No Commemorative Figurines Here...

So it's Saturday night; Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was our first "married" Thanksgiving, although whenever people talk about their "First Married [insert holiday here]", I always picture something horribly cheesy, like matching holiday outfits and commemorative figurines. Our "first married Thanksgiving" was pretty much the same as our last, unmarried Thanksgiving, except I got to wake up in the morning and whisper "Happy Thanksgiving" in Caleb's ear. And at the end of the night, there were two of us on the couch, barely able to move because of food coma.

All in all, it's been a good holiday, even though I worked every day this week except for actual Thanksgiving itself. I tend to have a lot of weekend shifts at the inn, and it's draining because not only are the weekends the busiest, but then I never feel like I have a full "day off" (what with school and other shifts during the week). I dream of the days when my weekends will actually be, well, weekends.

I was telling Caleb earlier today that I feel like I'm becoming a boring person. Which I know isn't really true, but sometimes I feel like I'm not doing the creative things I used to do, or that I just don't really *want* to do them. At the end of the day, I'd rather just sit and read or go to bed. It makes me feel old. So I'm trying to get myself to break out a little more. I have goals for winter break, and even though I might end up working a bunch and not actually get to them, at least there are things I've got my sights set on (like learning to sew) for when I have that extra day or two.

Right now there's chili in our crock pot, the first chili I've ever made. I'm pretty excited about it, I have to admit. One of the big things I'm enjoying about being married and having our own place is cooking. I cooked quite a bit before, but now I'm really cooking a lot and it's fun. My favorite recipes are from Real Simple, although All Recipes is also a good place for good eatin'.

I guess cooking is kinda interesting. Non-boring column, two points!


Getting used to home (for now)

I'm about to go program my new cell phone while watching Gilmore Girls on DVD, then make some lunch. There's a happy cat sleeping on the floor next to my desk chair. I like days like this.

I've started getting into the "groove" of things. First off, let me just say that I am a big fan of this whole "married" thing. Definitely a big fan. It's funny, sometimes it all feels so surreal. Like we aren't really married, because it should be tricker and more complicated than this. But it isn't. All those things people say about living with your best friend and not having to go home at night because you already are home--they're true.

I'm also getting used to having an actual house as opposed to just one room (since I lived in my bedroom at the B&B for over a year)! It's really great to be able to spread out on a couch and have a kitchen table and a desk in a separate office. We really love Chris and Erin's place (we're housesitting for them while they're in Italy until April). It will be sad to leave when it comes to that, especially the cats (they're great). But for now we're just praying that God will provide us with a decent and inexpensive place to live after this so we can save lots of money to get some land and eventually build.

I never really saw myself as the kind of person who would build a house. I used to think one day my husband and I would buy an older house and fix it up, because that seemed like fun and a good way to make the house our own. But in St. Augustine, houses are so expensive (not that buying land will be a ton cheaper), and now that I know lots of things I'd want in a house, it will be much more fun to tailor it just for us. Especially since we don't want some giant McMansion (I'm a big fan of the "Not So Big House" movement). Just something cozy with enough room for us and a way for us to add on when we need to.

Listen to me, daydreaming about building a house! We still have a ways to go. But I'm enjoying it, and I'm glad we're taking things in the steps they're supposed to go.


Perfect in every way.

Well, I’m back. No, really, back from a lot of things. Back to the blogging world (I hope), back to Florida from Puerto Rico, back from the craziness of planning a wedding, back to life as I knew it before, only a little different. This time I’m a “Mrs” and I get to live with my best friend, in an apartment by the beach with two awesome kitties.

The wedding was amazing, in every way that it possibly could have been. So many people did so much to help us create a day that truly reflected us, our personalities, and our friends and family. Although there were definitely moments in the days leading up to the big event when I had no idea how things were going to go off correctly, they did. I can honestly say that the wedding and our honeymoon were the best days of my life and I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am remembering even the smallest parts.

I won’t say a ton about the wedding, because pictures are really the best way to convey everything that happened, but I will say that there were so many moments that I know came straight from God. The weather was the biggest, and the fact that the ceremony went beautifully in breezy, balmy weather and then ten minutes after it ended, the sky fell out and it absolutely poured. The groomsmen held their jackets over me until we got an umbrella, and running like crazy towards shelter, sharing an umbrella with my new mother-in-law was a memory that I am so glad I will always have.

The reception was everything I had planned and worked for it to be, thanks to the help of so many people who transformed our historic space into something beautiful, sweet, and charming. The food was amazing, the cake was perfect, and we danced and hugged and basiclly just had a wonderful time. It was over before I knew it, and a handsome vintage black sedan pulled up to drive us away.

We didn’t make it to Orlando until midnight, since we got a bunch of pictures after and then had a hard time locating various items (such as Caleb’s laptop) that were necessary to take with us on our honeymoon. But we were able to get everything, even though leaving I felt like I had random amounts of stuff in about sixteen different places. However, there comes a point when you smile and know that everything will find its way back, sooner or later.

The Westin was beautiful, and everything was as it should have been, and I can’t think of a thing that I would change. Not a thing.

Our flight for San Juan didn’t leave until noon on Sunday, and for once we had plenty of time getting to the airport and reaching to our gate without running panicked down the terminal (which happens to me way more often than it should).

We stayed in the port town of Fajardo for our first night in Puerto Rico, at a cute local guest house that had a really friendly innkeeper and gave us directions to an amazing restaurant with food that still makes me hungry just thinking about it. The ferry ride to Vieques the next day was beautiful, and once we arrived and picked up our rental SUV, it was all freedom and exploring. Freedom was the best part about Vieques—we drove down zillions of deserted roads to secluded beaches that easily rivaled those in Pirates of the Caribbean. White sand, turquoise water, coral reefs…we snorkeled and swam and hiked and read and it was paradise, really. There were fun local restaurants and we picked up some groceries to make lunches in our loft. The loft we stayed in at Hix Island House was also paradise, and hard to even describe. You need to look at their web site to really get an idea of the whole concept, but it was like staying in something out of a hip travel magazine, except it was eco-friendly and so comfortable and everything I could have asked for. I got a massage Wednesday morning (which was great after all the snorkeling), they had homemade bread every day, along with a fridge full of fruit and eggs and pineapple juice. Cooking our own omelets each day was a great way to start the mornings.

It was rough leaving Vieques, and we decided that we are definitely coming back (and bringing friends) to do more of everything all over again. We spent our last two days in Old San Juan, and it was fun to enjoy the contrast of being in a city full of art and culture and history, not to mention eating two of the best meals I’ve ever had in my entire life.

There is so much that I loved about Puerto Rico, but it mostly boiled down to the food (amazing), the scenery (paradise, as previously noted), and the people (proud of their land and so friendly). There were so many moments when I had to stop and take everything in, and I know that months from now, I’m still going to look at Caleb and say, “Can you believe all this actually happened?” God has always taken such good care of us, and this is one more example of how He will always continue to do so.


This is just to say...

I'm going back to blogging. Very, very soon. I miss you, oh blogosphere!


We hit a bear!

So Friday night, Caleb and I went to Lake City to see Band Marino, Hospitals on the Moon, Arrowhead, and Kid Kazzam. They were all great, and I really enjoyed seeing everybody and just hearing some good music. We left around 11, since Caleb had to be in Jax early the next day.

It's about a two-hour drive from LC to St. Aug, so it was about 1:00 when we were almost at our exit. I was sleeping, when I was shaking awake by the impact of us hitting something, followed by the airbags coming out and smoke and powder (from the airbags) filling the air. As the enging cut out and we started drifting to the side of the road, Caleb yelled, "I think I just hit a bear!" "Are you kidding?!" He was able to pull over, and we got out and looked at the front of LaFonda (his "new" used truck that he just bought last week). The left head light was gone, the bumper was all tore up, and it was leaking water like crazy. Sure 'nuff, there was, um, fecal matter, blood, and black fur on the bumper. He said our of nowhere he saw a large black blur, and them Bam! Bear down.

We called his parents, and a state trooper. The trooper was super nice, but didn't really believe us at first. She thought we'd hit a deer or something. But once she got her light out and looked all in where the truck was dented in, she said, "Wow, that's a lotta black fur...and a lot of tissue." (Gross!) She left and circled back to try and find the bear (to make sure he was out of his misery and that he wasn't just laying in the middle of the road. She found him, about a half mile back, up against the guard rail. She said he was about 300lbs, and a BIG boy. She called animal control to come take care of him (he looked dead, but you never know), and also got a picture for us to show insurance.

Thank God that we were okay, and that since Caleb had to finance some of his car, he had to get full-coverage insurance. We were just complaining about much it cost, and we'd never have gotten it otherwise, but God knew that we needed it and I'm so glad it worked out that way. We still have to go talk to State Farm, but I'm pretty sure they're going to cover it.

So, um, yeah. We hit a frickin' bear!


It's video time!

I'm spending this weekend holed up in my room working on my type book, which will be quite the task. However, I do have another great video (thanks to Veer) you to enjoy:

Also, I now have a day-of wedding coordinator (who I'm bartering design services for) and I just ordered my dress from NetBride (for a whole heckuva lot less than the retail value). Hooray for saving money!



This video made me smile.