What It All Adds Up To

1 Disney internship

4 Shaun T workout programs

1 Wedding

18 Countries (20 after these next two weeks!)

3 Years of long distance

5 Disney parks

1 Baby

7 Homes

2 Pets

7 Races

48 Road Trips

476 Trips to Starbucks

37 Flights

152 Dinners at Chipotle

265 Dates

6798 Adventures

And, what does it all add up to?

The best 10 years of my life with the one and only person I’d ever want to have so many memories with.

Happy 10 years together, babe.

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cheers!

*That’s 10 years since we started dating BTW.

Cotton Anniversary

Today is mine and Husband’s two year wedding anniversary. It’s been a fast two years and the last year has been especially quick. One year and a day ago I moved from NY to Tennessee and told Husband we were expecting our first baby, and exactly one year ago we celebrated our paper anniversary¬†and¬†told our families we were expecting. Now, we’re all settled in to our country home and raising our beautiful little girl. Today, we celebrated our cotton anniversary, and it was perfect.

I surprised Husband with a trail of cotton balls that led from the bedroom to a cheesy “I heart u” sign made of cotton balls and gift bag full of cotton goodies. It was nice, but Husband had to go and blow my lame gift out of the water. Typical. He’s always been a much better gift giver. It started with a surprise picnic. He found a trail off of Cotton Lane (yup that’s the actual street name) that led down to some large beautiful rocks on the edge of the Harpeth River. It had just finished storming so it was breezy¬†and cloudy, perfect picnic weather.

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I then had one more small surprise up my sleeve. I took him to Nucci’s for some Italian ice and homemade gelato.

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After some window shopping at the mall for all things cotton I came home to another surprise, a cotton candy maker! OMG Making cotton candy is sticky, messy and so much fun. It took us a little while and a lot of sugar to get the hang of it, but we ended up with lots of colorful cotton candy and a crazy sugar rush.

cotton candy making it

I was more than happy with cotton-sugar-coated day of bliss, but Husband did not stop there. He made me a bouquet of cotton flowers and cotton earrings. (To be fair, my dad-in-law actually made the earrings.) Last year, I got paper flowers and a paper bracelet, so Husband has now set himself up for a new tradition of anniversary themed flowers and jewelry for the next million years.

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The day didn’t end there either. We finished¬†our anniversary night with dinner (just the two of us) at Josephine’s in West Nashville.

This would be German Chocolate Doughnuts, and they were delicious.
This would be German Chocolate Doughnuts, and they were delicious.

I have no idea how I ended up with the most thoughtful and creative person I know. Marrying this man is perhaps the best decision I ever made, or maybe spending a college semester working at Disney World was? Honestly, I thought all the magic in our relationship would disappear after leaving our happiest internship on Earth, it all seemed too good to be true. Sometimes, it still does. I’m so thankful to have him and cannot wait to spend many more anniversaries together.

Cheers!

 

5 Ways We Keep From Killing Each Other

Husband and I just realized it will soon be our 2nd wedding anniversary and will soon after be our 10 year anniversary of being together. We like to think we win when it comes to relationships…I mean we are a pretty awesome couple, but if I’m being completely honest, it’s not always rainbows and daisies. In fact, it’s more often diapers and bills. In the grand scheme of things we are still ¬†young in our relationship, but when I look back over the years of stupid fights and awkward memories I can safely¬†say we have learned a lot.

Like all relationships, we started out simply wild about each other. He couldn’t keep his hands off me and I fell in love fast. The infatuation with each other wore off eventually and we started fighting¬†about phone calls, dates, jealousy and long distance. A couple of years later we were living together and bickering over housework, jobs and bills. We have traveled and argued about where to go and what to do. Since being married some of the old arguments resurface and new ones come up over bad habits and life choices. Now, we are parents and just doing our best to not argue in front of our baby. I know getting into arguments will never go away. No two people can spend so much time together and not have some disagreements. What has¬†changed over our almost ten years together is how we handle conflict.

The NY Botanical gardens
The NY Botanical gardens

There may be moments when I think, “Nope. No more. I’m running away to Paris,” but those moments are fleeting. The truth is that I am happier with my Husband every year. Even when I’m pissed off, I’d still rather be with him than anyone else. After lots of reflection, here’s how I think we keep from killing one another.

Last Christmas when we were still a family of 2
Last Christmas when we were still a family of 2

1. We tell each other EVERYTHING. sorry boys, but I know every single thing that happened on that bachelor party in New Orleans. Seriously, if you tell one of us a secret, just assume you’re telling both of us. We are so honest with each other that Husband actually came to me one night and told me he “had a confession”. I braced myself for devastating news.His confession? ¬†He went to Taco Bell while running errands and did not call to see if I wanted anything. See? We tell each other EVERYTHING. We have also learned to tell each other when we are mad and why we are mad. this is especially important for me. Being a typical girl, I have the tendency to want to hold onto my angry feelings until they are so built up that I explode over something tiny and he has no idea what I’m actually mad about. Turns out, this doesn’t really workout well for either of us. It’s not easy, but we are getting better at letting one another actually explain themselves, process it and try to relate.

Playing around on some Greek ruins in Apollonia, Albania
Playing around on some Greek ruins in Apollonia, Albania

2. Sometimes we go to bed angry.¬†I do not believe the old “never go to bed angry” phrase people toss around. Sometimes I need to sleep on it. I often wake up feeling much more calm and reasonable. For me (more than Husband) I often need to step away from an argument, take a breather and calm down. Actually, I need this after an argument too. Husband does not understand why I am still angry when we are done with a fight, but he accepts and knows that sometimes I just need a moment to simmer down.

Eating fresh sushi together in Japan
Eating fresh sushi together in Japan

3. We compliment each other all the time. It’s disgusting to anyone not in the relationship, I’m sure. I believe in small acts of love and sometimes a simple “nice ass” or “I’m proud of you” goes a very long way. We thank each other often for the small things we do. Husband is very good at acknowledging haircuts, new clothes and marathon feeding sessions with Luna. I try to point out his many talents and skills (He’s seriously good at everything!).

Celebrating at our wedding shower.
Celebrating at our wedding shower.

4. We love and respect each other’s families. This is SO important. No two families are alike and it’s a challenge to combine them. Loving someone else’s relatives as your own makes the challenging times much easier. Husband is so so so good to my family. Anytime we are in Texas he is helping my Mom clean, learning from my Dad and spending real quality time with everyone. I have never once heard him complain about spending time with my family. I try to be as equally loving and accepting of his family, which isn’t hard to do. I truly love them and have considered them my family for years.

Climbing trees together in Hilton Head.
Climbing trees together in Hilton Head.

5. We are on each other’s teams. I do not always agree with Husband and I know he is not always right (how could he be? I’m always right.) However, I always have his back. I have faith in him and know he is going to do his best to do what his right. So, even when I disagree, I trust he is making the best choice because I know his heart.

Eating cake at our wedding.
Eating cake at our wedding.

One thing that hasn’t changed over the years, we are still just mad about each other. I’m sure I’ll look back on this in 20 years and laugh because hopefully we will have learned so much more about how to be in a happy, growing and successful relationship. For now, this works and I’m sure glad it does. Love that man.

How do you survive your relationships? I’d love to hear about it!

Cheers!

Dress Each Other Challenge

A while back Husband came across an article about a girl that let her boyfriend dress her for a week. He thought it was funny and asked if I’d ever let him dress me for a week. “Sure” I responded. I mean, why not? Husband has good taste and a good sense of style. He can pick out shoes I like and manages to dress himself well. As long as there’s nothing too important happening that week, I’d let him dress me. However, we soon forgot about the article and went on with our boring dress-ourselves lives.

Fast forward a year or so and the topic came up again. This time I decided we should try it, but only if I get to dress him too. So, the day after we got back from Texas we began picking out each other’s clothes. First, we had to establish a few rules.

1. It must be weather appropriate.

2. It must be occasion appropriate.

3. My outfit has to be breast-feeding friendly.

We dressed each other from head-to-toe for 7 days, and took to Instagram to create a contest. I let my friends on Instagram vote on who dressed who best, but then I¬†thought some of you may want to put in your two cents. So today, the last day of our contest, I am posting all 7 of our photos so you can decide for yourself…who dressed who best?

Day 1 was an immediate disaster. I do not know what is wrong with Husband. How does someone who typically dresses himself so stylish fail so miserably at dressing me?! It began with him pulling out neon and floral together and me making disgusted faces and asking “Seriously?!” After a half-hour of me being horrified and Husband getting frustrated we created a couple¬†more rules…

4. You must wear what the other person chooses without argument.

5. The “stylist” is allowed to make changes once their person is dressed because sometimes what you think will look great just doesn’t.

It was impossibly hard for me to not critique Husband’s choices. So instead of arguing with what he pulled out of the closest I just asked a few simple questions. Questions like this…

You know that’s my lingerie drawer, right? Do you want me to wear the neon pink bra under the white shirt? Did you know it’s 40 degrees outside? So, these 5-inch heels are for the grocery store? Do I get to wear shoes? Am I supposed to breastfeed in that? Pearls? Really?

Husband was less than thrilled with me, but really… this was his first outfit

Yup, there is a corset with garters under that see-through neon top. See what I'm dealing with here?
Yup, there is a corset with garters under that see-through neon top. See what I’m dealing with here?

Thankfully, he only improved after this first attempt. Here’s Days 1 through 7.

Day 1: We both dressed each other up for a fancy family dinner.
Day 1: We both dressed each other up for a fancy family dinner.
Day 2:  We went more casual for a day of shopping and running errands.
Day 2: We went more casual for a day of shopping and running errands.
Day 3: We went in completely opposite directions.
Day 3: We went in completely opposite directions.
Day 4: the lighting in this photo is awful, but we accidentally dressed each other in the exact same colors.
Day 4: the lighting in this photo is awful, but we accidentally dressed each other in the exact same colors.
Day 5: Easter Sunday! Clearly, Luna is best dressed here.
Day 5: Easter Sunday! Clearly, Luna is best dressed here.
Day 6: It's starting to get very challenging and a little less fun.
Day 6: It’s starting to get very challenging and a little less fun.
Day 7: Hallelujah, the end!
Day 7: Hallelujah, the end!

It actually wasn’t too bad to have my Husband dress me for a week. It was kind of a relief to not worry about what I was going to wear. Plus, he got me to wear some things I have neglected forever. But, let’s talk about what really matters…who won? Please vote “Hil” if you think I’m the best stylist and vote “Pete” if Husband is the best. We are both too competitive and we need a winner. Although, we haven’t decided what the winner/loser gets…any suggestions?

Vote for me!

Cheers!

 

 

Basically a Walkie Talking for Grown-Ups

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Like most new parents we invested and registered for many fancy new products for our new baby, one being a really nice baby monitor. We got one that has¬†video with sound and the camera tilts up and down, moves in a full circle, has night vision and zooms in and out. It’s quite fancy. It also has the ability for us to talk to the baby, kind of like a walkie talkie. It’s pretty cool and very fun to play with… because that’s what you do with your new baby equipment, right?

Before we had Luna, we entertained ourselves by walking around the house with the monitor, using it like a walkie talkie and spying¬†on each other. Since we have had Luna, we ¬†use it to scare the crap out of one another. There is nothing creepier than changing a diaper in an empty and quiet room and then hearing a deep scary voice say “I’m watching you” or “Stop singing to that baby”.

Last night, I was nursing Luna in my new rocking chair in her room and reading my Nook when I noticed the camera moving from her crib to me. Before Husband could say anything I looked to the camera and said “Can I help you?” I was pretty proud of myself for catching him before he scared me. (This is rare, he scares me a lot, like multiple times a day.)¬†“Just wondering what you’re doing” he responded. I told Husband I was reading Harry Potter (I know, I know…I’m a hundred years behind!) and I gave him¬†the¬†leave me alone I’m very busy doing¬†important¬†things¬†look. He said nothing, so I returned to reading.

A few minutes later, I was deep into Harry Potter’s world. The story was getting really intense, nothing could have broken my concentration and then, ¬†I hear this…

I thought I was imagining it at first and died laughing when I realized it was coming from the camera/monitor. “Just trying to get in you the mood” I hear after I finished laughing.

I beg of you, if you have one of these fancy-pants monitors, do yourself a favor and have a little fun with it!

Cheers!

 

Our Little Mardi Gras

Happy Mardi Gras Yall!

Today is Fat Tuesday, and if you remember a previous “mardi gras” post of mine you might remember that while I am not Catholic, I’m a big Mardi Gras celebrator. Over the weekend, everyone from my home in Southeast Texas took to Facebook and Instagram to show off their awesome weekend at the many Mardi Gras celebrations back where I grew up. To make matters worse, Husband was in New Orleans at the biggest Mardi Gras celebration. I was starting to feel very left out.

Soooo, today we had a little Mardi Gras at home, here in Tennessee. Luna and I played with the beads Husband brought home.

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Then, we enjoyed the King Cake Husband brought back to me as a souvenir. It was pretty darn good, especially for being 2 days old.

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We haven’t found the baby in the cake yet, but I’m hoping I might find something sparkly and expensive instead. After all, I let him go to Mardi Gras without me. Just kidding, he doesn’t owe me jewelry…just a girls weekend getaway.

Cheers!

 

Mommy Daughter Weekend

Husband has been in New Orleans celebrating at Mardi Gras for one of his best friend’s bachelor parties this weekend, which means Luna and I have been left to fend for ourselves for the first time. Before you start bashing Husband for leaving us this early on, I must say I basically forced him to go. He has been an ideal partner through all of this mess and miracle-ness since Luna’s birth, and he deserves to be able to go celebrate his with his friend for the weekend. Plus, I’m feeling better lately and was kind of looking forward to a weekend with Luna and the house all to myself.

We played dress up!
We played dress up!
And, tried to find our reflection
And, tried to find our reflection

We mostly had a fantastic weekend. We hung out with my in-laws, shopped at the mall, ate at Whole Foods, shopped at Target, made a couple trips to Starbucks (sadly, I’m still drinking decaf…) and even had a mani/pedi with a good friends this afternoon. At home we snuggled in bed with Belle and Duckie, watch too much Netflix, danced around the living room every morning and are now watching the Oscars as I type this paragraph. Even when I felt weak on Friday night (thanks a lot meds) we just chilled together in our pj’s. These moments made me look forward to many more Mommy Daughter Weekends.

a failed attempt at tummy time
a failed attempt at tummy time

Now, as you may expect, not everything was magical. Luna had two very long crying spells where nothing I did helped…this is a first for that and I did not like being alone and feeling so helpless. I also discovered just how hard it is to get anything done while also caring for a newborn. I will never know how single parents juggle everything…they clearly have super powers.

we took A LOT of pictures
we took A LOT of pictures
bath time!
bath time!

Saturday morning, while nursing, Belle managed to escape the backyard and run through the neighborhood barking like a mad dog. She barked (VERY loudly) the entire time I nursed, and was still barking when I went outside and walked through the yard searching for her. I most have looked quite ridiculous. See, Luna had just thrown up on me, but I was in such a hurry to get Belle inside that I did not care about the baby vomit that went from my tank top to the bottom of my yoga pants. I was also barefoot, braless and had not put a brush in my hair since sleeping on it. Eventually, I realized Belle’s bark was coming from across the street. We have an incredibly long and steep driveway so I hopped in the car to drive across the street and grab her.

When I reached the end of our driveway Belle immediately ran to my car and I noticed a little boy standing directly in front of me. He stared at me like I was some sort of monster brought to life (can’t imagine why) and asked if this was my dog. I assured him it was indeed my naughty dog. The poor scared boy then said “Oh, I’m sorry. I’ve been holding her because she looks like the dog I saw on the ‘lost dog’ posters.” Turns out Belle was being held hostage by the neighbor trying to rescue her.

That’s not all Belle managed to do though… After my manicure today I came home to what will now be referred to Dog Apocalypse. Ever since we had Luna, Belle has had a hard time adjusting. She’s great with Luna, but I think she’s got separation anxiety. We were in the hospital for 10 days, we had a lot of different people staying at the house during that time and for the next few weeks and of course we came home with a baby. Now, every time we leave the house she finds something to tear up or eat…usually a candy wrapper or something else small. Until today.

Today, Belle tore open a tied up trash bag I left in the kitchen. She then proceeded to take out every dirty diaper and (sorry this is gross) sanitary napkin, tear them all to shreds and drag them ALL OVER THE HOUSE, but mostly on my large white rug in the living room. I love this dog, but I must say that at this moment, I do not like her. Nope, not a bit. I had not planned on spending the evening cleaning every floor in the house.

Of course, Husband has been fortunate enough to miss all of this excitement. Boy, does he owe me lots of diaper changes.

Cheers!