Archive for May, 2009

  • 34 Facebook messages
  • 10 birthday cards
  • 9 blog comments
  • 6 emails (two of them e-cards)
  • 5 Twitter messages
  • 3 friends at my birthday dinner
  • 2 text messages
  • And 1 husband who drove 3.5 hours to surprise his wife (and her friends) for her golden birthday

Let’s just say, it was a pretty good day. :)

Read Full Post »

There’s another reason the hubz and I always take trips during the month of May. The first is to celebrate our anniversary, but the second is to celebrate my birthday, which is just five short days after our anniversary. This year is extra special because it’s my golden birthday, meaning I’ll be 27 on the 27th. Pretty cool, huh? Growing up, I always thought 27 was the perfect age to do just about anything – get married, buy a house, become a super famous movie star….anything. The one thing I thought 27 would be the perfect age for: have a baby. For the last few years I kept telling myself 27 was the year for babies. But, now that I’m 27, I’m about 99% sure that having a baby within the next year is not what I want to do, and I’m not about to concede to the pressure just so I can live up to this expectation I’ve placed in my own head about the number and becoming a parent.

Wait, how did this turn into a post about babies? I came here to tell you about my weekend and my birthday, NOT to talk about babies which I am NOT having!

Anyway, my birthday is tomorrow (Wednesday) and though I’ve built it up to be this big special day, it’s going to be more low-key than most birthdays in that I’m 1) working and 2) without a husband because he’s traveling this week. It will still be special because I’m having dinner with a few close girlfriends at a place I love, but it’s not going to be the big Vegas blowout I imagined in my dreams years before.  Of course, I knew all of this when we decided on the date for Hawaii and I was more than willing to just suck it up and work on my big day rather than pay extra for our vacation due to the holiday weekend or cause problems in the scheduling with the other couple we were vacationing with. When it all comes down to it, it’s just a day and who cares if I celebrate it a week or two earlier? Exactly.

Plus, it’s not like it’s anything new. I’m used to celebrating my birthday over the holiday weekend. “Memorial Day” has become synonymous with “my birthday” because that’s when we always celebrate it. This year, the weekend began with hubby coming home Friday night, three roses in hand – one for each year of marriage – and a gift bag of assorted things (candy, magazines featuring my favorite celebs, and a new wallet! The traditional three year anniversary gift is leather, after all).  Then he treated me to dinner at one of our favorite places, and though we had planned to see Angles & Demons afterward, I got the times mixed up so we had to see Terminator instead. (Side note: The DaVinci Code came out just before our wedding so the night before the wedding we escaped, just the two of us, and went to the movies to see it. We were sort of reliving that moment by attempting to see Angels & Demons, but I flubbed up the times and Terminator is not nearly as cool.)

My parents had already arrived at my house by the time we got home Friday night. Saturday we spent some time buying food for the BBQ and picking out plants and flowers to place around my deck. The plants/flowers were part of my birthday present from my mom. And my hubby needs no reason to be wonderful and plant them for me. See how pretty they turned out?


P.S. that is the deck we built all by ourselves last summer. We just put the lattice work up this spring. /end bragging.

Saturday night my grandparents, aunt, and cousin came over for the mini-party (yes, there was cake. Ice cream cake, to be exact.) It’s also convenient that my mom’s birthday is exactly a week after mine, so this year we celebrated both of our birthdays together. And guess what? We both got Wiis! I’d been planning to buy my mom a Wii for awhile and told her it would be her Mother’s Day and b-day present combined. But with all this talk of buying a Wii, hubz confused the conversations as me wanting a Wii for myself, so that’s what he bought me. Or maybe he just ran out of ideas. Either way, it’s still cool. Now, does anyone know of any awesome Wii games we need to get? I am clueless about this whole thing.

Sunday we finally saw Angels & Demons and Monday was more visiting with the family and checking out my aunt-in-law’s new consignment shop. I’m sure there was much more than that, but the weekend just went by in a blur and I’m blanking on everything we did at the moment.

So tell me, do you make a big deal out of your birthday on the actual day? Or do you typically celebrate on the nearest weekend?

Read Full Post »

I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier, but one of the reasons we typically vacation in May is to celebrate our wedding anniversary, which happens to be today, May 22.

So in honor of our third anniversary, I will save all the talky-talky and just show you pics of us from our trip.


All sweaty after our hike up to the top of Diamond Head, but what a view!


At Jimmy Buffet’s new restaurant, The Beachcomber.


Enjoying some pineapple ice cream at the Dole Plantation.


Swimming by the waterfall.


Kayaking out to one of the tiny islands at Lanikai.


My goofy beach hat. And hubz representin’ the ‘Lou.


Dinner date at Hula Grill (I highly recommend the crab wonton appetizer).


Enjoying some shaved ice (note the Obama photo on the left).


Chillaxin’ in the ‘stang.


Being silly on the beach.


Our last night in Hawaii, enjoying an authentic Blue Hawaiian. Sooooo good.



Okay just one more gag-inducing picture…


Happy anniversary baby! There’s no one I’d rather make out with in front of people on a tiny hill in Hawaii surrounded by pink flowers that spell “aloha”!

Read Full Post »

Aloha Hawaii!

Something I didn’t realize before this trip was that flying to Hawaii is a lot like flying to Europe, only backwards. There’s a 5 hour time difference between Hawaii time and Central time and flying time is more than 10 hours once you figure in layovers.

The trip had already begun on a down note, but we perked up a bit once we saw our friends we were traveling with (A & J) at the airport. (Side note: even though this was our first time traveling with A&J, I knew everything would work out just fine because A had researched just about everything before our trip. Having him around was like having our own personal travel guide with us everywhere we went. This was also his first trip to Hawaii but you would’ve never guessed it with all the info he had memorized.) A had told us that this particular leg of our flight was delayed 70% of the time over the last two weeks so it was no surprise to us when ours was delayed as well. There was some concern about making our connection – basically we wouldn’t have made it – but A had already made friends with one of the customer service reps and he hooked us up with an even better flight on another carrier (one that flew to LAX rather than our original flight which would’ve flown to Denver, then LAX before finally landing in Hawaii). We were pretty stoked about only having one layover.

The flight itself was pretty uneventful. J and I were on the lookout for celebs while in LAX but saw none. Our flight into Honolulu had us flying straight into the sunset for hours. About two hours from landing, an announcement came over the intercom that we had a very special person on board. No, it wasn’t me, but a pretty blonde girl who looked completely confused stood up and a few minutes later, her boyfriend was on one knee asking her to marry him, right there on the flight. She said yes, of course, and we all applauded. I love watching proposals, though if I were that guy, I probably would’ve waited until we were on the beach. A little more privacy and a lot more scenic. But, to each his own I suppose. It was still cute.

A little after 8 pm local time we finally arrived only to discover that there was a mixup with our bag and they would deliver it to our hotel later that night. This also turned out to be a good thing because there was no way we were fitting all of our suitcases into the black mustang convertible. Oh yeah, we had rented a mustang convertible for the week. The only way to ride in my opinion. (That just made me sound like a total ass didn’t it? Yep, okay, just checking.)

So we’re in the mustang and all of us are absolutely starving because our flight didn’t serve meals. So what do we do? We eat. Our first meal? Mickey D’s. Yep, our first real meal in Hawaii ended up being McDonald’s. Because we’re classy like that. At least A made an attempt to try something different. McDonald’s serves tarot pies instead of apple pies. But judging from A’s experience, you do not want to try this. And we should probably consider asking McDonald’s to please send apple pies to Hawaii because they are truly missing out. Just sayin’.

After we checked into our hotel, that was pretty much it for the night. We crashed almost immediately only to be woken up around midnight for our luggage delivery. Not that I minded. I was just glad it made it. I don’t think our friends would’ve appreciated our nude swimming otherwise.

Read Full Post »

May 6

Ever since I could legally drink, I’ve always loved Cinco de Mayo. It’s the perfect excuse to indulge in good tequila, frozen margaritas, and best of all, Mexican food. In St. Louis, there’s an authentic chain of Mexican restaurants called El Maguey. I love it, hubby hates it. Every day for a week, I told him we had to go there on Cinco de Mayo. If I catch him that far in advance, he will usually agree to almost anything. So we went a little late Tuesday evening to avoid the crowd and on the way home, he decided to call his parents and see what was going on back in Ohio. I overheard something about his grandma not feeling well so when he hung up the phone, I asked.

Hubby: Mom said grandma’s eye has been bothering her and she’s been having headaches.

Me: What about her shoulder pain she was having a couple of weeks ago when she was in Texas with your aunt?

Hubs: I don’t know. I guess it went away. Or maybe it still hurts. The doctor couldn’t find anything wrong with her.

Me: Ya know, I hate to say it, but I’m really kind of surprised she’s lasted this long.

Hubs: What do you mean?! She’s healthy as a horse.

Me: Well, ever since your grandpa died about a year and a half ago, she’s just been depressed. She has no will, no desire for life anymore. They were married for 61 years. Usually when older couples have been together that long, when one dies, the other one doesn’t survive long after. They just don’t want to.

The next day, we got the call that grandma had passed away. She wasn’t feeling well that morning so she went to take a nap in her bedroom. A couple of hours later, her daughter who had recently moved in with her to keep her company went in to check on her, but she didn’t wake up. My poor husband had just driven 4 hours away for work only to turn around as soon as he arrived and come right back home. We spent that evening waiting and weighing our options. May 6 was a Wednesday. Three days before our flight for Hawaii was scheduled to leave. Could they have the funeral as soon as Friday? Would we be able to change our flights if it were on Saturday? Would we have to cancel our entire trip?

There were a lot of questions and no good answers. Once we got word that the funeral was set for Saturday, we spent the next two hours talking to two different people at Expedia to try and move our flight back by one day. But the fee would be more than $4,000. More than the entire trip itself. We could cancel and reschedule but given the nature of hubby’s work, he has to give almost 6 months advanced notice if he’s taking any more than a couple of days off. But could we really miss his only grandma’s funeral? A grandma he was close with, that had been around his whole life, and whom we made it a point to visit just as often as his parents? It was a shitty situation all around. Too emotional and conflicted to decide for ourselves, we asked family – his parents, my parents, his sister, my grandparents – and they all said the same thing: Go to Hawaii. “Grandma would’ve told you to go to Hawaii,” his dad said. Unwilling to go without contributing in some way, we took Thursday and Friday off work and drove 8 hours to Ohio where hubby helped his dad prep the private grave site, right next to his grandpa. They also planted some flowers and did some yard work at his grandma’s house. They did anything to stay busy and keep their minds occupied. If I had to use a single word to describe the mood of the family, I would have to say “shock.” No one – not even me with my statements from the day before – had expected her to pass away then. Sadness hadn’t had a chance to settle into anyone’s mind just yet. Everyone just did what needed to be done, thinking this whole ritual was all too familiar as we had just gone through this with his grandpa less than 16 months ago.  At least then, the family had a few days to consider the possibility that he was dying as he laid in the hospital. There was really no preparation for this, because, as my husband had said, the family believed she was healthy as a horse.

Less than 24 hours after we arrived, we drove back home with barely enough time to pack for our vacation. A time usually filled with excitement and anticipation, much like Christmas Eve, felt more like the mid-point in a marathon. We were tired, exhausted both physically and emotionally, and we had about 12 hours of travel time still ahead of us.

to be continued…

Read Full Post »

We’re Back!

There’s much to tell – both before our trip and the drama that happened there as well as the trip itself.

But right now, I’m too tired and I have to get ready for my first day back in the office tomorrow. So instead, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite images out of the 400+ pics we took.



Read Full Post »