Archive | September, 2011

Back Burner’d Blog

22 Sep

Hello Readers!

 

I wanted to make a short post to let everyone know that my *blog* is being put on hold. I haven’t forgotten about it and I fully intend to start up again, but *blogging* about my past is far less important than actively playing my present hand.

An important fact about My Life of Cards:

When you genuinely love someone, you share their cards. You don’t get to pick and choose which ones you want to put in your own hand. The good, the bad, the ugly…all of them, they get thrown down in front of you the moment your loved one picks them up. And if you truly love them, you gather up the cards, place them in your hand and join the fight taking place in their present gameplay. These unexpected and challenging cards are taking precedence over most everything else in my own hand. In fact, these cards preoccupy every free moment I have to myself. Lucky for me though, I have plenty of capable teammates aiding me in so many ways and giving me the tools I need to play the cards in a healthy/productive way.

I AM SO GRATEFUL TO MY PLAYERS!

I have no intention to share these cards on my *blog* in the immediate future. But I may once they have been discarded and I have obtained a wealth of information on how to beat the crap outta them…  That could be years. So please, do not ask for details. But I will put out an unspoken prayer request.

 

Please pray for God’s continued grace to be exhibited through my words and actions. Please pray for strength, compassion, understanding, patience and that my faith in God will not waver.  If you have inspirational quotes or scriptures, please feel free to share them with me. I love reading God’s promises to his people and the words of wise people who know what they are talking about pertaining to life’s challenges.

 

I love you all and I thank you for supporting me in my present gameplay and subsequently, my loved one’s gameplay!

Just Sharing

15 Sep

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not look for allies in life’s battlefield but to my own strength.

Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved but hope for the patience to win my freedom.

Grant me that I may not be a coward, feeling your mercy in my success alone; But let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

~Rabindranath Tagore~

 

I found this quote to be inspiring today. If anyone is dealing with any kind of challenge in life, know there is nothing that can not be overcome. Know that you are stronger than you think. God never gives people burdens they can not bare, and he puts people in your life to help carry the load. You are never truly alone. Have faith in God, yourself and the people who love you. Hold to hope and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

I love you all. Hope you have a wonderful day!

My Little Chef

12 Sep

Aww look at him. You want him don’t you? Isn’t he just the cutest little chef you’ve ever seen? I love this little boy more than anyone (You know what I mean over-sensitive family member who may be thinking…hey what about me?!?!). He’s the very center of my world and my heart. But guess what? We have something in common and its more than our bloodline and the knack for sarcasm! Who’d have ever thought to have something in common with a 3 yr-old. But I do. We love to bake, and cook and have fun in the kitchen. This little man can whip up some mean muffins AND will help with cleaning up afterward. Give the kid a sponge and everything within his reach will sparkle, or, look very smeary and streaky… which just helps me to better see what needs to be cleaned right? Awww my little helper.

This is B on Mother’s Day this year. He wanted to do something special, so he cooked me breakfast! (With the aid of my rockin’ chef of a momma of course) The pictures below tell the story of the morning and his preparation of breakfast! He even got me slippers to ensure my “toesies stay warm while I wait”. Isn’t he the sweetest? He also showered me with jewelry every 30 mins for a couple of hours…this kid is amazing. *MUAH* Love him!

My little chef made Mother’s Day so special this year, and every time I get to bake with him is another cherished memory. I’ve started a category to place all of mine and B’s baking adventures, aptly named “Adventures in Baking”. I’ll be posting my successes and failures, with some accompanying pictures and stories. Especially when I’m featuring one of B’s creations as they really are quite delicious. Usually his baked goods are sugary and adorned with plenty of sprinkles! Because like B says, “Everyone likes sprinkles! Sprinkles make people happy, so we should always put lots on!” He consistently stays true to that mantra…. Below is B’s “Happy Cake” he made for T. We were going to be leaving for Washington for a couple of months and he knew his Daddy was gonna be sad. And B was right, the sprinkles did the trick! Although most of the sprinkles were dumped INTO the cake batter when I ran to the washroom for a moment… What we had left B decorated on top.

Anyways, I just wanted to introduce this new category as well as my ever-dependable and creative Sous Chef! Several posts to come as soon as I am allowed to start baking again. Have I told you lately that Concussions Suck Metaphorical Balls? (why oh why won’t my link work?!!?) I sure hope I recover at a more steady and quicker pace. My poor new Kitchenaid is tirelessly begging me to turn her on, and get her all hot from over-use. That’s right…she’s a bit of a baking-whore. Its ok though, she’s thoroughly wiped down and disinfected after every use. No need to worry about contracting baked-good transmitted diseases….

Concussions Suck Metaphorical Balls

12 Sep

Pardon my English (why do they always say French?), but they do.

 

Its been over a week since B danced attacked me and left me with a concussion. I have hated every minute of being bound to the house and to the couch in particular. I’m not the type of person who is content just lounging about doing nothing. Especially when the house is a complete wreck and I begin to smell.

And let me tell you, 3 days ago I smelled. Oh it was bad. I knew it was bad, I knew I should shower but I was so run-down that I just couldn’t find the desire to wash my parts. That was of course, until B snuggled up to me and then quickly pulled away stating with extreme shock, “Oh momma, your armpit stinks and the smell stung my nose! Look, see!” He then pulled up the tip of his nose exposing his “stinging nostrils”.  He’s 3 and speaks with utter honesty. He then proceeded to go into the bathroom and turn the bathtub faucet on… “Momma, come clean your stinky pits for Daddy get home!” He yelled. I showered. Thanks B, you’re a good son. =)

I have managed to sneak in a couple cheats while resting this past week. Beau and I made banana bread (I’ll post the recipe for you soon!) and granola bars (recipe to come once I work out the kinks), I talked T into taking me to a street fair which ended up to be short-lived as I totally couldn’t handle the noise and walking about focusing on things, and I managed to post about 9/11. I kept telling T “Just give me 10 more minutes…” as he eyed me and let out sighs letting me know he did not agree with my drawn out usage of “10 more minutes” equating to about 2 hours in all. What was he gonna do, take my laptop away? Pft, yeeeeah he wouldn’t dare. Not with the strange moods this concussion has triggered. I get a wee-bit enraged over minor things that really shouldn’t bother me. I’m hoping that goes away soon because with T’s odd sense of humor and ill-timed jokes, he could easily be the target of concussion rage. Would I legally be held responsible for bodily harm? Like if I threw a dagger or something at him? Could I plead Concussion Induced Rage, or Insanity? Hmm…I should look into this.

Well, with that all being said I am still recovering. But the good news is my speech has improved greatly as of today. Still slow, but I don’t come off as a person with a strange speech impediment anymore. I still have a constant tension-like headache, body aches, uncontrollable mood swings and a slight brain fog. But, I am better than I was last Monday so I’ll take it!

 

Thank you all for your continued prayers, good energy and thoughtful messages. I love every single one of you. Even the stranger who stumbles here by way of a search engine because of my tagline “balls”, I love you too. Feel warm =)

 

 

 

Remembering 9/11/01 on 9/11/11 and always.

11 Sep

Bare with me people. If I don’t make coherent sense please blame it on the concussion. I probably shouldn’t even be posting but I had to get this out of my head.

A beautiful September day was interrupted by a horrid act of terrorism. I remember our principal at Lake Stevens High School getting on the loud-speaker announcing there had been a terrorist attack in New York, and that none of us were to leave school. We were in lock-down until further notice. We spent our class time watching the news, watching all the terror unfold. I remember everyone looking so somber, no one knew what to say. We just stared silently at the TV until we were released for the end of the day.

The obvious effect of the attacks were all the lives lost due to the planes crashing into the towers, into the pentagon, and flight 93 crashing down into a Pennsylvania field. September 11th, 2001 was the worse act of terror I had personally witnessed.  But the reign of terror unfortunately goes further than that one day. Those acts of terrorism that took 3,000 lives set in motion a war that is still waging, and we’ve lost over 4,400 troop members in Iraq alone (numbers are rising in Afghanistan, 1,752), over 33,000 US soldiers wounded and don’t forget the other countries who have lost their soldiers aiding us in this war. It goes even further than that though. We’ve lost over 2,000 civilians who were in Iraq during this war; students, journalist, vacationers with a strange idea of what a “desirable destination” is. And what about the innocent Iraqi citizens who have been caught in the cross-fire and victims of roadside bombs intended for our soldiers? 1.4 million Iraqi deaths since March 2003. Today I am mourning all of the heroes and all of the innocent lives lost.

I may live in Canada, by my heart pumps US blood, and I’ll never forget or stop appreciating my country, my countrymen, and the innocent lives lost and families that have been torn apart due to this single day of terrorism.
My heart breaks as I watch all the 9/11 remembrance programming this morning. The devastation is so much bigger than that one day. Families are affected every day across the country because of that day and the war it spawned. There are no words that can be written to pay tribute to every life lost in the wake of 9/11. I will try though.

To the victims of 9/11, to the Firemen and Policemen who did their heroic jobs and lived or died:

You will not be forgotten, you will always be remembered as heroes. Every one of you. Whether you lost your life on 9/11, narrowly escaped or helped others to safety…we will not forget you. Some of you lost your lives that day and we will not allow you to die in vain. We have sought out those responsible and this kind of terror will not happen to another country if we have anything to say about it! To the Firemen and Policemen who worked that fateful day, we owe you big. You may say you were just doing your job, but you saved lives that day. You risked your life so a father, a mother or someone’s child could come home to them. You are a true hero in every sense of the world. Every American is thankful to you.

To the US Military and Coalition Forces who have fallen in combat, been wounded or still continue to fight:

You are all heroes. I appreciate every single one of you. The men and women, US Soldiers and Coalition Forces alike, risk their lives around the world for our freedom and our safety. I am eternally grateful for your sacrifices. They will never go unappreciated or unnoticed. I have been blessed to have many military men and women in my life and I would like to take this time to thank them personally. To Luke, Ben, Deryck, Josh M, Taren, Brent, Robert, Carlos, Erica, James, Chad, Tim, Anthony, John, Nick, Dom, Josh D, Kirky… Oh boy I hope I named them all… (Please blame the concussion if not. I’d feel horrible.) To all of you, my friends, my family, you are my own personal heroes. I am blessed to have you all in my life in whatever way we are connected. I am so proud of each of you, and admire your strength, determination and passion for our country and the citizens you protect. Thank you so very much.

To the families who have been affected by the loss of their loved one(s) due to 9/11 or the Iraqi war:

I view you all as heroes too. To mourn the ones you love and then forge on in your life without them, is something I do not envy. It takes a great amount of courage. I am so sorry for your loss but impressed by your strength. Thank you for your sacrifices and your continued perseverance. You all deserve a medal, what you have been forced to do is no less than heroic as well. Please know I stand beside you every day in spirit, not just on 9/11 in remembrance. I offer you support and friendship. And I am not just writing this to come across as a caring person. I don’t care if we’re strangers. I would support you, hold your hand and pray for you.  I am just an email away.

To the families of the Soldiers serving our great country:

I can relate to you better than anyone. I was once the wife of an US Air Force member. I have felt the pain of deployments, I have felt the worry and loneliness, I have felt the joy of him coming home. I may not be an Air Force wife any longer but I will always remember how that felt. It’s a feeling of pride and a feeling of fear, all at the same time. I still feel those feelings as I have a large amount of friends and family in the armed forces, and constantly feel that pride and fear for them all. The father of my baby boy is to be deploying this month in fact, and those same feelings still remain. I won’t be at ease until he is back home safe.
I admire your strength and thank you for your daily sacrifices. Please know that I love every one of you and that I stand beside you, supporting you and your family. You have a friend in me, I am just an email away.

To the civilian lives lost due to the Iraqi war and their families:

I am so sorry. Such meaningless deaths, deaths that could have been avoided if people had a better grip on humanity. I feel for the families who have been affected in Iraq by this war brought on by a terrorist group in their own country. Its unfair, it’s so heart breaking. So many innocent lives lost in the wake of 9/11 and it seems there is no end in sight as the war migrates to Afghanistan. So many families torn apart by the loss of children, husbands, wives…this world is so cruel. I am really struggling thinking of the 1.4 million innocent lives lost in Iraq due to this war. This war that would have been completely avoided if people lived with love in their hearts and not hate. I stand beside every Iraqi who has experienced loss in the aftermath of 9/11, I mourn with you. I am deeply pained.

I love every one of you spoken to above. Whether you walk this earth or have moved on in spirit. I thank every one of you for how you have played these cards dealt to you. You have shown strength in the face of adversity and that is something to admire.

Thank You.

And lastly, to the terrorists who thought the acts of 9/11 would divide our country and cause its people to live in fear:

You failed. We are strong. We stand together united. Did you really think you could break us? Sure, you caused death, sadness, and fear on that day, but where did that get you? You now face a war that will affect your country for years to come, innocent lives lost on your soil, not to mention the mark that has been placed on all of your evil souls. I know the religion of Islam, and I despise you all for the tainted view people now have of Muslims. I pray you find humanity and repentance, and begin to live a life your God would actually be proud of. One of love, acceptance, giving and teaching. And if you do not, I believe you will pay for your transgressions against the world by the hand of your God. And if so, so be it.

I really wanted to post this, concussion symptoms or not. I feel so strongly about everything concerning my great country, The United States of America. I legitimately feel for all my fellow American’s who deal with the effects of terrorism, and I send my prayers and good energy your way. I stand beside you all, pledging allegiance to this beautiful flag, that stands tall representing this amazing Nation, that was founded under God and is indivisible, delivering liberty and justice for all!

Post Concussion Syndrome

7 Sep

Yep. Won’t be posting for an unknown length of time. Thank you for all of your well-wishes on Facebook and through emails.

Can’t wait to discard this crappy card I acquired.

B (my 3-year-old son) “dance attacked” me while I was dressing him. He caught me off-balance and I fell backwards into the bathroom sink, banged the back of my head and blacked out. I woke up with B on top of me, his face inches from mine, him patting my head saying, “You should really dance more carefully Momma. But don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.”

The Obvious Blues Amongst the Whites

3 Sep

I got to spend last weekend sans my wonderful son, and just with my wonderful husband. We spent the whole weekend celebrating our first year of marriage! I know to some people this is not an accomplishment but for us, it sure felt like one. I’m not saying it was challenging being married to T for a year, he makes life enjoyable! But we did have many challenges to face during the course of our first year as husband and wife.

We’ve been battling Canadian Immigration since March of 2010 and it hasn’t been easy. Its been stressful, tedious, unpredictable and expensive. To sum it up, the year hadn’t been a walk in the park of blissful newlywed love. But, it’s our passionate love for each other that gave us each the strength to continue fighting for our marriage and to keep our little family together under the same roof. The roof just happens to be foreign to B and I making challenges for us that most people do not have to deal with.

Good news is we are very close to submitting our Permanent Residency application after this coming week’s medical examination! So YAY!

 

Back to last weekend.

T fought for this celebratory weekend (literally it got ugly…lol). I suggested we stay home and not spend money, because that would be the more financially responsible route. But T was right, we deserved to celebrate our year together. As my mom put it, “You only get to celebrate your first wedding anniversary once!”. Of course, she was wrong and knew it once it came out of her mouth. “Umm Mom, this is my second first anniversary…” We shared an eye-roll and a giggle over that comment. But really, we owed this romantic weekend to ourselves.

My one requirement was that we go to a fine dining restaurant that would require us to “dress up”. I’ve lost 30 pounds this summer and have been eying a little black dress in my closet that hasn’t zipped in 2 years. After securing B’s care for two nights with his grandparents, some last-minute planning and reservations we had our weekend laid out…little black dress awaits!

I spent Friday’s late-afternoon primping which I don’t often get a reason or time to do. Oh it felt nice! I had forgotten how good it feels to do my make-up and hair and wear a pretty dress with high heels! I love heels and tonight I went with the 4 1/2 inchers…tall and sexy, that’s how I was feeling (yes, a tall 5’5). T of course made his dapper transformation in a matter of 15 minutes…so unfair.

We were about to leave for dinner when I realized I needed documentation of this evening. With some slight persuasion I managed to get T to knock on our neighbors’ door to ask her to take our picture. She was a bit shocked by our appearance. I don’t know if it was because she wasn’t expecting company or because I looked like a totally different human being. Nearly unrecognizable to myself, she very well could have been confused.  She agreed and offered her front garden as backdrop scenery.

 

Off we went to our 8 o’clock reservations at The Charles Restaurant in Niagara On The Lake, Ontario. Now, I picked this restaurant because the food looked amazing and it gave off an air of elegance in its period charm. It was obvious that there was a dress code, hence T and his tie. I was quite confident that we would be dressed appropriately and wouldn’t stick out.

We were a bit early so the well-dressed Maitre d’ led us to the lounge. The lounge had a subtle 1940’s feel with a long bar, reddish leather armchairs and antique round tables (picture provided by the restaurant’s website). We began talking about the building and how beautiful it was. Deciding which era we would want to live in if we could choose one. This choice was very hard for me as I appreciate many time periods. First I chose the 1920’s with the stipulation that I married rich to make it through the depression in class, T wouldn’t although that stipulation. So ultimately I chose to be born in the late 40’s so I would be of the appropriate age to enjoy the 60’s. The British Regency Era of the early 1800’s came in second. I have a slight love affair with the romanticized era due to my obsession with Jane Austen novels. T easily decided on the 1940’s as well. His reasons pertained to missing fighting in the war, listening to baseball games on the radio and enjoying life before gender roles changed and women were still “in the kitchen”. *Eye Roll*

We were brought into the dining room and seated at a cozy corner-table for two then promptly brought menus and drinks. The staff was so nice and attentive, as they should be with how much this dinner was about to cost us. Something you should know about me if you don’t already, I’m a bit of a food snob. Its true, I’ll admit it. I know the real value of foods and I hold chefs to a very high standard, especially in a place with a reputation for exquisite preparation. I expect perfection. And that goes for my cooking as well, I’m my biggest critic.

After we ordered we had time to take in our surroundings. The restaurant that used to be home to a wealthy family had kept a lot of its old-world charm. The owners had decorated exactly as I felt it should be with only slight touches of modern-day influence. It truly was the perfect setting I had hoped for, candles lit atop the fire-place mantle added to the ambiance once the sun fully set.

I looked around at the people who were dining along with us and noticed something. No one was dressed appropriately. One table in particular caught my eye. There were 3 men and 3 women, all in their early 50’s I’d guess. 2 of the women were dressed in khakis and cardigans with ugly brooches, gramma shoes. 2 of the men (husbands to the cardigans) were dressed business casual in dockers and polo shirts, comfy old man loafers. But the other couple, well, they looked like they just came from casual Friday on the farm. She wore a plain blue t-shirt and Levis, clogs. While her trendy hubby sported wranglers and a untucked button-down denim short-sleeved shirt, tennis shoes. Did I miss something? What were these people thinking? This is a very nice, fine dining restaurant and they are dressed like they are going to The Olive Garden. I didn’t get it. No one seemed to be dressed as I thought a place like this would require.

When I asked T if he found this odd he simply glanced around and said with a bit of a chuckle, “Why would they dress up? They are just here for Friday night dinner.” I didn’t get it. He noticed my confusion and said, “Hun, look closely at the people eating here. I can guarantee you they are all white-collar, we might be the only blues in here.” I took a good look at all of them again and ya know what? T was right. (It was all made even more apparent when we realized the only other men wearing ties were the fellow blue-collars; the Maitre d’ and waiters.) These were businessmen coming from the office to grab a quick bite with their friends or significant other. The fact that the plates ran around 25-60 dollars didn’t make this restaurant special, it just meant the food would be acceptable and the service to their liking. This was as T stated, just Friday night dinner to them. It was now very obvious to me that we stuck out. I now know that dressing like you’d imagine white-collared people to dress, only puts a huge neon sign above your head that reads “I’m Blue”. Not that I care though, I’m proud of everything T and I have and the life we are making for ourselves. I also felt super-fly and nothing would prevent me from getting my sexy on, even the neon sign. I was making those lights look good….!

I pointed out Mr. Denim and his matching wife as I just couldn’t get over it. T leaned in and said, “I’d put money on him being the most wealthy white-collar man in this restaurant.” We shared a laugh. It really was funny. Here we were breaking the bank while they ordered bottles of vintage wine that easily cost more than 10 times our entire bill. Regardless of their social status, I still found their attire a bit insulting to the establishment. I let T know that if he ever crossed over into white-collar status that he wouldn’t be allowed to wear jeans to classy places and that I would still spend hours getting ready, just wear more expensive clothing and jewelry…maybe higher heels too. T disagreed with me and said, “Sure honey, wear what you’d like. Whatever makes you happy. But by the time I would cross over into white-collar status I’ll have paid enough dues in this blue-collar get-up that you can damn well guarantee I’ll wear whatever the heck I want…even jeans with tennis shoes.” He paused, “But I’ll leave a bigger tip.” He had a point, I didn’t argue.

We enjoyed our evening thoroughly. We ate delicious food that did not disappoint my palate in the least. T ordered scallops (which I happen to be allergic to, no fair) and he started eying my lamb shortly after I began eating. Third bite in, “Are you going to finish that?”. Oh T, my eater. His wish was fulfilled as I rarely am able to finish a meal and he happily cleaned off my plate. We had great conversation, free from the interruptions of our wonderful but rambunctious 3-year-old. It was the perfect night by my standards and I was so happy T persuaded me to “forget about the money, and just relax”.

Thank you T for being the sexy husband of my dreams, the hard-working provider that our family needs, the best friend that I desire, and the awesome dad that you are to B. I am grateful for your constant support and companionship. You bring me laughter every day and I can’t ask for more than that, but you willing give me even more. You help me grow as an individual and challenge me. I am ever-appreciative of your different views and your ability to help me see situations from a new perspective. You are my perfect match in all things, even arguments and debates. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love you, and look forward to every day I am blessed to be your wife.

August 29th, 2010

Gameplay

3 Sep

Definition structure provided by Wikipedia, tweaked my moi:

Gameplay is the specific way in which players interact with their present hand.Gameplay is the pattern defined through the games’ undefined rules,connection between players and their hand(s), the willingness to aid fellow gamers in a time of need, facing challenges (in team or first-person mode) and overcoming them, and ultimately individual growth.

 

I’ve decided to start this category for 2 reasons. 1) I liked the title I thought of last night and my twist on the definition of gameplay…it just works with how I view life. 2) I am getting very impatient to share my every-day happenings with my readers. I have a few weeks until everything is brought full circle in my blog *cringe* (still need to think of a new name for that…) and I don’t care to wait that long.

 

So without further ado… First post!


Love-in Italy Part 1

2 Sep

I made the mistake of telling my BFF Kiki all the details I had failed to share with my parents about L, and to put it lightly, she was totally not cool with me going to Italy. I had to promise to call her daily or else she was going to tell my parents! Can you believe that? So many paranoid people these days… Oh well, I agreed anyhow. It was a few days before Thanksgiving and the time had finally come for me to board the plane (as well as 2 other planes) that would take me to my boyfriend! It took me 17 hours to reach Venice, Italy and when that plane touched down I was so overwhelmed with excitement that I could barely stay seated. I went to the airport washroom and tried to pretty myself up first, but it wasn’t going so well. 17 hours of travel does not produce anything beautiful or even presentable. I sprayed myself with perfume and gave my teeth a brush… On to meet the love of my life!

 

There I stood looking around for him. Where was he? A nice older man wearing an US military uniform noticed the panic on my face as I scanned every person walking about. He approached me and asked if I was OK and if he could help me. I filled him in that I was looking for my boyfriend, he was thirty minutes late. This seemed to upset the man when he learned L was in the Air Force. He felt L should have been more responsible as a military man. He led me to a bench where I could see the entrances clearly, and sat with me for about 20 minutes. It was a little awkward sitting there by him, chatting idly, but I think he felt a bit of a fatherly impulse to protect me. Finally L came in. I didn’t get to greet him properly though, as the man accompanying me started berating L for his hour-long tardiness. L kept looking between the two of us wondering who in the world this guy was…? A few minutes later the man finished his lecture and Luke was able to apologize. He had got stuck in traffic. At that, my escort left us to finally greet each other!

*Swoon* He swept me up, spun me in a circle and planted an amazing kiss on my lips. The kiss did not disappoint and I found L to be even more attractive in person. He was gorgeous! I was so consumed with being near him that I found it very difficult to talk or even walk for that matter. I tripped all over myself on the way to the car as I kept trying to look at him while walking and holding his hand… I’m not a very coordinated person.

It was total sensory overload seeing Italy. Its beauty exceeded my expectations immediately. We drove to Pordenone, the city I would be staying in for the duration of my visit. It was about an hours drive. This was an amazing drive. The scenery Italy boasts is one of a kind and it was only enhanced by being able to stare at my very handsome boyfriend. I could not believe I was actually living this dream!

A friend of L’s who worked the opposite shift offered for me to stay at his flat while I visited. L stayed in the dorms on base, and I wasn’t allowed there. He ended up being a very nice guy who I got to know quite well over the two weeks I stayed with him. L wasn’t able to take every day off work, so his friend carted me around to the all the fun places and  made sure I was thoroughly entertained while his guest. One evening in particular comes to mind pertaining to his dedication to keep me entertained. He slammed two shot glasses on the coffee table, and set a bottle of Absinth beside them. The bottle was glowing an unnatural green color, and the look in my new friend’s eyes was one of challenge with a slight edge of crazy. I’d only heard of this drink in movies, it wasn’t legal in the states. Well, I never back down from a challenge, bottoms up! We each took 3 shots over 20 minutes and 2 more back to back around the 30 minute mark. Needless to say, I out drank the 6’3 Nordic-built fellow and he passed out on the couch shortly after. The absinth had a strange affect on me. I didn’t hallucinate as its known for, I just felt very light and everything around me became very vivid. My drinking buddy on the other hand must have been enjoying some strange hallucinations as he dreamed away on the couch because he randomly shouted out nonsense and occasionally moved his arms and legs as if he were swimming.

To make up for passing out the night before, my ever-diligent supplier of entertainment took me to Venice the following day. Venice was perfection! Well, minus the faint sewer smell coming from the stagnant water in the canals. I enjoyed endless amounts of my new favorite wine, the best pasta I had ever tasted, unique stores which held items I could only dream of affording but it was fun to browse nonetheless! Everything was so beautiful there. It would have been more enjoyable had L been able to come with me, but my new friend was a pleasant tour guide and spoke decent Italian which made things so much easier.

We celebrated the American Thanksgiving at the house of one of L’s friends. Everyone was very welcoming and the evening was spent watching football and eating good food. I could tell everyone missed their families though and longed to be home with them. It made me wonder if I would like this kind of life if L and I were to get married. I knew I would love seeing the world with him if that’s where his career took him, but would I be able to handle the long period of time between seeing my family? I didn’t know, but, I didn’t need to think about that just yet.

Soon my birthday came and although we couldn’t leave for Florence yet, L made my day special. He took me to a wonderful pizzeria called Vecchios. Now, I love pizza but this was unlike any pizza I had ever tasted. It was heaven in my mouth. That fated day is the cause of my American Pizza Dissatisfaction. Ever since chowing down on that delicious masterpiece of brickoven fired round perfection I have yet to eat its equal. In fact, no pizza has even came close to satisfying me since. It’s so unfortunate… We ended the evening by enjoying the most unique gelato I had ever had. Everything on the menu had a theme. My gelato came out resembling Pinocchio with a cone being placed as his nose. L’s was centered around the chocolate covered mint ‘After Eight’ and resembled the night sky. It was a perfect birthday and unforgettable. I spent it in Italy with the man I loved.

The following day we went for an adventurous drive through the Carnic Alps. They were majestic, I don’t know how else to describe them. I had traveled mountain roads before but nothing ever like this! The road snaked along the side of the mountains in a way that only bettered the view of the surrounding beauty. The snow lightly dusted the trees and there was no end in sight as we made our way deeper and higher into the Alps. I’m not gonna lie though, as beautiful as it was I was scared half to death most of the time. See, L is from Texas and he doesn’t “do” snow or ice for that matter. And he sure as heck didn’t know how to drive on it either. There were a few times I had to coach him through turns and inclines as he was obviously panicking while trying to control the tiny VW Golf he had rented. We began to make our way down the mountain and reached a tiny town called Barcis. A sign stating “two-way bridge” greeted us and I couldn’t believe my eyes…there is no way that bridge was a “two-way”. Maybe they meant there were two ways to die on it and one would be by trying to get across while another car did the same in the opposite direction. Case and point, the picture below.

I’m pretty sure Barcis was a town out of a fairytale. It was built next to a breathtaking, smooth as glass blue-green lake. The lake had a small layer of fog resting on it and swans floated across its serene waters. We held hands as we walked along the lake-side path, talking about nothing at all but everything at the same time. It just felt right to be by his side. Talking to him and loving him was effortless for me. There was nowhere else in the world I would rather have been, than with him. Whether it was in this fairytale swan-lake town nestled in the Alps, or in brown and boring Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. I knew I wanted to be with him wherever he may go… I was beginning to picture a life with him. Could he be “the one”? It sure felt like he was the one. We shared the same silly sense of humor, we valued family and God above all else, we never had a problem communicating and most importantly, he made me happy. I didn’t know if I would marry L, but the thought of it was the only thing on my mind as we drove back to Pordenone.

I couldn’t wait for our adventure to Florence! I was so impatient I could barely sleep that night.

Communal Living

2 Sep

I’ll be writing a “Player” post about Leah very soon but you do need to be brought up to speed a bit so you can understand why living with my sister was such an odd choice. Leah and I grew up without a relationship. Yes, we were sisters and we lived in the same house but that was as far as it went with us. I had longed to be loved by her since as far back as I can remember, but I never got that from her. I didn’t even have mutual respect from her or a casual but good relationship like you would have with a co-worker. No, she hated me and told me it often. That’s the gist of it. We had only just started addressing issues and patching up the pain between us when she offered me a room. Maybe that’s why she did it. To give me help now, since she wasn’t present when I needed her time and time before.

Whatever her reason, I was very grateful when my sister and brother in-law opened their home to me. I honestly didn’t expect Leah to do that and she was the last person on earth I would think to willing have as a housemate. I had several other choices of places to live when it came to moving on in my life. I could have stayed at my Aunt and Uncle’s house, got a job somewhere nearby and eventually moved out on my own. I could have gone back to my parents’ house in New Mexico, or have gone back to school and lived on campus… But for some reason, and I still don’t know why, I chose to move in with my sister and her husband on Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho.

Living there was easier than I thought it was going to be. Leah and her hubby were happy to have me and it felt nice to be around family. As long as we kept the conversation light and avoided “soft spots” concerning our relationship everything was smooth. I used this living arrangement as an opportunity to get to know Leah’s husband better and he really was meant for her. He’s a man who isn’t intimidated by Leah’s strength and appreciates her abundant uniqueness. Of course, every relationship has its challenges and theirs was no exception. I learned that they were both very passionate, stubborn and always right…. Leah had met her match in wills as well it seemed. Good for her. She needed that!

Overall though I was very happy living with the both of them, excepting that we differ greatly in our habits of cleaning. (Love you Leah, but you are one messy woman…you know this. I guess strangers do now as well. Sorry bout that.) It was a great time for Leah and I to make new memories and build on our new friendship as adult sisters. I was able to be by her side when her personal life hit a rough patch (details don’t matter) and I was glad for the opportunity. She was also there to witness my budding love for L and share those sisterly giggles about boys. Those never go away no matter how old you get…they just get dirtier in context!

Leah encouraged me to take my time in figuring out the direction I wanted to go in my life. I never felt like a freeloader while living there and I did my part to clean up after myself to ensure I didn’t leave cause for her to push me out the door. I did however decide that after I got back from Italy, I would find a job and get my life started.