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Six Months Ago

I was in the living room of my high school best friend, spending time with my Maid of Honor and her mother. It was late, rainy, and my feet were tired from breaking in my wedding shoes. The rehearsal dinner was filling, the coffee and dessert afterward was the perfect “Welcome Home” to Portland.

Six months ago was my last day under my maiden name, my last day before tying myself to my best friend for forever. I was nervous, excited and hopeful. We spent the whole night talking about you and I.

Nineteen months ago, we met. When I met you, I wasn’t planning to fall in love. I wasn’t even looking for a new best friend, but you changed all that. The attraction was electric and unexpected.

Here we are now with our future at our feet. Six months and yet it feels like an eternity. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love you. There’s not a single place on this Earth other than in your arms that I would rather be. Families blended, friends were made and two lives have been joined. You make me want to be better, for myself and for you. Your voice can light up my whole heart and soul with one word. You are my peace of mind when I’m caught in a storm. You really are the half of me that is better.

We’re not perfect, and we both make mistakes. Sometimes I say the wrong thing, and sometimes you just don’t understand. But we’re silly, and always each others’ best friend. We continue to grow together and discover new things about one another. I can’t imagine a life without you and soon, these six months will be a year, and then that year will turn into twenty. I don’t know where we’ll end up or how life will go, but I’ll be by your side and you’ll be at mine.

Six months ago,

my life changed forever, for the better.

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Uncategorized

Moving: A Beauty and a Beast

 You stop at the local café for that perfect chocolate croissant and then realize that after you leave, they will be few and far between. You park in your usual spot at work that overlooks the sun rising over the Bay, and notice it looks more spectacular that usual. You go to grab something from its usual place in your home, until you remember it’s already been wrapped up and packed away. Goodbyes start being said and the reality sets in.

 

Maybe you grew up here, and a new life chapter has presented itself to you, so you’re flying the coop. Maybe you’ve been here for a short time but you’ve rapidly fallen in love with it. Who knows? Sometimes it can feel like this place is all you know, like it’s been a lifetime; only to realize it’s been a short year and a half. Surrounded by the beach, the city lights, the valley, the culture, the life—you take the little things just a little more seriously. Coworkers and friendships have influenced you, unbeknownst to your conscious being. Even the mere thought of leaving these people, who have become your family, is a scary one.

 

Until you think about next week, next month, and all of the nexts that are lying at your feet. It’s exciting because you don’t know what they will be. You could stumble across an even better chocolate croissant, in an even more perfect café. You could meet the newest addition to your friendship circle. They might love your soul, your humor, or your spirit—maybe even all three. You are an adventure to everyone else, with stories to recount and people to tell about.

 

 I hear there are people who actually enjoy moving. Sounds like a disease to me – they must be unstable. Though it does have it’s poetry, I’ll allow that. When an old dwelling starts looking desolate, a mixture of regret and anxiety comes over us and we feel like we are leaving a safe harbor for the rolling sea. As for the new place, it looks on us with alien eyes, it has nothing to say to us, it is cold.

Jan Neruda, Prague Tales

 

The future will always be scary—because the future is the unknown and the unknown is scary. But when you look at your present, what will soon be your past, you have to accept the good and the bad. This makes the future seem worthwhile. And what’s waiting for you on the other side might be even greater than you know.

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Life

Hello, Gorgeous.

 

Okay fine, I’ll accept that I’m not Fanny Brice (but a girl can dream, right? Rachel Berry does it…)

Or Ariel for that matter… What the heck, I’m blonde…

Anyway, it’s been a while. And by while I mean more than two months because apparently when a gal gets married these days, blogging no longer matters.

WRONG.

Just a little update:

  • I have a husband! HUSBAND. I mean he’s heading to our next base in 9 days, but who’s counting? (hint: me)
  • I’m working hard to get my fitness and nutrition in check (and by hard, I mean with the occasional cookie).
  • I finally quit smoking.
  • My husband (still can’t get over that word) and I replaced our Camel Menthol Silvers with these babies

PS, iTaste did not endorse me to say this, but, THESE ARE THE GREATEST INVENTION EVER. If your idea of an E-Cig is the crappy gas station ones that die after three days, I’m here to change your mind. There are endless flavor choices and you can gradually lower your nicotine intake. But hell, if I’m not smoking chemicals, I’m totally okay with being addicted to nicotine for the rest of my life. TheVaporChef has flavors like Nutella, Butter Beer and ‘Unicorn Poop’. I have only one word for these things — AMAZEBALLS.

You’ve probably read that my beautiful co-writer, Lyss, and her husband are expected a little peanut this Fall. I’m beyond excited for them! But we also found out we won’t be together when school is over, so that’s a bummer.

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’m going to start blogging regularly again because my hobby habits are at an all time low. What’s a girl to do when she only has a week left with her new Hubby and will be apart for the first time since tying the knot?

Aside from that, life is good. I’m happy, healthy and excited for the new chapter in my life– and can’t wait to take you all with me.

Until next time, Gorgeous.

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Life

Mutti, Madre, Mère

We had to translate a sentence into English this morning on our quiz, “Mother’s Day is a special day and on it, sons present their mothers with a gift”—which got me thinking. Is that one random day in the springtime enough for 18+ years (hell, a lifetime) of hard work and sacrifice?

“As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.”

Kristin Hannah, Summer Island

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My mom is nothing short of heaven-sent. She has over 26 years of military service under her belt, raised 6 kids in a blended family and still manages to be a great wife and take care of herself. There is nobody I admire as much as her. If someone needed the perfect blend of loving and kickass, she’d be it.

You’ve been there for everything, even though you weren’t always physically there. You’ve let me crawl into bed with you when I was having nightmares and got me medicine past midnight if my tummy was hurting. You took me shopping for new clothes just because we could and braided my hair when I still didn’t know how. You played multiple roles—seamstress, co-fort builder, tea party guest, personal chef, lady in waiting when I was a princess, first aid assistant, teacher, personal stylist, hairdresser, guidance counselor, dessert taste tester, and countless more. We will forever tell each other to “shut your mouth” and squeal over the wittle baby dolphins. You put up with me no matter how bratty I got and without fail, always tell me to “get my fingers out of my mouth” when I go to bite my nails. You endlessly photographed my crazy eyes and always made me life size dresses identical to what my Barbies had. You were there to save the day when I accidentally shaved off my eyebrow and helped me cut a round brush out of my bangs—let’s not forget how much peanut butter you had to put in my hair over the years to get gum out. There isn’t anything you didn’t do for me, and there’s not a single thing I wouldn’t ever do for you.

At 20, not many people appreciate their mom as much as they should. During high school, I’m sure that’s an even larger number. I’ve always had a very close relationship with my mother. She’s my best friend, my number one fan and most importantly, she’s my mommy. Nobody will ever come before her on my ‘favorites’ in my iPhone—doesn’t matter who you are. I will always go to her first for advice and once I get rich, she’s finally going to get her private island (a woodsy one, of course; not tropical. There will be deer and bunnies and fog and chirping birds).

We’re both stationed away from home at the moment. She’s finishing up at the Senior NCO Academy in preparation for her promotion to Senior Master Sergeant. Somehow, in the midst of studying and writing speeches and running 5k’s, she has managed to plan practically my entire wedding from 5000 miles away from home. Every last detail has come down to her; she’s definitely made my life a lot easier. If I get stressed, she’s a phone call away to metaphorically rub my temples. Don’t ever underestimate your mom, they’re capable of some pretty amazing things—remember? They made you.

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Life

12 Things To Chase The Scrooge Out of You

I thought I would also give you a quick refresher on The Twelve Days of Christmas, as if you don’t have access to Google.

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Before I begin, I would like to mention that I have friends who also celebrate Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. I personally celebrate Christmas. Love and cherish your traditions, but I hope you enjoy while I share some of mine. Happy Holidays!

 

(Twelve drummers drumming)

Holiday Specials of Your TV Show—Every self-respecting television producer puts on an awesome Christmas episode. Getting to share this time of year with the cast just makes you love all the characters that much more.

(Eleven pipers piping)

It’s A Wonderful Life—What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.” This movie is pure warm and fuzzies. Make a habit of watching it every Christmas Eve.

(Ten lords a’leaping)

Ugly Sweaters—We have Bill Cosby to thank for this one. An awful poly-cotton blend with a reindeer whose nose is an actual jingle bell plastered to the front, how can you go wrong?!

(Nine ladies dancing)

Christmas Cookies—You can make them in every possible shape that reminds you of the holidays. I don’t even like sugar cookies but it’s just the right thing to do. What else are you supposed to leave out for Santa?

(Eight maids a’milking)

Matching Scarves, Hats & Gloves—Cashmere, wool, mink, fleece… These are a few of my favorite things; to be cozied up inside of! Plus, you get to look adorable while doing it.

(Seven swans a’swimming)

*I might be going out on a limb for this one, but…*

Finding the Pickle—I know this is generally a German tradition, but many families have adopted the little green metallic ornament and have a prize for whoever finds it on the tree first.

(Six geese a’laying)

The Gift of Giving—Our childhood’s are over which means there is no greater joy on Christmas than watching people open gifts that you may or may not have knocked over 2 elderly women in Macy’s to get the last of.

(Five golden rings)

Snowflakes—Either catching the real deal on your tongue or making the paper cutouts reminiscent of elementary school, they’re just plain fun.

(Four calling birds)

Family Time—I have seen twenty-somethings whining about how the holidays are “torture”. There was even an article about ancient torture methods that were actually used. You never see these people, and family is forever. Kiss your crazy Aunt Mary on the cheek just once, for goodness sakes.

(Three French hens)

Michael Bublé & Nat King Cole—First off, have you heard Michael’s rendition of “Santa Baby”??? His voice is like hot buttered rum. Yummy. And Nat… Oh Nat. His voice will deck the halls this time of the year for generations to come.

Sidenote: I’ll just leave this here:

(Two turtle doves)

Chai Tea/Cider/Hot Cocoa—They capture the essential taste of the holidays and warm you from the inside out! Extra props if you heat the cider on the stove with a few cinnamon sticks and whole nutmeg.

 

Drumroll, please…

 

(A partridge in a pear tree)

Mistletoe—whether you’re in a relationship or single, everybody loves the idea of getting whisked under that little bundle of holly berries and dipped into a kiss.

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Life

6 Surefire Signs You’re From the Pacific Northwest

seattle portland

 

You’ve never owned an umbrella. 

And if you do, you’ve never used it. This is the easiest way to spot tourists. When our state is getting precipitation more than 200 days out of the year, it seems pointless to even bother. Every designer brand makes them; God they’re so adorable. But everyone knows the fate of stepping outside from October-July; rain boots probably take up half of your shoe rack; what even are sandals?

Your makeup is the extent of ‘getting cute’ for work/school. 

Girls who try to heat-style their hair have become accustomed to the sad truth that it will only last an hour at best. And forget any anti-frizz product—because nobody’s locks can hide from that good ‘ole PacNW humidity. This relates to my last point; people who are visiting or have recently moved there will continue to hide their hair under beanies and hoods—only to no avail. And your outfit? Covered up by a pea coat, ski shell, windbreaker or probably a North Face. Good luck out there without one.

Starbucks is last on the list of your favorite coffee houses. 

Born in Seattle in 1971, it quickly became a favorite of the Pike’s Place Market. However (at the risk of sounding terribly hipster and non-conformist), they’ve become such a sell out. If you try their coffee without an overload of cream, sugar and syrup; their coffee is burnt and usually stale. We have the privilege of awesome shops that make mean lattes and piping hot macchiatos that are actually worth your money. Among my personal favorites are Stumptown, Peet’s and Boyd’s. Not to mention the hundreds of private/local vendors that just knock it out of the park. Go ahead, be a coffee snob. However, if you don’t like coffee, drink your Double Java Chip Caramel Mocha Frappawhatever proudly.

Hobos are among the most creative people in your city.

Every state has them, our state breeds them. They have iPhones but nothing to eat for dinner; they have pets but nowhere to sleep tonight. Homeless people seem to be the budding fashion muses of our corner of the country. Thrift stores and secondhand clothing are what’s hot right now (Macklemore even said so—and he’s the national icon for Seattle). Not to mention, their signs. You’ve seen them downtown—“Family attacked by ninjas, need $ for karate lessons.” “Not gonna lie, I just need a beer.” Let’s not forget about the bucket drummers in front of Pioneer Square.

You, a family member, or a close friend owns an Outback.

Subis are the trademark stamp of the Great Northwest. Go on an hour-long drive and watch yourself lose count of how many you see. 4-wheel drive, optional ski racks, lots of cargo room; it’s the perfect POV for spending a weekend on the mountain or heading out for a camping trip. You know you’ve instagrammed a snapshot of the sun setting behind it after a long day of hiking The Gorge.

‘Apple Cup’ & ‘Civil War’ are the best part of Thanksgiving time.

Whether you went to UW, WSU, UofO, OSU or a random community college, you know you watch them. Rival football games are the heart of Turkey Day. There are endless jokes and one-liners about the generally losing teams. This year, both games were nail biters. The Ducks won the Civil War by 1-point and the Huskies rightfully have possession of the Apple once again.

If you don’t understand, you should consider moving (or at least visiting). Washington and Oregon are two of the best states in the country. We have awesome food, nature, coffee, music and things to see.

Sorry, it’s a NW thing.

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Life, Love

What I’ve Learned After Getting Engaged

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With my wedding rapidly approaching (22 days until THE day, to be exact), I’ve been doing some self-reflecting. Being in a loving, committed relationship while preparing to pledge yourself to one person for the rest of your life can take a small toll on your psych. While undoubtedly ecstatic and happy to be marrying the man of my dreams in less than one month, I’ve noticed some things—about my fiancé, myself, and the world in general.

I am most definitely an extrovert.

I’ve always known I was a people person. My parents were also active duty military so we moved around a lot… It was really easy to make new friends no matter where we went. I’ve never had any issues public speaking and when a matter needs to be spoken about, you can expect to hear my voice. My fiancé is very certainly an introvert. He can handle and even enjoy time with people and also has no problem making friends; but when it comes down to it, he likes his me time. This has only made me realize even more that I am an open book. With a few exceptions, I keep very little secret. Maybe this is something I should work on? Maybe it’s just how I am, everyone is different—right?

I am a whole-hearted morning person.

Teenagers love waking up at the butt crack of dusk, am I right? There’s something that clicks in a person after turning the big 1-3 that makes them scour at the beautiful early sunlight. Sleeping in until after lunch had already been made was practically a right of passage. I was never like that. Even during the summers, I woke up on my own, no later than 10 o’clock—11 o’clock if I had stayed up ungodly late the night prior. Adjusting to sleeping (and waking up) with someone is always a chore. Which side of the bed do you like? How warm do you like your blankets? Do you cuddle in your sleep? Does music need to be playing or must it be completely silent? My fiancé and I have been on the same page for pretty much all of the textbook sleeping habits—for that I am thankful. However… I am an Energizer Bunny in the morning. I’ll rustle in my sleep when first awoken, but after that, there’s no turning back. If Emily’s up, he’s up. I feel pretty bad about this; mainly on the nights we stay up until midnight or 1am watching American Horror Story. Without fail, I’ll be awake at 8 o’clock and want attention. Poor Jason is still trying to catch some Zzz’s. This one I will definitely have to work on.

Weddings are a bunch of hokey pokey.

I’m going to get crap for this one—so much crap. In fact, my mom will probably give me an earful. Oh well. WHAT’S THE BIG FREAKING DEAL, PEOPLE?! All I care about is my dress, the food, and the man who is standing up there with me. There are so many minute details that I can’t even imagine giving two shits about. What color will the floating candle centerpieces be? How many blue marbles will be at the bottom of the bowl? What style knot should the bows on the back of the chairs be? The next day, nobody will remember noticing these things. Who the hell cares? I’ll tell you who cares—the wedding venues who make out like bandits because they can charge you $20 extra per person depending on what kind of silverware you pick out for the dinner. Don’t get me wrong, my Maggie Sottero wedding gown is to die for. The custom 3-course menu we created with the caterers is going to be a huge party in my mouth. But other than looking your most beautiful and eating the best food ever; as long as you’re doing it with the most perfect man for you on this entire planet, all of the other bullshit shouldn’t matter.

Big diamonds are overrated—and terrifying.

Who says my hubby has to buy me a 1 carat certified diamond ring that is princess cut and costs a quarter of my 1 year old car?! That’s ridiculous. Not to mention, a HUGE load of responsibility. I am clumsy and forgetful. I break things, hurt myself and lose track of the simplest thoughts. Thinking about being responsible for other human being’s lives in the future is scary enough, why would I want the daily burden of getting my hand robbed of three months’ salary? No thanks. I never really got into Pinterest, but I can imagine bitches be like “omg dream engagement ring” and the thing costs five grand. Who are you planning on marrying, darling? Daddy Warbucks’ great grandson? Good luck. I have a beautiful white sapphire bridal set that is completely affordable. This goes along with the hokey pokey point—remember the reasons you’re doing this whole thing. LOVE.

Last but definitely not least, I AM SO MADLY IN LOVE.

I try not to include such specific details about my personal life in my posts; I think that keeps them relatable. But if you’re engaged/newlywed/going on 50 years, you can agree and relate to this. It’s that can’t sleep, can’t breathe, can’t eat without them feeling. You start and end every day knowing that you have found that person to be your other half, your partner in crime, for the rest of eternity.

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Nora Ephron – When Harry Met Sally

Four months turned into a small number of days in the blink of an eye. That lady Nora knows her stuff, I couldn’t be more excited to start my life with such an incredible man. I spent a better portion of my life closing myself off from people, trying to convince everyone (including myself) that I didn’t need anyone to be happy– especially not a man. Finding the right person is scary, happy, confusing, beautiful and exciting all wrapped into one indescribable feeling. He teaches me new things about him, our love, the world, and myself every single day. I count my blessings and thank God for letting me love and be loved by such a wonderful person; and I plan on remembering just how special he is for the rest of my life.

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