Mountaineers (Part Two)

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Mountaineers (Part One) continued… With a new sense of direction, we headed to Breckenridge for the surprise I just KNEW my better half would enjoy: a film festival.

Marriage has really highlighted our similarities and differences though I suppose life with someone, romantic or otherwise would lead to the same conclusion. In most areas, Robert is the polar opposite from me. His brain is wired very technical. He enjoys silence and alone time. He sees the world in math equations and science happenings. My brain is wired very fluid and is based around humanity. I loves large crowds and incessant conversation. I see the world as color, poetry, song and art. Yet we both do love cooking, writing, reading and films. Oh do we love films.

When we first started talking, one of our earliest conversations was discussing films. I made films in my undergrad. He studied films in his. One conversation about Hitchcock and the genius of Saul Bass and I was hooked. This man and I connected instantly. This love of film has been a steady rhythm throughout dating and marriage. When the opportunity to feed our souls with art cinema approached, how could I ever say no?

Breckenridge was chilly that day. Fall was upon us but there was a chill in the air that whipped through my cardigan to feast on my bones. Mountain towns have a way of doing this. I had tickets for us to see the Morality Series which consisted of five films all centered around morality (nothing like taking it easy, right?). As we cozied up into our theatre seats, the lights dimmed on cue and the films began. There were questions and answers with the directors in attendance and sheets to rate the films as with most festivals. Yet what I wholeheartedly needed and experienced was the awe of art unfolding before my eyes. The flicker of the projector lights as the speakers hummed with the music selections had us begging for more.

After the five films, we meandered around Breckenridge, growing colder by the moment and rapid fire discussed everything about the films. Our silence from that morning was broken by exclamations of brilliant lighting, storylines, costumes, music, the morality of each film and so much more. Our conversation had an awakening and after effect was incredible.

All marriages ebb and flow. Ours is no different. I married my best friend and we have a wonderful life together. Yet like with anyone else, life builds up and sometimes you spend less time with your other half. It isn’t that you love them any less but after an exhausting and long work day, explaining why it was exhausting and long feels like more work than it is worth. Must I share every detail to connect with my better half if explaining the story would take so much time that it no longer even matters? I just want to go to sleep. This adds up over time and, if you’re like me, you have an arsenal of stories and experiences to share but life happens and it is no longer relevant. Missed opportunities. Missed moments.

Because of how our year has been with a myriad of factors and relationships with family changing, we needed a retreat to get balance back. As if an epiphany needed an entire weekend to fester just to lead us to discover it. Dammit we will! To “feed our souls” sounds so pompous despite our souls actually being fed. Stimulated on artistic discussion and analysis, we had it. The breathtaking mountains during our hike through Aspen groves and around beautiful lakes with the decadence of delicious sleep and fresh roasted coffee combined with the silky cold air created a masterpiece. I can’t say Nirvana but it was something close. We were enlightened together again. We had the shared life experience of awe and beauty that could not be forced but had to just be.

After the festival, I took Robert to a new brewery to for a tasting. From there we headed back to the condo, ordered a pizza and settled in for a game of Catan while the world around us grew cold with the night. We didn’t sleep nearly as long that evening but I can honestly say we didn’t need it. It was a newfound energy and purpose. It was exactly what I wanted and didn’t realize how much we needed. I guess that’s why people keep returning to the mountains; you never know what you will discover when you are there.

Mountaineers (Part 1)

Waking up without an alarm is what I consider a luxury. The natural stirring as the sunlight streams through curtains to bathe the room in a morning glow mixed with the slow inhale of relief of getting a full night’s rest is decadence to me. Can one overdose on such decadence? This was the goal.

This moment of serenity and beauty is what I had hoped when I planned a surprise weekend vacation for my beloved. It appears as though we are growing more accustomed to the rituals of other Coloradans. As the skyscrapers waved in the rear-view mirror, we headed to the mountains for a weekend retreat. Together we shed the weight of anxiety, stress, worry and the paramount frustrations from our respective work environments as of late with every mile towards the mountains.

The hills turned to mountains and the streams fed to rivers. The shrubs transformed into lush forests beginning their annual descent into winter by displaying the final array of delicious hues of gold, orange and red. It is officially fall in Colorado. The warm afternoon air gets crisp with a sunset and the world grows quiet in meditation and admiration. This is life in the Colorado Rockies.

I planned this weekend as a surprise to Robert. Our friends’ condo in the mountains was available and it coincided with the Breckenridge Film Festival. As life often ebbs and flows, it has been ebbing more lately. However, I can put my skills to work to relieve some of the pressure. I mapped out our entire weekend (because I am an avid planner) for maximum refueling of what he needs. Little did I know, I would get exactly what I needed in return.

We arrived in Dillon that afternoon and stood motionless in the dichotomy between the hectic and rushed life hours before compared to the stillness that comes with being in the mountains. The air was crisp and cool as the breeze cut through the warmth of the afternoon sun to dance with the yellow-laden Aspens.

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My type-A self loves many things. Spreadsheets. Agendas. Checklists. Calendars. Due dates. Pie charts. Outlines. While I did make a plan for the entire weekend, we would have the ever elusive free time. Free time to walk around Lake Dillon, breathe in the beautiful reflection of the mountains and sunshine and breathe out the stress from our city lives. We walked and walked and walked and walked. Sometimes in silence. Sometimes in laughter. Sometimes hand in hand. Sometimes wrapped up in our sweaters to ward off the chill. We walked the town, walked the lake, had a quiet dinner and made our way back to the condo where we were blanketed with utter exhaustion.

We jumped under the thick blankets, bid adieu to the mountains and fell into a desperate slumber. It wasn’t until the next morning with the sun streaming in through the curtains and the cold air tapping my nose did I realize the extent to our hurried and tiring state of minds. I braved the cold morning air to make a pot of coffee. Next phase of luxury: cold mountain air with cold mountain water being poured with freshly ground (perfect) coffee and brewed while you open curtains to even more brilliant gold Aspens. Sleeping 10 hours gives you a certain pep to greet the day. After a homemade breakfast, we braved the cool air to go hiking.

We’ve repeatedly said we want to go hiking. We live in God’s country yet do not go hiking nor skiing. It is time to remedy this. We used to hike in New Mexico years ago when we were young and chased adventures but lately we have gotten bogged down with commitments and “should do’s.” Knowing this, I took us to Rainbow Lake in Frisco to discover natural beauty. The sights did not disappoint.

It was not a strenuous hike but with every exhale and step over the rooted group and through the walls of Aspen trees, our smiles grew wider. The air slowly warmed and the sun was shining bright to welcome us to the Lake.

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We continued our hike and after a few hours eventually made our way through the small town of Frisco for lunch. We didn’t talk much that morning. Not because we did not have words to say but because words weren’t needed. It was a mutual head nod for hours upon hours that morning as we stood and walked in beauty and light. This is what we needed. We needed the quiet beauty and slow discovery in meditation.

Feeling more refreshed than we have in months, we headed to Breckenridge for the film festival. (to be continued…)

Deuce Deluxe

The alarm clangs out its preferred noise pollution, disturbing the sweet blanket of slumber hanging in our bedroom. I’ve perfected the art of turning off the alarm while still sleeping and I do not know the hour. After an unknown number of alarms, the covers are pulled from my face as I get a good morning kiss. My eyes are still closed; this is the routine. I hear the most romantic sound as the ceramic white mug is placed on the nightstand next to me. Coffee. My eyes open to see the bedroom of white illuminated from the early morning sun. I sit up in the white bed and reach for my coffee. Robbie pokes his head out of the bathroom, knowing instinctively that I’m fighting to wake up. “Good morning love,” he coos.

As I’m sipping the blackest coffee in our white room, he prepares for the day. As I read the news, he slips on his suit and kisses me goodbye as he heads downstairs to start his day. The temptation to slide back into bed and cease consciousness looms. This place is the best place on earth. Our bed.

Routines are human nature and we oft look to create a “routine” to establish consistency and order. This routine is often quipped as the end of the “honeymoon period” and the beginning of whatever comes next. Life?

Today is our two-year wedding anniversary. I won’t pretend that we have everything figured out or that we’ve unveiled some deep, profound ideology pertaining to happily ever after. As I told a friend, at the heart of any marriage is a relationship.

This person I’ve chosen to spend my days with has never been a regret. I’ve heard of some marriages having that ah-ha moment where they realize, “what have I done?” Instead, I look at the furrowed brow of my beloved as develops strategies for Catan or the lights illuminating our patio as we share a bottle of wine and discuss the books we are reading and I know deep in my soul, I found the one my soul loves. This is our routine.

From board meetings to umpteenth trips to Home Depot for yet another project to cutthroat board games to evening drives in the summer just to get cool, it’s one day at a time with the one my soul loves. The dinner parties to the road trips to how we divide tasks to get the house clean to another tennis match in the park. One day at a time with the one my soul loves.

For being so progressive politically, he is quite traditional in one arena: he loves traditional anniversary gifts. He speaks more knowledgeably than I do for which year is for what. First year is paper. He ordered me a print of a Polish piece of art I had salivated over for months. Second year is cotton. Preferring the modern anniversary gift idea, I pre-ordered fine china for us. Sticking to his guns, Robbie analyzed our plans to finish the house and how to get me something I’d love that is also somehow comprised of cotton.

That’s when he told me about purchasing our new bed. This was a long conversation weeks prior about how he hated the blue velvet tufted wingback bed. It’s a statement piece of its own. Modern yet very 1970s gaudy. I loved it from the moment I saw it. Robbie, however, held it in for two years that he hated it. Taking this criticism as a challenge, I redesigned our bedroom and sent him options for a bed. I’ll work with what he prefers and flex my interior design muscle to design around the bed he prefers. When looking around, I found this very traditional bed with finials. Finials! This is a far cry from tufted royal blue velvet (It’s actually quite pretty despite how grotesque imagination can run with those words). I also sent more muted options with different silhouettes to him. I secretly hoped he liked the finial bed because, while it is drastically different from anything I’ve ever owned, I couldn’t help but love every detail about it.

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Final decision? Finial decision. He too loved the finials and seeing that the headboard of the bed was upholstered in linen, immediately purchased it for us. Taking this cotton-inspired-cue, I invested in new luxury sheets and pillows. We set it up and I tossed the final throw pillow just to collectively dive into the bed.

While the new nightstands are en route for delivery, the centerpiece of our bedroom is a new magnificent bed that stands for more than just a place to lay our heads. This is where we tell each other, “I love you” every night before bed and lay in a warm embrace (until he gets too hot because I’m a space heater). This is where we have conversations in the dead of the night if one of us cannot sleep. This is where we greet the morning light or spend hours on the weekend drinking coffee and reading instead of preparing for work.

Stuff can be replaced but there is nothing that can compare to waking up next to my better half. One day the bed will need to be replaced. One day the sheets will no longer feel like silk and the pillows will not be as fluffy. But the routine will be the same. One day at a time with the one my soul loves. Here’s to forever and to our deuce deluxe celebration.

I love you, Robbie.

Memories

Memories are palpable. Like when I’m transported back to the wooden slats squeaking during the plies in ballet class just by a smell or how freshly cut grass and a hot sun takes me to New Hampshire or New York clad in a uniform to march with the Patriots Drum Corps. Breathe in. Breathe out. The crowd roars. The piano brings the little girls’ heads to the teacher. That all feels like an eternity ago now.

Yet as vivid as some memories are, they feel fragmented. There are times I feel like I’m losing memories. I am forgetting things and this feels like a personal failure of mine. I berate myself to write it down. Write it down, Thomsen! Write down how my father made me breakfast in bed for the entire 6th (or 7th?) grade year just because he wanted to. Write down the memories of the frigid Snake River as I waded into it to go fishing with my dad. Write down how my dad would wait for me to get home, silent and smiling, just to give me a hug. Write down the heartbreak and the longing and the happiness and the mysteries that are daily life. Write down the random thoughts about the band hall or the Gator uniform I once donned or the first day of college. Write down the time Robert and I stayed up until 3am to play monopoly. Write down the time we went to three countries in three months and he got stung by a sting ray. Write down the time the (winged) bat landed in my hair right after my Maid of Honor speech. Write down the beauty of snorkeling in Costa Rica or the insane golf carts in Belize.

As adults, we are faced with proverbial internet trolls and the general notion that we are no longer allowed to question things. We. Must. Have. It. All. Figured. Out. Does that hinder us from opening ourselves up? Does that hinder me from remembering or writing down moments to commit to memory?

I’ve recently discovered something. I really don’t handle criticism well. Not like many people do.

“I am amaaaaaaazing at hearing that people don’t like me or disagree or are being hurtful just because.” Riiiiiight. I have a voracious appetite for trying new things (looking at you ballroom classes, Crossfit, moving to multiple new states, joining Drum Corps, hiring a tennis pro, remodeling a house, etc.) Yet why do I ever stop? Why did I stop blogging on here? Surely it isn’t because my life actually is all figured out (alas, as much as I wish it was, that would be a farce). The honest answer is because of an internet troll who I somehow let me feel like the smallest and dumbest person on the planet. I didn’t handle criticism. I had an anonymous critic drag me through the mud with words and it still bothers me to this day. Though the act of blogging (exposing honest thoughts and dialogue on the world wide web) seems slightly insane, you’d hope the reader would respect this and not rain on your parade. Nope.

I remember life in New Mexico and how often I blogged. The memory of looking forward to sitting in a little cafe with my computer to bang out my adventures on my keyboard. Then love happened. Life happened. Awful things were said by a stranger and I closed myself off. Down went the record of memories.

That’s not sustainable. So here we go. I want to remember. I want to capture these moments so my future children can see who I was here and now. I want to capture these moments so I can remember.

Time for more adventures.

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Intermission

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It has almost been a year since the last post. And life has drastically changed. It was never my intention to fall off the face of the planet and completely forget the blog. However, life is constantly changing and here we are almost a year later. Whoops!

So let’s catch everyone up before part II.

1) I’m officially a resident of Denver, Colorado. Yes, it is very cold here at times. But somehow, this Texan is okay in it. The negatives have a bitter bite to them but if we’re talking 20-40s, it’s actually not too bad (minus the week adjustment period). I’ve officially learned how to drive in the snow (still not a fan of it though) and I know the importance of wearing snow boots. A few not-so-graceful falls will teach you that lesson pretty quick.

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2) I’m officially a homeowner!! We bought a chic three story townhouse in Denver which needed a TON of work. Hello full remodel! It’s been almost a year in the house and surprisingly, the house is almost 100% FINISHED! Ahhhh! We learned a lot of lessons so far in the house. Like how to install wood flooring. And plumbing. And electric work. And a kitchen remodel (halfway point right now). And how to flagstone a patio. And how much paint costs for three stories. Yeeeeesh.

3) I started a website/blog for me and Robbie (www.barleyandsage.com) to showcase our endless travel, home remodeling, cooking and life. Yeah– so this is where my time and attention has gone. It’s totally different than the adventures and hooplah featured here so unless you’re overly into reading about what we do and the house updates and the endless amounts of travel and the books we read.. well.. there you have it!

4) I got married!! It was on Star Wars day for my dad (and us. Let’s be honest. A nerd married another nerd. Attention must be paid). My grandfather walked me down the aisle since my dad couldn’t be there and it was one of the sweetest moments. Cue waterworks. We had a string quartet and a big band (naturally) for the music and I finally got to wear a dress of endless amounts of tulle. Also learned a lot of lessons about life when planning a wedding. Maybe that’ll come one day. But all I have to say is– pick your partner wisely because planning a wedding will test your patience!! Thankfully, my husband is an incredible man and has gobs of patience for me. He’s type-B. It works out well 🙂

5) Robbie and I finally traveled internationally together. And on our first day of our honeymoon in Mexico, he was stung by a sting ray. New wife skills now include healing venomous aquatic stings. Out of all the languages I can speak and understand at least conversationally, Spanish is really the only one I’m not so great at that is local. So of course the Spanish-speaking man I married gets maimed to the point I need to find help and ask what to do. In Spanish. I still don’t know how it all worked out but I’m apparently great at gesturing? Robbie is doing much better now. Hah. Still kinda funny though. Don’t worry. Life gets revenge for me laughing.

6) 20 days after our wedding, my best friend Sian got married in Costa Rica. It was absolutely beautiful and that marked international trip #2 for this year. It was my turn to be maimed by wildlife and I had a bat fly into my hair and hold on for dear life. You want to know what is utterly terrifying? A BAT in your hair. Especially after my book worm husband tells me about rabies in Costa Rica days before. Thankfully, I did not have rabies (nor did it bite me). The poor critter was scared out of his/her mind. And where did this happen? Oh right after my maid of honor speech. Like immediately after. Right in front of the photographer. In other news, I’m still not very graceful.

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7) I’m going back to school! Because education is never old and is a marvelous thing. I’m going to the New York Institute of Art and Design for Interior Design (yes, from my home in Denver). I’ve always had a love for interior design (even almost majored in it for my undergrad). However, the love has come in full force thanks to remodeling a house.

8) We are leaving for Belize here in a week for another close friend’s wedding. (International trip #3). Based on the first two trips this year, I’m not feeling too friendly when it comes to the wildlife. The break and relaxation will definitely be nice though. Laying on the beach with a great book? Sign a girl up!

9) I’m going to be an Auntie! My sister is pregnant!! Holy toledo, Batman. I can’t tell you how spoiled my nephew is going to be. It’s going to be off the charts. I’m already kicking off my auntie-duties with her shower and it will be a Texas-sized celebration, y’all!

10) I’m training for another triathlon! And I’m more than slightly timid about the open water swim. It’ll be an adventure though and Lord knows I’m always up for those. I may be slower than my first tri but what are challenges in life if not to let you grow?

I’m so sorry about the huge break in posting (all you wonderful readers, you!). We had almost all of the major life changes happen in a short amount of time (new jobs, buying a house, going back to school, planning a wedding, moving to a new state) and oy. It’s been a lot. Know I have missed you all. Stay tuned for the adventures!

Hello/Goodbye

A place as precious as poetry,
as romantic as an opera,
as colorful as a painting,
as beautiful as life itself-
This place I found myself
in the truest form and light.
From self-discovery to new awakenings,
I now must take flight.

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Two years ago I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into. When I received the job offer, I was a little nervous to leave my beloved hometown of Houston, Texas. Going from the 4th largest city to a big town which hardly any can properly spell (Albu-quer-que) would be drastically different. Turns out, that is one of the only things I was right about.

I didn’t know why I had to move, leave behind my family and start anew in the grand scheme of things. Why had no jobs opened up in Houston? Why the desert? Did they even have skyscrapers?

They have medium-sized buildings downtown, in case you were wondering. The skyscrapers aren’t man-made but are the watermelon-colored mountains instead. But the real reason I needed to move here was to grow up. Call it fate, faith, destiny or whatever fits your fancy, but leaving the place I loved has been good for me.

I’ve been uncomfortable. I’ve been homesick. When my dad was killed earlier this year, the pangs of heartbreak were more real than any petty breakup I’ve been through. I so wished I could be home with my mom. Yet I realized I was more Terry Nelson than I previously realized. Back-tracking wasn’t an option! The strong will instilled in me (call it stubbornness, sure) by my parents became the daily inspiration to seek life (in the wake of death), love (in the wake of loss) and beauty in every situation.

Albuquerque, New Mexico is a quaint town which boasts of culture, adventures, fantastic food and beauty as far as the eye can see – but you have to be looking for it. Peace and hope are found on running trails; pure beauty is housed mountaintop during a sunset. It was here I found the love of my life, my soulmate.

I can’t knock this town. It has its perks and its drawbacks– but here on my last day, I find myself so thankful for my time here. This blog was started on adventures here. And the adventure is not going to stop… especially on the crowning night in Denver we had.

Starting on our journey to Denver, our Realtor made sure our introduction to Denver would be memorable… (continue to Hello/Goodbye Part II)

Wedding Investments

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I love weddings. I love everything about them— or so I thought. Growing up, I didn’t dream of a princess “fairy-tale” wedding. I DID, however, dream of Grace Kelly’s long lace sleeves, a passionate kiss like Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio and a big band playing in the background. yeah. I think I was born in the wrong era too.

With weddings come wedding bliss. But what happens if the big day seems more like a wedded miss? Don’t get me wrong– I absolutely adore my future husband and cannot wait to go through the arduous paperwork of changing my name and bearing his next to mine for all of eternity. And no, this isn’t a “poor-me-I-have-to-plan-my-dream-wedding-boo-hoo” message. After months of getting more and more frustrated with the whole wedding hoop-lah and after not one, two, or three different times of me begging Robbie to call off the wedding in favor of an elopement did I realize, Girl! You need an attitude adjustment!

Multiple times in my life I can remember my dad saying, “Deep breath bud. Take it one step at a time.” Maybe I haven’t looked forward to the wedding (I said wedding, not marriage) because he won’t be there. Maybe I’ve been overloading myself with wedding, work, moving, and buying a house.

While I have been hot gluing, painting, planning and mulling over all aspects of the wedding, I realized how imperfect it would be. And how more beautiful that honestly is. Claim it as American or even being from Texas, just like the hair, the weddings keep getting bigger and bigger. (It is considered an industry for a reason) But at the end of the day, the wedding isn’t the investment, the marriage is.

As I heard the words escape my lips, I realized I wasn’t exactly living that. I was letting the wedding portion overshadow the marriage portion. Was I really investing in my relationship with Robbie? And on the flip-side, am I sharing with the excitement of a wedding with him or am I hoarding it because I’m a hoarder?

After the realization, I promise you, it feels as if a weight has been lifted. The wedding? Ehhhhhh it’ll be perfect in its imperfections because the love of my life will be making faces and cracking jokes right next to me. At the end of the day, the investment isn’t in an event or if there was a chocolate fountain (There won’t be. Bring your own chocolate). It’s finding someone out there in the world who can finish your sentences and wants to take you out of your comfort zone.

So here’s to all of you who have taken the plunge and gotten hitched. I need your patience and wisdom, but most of all I need your example. Big thanks to my mom and dad for showing what a real marriage looks like– as my dad said at my friend’s wedding, the secret to a long marriage is marrying your best friend.

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Lost and Found

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The temperature gauge in my car read ICE when I got in; the obligatory shiver ran down my spine. When I arrived at Starbucks at 5:01a, Maida already had two venti coffees in her hands. Searing hot. This woman meant business! The coffee turned into my proverbial campfire I warmed my hands over. As soon as the caffeine hit our bloodstream, we trekked to the park where 500+ balloons were preparing for the final day.

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Balloons have decorated our southwestern sky for the past two weeks. While Autumn may be signaled by the technicolor trees or the faint (but mouth-watering) smell of chile roasting, there is nothing like waking to frost on your windows and hot air balloons traversing through the sky. To me, it is officially Autumn.

To my delight, when my future Mother-In-Law (MIL?) asked if I’d join her at the balloon fiesta, I could barely contain my excitement! But of course!

  • While I’ve been here for two years, the fiesta is the only thing that’s romanced me enough to repeat. Last year my bestie joined me for the festival and she and I literally ran the field to try and capture the 500+ hot air balloons. (There is no blue-ribbon for sprinting at the festival.) This year was a graceful trot in comparison.

Coffee transformed both of us into chatty Cathys and it wasn’t long before I was yakking her ear off about the move, the Holidays, the wedding, my best friends and my family. Was there anything I didn’t tell her?! Apparently I needed to talk about everything under the sun. Apparently she didn’t really mind (thankfully).

Strolling through the throng of people, I would start to wander (much align to an eight year old. oooh pretty colors!). Maida saw me squat, jump and get closer to the fire than really one should just for a picture. I went to art school for a reason, right?

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Hours passed by in an instant and it wasn’t long before we were craving more than pretty sights; we needed food! Maida’s brother-in-law scored us VIP tickets to the best Mexican food available with free hooch. Familiar faces greeted us at the restaurant when a few of Robbie’s Aunts and Uncles appeared. Surprise family reunion!

With full bellies and warm hearts we trekked around for more beauty and eventually one yawn turned to two. It was time to head home for a nap.

We walked past a parking lot and past another two when it dawned on me: I had no idea where I actually parked. Great, Nelson. My MIL laughed it off and said there is no harm in walking. So we walked… and walked… and walked…

The panic button was one step away from being permanently jammed in hopes of finding the lost SUV. We trekked over a mile examining dirt for possible clues.

“We did walk in a dirt path for a while…” I trailed.
“But we had to cross a big dirt mound,” Maida retorted.

Turns out, my future MIL was right and we DID have to cross a giant dirt mound over a mile away from the festival.

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We left the festival grounds and starting planning our next adventures for Thanksgiving and Christmas (to Christmas music, no less.) I may have briefly lost my car but I found a new friend with my future mother-in-law (awwwwwww). By the time I got home, I fell into an elated slumber and upon waking discovered something new about myself.

I apparently sleep on my hand. Thanks for the heads up, stamp.

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Timing

The green trees here in the southwest are blooming into a panoply of yellows, oranges and reds while the breeze is blowing a little colder each day. Autumn is here. Two years. Two years I’ve watched the seasons change in New Mexico. And two years ago if you told me I would be moving to another city, buying a house and getting married, I would’ve laughed at you. Me!? Hahaha!

Yet as the heater warms my feet every morning and I find myself living out of boxes and suitcases (once again), but more is changing than just the seasons.

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(My entire apartment looks like this right now. Hello way too many boxes!)

A few months ago, when I was looking for a job and house hunting, nothing seemed to work out. I, being the type-A personality I am, was not handling this very well. True to form, my mom reminded me that “when it is supposed to happen, it will.”

As much as I try to rush things (relationships, home decor, cooking, my car, &tc), I could not make it happen on my timeline. So when I was offered a job (!!!) and signed on a house a week later, I couldn’t help but think my mom was right (don’t tell her that).

The job is with my current company in the Denver office where the dogs run free. (No joke. They bring their dogs to work.) As for the housing situation, another trip to look at houses after favorited properties 1-4 went off the market, we found lucky #5. It is perfect. It needs me.

If you were to tell 15-yr old me than in 10 years, I would swoon over a basement and a garage, I’d probably tell you to kick rocks. It is a vintage townhouse– I mean vintage not in the chic, adorable way but the “nothing has been updated since 1995 when it was built” type of way. Oh hello eggshell appliances that was anything but Saved By The Bell. Like I said, it needs me.

Robbie and I have outlined our remodel plans, our paint swatches and our dreams for this gorgeous property. Like the crazies we are, we decided we weren’t challenging ourselves enough (seriously, try to plan a wedding out of state, get a job, move, buy a house, remodel said house and stay sane)– so we are trying to remodel the majority before our wedding next year. OY! Gotta have goals, no?

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Yes. On his notes include “Brink a deer.” Let’s just hope the wood floors look fantastic in lieu of the craft brews. Here’s to adventures in interior design! Cheers!

Secrets Make Best Friends

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I hate keeping secrets.

Robbie jokes I should never play poker because I can’t keep a straight face to save my life. So when my best friend’s boyfriend took me aside to plan his proposal FOUR MONTHS AGO, not telling my best friend was pure misery.

Multiple times I almost spilled the beans but thankfully she never noticed. By proposal day, I was absolutely itching for her to have the ring on her finger and that didn’t change when Eric slyly showed me his top-secret hiding spot: his sock! There under jeans and nuzzled in his sock was a giant box holding a perfect princess cut diamond.

The band: Murder By Death
The song: Foxglove
The plan: Get her favorite band to stop the show so he can propose.

When Eric told me his idea, I couldn’t help but be impressed (and excited). Combining her love of live music and her favorite band with a diamond was a genius idea (though the girl would’ve said yes regardless of plan). Eric contacted them four months ago to see if they would be on board. Like the rockstars they are, they said yes!

Pushing our way to the very front, her friends gathered around. The band started and before we knew it, we were dancing and singing on the top of our lungs. By the end of the second song, the crowd’s roar dulled to a hushed whisper as I know everyone’s hearts skipped a beat in anticipation.

“This next song is dedicated to Jessica…” Adam began. Flash! Flash! Flash! Eric held a box with a ring and a wee light to illuminate the gorgeous diamonds. He got down on one knee and said, “I love you.” I honestly cannot tell you what he said after that because I was bawling my eyes out and trying to film it at the same time.

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She said yes, of course!

After the show the band gave her free vinyl and took her backstage to hug her and congratulate her. While I was snapping pictures, I must’ve been holding my breath because I felt in a daze.

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Sian and I have had mirrored lives since we were sixteen years old so it is no surprise we both get engaged and are now planning weddings to be in the exact same month next year. As we hugged and danced the rest of the evening, I told her that was the absolute first and last secret I would ever be keeping from her. Whew!

Biggest congratulations to my best friend and her wonderful fiance!

P.s. take a listen to the song Eric selected to have dedicated to her here