Our journey, opinions, experiences and randomness as we continue on this crazy little ride called married life.
Yesterday’s news and images that came — and continue to come — out of the bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line are devastating. Terrifying. So, so sad.
I’ve neither ran a marathon nor desired to run one, but I’ve always admired those who can and do. The strength, the training, the determination … All that goes into prepping for any marathon is amazing. The Boston Marathon is, from this non-runner’s perspective, The Marathon. It’s a day of joy, of accomplishment, of unity for those who run it and those who are there to support those runners.
Boston has always been one of my favorite cities. The energy, the food, the sites, the culture, the history. The people. It’s a gem, truly. I’ve never, for one second, felt the least bit unsafe there.
When the news came out, I was in shock. I said what many of us likely said: “This type of thing doesn’t happen here.” Yes, we hear about this sort of bombings in Baghdad and Israel, in Afghanistan and Iraq, but not here. Not here on U.S. soil. Not in Boston. Not on Patriot’s Day. But now? Yes, even here.
My friend Ashley told me yesterday that this week is the anniversary of a number of U.S. tragedies: the Waco assault (04/19/93), the Oklahoma City bombing (04/19/95), the Columbine school shooting (04/20/99) and the Virginia Tech shooting (04/16/07). Now, to this already dark week in U.S. history, we add the Boston Marathon bombing. Not all of them bombings, not all of them terrorist acts … but all of them tragic, deadly. All of them on our own soil. All of them shaking U.S. citizens old enough to understand what happened.
I keep getting chills as I write. Even now. That is how much I’m impacted by what’s happened.
Acts like this are simply filled with hate. They strive to tear away our joy and our security, our feeling of safety.
All I know to do is to keep living the way I do: traveling, attending large events and enjoying life. To hug my husband, my family, my friends a little tighter the next time I see them. To be a little kinder. To keep praying for the day that none of us have to worry about such acts. To keep spreading hope and joy and acceptance. To keep spreading love.
Two years ago today, Shel and I got married.
Two years ago today, we promised a lifetime of love, faithfulness and togetherness.
I will never be able to explain how grateful I am for that day, those promises, and the life he and I share.
Happy two year anniversary, my forever love. And I thought I loved you then.
On Saturday night, I took my mom (with the blessing of my super sweet, generous husband) to the disappointing UNC-duke basketball game. While trying to take a photo of us at the game, some guys offered to take the photo for me. I accepted.
And then, they dropped my phone.
Directly on the screen. Onto the concrete.
When I saw my husband, I started crying hysterically. “I am so sorry. I should have never let anyone else touch my phone. This is terrible. I can’t believe I was so dumb.”
Know what he did?
Grinned, hugged me and kissed my forehead.
“You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s going to be ok. We’ll order a new screen in the morning.”
Yes, I do know exactly how lucky I am.
It’s the last year
of my life of my twenties. This time next year, I’ll be turning 30. It’s so weird to think about that. Not because I’m age-phobic or anything, but just because I still feel like a young-20s kid so often. I see my friends having planning babies and I seriously have to stop myself from going, “We’re still KIDS, y’all! We’re too young for babies!” My friends and I, we’re not too young for babies, though. Or to be considered adults. Maybe that’s why it’s hard to believe that I’ll be 30. There’s no more denying I’m an adult then.
But for now? For now, I’m going to enjoy being 29. And how better to enter the last year of my 20s than by making a few goals for myself? So, here are 29 things I’m hoping to accomplish before February 19 of next year.
1. Less soda. More water and working out.
2. Become a more thoughtful friend and family member. Send more cards, remember more birthdays and anniversaries.
3. Travel more. Shel and I need a REAL vacation — maybe two — and we are going to take them before I turn 30. I want to go back to the Caribbean. I want to go back to Europe … Vegas. I want to get to Australia again and visit our good friends over there (and meet their handsome boy!) … maybe toss in Fiji or New Zealand for a week. I want to visit friends in California, Virginia, SC, DC, Florida and the Northwest (I have a baby to meet there, too!). I don’t have to do all those things this year
(necessarily), but I’d like to do some of them for sure.
4. Be a better meal planner. Think ahead, plan dinners at home so there’s no need for 18 grocery store runs per week.
5. I need to do a serious closet cleaning, and it cannot wait one more year.
6. Seriously consider joining a gym — and GOING to that gym.
7. Be able to run a 10K. (This does not mean that I will run an organized 10K; I’d just like to have the ability to do it.)
8. Start being better to my skin. I need to start using eye cream and anti-aging cream
rightthissecond, like, yesterday.
9. Decorate more. Spring for that
new house new couch, rug and framing that we want.
10. Be more strategic with my job. I love it and I know I’ve done some great things here, but I need to be better about strategy and branding/messaging.
11. Take more pictures.
12. See my local friends more often. I’m so bad about seeing some of you, and I’m going to be better about it this year.
13. Watch a football game at Candlestick. It’s my last chance; they’re tearing it down after next season!
14. Give up beer — mostly. I still want to enjoy the occasional Landshark, Toasted Ale, Modelo Especial or Oktoberbeast, but I feel better when I don’t drink it. So, time to start that process again. (Just to be clear, I’m not giving up wine!)
15. Make more time for my girlfriends. I need to be better about one-on-one dates and group get-togethers. I need that time and shouldn’t put it off like it’s always going to be available; it may not be one day.
16. Be better about planning ahead for gift-heavy seasons. (I’m lookin’ at you, December.)
17. Be better about going to Virginia to see my dad and stepmom.
18. Take a breath before I speak in anger. I don’t need to lash back immediately during a discussion. I should be better about taking a breath, exhaling and then starting my next statement.
19. Get my nails manicured regularly again. (Sorry, Shel.)
20. I’m going to let go of the things necessary for me to move forward. The last year of my life was amazing, but it wasn’t without heartache. That pain has lingered on for months; it still brings tears to my eyes sometimes. It’s time for me to let go while still leaving the light on for change. I’ll figure out how to do that before I turn 30.
21. Remember to soak in every lazy moment, no matter how insignificant or run of the mill they may seem.
22. Be able to plan ahead while maintaining flexibility and the ability to be spontaneous when needed.
23. Grow my hair into a long, pretty ponytail.
24. Get my Pens jersey named and numbered, and get a white Steelers jersey.
25. Go see a Pens game in Pittsburgh.
26. Be more patient.
27. Be better to my car. Elle needs more baths and more timely oil changes.
28. Be a better wife, daughter, niece, sister, friend, employee (etc., etc.) by the time I’m 30 than I am right now.
29. Be more grateful, gracious and giving. Love more, give more, live more.
Bring it on, 29.
In honor of my birthday (which is tomorrow), I decided to look back at my time being 28 years old and pick out my 28 favorite things. Want to stroll memory lane with me?
1. My sweet husband and I celebrated one fabulous year of marriage. I could not feel more blessed and proud to be his wife, and I’m so excited for all the years to come.
2. I completed my first year at my new, wonderful job. I
so enjoy absolutely love working here and the growth this job is bringing me as a professional. There have been things that haven’t been fun, but overall this job is an amazing fit for me at this point in my life. (And - bonus! - I got an additional raise on top of my state raise!)
3. I have been fortunate enough to see my friends get married, get engaged, get pregnant, have babies … you name it! No matter how you slice it, my little family-of-friends is growing, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
4. Trips to: Charleston, Laguna Niguel, Richmond, Denver, Kansas City, Pasadena, Kill Devil Hills, New York City, San Diego.
5. I became a season seat holder for UNC men’s basketball! Life goal, accomplished. (I think I technically became a season seat holder when I was 27, but let’s pretend, cause it’s a big deal.)
6. I finally began the large work project I’ve been intimidated about beginning, and it’s now finally underway. Once this is done, I’ll feel like a million bucks.
7. I took advantage of my husband’s long work trips to have quiet dinners alone, quiet dinners with friends, work on our house and visit my family. Him being gone is terrible, but feeling accomplished about what I’ve done while he’s away is amazing. Besides, when else would I have learned I could go up to the attic alone AND hang a bunch of pictures without him coaching me?
8. During my 28th year, I had some difficult things happen. They do not belong on this list. What DOES belong on this list is being reminded how many people love and care for me, how many people will stand by me in a difficult time, how many people are truly my friends. Simply, I am blessed to be so loved, and sometimes you only remember that through difficulties.
9. Carolina beat State in football — FINALLY.
10. Visits from: my sweet
little younger brother, Katherine.
11. I got to see my first lighthouses EVER. And climb one!
12. First trip to OBX — EVER. (Yes, that deserves a mention additional to the “trips” mention.)
13. I got to help my friend execute two weddings in one weekend in Charleston. It was exhausting and SO MUCH FUN. I loved seeing weddings from that side of things and, of course, had the bonus benefit of spending time with her.
14. I finished our wedding album. Yes, almost two years later. And yes, it IS a pretty big deal.
15. I started running. Not consistently and not for any notable distance, but I reminded myself that my body is more capable than I give it credit for sometimes.
16. Babies I got to meet: Reid, Bryce, Hailey. Babies I still need to meet (but ADORE watching grow through pictures on Facebook): William, Charlie.
17. Shel and I explored the option of building a house and made a good financial decision to NOT build that particular house. While that was a really not fun thing to go through, I’m counting it as a “wonderful thing” because I think we grew a lot as a couple during that time. It also allowed us to explore what was important to us — and what wasn’t — in our next home.
18. I can finally put my hair in a ponytail again. (Yes, is IS that exciting.)
19. We checked a new NFL stadium off our list: Qualcomm Stadium. We traveled there for the
greatly anticipated lackluster Chargers/Panthers game in December.
20. I went to College Gameday for the first time ever. Even though it was at NC State and Carolina lost that night to them, it was super fun.
21. Lots of fun tailgates for hockey, NC State football, Carolina football, Panthers football, etc., as well as at-home tailgates with friends in the backyard — or on the sidewalk. Those lazy days are always some of my favorite.
22. I discovered my love for Taryn Rose shoes. Loveeeee. (My husband is not as impressed with this discovery.)
23. Another wonderful holiday/birthday celebration with my honey. Another wonderful dinner at Angus Barn, another wonderful party with our friends and many other wonderful dinners with friends to celebrate him.
24. I survived the spring of events from Hell last year. It was truly initiation by fire, but I came out
mostly unscathed and much better for it.
25. My mother and I are closer than ever, and I love that.
26. I’ve been expanding both my cooking repertoire and my go-to restaurants. I love being able to take people to new places and make new things for dinner for my tiny family of two.
27. I established my favorite new tradition: banana pancakes and mimosas with my husband on Christmas morning. I can’t think of anything nicer.
28. All in all, when I look back, I feel confident that I’ve become a better version of myself during my 28th year. That’s a good feeling.
Yep. My 28th year was full of laughter, smiles, travels, life, a few tears, and lots and lots of joy. And you know what’s crazy? I know 29 will be even better.