Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Engagiversary

Four years ago today, the love of my life asked me to become his wife.  Four years into our relationship on a day that comes around once every four years, he asked and I said yes.  So, you can imagine that Leap Day holds a lot of significance in our house.  It's the day when my life with my husband really began - the day that changed everything.  The day that will rank up there in my all-time favorite days, with our wedding day and our children's birthdays.  And I've been waiting four long years to be able to celebrate this day all over again.  


So much has changed us in the last four years, but we've really become a great team - we are stronger, we are wiser, we are sure in our relationship and we are ready to take on our new roles as parents!  And thinking back to this day four years ago, I can't help but be excited for that young couple, so in love, so hopeful, so clueless to all the wonderful things that would be happening to them in the next four years.  I'd love to go back in time and tell that girl to be patient and enjoy every minute of it.  To tell her what a wonderful man she's marrying, what an amazing father he's going to be and what a fabulous adventure they're going to have!  But I bet she already knew that.  :)


Well, I don't know about you, but I love engagement stories.  I think they say so much about a couple.  And ours is so "us."  So without further ado, here's our story...


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Friday, February 29, 2008 was Leap Day. Because it takes the Earth 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds to travel around the sun, an extra day was added to the calendar every fourth year. It was the Romans who first designated Feb. 29 as Leap Day. In the 16th century, a more precise formula was adopted when the Gregorian calendar fine-tuned the calculations to include a leap day in years only divisible by four. Years which are evenly divisible by 100 are not leap years, unless they are also evenly divisible by 400, in which case they are leap years.However you look at it, Leap Day is a little gift, a special extra day in our lives which only happens every four years.

My Leap Day started out like any other day. Run in the morning, work, meeting over lunch, afternoon conference call, etc. Ryan and I had talked about going out for dinner that evening, but we both decided to get as much work done that day as we could to help with hours, since we have a few trips planned. He sent me an email around 5:00 saying that he was ready to go home and told me to hurry up and finish my work and meet him there. I told him to just go home without me and I’d be there as soon as I could. He called and emailed a few more times and I started to get a little ticked off that he just wouldn’t go home without me. What was the damn hurry?!

I left the office a little before 6:00. Traffic was bad, as usual. I stopped by Walgreen’s and got a bridal shower card and wrapping paper for a friend's bridal shower the next day.  I took my time and thought about when and where I was going to do my long run the next day. As I pulled into the garage I noticed the floor covered with something…”What did he spill?” was the first thing I thought. When I got out of the car I noticed they were rose petals. There was note on the door with my name on it, telling me to go inside and follow the notes.

Inside the house, the entire place was covered with rose petals. Thousands and thousands of them. They were all over the floors, the countertops, everywhere. And there were hundreds of tealight candles lit. There was music playing and pictures of us flashing on the laptop. I started crying immediately. Ryan was no where to be found. There was a bottle of Veuve champagne on the countertop and more notes. I made myself a glass of champagne and followed the love notes into the hallway.  


There, I found another note and a little plastic fishing pole next to the laundry shoot. The note told me to go “fishing” down the laundry shoot and see what I caught.  Of course, with Ryan, I should have known this would somehow involve fishing!

I made my way over to the laundry shoot and I cast my line down to our basement.  After a few minutes of  waiting I felt a tug on the line and I reeled up a card.  “Do you love me? If yes, cast again.” 

I cast again and I reeled up another card. “Do you want to spend the rest of your life with me? If yes, cast again.” 



I dropped my line down the shoot again.  By this time, I was smiling and crying and laughing. I couldn't believe this was really happening.  This time I reeled up a card and a little blue box with a pink bow on it.   The note said, "Will you marry me? If yes, turn around.”

I turned around and Ryan was standing there, smiling and laughing and crying. Of course I said yes! I jumped up and hugged him so hard I thought I’d strangle him. “Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!!” We were both crying and laughing and completely freaking out. He finally pulled me away and asked, “Does it fit? Do you like it?” I started cracking up because I hadn’t even opened the box or seen the ring!! But when I did…WOW!! Perfection!!

We poured ourselves some champagne, made a toast to our future, gave each other a good long look and both started cracking up.  I finally said, “Oh my God, we’re getting married! Holy shit!  I have to call my mom!” So we both spent the next 45 minutes on the phone calling our families and closest friends, giving each other hugs and kisses in between calls. Finally he told me to go get ready; a limo would be picking us up at 8:00 to take us to our favorite restaurant. We had a romantic corner table in the back and a fantastic bottle of champagne waiting for us there, compliments of friends who had called ahead and ordered the surprise for us. 

At dinner he told me all about his secret proposal plan: how he got the idea, how many roses it took, how he made the music mix and the picture montage, how long he’d been planning, and how he pulled it off. Turns out he wasn’t at work waiting for me to leave, after all!! I was so surprised, which was exactly what he wanted. I couldn’t believe he went to so much trouble. And he couldn’t believe I stopped at Walgreen’s on the way home!! Dinner was fabulous (as always). Afterwards, a few close friends met us at the bar to toast our engagement and celebrate with us. More champagne, hugs, dancing, laughing and toasting. It was such an amazing night!!! Ryan, I love you more than you’ll ever know. I have been blessed beyond belief!! My cup runneth over.












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So there it is!  Anyone else have a fabulous Leap Day story?  I'd love to hear it!

Hope you all have a very merry Leap Day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Italy 2011 - Two if by Sea, the Amalfi Coast by Boat



Well, here we are...at the end of our Italian adventure.  I've had so much fun reliving the trip through the blog posts that I don't want the recaps to end.  Sad day.

Fortunately, our last day in Amalfi was definitely not a sad day.  It was actually one of the best of our entire trip.  We decided that we wanted to spend the day going up and down the coast, checking out the other little towns and enjoying the beautiful weather.  We could do that by land (i.e. crowded bus or expensive taxi) or by sea (i.e water taxi or private boat).  If you know my husband at all, you know that there's nothing he likes more in this world than being on the water (whether it's boating, fishing, swimming, snorkeling or just putting his feet in the water).  So, it was a pretty easy choice for us.  The day before, we went down to the shore and priced getting our own boat for the day.  We first considered renting a boat in Capri, but it was SO expensive.  However, in Amalfi, it was about a quarter of the cost and we'd get the boat for the entire day.  Done deal.

Our little boat was pretty sweet.  It costs us about 100 euro for the boat rental for the entire day.  It came with a full tank of gas and we could take the boat wherever we wanted, as long as we were back that evening by 6:00 p.m.  So, Captain Ryan and I set out to sea.  I was thrilled to be able to take so many pictures of the coast from the boat.  It was such a great way to see the coastline and the incredible homes and hotels along the bluffs.



The Italians have done an amazing job just carving their towns directly into the cliffs.  
Yes, it's steep, but it's also spectacular!


Yep, that's the road we took a few days before to get to Amalfi.

Below is the town of Positano...from way far away.
Getting closer...
And closer...
And closer...
And finally we were there.
We docked the boat in Positano (for 3 euro) and made our way to shore.  We spent a few hours walking around town, shopping, eating and drinking.



Positano is a very pretty town.  It has a much "richer" feel than Amalfi, with tons of expensive boutiques and shops.  The restaurants were pricier and the hotels were elaborate.  There are also no roads in town, making it a little more secluded, but very clean and pretty.  Definitely a gorgeous resort town worth checking out.

Me on the beach.



The streets were lined with colorful shops selling linens and jewelry.  I loved that many of the sidewalks were covered with ivy canopies that made them cool and shaded.
We had lunch at a little restaurant right on the shore so we could people-watch.  
Plus, we could keep an eye on our boat while we were dining, which is always nice.  
That's her in the middle with the blue canopy.  
And then it was time to head back out to sea.  
We headed West (back towards Sorrento) and checked out a bunch of islands off the coast.  Then we headed back towards Amalfi and beyond it, nearly to Salerno.  
The views were just unreal.

And the houses were ridiculous. 
Below is the famous "Sophia Loren" home.  Le sigh.  
Wouldn't you jut die to live there?
There's even a staircase carved into the rock from the house all the way down to the sea.
The houses below, that jut out over the water were amazing.

And I don't know if this is a hotel or what, but I want to live here forever.
It was so wonderful to be on our own as we explored the coast.  
We weren't rushed and didn't have to deal with anyone else. 
We got to set our own pace.
We stopped occasionally to check out the water temperature.
We picked a spot to anchor while we laid out and read our books for a while in the sunshine.

We stopped to check out the wildlife...
And explore the caves...
(Can you see even Ryan in that picture above?  That's how giant these cliffs were.)


And the sun was setting as we finally made our way back to Amalfi.
(Atrani below)
We were completely spent and completely happy.
It was the perfect way to spend our last day in Italy.
I cannot recommend doing this enough.  
Get your own boat!  You will not regret it.

Hope you all enjoyed the recaps.  I loved reliving the trip with you!  Since I know a few people that are planning trips to Italy in the next few months and have asked for advice, I'd like to do a post on some of the things we learned and any tips I can give.  If you have ANY questions about the trip or Italy in general, please let me know and I'll add them to the post.  

Ciao for now!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Randomosity

Wow, three posts in one week, it's like I'm a real blogger again.  So pathetic.  Anyway, it's been a while since I've done one of these random posts, so let's get to it.  

  • Did anyone else blink and miss February?  I know it's the shortest month of the year, but I don't know how we're 24 days in already (happy birthday mom!) and it feels like the month should just be starting.  How does this happen?  And I'm pretty sure with all the fun stuff we've got coming up in the next couple of months (birthday parties, weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelorette parties, holidays, etc.), March and April are going to fly by as well.  
  • My dad and step-mom came in town this week to bring over and install the bookshelves they built for Mac's room.  They're unbelievable!  I just love the way they turned out!  Mac is already so loved and spoiled, it's amazing.  I told my dad that I wanted these shelves for the nursery back around Christmas.  I gave him a few measurements and here they are!  Voila!  I got the inspiration from Pinterest of course (here), but they turned out even better than I anticipated.  I still need to paint the dowels fun bright colors, but since I know you're dying for a sneak peek, here it is.  We're going to need more books!
Thank you so much Dad & Kelly!!  You guys are the BEST!!

  • Things I'm loving these days (in no particular order): Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra ice cream, ballet flats (sparkly ones in particular), long hot nightly "warm up showers," stretchy leggings, Honey Nut Cheerios, coconut water, wrap dresses, lavender scented belly oil, pickled beets, diet root beer, feather pillows, bananas, pretty scarves and Chipotle chicken tacos (of course).
  • I am in full-blown "wedding planning" mode these days and absolutely loving it!  I'm the MOH in two weddings this year and I'm having the best time fulfilling my duties.  My friend Iris is getting married in April and we've been picking out photographers, planning a bridal shower and bachelorette party, deciding on veils, picking out ties, looking at hairdos and trying to find the perfect  maternity bridesmaid dress.  Plus, my future sister-in-law Lindsey is getting married (to my brother) in October, so we've been working on her Save the Date cards, which are absolutely beyond fabulous (hopefully she'll let me  blog about them because I'm dying to show you what we came up with).  Oh, weddings are just SO much fun!  And speaking of fun weddings, I have photos from my friends Kirsten and Jewell's wedding in Las Vegas from back in November that I want to share with you.  I really need to blog about that soon.  Everyone likes wedding pictures, right?
  • So, Mally and Sage went to the groomers/spa yesterday for the whole day.  This is Mally's second time at this groomer and Sage's first.  True to form, Sage bolted in like she owned the place, knocked everyone (and a table) over, jumped up on the counter, spilled a big bowl of water, ate another dog's food and greeted everyone with giant sloppy kisses.  Mally hid behind my legs, whimpered and cried when I left her, which in turn, nearly made me cry.  Six hours later when I picked them up, Mally was like a whole new dog - clean and happy and so proud of her new haircut and her pretty bandanna.    She strutted around the shop and showed off for everyone who told her how pretty she was.  Sage, on the other hand, was completely distraught and so ready to get the hell out of there.  She was so pissed off at me for taking her that she hid from me most of the night, refused to give me goodnight kisses and wouldn't come anywhere close to me when I left for work this morning, heaven forbid I take her again.  Flip.Flop.  Ryan said it's because Mally's a princess and Sage is a tomboy, which I think pretty much sums them (and their beauty parlor experience) up.  Those two are so damn funny and have such big personalities.
Ok, well that's all I can think about right now.  Hope you all had a wonderful week and have fun and exciting weekend plans.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Letter to Mac


Dear Baby,

You and I are officially now in the homestretch, homeboy.  Today marks the beginning of the third trimester and as we make our way towards the end of this journey together, I can’t help but think about how different  and wonderful things are going to be in a few short months.  I have loved nearly everything about being pregnant with you, but I absolutely cannot wait to meet you on the outside.  I dream about holding your tiny hands, squeezing your chubby legs and looking into your eyes that look just like your daddy’s.  I yearn to hold you and kiss you and rock you to sleep at night, singing you lullabies from the Beatles and Paul Simon.  I pray that I’ve done a good job growing, housing and protecting you over the last few months and that I’ve given you what you need to come into this world strong and healthy.  I imagine the sweet baby you’re going to be, the active boy you’ll turn into and the strong confident man you’ll one day become. 

Baby, your daddy and I have wanted you for so long.  I thank God every day for bringing you into our lives.  I have even become grateful for the long journey it took us to get you here – the pills, the shots, the procedures, the tests, the tears, the heartache.  Everything we went through made me appreciate you more and has helped me realize what an incredible gift you are to us.  We are so blessed.  I promise to be the best mommy I can be.  I can’t wait to teach you everything I know and I look forward to all you’re going to teach me in the coming years about myself and how to be a parent, a coach, a role model and a friend.  I’m already so proud and honored to be your mama.

So baby, please take these next few months to grow chubby and strong.  I’m constantly taken aback by just how much I love you already and I love you more with each passing day.  I think my heart grows like the Grinch’s every time I think about you.  And I know your dad feels the same way; I can tell by the way his eyes light up when he talks about you or feels you move.  We’re so ready to meet you and spoil you rotten. But we’ve still got a lot of work to do before everything’s ready for you, so take your time and let’s enjoy these last couple months of spending every second together.  I’ll keep protecting you and feeding you tacos and you keep working on your dance moves and karate kicks.  Just know that when you get here, we’ll be ready and waiting, the happiest and proudest parents in the world.

Love,

Your mama