Monday, October 25, 2010

The Love For My Husband

As I sit here alone getting ready for bed, alone, I can't help but think of how lucky I am.

First, I should mention that I'm alone tonight only because my husband is on an overnight volunteer shift with a local EMS Dept. He's completed his EMT-I course but maintains a volunteer schedule that, at times, has him away from the home some nights and most weekends. He stays pretty busy. I should also mention how very proud I am of him. These last 5 months have been pretty taxing, for him and for me. He's managed to work (we work at the same place) 35+ hours M-F, attend a 9 hour EMT-I class every Wednesday, pull 200+ hours of clinical hours in less than 5 months, AND maintain his volunteer commitment with the EMS Dept. Again, proud.

This brings me to why I feel so lucky.

For those who know me, you know that I've been a happily married woman for (this month!) 8 years. You also know that I have actually been with my gorgeous husband for over 15 years. Yes, 15 years. I met my husband in high school. You know, the tumultuous high school years where every new guy you see and meet is a conquest to be your next boyfriend? Well, after meeting him it was love at first sight and a true bond was forged from the very first minute we met. I'll have to explain exactly how me met in another post, but for now I thought I would share my joy for my marriage, and the ever growing admiration I have for the love of my life.

My husband has been my dearest best friend since day one. I know this has been the foundation of our relationship. I honestly believe you have to be "friends" before you can be happy lovers, maybe not necessarily first, but you have to be friends. You have to actually like your husband, like you would like your friends. You can't love unless you can like, right? I not only like my husband a whole lot, I am truly, madly, deeply in love with him. Still. Notice the reference to the song, "Truly Madly Deeply"? It was our song. I still get emotional when I hear it today, 13 years after it was released.

Next, is respect. I wholeheartedly respect my husband with everything in me. Sometimes I may not always show it, but I respect him. I respect who he is and what he stands for. He's never wavered on changing himself for anything or anyone and that is something to be said for the times we live in today. People seem to change and adapt for reasons unknown to me. Not my husband. I love that about him. He's exceptionally smart and impeccably capable of anything and everything he sets out to do. For that alone, I respect his innate ability to strive to be not only his very best, but the best for both of us.

Something that is a huge part of what makes us work is our ability to just be ourselves. We don't change to suit the other. We never have. We love each other for what we are. We are comfortable enough in ourselves to not have to be something we're not, and we don't feel the need to hide anything from each other. Nothing. We are very open to one another. We hold nothing back. There are no secrets. There is no reason to ever feel any level of uneasiness.

We share everything. Thoughts, hopes, money, clothes, razors, socks... everything. Isn't that what marriage is about? The joining of two into one? We love knowing that what his is mine and what's mine is his. We wouldn't have it any other way.

We don't hold grudges. We don't regret anything. We don't argue unnecessarily. We don't go to sleep angry. We don't call each other names. We say "I love you" 489 times a day. We never hang up the phone without an "I love you". We always kiss each other goodbye. We hold hands as much as possible. We actually like hanging out with one another. We aren't jealous types. These are key elements in our happiness and success. For us anyway.

So why am I lucky? Well, I'm lucky to be in a happy, loving, caring marriage. Some can't say they have that and that makes me sad. I honestly believe there's someone out there for everyone. Everyone wants to find their soulmate and truly be happy for the rest of their lives - I really am lucky to not only have found my soulmate a long time ago, but still be wonderfully happy and insanely in-love all these years later.

It's been exactly 9 minutes since I started typing this. I knew this wouldn't take very long at all to type as I had my husband on my mind before bedtime and I knew my thoughts would just pour out.

I will leave you with this...

You too can be happy. You can be loved. No matter who you are, you too deserve to have peace in your life. You are someone's soulmate. Marriage is work, but has a huge payout if you work at it and appreciate it for what it is.

And with that, I bid you all a pleasant goodnight.

To my wonderful husband,

I love you. These three small words have such a huge meaning and I am truly grateful to have such a wonderful husband to tell them to every day. I look forward to our continued life together and I'll be there to hold your hand along the way. You are my shining light

Friday, October 22, 2010

Paranormal Activity 2 - Seen It Yet?

Anybody seen Paranormal Activity 2 yet? I’m a little hesitant to see it… I couldn’t sleep for like 3 days after the first one… EEEEK!

Let me know! Was it even scarier than the first one? 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Going Camping!

If you were going camping for the very first time in less than two weeks what would be some key items you'd be sure NOT to forget?

Yup, I'm going camping in w/my superduperawesome hubby for the very first time on November 1st for 3-4 nights and I'm sooooo nervous! I'm excited, yes.... very! BUT, I'm nervous too! What if I get eaten by bears?! Or mauled by a rabid raccoon? Yikes! Nah.... I'll be alright, right?

We're going to the gorgeous Grandfather Mountain in Banner Elk, NC, and I've even reserved the actual campsite I want! (that's the planner in me!)

Have you been camping? Did you enjoy it? Any tips for me? 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Spa Day" at the Umstead Hotel & Spa

I'm a lucky woman...

My hubby surprised me for my birthday with a "spa day", a day I'd always dreamed of; however, prior to 10/2 I had never even had a professional spa massage, much less a spa day! So, when he told me he was sending me to a spa for over 4 hours at the most elite spa in the area, I was elated! After filling me in on his surprise, he affectionately told me that he had put alot of thought into this, and in fact recruited the advice of his co-workers! They all suggested the Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, NC, and boy am I glad he listened! I've lived in the Raleigh area for going on 8 years and since the Umstead opened in 2004, it's maintained a reputation for being one of the best hotels & spas to visit in the world. I would have never thought I'd be going there anytime soon. The Umstead Hotel & Spa is rated 5 Stars & it's listed as a member of "The Leading Hotels of the World". Wow. Upon walking into this place I could easily see why...

My appointment was for 9 a.m. last Tuesday. I was the first appointment, which meant I was doted on 100%. A great first impression indeed! I was greeted with chamomile tea and comfy slippers. Ahhhh....

My "services" for the day were a 80 minute Swedish Hot Stone Massage & a 50 minute Pomegranate Spa Pedicure. My husband set it up where I could get my massage and then have time in-between to relax before getting my pedicure. I'm a bit spastic, so it was actually hard to relax, BUT, I managed to! In this place, it wasn't hard!

After a quick tour before my 9a.m. massage I had a few minutes to relax in the lounge. Lemon/Honey water, banana chips, macadamia nuts, and fresh fruit awaited me. I sat in front of the fireplace in my robe ready to embark on the relaxing day to come. I was already in heaven and I hadn't even had my massage yet!

I honestly could have stayed in this room forever and been a-OK! After a few minutes I was greeted by my masseuse, Tamika. She escorted me upstairs to the therapy areas and showed me the zen garden and other relaxing areas to enjoy after the massage. I wish I had stayed longer to enjoy those areas. Ah well, next time. After a quick q&a, I was ready...

My "spa" look... Not necessarily my best look! :)
This was the after effect...
See the grin? Ear to ear! Even though I know I look a hot mess!
It was without a doubt the best 80 minutes of my life. Truly. The hot stones. Tamika. The setting. Everything. Just absolutely wonderful. It was now time to relax some more before my pedicure. Oh what to do...

Patrons of the Umstead Spa are able to enjoy a slew of amenities including, a steam room, sauna, whirlpool, zen garden, meditation room, pool, hotel restaurant, just to name a few. I decided on the sauna to start, but after about 6 minutes and feeling a little faint, I tried something else. I was so darn relaxed from my massage, I guess my blood pressure dropped so low I just couldn't handle the heat. I went back to my favorite room, the lounge. The banana chips were calling! ;)

It was pedicure time!
I should mention that in addition to being a virgin to spa massages, I have also never been lucky enough to receive a spa pedicure. I've only had the Walmart type of pedicures. Sad, right? This was sure to be a treat for me! I fell in love with this color immediately.
Essie's "Merino Cool"
I mentioned above it was a "Pomegranate" pedicure.. well, they actually rubbed fresh pomegranate all over my lower legs and feet. Can you say, AWESOME! What a natural exfoliant! Not to mention it smelled incredible. See the look on my face?

Again, "spa" look... not my best look! ;)
I'm actually rather ticklish, OK, really, really ticklish, but this I could stand! I was in footsie heaven. For my first spa pedicure, how amazing!

Bubbles, Pomegranate, and Chamomile... oh my!

I knew after my pedicure my spa day would be almost over, but not until after I got to enjoy their showers. And let it be known, these weren't your average, run of the mill showers... oh no... they were outstanding! Rain heads, natural lighting, frosted doors, spa quality toiletries, and terry cloth towels... again, heaven.

Was it really time to go? It was so hard to leave. I finally had started to relax! ;)

I don't know what my husband will do to top himself next time, but I'm sure it'll be something as special as my spa day. I honestly had a wonderful time there and I couldn't have been happier with my gift. I am a lucky woman to have such a thoughtful husband who would think of something like this, and it ended up being exactly what I needed!

If you live near the Raleigh, NC area and you haven't been to the Umstead Hotel & Spa, I sincerely recommend it! Wholeheartedly! You can check out their site HERE. Be sure to check out their great specials!

What a great birthday! Thank you hubby!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The "Leave-It" Trick - Dog Training

It's doggie video day! :-)

I taught my lab this in under 15 minutes. He's known "paw" since he was very, very young, but I wanted to see if I could actually get him to lift his paw higher for "high five". I should note that I had just finished watching 'Borat' for the umpteenth time with my hubby so I did it "Borat Style". Thus the Borat inspired tone... Enjoy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Life As We Know It - My Review

With my husband's crazy chaotic schedule these past few months, having quality time with him is rare. Very rare. So when I found out that he was "off" on Saturday, October 2nd I JUMPED at the chance to plan our day to the fullest! PLUS, this was when we both decided to celebrate my 31st birthday. Perfect!

While trying to find something for us to do, or somewhere for us to go, I figured why not just go see a movie. We LOVE movies, and it's been awhile since we've seen one together, so why not? While on my favorite site, I found out that a local theater was doing a 7:30 p.m. advance screening of 'Life As We Know It'. I had already planned on seeing it when it came out on Friday, October 8th... I even posted the trailer here. Now I was going to be able to see it a week early?! Awesome! I bought my tickets pronto! (BTW, I love, love, love Fandango! If you haven't done movies the Fandango way, you're missing out!)

After eating delicious wings and getting a few beers at Buffalo Brothers we made our way to the theater. I thought it was going to be packed, being 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday night after all, but it really wasn't that bad. Hey, no complaints here! I was quickly disappointed only because there were NO previews! I love previews! I guess they don't do them during advance screenings? I dunno. Anywho... onto the review.

I really, really enjoyed the movie. Why? Why not. I thought Katherine Heigl was very vibrant in her role. In her "real life" she's a new mother to an adopted daughter, and I believe I'm correct in saying that she became a new mother during filming of this very movie... a perfect blend of art imitating life.

Let me just say, I  will not spoil the movie to anyone. The previews already give you an idea of what the film's about. What I will say is, it's so true so you don't have to give birth to a child to be a parent. You don't have to be pregnant for 9-10 months to form a bond with a child. A child will bring joy to your life no matter what stage of life you enter it. And vice versa. I thought the movie portrayed that. It also showed the very fine balance that is life in general, and what you must do to appreciate the fact that it may not always work out exactly as you so meticulously planned it. And, that's OK. Life is meant to be a ride. Life is meant to throw you curve balls. It's how you deal with those curve balls that define you. As a person and as a parent.

I thought Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel had amazing chemistry. They were beautiful together. I was really pleased to see this softer side to Josh Duhamel, more so than other movies he's been in recently, i.e. 'Transformers'.

I commend Katherine Heigl to leave Grey's Anatomy to focus on her film career. I truly loved her role as Dr. Izzy Stevens, and I honestly miss her, but I think she is a great actress, and romantic comedy suits her very well. I loved 27 Dresses, Knocked Up, The Killers, and The Ugly Truth, so I had a suspicion I would love this movie as well.

I'm thrilled I wasn't disappointed. I don't think you will be either.

'Life As We Know It' opens nationwide on Friday, October 8th!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Birthday Lunch w/my Bestie!

My bestie, Dani took me to Piola in Raleigh, NC for my birthday yesterday. It was awesome! Very authentic! Piola is located in NYC; Miami; D.C; Atlanta; Naples, FL; & Chapel Hill, NC. & many international locales! If you’re near these areas, I thoroughly recommend it!

Check out their site HERE!

*Photo edited w/ the iPhone app “Color Splash” - I’m addicted to it!