ShabbyBlogs - Must be Maddie

Monday, August 30, 2010

Girl time is like therapy

Scale Image from LenovoBlogs

There's nothing like a little girl time to help me feel more balanced. I met 2 co-workers Friday afternoon to watch Eat Love Pray. The movie was great, I loved Julie Roberts and think she portrayed Liz Gilbert pretty well (at least in comparison to the character I created in my mind). I'm glad I was with girlfriends rather than Husband to see it too. There were a lot of interesting points made in the movie and I am happy I had girlfriends as discussion partners afterward.

As we sipped wine & ate appetizers, we started discussing portions of the movie. For example, since I'm the only one who has not traveled out of the country, every time I saw delicious Italian food or lovely scenery I sighed out of my desire to travel. One friend noted that instead of feeling bitter about not having traveled, she noticed my sighs were optimistic. With that we segued into a discussion about expanding and broadening our life experiences, whether it be trying new foods or traveling or opening ourselves up.

Both of these women have seen more life than I have...and their lives have been more complicated too. They've experienced crazy ex-wives, step-children, divorce, parental loss, you name it. I'm a baby in comparison so I appreciated hearing their perspectives. I tried to soak in as much guidance and wisdom as I could.

I realize this now as I look back on the evening that this was a bit of a milestone in our friendships. This was the first time we really opened up and shared ourselves with each other. This is not an easy choice to make, to open yourself up and be vulnerable. We all made the choice, although I'm sure wine lubricated the conversation and gave us some liquid courage, but we each still made that choice to open ourselves up. We know some details about each others lives like they know about my adoration of Charlottesville, I know about their latest vacations and such. But on Friday we delved deeper into the things that we struggle with.

I shared a piece of myself I reserve for only very close friends. I struggle with my relationship with my parents, just like everyone else. But I felt like I could be vulnerable and honest with them and in return I got good advice on how to work through some of my issues. I think this is the heart of friendship. Being open with each other and helping each other grow and move forward.

These ladies have crossed over from co-workers to friends. And as I headed home I noticed how rejuvenated and positive I felt. Like my girl time tank was on empty and now I was filled to the top with happy memories. Girl time is like therapy, but with more wine and laughter.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pink nails

Polished and timeless,
It's girly and feminine,
I love light pink nails

I inherently love
pink nails. It's pretty and sophisticated. A timeless classic to me. Pink nails make me feel beautiful. It's my go-to color when I'm unsure if I want sassy red or daring navy. Pink nails just make me happy, like homemade cookies, stolen kisses, and a freshly made bed.

Some favorites:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

1st Anniversary Dinner

(This is a lighter picture of us at Bluemont)

"Oooo there's a Wegmans, do you wanna go there?"

"I do love Wegmans...yeah I'll pull over."

We stopped by Wegmans on our anniversary to pick up some food for dinner. Strolling through the meat section Husband found BOAR BACON. We had never seen boar bacon before so we had to try some. With our recent ingredient discovery, we decided to make our own pizzas.
Yum, bacon. It tasted like not-as-tough, smoked jerky with a bit of a gamier flavor.

We started with nan and put pesto on one and barbecue sauce on the other...

Added mozzarella...
Then we added the boar bacon, prosciutto, basil & olive oil.
Pizzas have to have cheese, so we added smoked Gouda and Parmesan.

Into the oven for about 20 minute until they were warmed through and the cheese was melted.
We opened up a 2008 bottle of Bluemont Merlot. It was the most delicious home made pizzas we have ever made.

Then we had our banana and almond frosted cake from last year. It wasn't as fresh but still yummy.
Happy Anniversary my SweetiePieHoneyBunches.

Friday, August 20, 2010

ABCs of Wedded Happiness

First I want to start off by saying I am not a fan of the "in-law" titles. Isn't there a nicer, less formal way of identifying your mom from your husband's mom? Maybe I'm biased because I'm really lucky to love love love the new family I'm a part of. Since I was 16 years old I've wanted to be a part of their family and now that I am, "mother/father/sister/brother-in-law" just doesn't seem like a warm enough title. Until I can figure out better nick names, MIL and FIL will be MamaH and PapaH.

Anyway MamaH emailed me an article about the ABCs of wedded bliss. She said PapaH was reading through his parents correspondence and found this article in a letter dated 8/16/1945! For a 65 yr old article, there are still a lot of great relationship suggestions.

Some of my favorites:
-Adaptability - Cultivate a taste for each other's tastes
-Need of each other - Make yourself necessary to your husband's or wife's happiness
-Tenderness - Whatever you are to other people, be all heart to your husband or wife
-Yes them - Flattery is the oil that lubricates the domestic machinery and makes it click

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Personal Evolution

People have a funny way of evolving and I’ve found it’s in ways I least expect. Here I am navigating through life and discovering new things about myself. For example, I have never been an outdoorsy gal but I’ve always been a girlie girl to the nth degree. I was never in brownies or girl scouts – I had zero interest in it as a girl. But I'm discovering new enjoyments like hiking and being in the mountains.

It used to be when I thought about “vacations” I thought beaches, sunshine, and water. But now when I think about vacations I think mountains, foliage, and big sky. Husband is introducing me to the beauty in nature and I have to admit I’m loving it. I never thought I would enjoy hiking or being in the mountains.

Another discovery is my growing interest in beer. I steered clear of beer in college, mainly out of fear of gaining the freshman 15. But with Husband making home brews and his dream of opening his own brewery one day, I figure it’s in my best interest to learn to love it. After a couple brewery visits, and drinking more fruity beers (like blueberry, banana, and strawberry beers) I’m starting to appreciate the beverage more for what it is…a mash of grains & sugar that with a little love and work, evolve into this beloved carbonated drink.

A major unexpected surprise is my enjoyment of shooting. No not on the billiard tables, though I can kick anyone’s booty. I’m talking about shooting firearms. I have some experience with pistols and shot guns and I’m open to trying whatever. Yeah guns are a bit scary but it’s a healthy scary because it forces you to be careful and knowledgeable about what you’re doing.

If you’ve never shot a gun before it’s an experience unlike anything else. It’s an adrenaline rush. Loading the magazine with bullets and getting the gun prepared for shooting makes me nervous, but once I’m set, I’m ready to tear up my target. It takes focus and patience, and good eye sight helps. It’s an individual sport that can also be a team sport. I’m always the most competitive against myself so I like the individual aspect of shooting. How consistent can I be? What part of the target do I aim for next? It is a liberating experience. I mean, you’ve got a lot of power in your hands and you are responsible for it. My motive behind learning how to shoot is self protection. For me (and Husband) it’s comforting knowing that if, God forbid, anything were to attack me, I am experienced enough to stop the attacker and protect myself. If your significant other or family owns guns, it’s important to understand how it works and how to shoot it. Of course this goes without saying but shooting is not for everyone and I respect that.

I guess in general I’m opening myself up to what I considered “masculine” hobbies. I’m learning to see and appreciate the link back to our history. Back in the day we used to live in the wild without Walmarts and Wegmans. We used to build houses with our own hands. We used to shoot animals because our livelihood depended on it. And through the ages we have always leaned on alcohol for social occasions and personal enjoyment.

I like learning new things about myself, who knows what other personal discoveries are waiting for me in the future.

Our 1st Anniversary

It's been a year since we said "I do." About a year ago I was worrying about seating carts and final head counts and looking forward to the rest of my life with my best friend.

Photographer Joseph Allen

Photographer Joseph Allen

For our first anniversary we didn't have big plans, just to spend the day with each other. Since we still live close to our wedding venue, we decided to drive out to Bluemont Vineyard for lunch.

The drive out there was one of the best car rides we have had in a long time. Since the beginning of our courtship, I have always loved our conversations in the car. When we were still living with our parents, the car was our escape, our time and space to talk freely without offending the parental units (because sometimes we curse like sailors).

So while we were driving to the winery we started discussing some of the lessons we’ve learned this year. Some of these are no-brainers, but lessons none the less.

  • Don’t stress! It’s bad for our health
  • We hate dirty dishes
  • Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself (I want to be the perfect wife, but being imperfect is better than going crazy striving for perfection.)
  • Parents will always be a challenge
  • It’s important to be open with each other
  • Be direct, ask for what you want
  • Date nights are totally needed

As we drove up the steep, winding gravel road, I remembered this same drive last year. Riding up with my best friends, the anticipation and excitement was palpable.

Photographer Joseph Allen

I felt similar feelings a year later, but when we got to the top my heart sank; the winery was dripping with people. So much for an intimate lunch.

We walked up to the Cellar and there was absolutely no where to sit and the bar was several people deep. I inched my way in and asked for a menu and the woman said, ‘there’s no menu, but we are serving chicken salad sandwiches.’ Slight heart break. We didn’t drive 45 minutes to have a chicken salad sandwich in a crowded room with nowhere to sit. We looked at each other and knew we’d be having lunch somewhere else.

Before we left, we took some pictures of the fantastic view.

Photographer ME!

We made it through a tough year. We went through a lot this year: moving a couple times, almost buying a house, merging our stuff and our lives, having 2 cars die, buying new cars together, health scares, etc. Life was testing us in this first year of marriage but we prevailed, as a stronger, wiser team. Team Procious, to the end.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Funday Sunday Part III

We were up early on Sunday…like 8am. We leisurely cleaned up the disheveled house, a consequence of Collateral Damage Drew. At 11am we headed out to Beer Run for brunch. Beer Run is a really cool restaurant and beer distributor. There’s outdoor seating and the menu is made with local and organic ingredients. Beer Run also sells a large variety of beers and delivers beer to your house. I couldn’t believe such a place could exist…It’s just another reason I love Charlottesville.

As I was looking over the menu I was contemplating getting a drink of alcoholic nature. Peer-Pressure Procious said I should get one and Collateral Damage Drew reasoned it was FUNDAY SUNDAY so I have to order a drink. So to start our meal, Drew and I got mimosas and Husband ordered the Devils Backbone Gargamel beer. For my meal I ordered Clint Eastwoods “Hang’em High” Huevos which had local eggs, red bell peppers, and pepper jack cheese with tomatillo salsa. It was delicious with a great, clean flavor, not processed flavor like eggs from Denny’s. The boys ordered eggs with crab meat and all sorts of other goodness including pesto grits. The combination of pesto and grits was unexpected but very tasty. After another round of mimosas and beer, Husband and I decided to stay in town for the rest of the afternoon.

I really wanted to stop by Splendora’s to see if they had pink peppercorn gelato – don’t judge it’s very good and I highly recommend it. It’s not overly sweet and the cold gelato is complimented with a hint of peppery spice. Unfortunately they were out so I got Tres Leches instead, not like this was a step down or anything. It was a taste of heaven topped with sweetened condensed milk.
While we were walking around downtown I spotted a rainbow of pashminas being sold by one of the street vendors. The colors and soft texture of the scarves pulled me in, and the price was right at $10. Shut the front door and find me an ATM. I ended up falling in love with these sliver lace-like earrings as well because they’re pretty and light too. I’m planning on purchasing a gold pair the next time I’m in town.
The next stop was the Starr Hill brewery. This brewery was the actual brew/bottle/sell facility and didn’t have a restaurant feel like Devil’s Backbone. It was definitely their warehouse but they had a small bar stand set up where you could test their beers. I’m a fan of their “Love” beer which is a hefeweizen with hints of banana, clove, and lemon; it’s light and fruity but the banana flavor is subtle too. We took a tour of their facility and got to see their process of brewing and bottling beer. It was interesting to see how they do things because Husband & Drew home brew. Since we were in Charlottesville living up this glutinous, indulgent weekend, Husband and I decided to get souvenirs. I got a pink t-shirt and Husband got a belt buckle.

It was starting to get late and we still had a two hour drive ahead of us, so we headed back to Nova. When we got home, I could feel that I was tensed from sitting in traffic, annoyed that our house was a wreck, hungry, and in general coming down from my Charlottesville high. Husband must have been feeling it too because he looked at me and said ‘Nova makes me crazy but Charlottesville makes me see you clearer. I can see you without so many distractions.’ It gives me peace and hope knowing that we have found a place we truly love. It gives us direction and motivation for our future. I love my future with him.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Like a love sick crack head

It felt like it had been ages since I laid my head in his lap. Sometimes I think I’m addicted to him. Like I can’t get enough hugs and kisses to fill me up, even though I know yesterday’s fix was plenty. It’s like my skin craves his hands, just a passing touch on my shoulder or a kiss on my forehead. I want to be as close to him as possible.

It had been 3 months since we had a couch...oh how I have missed the closeness and cuddling that comes with couches.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy Charlottesville Weekend Part II

I was looking forward to the morning because the boys promised to take me on a hike. Drew’s cousins have a nature trail in their neighborhood and I was excited because I’ve never been hiking before. The nature trail was a good introduction to hiking. There wasn’t much of an elevation incline but it wasn’t flat either. It was easy to follow the trail because there were blazes (painted markers) on the trees…and because Husband was blazing away in front.

I realized I liked being alone in the woods, which was a little surprising. It was peaceful and I could hear myself think. There was nothing but the sound of our breathing and the birds singing. A nice change from Nova when the only things I hear are cicadas and cars. We only hiked for 30 min or so because we wanted to head out to a brewery for lunch…but honestly I could have happily hiked all morning.
As I was backing out of the driveway I heard a *crunch.* That’s right, I tapped the parked Prius sitting directly across from the driveway. Luckily there was no damage to the Prius and my poor Acura TL only has a little scratch on the back bumper. Oh and apparently this wasn’t the first time this has happened. Drew’s cousin Tori has backed into their neighbor’s car before too; the neighbors haven’t realized that parking across from a driveway is a terrible idea.
The weird thing is I had a feeling something like this might happen during the weekend. I don’t really know why but during the drive to Charlottesville on Friday I had a bad feeling about driving. Unfortunately I was right, but thankfully it was minor. Does anyone else get premonitions about things?
We drove to Devils Backbone Brewery for lunch and we were kind of in the middle of nowhere, but it was beautiful. The brewery/restaurant was big and rustic. The entire building is made of local or recycled materials, which I thought was really cool. Inside there was a lot of natural sunlight and dark wood furnishings. And lunch was fantastic. I had a chicken pita and Husband had the wild game sausage platter. Both were yummy! For Husband and me the saying “when in Rome” applies to Charlottesville…so we got t-shirts and a “Get Boned” bumper sticker for the Jeep. Oh and the beers were great! I think I got the Summer Haze and it was a light and fruity. It reminded me of hefeweizens which I like. And we got a sampler of all their beers; 10 tasters. I highly suggest visiting Devils Backbone if you’re in the Charlottesville area.
On the way back to town, we stopped by a road side stand to look at their honey and jellies. I have never seen so many honeys before in my life (and I’m a frequent visitor of Wegmans – the food store of awesomeness). We picked up some honey for us and apple butter for Greg’s stepdad.
The boys enjoyed drooling over the stand owner’s ’62-ish Corvette.
The rest of the night was fairly uneventful. We were tired and a bit worn out from the night before and our morning hike. We wanted surf & turf, so we stopped by Foods of All Nations for some scallops and beef to go with our red corn and zucchini. I love no pressure, Happy Charlottesville weekends!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Charlottesville Weekend Part I

We decided we wanted to get there as soon as possible and left Friday night (instead of Saturday) for Charlottesville. We got into town just in time to find intoxicated Drama Drew at Blue Light Grill & Bar in downtown Cville. Of course we knew we were in for a night to remember when we got a text from Drew saying my new favorite shot is tequila with a Jager bomb chaser. Husband called it, as soon as we walk in the bar, everyone will know because Drew will give us a loud welcome. He wasn’t wrong. GREG********!!! PEACHES!!!! My favorite people EVER!!! It was a loving, boisterous welcome; he’s a good friend. He told us about 12 times that night how much of a good friend he is because he passed up going home with some sexy Latina so he could be with us instead.

We were significantly behind him on the drunken scale; he had been going strong since 4pm…it was about midnight. Since I was driving us home, I nursed a beer for an hour or two, while Husband caught up a little and Drew, well he continued being drunk. I have to say, drunk Drew is hilarious. Example, he was sitting at the bar with Mama L, who is a good looking older woman who happens to be the mom of one of Drew’s friends. Husband and I sat and observed him encroaching on Mama L’s personal bubble. One sentence after the next, Drew inched closer and closer to her, and Husband and I sat from behind and just laughed and laughed.

Soon after it was time to go and somehow, in his drunken stupor Drew managed to give me directions back to the house. He’s staying with his cousin, Tori and her husband, Rob in their beautiful 4 bedroom, 3 bath home. This house is so peaceful and relaxing, it’s like a hotel. Calming shades of blue and sandy beiges makes it feel like a beach house in the mountains. I would have to say my favorite part is the back porch. It’s screened in to keep the buggies out with an overhead fan, candles for a cozy atmosphere and comfy seating. They even have a fire pit! Their two adorable dogs, Berkley and Tucker play with each other in the fenced in backyard.

Anyways back to our drunken evening with Drew…the boys love to cook together, it’s cute and I benefit from the fruits of their labor. So they made eggs and bacon and I watched as the debauchery continued. As we were eating in the breakfast nook (how appropriate with our bacon and eggs…minus the fact that it was 3am), Drew lifts the table and tells us “I’m SO strong!!!” Husband responds, Peaches could lift this table with one hand, put the table down and eat your eggs. Drew proceeds to tell us about a saying his dad has about him, “when you hang out with Drew you will have a good time, but there will be collateral damage”…like a messy kitchen, or falling into one of the porch screens. Collateral Damage Drew. We love him, drunken Drewbachery and all.

I’ll leave you with some beautiful views, waiting for me the next morning.