Friday, April 22, 2011

A Look Back

I posted this on a short lived blog about a year ago before Evan got me my very own website (what what) and thought it would be fun to bring these memories back to center stage.

I am eagerly anticipating summer and excited about celebrating our first anniversary! Crazy to think it's already been a year since all these unforgettable moments. This was by far the best summer of my life.

First: Bridesmaid's Luncheon and Rehearsal Dinner
I got to kick off the wedding festivities with my girls. We had a snazzy lunch at my mom's friend's house and got to laugh and play dress up before everything started. I have the best friends ever. 
At the Bridesmaids Luncheon---alll my favorites in one place. The beginning of the perfect weekend. 

I did alot of planning for our big day, so there were little to no surprises along the way. The rehearsal dinner on the other hand was in Evan's hands and the very capable hand of Blanche and Lisa. Pulling up to my very own message from Frenchy was a life long dream realized. I didn't know I had that dream until that night. It was a glorious, orange-filled moment.

Second up: Wedding

This is where it all started. I know everyone says their wedding was the best day ever, and I am just going to join the club. I LOVED every minute. Probably because I got pampered all day long, but every moment, laugh, tear, smile, dance... was perfect. I love to relive this day! Thanks to Aves, we can!
The guys. 

Sweet moments. 

The girls. 

After months of planning and waiting and stressing out, we got to go on vacation. Of course, I managed to add more stress to the whole weekend by not realizing my passport had expired until Thursday night. Thanks to Congressman Michael Burgess and his wonderful assistant, I was official again within 24 hours. I'm not sure where the tradition of the honeymoon started, but that was one very smart bride and groom. It was the best feeling in the world to hop on a plane the next day with my HUSBAND and just get to be alone with him for awhile. We stayed at a wonderful resort in Cancun and didn't leave the property for four days. Sleeping, eating, laying out, reading... just what we needed. 
The perfect spot--under the shade, by the quiet pool, overlooking the beach. Evan would wake up early to go claim these chairs. What a guy! 
Sitting with Mr. Vierling .... the hotel mixed up our names  during our stay. Evan put up with it and I laughed every time room service came to our room. 
So much delicious food....

When we got home, we were able to celebrate with two very important guys... our dads! I'm glad we made it back in time for Father's Day. 

Last, but not Least: Sonoma, CA
After being in our new home for about 2 weeks, we set off again- this time to California! We were so blessed by Evan's mom and stepdad Bill with this once-in-a-lifetime family trip to the wine country. We stayed at a wonderful little bed and breakfast and spent alot of time just laughing and talking with everyone. I am so lucky to have acquired so many fun brothers and sisters! 
We got to see the Golden Gate Bridge with Alex, Suzanne and Perry. It was very windy up on this hill and I think this picture captures the moment perfectly. 

The best part of the week was definitely the Seqway wine tour. Add motorized toys to a few sips of wine and turn 12 adults loose... it is sure to be a good time. I have not laughed that hard in a long time. 

And now here we are, almost two months into marriage and we've been home for maybe a month of that time. We are happy, traveled and probably spoiled. And we like it. 

Can't wait to see what we get ourselves into this summer! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mondays with Marin

To try to keep this blog from being overly dog focused, I'm only going to allow Marin-centric posts on Mondays. If we are this obsessed with our dog, what's going to happen when we have a human child?! Brace yourselves.

Marin did hit a landmark this past week. She turned one! At least, we think she did. Rescuing a pound puppy has so many perks, but exact dates and pre-adoption info is very lacking. Oh well. We guesstimated and celebrated April 10th as Marin Day. She got a few things to chew on and destroy and a trip to the park.

She is such a good dog and I know I owe a lot of this to Evan and his Caesar-like ways, but I just never dreamed I would be able to run and walk with my dog off the leash and play fetch out in the open in a park as people walk by. It makes me feel so powerful and in control. My childhood pal, Corky, bless her little chubby heart, never really could do anything besides go to her kennel on command. I distinctly remember trying to run a mile with Corky one day and carrying her about half the time just to make it back home. Not my most confident and in control moment.

Marin has made both of us feel awesome and we often say that our kids better be as obedient as Marin because we are so spoiled now.

Here is our little one year old... I've been storing up some cute pics just for this....

Asleep on her new bed and confiscated pillow. I think she looks like a little kid here. Too cute.

This is NOT poop. It is the remains of toy number 5 that has succumb to Marin's super power teeth. 

Out hiking in Denton. She carries her own water, ball for playing, my phone and keys. People stare and that's okay. She is so hard core! 

Evan hates this, but recently when I was sick Marin cuddled with me on the bed.  She is a little snuggler. 

Look at me, I'm one!! 

Posing for her birthday picture. 

We helped move some of my parents furniture and had a pile of towels and blankets from the truck on the floor. She decided this was way better than her bed. She's been in this spot for about three days now. 

Happy Birthday Marin!

Friday, April 8, 2011

If they are irises...

In Italy, there is a saying that goes like this:

"Se sono rose, fiorianno."

If they are roses, they will bloom.

Italian flower market in Piazza Repubblica

Italians use this saying to describe a budding romance. If the couple is truly meant to be together, then no matter what life throws in their way, they will one day be united. If it is truly love, then it will all work out.

Now, I'm not going to analyze the saying too deeply. Sometimes its better to let beautiful words just remain as they are and not ruin the sentimental, yet unrealistic, thought behind it all. Plus, I like the fact that I remember how to say something from my two years talking with Italians.

The idea of these roses blooming regardless of their situation got me thinking. Life in Italy just tends to be bella. Beautiful. Even when things are crappy, Italians and their language have a way of making it all va bene.

Their food is beautiful; perfectly cooked pasta can make their whole day.
Their cities are (for the most part) stunning. You can't have a bad attitude when taking in a view like this:
My all time favorite spot, overlooking Florence from Piazza Michelangelo. 

So, after three years of being back in the United States, how can I get the Italian attitude of "se sono rose, fiorianno" to apply?

Just this morning it dawned on me. Literally, I was up early. The wonderful husband and I have been seizing the day so to speak and working out at 6 am. Brutal, but very important to maintain the "bella figura." You can't eat macaroni and cheese and Little Caesar's pizza and not expect to pay for it. It's unhealthy and more importantly un-Italian. Lose, lose.

Back to my realization, this morning I saw the most amazing feat of spring. Some long forgotten purple irises had bloomed overnight in our backyard. Gorgeous, natural, and totally by the grace of God - because we all know I didn't water them.

Can you believe this is in my backyard?! 
Evan has told me before of the special relationship Denton has with the iris. I'm not sure the exact history, but if you look around at the older neighborhoods in the city, they all have a section of their garden dedicated to irises. The new neighborhoods don't count, because they are filled with mostly twenty-to-thirty somethings like me who have lost the art of gardening or keeping any plant alive for that matter...we know that weeds are bad and that's about as far as we get.

You have to drive around the older parts of town. Where the cars are more like boats and they've installed hand rails along the front walk. Those people have irises and they probably also know why they are important to Denton.

Maybe someday I'll go knock on a door and ask a cute little old woman what the deal is with irises, but in the meantime I know this: Its doesn't matter if you water them properly (or at all), it doesn't matter where you plant them, it doesn't matter if your dog runs over them while chasing a tennis ball (everyday)...

Se sono iris, fiorianno.
If they are irises in Denton, they will bloom.

This all makes me think of they very cheesy American saying, "bloom where you are planted." Whatever the place or season of life, there is a plan and purpose and a way to thrive. I think what I'm trying to say among all this flower talk is that I want to be able to thrive wherever God puts me...whether that's among fragrant Italian roses, independent Denton irises, or just a bunch of weeds somewhere.

If God plants us somewhere, we will get to know Him more.
Fioriremo! We will bloom.

If you've noticed, I've rambled on this blog about trusting God in times of change and now all this silly flower talk... and I promise there is a reason. I hope to connect all my processing to actual events here soon and maybe not sound so crazy, mushy and abstract.

And you never know... the next place God takes us, I may have a garden full of things that are pretty, colorful and alive. I will try my best. Until then, I'll enjoy my irises, put the dog on a leash and refresh my Italian. I really need to know more than just random phrases about roses.

She looks guilty already. We'll see how long the flowers last.