Monday, December 1, 2014

further to the topic of packing.

for what it's worth...the only photographic evidence of our trip
While we're on the topic of packing, this seems to be a good time for me to share with you our recent trip to Mexico.

You might recall that last year for our honeymoon, we packed in one suitcase. This year, we were so excited to a) go back to Mexico and 2) each have our own suitcase. Since we are doing a bit of traveling in the next few months, we decided to splurge and get new suitcases. Bill got a grey one and I got a purple paisely-ish one. We said on more than one occasion how excited we were to use our suitcases.

The week of the trip rolled around and we both started gathering our packing essentials. I had so many visions of a repeat of our honeymoon with beautiful sunsets, romantic dinners and mimosas by the pool. Forget that the entire family was going to be there, we were headed to our second honeymoon!!! I pulled out all of my favorite maxi dresses, my beautiful new gold sandals, my brightly colored accessories, the flat iron, my best makeup and my brand new swim suits. (Of course, I did not bring a beach tote, a sun hat or sunscreen, but that is neither here nor there...) Bill on the other hand just pulled out more than one pair of pants for this trip and was ready to go.

It's safe to say that we were so excited about our new suitcases - and being able to take more than one - that it didn't occur to us this trip would be less than perfect. But let me tell you the following things about our trip and you can decide for yourself.

1. I had been fighting an infection the two weeks before the trip, so I was on an antibiotic that made me feel less than great. If it was a side effect, I had it.
2. Our flight from RDU to Houston was delayed because of a frozen lavatory. Yes. The bathroom was frozen.
3. We missed our connection in Houston because of this. We were supposed to fly first class too!
4. After raising cain, the airline did rebook us on the next flight - FOUR hours later (and on business class wtf) and give us meal vouchers.
5. Sunday and Monday and Tues. partial were great. We enjoyed the sun, the pool bar, the golf course, the spa.
6. Tuesday at lunch was my last meal. It was room service pizza and it was delicious.
7. I spent the next two days being very unlady like. I guess when you speed date, you don't get to experience EVERYTHING before marriage. Safe to say we've experienced it now. I was also very rude as I just could not muster the energy for any family meal.
8. Thursday morning Bill made me go to the hotel hospital.
9. The Mexican doctor hooked me up to an IV for severe dehydration and infection.
10. After 2 hours on the IV getting fluids and antibiotics, I was feeling good!
11. I felt so good, I went to lunch by the pool.
12. My body didn't know how to respond to the back and forth temperatures, so after about 15 minutes, I got the chills, panicked and got sick all over again. I told Bill I thought I was going to die.
13. The sweet Mexican doctor had to come back to our room - with his doctor bag! - and check my vitals. He waited while my body starting regulating and told me I wasn't allowed to leave the room until after 8p and if I did then, it should be only for a small walk. He also assured me I wasn't going to die in Mexico.
14. I drank 3 bottles of Mexican pedialyte and Although, this may be just Pedialyte in general and not anything to do with it being Mexican.
15. So is gatorade after about the 5th bottle.
16. I was able to fly home without too many visits to the loo.
20. We got off the plane and I announced I wanted to eat some mashed potatoes. I hadn't eaten anything since Tues. except 4 french fries, half a tiny bagel, and two saltine crackers.
21. The antibiotics caused major acid reflux and after being unable to sleep and doing research on an acid reflux friendly diet, I learned that mashed potatoes are not part of it. Neither is mac and cheese (which I also had an hankering for)
22. Sunday morning, after taking shots of apple cider vinegar, I was able to eat two eggs and a bland salad. Praise!
23. Thanksgiving rolled around and I was able to eat everything in sight.
24. It has been almost 2 weeks since I got sick and I am finally feeling normal again.
25. I didn't have to wash very many clothes from my suitcase since pretty much nothing got worn. Talk about over packing!!

Thankfully I am alive and getting well-er (also huge shout out to my hubby who gave up most of his vacation to take care of me), so clearly this means I - WE - deserve to go on another vacation so we can actually enjoy it! And clearly I will need to buy all new outfits because the ones I packed for this recent trip, while unworn, are now tainted with the memories of being sick in Mexico. Sorry I'm not sorry about that.

another adventure of stupid packing

For the past several years, my extended family has gone apple picking together.  I haven't ever been for various reasons but this year, I decided it was time. My cousins have super cute kids and with the addition of Lexie, adopted from China earlier this year, I just couldn't miss out on another year of apple picking with the fam! The plan was half the fam would stay at my parents' house and the other half would stay at Uncle Luke's house (about an hour from the orchard).

The whole week before, I tried to do my due diligence and ask the appropriate questions. I mean, it's probably good to remember that I am the girl who my parents took strawberry picking and I was unable to find any berries anywhere in the fields (that were apparently full of berries). So, clearly I had some questions. They were harmless questions such as what should I wear? Where will we pick apples? What kind will we pick? What will we snack on? How long does it last? And most importantly, is it considered manual labor?

I guess mom got tired of all my questions because she told me that people who had so many questions maybe shouldn't go apple picking since they seemed to be so burdened about the whole thing.

Well, since that made a whole lot of sense, I decided I would just stop asking questions and just go with the flow. You know...because I real good at going with the flow.

And because I do what my mama says, I also packed well for this trip (or so I thought). I thought since surely no one had given me any type of warning about apple picking, that it must not be that hard, or that hot, so I could feel confident that looking cute was the best option. So I packed a skirt, a cute top and my fave gold flip flops. Mama may have been mad at me for my questions but no way was she gonna be mad at me for not looking cute!!

Well. It turns out apple picking IS considered manual labor. Turns out you may or may not have to walk over 2 miles throughout the orchard. And while there are a lot of apples laying around, most of the good apples are high atop the trees. Turns out that all of these things are only exacerbated by the heat that is unusual for the time of year. Luckily for me, Eli loaned me a great t shirt so I didn't have to risk messing up my cute shirt. However, I was on my own with the skirt and the sandals.

Needless to say, I wasn't exactly the most comfortable apple picker to pick apples. It's probably also important to point out that earlier that morning mom AND Bill had suggested I bring a change of cloths to Uncle Luke's house (where we were all gathering for supper afterward) so I wouldn't have to sit in my apple picking outfit all night. But since I always know best, I said I didn't need to do that. I mean, I wasn't going to get that hot or dirty. So, while everyone (and by everyone, I mean the entire extended family on this apple picking trip) enjoyed a delicious dinner in clean cloths, I enjoyed mine in a hot and sweaty skirt, shirt and unmentionables.

And then I wallered around on the furniture because I wasn't going to miss out on cousin snuggling time just because I was dirty!

At least I got the first shower when everyone staying at my parents' house got back. And some good insight into what apple picking actually is for all my future apple picking excursions! No more questions from this girl. But only when it comes to apple picking.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bye Felicia

Over the weekend, we drove home to Charlotte to celebrate my birthdizzy early with my family. The boys went to the driving range, and the girls (well, Barbara, mom and I) went to Ft. Mill to a butcher shop mom likes to get steaks. I couldn't leave without getting something for my main squeeze, so mom got 6 steaks, and I got 2 filets and 2 lbs ground beef to take back to Raleigh. Guess we'll put off becoming vegetarian for another few weeks.

Eli showed up for dinner, which was delicious by the way (mashed potatoes, green beans, steaks, banana pudding and carrot cake, all made in my honor and not Lee's like he likes to think), and then the presents started! The family gave me a beautiful new pair of Jack Rogers. This in and of itself is important because the only pair of Jacks I have ever owned I got on eBay and I'm pretty sure they were pre-owned, and they are just gross at this point. So I am really excited to have a brand new pair I can call my own! (and yes, I did put the old ones back on eBay, and yes, they have already sold, which is even grosser because at least when I bought them, they didn't look like they had been through the streets of New York...). Eli gave me a gift card to use towards home improvements (because hello we are under contract!) and Bill gave me the Kate Spade bag I had ordered - ya know, from him - during the big blowout sale a few months back. These beautiful new designer gifts made me feel  better about my outfit choices for the weekend since mom had announced she wanted to go out to breakfast the next day, and I of course, had packed stupid (or smart) and only brought gym clothes.

Shortly after the gifts and the singing of birthday songs, Eli became a refusatory and refused to take Bill and me for a ride in her new car, refused to help clean the kitchen and refused to quit lounging on the porch sofa during dinner. But we won't talk about that.

Sunday we all got up early for breakfast the The Terrace Cafe in Southpark. Much to my mother's delight, I had discovered a pair of jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt in my bag, so when combined with my new treats,  I looked cuter than expected. It turns out Eli felt ashamed because she showed up for breakfast too! (Since I chose not to talk about her bad behavior above, I failed to mention that she went home to Hickory in a huff when she finally did decide to get up off the porch sofa). We asked Eli what she did when she went home alone and she said she watched the boy with the striped pajamas and it made her very sad to be alone, and then Lee reminded us all of the scene from Friday when Felicia flips out and leaves, and everyone just says "Bye Felicia."  Eli didn't much like that comparison and said she was not a Felicia, but dad made everyone laugh when he said "Look Mary Elizabeth! There is a name for how you act. It's called a Bye Felicia!"

In the end though, Felicia didn't cry at breakfast and everyone had a good time. And here is some photographic evidence (only of the no tears, not of my cuter than expected outfit)

Monday, October 20, 2014

A home is where the heart is.

That may be the case in most instances, but if you ask Bill, a home is whatever I see and decide I want to live in. Actually, I'm pretty sure his exact words were: you live and die with each house we see. Whatever that means.

Back in June, I convinced Bill we should start looking at houses. You know...we had lots of time, but it would be good to start looking so we could see what was out there and determine what things we like and what things we don't.  We knew the area (approximately 3-5 miles from our apartment), either inside the belt line or just outside, and under a certain amount. Only one problem with that search criteria: in that area, if it's affordable, it hasn't been updated since it was built. And did I mention we wanted minimal work?

We thought about building a house in basically the only place new homes in our area were being built. We could get a brand new house for the right price. So we talked to the builder. We picked out a lot. We picked out the upgrades we would want. We got the pre-qual from the bank. And then I made the mistake of redlining their contract (hello, day job) and all of a sudden, the builder got grumpy. In reality, we could live with everything as is except for the $12,000 non refundable deposit. I won't get into the logistics, but once they realized we weren't stupid, and weren't going to just fork over that amount of money to never see again, they got grumpy and we walked away. And I was depressed.

So then we (ok let's call it for what it is. When I say we, in the case of the house search, I mean I) fell for the Lindsay house. 5 bedrooms, including 2 on the first floor so my whole family could come from out of town to stay! Formal living room and dining room. Finished basement. Exposed beams. IVY ON THE BRICK. Huge windows. Charming. Sure, nothing had been updated since it was built in 1970 something. But look, these cherry cabinets are custom! All we need are new appliances and flooring. And the two toned toilet could be replaced. Oh and we could change out the puke green tile in the master because that closet is worth it. And I could still get a farm sink in the kitchen. It was a win win. Except Bill didn't love it. So I cried. And called off our house search.

Until the Dixie house (because you know I was still secretly looking at houses online). If you know anything about Raleigh, you know that Dixie Trail is such a cute little street. And who wouldn't want to say they live on Dixie! Except the house was literally the size of our apartment. And needed work. And just because I wanted to put rocking chairs on the front porch and Barbara could run around in the perfectly fenced in back yard did not mean it made sense to move into a house that size just so we could live on Dixie Trail. So I cried. (by the way, it still hasn't sold and even though it keeps dropping in price, Bill still isn't interested. Rude) And of course I said I would never try to look at another house again, and that we would just stay in our apartment FOREVER.

Then there was the house on Oberlin. Nothing what we had in our search criteria, but a great home and worth a look. It was awesome. Granted, it's only real flaw was the fact that it was really only 2 bedrooms, but on Oberlin, it would just increase on value. So we put in an offer and got promptly outbid. By 3 other bidders. So we walked away. We both may have cried that day. And had to eat our feelings for dinner. And called off the house search once again.

But because I have continued to secretly search, there have been several houses in between, including a beautiful bungalow with a guest house that needed to be demolished and a basement that needed finishing. Of course, my argument there was that if we just don't try to use the basement - I mean, with no access to the main house, it's not like it would be hard to ignore it - and we didn't look at the guest house, then it was perfect! Oh and we can't forget the tiki hut that has little tiny shingles glued to the walls and is basically ugly inside.

So we will see what happens. Like I said, we aren't in a rush! We have plenty of time! We love our apartment! I just don't know how many feelings I have left to get involved. Which is probably good since we decided to put an offer in on a house today and I Have declared I will not get emotionally involved OR mad at Bill if it doesn't work out.

But I guess we will have to see about that. Because I secretly already have decorated it and made a list of things we will need. But don't tell Bill because we've already had a talk about how I will need to practice patience with this home and how I can't go out and just buy a bunch of furniture to fill it up.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

hot yoga with the boss

Recently, my current boss was telling me about his love for shows like Revenge, 90210 and the OC. I guess he felt insecure because then he reminded me that he was married with children and loves football. I assured him that unless he made me go to hot yoga with him where he then took his shirt off to reveal a rose hip tattoo, I promised to never question his masculinity.

Then I realized just how often that exact topic has come up since it happened. That being the hot yoga with your boss who then takes off his shirt to reveal a rose hip tattoo. And since it clearly didn't come up here, it might as well come up now.

I have practiced hot yoga with my boss (this sounds kinky). Who just so happened to be the General Counsel of a billion dollar company. He also was a tiny man. Not only was he much shorter than me, he was a triathlete so he was also much fitter than me. And once he found out I was into yoga, he wanted to come with one day since he was looking for a new studio. Now. There are many things that could go wrong in this scenario, but none of them bothered to cross my mind at the time. I can say though from experience that hot yoga with your boss is just in general not a good idea.

There were probably 50 people in the class, so our mats were close. and of course he wanted to sit next to me since he didn't know anyone else. The room is a million degrees, so we were sweaty. And as a result of said sweat,  he proceeded to take off his shirt. As if that wasn't weird enough - for me to be doing hot yoga with my shirtless boss after work - the shirt removal revealed a single rose tattooed on his hip bone.  Now, because he was a tiny man, his rose hip tattoo took up basically his entire hip. And I'm not gonna lie - I noticed it. I mean, put yourself in my shoes for a minute. I'm a hot yoga. With my tiny boss. Who has taken his shirt off. OF COURSE I AM GOING TO LOOK AT HIM PEOPLE.

And promptly fall out of whatever pose was going on at that moment because I just cannot stop laughing. Judgmental I am not.

And you know, since yoga is supposed to be everyone's own practice, and talking has never been seen as anything but a distraction, all I could do was shake and tremble in silent laughter. And of course I put myself in child's pose so I could laugh into the mat. He whisper yells at me that I better not be laughing at him and if I can't keep a secret he will kill me.

Remember. This is my tiny boss. and he signs my paychecks. and now he has made yoga a violent place by threatening to kill me.

After yoga, he didn't even bother to ask what I was laughing at. He just says something along the lines of he used to be single, had to impress his girlfriend at the time, they were drunk at a guns n roses concert and so he decided to get a rose tattooed on his hip to express his masculinity to her.

oh. okay.

I'm sorry but i still think about that rose hip tattoo on that tiny man.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

a fall porch.

I've never felt much inspired by the changing seasons, but this year is different. Last year, I got really into Christmas (you first married Christmas) and this year, I'm really into fall. Well, for the time being at least while it actually IS fall.

My good friend Karoline posted a picture on Facebook of the fall wreath she made for their door. And I immediately wanted one. Karoline is so talented and should be a professional do it yourselfer. She walks into Michaels on a mission. I walk into Michaels feeling crafty and inspired, walk out a hundred bucks poorer and go home and feel overwhelmed.

As you can imagine, I was so excited when she said she would make me a wreath and ship it to me!!

And now I present to you our fall porch!!!

I am so in love with it. It was definitely a team effort. The wreath, perfectly made by Karoline and perfectly hung by Bill. The door mat was a surprise I had sent to our house for Bill in honor of our (note: our in this case our really means his) favorite team. I purchased two of the pumpkins and the lantern at the Teeter but it looked dinky - not to mention I really didn't know what I was actually supposed to DO with the lantern -  so we got some hay, some mums and some additional pumpkins. Bill is responsible for the arranging of the props. He also is responsible for how great our hanging mums look. Before those were there we had two really dead Boston ferns hanging because the porch doesn't get much sun, and neither of us watered them for pretty much the entire summer. Oh and in the corner you'll see the leprechaun plant Aunt Libby gave me when we visited her house for Sunday lunch back in March. Like all my plants, it has a multitude of lives and is currently living a good one in the one sunny spot we have on our fall porch.

And now, I give you this quote by one of my fave writers, F. Scott Fitzgerald:  Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Man, isn't that the truth? So much life that now I am thinking about the Christmas wreath I know Karoline is going to make me. And my Christmas porch (because what is a wreath without its porch?) that will not include the light up train station my sister loves or the giant blow up Santa because I sold him on Craigslist.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Anniversary Weekend!

Our anniversary weekend started off on the right foot with a stop by Biscuitville for some chicken biscuits (with cheese, thank you very much) and some diets. (Yes, Natalie, when you wrote on my facebook that you hoped we ate lots of chicken biscuits, you had no idea that we already were doing so!)

Back when we were making plans for our anniversary, we decided we wanted to go somewhere that neither of us had been, but that wouldn't be too far away. After many great suggestions from facebook friends, we settled on Columbia, NC, where a friend from college owns a B&B. I for one had never heard of Columbia, NC but it turns out, it's precious. We read an article in Our State Magazine about it, and determined that was our destination!

So, we headed east, first with a stop in Edenton, NC. I hadn't ever been to Edenton, but it's super romantic (yay!) and cute. On the way, I read TripAdvisor reviews to Bill about the different restaurants in Edenton, and we settled on a little bistro based on one review about their reuben sammie. It was TASTY. We did a little browsing in Bloomingdeals, a local consignment shop not to be confused with Bloomingdales, and then headed to the water front. We stopped in at the visitor center and got a little history lesson (did any of you people know that there was an Edenton Tea Party - yes, same as the Boston tea party - that was hosted by a woman and it caused quite a stir with the town and their menfolk over in England?) We contemplated a boat ride, and got shunned from the lighthouse (private tours only apparently) and then made an excellent decision to stop in at the soda shop and get an ice cream cone before heading to Columbia.

We had reservations at The Brickhouse Inn, which is one one end of the main - and maybe the only - drag in Columbia. I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of it! We had some time before we could check in, so we did a little window shopping in this man's antique store. Turns out he retired from New York to Columbia and opened an antique store. I thought that was interesting but also pretty cool because he was living his dream! We left there, walked 100 feet more, and took a walk on the boardwalk, through the swamp. It was so peaceful and really beautiful. Funny that the boardwalk ends right across the street from the local wine shop, and even funnier how thirsty one can become while walking through the swamp. Needless to say, we stopped by for a taste of local wine and a smoothie.

After our wine tasting, it was time to check in, shower and get ready for dinner at Old Salt Oyster Bar, which my friend also owns. Everyone was so welcoming, and the space was really cool. We had an app of cheese and crackers, and Bill had a steak and I had crab (local! Columbia is a big crab hub for the east coast). And.It.Was.Delicious. For dessert, we had our wedding cake topper!! And an entire bottle of prosecco.

The cake tradition was really fun! My friend from college, Anna, made our wedding cake. She owns a bakery in Wilmington - One Belle Bakery - and is super talented. She's been on TLC too! I was really excited about having a famous pastry chef (is that what you're called Anna?) do our wedding cake and it was so yummy. So yummy in fact that there wasn't anything left except our cake topper, and Bill and I only got a smidge at the cake cutting. So we had been looking forward to eating an entire layer of this delicious cake all on our own for literally a year.

It was pretty good too! I mean, it wasn't as fresh as I imagine it was the day we got married, but considering it had been sitting in a freezer - with live flowers on top - for a year, it was pretty good.

The next morning, we had a HUGE southern breakfast before heading back home. I had never stayed in a REAL B&B but after that breakfast, I will definitely be trying to make it a habit. Anyone who knows us knows we enjoy our meals. We had breakfast casserole, hash brown casserole, biscuits, cinnamon bread, the best bacon I've ever had, and some other dishes I can't even remember.

So after we rolled ourselves to the car, we headed back home. And promptly stopped at Biscuitville for one last weekend chicken biscuit (not to be confused with a weekday chicken biscuit. Because they are very different).

And now our anniversary is over. And we've been married for more than a year. Onward!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

one year later.

Dear Bill:

I can't believe our one year anniversary is almost here! We have the cute little B&B booked, our wedding cake topper ready for defrosting, and I hope the perfect new dress I had delivered this week fits.

It took me so long to find you. So many tears, so much deep, heart felt pain, so much anxiety. And then, all of a sudden, there you were.  And you became everything to me, almost immediately. It was only a few weeks in that we planned to get married, and here we are, haven't even known each other for two years, and we've already been married for one.

It is such a privalege to be your wife and to do life next to you, with you. It makes me sad to think of all the people who don't know your heart because they are missing out on such a gem.

You are so funny, so kind, so smart, so gentle, so sweet. After all, I do call you my sweet boy bill. I feel like you have taken the words Bruce spoke over us at our wedding to heart and have tried your best to uphold them during the course of our marriage. Every day, I wake up feeling so loved and so accepted. I feel like every day you take from your store room of love and add to mine. Even on my worst days, when my insecurities and my fears from the past come creeping up, you love me through them and remain steadfast in your gentleness and love. You show grace when I don't deserve it  and you show patience when I know inside you just want to gouge your eyes out. Or mine. You are my hero.

Our wedding was perfect to me; an absolute dream. I love looking at our wedding album and remembering every little detail and how full our lives were that day. I loved that so many people loved us enough to celebrate with us as we started our life as one. I remember our honeymoon and how much fun it was, being totally relaxed and away from the day to day stresses life can bring (me more than you because I can over analyze and be anxious about things until I am blue in the face. You on the other hand are go with the flow Bill and seem to have mastered the art of not worrying. And I love you for the balance you bring to our life).

I  knew taking our vows wasn't something to be taken lightly, and I knew marriage would be hard. And plenty of people told us the first year of marriage was the hardest. Of course, I don't think either of us really believed that. I mean, we were in a whirlwind of love and joy and celebration. What could go wrong?

I remember the fear we felt that cancer had returned, and the pure elation we felt when it turned out to be a false diagnosis. I remember the joy of new jobs and the excitement of a new place to live. But I also remember the stress of new jobs and the stress of moving. I remember the feelings of (whatever you want to call them) from taking a financial planning class and learning to manage our money now that we were one, and I remember how trying it was for us to have only one working car for a few months. I remember being in debt, and I remember the feelings of relief to wash over us when we no longer were.  I remember the excitement of our first married trip. I remember so much laughter, so much fun, so much life lived together in this first year.

This first year of marriage has shown me just how selfish I can be. I would be lying if I said shifting my focus from me to us wasn't hard (and it IS different than dating. I don't care what anyone says). Sometimes, I just want to do what I want to do and buy what I want to buy and go where I want to go and make huge life decisions without explanation and without having to check in with you. But, that defeats the purpose of teamwork, and I don't want to be in a marriage where we aren't on the same team. Over the past year, I have learned that the long term benefit of being selfless outweighs the short term benefit of doing things my way all the time. I have learned that the more I strive to serve you and to love you well, the better I am as a helpmate, and the better our marriage is. I have learned that self sacrifice is a daily choice and as long as it's with you, it's a choice I want to make day after day. It's also a choice that has made me even more grateful for new mercies every day, because there are a lot of days where I mess up, and I need another chance.

This first year of marriage has been such a source of joy and has brought meaning and purpose to my life. I love so many things about you and even when we have hurt each other, you're the only one I want to do life with. You complement me in so many ways and don't let me take myself too seriously. You bring fresh insight to my thoughts and you don't seem to mind all my feelings, even if they are just a whole lot of the same ones! You don't mind my lists, my love for MTV,  my belief that Barbara is human, you appreciate the little things I do for you, you bring me flowers often, you affirm me and you encourage my dreams and hopes for the future. To quote Taylor Swift, your hands are rough but they are where mine belong.

Sometimes, I still lose my breath and have to pinch myself because I never thought I would find this love, and even now, it's still sometimes hard for me to believe it's real and it's mine. It just never occurred to me that such goodness was waiting for me. I don't feel deserving of you at all but you are my living proof that our God is a God of grace and mercy and second chances. You are my answered prayer and evidence of His faithfulness.

So here's to our first year of marriage. I am so excited for the ones to come.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mr. and Mrs. Lunes

Speaking of Rue La La, they have had a lot of luggage for sale lately. This has prompted a few conversations/reminiscings of our honeymoon to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.

For starters, I think it is important to note that Mexico may or may not have caused me to hold the first ever temper tantrum of our relationship (don't ask Bill though because he and I have a difference in opinions when it comes to my "temper tantrums").

So, our honeymoon was gifted to us from his dad and stepmom. They have a time share and each kid had been gifted a week for their honeymoons anywhere they wanted to go in the time share network and we were cashing in on our turn! We thought about going to Hawaii, since neither of us had been, but we were working on a condensed time line and the nice places were already booked solid. We did find a hotel a mile from the beach with a murphy bed that was available, but I just wasn't too interested in sleeping on a bed that falls out of the wall for my honeymoon. So I cried.

Then Bill did the unthinkable and suggested Mexico and I cried even more. I did NOT want to go to Mexico, no matter how many nice beautiful romantic hotels Bill showed me. Let's not forget, I had been on a Ladymoon to a Sandals in Jamaica years earlier, and I wanted my honeymoon to be better than that, and that was going to be hard to beat, and I just knew if it was to be beaten, it was not going to be by Mexico. I meant, they have a drug carttel in Mexico and I wasn't trying to get killed (or do drugs) on my honeymoon. So I cried. I stamped my feet. I slammed some doors. and yelled repeatedly "I do not want to go to Mexico! Even if it is free!" (Side note: as I write this, I am surprised Bill still went on a honeymoon with me at all because it appears as though I was being ridiculous).

Well. We ended up in Mexico. Somehow I managed to see through my tears and we found a beautiful resort called Secrets in Puerto Vallarta. It is basically the Sandals of Mexico. The reviews on TripAdvisor were fabulous (we all know how I love my reviews!) and it was a new property and they had a honeymoon package where they would put a sash on your door and rose petals in the bathtub - and even though we all know I feel like hotel bathtubs are pretty creepy, the idea of it was just so romantic and I just got so excited and forgot all about how much I hated Mexico an hour earlier.

So we book our hotel and our flights and that was one more thing off the wedding to do check list. Bill said to remind him to get his luggage from his dad's house so we could take that. Well, because I am a world traveler (and have only carry on luggage), I somehow got it in my head that we could only take one suitcase PER COUPLE on an international flight. ONE SUITCASE PER COUPLE. Bill just couldn't quite understand, but just went along with it for some reason. And since we could only take one suitcase per couple, Bill asked his dad if we could just borrow his largest suitcase. And then we packed both of us for an entire week in one suitcase. I think Bill was only allowed to bring one or two pairs of pants, one pair of shoes and some bathing suits. which sounds fine when you're going to the beach, except we were going to an all inclusive and they have all those weird dress requirements for the restaurants. So Bill was just going to have to switch out his outfits and we would both wear repeats because we just were not going to pay to check an additional bag past our one suitcase per couple. (side note: it must have been wedding frenzy because the tickets clearly say 1 bag per person checked for free but that's neither here not there).

When we got there, all the English speaking Spaniards thought the last name Monday was hilarious (Bill told me to just wait till I took his name and then I would understand. And yes, sweet hubby, I too now say I am "Monday just like the day of the week" so you were right) so they referred to us as "Mr. and Mrs. Lunes." All week long. Even the card on our roses in the room said "Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Lunes." And then somehow, one of the waiters decided Bill's first name surely must be Allen. So ALL WEEK LONG it was "good morning Senor Allen. Hello Mrs. Lunes." We thought this was hysterical. Mainly because if Bill did introduce us by name to the waiters, he definitely didn't make up our names, so we have no clue where they got the name Allen.

The hotel was everything the reviews (and Bill) said it would be. It was beautiful, clean and romantic. It was without a doubt, the perfect honeymoon. We met some fun friends (shoutout!) whom we have stayed in touch with and actually seen since our honeymoon. We stayed up late (not taking baths. But it did look pretty! and smelled like roses!) and ordered room services just because we could (note: breakfast sausage at 2a in Mexico may turn out to be vienna sausages) and we watched Mexican Hatfields and McCoys (which is a great series if you haven't gotten into it).  We showed up at the pool every morning at 9a and our waiters would bring by our morning pick me up. (Mom, you'll be glad to know we were the only people at the resort who ordered diet cokes as their morning pick me up instead of tequila...obviously that is an afternoon pick me up! i kid, i kid). At 11 every day they hosted water aerobics. Right in front of our chairs at the pool. And every day at 1050 they would say "so today you do aerobics?" and every day at 1051 we would say "not today, maybe tomorrow" and then our waiter would bring us our lunch, which I have exhibited here. Yes, every day for lunch we ate exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. every day. and it was wonderful.

Every day we picked out an activity to do the next day - we had high hopes of kayaking, scuba diving, yachting -  but for some reason every day our only activity ended up just being us telling the pool staff we would participate in water aerobics the next day because we were too  busy chowing down on delicious burgers and watching aerobics today. Oh wait, that's false. We did venture off property to Happy Hands Massage Parlor for a massage, and Bill did hold some sea turtles close to his face before releasing them. I only took pictures so as not to contaminate my hands with salmonella.

Watching the little turtles was really a cool experience and I was quite proud of myself for only telling the story of the Arabian who asked me if I wanted to see his turtles at Myrtle Beach only a few times to strangers. My arabian accent is pretty cool if you are curious about it.

So this brings me back to my original point. Luggage has been for sale on Rue La La a few times lately, and we do have free shipping. Turns out, since Mexico ended up being a dream instead of the nightmare I knew it would be when the drug cartel came for us, we decided to go back again this year with Bill's whole family! I found some  beautiful luggage we should purchase, one bag for each of us since you know, we get a free checked bag per ticket. But Bill said no, we would just get his luggage from his dad's house and use that. Luckily for Bill, whether we use his luggage or buy new luggage, he gets his own bag this time. And more than one or two pairs of hankies for the week.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ooo lah lah for rue la la

When I lived in Charlotte, I had a friend who introduced me to Rue La La. And by introduce, I mean she got a credit when I bought something. So of course, in turn, I have introduced friends in hopes of getting my own credits!

I have bought a lot from Rue La La at a discount. I mean, I think it's a discount. Maybe it's just the thrill of buying "designer" online when I should be working, but whatever it is, it is hard to say no to a Rue La La box on your doorstep (and in the words of my friend, "I always say Ooo lah lah for Rue La La").

The greatest perk about Rue La La is that once you buy something, you get 30 days of free shipping. So you can imagine how much my purchasing power goes up during the 30 days of free shipping.

The other day, they had mattresses on sale. Now, Bill and I had just discussed getting a new mattress. Our mattress is a hardly used before now mattress from the lake, and the guest bedroom mattress is my old mattress that rolls to the center, so no use in switching that over.  However, apparently, in typical Bill fashion, when he mentioned maybe getting a new mattress, he didn't mean right away. He just meant eventually. Sort of like if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But when I heard mattress, I got all kinds of excited because I had just seen that Rue La La was hosting a Sealy boutique that week.

And I already had free shipping.

Except when I mentioned this to Bill, he was less than enthused. Actually, his words to me were something along the lines of "just because you have free shipping on Rue La La doesn't mean we should buy a mattress online."

I mean, i guess he had a point. I just really like a good deal, and somehow, free shipping on a MATTRESS made me feel like I would be beating the system somehow.

The Monday Fundays Are Still Alive!

We are here! I promise!!!

I gotta be's hard being the perfect wife, having a full time job, and keeping up a blog. Plus, I've been struggle city for awhile now with whether or not it even makes sense to have a blog anymore. I mean, I don't feel like we are particularly interesting or exciting. My life seemed much more "bloggable" (to me at least) when I was single, and I didn't have a care in the world.

But now I do. I want to protect the little family Bill and I have built the past year, and even if that little family only consists of us, plus Barbara, well, I still want to protect it and hold it close. But then there is that other part of me that wants to still blog, and share our funny little life with the world. And then there is this other part of me that feels like maybe our lives aren't that funny, or interesting, and who wants to read about it when it's not? I mean, we watch Dateline on Friday nights and 48 Hours Mystery on Saturday nights!

But, the past few weeks, I've gotten a few asks about blogging. And I've shared that I have a list of things I have been wanting to blog, but I haven't because I've let my fears of being a loser blogger take over. So, after some encouragement, for the one thousandth time, I am going to try again!

guess who's back, back again.  we'll see how long this lasts.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

the time a boyfriend helped me move

Shortly after Bill and I met, I decided to move and because Bill was smitten with me (naturally), he offered up his services to help me move.

Now. I had never had a boyfriend to help me move before, so this was exciting. Up until this point, it had always been my dad, my brother and my brother's friends helping me move. They were already on the hook to help me move again this time, so having a boyfriend help was an added bonus.

There are several things to note about this particular move (and you may surmise what you will about how they may or may not have affected the outcome of this moving experience).

1. The weather report was calling for a huge ice storm that week.
2. Bill offered to let me use his dad's truck so I didn't have to rent a U-Haul (score for being thrifty!)
3. Because I had a boyfriend to help, I was under pressure to be on my best behavior.
4. My brother was involved.

Moving was scheduled for Saturday. I had taken Friday off work so I could finish packing and organizing - I was really overwhelmed with this move for some reason and at one point, my mom had called and asked if she and my dad needed to drive up from Charlotte to pack everything up because she was "sick of hearing me cry all the time about moving." Apparently, I had given off the impression that I would pack a box, then sit and cry (ok, so that may have been what actually happened in the weeks leading up to this move). So as you can imagine, I needed that day off work to finish what I had started. Well. That day, it snowed and iced. All.Damn.Day.

I woke up Saturday morning to an ice-capade. What a nightmare. I immediately called my mom (hello! mom in another city to the rescue!)  in hysterics that I was never going to get moved. She alerted my dad that I was already freaking out, and he in turn called my brother and told him to stop by Lowe's to get ice melt on his way to my house. The tree house I was living in had like 15 stairs, so with ice melt on them, there should be no issue getting me moved. If only we had known the ice melted stairs would be the least of our problems on this day. At this point, Lee was doing as he was told and brought some ice melt for my stairs. The friends start showing up, and the boys got to work. By this time, the ice had started melting so everything was wet. Soaking, sopping wet, including the back of Bill's dad's truck. Obviously I hadn't thought about a tarp or anything, and didn't want to ruin any of my blankets, so if anything got wet in the truck, well, that was just what was going to have to happen. (Until my mattress got muddy. Then I realized the err of my ways).

I think the pressure of having a boyfriend helping me move (i mean hello, a boyfriend helping you move is serious! It's like putting a ring on it!) was just too much for both my brother and me to handle. I had to play it cool so Bill would think that if I was this easy going and laid back about moving, then I must be that way about everything else in life and he should definitely lock it down quickly. And Lee had to play it cool because if he went crazy, Bill would judge me for having a crazy brother and would never see me again. And Lee had already been told by my mom not to screw this up for me. Haha.

So anyway, after the second trip in the truck, and a tree house still full of furniture to be moved, my brother decided to ask the most obvious question that I am sure he and all of his friends were wondering: "Meredith, why didn't you rent a UHaul? This is so stupid. It's going to take us 15 trips to get everything moved if we are only using this truck. I am renting you a UHaul." Except I didn't want a UHaul to be rented. I wanted to use Bill's dad's truck. Duh.

Lee had made up his mind my moving process was not going well, or quickly - and it wasn't -  and he was going to take charge. But I didn't want Lee to take charge! I needed to be in charge so Bill would see how great I was at being in charge and coordinating and organizing! So I did what anyone (ok maybe just any Robertson) would do. I flipped my %$#@. I screamed, I cried, and of course I called my mom.

And then I went and locked myself in my car. Nobody could be mean to my feelings if I was locked away in a car. According to Bill, I sat there heaving and crying and he didn't know what in the world was going on. So he went inside. Where he and all the boys stayed,  eating the pizza I had been SO KIND to arrange to be delivered as a thank you for helping me move. My brother apparently stood in the doorway talking crap about me and laughing about what a hysterical woman I was. Bill decided he needed to do something. So he brought me two pieces of pizza. I'm sure he thought I would at least say thank you, come get in the car and talk to me. But instead I rolled the window down - mind you tears are still streaming down my face - just enough for him to slide the pizza in and then I rolled it back up and off he went, back to the treehouse full of boys.

He says the sight he saw when he looked back at me is a sight he won't soon forget: me crying hysterically with a phone in one hand talking to my mom and a piece of pizza in the other.

I honestly don't know what is so memorable about that sight. Hasn't everyone freaked out and eaten pizza at the same time while their brother stood inside talking crap about his sister to her new boyfriend who had offered to help her move?

Friday, March 7, 2014

words of wisdom from my boss.

this week, I was asked if I had a tweeter.

"Yes, I have a tweeter. I only use it to complain to companys. and to cyber bully the teen moms." i told them.

"meredith, i think you should have disclosed your reality tv obsession on your resume." said my boss.

and then, somehow, someone brought up the fact that I was a synchronized swimmer in college.

that fact, by the way, is disclosed on my resume.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

gluten free, grain free, grass fed

many of you know about my beautiful little barbara. and many of you know that like any good mother, i will skip buying things for myself in order for my sweet child to have only the best. for example, bill and i may have to eat hot dogs in order for barbara to eat grade 5 dog food (and let's be honest, she'll probably eat some hot dogs too), but she will eat only high grade food. i think it's safe to say that someone in our house will always be eating well, but it may or may not always be bill and me.

The other day, in addition to buying Barbara a giant pink NC State collar (you know, because she too agreed to be a State fan upon marriage), Bill picked up a sample of this food called "Taste of the Wild." It just so happens to be the Wild Boar formula and actually has roasted wild boar in it. Which is perfect since Barbara makes piglet noises when she eats every night. Roasted pig for our favorite little piglet!

Barbara went NUTS over this food. And it was dry food, mixed with her normal, also high grade, wingaling wet food (yes, this child literally gets chicken wings for supper). So Bill, being the doting father he is, called the pet store to see if it came in a wet food formula. Oh yes, they said. And then they went on to tell him that dogs who lick their paws or have tear stains may have gluten or grain allergies. Funny. Barbara does both. Here I was thinking her tear stains were from her crying because she missed us so much, but it turns out she cries because she has an allergy!

So you can imagine what happened next. If you imagined BIll and me spending hours online pricing out the Wild Board Stew at various pet food sites, then purchasing exactly a whole case of it to be delivered within 2 days, then your imagination is spot on!

And if you imagined me feeling bad for making fun of all those fad people who claim to have a gluten allergy, and simply must eat dried out gluten free waffles, well you are wrong. I'm still not sold that everyone in this world has a gluten, grain, potato allergy, but isn't it funny how we react when we find out our children may be suffering? There was absolutely no question in mine or Bill's minds that Barbara simply must need to go gluten free so her tears will stop staining her beautiful face and her paws will stop being so tasty to her.

next up: a pair of vegan toms to go with her gluten free, grain free, tear unstained face.

Monday, February 17, 2014

snowmageddon 2014

if you know me, you know that i have quit skiing. After having one too many panics attack, the last of which was at the top of the big hill in the middle of Squaw Valley two years ago, I threw in the towel, sold my skis on craigslist and i haven't looked back. in general, i just don't love snow anymore. it causes too much heartburn and headache. it makes the entire world just shut down. and i do NOT have time for that.

so you can imagine my chagrin when Big Weather announced on the radio AGAIN that we were expecting snow. I just had too much going on last week to deal with more snow. Barbara isn't exactly impressed with snow, we had errands to run, I needed to grocery shop for the beach trip, I needed to wash clothes, I needed to be able to freakin' leave the house (notice work is not included in these items. I did not NEED to work although I did have to at some point in there). Plus, let's be honest. When are the weather men ever really right on par with their weather guesses anymore? So you can imagine the state of panic I was in when the sky opened up last Wednesday and dumped snow all over the Triangle.

At 1p I got a text from Bill that he was leaving work and was on his way to get me. The snow was starting to fall and he wanted to get out of Durham and back to Raleigh before the roads got bad. Except apparently everyone in Durham and RTP had the exact same thought at the exact same time. At 115, Bill picked me up. At approximately 120, I began to cry. The roads were already parking lots, people were abandoning their cars and walking, tires were spinning, everyone was in a state of duress. I just knew we weren't ever going to see our home again. We were going to be stranded and die. And Barbara was going to die because no one would be able to go check on her.

Somewhere along the way, Bill informed me that I was not very good in a crisis and he didn't know if he would put me on his lifeboat. I managed to stop planning our funerals long enough to ask "you wouldn't save my life?" To which he responded: "well, I would. but i would knock you out cold first."

22 miles later and four hours later, we did finally make it home. and in case you were wondering, i still hate snow.

Married Valentine's Day - Part 1

We had some bad weather last week, so our plans to go see Les Miserables (first date throw back!) got rescheduled. Luckily, Bill was still able to pick up the flowers he had ordered for me. One thing about Bill - he's really thoughtful. So he had ordered Valentine's flowers from our wedding florist Gregg that matched our wedding flowers.  The flowers are beautiful and our house smells like a floral shop now! We were even able to carry them to the beach with us so we could enjoy them all weekend. Three cheers for a man who knows his wife loves flowers, she loves fancy flowers and the less store bought they can be, the better!

monday's musings

whew. it's been busy the past few months. actually, since we got married it feels like it's been one thing after another. i think it's safe to say we've had our fair share of newlywed fun. and we've had our fair share of newlywed challenges.

In the past four months, we've both: had car issues, health concerns, and started new jobs. We've moved. We've thought about - and talked about - finding a new church. We've even picked a few to try for when we're in town. We've combined incomes, spending styles and decorating skills. We've had to learn how to better and more effectively communicate. We've had to adjust some of our plans for the future. And we've realized that what is important to us - him and me - has to be protected and fought for, sometimes it feels like daily. We have to protect our marriage. We have to fight for our marriage. And we have to consciously decide to put the other first.

Bruce, our wedding minister told us that marriage will make you realize just how selfish you are. And boy oh boy. He wasn't kidding. I used to think I wasn't all that selfish and I used to think I would make the perfect wife. Hello, I love to cook and clean! And I will happily do so if he wants to bring home the bacon!! But I was wrong. So so so wrong (not about the cooking and cleaning. It is in fact true about me that I love each of those things). Over the past 4 months, I have learned just how selfish I can be and how much happier I am when I am making decisions to put his needs before mine. I have also learned how much better we do as a unit - as a team - when we are prayerful in our thoughts and intentional in our decisions. It's so much fun - such a blessing - to have a teammate, to be his helper, to learn how to love him well and to learn to do life together.

But it is work. Hard work. And while I always knew marriage would be hard, I never thought it would be so hard so fast. I always knew being married would change things but I don't think I realized just how much things would change. Marrying Bill has been the absolute best decision I've ever made. But learning to be less selfish, to put my husband's needs and wants before mine, and to allow him to fully see my brokenness, my insecurities and how wicked my soul can be sometimes has been hard. Even though I know he loves the depths of me and the ridiculousness that can be me, it's been hard to give someone everything and just believe that he won't run away.  It's definitely been a tug of war with faith.

In a sense, it's overwhelming that this man chose me and wants to be with me through thick and thin. For better for worse. For richer or for poorer. in sickness and in health. and at the same time, I think it is just that - those very things - that make marriage so profound and so worth it. and i wouldn't trade any of the past four months for anything.

Monday, January 27, 2014

you told me you killed the cook. so i facebooked your dad.

the other day, i was gchatting with my friend Brooke and she asked me how i avoided showing Bill my crazy early on. Avoided? I pondered this word for a moment because I am fairly certain Bill saw my crazy almost immediately into our courtship. No, I'm not talking about the time he helped me move and I sat in the car, crying hysterically on the phone to my mom about what a jerk my brother was being while eating pizza and my brother stood in the tree house laughing at me and calling me crazy and Bill just stood there trying to figure out how he had ended up in this place. no, I'm talking about the time Bill told me he was going to kill the cook at work, and then I ended up looking like a crazy b.

one day - 2 weeks into our relationship to be exact - bill's wallet got stolen at work. he txted me about it when he noticed it was gone, and then txted me an update around 11a that he had found his wallet, the cook had stolen it, and he was going to kill the cook. I didn't think much of it because it was early on in the day and surely he wasn't really going to kill the cook! except the day came and went and i didn't hear anything else from him. Not wanting to freak out, or over react, I sent him a few "are you ok?" txts and tried not to worry. My friend Karoline was coming over for dinner that night so I decided I had plenty to focus on. Except then dinner came and went (we had early dinner so she could go see her now husband) and I didn't hear from Bill. So, I txted my friend Allison and asked her for her thoughts. I told her he had threatened to kill the cook and how I just knew since I hadn't heard from him that he was in jail because he had, in fact, killed the cook and was sitting in jail, charged with murder.

"Have you driven up to Chick Fil A to see if his car is there?" she asked.
"no. Because what if there is crime scene tape every where and then I get questioned by police."
"Do you know where he lives? You could drive by his house and see if his car is there." she suggested.
"I don't know where he lives. He always comes to my house."
"Do you know his parents? You could check in with one of them to see if they have heard from him."
"I don't know his parents...(keep in mind it's only been 3 weeks) but I found his dad on facebook and was thinking about messaging him. Think I should do that?"

Absolutely she replied. Find out if he's heard from him. (I love it when my friends think like me)

So I did. It went something like this:

Hi Mr. Monday! We haven't met, but I have been dating Bill for a few weeks and today he had an incident at work where the cook stole his wallet. He txted me that he was going to kill the cook but that was around 11 this morning, and I Haven't heard anything else from him. If you hear from him, could you let him know I'm getting worried? Thanks, and I look forward to meeting you soon!

And of course, AS SOON as I sent that facebook message, I got an explanatory call from Bill that he had gotten off work and fallen asleep. "So you didn't kill the cook?" I asked. "What? No way I didn't kill the cook. Are you serious?" he replied.


As soon as Bill stopped laughing long enough, he clarified that he had heard me correctly and that I had actually sent his dad a facebook message. Luckily his dad is like my mom in that his passwords for social media are all the same. So he was able to quickly hack into his dad's facebook account and delete the message, thereby allowing me to avoid looking like a total crazy b.

except unbeknownst to us, his dad has some weird back up thing going on with his computer. So about a month later (thankfully I had met the man by this point), his dad responded with "just got this. don't know how i missed it. i trust you found Bill and everything is going well. See you soon."


and then i had to explain to Bill exactly how my brain worked that it made complete logical sense to me because he had said he was going to kill the cook that he must have actually killed the cook and was sitting in jail being charged with murder and that his dad would have to find out from me this horrible news.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

a little wrinkle (in my tuxedo shirt) ain't no thang

a couple of weeks ago, my great uncle wally was posthumously honored at a gala recognizing the 100 best coaches, administrators and athletes in north carolina high school athletics. my great aunt isn't in good enough health to travel, so she asked Bill and me to attend in her honor and accept the award. All she had to say was black tie and we were in. we are very fancy after all.

the event was on a saturday night and we had to be there by 6 to get our instructions for the evening. which meant we had to leave by 530 in the afternoon.

i believe some may call this nagging, but for the entire week leading up to the gala, i kept asking bill if he had gone by his dad's house to get his tux, where he had taken it after the last black tie event we had attended together, exactly one year ago from this gala. and for the entire week leading up to the gala, bill kept telling me he would get it "tomorrow night." only every tomorrow night came and went and it was friday night before we knew it. so off he went to get his tux.

only he didn't bring it in from the car. so for the entirety of what was left of the friday night before the gala, i asked him when he planned to bring in his tux. "I will get it later" he said.

my friends, i would like to introduce you to Bill,  the world's greatest procrastinator. you already know me and know that i am in fact not a procrastinator. i am what you would call a planner aheader. i keep 3 different calendars and i study each of them daily. planning ahead makes me feel accomplished. successful. relaxed and purposeful.

procrastination on the other hand makes me feel anxious. it causes me to sweat and to have heartburn. it upsets my blood pressure. and it makes me ugly cry (i say that as if i have a pretty cry).

so here we are suddenly, on saturday - the day of the gala - and i am running errands when i get a txt from my sweet hubby (at 11am no less) that says: "so, my tux needs to go to the dry cleaner." now, because i get things done well in advance of time and am generally in the know, i know that dry cleaners typically close early on saturdays. i know that most dry cleaners don't do same day service if it isn't dropped off to them by 7a. and i also know that we have exactly 6.5 hours before we are to leave the house and my husband has only just now determined his tux needs a fresh dry cleaning.

he promises me he has a solution. he has called multiple dry cleaners and he has found one that will do it in two hours at no additional charge. naturally, i refused to believe him and instead chose to remind him of how i was right and knew this would happen, all because of his refusal to be like me and plan ahead and generally just do things my way.

but i have to hand it to bill on this one. he must have charmed his way into some dry cleaner's heart because he is the only person i know who can get a tux dry cleaned in 2 hours for only $17. Apparently, james bond only ever does 2 hour dry cleaning as well because he doesn't have "time to waste on such trivial matters."

and as bill reminded me in the middle of my panic attack, doing life this way sure makes things a lot more interesting...

a love story (hand rolled, right here, there's nothing cookie cutter about it)

(three cheers and maybe a nugget tray if you can guess where that saying came from)

Just about every morning on the way to work (but usually on the way home from the gym), Meredith would stop by the Chick Fil A near her house and get a drink (and more often than not, a chicken biscuit). And every morning, the cute guy in the window would chit chat with her. But he never asked her name and she never asked his. In fact, the first real conversation they even had was about the state fair. He asked her if she was going, she told him no because she hated the state fair, and that was that.

This went on for a few months. They made small talk about how cold it was for him to stand in the window, how cute her dog in the backseat was, and on the rare occasion she stopped by on her way to work, how well she cleaned up. And then one week, he wasn't there. Concerned, Meredith asked where he was (she knew his name from her many receipts). The girl in the window said he was working afternoons that week and then asked her about her Meredith College ring because she too went to Meredith College. That Friday, Meredith left work early and decided to congratulate herself on finishing up work for the year by getting a cookie from Chick Fil A. And there he was in the window. She asked him where he had been all week; he asked her where she had been all his life. Then he said "I don't even know your name." So they officially met. He told her he had heard she had asked about him and that apparently, she was a good one because she was a Meredith girl and Meredith girls are always catches. She found out he loved NC State, and he found out she hated NC State. He told her that the reason he was always in the window when she came by was because he had told his coworkers that if "the girl in the red car" came through, to tell him so he could serve her. In an effort to not completely blow it already, Meredith offered to bring him an NC State Tervis Tumbler she had lying around her house. She was moving in a couple of months and needed to get rid of it anyway and this was a perfect excuse. They found out they had a mutual Facebook friend. So using that as her tool, and her tervis tumbler as her excuse, she messaged him on Facebook and asked when he would be working again so she could bring the tumbler by. He responded that she was his favorite regular and asked her to dinner. She agreed, as long as it wasn't to Chick Fil A.

They went out the following week to dinner at Fox and Hound at North Hills and the movie Les Mis. Except they had so much fun at dinner that they showed up late to the movie and were forced to sit on the very front row. They laughed the entire movie at things they had discussed at dinner. He asked her for a second date before the night was over, and at the end of the night, he walked her to her car but didn't kiss her. She left wondering what the heck his problem was.

On their second date, he knew she was special. On their third, she knew he was the one. His coworkers gave her the moniker "chicken lady," and after a month, they told people they were going to elope. But that got complicated, so they had a real wedding and are now living happily ever after. duh. 

and we're back. almost a year later.

i see that my last post was from April.

a lot has happened since then. mainly, i got hitched. merdeezy became a monday. and yes, i know. NO ONE likes a monday.

i've been debating whether or not I wanted to bring the blog back.

but at the encouragement of my sweet hubby, and the fact that we have some really fun(ny) times together, well, here we are.

trust me. the last thing i want is for this to become one of those blogs that married people keep to brag about - i mean tell everyone about - their every day ordinary lives.


but, uh, hello. i know myself and that's likely what this will become. except our every day ordinary lives are sprinkled with the good stuff that makes life very interesting. or stressful. whichever you prefer.

guess what post is next? our love story, obvi.