was in trouble.

The salesman picked right up on my changed expression and went into official ‘sales’ mode.  The Husband was great at saying no.  I wasn’t quite as good.

We told the store owner that we newlyweds and therefore broke.

The price came down.

We told him we didn’t even need a rug (lie, we totally did need a rug – I just hadn’t realized it until the very second I saw the one I loved in this small store in Istanbul!).

The price came down even more.

We told him that we had no room in our suitcases to bring it back to the States.

The price came down further and the man pulled out a tiny bag and somehow managed to fit the rug inside of it!  Magic.

Basically, by the time I was invested in the conversation and really needed this rug.

The Husband thought I had completely lost my mind.

The salesman was mostly talking to the Husband, who kept referring him to me since I was going to be actually purchasing the goods.  Ah, sexism at work.

Anyway, we finally all agreed on a price.

The Husband shook his head quite a few times.

OK, he shook his head more than a few times.

But now I have a rug, and a beautiful rug it is!

It really is one of the best ‘souvenirs’ I’ve ever bought myself, and by far the most expensive.  Take that, cheesy shot glasses – you’ve been replaced!

love

Taking a stroll down memory lane.

… because who doesn’t like thinking about middle school, again, right?!  (Actually, my former middle school should probably be paying my therapy bills.  Or since I don’t go to therapy, maybe my middle school could just contribute to my wine fund).  Anyway, in the spirit of being social…

sunday
1. What was your biggest middle school fashion mistake?

I remember overalls.  And really clunky shoes.  I swear they were like army boots.  I’m now wondering if they were every in style or if I was just that unique/confused.  Thank goodness I wore a uniform in high school (yay, Catholic school!) and didn’t have to worry about dressing myself.

2. Who were your best friends in high school?

Some of my best friends today were my best friends in high school!  Actually, the maid of honor in my wedding was a lovely little lady I met the summer before our freshman year of high school.

I really should find a before/after pic to show us in high school... were computers even invented then?  I don't know how to find pics from that 'era'!

I really should find a before/after pic to show us in high school… were computers even invented then? I don’t know how to find pics from that ‘era’!

3. What was a typical weekend like for you in high school?

My best friends and I were all on the cross country and track teams, so we spent most of our high school weekends at practice, meets, and going to other sporting events.  We were pretty into the whole ‘school spirit’ thing then. Although, we did have our ‘crazier’ times, too.  : )

4. Did you have any boyfriends/girlfriends? Tell us about that.

Ohhhh not worth mentioning!

5. Did you have any secret codes with your friends? Spill your secrets!

Nope!  Although I do remember passing notes back and forth quite often and also stuffing little folded triangle notes into lockers.  I wonder if kids still do that or if cell phones have ruined that pastime. (I feel so old writing this!)

6. If you could relive one day/moment/experience from middle school or high school, what would it be?

Probably some running experiences I had, like the time I ran under 11:30 for 2 miles.  Also, some of the dances from senior year.  I had the best time my senior year.  If only I had known then how different life would be when all of my best lady friends moved to different parts of the states, I probably wouldn’t have taken it all for granted at the time!  Growing up is hard work, people.

I hope everyone has a most excellent Sunday!

love

Showering in fear.

The original title of this post was going to be ‘living in fear’ but then I thought that seemed a bit dramatic for a Wednesday morning, don’t you think?

You may think this post got its name from me seeing a spider in my shower.

Which would be a really good assumption, but it’s not correct (this time).

You see, on Sunday I felt like being a bit silly so I made the very-well-thought-out decision to dump a cup of cold water on the Husband’s head while he was enjoying a hot shower.  I felt so sly!

Alas – It was a disappointing moment in my life – he didn’t yell or anything, he just continued showering and calmly told me that I could expect him to retaliate soon.  This is when I realized I was in deep trouble.  You know how when you were a kid and your parents yelled (about whatever-the-heck-you-did) you knew whatever you did wasn’t so bad, but when they just looked at you and shook their heads you knew you were in deep shit?  Yep, I had flashbacks of those moments.

I wish I had considered the retaliation when I decided that playing a prank on my husband was the best-decision-ever.

I’m assuming that the retaliation will be related to the original ‘prank.’ So, I can no longer shower when the Husband is home, because showering in constant fear of cold water is not enjoyable.  And I HATE cold water.  Really, I do.  It’s probably the thing I dislike most in the entire world.  I always take hot showers, scalding showers, showers that practically burn my skin off.

Even in Africa I found ways to take hot showers, I was dedicated.

Anyway, for the last few days I’ve been showering when the Husband is out of the house, and so far it’s working pretty well.  I’m hoping that after a while he’ll forget about that whole Sunday-morning-thing-that-shall-never-be-mentioned-again and I can get back on a normal showering routine.  Otherwise, it’s possible that I’ll have to go days without showering, and that’s not really ideal for anyone.

And I’m not above a hygiene-break to avoid a cold-water scare.  Perhaps if I go long enough without shaving I’ll be able to negotiate with the Husband to forget about the retaliation in return for me shaving my legs.

After all, being married is all about compromise and negotiating (or so they tell me).

Or maybe I’ll start taking baths…  Other suggestions/pieces of advice are welcome.

In other news,one of the highlights of my week thus far happened yesterday evening, when one of my very best friends was in town for a few hours.  I left work early so we could get together to drink tea and talk about all things silly and serious and thought-provoking.

Meet Laura, she has excellent taste in scarves (and most other things, but this picture highlights the scarf)

Meet Laura, she has excellent taste in scarves (and most other things, but this picture highlights the scarf)

Good friends warm my heart, which is especially convenient since it’s been approximately negative one-bijillion degrees windchill in Chicago the last few days.  Mother nature, please get your act together.

I hope everyone’s having a great week so far!  Think warm thoughts and take hot showers, because I won’t be enjoying a long shower anytime soon and someone should be!

Three cheers for love!

I kind-of sort-of wish I could hate Valentine’s Day because it’s just another Hallmark holiday and all of that good stuff.  But the thing is, I totally love Valentine’s Day.  It’s always been one of my absolute favorite holidays.

I mean, what’s not to like about a day celebrating love?!  Plus (need I remind you) there are chocolates involved.

Need I say more? Exactly.

So, in honor of February 14, I’d like to propose a toast:

This is how we spent our v-day evening.  Terrific dinner at Boka!

This is how we spent our v-day evening. Terrific dinner at Boka!

Cheers to Valentine’s Day and the love that’s celebrated.  Cheers to all the love in life, past and current, that has gotten me to where I am today.  Cheers to the friends I’ve had and the friendships I’ve lost and the great friends who live life next to me, still.  Cheers to all the first dates and the last dates and the dates that never were. Cheers to the loves that made me cry and the loves I hurt and the love that is always worth fighting for.  Cheers to fleeting love and enduring love and the love that probably wasn’t love at all.  Cheers to pre-date jitters and nervous laughter and awkward conversations that lead to much more.  And cheers to the good times that are only that and nothing else.  Cheers to taking risks and getting hurt and trying again.  Cheers to the private jokes and drunken nights and driving around with no destination in mind.  Cheers to staying out late and bending the rules and the summer heat.  Cheers to sharing ice cream and kisses and stories.  Cheers to the valentines in grade school – one for every person in the class – and for giving the extra-special ones to the friends that meant the most.  Cheers to crushes and flings and firsts and the best friends who were a part of it all.  Cheers to arms that hug and ears that listen and shoulders that are leaned on.  Cheers to dressing up and red lipstick and – shoes.

An excuse to wear red high heels?  Yes, please!

An excuse to wear red high heels? Yes, please!

Cheers to heartbreak and mended hearts and hearts that could not be any fuller.  Cheers to soul mates and lovers and confidants.  Cheers to companions and the supporting characters in the story that is our life.  Cheers to holding hands and sweaty palms and making the first move. Cheers to making promises and saying vows and the community that supports us. Cheers to love and respect between strangers and random acts of kindness.  Cheers to love that knows no boundaries, that exists in spite of flaws and accepts me the way I am.  Cheers to self-love and acceptance and unique beauty.  Cheers to breaking-up and making-up and finally feeling at home.  Cheers to all of my valentine’s this year, near and far, that have helped to form me into the person I am today.

But really, cheers to love in all of its forms that I’m thankful for everyday, but especially celebrate today.

And of course, a most special cheers to the Husband, who also happens to be my valentine.

Our third year celebrating Valentine's Day together!

Our third year celebrating Valentine’s Day together!

I hope you had a most splendid day celebrating love in all of its forms!

XOXOXO.

Last year at this time…

I’d like to think I’m one of those women who doesn’t celebrate the anniversary of every relationship milestone.

engaged

But, I did look at the calendar the other day and think ‘Wow, it’s almost a year since the Husband proposed!  Where the fuck heck has time gone?!’

engaged

So, I will give a head-nod to this day (which means I will fill this post with some of the pictures from our engagement photo shoot that no one has seen yet), because February 11, 2012 was one of the very happiest days of my life and I think happiness should be shared and celebrated and remembered with fond smiles and a joyful heart.

engaged

For those of you who may not remember, or who never knew:  There were photos lining an empty hallway.  There were delivery men who were moving furniture into our new apartment.  There was a long hallway and photos of our last few years and a small table set up in our still-empty family room. There was an empty apartment with just us and the ring and some photos and the glasses and bottle of champagne and rose pedals and joy.  

engaged

There was crying and laughing and disbelief.  I had my hair in a ponytail and generally looked a hot mess.  We ate brunch with my mom. We concluded the day with dinner with my dad and the Husband’s parents.  I couldn’t stop looking at the diamonds on my left hand and feeling unbelievably blessed.  There were lots of phone calls and text messages and social media postings.  Joy. There was lots and lots of joy.

engaged

 

I remember the whole day with a full-heart and misty eyes.  

engaged

It was everything I had ever thought it could be and more. There is not much in my life that exceeds my greatest expectations, but the Husband has surpassed them all, and this proposal was something that I couldn’t have written any better.

engaged

For a man who’s not at all romantic, the Husband outdid himself big time.

engaged

On this day in 2012, I said ‘Can I wear it?!’ by which I meant ‘yes’ and we embarked on yet another great adventure (together)!

engaged

 

I just had the most delicious weekend.

I had a phenomenal weekend this past weekend.  The kind of weekend where I can breathe a sigh of relief and contentment on Sunday night because I finished everything I wanted to do and feel caught up on life and saw friends and ate great food and drank quality drinks and all-around feel fulfilled.

I am savoring every second of these happy and content feelings because some weekends are frustrating and sad and lonely and unproductive, but this weekend was not one of those and for that I am thankful.

I won’t go through every single thing I did, but actually I’ll probably end up listing it all anyway.  Sorry about that, just bear with me.

Publican

On Friday the Husband and I went out with a high school friend of mien and her husband at a place in Chicago I’ve been meaning to go forever – The Publican.  It was fantastic.  I was happy that they had seafood dishes because it’s basically known for its  meat and beer and I don’t eat or drink either one of those.  It was tapas style and the dishes were delicious and we shared so much great food and laughed over beers and scallops and hams and mussels in beer broth.

Dave and Rachel dined with us on Friday.

Great friends, great drinks, great food… nothing beats this!

Speaking of which, you’ll be happy to know (well, you probably don’t care, but I’m at least happy to tell you) that I’ve settled on my ‘adult drink of choice’ which is Ketel One and water with lemon.  Perfection in a glass.

I spent my Saturday shopping on Michigan Avenue with one of my absolute favorite people ever, Miss Brittany.

Well, first we went to Xoco.  I had never been there before and it did not disappoint in the slightest.

I got the fish stew.  To-die-for delicious.

I got the fish stew. To-die-for delicious.

Now, I really don’t go shopping very often (I promise!), but lately I’ve really been figuring out things I need to buy and have been going at this list with extra-enthusiasm.  Our stores-of-choice for this shopping expedition were Sephora, Anthropologie, and Nordstrom Rack.  The things I purchased included: a cardigan (yes, another one), raspberry jeans, an ‘&’ sign for house decor, a candle, conditioner, blush, bronzer, exfoliator, moisturizer, foundation, eye liner, eye shadow, lip liner, lip gloss, a winter coat…. it was exhausting.  I found some awesome deals, too!

After our productive afternoon, Brit & I went out to dinner to celebrate our most fantastic and successful shopping day of all time at Vermillion with our significant others where I got the most AMAZING vegetarian dish I’ve ever eaten.  I’m not even being dramatic, it was that delicious.  We all belly-laughed and enjoyed cocktails and dined on Indian food (and other infusion-type dishes) and stayed for hours and hours.  I even ordered three desserts and we finished every morsel.

Brit and the Husband (mine, obviously, not hers)

Brit and the Husband (mine, obviously, not hers)

Today I woke up and went to CrossFit and the Husband and I ran some errands and bought a piece of furniture and some frames and then we went to church and ate dinner.  Perfection.

My credit card is a bit overwhelmed after all of the use its gotten in the past few days, but I am so, so happy that I took care of so many things I’ve been saying I needed to buy for weeks.

And now I’m watching the Blackhawks and I’m about to read and cuddle with my little monster.

Perfect weekend?  I think so.

I hope everyone else has had an equally wonderful weekend.

A lovely little quote on forgiveness.

apology

(via Unfundamentalist Christians)

This is one of the first things I saw (on the internet, anyway) when I woke up.  Beautifully stated, don’t you think?

It made me think of the apologies I probably never gave or didn’t know I needed to give and the friends who forgave me anyway.

Because I have awesome friends and that’s kind of what friends do.  And spouses, for that matter.

Actually, the Husband usually sends me super heartfelt apologies.  I say ‘sends’ because they’re often via ecard.  Nothing says ‘this is genuine’ like an ecard!

husband apology

The Husband sent me this gem the other month. I think he was hoping it could cover a multitudes of wrongs and will continue to be relevant in the future, so he’ll never need to come up with a unique apology again.

Now, go apologize someone who you owe an apology to!  Or, decide to forgive someone who owes you an apology.

What a winning way to start a Tuesday.