September 20, 2017

canada, crepes & central park

since the three of us enjoyed our first cruise together so much we decided to set sail on another adventure, which looked very similar to the first. there was a lot of eating. there was a lot of relaxing. there were a lot of evening crepes. there was a lot of trivia. and there was a lot of eating. there was also a lot of football via satellite which delighted donald to no end.

the main difference was that instead of going south, we headed north and donald got to use his passport in canada. the canadian stops mostly consisted of strolling around town and trying some local delicacies like beaver tail and dulse [the first was delicious, the second not so much]. then we sailed down to maine where we visited acadia national park, ate lobster and blueberry pie, and one of us took a long seaside bike ride. 

when we were planning this trip i very specifically searched for ships leaving out of manhattan so i could sneak in a bonus trip to nyc. my favorite thing is just being in the city...riding the subway, walking around and enjoying the hustle and bustle. there's also fun food, so we took my mom on a culinary tour of some of our favorites. while we were out and about we stumbled upon gulliver's gate miniature museum which turned out to be really cool, and the nbc tour took us into the tonight show studio so basically all my dreams came true. unfortunately we don't all share the same level of love for big cities in general, but my travel companions were troopers and even entertained my request for one final subway ride to the airport [which you should ask donald about sometime...but beware that his version of the events is very dramatic].

July 22, 2017

the one where donald becomes a nurse

it's honestly all very surreal. donald becoming a nurse has basically been the goal we've been working toward since we got married, and now that it's here we're just kind of staring at each other in disbelief. 

nursing school is a trip. you start the process strong, ready for what lies ahead. 

you take your prerequisites [even the stupid ones]. this takes much longer than you initially anticipate. 

you apply to a program. 

you get accepted! 

you cross all the t's and dot all the i's so you can actually start the program.

you fall into the same rhythm each semester:

survive the clinical rotations. 

pass this big test. 

pass that big test. 

pass the final. 

and pass the class. wash. rinse. repeat.

then comes what feels like the big day. the last final. the end is so close. 

you pass: the test. the class. the semester. the PROGRAM! you graduate. 

but then...

you keep studying. because there is yet another test to take.

you study. and you wait.

a month after graduating you FINALLY get your boards scheduled, but alas, the test is still another month away.

you study some more. and you wait some more.

it seems it will never end.

and then one day...

it does.

he's a nurse.  now and forever amen.

June 16, 2017

our oldest friend

i've been honored to have quite a few friends over the years who were eligible for the senior discount, but so far i've only known one to hit the century mark. our friend edith lived to be 106...and a half. i may have only known her for the part of her life, but even as she neared and then passed one hundred years, the best words to describe her were funny and feisty. you wouldn't typically expect a centenarian to surprise you with an off hand comment that makes everyone belly laugh, but edith did. last november we were able to celebrate with her on her 106th birthday, and she treated us to a song at my request. she had a good one about overalls, but that day i picked "i wish i was born a boy, oh gee", which was another edith classic. she wasn't quite up to her usual hip shaking, but she sang us every word with gusto.

we'll miss you granny.

January 26, 2017

anniversary number four

i have to admit...this one kind of snuck up on me.  with all the birthday hoopla immediately following christmas i've been at bit lost in the calendar.  a whole week seemed to disappear without my realizing it and when missy asked about our anniversary plans on tuesday i muttered something about figuring it out next week.  to which she replied, "it's in two days".  whoopsie!

thankfully our fried chicken tradition takes some of the pressure out of the planning process.  we started the night at gus's world famous fried chicken and then hung out at the up-down with all the youngins.  donald was like a kid in a candy story reliving his arcade days.  his favorites were ms. pac-man, x-men and taking turns on crazy taxi; i basically stuck to skee ball and serving drinks to the patrons on tapper.  we wrapped up the night with fudge stuffed peanut butter cookies at tannin, because that's what donald's dreams are made of.  

January 9, 2017

the thirty forty

the morning of the big day dawned bright and clear, and a balmy 5 degrees. we had plans to meet at the leslie's in the afternoon to head out on our little 'road trip'. when we arrived the first surprise was that we weren't just leaving as us, we were leaving in character. erica and i had written a screenplay titled 'threat level gold' and donald and grant were the stars. we sat down for a table read but soon decided that in order to really get into the roles we needed to take it out on location. the first scene unfolded in their living room, but as the caper evolved the men were sent to a mysterious address.

we loaded up the car and headed off, ending up at the independence train station. after hauling our bags inside we read through the next scene, which, in a surprise twist, had us getting back in the car to travel to a new address. this path ended at the airport, but given the whole train station confusion no one really knew what to believe. after solving a series of clues provided by a supporting character, a confirmation code was revealed. grant typed it into a nearby kiosk and bingo bango...we were on our way to warm and sunny los angeles! we also slipped in a couple of train tickets for the hogwarts express since we wanted to be sure to pay harry a visit.

the only surprise we kept all the way to california was our tour of the warner brothers studio, which ended up being one of our favorite stops. aside from riding through the backlot and checking out some sound stages, we saw all the batmobiles, a ton of original harry potter props and my personal favorite...sat on the central perk couch.

we spent our in between time checking out the hollywood sign, seeing a movie and strolling past some stars on the walk of fame.  we also paid visits to some of our favorite burger joints, namely in-n-out and shake shack. one of my best moments was unintentionally stumbling across gene kelly's star just outside of shake shack. he's my favorite.

on our last full day it was finally time to stroll through hogsmead and visit the hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. it really is a magical place. we drank butterbeer and dined at the three broomsticks; checked out the wands at ollivanders and bought some candy at honeydukes. it was the perfect way to end our magical birthday adventure.

January 3, 2017

big smooth's big 40

a few years ago while hanging out with grant and erica we discovered that donald and grant not only have birthdays three days apart, but they are specifically ten years and three days apart, meaning they will always be celebrating milestone birthdays together. erica and i decided that such a memorable occasion required an equally memorable trip, so about seven month ago we got down to business. i was happily planning this one and only birthday surprise when it occurred to me that in order to keep this a surprise i was going to have to get him a present on his actual birthday thing led to another and suddenly i was on the hunt for forty, yes i said 40, gifts.

my husband loves things. they bring him great joy. receiving gifts is definitely one of his top love languages. it's also definitely not mine. but as i said, one thing lead to another and it just made sense that this was the perfect idea for his special day.

so on december 27th the songs started to play. five times a day a different silly birthday song meant another birthday gift! there were games and star wars trinkets, gift cards and silly cereals, and a game of thrones umbrella thrown in for good measure. he caught on pretty quickly and it was great to have so much birthday fun to look forward to each day.

but little did he know this was also a rouse to distract him from the bonus gift that was coming the following weekend. he knew we had a little something planned with the leslie's but i did my best to keep his expectations at rock bottom. [something along the lines of a weekend in branson] while i am normally an olympic level sleeper, i was tossing and turning every night with nervous excitement, and then the day finally came...

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