Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Wedding Weekend Photos

As B & I gear up to head off to another wedding weekend on Friday (Maine!), I thought I'd share some of the awesome pictures B's Mom captured from the last wedding weekend. Such fun memories. Such cute guys!!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Adventures at the DMV

Lady: Are you insolent or dependent?
Me: What?
B: She asked if you were insulin dependent.
Me: Oh, no.

Makes me wonder why I hesitated in the first place...

Thursday, August 26, 2010


It's 6pm (ok, now 7) and, yes, it's flooding in Florida. No one told me we were moving to a rain forest where it would pour buckets every day!

Actually, though, I don't mind it one bit. I'm sitting here, finishing editing, waiting for B to come home from work. Hm... it is likely that B will be bothered by said rain. I think all he has is my old personal umbrella (or "umbuhnella", as our nieces say it), which is lime green, tiny, and, last I checked, didn't fight against horizontal rain.

But I'm thankful. I love the sound of rain, and the (welcome) isolating feeling it brings. Just wish B were here to enjoy it with me. We have our best naps when it's pouring! Other things to be thankful for? It'll likely cool off the ground, which is always nice, and wash away some of the bugs, and maybe even get that lizard off our garbage can who has been thwarting my attempt to take the trash out.

See? All good things. Maybe I'll nap after all...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bar Trip, the finale

The vacation also let me know how B plans vacations. I tend to do all the legwork up front, researching restaurants, finding fun stop overs, and whatever else can fit on my emailable itinerary. B, however, does everything in the moment, or rather day-of. He found the best local Cuban food (with seemingly bottomless sangria.... oh boy) and this place called The Afterdeck (see the sunset picture at left). We sat, drank mojitos, and watched the sun go down.

I know my thoughts are scattered these days, but I know this vacation helped get me back in one piece.

After we got back, I got back to work on content migration and B hit the ground running knocking out the to do list like a champion. He got car insurance, renters insurance, personal property insurance, and, moreover, got amazing rates on everything.

How did I get this guy? He finds the best sunsets in the most beautiful places in the world. Me=Lucky.
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Bar Trip, Part 2!

And.... we were right. Key West was right up our alley. We spent our days moving back and forth between the beach, the pool, the ocean, and the Tiki Bar, where they had the best pina colada ever. Ever. Yum yum yum.

After we'd sunned ourselvs silly, we feasted at dinner, took long walks down Duval street, and had a particularly pleasant lunch at a Westin-owned island.

B had never been to Key West and I'd only been for four-hour furloughs off cruise ships. We hit Hemmingway's House, a delicious local Cuban restaurant, and almost every art gallery, the ones with AC anyway.

The Bar Trip was great. It may have been crazy to take the bar, move, then hit the road, all before we'd figured out residency, car insurance (new policies, anyway), and our filing system, but off we went. It was really good for me. I think I needed time away from being at home, various homes, for so long. I think it was good for B, too. He slept like a baby and was super relaxed reading at the beach, wandering the street, and finding fun places for dinner.

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Bar Trip!

B & I took a belated Bar Trip to Miami and Key West. We had such a blast! B had the great idea of renting a convertible for the trip (Helllllo Ford Mustang), which was amazing and oh-so fun. Until the temperature outside hit 99, making our top-down car a swirling sauna of fire. Between the heat and the random rain, the roof stayed up most of the time.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. B & I left on Wednesday, crusing our way down to Miami. We spent three days walking Ocean Drive, shopping the main drag, chilling on the beach, and trying not to sweat through everything we brought.

We found a super cute little hotel that had everything we needed but still saved us several hundred a night. No pool, but that was fine by us-- to the beach!

We had a couple awesome dinners, some fun lunches, and pre-dinner glasses of wine in our cutesy hotel. We loved Miami, but thought that Key West might be more our speed...

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Things I'm Learning About Florida

1. It rains. Every day. Between 3 and bedtime, we get at least two solid downpours. As in, two minutes before I took these photos I was thinking, "Maybe I'll go for a walk." And then, boom. Pouring. Makes it hard to get out.

2. It's hot. Hotter than I expected it to be. I mean, we live only 300 miles further south and it's THIS much hotter? Granted, we went 300 miles even further south (story to come) and it was mind-melting hot.

3. Apparently tomatoes turn out watery. Don't buy Florida tomatoes, or so says my peach guy at the farmer's market.

4. Bugs. We spray down every time we walk out. For real. The can lives on our porch.

That's not to say that I don't love Florida, it's just a learning curve moving here.
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Long Live DB

Well, dear friends, B has lost a piece of his past: His Jeep, "DB", is officially living up to his name (Done Broke). We could fix it this time, but then we'd officially be in over the amount that the Blue Book says a 12 year old Cherokee is worth.

But how do you gauge worth on old cars? Seriously, we know it's time to let go (and we are), but think about it. That was B's second car (his learner was apparently The Gray Ghost, a minivan that his Dad would rather have remembered as the Silver Bullet). DB took us out on our first date (to Chili's, after the fish restaurant was packed). It brought me home to re-meet his parents.

B loves remembering his Dad's steering wheel-pounding moves to Mrs. Robinson ("But most of all you have to hide it from the kids"), but I'm sure he had his own share of fist-pounding moves in the Jeep to songs of similar lore.

We're not sure yet what we're going to do about a new car. We're thinking of going one-car family for a while, which would a) work, because I work from home and could take him in/pick him up; b) save us tons of money (namely $400 or so in insurance for the year, $42 per month in parking for him, and $450 for registration); and c) probably be a good reminder of how great we've got it!

I think we'll go with that at least until he decides what car he wants. After the heat of the Ford Mustang convertible, I think we'll definitely go hard top!

Daily Run-In With the Cops

Florida is a pretty amazing state. Case in point? The DMV lets you make appointments. They also let on-duty police officers come and verify your car's vin # and odometer so that you don't have to deal with that when you get your new title. They're also crazzzzzy fast:

Me: I'd like to request a police officer to come verify my out of state car.

Dispatch: Ok, will do.

Me: Wait, you mean now? When will they be here?

Dispatch: Depends. Could be five minutes, could be in an hour.

Me (visual scan of nightgown and bed head): Um, I still need to print the form. No hurry!

Dispatch: Ok.

So I know that there are cops stationed in our neighborhood (we have lots of bars, restaurants, etc), which T the cop verified (2 at all times, actually). So I KNEW this would be no hour long wait unless there was a B&E down at the nail place.

I sprint to the back to throw on shorts (yes, because that classes up black silk), then dashed to the printer to get the forms, which were still blank when I looked outside and saw T pulling up.

Response time to our house? Approximately 90 seconds. Good to know!

T took care of everything, but he must've thought I was insane. Form not filled out, nightgown, oh boy. There goes my shot at being on neighborhood watch.

Step one of car registration complete, now I have to gear up for steps 2-5: registering car, getting drivers' license, and two other things I'm sure I forgot.

Now, while I love my new state, I'm not thrilled at this new ID verification thing they have going on. I'll be excited to see my license because, word is, they're hardcore. To get my license, I have to bring my birth certificate or passport, my title, my proof of Florida insurance, my current license, my social security card, my marriage license, and two pieces of mail from my current address. (Opened, unopened, does it matter?) I thought that list was just for an out-of-stater, but apparently it's these new fangled licenses, which cost between $60 and $78, according to T.

Lesson learned, only call the police when you need them THAT second. I suppose I should be happy that there isn't more drama going on around here!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Haz Employmetz?

(No LOLcat fans out there? Sad...)

So it's technically official. I mean, I won't start until after Labor Day but, dear readers, I have a job.

I started applying for jobs, well, really in January, but I actually started including my new address starting the weekend we moved in. I cold-emailed a local bakery here, expressing my love and hiding my lack of on-the-job experience, and heard back that she might need someone this fall.

Long story short, I'm hired! I'll be working at a local bakery 1.8 miles from our place, which I'm super excited about. If it ever breaks 80 here, I might just walk myself there and back.

While I'm updating on employment, I'll be totally honest. I actually have several jobs. I'm working as many hours as I can as a content migration temp for my old magazine company, writing as a paid blogger for two sites (and another I've been hired for but haven't started yet), I edit reports for a NC businessman (and also his book, if he decides to finish it), and I write website copy.

I think what I'm saying is that I may actually be a freelance writer. I've heard there's a thin line between "freelance writer" and unemployment and I do believe it. But I also believe that things are going a-ok around here, so the bakery job is literally icing on the cake, as well as something steady that I can (fingers crossed) be sure of!

More to come when I actually start, but I thought I'd share just in case anyone out there has ever dreamed about doing something, even if only for a while, and hasn't decided whether to email or contact the dream job employer yet. Do it. Just do it. I'll send you cookies if you do!

Weddings are Fun!

This weekend, B & I kicked off our "one wedding per month" celebration of Fall with an amazing ceremony in Columbia, SC. One of his high school buddies married a girl that we all love to death (thank you, Stan!), and who is certain to get along with us on any subsequent beach trips the guys plan and then end up ditching us for golf. Gotta love men with good taste!

We left on Friday for Columbia, arriving in time to get B's tux and head to the hotel to change. The rehearsal was followed by an amazing rehearsal dinner at a local restaurant where I feasted on fried green tomatoes with crab and steak wrapped in bacon.

B: What are you getting?

Me: Did you not see the word 'bacon' on the menu?

We were seated with all the other high school buddies and their ladies, which made dinner even more fabulous. After dinner, we hit the hotel for the after-dinnery cocktail party thrown by the groom's parents (for real. amazing), then headed out on the town for a few hours. I took two of the groomsmen home (B included) around 2, but word is the groom and his best man lived it up until the wee hours of the morning. How do boys do that??

Saturday was a great day. We slept in (please see aforewritten paragraph), then got lunch with the wedding party. B got ready while I caught up with his parents, then I got ready and headed to the church. A very handsome usher in a yellow flower escourted me in then hopped on the alter with the rest of his buddies to witness the vows.

When the ceremony was over, we headed to the reception, which was in a big brick structure that had been strung with Chinese lanterns. It was one of those things you always imagine but know you'll never be able to pull off, but they did it. It was beautiful!

We wished the couple well then headed home. Sunday we had breakfast with B's parents then packed up and shipped off to Florida. After a really, really fun weekend, it was actually super nice to be heading back to what actually felt like our house. Great feeling!
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Greetings from Florida!

B: That shower curtain really doesn't do much to keep the water in.

Me: Well hon, it is in Florida.

B: What does that mean?

Me: It's probably retired and just doing this to supplement social secuirty.

B: Or it doesn't really need the job at all.

Car Insurance

B: If we switch, we'll end up saving about $100 a month over the other quotes.

Me: And they're a good company, right? So it's definitely worth it.

B: Well yeah. I mean, it's not The General or something like that.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Spot Stealer

It's ok Tyler. That's my favorite place to fall asleep, too.
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Best Uncle Ever

He does look cute with a baby on him. That's all I'm sayin'.

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The Perfect Man

This is my husband. He's currently:
a) Rocking Tyler to sleep...
b) Writing an index page from scratch for my job...
c) Studying for the Bar...
d) All of the above.

If you guessed D, you're correct. And likely jealous.
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3 Of My Favorite Monkeys

They're getting so big! And this was in JUNE! I think the baby is doing algebra this year in school...
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5th Reunion!

New Jersey. College. Five Years. Hot Husband. 'Nuff Said.
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Justin's Graduation

Catching up! May, Berkeley, Justin's Graduation. We're so proud!
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Monday, August 9, 2010

We Live in Florida!

We made it happen, folks. Over the past 8 days, we've moved and gotten ourselves settled in Florida. Here's how it went down...

Sunday: Mom & I leave from Atlanta. Arrive in Florida to meet landlords and get keys. Landlords are an hour late and very flustered. Proceed to point out everything that's wrong with the apartment. Seriously? Not a good start. I was so glad Mom was there or I might've a)cried, b)checked into a hotel, c)texted B to "GET HERE NOW." Instead, Mom put on music and we unloaded the things we had in our cars, got them organized, then went out to dinner at the fun Mexican place down the street. Shared our new air mattress in the empty apartment. Picked up a few staples from Publix.

Monday: TECO arrives to turn the gas on (hot water!). POD teases us! I'd spoken with the zoning committee, who said it would be no problem to have the POD in our street for up to 30 days (we only wanted 3). The POD people balked ("um, they didn't read far enough down. At the bottom of that page it says 'NO PODS ALLOWED ON STREET OVERNIGHT.'"). That's exciting! So we told them to get the POD there asap, called movers, and had the whole thing unpacked and off the property in a total of about five hours. Did I mention that Mom is amazing? Yes. Mom slept in guest bed, I slept on air mattress. B arrives in time for bed (post bachelorette finale, which we watched with our neighbords; so fun!) and gives the place his approval (yea!).

Tuesday: Cable guy arrives and is mean and crude and just mean. B was out on a run when he arrived and Mom and I literally stood at the window watching for B to come back. If you know us, you know that's not like us! He stood around, dented and bent things, then left without hooking anything up, "because this stuff always works." UGH. Called Comcast, complained, got part of our bill reduced, scheduled two new people to come out. Sidebar: The first guy also made it clear he was an area cop, so I felt so NOT ok complaining about him. Anyone else had to deal with that?

Wednesday: Mom and B headed off to run errands (bless them!) while I had a job interview at a local bakery (yea!). They're not even really sure that they're hiring, but I should know this week. Fingers crossed! Washer/dryer arrives, looks beautiful, and works. Amen.

Thursday: More organizing and settling.

Friday: B leaves for bachelor party #2. Mattress arrives. Bed arrives. Everything finally in the apartment! Mom & I celebrate by hitting two "First Friday" events in nearby neighborhoods.

Saturday: Mom and I enjoy a lazy morning, then a five mile walk (she walked alll over our neighborhood this week in anticipation of her upcoming hiking vacation; go Mom!), then lunch at a cute town center across the river. We tried to go to church and failed, and Mom decided she'd head home on Sunday morning so she could get a few things done in Florence.

Sunday: Mom hugged me goodbye, I went back to sleep, then B arrived around 2pm, after I'd finished a few hours of work. We spent the afternoon laying in our new bed watching movies and bad TV (seriously, have you ever seen the Hotel Children of Orange County? It's not a slasher flick, but it is a scary true documentary of homeless kids) before walking our tails to Publix to get things for dinner. I'm trying not to fill our fridge, only buying what we need as we need it. Here's to budgets, minimalism, and the love of clean fridges!

So it's Monday now, I think. I'm working this morning while B sleeps off the rest of the bachelor party. The apartment is starting to feel like home; after all, it does have all our stuff!

B's awake! Love him.

Bar, Day 2

Did I tell you about the second day of the Bar? After the first day, B felt much better, so we enjoyed a pizza night in, watched a movie, and packed new snacks for him to take on the second day.

When I saw him for lunch, he was tired but ok. The funny thing was when I went to pick him up that afternoon.

I parked and watched as the first kids staggered out into the sun, still wearing their sweatshirts in the 100 degree heat. Then the next dozen came, moving faster. The third wave came out in a run and the fourth in a full sprint. I kid you not. I wish I'd had the track to School's Out for the Summer, because boy did it feel like that!

B came walking out amidst the rush, walking across the stream of the crazies, no less, with hands held high and a happy look of having completed his two days of intense testing.

No word on results until October. For now, we're just glad it's over!

15 Months!

At least I think it is. I've been up doing freelance work and, as my tax account proved when I sent her line 52 from our return as 2,5550, I am not so in touch with the digits these days.

Happy Anniversary, B! You're still sleeping (in our new bed! Happy dance!) after a bachelor party weekend in Savannah, but I love you very much all the same, perhaps even more because I know that any minute I could go pounce on you and wake you up in the worst way: singing. You're helpless. And I love that. And you.

This month is definitely in the running for Busiest Month of Our Marriage. In the last month, I've spent a week with my sister meeting baby T, B's flown up to meet baby T mid Bar studying, I trained for a temp position at my old job (which is just now starting), we finished house sitting, I was the focus of a photo shoot in my mother-in-law's kitchen for a magazine, B TOOK THE BAR (yes, it deserves caps), we arranged for all the basics of a move (gas, electric, address changes, cable, internet, storage, movers), we actually moved, I had my first trip to an Atlanta junk yard, both our cars got worked on, B had two back-to-back bachelor parties, I renewed my license in no-where Alabama, we made our first major purchases (bed, mattress, washer/dryer), and I had a job interview.

At a bakery. More on that later. Fingers crossed!

Seriously, we need a vacation, which is why we're heading out this week to Miami and Key West for a belated Bar trip. B's a good sport; I'm pretty sure he'd rather stay home and veg for the week after his two crazy weekends, but I'm ready to get out of town and enjoy some time just the two of us in a place where we can't organize or do life things. Maybe I'll regret it, but, in my experience, it's hard to regret anything while sitting co-pilot in a convertible. That's right, we rented one. Or at least I hope we did.

Like I said, it's been a busy month.

Work has picked up for me, which is great. I've been working with one of B's high school friends on building/writing websites and it's been a huge blessing! So far I've completed my work on three. I've also picked up two other paid blogging gigs, bringing the total to three. For the next few weeks, I'm temping at my old job, working full-time hours on content migration.

I will say that God is good. We've been savers and all, but it sure is nice to have checks coming in after making said first major purchases together, as well as planning a trip to the Keys!

B's update has been just as nutty. Tons of studying interspersed with taking Marley on long walks (though we're still not sure, due to Marley's excitement) who was walking whom. I've hopeful that my 16th month update on B will be oh-so boring. Hopefully he'll have time to sleep, rest, recharge, and get excited about starting his new job (August 23)!

The next month will be a fun one for us: first (longer than a weekend) vacation for the two of us since the honeymoon, first day at a new job (yea government health care!), a wedding in Maine for two of our dear friends (I plan to turn into a lobster by weekend's end), and my birthday.

The not-so-fun stuff we have to do? Figure out car insurance and tax issues. Which is what we're doing today. Which is why I'm encouraging B to sleep for as long as he can. I may have even drugged him. May...

Happy Anniversary, B! Here's to a fun year in hot, muggy Florida!

Bug Whisperer

I live with (and am married to) the Bug Whisperer. I'm sure you know people like B. Bugs love him, flock to him; he's the Pied Piper of winged creatures, much to his chagrin.

I first noticed this on our honeymoon, when we were waiting on our sunset cruise to depart and B was all but peeling the skin from his ankles. We've learned; now we have bug spray on hand and yet, still, bugs literally swarm him.

While moving in, we of course welcomed a few unintentional house guests through the near-constant opening and closing of doors. So now B's getting bitten inside.

But, fear not, for he has a secret. While he's also a Bug Whisperer, he's also the person most likely to send them to their maker. I once read that it's almost impossible to smush bugs because their eyes process faster than ours, so they literally see us coming even before we're there.

B, however, must have gotten rapid-fire magazine skills along with his perfect 20/20 vision. He can track and kill a mosquito with magazines, napkins, or, yes, even his bare hands. The only unwelcome result? We never notice them (of course) until after they've bitten us, so you can imagine what all these teeny-tiny smushed spots look like on our walls: blood.

I for one am thankful. I'll clean a wall, but I do NOT want to get eaten alive on my own couch. And for the first time ever, I'm sad that there aren't more spiders around, a sure result of the rampant baby lizard population that hops (yes, hops) around our sidewalks. Welcome to Florida!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I feel like I wish blogs were more like facebook, so then I could just write "...is behind," and be done with it.

Details to come, but I've officially moved to Jacksonville. I say "I" because B is en route tomorrow. Mom came down with me (THANK YOU GOD!), and is currently taking an unintentional cold shower. That's right, the gas people don't come on weekends. Sorry Momma. :(

The move was fairly uneventful, thanks to the help of friends and family, but the lead-up was anything but. In the past three days, both B's car and mine have been in the shop, duking it out to see who could become the next "what the hell IS that noise" contender. B's car won: A tune up, a new front seat, and a new fuel pump it is!

Let me just walk you through the past two days.

Friday: B leaves for Charleston (bachelor party, woot!). My car's in the shop leaking oil from every possible crevice (sorry B's parents' driveway). I'm with B's parents at the lake getting the boats out of the water and into storage. Blueberry ice cream was had and all was well.

Saturday: Learn that B's car needs a new seat because the rail beneath it is bent. Basically, B's been strapping himself into an ejector seat every time he's buckled his seat belt and hit the road. As his Dad said, "It doesn't help a whole lot to buckle yourself into a seat if the seat isn't buckled into anything!"

This, dear ones, lead to my first trip to an Atlanta junkyard. Now I've been to junkyards before, but never one with a front man named Jimmy who keeps trying to convince me to take his card and that he's not a rapist. I don't know what surprised me more: that the guys in the front office were super helpful in teaching me about fuel pumps and the going rate or that they had their entire inventory of cars catalogued by part. For real: '98 Jeep Cherokee Sport Front Electric Seat in Tan. "Absolutely," says Jimmy. "Come on down."

So "no down" we went, approving the seat (slight rust stain and all) and waiting for "Mike" to pull it out of the car. Yes, Mike, we want the bolts, too. Then B's Dad and I armed ourselves with fabric cleaner, leather cleaner, and deodorizer and went to work. As luck would have it, the "new" seat turned out cleaner than the original; we even realized the original has green in the fabric! As luck would have it, again, they may not need the seat, which means that if B's Dad is really into it, he could probably sell that bad boy on Ebay for a profit.

(Meanwhile, I have my Mother taking a shower in what the water heater says is 11 degree water, which she categorizes as "Not bad" and "maybe Celcius" in turn.)

After the trip to the junkyard and the epic cleaning, I hit the road and ran errands, purchasing a washer and dryer, returning books, buying wine, and picking up little Atlanta items to make Florida feel like home. I came back, did a few hours of freelance work, then welcomed Mom, who we celebrated with a fun dinner culminating in zero packing and four empty bottles of wine.

So here I sit, in my new lovely house, so excited for B to come and see it. That's right, he's signing on sight-unseen (which is what happens when you're studying for the Bar, bless him!), but I know he'll love it. The first thing I unpacked was his crystal bar set, one we've never set up.

Mom nailed it on the head; we've had houses, but this will be our first home. I can't wait to see where this chapter of our lives takes us.

To come? The gas people, the cable people, the POD people, and, of course, B!