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

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.

 

Is an egalitarian marriage ‘nontraditional’? If so, then I guess we have a nontraditional marriage!

I recently stumbled across this article, which I found interesting but not that surprising.  Actually, I was surprised that so many men thought an egalitarian marriage was the ideal!  What I was not surprised at were the fallback positions of men vs women, if an equal relationship was not possible.  It looks like about 70% of men would want a woman to prioritize household duties and children over her career, but over 70% of women would rather be self-reliant than fallback into traditional roles.

egalitarian graph

Interesting, no?

Right at this moment, the Husband and I enjoy (I use this term pretty loosely) an egalitarian marriage, meaning that we share rights, decisions, and responsibilities as equally as we can.

I work.  The Husband works.

We both enjoy our jobs most days and need to get out of the house consistently to feel fulfilled.  The Husband works as a solutions architect and I work in a business analyst/project management role for a digital agency.  We sometimes discuss technology at home (much to my chagrin) and attend happy hours and team dinners and lunches and generally enjoy the benefits that being in the corporate world brings.

I’m not going to lie, I really, really like having about four paychecks per month to play around with.  We have very separate bank accounts still.  We check with each other before we spend over $300 on one shopping trip, but not for small purchases.  Actually, sometimes the Husband ‘forgets’ this threshold and then I react in disbelief when he shows up with new hockey skates and tells me what they cost.  But I digress…

The point is, we spend our money how we want to, without having to check in with the other person unless it’s a larger-than-usual chunk of change.  While we have separate accounts, the Husband pays for all household expenses (including rent) and I pay for everything ‘fun’ and discretionary.

We divide ‘relationship tasks’ in a way that makes the most sense, but not at all based on gender.  For instance, I’m generally in charge of finances, and will be almost solely in charge once we consolidate account.  This is because I have a small-but-existent finance background and am awesome at living frugally and saving.  It just makes sense.

On any given day, we share chores pretty equally.  However, I don’t take out the trash, EVER.  One time I had to when the Husband went out-of-town on a work trip and left old asparagus in the trash can and I opened it to throw something else away and almost died from the smell.

I also don’t like vacuuming.  He doesn’t like cleaning bathrooms.  I bake.  He cooks.  He walks our little monster (the dog).  I plan our trips and travel arrangements and am in charge of coordinating most social events to make sure we see friends and family. He does the grocery shopping.  I keep the apartment organized.

This is clearly not a recent picture.  Now he wears many, many more layers (of course I'm referring to our dog).

This is clearly not a recent picture. Now he wears many, many more layers (of course I’m referring to our dog).

When (and if!) we have children, the expectation is that we’ll both work outside of the house, but will hopefully have jobs that allow the flexibility of working some days from home.  I feel confident that we’ll share parenting and other decisions, similarly to how we make decisions now.

It helps that we’re on the same page about so many ‘life’ things and that the Husband is exceptionally laid back about life. (This is quite the opposite of me, I take life far too seriously most of the time.)

So, I think we have this egalitarian thing down, at least for now – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m still thinking about that wedding thing we did.

I recently got an email from a college friend who was filling me in on the details of her boyfriend and their relationship and a wedding she recently went to and her thoughts on weddings… And as it oftentimes does with most of my friends, the conversation led to her throwing out the idea that she will probably elope if she decides to eventually get married.  Actually, more of my good friends have eloped (or had a super small wedding) than have had a more ‘traditional’ ceremony/celebration.  Before I met the Husband, I had always assumed that I would elope or run off somewhere and just get the whole thing over with.  However, he wanted a wedding.

Not a bad spot to start 'forever' together, huh?

Not a bad spot to start ‘forever’ together, huh?

On a tangent – I do not think that men should get to throw out the whole ‘I want a wedding’ card if they do not actually want to plan the wedding.  The Husband really and truly thought that it was every woman’s dream to spend every waking hour for months planning her wedding.  He also thought every woman naturally loved to cook and clean.  I set him straight on all of these accounts and more, don’t you worry.  Anyway, when we started talking about getting engaged he told me that he wanted a wedding and basically got super pissed when I told him I had no interest in planning one.  After thinking about it for a few more minutes (it doesn’t take me too long to make a decision) I decided that since getting married is a two person thing, I should probably agree to a wedding so we wouldn’t have any regrets.  We compromised and decided to have a destination wedding in Jamaica.  BUT, I still ended up having to plan almost the entire thing.  While the Husband helped me accomplish some tasks (stuffing envelopes!) I had to do a majority of the work and scheduling and stressing and talking to families/friends and coordinating… you get the idea.  I’m still bitter.  He’s lucky I love him and that it turned out to be worth it!

Now, there were times during the planning of our wedding that I wanted to rip my hair our / vow never to speak to anyone ever again / call off the wedding and elope in a private ceremony … you get the idea.  I practically burst into tears (wait, maybe I did burst into tears) multiple times a week over the anxiety this one day, November 17 – to be exact, caused.  So, I totally and completely understand why women wouldn’t want to put themselves through this torture.

But, the thing that kept me going was knowing that in the end I’d probably be glad that we ended up having a wedding.  Isn’t there some quote about how we only regret the things we didn’t do?  Well I think there is a quote like that, and although I know that it’s not true in all situations (I can think of quite a few dates I wish I hadn’t gone on!), I definitely applied it to this event and am very glad that I we went through with it.

Yep, I’m going to say having a wedding was one of my very best life decisions.  And we all know I have made A LOT of excellent life decisions. (Feel free to roll your eyes at this point.)

Reasons I’m glad I did NOT elope: (I would write a list of reasons to elope, and I might later, but basically if you go on any wedding website and look at the ENDLESS lists they have, that should convince you.  If it doesn’t, look at how much this list of things will cost to implement).

  • The Bridal Shower – I could write a whole post on bridal showers, because generally I dislike them and don’t understand them and never ever wanted one… But I loved mine.  It was my aunts and cousins and love and happiness and a great time to get together with people I don’t see enough.  Although they aren’t for everyone, I think it’s nice to give relatives the opportunity to celebrate you in a way they want to, so I’m glad I gave my relatives the chance to keep tradition and have a shower (or two).
Some of my cousins at my Cincinnati bridal shower.

Some of my cousins at my Cincinnati bridal shower.

  • Engagement party – Our friends came over and met our dog and played games and talked together and we gossiped and had a great time in our new home.  Basically, we used our engagement as an excuse to party, and I’m glad we did!  It would have been super-awkward to celebrate our engagement and then not be able to talk to people about a wedding that would follow… but that’s my opinion and I’m sure it’s possible to have an engagement party and still elope!
  • Bachelorette party – One of the top 5 nights of my life, easily.  My girlfriends are amazing.  Once again, I’m sure this could have happened without a wedding, but it may have to happen after the fact.
  • Cards/Notes – I’ve received the kindest notes and cards from people!  I will keep them forever.  I’m sure if I had eloped people would have sent me cards.  Other people (my mother included!) would have written me hate mail.  I prefer cards.
  • Dress shopping – I bought my dress with my mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law.  We went to one store, I found a dress, and then we had brunch.  It was such a wonderful day.  Plus, I loved trying on so many pretty dresses!  Maybe I don’t go shopping enough, but I really did enjoy it.
  • Photos – Looking at photos of the wedding week always make me tear up.  I had such a blast and am so glad that I have such great pictures of all of our loved ones together.
  • Community – We had an absolute blast bringing our friends and families together to witness our ‘big event’.  Seriously.  Even though my parents are divorced and I was a little nervous about throwing them on an island together, it all worked out as perfectly as I could have hoped.  Plus, our friends are now friends and hanging out with each other in different cities!  Oh the joy I feel has no bounds when I think of all of my loved ones together.
My bridesmaids cracked me up.

My bridesmaids cracked me up.

  • The dancing – Ohhhh the dancing.  I had the best time dancing.  I never even dance at weddings, but at my own wedding I was unstoppable.  It’s like having a private dance party with all of your best friends but it’s just a LOT of best friends.  It doesn’t hurt that our friends and families are excellent dancers.
My college roommates came to Jamaica and danced with me.  They're pretty stellar.

My college roommates came to Jamaica and danced with me. They’re pretty stellar.

  • Excuses to talk to friends/family for 9 months before the event – Even though dealing with friends and family members were the very worst/most stressful moments of wedding planning, there were some joyful conversations in there!  Planning a wedding can be a wonderful excuse to talk to loved ones who live far away.
  • Memories – Priceless.  My favorite memories include walking down the aisle, hearing ridiculous stories about the guests, dancing, the speeches, our rehearsal dinner, getting ready for the day… the Husband’s parents looking so happy…ok basically I loved everything.
M new sisters and mother-in-law on the dance floor.

M new sisters and mother-in-law on the dance floor.

  • My parents – My mom was so happy the whole time I was wedding planning.  Seriously.  She couldn’t get enough of it.  She didn’t plan anything, she just liked hearing me talk about planning… so she ended up adding additional stress to my life, but that’s ok because having a wedding to talk about made her happy and her happiness is worth it.  My dad was an entirely different story… he hated the idea of a destination wedding and made it known from day one.  If my mom added 2x the stress to my life, my dad added 1000x the stress to the event.  But, I’ve never seen him happier than on my wedding day and he’s still talking about how it was the best wedding he’s ever been to (and he says it in disbelief, still).  I know that my parents would have forgiven me if I had wanted to elope or have a super-small ceremony, but the fact that they enjoyed the day as much as we did means a lot to me.  Plus, we are now all bonded over this one week in our lives.
  • The Husband’s parents (and family) – His dad gave a speech that made me cry.  His brother (best man) gave another excellent speech.  His mom told me that she prayed for him to find a great woman and she’s so happy he has.  Both of his sisters were my bridesmaids. Were these moments worth the stress that his family caused at other times? ABSOLUTELY.

best man

Having a wedding is a big and expensive decision and I can completely understand why someone would be hesitant to dedicate so much of their life to planning a single day… But honestly I am very, very glad that we have these memories to look back on.

Ultimately, was it worth the money?  Yes.

Worth the time it took to plan? Yes.

Worth the stress? As much as it pains me to say this… Yes.

I'll leave you with the sexiness that is my current husband and one of his great friends.

I’ll leave you with the sexiness that is the Husband and one of his great friends.

A (long) wedding recap, because it was kind of a big deal.

50 days (or so) after our wedding and I still don’t really know what to say about it.

I could do a whole post on why I loved having a destination wedding.

Or another one about my favorite memories.

Or multiple blog posts on awesome events that happened leading up to it.

Or maybe a post on the stressful process (total understatement, some of the process was a complete nightmare) of wedding planning.

Or even a rant about how I really hate the WIC (wedding industrial complex).

But instead I think I’ll write a post about how my wedding wasn’t perfect and why it was totally ok (because it turns out that life isn’t very perfect!)

Our wedding wasn’t perfect from the start.  There was stress about getting engaged and stress about where to have the wedding and I was ready to get engaged and the Husband was taking his time and I wanted a certain venue (in Jamaica) and it was booked for 2012 and I have a fear of odd numbers so we couldn’t get married in 2013 (nor did I want to be engaged that long).  We decided to get married in Jamaica because I refused to get married anywhere else and we started researching venues before our engagement.  The Husband’s family found out somehow and brought it up at dinner and we announced the date before I had a ring on my finger.  The Husband asked my parents’ permission and I asked my dad about the budget all before the engagement.  By the time the Husband actually proposed, the venue was set and the date was picked and my extended relatives already had gotten emails from my parents to ‘save-the-date.’  Once we got engaged the Facebook posts exploded and I had to text friends so they wouldn’t find out online.

If I would have known I would be getting engaged that morning, I would have done my hair!

If I would have known I would be getting engaged that morning, I would have done my hair!

This was far from the engagement story I had hoped for.  But it was perfect.  The proposal was emotional, my family was super-thrilled, my friends were happy for me and called to hear details, and the ring is beyond-gorgeous.  I thought I told the Husband ‘yes’ when he asked me to marry him, but evidently I just asked if I could put the ring on that instant.  Same thing, right?

Fast forward to the (imperfect) planning process…

Planning the wedding itself was super easy and stress-free, seriously.  Budget conversations with my family were not.  Tears were shed and I got angry and then I got over it and we moved on.  Siblings said they weren’t going to be in our wedding party for various reasons.  Then they changed their minds. Close friends and family members said they were coming and then changed their minds because things came up.  Other friends and family members sent their regrets and well wishes.  RSVPs are an emotional time that i was quite unprepared for!  But, other friends and family members sent gifts and cards and happy notes and thoughtful notes and called to check-in on us and came to our housewarming/engagement party and made the whole process super-fun.  I loved picking out my dress with my mom, and the Husband’s mom and his sister… we had a great time.  My aunts drove in from Cincinnati to have a mini-shower and spend a day doing brunch and it was wonderful.  My cousin threw me a family shower in Cincinnati and I had the best time catching up with women I don’t see often enough.

My bachelorette party was the most fun I had ever had (up until the week of my wedding).  My friends came in from all over the country and we ate a homemade dinner (with gourmet food) and painted and went to a bar and drank wine and laughed and laughed and laughed.  They bought me sexy gifts and thoughtful gifts and wrote sweet notes and my heart could still explode with happiness thinking about that weekend.

bachelorette party

Then November came and we were ready to get married! I started feeling sick the weekend before the wedding and by the time I got to Jamaica I had no appetite at all. It was my worst nightmare coming true.  But, I greeted all guests when they arrived at the resort and cannot even explain the happiness of seeing all of my best friends in one place.  The people who were supposed to be there were there and I never once thought about those who couldn’t make it.  Everyone had a blast jumping off cliffs, snorkeling, eating jerk chicken and lobster, and drinking the bartenders concoctions.  We played ping pong and bags and tanned by the pool.  One night we played beer pong.  We went to sleep early and woke up early and saw dolphins during breakfast.  I drank coconut milk straight from a coconut that had been cut down from a nearby tree in front of our eyes.  We had an amazing villa but didn’t spend any time in it because we spent all of our time with guests.  Laughter and love was everywhere.  We drank fruit smoothies and banana moons and watched the sunset over the ocean.  Friends bonded over volleyball in the pool.  We got massages and pedicures and manicures.

The rehearsal was fun and laid back.  The rehearsal dinner was so well put together that some people (after a few drinks) thought that the wedding was over.  We had to gently remind guests that the ‘real’ event was the next day.  The Husband’s dad gave a speech and I cried and the food was delicious (so they say, I didn’t get to eat any of it) and I carried around a Sprite to help calm my stomach.  We played a crossword game and I’ve never laughed so hard. Guests sat together and friends of ours became friends with each other and families got along and my hair was frizzy in the humidity.

gazebo

The wedding day came and I woke up early to throw up.  Then I continued to throw up.  And the guests drank and played on the cliffs and hung out in the pool and recapped events of the night before.  The photographers came early (as planned) but I couldn’t sit up. so they left to take photos of the resort and the groomsmen. My mom spent time with me and I cried.  The Husband gave me my wedding gift early and I cried.  The bridesmaids got their hair done and the hotel called a doctor.  The doctor gave me a shot and I stopped throwing up ginger tea and the hair and makeup team came and made me beautiful.  I even took a shower and shaved (but I didn’t wash my hair).  My bridesmaids and mom helped me into my dress but they couldn’t pull it tight because my stomach would heave.  My dress was a little loose but still looked gorgeous (in my opinion).  We pushed the wedding back 30 minutes because of the delay in getting me ready.  I was nervous that I might throw up on the altar but I didn’t.  We had sent the pastor the wrong ‘script’ so our ceremony didn’t mention God except for the readings, which was not our intent.  But, it was short and sweet and perfect and no one noticed.  Our bridesmaids and groomsmen looked flawless.  Ants bit the bridesmaids all ceremony and during pictures, which was quite funny because it wasn’t happening to me.

My support system was pretty stellar.

My support system was pretty stellar.

We took sunset pictures with the wedding party, and each other, and the guests.

sunset

The food at the reception was delicious, the speeches were outstanding, the cake was beautiful and delicious, the centerpieces were elegant, the scene was out-of-this-world beautiful, and the dancing was the most fun I’ve ever had.  I ate chicken broth and drank a sip of champagne and tried to smile a lot more than I felt like smiling during dinner.  There was a fire dancer and we were in awe. After everyone ate (way too much) the guests got tipsy and sweaty and danced with each other and danced with their dates and danced with new friends and danced with me and the Husband and everyone took shots and smoked cigars and I was happier than I thought was humanly possible.  The photographers had to go but the dancing continued until the DJ stopped at 11pm and no one was ready to leave.  I’ve never seen 100% of guests on a dance floor before and it was truly something special.

dancing

I went to bed with all of my makeup on and my hair still done.  I was so relieved to get to my room where I could lay down.  Our room was decorated with flower petals and candles and the Husband took pictures of it while I was curled up in bed, fast asleep under our mosquito net.  The guests kept partying and my uncle wore snorkel gear into the hot tub.  Memories were made well into the night (so I was told).

The next day I felt a tiny bit better and put on a bikini and jumped off of the cliffs with my new husband.  We joined everyone for breakfast and said goodbye to some of the guests.  We spent the next few days enjoying time with our friends and family and going to Ricks Cafe and watching cliff jumpers and enjoying more sunsets and taking pictures and smiling a lot.  We were sad to say goodbye to our guests and even more sad to eventually leave Jamaica ourselves.

and that about wraps up our wedding experience!  It wasn’t absolutely perfect, but it was the best week of my life and most of the events leading up to it were highlights of my year/life.  It was definitely better than I had ever hoped for and guests still talk about it constantly, which makes every ounce of stress worth it.

The Husband and I are now building our perfectly imperfect marriage and I expect that it will closely follow our wedding: it probably won’t meet all of my lofty expectations in all areas, but I anticipate it will greatly exceed my wildest dreams of how happy I can be at any moment.

The next adventure (or two): Volunteer Honeymoon

As if getting into this whole ‘marriage’ thing wasn’t adventurous enough, we’re also leaving for Africa in two days.

WHOA, 2 days?!  That definitely came up fast.  I didn’t realize it until I just typed that sentence.  Allow me a few moments to recover.

Anyway, we’ll be volunteering at an orphanage/school in Morombo, Tanzania.  From everything I’ve heard.  It looks like it will be quite a challenging and rewarding time!  If you would like to donate, please do.  (Not to us, we already paid to volunteer and all of that ‘stuff’ but we would love to accept your donations for the school to give them while we’re there or upon our return).

So why are we volunteering instead of sipping cocktails on a beach or on a hotel rooftop in some faraway city?  Well, I can’t think of a better start to a marriage than to spend time serving others together.  Plus, I think it’s great to remind myself what is really important every once in a while, and also what I constantly take for granted – like indoor plumbing and clean food and water.  I’m hoping this trip puts some things into perspective and allows me to think about my blessings even more.  Plus, we travel all of the time and no trip is as rewarding as a volunteer trip.  At least in my (limited) experience.

I volunteered in Nicaragua in 2008 during my spring break senior year.  It was amazing.  And challenging.

4th graders in Nicaragua!

4th graders in Nicaragua!

The things I would have done for a hot shower at the end of those weeks…

Anyway, this time it’s Arusha, Tanzania (Africa) and the Husband’s coming along, too.  I consider myself super blessed to have a husband who when I said ‘hey babe, let’s volunteer for our honeymoon,’  immediately and enthusiastically agreed.

Other things we’ll be doing on our honeymoon… going on a safari and camping.  Yes, camping.

I’ve never gone camping in my life.  This, however, did not deter the Husband from suggesting it as a very viable option in the Serengeti.  He actually thought sending me a picture of the ‘accommodations’ would convince me that camping wouldn’t be so bad.

Our fancy honeymoon suite.

Our fancy honeymoon suite.

Needless to say, his plan backfired.  Did you notice there are two cots?  No, we will not be pushing these together… I have a feeling that hearing lions outside my tent is not going to induce any sort of passion in my heart or anywhere else!  Speaking of which, we have heard stories from friends who have gone on safaris (and survived the camping) that entailed lions sleeping literally right next to their tents.  How’s that for comforting?

I’ll be writing more in the next few days as my stress levels rise.  Stay tuned  🙂

(And once again, if you would like to donate to the children we’ll be teaching on our trip or other causes we deem to need assistance, please do)

Husband to the rescue!

The other night I found yet another thing that the Husband does super-well: he saves me in moments of crisis.  Well, maybe ‘crisis’ is too strong of a word… but he definitely comes to rescue me when I’m locked out of our apartment!

These are the keys that should have been in my pocket instead of chillin' on the counter.

These are the keys that should have been in my pocket instead of chillin’ on the counter.

I like to think he came to save me and not just our monster, who happened to be locked outside in 30 degree weather with his idiot owner (me).

I had never once locked myself out of the apartment… unless you count that time when I forgot my keys and went to work and had to sit at a Starbucks and wait for Tim to come home and let me in our apartment.  I don’t count that time because I got a frappuccino and life seemed pretty great and I didn’t feel ‘locked out’ so much as ‘enjoying my afternoon outside of my home.’

Anyway, last night I didn’t grab my keys as I was taking our little monster out for a walk and I realized my mistake the second I shut the door.  I also didn’t have my phone or my wallet. I considered asking a neighbor for a credit card to ‘break in’ to my own home, but then I thought they may not be likely to lend a random lady their credit card.  Alas. So, I did the next best thing and found the nearest stranger and asked to borrow his cell phone and called the Husband (who didn’t answer) and then texted him… thank goodness this stranger was very friendly about the whole thing.  I think it was the dog that sold him, there was no way I could have shady intentions with a yappy dog running around my ankles.  He tried to pet the little guy but Ozzie was too busy trying to run after motorcycles to notice.  I wish he hadn’t been such an asshole to the nice-stranger-man but whatever, I had bigger issues to deal with.

So then the stranger walked away and I basically just waited at the door of our apartment building until the Husband pulled up on  his white horse (cab) and let me in to our building.  Yay!  I’m glad at least one of us is reliable.  And I’m glad I had my heavy winter coat on, Chicago winters are no joke!

I think cohabitation is making me (even more) helpless.

The Husband has been out of town for two days.  Since I worked all day/night yesterday and have been completely preoccupied with creating Christmas presents tonight, this hasn’t been too tragic.  Actually, I’ve barely noticed he was gone (no offense, Husband).

However, my diet has definitely suffered since I’ve been forced to fend for myself.  Take tonight for example, this was my dinner:

buttered noodles.  oy vey.

buttered noodles. oy vey.

I had such high hopes for these noodles.  And by ‘high hopes’ I mean that I had originally intended to smother them in vodka sauce that I was going to heat up from a jar.  However, this plan never came to fruition because I couldn’t  open the damn jar.

And this is the point I really started to miss the Husband.

Last night I ate cake for dinner.  I also ate cake for breakfast the last two days. This is the great thing about being an adult… I can eat cake for every meal and people may judge me but no one can take my cake away!  I’d like to see them try, actually, I may stab them with my fork.  But seriously Husband, if you could hurry home and open this jar of vodka sauce so I don’t need to survive solely on naked noodles, I’d appreciate it.

I’m off to walk the little monster and drink a glass of wine and go to bed.

Good night, all!