Monday, September 26, 2011


This weekend was a bit exciting, as Mark and I bought a new (to us) car!

Okay, let me rewind a bit to about two weeks ago when Mark received his social security card. Bright and early last Saturday morning we walked into our bank and asked to get a credit card (from an American bank) for Mark. Since his social security number was brand spankin’ new, the bank told us even the most basic card was unlikely.

Impatient, Mark asked what he could do to build his credit score now. The personal banker suggested buying a car with financing, and paying it off in a year. Our immigration lawyer also suggested purchasing a vehicle, but for the purpose of proving our relationship. While having adding another bill didn’t seem worth it to prove our marriage, we want a house someday in the very nearer future, and you can’t really do that without a credit score.

So that afternoon Mark (who had been researching cars for months) found one in Fort Myers, and seeing as we were headed to Bonita Springs the following day, we thought we’d take a look.

We ended up at the dealership right before closing, and I literally drove the car off the lot, down the street and back on to the lot. We spent this past week obtaining and providing documents, transferring my car’s title into my name from my dad’s and trying to get last-minute insurance since the car was released from under my father’s insurance umbrella (Thank you to PJ at Geico for providing a tremendous amount of help to us on an early Saturday morning).

Finally on Saturday afternoon, around 5 p.m. we drove off the lot with a new car.

…. And quickly returned to the dealership when we realized we left our house keys on the trade-in’s key ring.

Seeing as Mark has a motorcycle and relatively easy-access to the yacht’s crew car and well as him being gone for half the year, we decided we didn’t need two vehicles and trading my little Hyundai Tucson in was the best solution.

I bought my 2005 Tucson brand new. I spent weeks researching cars, and I was so proud of myself for settling on that one. It has lots of room for a small SVU, tons of cargo space (I used it to move about 10 times), awesome gas mileage and a good warranty. Not to mention, I only had it in the shop once, besides the required routine maintenance.

I was super sad to see the Tucson go as we’ve had lots of memories together.

Goodbye Tucson! I loved you!

It made the Dayton to Daytona trip and back twice. It transported many of Theta Phis and roommates around Dayton (especially to Carmel’s). I sobbed cried in it, driving all the way home on my graduation day. (Leaving UD was probably one of the saddest days of my life so far.) It moved me to Columbus for my first “big girl” job, then back home, then to a new apartment, back home again, to another place and finally to Miami. I drove it to pick up Martini, and a couple years later I drove it to dropped off Mark after our first date. Later I drove it home to get married. Mark drove it back to Miami, full of wedding gifts, and ready to begin our new life together. We picked up Morgan in it. I spent many a frustrated mornings in rush-hour traffic attempting to get to school. … I could go on.

I know the Landie will be the one I will drive home after my last day of class and after I take my boards (possibly crying since I'm sure the exam will bring me to tears). It will move us to a new location (New city? New state?!). I will drive to my first day of work (possibly to my own business). We will drive around looking for our future house in this vehicle. It will most likely be the automobile that will hold children's car seats (… in the very far future, let’s not get too crazy).

I know that this new car is going to be wonderful, but moving forward is sometimes a bit bittersweet.

In memory: Hyundai Tucson 2005 - 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Year One

This weekend was an exciting one, as the hubs and I celebrated our first anniversary!!!

(snaps for us!)

The hubs flew in on Friday evening and we did our usual Cheesecake Factory dinner (I was good and ordered the Skinny-lious Grilled Salmon).

I told the hubs I wanted to celebrate by going to the dog beach on Sunday. We could be qualified as crazy dog people, as the hubs pointed out that we drove 4 hours (round-trip) to just to take the dogs to a beach.

The captain and Morgan


Do we have to go home?

After a couple hours of running around, throwing balls and trying to dodge herds of sprinting canines, we packed up the pups and made a quick errand to Ft. Myers (more to come on that in the future). The “quick errand” took two hours, and by the time we stopped to fill up for gas and head back across Alligator Alley it was already 6:30p.

Noticing the time, and the fact that it would take two hours to get back home, and with no desire to eat a full meal at nine o’clock at night, we opted for a little more of a non-traditional anniversary meal.

Yes, 7/11 hotdog for Mark and a six-hour old salad for me.

We finally got home, bathed the dogs, and cleaned up a bit, then it was time to do something a little more traditional.

Last weekend, when I was home, I brought back our top layer. The bakery we used for our wedding had also sent us a fresh hummingbird cake.

The top layer was a bit frost-bit. But the hummingbird cake was AH-MAZING!

We used A Spoon Fulla Sugar, and I highly recommend them. I am a die-hard BonBonerie fan, but I do believe that Spoon Fulla Sugar could claim the prize in my eye (or tummy).

To recap: our very first wedding anniversary involved no exchanging of cards, no flowers, no gifts, no romantic dinners and no champagne. Though a majority of the reason we didn’t plan a fancy dinner was due to my competition diet, but even if I wasn’t on a diet, I don’t believe I would change a thing.

I am not really the white wedding dress type. If you remember I had an issue with the dress I wore on my wedding day. I ordered another dress last minute, but ultimately I wore the original for my mom.

At first I was angry I never had the “This is my dress” experience, but I now wonder if I would have ever had that anyway. I feel much more comfortable in jeans, and multiple times throughout the wedding planning process, I begged Mark to convince me to elope so I could get married in shorts and cowboy boots rather than a beaded, full-length, fit-and-flare.

Without going into a long diatribe about weddings, I will be short in saying, I’m so glad the wedding is over and we are celebrating our first year of marriage.

Of course, a year into our marriage, we have to be a bit reflective. On the drive back to Miami, Mark and I talked about where we had imagined our lives to take us. I told him I was supposed to be in D.C., dating or married to the young-Republican type who works long hours kissing politicians asses so he can one day campaign on his own. Everyday he wears a suit and tie and polished shoes. I too was to be working in politics, or my towards law degree.

Instead I married a twice-immigrated yacht captain, who spends all day in shorts and T-shirts. And while he does clean up nicely, I’m lucky if he puts on flip-flops, let alone slacks. And I quit my job, worked on a boat, moved to Miami and am pursuing a degree where most of the people I am in class with are a bit more liberal and hippie than I am use too.

To say that God has a sense of humor is an understatement. I say Mark is not the man of my dreams, because I could never dream up someone and something this perfect. Despite feeling a bit uneasy about the future at the time, I truly believe we are in God’s good graces, and I am looking forward to year number two!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Butterfly Effect and A Baby Shower

I know, I've been a terrible blogger lately. But since my last weekend in Cincinnati, this week has been a whirlwind. I haven't since down since, oh, um, last Thursday.

I spent the weekend in Cincinnati for a baby shower of one of my closest friends. It was a quick trip home. I spend all Saturday running around pick up last-minute needs for the shower. Luckily, I did get an early dinner with the bestie, stopped by my old church for Saturday-night service and got to have dinner with grams Sunday night.

But have you heard of the butterfly effect? I feel like this week has been all cray-cray due to my late flight back down to Florida.

Monday morning I woke up at 5:15a to catch my flight back to Ft. Lauderdale. Well, actually my flight wasn't until 9:15a, but my dad does contract work (I never know what he does, but it's with computers and implementing a specific system) and flies out every Monday to his job in another state. To save my mom a trip to the airport I decided to leave with pops.

It was nice being early for once! I can't tell you how many times I called Mark on the way to airport crying that I was going to miss my flight. Though I never missed one, I did learned how to sprint in heels with a carry-on pretty damn well. This time, I enjoyed a coffee and some studying for my quiz later that night.

My return flight was great ... until we got to FLL. Due to wind shears, we had to circle for 45 minutes. Then with our fuel supply depleting and the weather not letting up, the pilot landed the plane in West Palm Beach. After refueling and some paperwork, we took the short ride back to FLL.

I was supposed to have landed at 11:45a. Instead I didn’t get off the plane until 2:30p. I had two hours to pick up the dogs, pick up something to eat (a hungry T is an ANGRY T), try to shower and head out to class, where I would be until 11p.

That was followed by my full day of clinic on Tuesday, which I finally got home around 9:15p, and had to study for another quiz. … Which I promptly failed as I feel asleep in the middle of Teen Mom.

When my four alarms went off Wednesday morning to wake me for my 5:30a workout, I torn the iPod out of alarm clock’s charging deck and threw it on the ground. I vaguely remember this, but I know it happened because I found the iPod in the corner of the room when I finally dragged myself out of bed at 7a. I had to get my workout in on Wednesday afternoon, then came home, found the couch, napped, ate something, then slept.

And I found out my hubbie is coming home this weekend for our first marriage anniversary (I can't believe it!) So after waking up late again, I spent all day cleaning and finishing projects around the house.

So the damn butterfly that caused the wind shears made me feel like I was late to EVERYTHING this week. Not focused at all. I will be happy when the weekend is here.

Anyway, back to the baby shower. Christie and her husband Eric are some of my closest friends. I may only have a handful of college memories that doesn’t involve them and that’s mostly because neither were in my sorority … though both helped surprise and deliver gifts to sorority Littles.

Christie and I went to high school together, so my girlfriends that were in town came to the shower, too. It was so good seeing them, and I am just sad I live so far away! I just I just need to remember how blessed I am to still have them in my life, regardless of miles.

So I will leave you with some photos of the shower:

my pretty ladies

Christie's mother and aunt goofing for the camera

The momma-to-be (How cute is that little one-sie rolled up to a lollipop?)

Ripping open gifts :)

Cutting the cake

I have a strange fear of touching baby bellies, so I listened baby instead.

The high school ladies.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I hope everyone had an amazing Labor Day. I enjoyed my extra day off, seeing as I start not

only a new class tomorrow, but also it’s my first board review class. There is a test every class as well as two exams! Yikes!

I spent my Labor Day hitting up the mall, a movie with a friend, sunning poolside (thank goodness for ocean breezes) and watching the Picker Sisters marathon yesterday.

It’s such a design-inspiring show. I texted the hubs telling him we needed a house with a backyard large enough for a work shed, with lots of tools and welding equipment.

Anyway, through watching the show, you start to pick up the lingo. One of the words mentioned a lot was, “patina.” I had no idea what it meant, and they got so excited about it, that I had to Google it.

The first thing that popped up was It’s a series of stores in Minnesota selling really unique and interesting housewares, jewelry as well as a host of other things. A lot of items are reminiscing of the 1950s-60s.

And a lot of the items are one, inexpensive, and two unique. With the holidays coming up, I am always trying to find interesting gifts to give. Its one thing to give someone body lotion from Bath and Body Works (which I do love), but how pretty is this lotion.

And the smell: Gin andRosewater!

Below is a list of other items I thought would make beautiful gifts.

Oh, and patina is a tarnish that forms on the surface of metals like bronze and the like.
Check out the Web site for really cool design ideas with all their signs

How pretty are these coverlets?
Totally would want this on my desk.