Too Good to Capture

I have the best friends in the world. My 21st birthday was unbelievable. 

This was one of those days where I’m glad I didn’t spend it behind a lens to capture moments…instead, I lived the moments and made the most of the adventure set before me.
{So, in other words, sorry for not posting a visual play by play}

(also, obviously I drank alcohol, so you can stop reading if you’re uncomfortable with that)

Friday, the 3rd, of January, Mi Amor and I arrived back from Minnesota and he told me while we were getting close to our street, “Your birthday starts when we get home.”
So, I took a relaxing bath with a delicious candle burning while he brought in all our traveling stuff. {All you men better take tips!!!} We watched a funny movie {stupid humor} called “Ace Ventura” {oh dear..} then around 11p.m. he told me, “We’re going to the Winchester at midnight so get ready”. I was so excited!!! Going out at midnight is something I haven’t done for a long while. We walked the quarter of a mile on the snowy night and stepped in at 11:57 and talked to the door man for three minutes. For the first time I had a ‘fireball’ shot with my husband. It was a cinnamon whisky that reminded me of a sugar-less “Big Red” stick of gum. I then got a margarita (with low sugar) while we chatted.
Its funny because, sometimes when we go out together, I still feel like we are dating… like to me, it seems BIZARRE that we truly are married. Mi Amor is my best friend and the man I wanted to live forever with for over four years now. Forever has started, that’s why I’m mind-blown. He truly is mine to keep and love and cherish and serve. I tell him sometimes, “If I wasn’t already married to you, I’d want to be”.
We had breakfast at the house and then we went off to the Art Museum. I love landscape art and there was an exhibit that we didn’t get a chance to view before the holidays, and it only had one more week left so I was excited to indulge in some of my favorite art.
I know its normal for us to go visit galleries and check out art, but there was something about being in a dress and knowing I was twenty-one that made me feel more sophisticated than other times. {silly, I know}

Noon came around quickly and we were off to a restaurant we hadn’t been to before. Gram and Gramps wanted to be a part of my special day so they came there too {they also were there at the museum with us!} We ordered wonderful food and I had deliciously seasoned salmon and grilled asparagus. Mi Amor and I split a three-tier mini martini special. One was mandarin orange, key lime pie, and the last hibiscus {yes, the flower}. All were delicious and actually incomparable. We said our  goodbyes to them and Mi Amor kept up the fun surprises. We got back to the house and he said, “Alright, you can change and wear something warm, we’ll be leaving in fifteen minutes”. I was so giddy and joyful, this day was incredible.
After getting back into the car he asked, “So, where do you think we’re going?”
I was voicing my thoughts as I went through an elimination process and guessed right, but he just asked questions back and then we parked and he said, “Yes, you are right, we are going skating.”
So, skating has ALWAYS been a big part of our relationship-it was our first date, and many after that…and last year when he first moved here and I was working second shifts, we would meet and go midnight skating together downtown. It was always so enjoyable even though it was freezing cold. We sacrificed so much sleep and time to be with each other–a great foundation for our marriage; sacrifice.
We were skating and I was having a blast, then two familiar faces from the east side, back home, popped on the ice with us.
I exclaimed to them my surprise and gave them hugs. We skated around for another 45 minutes or so and then Mi Amor said, “Time for the next destination.”
We walked down to a local brewery and I got a gluten-free hard cider with almond and cinnamon infusions (which were VERY tasty)
Then I tried a sip of all of theirs, wanting variety but trying to keep my gluten/yeast and sugar levels low (but not letting it control my day and keep me chained).
When ALL OF A SUDDEN…………..two of my old roomies sat down!!!! I couldn’t believe this–Mi Amor and Rizo had been working on this for like three weeks. Sadly, about a dozen of my close friends weren’t there, but responsible obligations of work take priority. So, anyways, after than got something and we all paid, we walked the block to another brewery where I got a complimentary dessert {which I forgot to mention I got at lunch before the trio martini…gluten-free creme brule.) I only had a spoonful of anything that most likely had a lot of sugar, because I didn’t want to make myself miserable, but wanted to still enjoy the day. Then we all split a sampler of six different beers and I tasted a nut brown ale that made me hope for a better year so that I could actually drink a glass of that and not have eczema/candida issues. It tasted fantastic!!
Then I was blindfolded and taken in the car and driven to what ended up to be, my old house, Poppins. Friends were waiting and they threw me a party! A wonderful guy friend had everything prepared for a gluten-free pizza with toppings I could actually eat (even though I’m not supposed to have cheese, it was fresh mozarella…YUM!!!). Pesto, toasted pine nuts, roasted garlic, spinach, avocado, black olives and that cheese…oh my word…I ate three pieces it was so delicious.
We played games and hung out…no worries, I was drinking enough water and had eaten enough throughout the day that I could still walk a straight line and say a quarter of the alphabet backwards pretty fast. heh heh.

My friends amaze me…I’m just blown away by how much people will sacrifice to show someone how important they are…and that person was me. The whole day…I hugged Rizo and kissed Mi Amor an awful lot. I have never had a birthday so spectacular and full of surprises before.

Getting older isn’t all that bad–its another year of opportunity for you to be stunned by the blessings of God.

Improving For Life

The challenge of men and women is that they are so crazy different. The beauty of this is that life doesn’t have to be boring with a mystery to always figure out. An investigation begins after figuring out the love language of your spouse-how they receive love the best and through what means. Mi Amor is acts of service and time. Since these are important to me, although not my primaries, I feel like it could be easier for me than for you and your spouse.
God has blessed me with an extremely understanding husband who is open to reading books and hearing my opinion…however crazy they may be.
What if I was him:

In what way do I feel most loved by her? Do you think she loves me? Am I fulfilled by having her as my wife? Does coming home feel like an oasis?

These are all questions that I ponder in my mind to see if my actions are properly executed as a wife. If he is able to say, “No, I hate coming home, I know its gonna be a drag” then I’m doing something wrong. Thank God that my marriage has been incredible, because I haven’t had to deal with a lot of things that I’ve been told usually happen in the beginning of marriage. Frankly, my husband has changed my life.

Since getting married, I feel like I have improved as a person; I am much better with Mi Amor than I am without him.

{I actually floss my teeth}{My cooking skills have improved as I choose to make a dish every day, because I have another mouth to feed}{My skin doesn’t bother me as much, but Mi Amor has helped push me to fight, using herbs. So, my homeopathic ways are upping their game}{My selfishness has begun to diminish, I will always have spurts, but its not prominent}{My prayer life has GREATLY improved}{God is just so close, and so visible to me> Marriage has made me free with Him. I can focus on Him with the help of Mi Amor; my best friend. Nothing is even comparable to the feeling of knowing that he will encourage me and push me to draw closer to God. I feel freer than ever before in my life. I am free to be myself and to pursue without limitations.}

Mi Amor has been the biggest blessing in my life; the best friend; the chess rival; the artsy encourager; the tattoo buddy; the believer in me; my prayer warrior; my adventure forever.

Eleven-Thousand Words

Mi Amor & I went home for the weekend where we were able to spend time with our families.

Mi Amor & I went home for the weekend where we were able to spend time with our families.

Our one lemon off the lemon tree this year. It worked so hard to produce it over winter...

Our one lemon off the lemon tree this year. It worked so hard to produce it over winter…

We treasured it and made lemon muffins from its delicious insides...

We treasured it and made lemon muffins from its delicious insides…

After all the insanity, I still was able to hang out so much so, that I haven’t had time to blog. Rizo is gone to Scotland now, she left yesterday at 5p.m.

I have worked 20 hours OVERTIME in four weeks which means 180 hours….whew.

Yeah…pictures are a better way to update you.

Mi Amor made falafel! Another marvelous vegetarian dish. Chick Peas, garlic, spices, bread crumbs, one egg, lemon juice and some olive oil.

Mi Amor made falafel! Another marvelous vegetarian dish. Chick Peas, garlic, spices, bread crumbs, one egg, lemon juice and some olive oil.

Fry em up! We also had a bowl of clementines for our appetizer, and then paired up the falafel with a seasoned veggie hot dish that I made. {broccoli, carrots, potatoes, onion, and seasoning} then we had coldstone for dessert. {Thank you mom for the gift card, after this trip we finally used all of it along with a coupon I found in the mail}  Total came to: $0.75 for two GOTTA-HAVE-IT sizes.

Fry em up! We also had a bowl of clementines for our appetizer, and then paired up the falafel with a seasoned veggie hot dish that I made. {broccoli, carrots, potatoes, onion, and seasoning} then we had coldstone for dessert. {Thank you mom for the gift card, after this trip we finally used all of it along with a coupon I found in the mail}
Total came to: $0.75 for two GOTTA-HAVE-IT sizes.

homemade potato salad

homemade potato salad

Reeds Lake

Reeds Lake

Zebra gum

Zebra gum

sorry its not flipped..but the next day, after Mi Amor and I had our picnic down by the lake, Rizo and I hung out.

sorry its not flipped..but the next day, after Mi Amor and I had our picnic down by the lake, Rizo and I hung out.

We went to JimmyJohns because so much of our Grand Rapids friendship is relative to the marvelous place

We went to JimmyJohns because so much of our Grand Rapids friendship is relative to the marvelous place

being gargoyles in our spare time, before watching Julie&Julia and going on a little trip with friends

being gargoyles in our spare time, before watching Julie&Julia and going on a little trip with friends

Stormy Dream

As she walked on the path, a blizzarding snow came floating from the sky. Her steps continued on as her tears began to flow.

“What’s wrong with me?” she cried.

Learning what she wanted in life was probably the hardest unknown trail to be on. The path she was taking now was as beautiful as a sunset, yet it too had no sure sign of end. How was it so easy to walk mysterious Minnesota pathways and yet struggle so much with the same mysterious pathway of life?

 “Help, God…What do I need to do?”

The silence of the trees answered back.

Her head was spinning, all she wanted to do was run. Realizing maybe she should just leave, making it easier on everyone, her head drowned it possibility.

“I could leave, go to Africa for a year,” she whispered to the sky.

A man and his dog came down the trail, she kept her head down to hide the tracks of her tears.

If anyone could draw the pictures that her thoughts created, they’d have a best-seller. She began to imagine traveling with Alex Supertramp; a college graduate who destroyed his true identity and chose his new name as he pressed onward to Alaska’s wide open environment. What would happen if she just went to Africa, leaving finances and canceling all her ties to the materialistic world? Why can’t someone just live off of bread & cheese like the Europeans? What’s wrong with snail-mail and the passion of absence? We long for things we do not have, thats what makes them so wonderful, because of the work it takes to get those dreams.

So if the joy is in the journey, what train was she jumpin on?

A giant pile of snow dumped on her head as the tree waved its branches with the wind.

Her dampened hair chilled her to the bone.

How is it possible to love someone as insane as her? Somehow, he did care for her. Why was he so persistent? Why did he want to make her feel beautiful? Would she ever have him as her best friend if she left?

Maybe without notice…she could leave without telling a soul…

“What’s really the problem with you!?” she shouted at herself.

“What do you want out of this life?!”

Maybe that was the problem…she didn’t know what she wanted… she had jumped into this too fast, letting her circumstances choose her…

So many problems had occurred in her life because of this unknown passion.

“Just as the wind turns the weathervane, God uses our passions to change our lives. Isn’t that what you believe? Let Him lead you, child. Let Him in.”

Who was that speaking to her? Was it some voice she made up in her mind or was it the Spirit? Either way, she knew she was being too impossible. She needed this blizzard to hide in. As her feet turned themselves to head back to the cabin, thoughts came clearer, like the skies had. With the blizzard clearing up, she knew she’d make it back safely and it would have been if this hour hadn’t even existed. Her mind was cleared, she knew she was just being a selfish adventurer.

*SNAP*

Her body jerked awake under the warm quilt, protecting her from the chill of the winter’s nightly blizzard.

“We don’t realize how little we can live off of, because we always have so much…” she thought to herself.

She would begin to remove ‘luxeries’ one-by-one.

Quinoa Hands

So I got great deals on scrubs and shoes!

Today was great, I’m really excited to get into my job this week. I’ll have updates on how its going and what I love and what I feel I need to work on.

I feel so grown up with all this happening.

Here’s a re-cap of this past weekend’s adventures

Yup-I’m official.

 

Sweet potato/quinoa burgers {THANKS RIZO!}

 

cwaffles {qua-fulls} Cake batter, poured into a waffle maker, we later added maple syrup

 

Stuffed Green Peppers

 

Swimming crew, we jumped off the pier and later got ice cream

 

special thanks to Anna, who captured this

 

 

 

 

 

{:Review:}

Words cannot describe…

It was awesome…
it was incredible…
it was unforgettable, irresistible, like a dream..

They had passports as tickets, and had worked with this town since February, creating a vintage aura.

Here are a few pictures, just to show how much fun we had.
I didn’t take as many pictures, because two of my friends had pro cameras.

Brian, Mike, Shannon, Graham, & I.
we’re all a little crazy-so it was quite fitting this photo is up-side-down.

 

Castle for a high school

 

Let the drawing begin!

 

 

Look at the sea of people…15,000 tickets-sold in 8 hours…yes, Mumford is loved.

 

We went to this coffee shop three times…DELISH!