Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A for Anniversary!

Yesterday MusicMan and I celebrated two years of marriage. Well, I mean, we didn’t really go all out or anything, because I started Algebra class last night, but we did acknowledge our anniversary.

Well, MusicMan did more than me (as usual). I came home from class to beautiful flowers, a lovely little cake (decorated similarly to a tier of our wedding cake) for us to share, and a wonderful, meaningful card from MusicMan alongside a funny card from the dogs. (The card from the dogs included, “Thanks for not making me a bastard anymore, mommy and daddy. Love, Lucy.” You see, we got Lucy shortly after we moved in together—almost a year before we got married. MusicMan is a funny guy.)

What did I do for MusicMan? Not a damn thing. I meant to get a card. I really did. But, I just didn’t find make the time. Clearly MusicMan is the more romantic of the two of us. He always has been. For the whole first year that we dated, and really up until the wedding, he got me flowers on every monthiversary of our first date. Yes; you read that correctly. On the 23rd of every single month for almost two years, I got flowers. I’m a super lucky girl; I know that.

I was so disappointed in my inability to even get MusicMan a card that I cried. Hard. I just felt like the most awful wife in the whole entire world. Of course MusicMan didn’t care. He told me that all that mattered to him was that I was his wife, that for two years we have been blissfully wed, and that we were spending time together with each other for at least some of our anniversary. Of course that just made me cry harder. We spent the rest of the evening talking about how wonderful our wedding had been and reminiscing over all of our favorite moments from the past two years.

Our wedding truly was ours. We planned it and paid for it all on our own. And when I say we planned it, I mean we. The two of us. Together. MusicMan played a very active role in the wedding planning process, making it just as much his wedding as it was mine. We found out quickly, while planning the biggest party of our lives, that we make a good team. We work together very well and are quite good at compromising. All of our hard work showed in the details of our wedding. It truly reflected us, and we couldn’t have been happier with the results of our hard work.

Working together to plan the wedding also helped us to plan our marriage, which in my opinion anyway, is by far the more important of the two. The wedding lasts one singular day that flies by in the blink of an eye, but the marriage is meant to last a lifetime. When I walked down the aisle that day, I knew I was walking not only towards the love of my life, but also towards the man who would be my partner in good and bad, and I was—we were—ready. Marriage hasn’t been hard for us. I’m not trying to brag, but it really, truly hasn’t been hard. Perhaps that’s because we grew to be best friends along the way.

I think the trials and tribulations we faced before we were even married had a lot to do with it too. It started with the death of my sister; to this day, I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through all of that without MusicMan by my side, and I couldn’t imagine anyone but him by my side during that time. (That’s not to discount the overwhelming support from close friends and family too.)

The death of MusicMan’s grandpa followed a couple months later. A couple months after that, we had a dryer fire in our townhouse. The resultant damage required us to live in a hotel for a month. During that time, we continued planning the wedding, while working with the insurance company and our landlord to get the damage fixed as quickly as possible, and living out of two laundry baskets and a crate of our belongings. About a month after we moved back into our house, my grandma passed away. It just didn’t seem like life was working in our favor.

Our own mothers, both total drama queens, marveled at the fact that our relationship didn’t seem to suffer in any way from all of the negativity swirling around us. We stuck together—worked together—through all of it. Continuing forward motion, because really, what else can you do? Things eventually settled down, and our fabulous wedding was the reward for our perseverance.

Now we’re married; enjoying life as man and wife. And, despite the fact that MusicMan was everything I said I didn’t want; a former long-haired hippy who rode a motorcycle, had numerous tattoos, and plays in a band, he’s absolutely perfect for me. I couldn’t be happier. Because what I found by stepping outside of the box was a man who is kind, loving, generous, intelligent, helpful, funny, supportive, and encouraging; a true partner who loves me for who I am—faults and all. You just can’t get much luckier than that.

I leave you with a photo slideshow of some of my favorite wedding photos. Enjoy!

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Monday, August 23, 2010

B for Beautiful Bloggers

This is long, long, long overdue, and I offer my deepest apologies to both Christine and Shana for taking so long to acknowledge this wonderful award they’ve bestowed upon me. The fantabulous and wonderful Christine (formerly of Raised Queer; now enjoying her new digs at Rat Faced Girl) and Shana (of Fumbling Towards Normalcy) have both passed along the Beautiful Blogger Award to me! It’s such an honor that two of my most favoritest* bloggers, and two of the awesomest* chicks I know, think I am worthy of such an award. Thanks, lovely ladies!!

* Not real words; I know.

(For the record, I do not think this is in any way related to the fact that these ladies were the winners of my chocolate giveaway awhile back. Even though chocolate is a proven aphrodisiac, I don’t think it made them fall so madly in love with my blog or me that they had no choice but to pass this award along to me. On the off chance that the chocolate was, in fact, the motivation behind honoring me in such a way, let’s just keep it to ourselves. Okay, ladies?)

The rules are that I have to tell you seven things about myself and pass this along to seven bloggers. Since I’ve done the “things” lists not once, not twice, but three times, this is a challenge, but I’m going to try to come up with seven interesting (or at least hopefully semi-interesting) things:

1. I am obsessed with lip balm. My favorite is Burt’s Bees, because I like the cool, tingling sensation of the peppermint oil. However, I also use EOS, Dr. Bronner’s, and Crazy Rumors. I have lip balm everywhere, always within easy reach: a few in my purse, one that sits on my computer keyboard at work, one on the nightstand next to the bed, and one on the end table next to “my end” of the couch. I apply lip balm every morning before I head out the door, every night right before I go to bed, and countless times throughout the day. I get anxious and hyper-focused on the dryness of my lips if I cannot find lip balm to remedy the situation. (I know; it sounds like an illness.)

NOTE: This is not an advertisement. I did not get compensated in any way to mention these brands. They're simply some of my favorites.

2. Gerbera Daisies are my most favorite flower. They are just so bright, happy, and fun! I really regret listening so much to my florist and carrying a white bouquet of flowers on my wedding day (to avoid anything detracting from the dress) instead of a big, fun, bright bouquet of Gerbera Daisies.

3. If I would’ve stayed with, and eventually married, my high school boyfriend, I’d be a preacher’s wife now. (Seriously. I would. He told me he would’ve married me.) First loves are called first loves for a reason, and I’m glad any romantic feelings I had for him, or dreams for a life together, died the day I broke up with him. To imagine myself as a preacher’s wife is hysterical. MusicMan roared with laughter after he met high school ex-boyfriend for the first time and I later explained that he’s a preacher now. Apparently my husband can’t imagine me as a preacher’s wife either, and I am not the slightest bit offended by that.

4. I like pizza. A lot. Well, good pizza anyway; none of that chain stuff like Pizza Hut or Domino’s or Papa John’s (though I’ll eat those if I’m absolutely desperate). One of my favorite topping combinations is pepperoni, mushroom, and sauerkraut. Sadly, not too many places around here include sauerkraut as an option anymore.

5. I really, really, really want another tattoo. I have plans to get a memorial tattoo for my sister, but I haven’t completely solidified what I want yet, so that will have to wait. For now, I present pictures of the tattoo on my right ankle/foot. I adore it! And that age old argument that the anti-tattoo crowd likes to use, “Will you still love it/will it still be appropriate when you’re old and wrinkly?” is rendered obsolete, because: (1) YES! I WILL! and (2) I will probably knit even more when I’m old and wrinkly, because I’ll have more free time. (SO THERE!)

 6. I hate talking on the phone. I’m not entirely sure why this is, or when it started for that matter, but sometimes I absolutely just dread the thought of carrying on a phone conversation. I talk on the phone at work, because it’s part of my job and I have to do it, but I try to avoid personal phone calls at all costs. Texting and emailing works just great for me.

7. I need blankets, or some kind of covering, in order to fall asleep. Even in the middle of summer, when it’s hot and sticky outside, I at least have to be covered with the bed sheet in order to fall asleep. I might stick my foot out from under the covers, if I’m feeling warm, but the rest of my body needs to be covered. If I have a blanket, I can fall asleep most anywhere. There are always blankets on my couch, and I cuddle up with them even in the middle of summer (having central air encourages blanket usage), which results in lots of couch napping.

I’m passing this award along to the following beautiful bloggers:

Lora @ fever

Make sure you go and visit these bloggers and their wonderful blogs, because they’re all awesome and supremely entertaining! And definitely go visit Christine and Shana, the lovely ladies who passed this award to me, because they are seriously the coolest. I would have passed the award right back to them, but I was afraid that would blow up the internet the same way that a circular cell reference seems to blow up an Excel spreadsheet. (I know; that was like the nerdiest, most obscure reference.)

(And to the bloggers I’ve named above, if awards aren’t your thing, that’s cool. In other words, don’t stress about passing this along if you don’t want to.)
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Friday, August 20, 2010

C for Chaos!

Before I jump into today’s post, two things:

  1. I’ve implemented the Disqus commenting system. I like the idea of being able to reply to your comments in a threaded format. I’ll be able to stay more on top of replying to your comments if I can reply to them on the fly. Sometimes, I get too far behind on reading and replying to emails, and then I feel absolutely awful about ignoring your comments for so long. What do you think of Disqus? Would you be a sad, sad reader if I no longer replied to your comments via email? All honest thoughts and opinions are welcome; you won’t hurt my feelings.
  2. I’m far beyond ecstatic that, not only did I survive the summer of hell, but I also managed to maintain my 4.0 GPA!!!!!! Official grades were finally posted, and I got an “A” in Lifetime Fitness, an “A” in Sociology, and an “A” in English, and I passed the Public Speaking competency!!! (Competencies are only graded on a pass/fail basis and don’t play into GPA; I’m still awaiting the grade level equivalent form, and am of course hoping for an “A.”) I worked so freakin’ hard this summer, and I’m really thrilled that it paid off. I’ve officially completed a year of school, so I have a year left before transferring to the bachelor’s program. I’ve worked hard in all of my classes, but for the first time, I really feel as though I earned these “A’s.” Though I’m typically quite modest, I have to say that I’m really, really, ridiculously good looking* proud of myself right now.

Kathie at Just a Happy Housewife tagged me for the “Daily Scoop of Chaos” award. If you haven’t visited Kathie’s blog yet, you really should. She’s wonderfully entertaining and she loves helping animals. To accept this award, I have to answer the questions below and pass it on to eight bloggers. Here we go!

What is your signature color?
Hot Pink/Magenta/Bright Pink. I just love how bright, fun, and happy the color seems to be.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
One of the most recent I can remember is when I saw my brother’s friend’s wife, who I hadn’t seen in quite some time, at my sister’s funeral and I congratulated her on being pregnant. Which she wasn’t. And I didn’t just congratulate her. Nope. I patted her tummy too. (I know! I’m squirming right now just remembering it.)

In my defense, I could swear that I had heard that she was pregnant, I was emotionally exhausted and not thinking straight, and the puffy winter jacket she was wearing added to the illusion that she was in fact pregnant. I was absolutely mortified when she kindly informed me that she wasn’t pregnant. She’s one of the sweetest, most innocent, nicest girls I know, and she handled it with grace. I apologized profusely, of course, and vowed to never again congratulate anyone on being pregnant unless (a) they told me right to my face that they were or (b) they were actually in labor. I still cringe whenever I think of this.

Would you ever get anything pierced other than your ears. If so, what?
I used to want to get my belly button pierced, but I always said I’d wait until my belly was small enough to show off. There’s no sign that that’s going to happen anytime soon, since my belly seems to have gone in the opposite direction, and I think I’m getting too old to be showing my midriff anyway. Oh wells…

Are you a social butterfly or a homebody?
It really depends on my mood. I guess I’m mostly a homebody. However, I do like to go out for dinner with MusicMan and friends, and MusicMan and I do occasionally like to host gatherings and entertain at home.

Are you done having babies or do you want more?
I haven’t started having babies, and I probably never will. (Were I to have kids, I’d be a perpetual Mombie—I don't "do" constant stress and lack of sleep very well at all, and no one wants that; trust me.)

Are you loyal to your hairstylist or do you try every salon in town?
I’m not particularly loyal to a certain hairstylist, but I am loyal to the salon I visit.

How many times have you moved in your life?
Too many to count! But, since moving away from my parents’ home at the age of 22, I’ve moved six times in my adult life.

If you could plan your vacation with just you and your love where would it be?
San Francisco!!! I’ve been twice for business trips, and spent a little time on one of the trips exploring the bay area, and I absolutely fell in love. MusicMan, a huge Grateful Dead fan, has always wanted to go, and I’ve always wanted to go back. We hope to plan a vacation there sometime after I’ve finished school.

I tag all of you, my lovely readers! If you want to play along, please do, but make sure to come back and let me know that you did. Hope you all have a great weekend!!

* I don’t think I’m really, really, ridiculously good looking, but I think you’re awesome if you know what movie that’s from.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

W for Wayback Wednesday (Part 9-Special Edition!)

Welcome to another edition of Wayback Wednesday! This series is made up of old blog posts from a few years ago. If you'd like to, you can catch up by reading previous editions first. In honor of MusicMan's and my upcoming wedding anniversary, we're going to jump way ahead to May 25, 2007, for today's edition so that I can tell you about how we became engaged!

Friday, May 25 (two days after my 29th birthday), had been a normal day.  When I got home, I started packing my weekend bag as I waited for MusicMan to call.  MusicMan had been a little "off" all week--tired, kind of preoccupied, etc.--so I hoped that he'd be in higher spirits because of the arrival of the long weekend...Finally time for him to rest and relax; work has been really busy/stressful for him.

MusicMan called at around 6.  We decided we'd head to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner.  When I arrived at his place, I was super happy to see that he was in a much better mood than he had been the past couple days.  He greeted me by tackling me on the bed and giving me a giant hug.  I kissed him hello and we headed out to dinner.

After we ate, as MusicMan was signing the credit card receipt, he said, "I'm getting so sick of my signature today.  I spent all afternoon signing employee timecards!"  I don't know what possessed me to own up to it, but I told him that I had been bored in meetings earlier in the day and had entertained myself by practicing my signature with his last name.  He said, "What?  Really?  Why?"  I told him to forget about it; that I had just broken a major "girl code" by telling him what I’d done.

He said, "Gosh!!!  I'm getting pressure from my mom and my grandma, your mom and your grandma...even your TIVO!!!"  (The Tivo has been recording lots of wedding related shows lately, and I have no idea why.)  I said, "Well, you know, we've talked about it, and I know it's going to happen someday…I'm in no rush.  I just was bored and thought it would be fun to start 'practicing' my future signature."  We talked a little bit about what it would be like when we finally do get engaged--our moms will cry, people will be surprised/excited, etc.  We headed out of the restaurant and decided to go for a ride on the bike.  It had been so long since we'd ridden together, and it was really nice out, so I was super excited to be on the back of the bike.

MusicMan asked where we should go, and I told him to just go wherever he wanted. I had no particular destination in mind.  After riding for about twenty minutes, MusicMan took us to the parking lot of the mini golf course where we'd had our first date.  We got off the bike to have a cigarette.  MusicMan asked if I was going to take my helmet off, and I told him I didn't need to take it off since we were just going to be there for a few minutes.  We looked across the parking lot, and I pointed out where we'd both parked for our first date.  MusicMan said, "This parking lot always makes me nervous." 

We talked about how nervous we both had been on that first date a little over nine months ago and how great the date had turned out.  MusicMan asked me again if I was going to take my helmet off, and I told him that I had to pee and that, since we'd be leaving soon to go to the grocery store to get some desserts and for me to use the restroom, there was no reason to mess with taking the helmet off.

MusicMan got really serious as he looked at me and said, "Well, I did bring you here for a reason."  I don't know why I said it, probably because I'd been concerned about the way he'd been acting all week, but I said, "Oh my gosh!! Are you breaking up with me?!?"  MusicMan said, "No.  Actually..." and got down on one knee.  I was shocked!  My hands flew up to my face and I covered my mouth and screamed, "NO!!," as in "NO WAY!  Is this really happening?!?"  Seemingly out of nowhere, MusicMan produced an open ring box.  (I'd find out later that it had been concealed in his pocket the whole time.  We were both shocked that I hadn't felt it when I was holding on to him on the bike.)

MusicMan looked up at me and, with tears in his eyes, asked, "Will you marry me?  Will you be my wife?"  My hands still over my mouth, I jumped up and down and vigorously nodded my head up and down.  I'd started to cry.  I screamed, "YES!!  Of course!" and started to kiss him all over his face.  It was then that I realized I still had my helmet on!!    I fumbled with the strap to get the helmet off as I said, "Now I really wish I would've taken my helmet off!"  (We'd joke later that I was wearing my "promise ring helmet" when I got my engagement ring.  MusicMan would also tell people that he always knew I was "special.")  We laughed and kissed and hugged.

MusicMan looked at me with teary eyes and said, "August 23, 2008, is a Saturday." as I put the ring on.  I started crying again—Well, more—I’m not really sure if I'd stopped at that point.

Not only had he just proposed, but he also already had a date picked out.  Not just any date, but a tremendously meaningful one—it will be the two year anniversary of our first date.  How cool and special is that?!?!  I looked down to admire the ring, and I just gasped; it is absolutely GORGEOUS!  MusicMan asked if I liked it, and I told him I absolutely loved it.  It's perfect!  He was glad that it fit, because he hadn't known my size, but he'd fallen in love with the ring and decided to get it knowing that we could bring it in to be resized.

I told MusicMan that I had to call my mom.  He told me he'd tried to call her the night before to get her permission for him to ask me to marry him, but she hadn't answered her phone.  My mom screamed so loud when I told her that MusicMan could hear it through my cell phone.  He started laughing.  I told mom about the proposal and that MusicMan had tried to call to get her permission.  She was super excited and happy.  She asked to speak with MusicMan, so I handed him the phone and he talked to her for a bit.  After we got off the phone with mom, we hoped on the bike to head to the grocery store.

I asked MusicMan if this is why he hadn't been sleeping, and he said it was.  I asked him why, because he had to have known I was going to say yes.  He said that, while he was 99% sure I'd say yes, he didn't know if I'd think it was too soon, and deciding how to propose and worrying about whether or not I'd like the ring were very nerve-wracking.  When we got to the grocery store, my face hurt from smiling all the way there.  I went to use the restroom, suddenly realizing that I'd had to pee for quite a while now.  I couldn't stop staring at the ring...it is just so beautiful, and it was so surreal to have it on my hand.  MusicMan and I decided on lemon bars for dessert.

(A couple weeks after our engagement as we scouted wedding reception locations.)

I called Rockstarr (BFF) from the parking lot of the store to tell her the news.  She was very excited and was super happy for me.  She told me she'd do whatever I needed her to do, and that she was going to start honing her "I told you so dance," which she's looking forward to performing in lieu of a wedding speech.  I tried calling my middle sister, but she wasn't home, so I had to leave a message for her to call me back asap.  MusicMan and I headed back to his place.

When we got back to MusicMan's, we called his mom to tell her the news.  She already knew that it was going to be happening, because MusicMan had called her weeks ago (while she was in Hawaii visiting his sister) to tell her that he wanted to marry me and wanted her help picking out the ring.  MusicMan dialed his mom's number and handed me the phone.  When she answered, I said, "Joni?  This is Elle calling, or should I say you're soon to be daughter-in-law."  She was sooooooooooooooooooooooo happy.  "He did it tonight?!?!  OHMYGOSH!  Do you love the ring?!?!"

I told her I did love the ring and told her all about the proposal.  She welcomed me to the family and told me that they were absolutely delighted to have me become a member of the family.  I handed the phone to MusicMan so she could talk to him for a bit.  Then, I tried calling my sister again, but I got her answering machine, so I called her cell phone.  Within about ten minutes, she called me back.  I told her I wanted to give her plenty of advanced notice that on August 23, 2008, I'd need a wedding cake.  "Are you serious?!?" she said.  She said she knew something was up when I called her cell phone, because I never call her cell.  I told her MusicMan had proposed and told her the story of how he did it.  She cried, which made me tear up a little bit.  She was so genuinely happy for me (and MusicMan) and super excited to do the cake.  I decided to wait until the next day to ask her to be my maid of honor. I didn't want to overwhelm her!  

All the phone calls finally done, MusicMan and I sat on the couch to eat our lemon bars.  I was too excited/shocked/overwhelmed to eat mine, so I only had a little bit and put the rest away for later.  Folks, you know I've been shocked beyond belief and am gloriously happy if I ain't finishing dessert!!!!  

MusicMan told me the story of him making the decision to propose, calling his mom to tell her and ask for her help, the "lies" he told about going out shopping with his mom and going to help her with things around the house the past couple weeks when really they were ring shopping.  He told me about how he'd picked out the ring.  It's a custom-made white gold ring from a small family-owned jeweler in our city.  They literally broke the mold after they made this ring, so there will never be another one exactly like it in existence.

He said when he saw it he knew it was perfect.  Then it was time to pick out the diamond.  They showed him several, but the one that really caught his attention was called the Cross of Light diamond.  This diamond is a round cut, but it has more facets than a regular diamond cut into it.  There are 16 "mirror facets" that are arranged in the form of three crosses.  It was created last year by a Minneapolis diamond cutter and is still pretty rare.

As the jeweler went to put the diamond away after showing it to MusicMan, it popped out of the tweezers, hit MusicMan in the chest, and ended up on the floor.  MusicMan told the jeweler he'd think about the diamond and would get back to him in a couple days.  He and mom stood outside of the shop chatting for a bit about how incredible the ring was and how beautiful the diamond was.  MusicMan finished his cigarette, turned around and went back into the shop, and told the jeweler he'd take the diamond.  (It had chosen him, afterall.)

I couldn't believe all the time, thought, and effort he'd put into the ring and making sure it was just perfect.  It made it that much more special to me.  I'd asked how he'd known my size, and at first he joked that he'd taken a picture of my hand next to a dollar bill while I'd been sleeping one time.  Then, he told me that he didn't know my size; the ring was just the size they made it to be.  It fits almost perfectly.  My fingers swell up a lot when the weather gets hot, so I think we could probably have it sized up just a bit, but we'll have the jeweler give us an opinion on that sometime this week.

We were both way too excited to sleep anytime soon, so we decided to head out for a few celebratory drinks.  We went to a local bar/restaurant.  I stared at the ring the whole night as we sat at the bar and discussed the wedding.  MusicMan told me that he wants to be a very active participant in the planning, which I think is awesome.  When we finally went to bed quite late, we kissed and he said, "Goodnight my future wife."  I said goodnight to my future husband and thanked him for making me the happiest girl in the whole entire world by asking me to be his wife. I told him that it's an honor and that I'm super excited to plan our wedding together.

The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind of activity.  We went to my mom's on Saturday, where my youngest sister had decided to throw an impromptu birthday celebration for my twin brother and I and a welcome to the family celebration for MusicMan.  Saturday night, we went out with MusicMan's friend from work, Ty, and his partner, Chayse; we met them for drinks at Houlihan's, and we had a ball.  These two are the gay version of MusicMan and I; they're so great together and are fantastic people to be around.  Sunday we had brunch with our moms, just MusicMan, his mom, my mom, and me.  It was a little more stressful than I'd anticipated, but overall it was okay.  Sunday afternoon/evening MusicMan and I babysat Li’l D at mom's house.  Monday we finally got the day to ourselves to run a few errands and just spend time with each other, which was super nice.

Let the wedding planning begin!!!!!  I am soooooooooooo tremendously excited to marry my soul mate, the man of my dreams, on August 23 of next year.  It can't come fast enough!!!!  And yet, I know it will probably come way sooner than either of us expects.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

W for Wayback Wednesday (Part 8)

Welcome to another edition of Wayback Wednesday! This series is made up of old blog posts from a few years ago. If you'd like to, you can catch up by reading previous editions first. We’re gonna jump into the Wayback Machine and travel to September 14 and 15, 2006...

Thursday (September 14)
I am so clearly not used to the kind of guy MusicMan is. He never ceases to surprise and amaze me. We planned to go out to the Mall of America (MOA) to do a little shopping Thursday evening. We were working out the details of the plan via email at work. I had an appointment after work, so I told MusicMan I wouldn't be available until around 6 or 6:30. Then, my plan was to stop at home and change out of work clothes and go pick him up so that we could meet Rockstarr (BFF) at MOA at 7. Rockstarr has wanted to meet him, so we figured this would be as good a time as any for them to meet. He tells me the plan sounds good and just to stop by when I'm ready. About fifteen minutes later, he writes me an email saying: "Hey are you going to have time to eat? Do you want me to make something for you to have for dinner?"

I'm not joking. That's the exact email he sent. My eyes popped out of my head and I nearly fell out of my chair. If I would've smiled any bigger, my face probably would've gotten stuck that way. I was doing some major happy dancing in my head. The thoughtfulness behind that simple question is just astounding to me. I sooooooooooooo can't fathom the caring and concern that he has and continues to show me. And, he says that I'm the one that's too nice! This guy is a keeper for sure!!!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I did not accept his offer. I told him that his offer was super thoughtful and that he's super duper sweet, but I'd already planned to grab a sandwich or smoothie on the way to the appointment, so I'd be fine. I thought it was a good reply, considering that my initial reaction was: "Ummmmmmmmm...Do you want to marry me?!?!? I love you!!!"

I arrived at MusicMan's at around 6, and we sat around in his apartment talking for a bit before leaving. We both HATE the mall!! So, before we got out of the car, we kissed for luck that we'd make it through the mall unscathed. Ummmm...yeah...I'm relatively sure we both knew we'd make it through the mall just fine, but it was a damn good reason to kiss! (Not that we need reasons.)

Rockstarr wasn't there when we got to the designated meeting spot, so I called her. She was very close, so we stood and waited for a bit. I was really nervous about Rockstarr and MusicMan meeting for some reason; I'm not quite sure why. The initial introduction went very well. After walking around the mall for a couple hours, Rockstarr was hungry, so we headed to the food court. She sat down to eat, and I shared her fries. Rockstarr had wanted extra napkins, and MusicMan had heard her say that, so he'd gone up to the counter to get extra napkins for her, which we both thought was just super nice.

MusicMan handled Rockstarr and I together really, really well! Overall, I think we all had a pretty good time. After we said goodbye to Rockstarr, we headed out to my car. We held hands along the way. MusicMan said that he'd thought Rockstarr was really fun and that he could see why we were friends. I thought that was really awesome. On the way back to MusicMan’s place, I told him I'd hoped the mall experience wasn't too bad and that Rockstarr and I hadn't made him feel left out at all. He said it had been fun and that he'd enjoyed himself and hoped Rockstarr liked him.

Shortly after we'd arrived at MusicMan's, Rockstarr texted me on my cell phone: "MusicMan so rocks!!!" I had to agree! I was glad that she liked him. MusicMan had been asking if I thought she'd liked him, and I told him I definitely thought she did. I told him I'd know if she didn't, and I showed him her text message. MusicMan and I cuddled and watched TV. He told me he was so glad that I hated the mall and wasn't a "shopper," and I told him that I was also very glad that he hated the mall.

At around 11:30, Rockstarr texted me again. I was surprised that she was up so late. She indicated in her text message that she couldn't sleep because she was so excited for me. I thought that was really sweet. She obviously liked MusicMan, she could obviously tell I liked him, and she apparently thought things were going well between us. Yay!

When I got home, I saw that Rockstarr had sent me a message through myspace. She told me she thought MusicMan was "soooooooooo damn cute" and "sooooooooooooo damn funny." She said that she loved the way he looked at me, that he's unbelievable, a "cool cat," and that she got a good vibe from him. I was so glad to get her message. I was really looking forward to talking to her at work on Friday about what she meant about the way he looked at me.

Friday (September 15)
I met Rockstarr for coffee right away when I arrived at work. She went on and on about how great she thought MusicMan was. She said his eyes seem to light up and sparkle when he looks at me. I almost cried. We did the happy dance. She was almost crying! She was just so happy for me that I'd met someone so nice and so perfect for me. We had a great discussion about the previous evening. I told Rockstarr that MusicMan is definitely one of those nice guys that won't finish last. There's no way!! I like him soooooo much and am just sooooo happy when I'm with him. The more time I spend with him, the more I like him!

I've really wanted to go see MusicMan’s band play, and after discussing it with him, I decided that today would be the day I'd go. They were playing at a bar in Minneapolis. I had mentioned it to my sister last weekend, and she'd said she would definitely be interested in going if she could find a sitter for the kids for a couple hours. Over the week she found a sitter and we finalized plans for what time I'd pick her up, etc.

She called me at around 6 to tell me that mom cancelled on babysitting for her. Thankfully she had a backup plan. So, instead of picking Sis up at 8:30 (the band wasn't playing 'til 9:30), I'd now pick her up at around 7 so that we could take the kids to the sitter. I was actually okay with the change in plans, because that meant I'd get to see my niece and nephew for a bit and Sis and I could go out to dinner beforehand.

After dropping the kids off and having dinner, we were on our way to Minneapolis by about quarter to nine. I was supposed to call MusicMan once we parked, because he was going to bring us in through the back door of the bar. "Just like real groupies!" I told Sis. I wasn't at all nervous about MusicMan and my middle sister meeting. I was way too busy being nervous about meeting the band’s lead singer and the guitar player. These are obviously very important people in MusicMan's life, so I wanted the meeting to go well.

Once we parked, I looked up and saw the band’s lead singer, King (I just knew it was him even though all I had to go on was the myspace picture), walk past my car. I told Sis that that was the lead singer as I called MusicMan. MusicMan met us in the parking lot, and I introduced him and Sis. We headed to the back of the bar where we stood outside finishing up a cigarette and chatting. Then, MusicMan lead us inside.

We walked up to the bar, where King was sitting (I had been right), and MusicMan introduced us. We shook hands. He seemed really cool and super nice. Sis and I ordered drinks. As we were doing so, MusicMan brought the hand stamp guy over to stamp our hands. We'd escaped the cover charge, and the necessary hand stamp, by coming in through the back door, so MusicMan wanted to make sure we were covered. We sat down at a table and started talking. MusicMan had kept telling me that the bar was a complete and total dive, but it wasn't really that bad. We listened to the band that was currently playing while we chatted and drank.

Being that we were in Minneapolis, thus indoor smoking ban, we had to head out behind the bar to smoke. When we went out to smoke, King was out there. MusicMan had bumped into a musician he'd known in his college town and hadn't seen for a long time, so while he was chatting with her, Sis and I started chatting with King about all sorts of stuff—raising kids, dogs, life in general, etc. King was super cool and really funny, and we had a great time talking to him!

MusicMan rejoined us, and we all stood around chatting for a bit. The bands were all running late, because the first band had started late. So, the guys didn't end up going on until around midnight. I was really excited when it was finally time for the guys to play! The band before them was horrible, so we were all happy and relieved when they'd finished playing.

Sis, the guitar player’s girlfriend, and I headed up to the area closest to the stage to get front row seats to watch the guys play. The show was very good! King was awesome and the guys played their hearts out. It was really cool watching them play! They totally got into it. Sadly, since they'd started so late, there was practically no one else in the audience to enjoy them, but the three of us girls enjoyed the show.

Sis and I headed to the bathroom once they finished playing, and we discovered then that the place definitely had dive qualities. The bathroom only had one stall, which wasn't too dirty, but they only had half a bar of soap. Yes; a bar of soap to wash your hands with and one of those old fabric towel roller things to dry your hands. EWWWWW! Sis and I opted to use the anti-bacterial hand wipes I had in my purse instead. I was glad to hear that Sis had enjoyed the show. I had told her on the way out to the bar that King's music, and voice, were very unique. She agreed and said again that she'd really enjoyed it.

The guys had just finished packing up their stuff when we got back. We told King that we'd really enjoyed the show and he thanked us. He put his hand on my arm and thanked us for coming out as I shook his hand. MusicMan, Sis, and I headed out to have a smoke. MusicMan apologized for their performance saying they'd "played like shit." Sis and I told him we'd thought it was great! He thanked us for coming out, and we told him that it was us who needed to thank him for entertaining us.

MusicMan said that, if we could wait another five or ten minutes, we could follow him to the highway in order to find our way out of Minneapolis. (I'm not so good at navigating my way around Minneapolis' snaking one-way streets.) As we headed out, MusicMan said he'd need assistance loading his stuff in his truck. I volunteered for the job just as Sis said, "I'll volunteer Elle!" It was lightly raining, so I handed Sis the keys to the car so she could go wait for me. I helped MusicMan load his stuff into his truck and gave him a huge hug as King walked past us to put stuff in his own car. MusicMan thanked me again for coming out to the show, and I thanked him again for having us come out.

I told him again that I'd really enjoyed the show as King walked past us to head back inside, giving us a little nod as he did so and telling MusicMan it had been a great show. MusicMan and I kissed a few times and he said he'd call me tomorrow to make plans to get together. I headed to my car to take Sis home.

Sis and I talked all the way home about how cool the band was, how cool King was, how cute MusicMan was, and how much fun we'd had. Overall, it was a super fun night!!!! It was a late one—I didn't get home until around 2:30 a.m—but it was totally worth it!!
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Monday, August 9, 2010

D for DONE!

Hello, lovely reader!!! I must apologize for my long absence. Silly me thought that, after the two weeks of hell were over, classes and summer would calm down enough for me to blog again. I was sadly mistaken. The English class I took was a doozy. I mentioned in my last post, that the English instructor was bat shit crazy, and it just got worse.

The problem basically boiled down to the fact that she was a terrible planner. She’d assign 120-200 pages of reading on Tuesday with a Thursday deadline, and she’d give a quiz on the reading on Thursday. On top of that, we’d have a 3-5 page draft of a paper due the same day. Of course, instead of handing out the explanations of what was required for the paper in time for us to maybe get a jumpstart on it, she’d hand it out Tuesday. Then, each paper had to include quotes and other citations from 2-4 research sources. That meant assigned reading, research for the paper, and writing of the first draft all had to be done within a day. Because I work full time, that wasn’t entirely manageable.

Of course it goes without saying that I am eternally grateful that English class—and all summer classes for that matter—are done. Over. Complete. Finished! I spent this weekend just relaxing and plotting how I’d spend my two week break with no homework to work on or worry about and no deadlines looming. I have been so used to always having something that I absolutely must get done, and working hard to make sure I’m staying on track and on schedule, that it actually felt kind of uncomfortable to just sit for a moment and do nothing except space out in front of the TV or knit a little bit. I didn't really know what to do with myself!!

Yesterday I got an email from my instructor for the math course that starts August 23. (A.K.A MusicMan’s and my two year wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary to us. We're planning on celebrating the weekend before.) Now it's goodbye two week break. Within the next two weeks, I have to log into a couple different online systems to read the class syllabus, get the schedule of classes and assignments, and try out the online systems. I have to read Chapter 1, watch a video lecture or two, and dabble with an online homework assignment before class starts on Monday, August 23. Nice.

*PITY PARTY ALERT* You know; just once it would be nice for instructors to consider that maybe—just maybe—some of us didn’t take the summer off. Maybe some of us took classes all summer, which means we’ve worked hard to earn a piddly two week break that she’s now ruined. Dammit! *END PITY PARTY* I know that the world doesn’t, and unfortunately never will, revolve around me, but I’m so bummed. Really, really, really bummed.

I’m going to try not to let it get me down. I’m going to just do what I can, but not push myself too hard. This isn’t a college level math course. It’s an algebra refresher, which I have to take before being able to take any college level math courses. Unfortunately, when I took the college entrance exams, it had been way too long since I’d used Algebra, so I’d forgotten most of it. I’m hoping that Algebra is like riding a bike; once I get started again, I’ll remember it and just fly right through.

I’ve earned this two week break, and I’m going to make sure I get some leisure time in. I have some fun stuff planned already. I will be missing the third day of math class to go see Lady Gaga!!! MusicMan and I are planning on taking a day off of work at the end of August to go enjoy the Great Minnesota Get Together, or the Minnesota State Fair. Oh! And, I’ll be missing a week of class in the middle of September, because—get this—work is sending me to Lake Tahoe for a software conference!

Lake Tahoe!!! I am so super excited. I’ve never been, but I’ve heard great things. To make this even better, MusicMan is going to tag along with me! We’re flying in on a Sunday and leaving Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Minnesota to Reno, so we’ll have to deal with layovers and connecting flights and about a one hour shuttle from Reno to the hotel in Tahoe. The first day of the conference only has one late afternoon session on the agenda, which is only a few hours long, so we’ll get to enjoy Tahoe together on Monday. Then, we’ll spend a little time Tuesday evening after the conference exploring Tahoe a bit, and MusicMan can go out and enjoy it a little more Wednesday while I’m at the conference. It will be nice little getaway for both of us—more so for MusicMan, since he’ll have no other obligations, but I should be able to work in some downtime too while we’re there.

I’m catching up on all of your blogs, lovely readers, but I haven’t left a lot of comments lately. My brain has been entirely too fried to leave coherent thoughts. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of blogging, reading, and commenting this week, and I’m so looking forward to catching up with all of you!!

How have you been?
How is your summer going?

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