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.

cottonln picnic IMG_20140609_155532

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


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.

IMG_20140609_165358 IMG_20140609_192008

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.



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!


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!




Our Least Glamorous Valentine’s

Okay, if you’ve followed Positively Panicked for a while you surely know that I LOVE ALL holidays. I have head-to-toe outfits (shoes and accessories included) for every holiday, throw parties, make themed food and celebrate to the fullest extent. Valentine’s Day is one my all-time favorites. I just love the expressions of love that go out. Seriously, even the ridiculous amount of corny Facebook posts don’t bother me. It’s nice to see so much love being expressed. Typically, I send cards to all my friends, bake/buy something delicious for work, wear hearts all week and do something extra special for Husband. This year is clearly a lot different.

Husband and mine’s dating anniversary is on February 17th, so we typically celebrate Valentine’s and our anniversary together, making a week/weekend out of it. Our favorite tradition is buying each other funny cards, but we also plan special surprises for each other. Last year, Husband surprised me with a trip to Disneyland California (completing our “visit every Disney park in the world” goal). Another year, I surprised him with a trip to Berlin, Germany. Our very first Valentine/Anniversary, he surprised me with a trip to NYC (my first time to visit NY) and tickets to see Wicked and tour backstage. We have celebrated at Disney World, fancy restaurants, the movies, etc. One year, Husband took me to a little Italian restaurant in the middle of a small town in Nowhere, Tennessee. As we walked in they were actually playing “when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…”, the owner waited on us and prepared a special meal and we ate our meal by candle was right out of a movie.

As you can see, we tend to go all out, a little overboard even, when it comes to this holiday. In fact, our very first date (sometime around February 17th) was probably the most romantic of all. We ate together at the Sci-Fi Drive-In Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We talked so long that we closed the restaurant without even realizing we were the last ones there. Then, as we left, a security guard met us at the restaurant door and began following us towards the gates. A little worried, we asked if we were in trouble. He said, “No. You are just the last two people in the park so I have to escort you out.” We had no idea we’d been hanging out for so long. Even now, I’m certain we could close the park just sitting and enjoying each other’s company.

This year, at 11am, Husband was still in bed and I was nursing our baby for hours on end on the couch while watching Disney movies. The house is a mess. The dishwasher just broke again. I am surrounded by pill bottles and there are zero plans for the weekend…no surprise trips, no reservations and I wasn’t even able to shop for a funny card. (We did go to a friend’s house last night… just no romantic plans.) It’s the least glamorous Valentine/Anniversary we have had together, but I have never felt more loved.

During our extra long hospital stay Husband managed to fulfill every single wedding vow, including putting up with my high anxiety and panic attacks. The three of us cuddled in the hospital bed together as we watched movies to keep our minds off of everything else happening. Husband held my hand and told me how strong I was during the moments I felt weakest. When I couldn’t get out of bed, he brought me Luna to feed, then he would change her, swaddle her and love on her before putting her to bed and taking care of me. Now, that we are home and finally able to share some of the load I can enjoy watching Husband become a Father… it’s the best thing ever. I never doubted his ability to be an awesome Dad, but seeing in action is incredible.

And, the best Valentine is of course our perfect little Luna (everybody say “awww”).


Last night, for the first time since Luna was born, I was able to get ready and feel like a real person before going to our friend’s Valentine party. In fact, we all got dressed up which called for a family picture.



Happy Valentine’s to each of you and Happy 9 years to Husband!

xoxo Cheers!


Falling In Love Again..and Again

more than

I swore to myself that my blog would not, absolutely not, turn into a “pregnancy” blog during these 9 months… I’m sorry, but it’s definitely been headed in that direction. I can’t help it! It’s literally all I can think about at this point. Between not being able to put on shoes without toppling over and having to pee every 10 minutes, there isn’t much else to think about lately. I miss writing about living with anxiety, but it’s just been so much better lately…sigh…

I’ll just talk about Husband instead.

I’ve mentioned in a couple recent posts that my Husband has been driving me crazy, and he totally has, but I also need to say that he is simultaneously making me more crazy about him. I want to kill him for demolishing the nursery I so carefully put together for hours and hours, but at the same time I am over the moon that it’s getting remodeled. It’s really sweet to see him and my Dad-in-law working so hard to get everything finished.

On most nights, Husband stays up very late, often playing video games with friends. He is incredibly noisy and manages to wake me up every 10 minutes, especially since I am a very light sleeper these days. However, he also comes in and checks on me. Brings me heartburn medicine, water, extra pillows, heating pads, chocolate, basically whatever I want or need he gets. He’s offered to run to Walgreens in the middle of the night and he never complains about any of this. I have an enormous pregnancy pillow that takes up a third of the bed, plus the dog and cat both sleep with us, I toss and turn and get up 6 times a night, and he doesn’t say a word. If anything, he asks how I’m feeling or offers to put on my favorite show. He’s kind of a saint.

Husband has a bad habit of sleeping late, dropping articles of clothing around and leaving everything he owns plugged in, and saving ALL tasks for the last minute. It drives me insane! I am a list-making, stay on schedule, get things done ASAP sort of gal, so I can’t even begin to comprehend how his mind works. BUT, right at the moment when I think I’m going to completely lose it and throw the cat at him, Husband will cook dinner, do the dishes, make me tea, fill my car up with gas, make a fire, or put in my favorite movie. At that moment, I forget what I was so mad about in the first place.

Husband and I have been together for almost 9 years, we have done long distance, lived together for 6 years, traveled the world and been married for about a year and a half. All of this time together has taught me that you don’t love someone despite their faults. You just love ALL of them, faults included. Sure, we argue, get mad and misunderstand one another, but then all of sudden we fall in love all over again.

fav husband

Husband has done some pretty special gestures and given amazing gifts over the years (surprise vacations, pretty jewelry, broadway tickets, etc), but what gets me more than anything are the littlest things. It takes the smallest notion to show someone you care. Making someone’s coffee in the morning, running their bath water, fixing them a snack or just leaving a little note to say you care is really all it takes to turn an angry partner into a calmer appreciative one. I think this runs true for all sort of relationships. If we took a little bit of time each day to show someone we care or are thinking of them, imagine how much happier we would all be?

Now, I try to remember to do the same for Husband. We are in this together after all and life is about to change in a way we cannot even imagine. I hope I’m able to express love with simple things as well as he does.

I’m also thankful Husband doesn’t have his own blog. Although I’m rainbows and sunshine 95% of the time, God only knows what annoying habits he would write about me… Not that there are any. I’m practically perfect.


Trying Not to be Competitive

During our first prenatal doctor appointment, the doctor spent lots of time asking us all the regular important series of questions….

Do you smoke? Do you drink? Was this a planned pregnancy? What do you do for a living? Is this your first child? Are you on any medications? Etc. etc.

We chatted and discussed birth plans, diets, weight gain and basically took the time to really get to know one another. After all this chatting, the doctor ended with Do you have any questions?

The one question on my mind since the moment I found out about the baby was How does my workout routine need to change? I know that pregnant women should workout, but how much? How rigorous? And, for how long?

I was thrilled when the doctor basically gave me the green light to keep doing what I’ve been doing for as long as I’m comfortable, and to start taking it easy when the time comes. Perfect! Exactly what I wanted to hear… I began to sit up and say my good-byes when I was interrupted with a big But…

But, you cannot be competitive.

Hah, erupted from Husband’s throat and before I could interject the doctor continued.

It is obvious after spending time with you that you are very competitive, especially with your Husband. You can’t be competitive while pregnant. Don’t expect to improve, in fact, inspect to slowly get worse. Don’t try to keep up with your Husband you’ll only end up getting hurt.


He’s right though, I am super competitive when doing anything with Husband. I cannot stand to lose and I am not a very humble winner. I mean, the best part of winning is being able to remind Husband that I won, not him, me.

Sooooo I have tried my very best to not compete this summer. While riding bikes at Hilton Head I let Husband ride in the front, most of the time. While rock climbing, I didn’t attempt to do anything harder than Husband. Now, while doing Insanity, I rarely try to out due Husband.

“Rarely”, because it is so damn hard! Normally, Husband is my pace card. If I’m keeping up with him; great. If I’m doing more than him; wonderful. Now, I have to do everything in my power to not look at him. It’s a hard habit to break. I do have to admit that I still kick his butt in all the push-up intervals. Sorry, but I can’t help bust notice he takes breaks while I’m still working!

I’m only 16 weeks pregnant now, so working out and being super active is still coming easily. I figure I might as well live it up until the sad day comes that I have to say good-bye to Sean T and invest in some prenatal workouts.

Husband might be able to out last me at that point, but he’ll never be able to carry a baby like me. Beat that Husband!

Anyone else compete with their Husband or have trouble slowing down during pregnancy? I’d love to hear about it!


Will You Be My Valentine?

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! I know this is a cheesy holiday that’s heavily influenced by card and candy companies, but I don’t care, I love it! I love the red, the pink, the hearts, the classroom parties, the cute cards, the conversation hearts and boxes of chocolate. I love sending cards to my friends and my family. I know we should show our loved ones how much we care about them ALL year, but what’s wrong with doing something extra special on today?

Just like “Birthday week” I try to do small acts of love for Husband all week. Nothing crazy, just little things to let him know I am thinking of him. On Tuesday, I had lunch delivered to him while I was at work. Wednesday, I left him a nice note on his laptop, and today…well you will just have to wait because I’m not about to blow his surprise now!

Valentine’s is extra special for us because this is also when we celebrate our anniversary (the dating one). We say that we started dating on February 17th (no one knows the actual day), but we celebrate these holidays together…usually turning into a week of celebrating. I’m getting really good at stretching out celebrations to last an entire week.

So, to celebrate our 8 years together here are 8 photos of us…one for each year.

2005: The year we met. A couple of weeks after meeting I convinced Husband to dress as Peter Pan and attend a costume/pajama party with me as Tinkerbell.



2006: Our very first anniversary Husband surprised me by taking me to NYC (for the first time!) to see Wicked. He still has the best surprises.


2007: We took our first international trip together to the Dominican Republic…and yes…I got ALL of my hair braided. Let the mocking commence now.


2008: While Husband was working in Minneapolis I made a special trip to visit him. I came home with five extra pounds thanks to all the great food we discovered.


2009: I graduated with my Master’s in Elementary Education! Woo!


2010: This was taken at 5am in Tokyo at their famous fish market. We got up at 4am to watch the crazy auctions and discovered they were closed that day! We stayed and enjoyed the sunrise anyways.


2011: We went to Iceland where we went snow mobiling, lava-tube caving, snorkeling, and iceberg hiking!


2012: Our Honeymoon in Costa Rica! (I know Husband is squinting in a lot of pictures, but I’d like to say that it’s really hard to find a picture I approve of myself and Husband with open eyes.)


Happy eight years Husband! Here’s to many many more adventures together!


Hey, my eyes are close here! We’re even.


In Memory Of

Warning: This post is a little sad, but also a little happy. It’s in memory of a friend who passed away in October. He passed unexpectedly in a car crash leaving behind his beautiful wife and baby boy. I have debated writing about him and the impact he had on my life for months. It’s been weighing on my heart and tonight it feels right. Tonight I want to share the story of our friendship.


*For privacy reasons, I will call my friend “Jack.”

Jack and I met in the summer of 06’. We worked at a large fitness center together and quickly become close friends. Jack was sad and pining for his ex-girlfriend (the love of his life) and I was sad and missing Husband (boyfriend at the time) because he was temporarily living in China. Jack and I decided to keep each other company while we missed the ones we loved.

Jack was one of the most honest and open people I have ever met. While getting to know each other he told me all about the struggles had been through recently. He had gotten himself mixed up in the wrong crowd, felt stuck in a bad place, and lost his girlfriend as a result. He fearlessly chose to turn his life around in a powerful way. He literally threw out his phone one night to lose all of the negative “contacts” in his life and made an immediate decision to live healthily and happily. He wanted a fresh start and vowed to surround himself with positive people. Jack was dedicated to his new lifestyle and determined to win his girlfriend back. He knew they were meant to be together.

His passion for life and willingness to share his story with me opened my eyes and helped me see my own struggles. Jack was very easy to talk to about any and everything. I began to open up to him and it felt great. I told him things only my closest girlfriends knew, and some things they didn’t know. I never felt judged. No, Jack made me feel special. He made me feel like it was okay to be a little broken.

Jack was also a workout enthusiast! We spent many, many mornings, days and nights training together. I love exercising, but my passion for fitness doesn’t hold a candle to Jack’s! He is the motivator of all motivators. I think of him almost every time I step into a gym, no one could get me pumped up for a workout like Jack. In fact, over the last few years Jack became manager of the fitness facility where we met, and even ran his own sports performance program. I never doubted he would do great things.

Jack was the kind of friend who cared deeply and worried endlessly.  If I was sad, he called. If I was happy, he celebrated. If I was bored, he entertained. Once, I worked late, pulled an all-nighter studying, and met him at the gym at 6 A.M. for a morning shift. I was drained and trying to prep for a big college class presentation. Jack had an energy supplement he took before each workout and I BEGGED him to share. Jack refused saying it was too strong and I couldn’t handle it…

Obviously, I insisted that I could, and repeatedly hassled him until he had to give into my pleads. Even then, he would only give me half.

In class, I felt great and had tons of energy! About ten minutes later a friend pulled me to the side and said, “What is wrong with you?” She then explained to me that I was talking so fast she couldn’t understand me, I was tapping the desk continuously, and my pupils were so large that I had no irises.

Jack never forgave himself (or me) for sharing his supplement with me. He fretted for weeks over that incident.

Jack was also a sensitive guy. We both used music to match our moods, and often discussed how the right songs can be a form of therapy. He gave me a CD of his favorite group, Keane, and told me how every song reminded him of a significant time in his life or of a significant person (most often his ex-girlfriend.)

We spent a lot of time together for about 5 months. We talked on the phone often, went to movies, workout together, and worked together regularly. People began to question if we were dating, but Jack and I never would have dated. We knew we were not each other’s lobsters.

No. We were exactly what each other needed during that short time in our lives. Husband came back from China and I graduated and began teaching. Jack won back the love of his life, and was happier than I ‘d ever seen him. We still talked often, but even that faded. I moved away and we both moved on with our lives. We remained Facebook friends, and commented or messaged each over the years; a “congrats” here, a “happy birthday” there, but nothing more.

When he married the girl he pined for that summer, I know it must have been the happiest day of his life. I celebrated for him when I heard the news. I’m sure he did the same when I married Husband.

I wanted to write this as a thank you. Thank you Jack for being my best friend the summer of 06’ and teaching me to be honest, live life to the fullest, and to surround myself with positive people. You are a true inspiration and are dearly missed.

Your friend,