Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day and Grams

As you may have noticed, I changed the name, address and layout of the blog. Why? I had initially wanted the blog to chronicle the married-life. However, Mark and my married life is unique due to the “other woman” involved: a 95ft. motor yacht.

Now, I want the blog to reflect our married life and, because the boat is such a big part of our life, the boat as well. There is a different perspective a yacht wife can bring to the marriage arena, same as those that are military wives. There are different situations than what the 9-to-5, day-to-day couple may experience. The title change just seems more fitting for the direction I want to take the blog.

On that note, let me devote the first post of the new blog to a very special lady, my Grams.

But first, Happy Memorial Day! I hope all of you have a wonderful day with family and friends ... don't forget to say a little thanks and prayer for those who have served so we can have this day. A friend posted this on his FB: A day for those who never had their joyful reunion at the airport. A day for those who never returned to enjoy the fruits of what they fought for. A day for those who gave their last full measure of devotion. A day for those who never got to see a world without war. A day for us to remember ordinary citizens who paid an extraordinary price for the rest of us... Remember them today.

Second, I want to wish my Grandma Ruth a happy birthday!!!! While I will not disclose her age, lets just say she hasn't been an octogenarian for quite some time now.

Grams and my mom on my wedding day

Isn't she to die for?!

Three generations

Grams is really an amazing lady. When I first moved down here, Mark and I had a few days together then he left … the country! He went to Hong Kong to visit his brother who lives there. Mark’s parents where also there, and feeling a bit homesick, Mark wanted to see his family. So I was left alone in a strange city, a big city, and I too was feeling homesick. I cried everyday, all day (except for the four hours I was in class. I didn’t want my classmates to think I was totally crazy).

My Grams spends the winter months in Naples, Fla. And thank goodness! My first few months in Florida I spent weekends driving back and forth, across Alligator Alley, to have sleep-overs at Grams. She even let Martini-dog in the house (Grams really doesn’t like dogs).

Grams lost my grandfather a few years back. Immediately after, she started to clean and put her things in order, so to speak. She and we figured she’s go soon after since they had an amazing romance that started in grade school. However, one day she realized she wasn’t ready to go yet.

We both had similar situations. After my Grams and Grandpa got married, Grandpa had to go to war. Thankfully, Mark was not at war, but at away at work. Although, as much as I push that thought, it really doesn't make it any easier when you realize you are still going to bed and waking up alone. So I asked her how she does it.

Grams's Secrets:

1. Get out of the house at least once during the day

2. Say yes: to golf, to lunches, to dinners … don’t turn down an invitation

3. Pray and go to church daily.

4. Always live in the present. Rather than dwelling on regrets, learned from the situation and move on. Be hopeful for the days ahead, something we can lose site of if we focus too much on the past.

5. Dress up. There is no need for full-on makeup everyday, but a great outfit can really boost your ego when you’re feeling a bit down.

6. You are never to old to expand your shoe collection.

For 90-something year young lady, she is truly fabulous.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Veering Off the Path

Ugh! This last week was hard for me. I don’t know if was depressed about not returning to Ohio for a while or fighting off a virus … mostly likely a bit of both.

So excuse the belated blog post. Last weekend (May13-15) was awesome! Friday I met up with the hubs in CVG (the boat’s been in Charleston for the last few weeks, so we had to fly in separate). My parents pick us up and after a quick change of clothes, we watched the Reds win while I consumed two LARGE pieces of LaRosa’s pizza that I had been talking about for weeks! The game was followed by Rozzi fireworks and a concert of what is left of CCR. AND we even make it on the jumbo-tron!

The hubs, me and my parents sportin' our Reds gear

Saturday was Kimmy’s wedding. She looked gorgeous!!!!!

KimmyJo walking down the aisle looking soooooo pretty!

Mark and I had a blast dancing and eating cake (we even scored an extra piece! Yeah!).

It was a bit strange being back in Cincinnati, as it was the first time I felt like I was an outsider. I don’t know if that’s the right word. I LOVED being with the girls, but maybe it was a realization that my life isn’t on the same path as theirs. Somehow in my naivety, I always figured my friends and I would hold hands, skipping down the same yellow-bricked (… actually, hot pink) road of life. It’s not like we don’t all want the same things: career, spouse, house, dogs, kids, etc., it’s just that some are more on the same path while others are checking the boxes in a different order.

Here are some of the wonderful ladies. I heart them!

It was an awakening. Mark and I aren’t in market for owning a house, and we are nowhere near the vicinity of having kids, and while the other half of the girls are focused on their careers, I am back in school. By the time I finish my program and take my boards I will be nearing the big three-0. Not a big deal, except while most of my friends will have spent last eight or nine years advancing their careers, I will just be starting out … again. :(

And while Mark and I have been tossing ideas of where to live after I graduate (Charleston? NC? VA?), I know moving back to Ohio isn’t an option (unless by the grace of God, some tugboat company offers Mark a barge-side of a pay check. Even then, I doubt Mark will be content living so far inland). Knowing that cements that I will no longer even have the possibility of being on their path.

I do know that along my path, Mark and I will find somewhere to settle. Someday when we entertain the idea of parenting, there will be other people around that will be in the same situation, and our paths will merge. I guess being back home was a bit of a farewell. I will only be back for holidays or special occasions – not as easy to just hang out anymore.

I am grateful for the experiences I have been afforded. While I like to think that I always took full advantage of opportunities presented to me, my life in the last three years has been quiet an adventure. I have worked on a boat, been to exotic islands, moved across country, to a city that might as well be in another country … and managed to not get into an accident or completely lost while navigating the "Survivor"-esque roads of Miami. I entered a Master’s program that is WAY different than my previous journalism degree and joined Junior League, so I could feel like I am making a difference in my new "home," whether I’m feel completely home or (more likely) not.

I don’t know if I would have had all these opportunities, and those that await, if I stayed in Cincinnati. I also don’t know if I would have been content not knowing what could be out there. So yeah, my path is veering away from my friends. Which sucks because they are amazing women who make me feel so wonderful that I am writing a blog because it bothers me how much I miss them. And as a control freak I’m a bit envious that a lot of them seem to have settled down, while my future is so unsettled.

I know that more than anything I am so grateful for these women. I want when I say, “Please let me know if I can help,” to it mean more than just words. I want to be able to babysit, help them move, go out to eat or to a movie or sit and talk ... and not have to have it be crammed into a few hours in a way-too-short weekend.

Ugh! No wonder I was so exhausted last week. On a more positive note, my next post will be about my pups. And, I am already plotting two extra trips back to the O-hi-o before the end of summer. They girls may not get away from me that easily after all :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wedding Weekend!

I am off to Cincinnati for the weekend! I am super excited to get back to town.

When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to get out of Ohio. I wanted to move to the coast, live on the beach and have a never-ending summer …. Funny how life works out. Now, on most days I would give up the sun and sand to get back to the rolling hills of landlocked Ohio. (Not to mention friends and family, of course.)

I mean, who wouldn’t want to see this skyline on a regular basis?

I will only be in town for a hot minute for my high-school friend, KimmyJo’s wedding. I haven’t seen her since my bachelorette party last summer, and it’s been almost five months since I’ve seen the other girls.

KimmyJo a few years back :)

A few years ago I had a tons wedding over the spring and summer. Now I just have one. And while I’m sad I don’t get to see my friends often enough, I’m also bummed I don’t get to dress up as often.

I’d like to say that what Miami fashion lacks in class, it makes up for in imagination, but if you’ve been here, you know nothing worn in this town leaves anything to the imagination (Mainly because it’s too bloody hot to actually wear clothing.)

The dress I’m wearing to Kimmy’s wedding I’ve had for two years, tags still on. I could never figure out the right place to wear it. But Kim’s wedding reception is at the beautiful Taft Museum and I figure this dress finally found its place in a spring evening wedding.

Here are a few other picks I would wear if I had more places to be seen (Girls, get married. My closet depends on it!)

Also, on my trip back from DAY on Monday, I saw a girl with these:


Luckily, I have an awesome husband who, for my birthday in December, bought me a huge make up case filled with tons of little goodies, including the OPI mini-nail polishes from Sephora. And guess what color happened to be supplied? I will be definitely sportin’ some neon this weekend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We are UD!!!

It was a whirlwind of a weekend. I went back to Ohio to celebrate my youngest brother, Eric, graduating from the University of Dayton. It’s my alma mater too, as well as my other two brothers.

I flew into Dayton Saturday morning and I immediately felt at home back on Ohio soil.

I talked to a grumpy Mark earlier that day. So when I passed by the airport gift shop selling “Nothing Tips Like A Cow: Ohio” T-shirts, I immediately bought HIS and HERS. It’s silly but you can’t help but laugh a little when you see it. Plus, I must represent down here.

My brother’s house had a graduation party. Of course, all of you in Ohio have been rained out for the last few weeks, and the party was no exception. Even with a tent, the ground was a pool. Luckily my brilliant cousins, and their spouses, all UD grads, decided to wait out the rain by playing flip-cup. (Apparently there was flip-cup at our wedding as well … I’m sad I missed it). My brother Brett came in from Chicago with some of his roommates, who also happened to be UD grads. At the end of the night it was the alums, not the current graduates, who had the party going.

Sunday started with graduation. After a quick lunch and a few Mother’s Day mimosas, Brett returned to Chicago and my parents helped Eric finish packing his room. I decided to go for a literal stroll down memory lane (plus, I was not going to use the bathroom in my brother's disgusting Ghetto house).

UD hold such a special place in my heart. It was so unique; a place where friends really are family. It made me a bit sad to walk around campus, and slightly jealous of those who still get to go to school there.

I thought I’d include a few pictures of this beautiful piece of paradise.

My house senior year!

St. Joseph's Hall, where I spent almost every day

Lit up for Christmas on Campus.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Positively Counting the Days

Wow! What a historic weekend: Miss Kate became Princess, Pope John Paul II was beatified and Osama bin Laden was killed (p.s. I read this somewhere that Hitler also was declared dead on May 1. Spooky, eh?).

This weekend also marked the official start of the yacht season for Mark and me. On Sunday, Mark drove 10 hours, back to the boat in Charleston. From now on, he’ll be traveling up the coast, and we’ll return to our “just visiting” marriage status.

It’s always depressing seeing him leave (I think Martini has a harder time, realizing that it’s one car ride he’s not going on). And though I much rather have him here, yesterday I was trying to think of positive things about this time apart.

What?! You're not taking me with you?

Don't go!

1. I get the WHOLE bed.

Mark is a tall man; he doesn’t fit in just any old bed (Made evident when we were at my parents home for Christmas, where my old bed is stationed. It's a queen and homeboy’s feet hang well off the edge!) So we bought an amazingly comfortable California King bed. It’s an awesome bed, and it’s where the pups and I hang out when Mark isn’t home. All three of us spread out and relax as we watch our favorite TV shows (see #3).

Who wouldn't want to share a bed with these two?

The most amazing night's sleep ever!

2. I have a hair station.

We are lucky enough to have a beautiful apartment with a HUGE bathroom that has HIS and HERS sinks. And when Mark is gone, it becomes HERS and HER HAIR STUFF sinks.

3. I can watch my trashy TV shows.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE reality TV. Specifically, I LOVE Biggest Loser (obviously a tear-jerker, not so much trashy), Bethenny Ever After (can I BE her?!), Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, and ALL The Real Housewives of …. It’s guilty-pleasure, embarrassed-to-admit-it, trashy reality TV. And no judgment or rolling of the eyes sitting next to me.

4. I get to count down ‘til I see him again!

As much as I love Mark being here, there is always a timeline in the back of my head. It’s terrible to live life waiting for a departure date. We’ve done it a million times, and I know it’s temporary, but it never gets easier. However, the “most positive” thing about Mark being gone is that I get to look forward to seeing him again!

… Which luckily won’t be that long, as we "rendezvous" in Cincinnati for my friends wedding in just a few weeks. I am so looking forward to being back home and seeing all my girlfriends. We always pick up right were we left off, even in spite of marriages and babies and living states apart.