Monday, August 31, 2009

Making it legal (or trying, at least)...

Picked up the wedding license this afternoon, which – incase you were wondering – takes much (much) longer than necessary.

There is a whole section of the 2nd floor of the Records Building downtown devoted to birth, death and marriage licenses. Once you exit the elevator, you’ll see it to your right. Since Trevor and I had already filled out the online portion of the application, the signs directed us to queue up in front of the desk. So we did.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

There were bunches of people working in the department, but only one seemed to be helping anybody. Finally, an employee in the back noticed the hordes of people waiting, and yelled, “Hey! The line’s long again.”

After thirty seconds or so (I think everyone was hoping someone else would get up so they wouldn’t have to), a single worker got up from her desk and slowly walked to the counter. After an audible sigh (followed by a visible eye roll) she said, “Next”.

Obviously, the people in line were only existed to annoy her.

Trevor: “Yes, we are here for a marriage…”

Lady Behind Counter: “[Interrupting] Marriage licenses to the counter to your left. Sign in at the clipboard and sit down.”

At first, we had no idea what she was talking about. But then we saw it. On the far side of the computer was a nondescript clipboard with a sign in sheet attached. There was zero signage to draw your attention to the sign in sheet or anything that gave any direction whatsoever to do anything other than stand in line with your application in hand. And since 90% of the line was made up of couples applying for a marriage license, there was a rush to add your name to the newly discovered marriage license waiting list.

Do you see a clipboard or sign in sheet?

And THESE signs direct you to stand in
line after filling out your application!
NOTHING about signing in and waiting!

Luckily (or so I thought), Trevor and I secured our names to the list near the top, and sat down to wait our turn. But when they started calling names, they skipped ours. Two couples went before us that had both added their names to the waiting list AFTER us and were BEHIND us in line. Very annoying. I’m convinced it was the universe’s way of screwing with us.

After more than an hour of waiting, we finally made it inside. Ten minutes and seventy dollars later, we had our license.

Oy, vey!

For all the dog lovers out there...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Random Thoughts...

Sometimes I get an email forward that just cracks me up. This is one of those times:
  • I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

  • More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

  • Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

  • I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?

  • Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

  • I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

  • The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase "Retards" again.

  • Do you remember when you were a kid playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There were no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

  • There is a great need for sarcasm font.

  • Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first saw it.

  • I think everyone has a movie that they love so much; it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

  • How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

  • I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

  • I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

  • The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

  • A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it!

  • Was learning cursive really necessary?

  • LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

  • I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

  • Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

  • My brother's Municipal League baseball team is named the Stepdads. Seeing as none of the guys on the team are actual stepdads, I inquired about the name. He explained, "Cuz we beat you, and you hate us." Classy, bro.

  • Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is, "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

  • How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

  • I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

  • While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

  • MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

  • Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

  • I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

  • Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

  • I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

  • Bad decisions make good stories.

  • Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

  • Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?

  • If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

  • Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from; this shouldn't be a problem...

  • You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

  • Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection AGAIN.

  • There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

  • I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

  • "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

  • I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

  • While watching the Olympics, I find myself cheering equally for China and USA. No, I am not of Chinese descent, but I am fairly certain that when Chinese athletes don't win, they are executed.

  • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

  • I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

  • When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

  • I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

  • Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...

  • As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

  • Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

  • It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

  • I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

  • I think that if, years down the road when I'm trying to have a kid, I find out that I'm sterile, most of my disappointment will stem from the fact that I was not aware of my condition in college.

  • Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

  • Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet my a$$ everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...

  • My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?

  • It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

  • I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

  • I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

  • I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Bud Lights than Kay.

  • The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimate d that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat b@st@rd before dinner.

  • When someone asks “what time do you close?” and I answer and then they ask “so you close at 5?” I always wonder if this is a test to see if I will remember the answer or they will.


My "something blue" and my "sixpence for my shoe"...

“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”
- Mark Twain

Last night I discovered that I had lost both my sixpence and my blue pebble.

My sixpence was last seen in a blue Tiffany’s box inside my grandmother’s breakfront. The blue pebble? Inside it’s purple pouch in the shrine in the study.

After much searching (and a few tears), I gave up and went to bed – vowing, if one or both turned up, I’d donate blood before the wedding.

This morning, before I left for work, I decided to look once more for the blue pebble. And there it was. In the same place I looked for it no less than 15 times the night before.

I gave blood this morning at 10 AM.

The sixpence is still missing, but at least I have my pebble back. One down, one to go.

I swear I'm losing my mind...

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Bachelorette Party…

“Like other parties of the kind, it was first silent, then talky, then argumentative, then disputatious, then unintelligible, then altogether, then inarticulate, and then drunk. When we had reached the last step of this glorious ladder, it was difficult to get down again without stumbling!”
- George Gordon Byron

Just incase there was any doubt, I have the best girlfriends anyone could ever ask for.

On Saturday, August 15th, I was surprised with a completely unexpected bachelorette party.

When it comes to surprises, I’m not known for my cooperation. After all, as in most cases of surprise, I was clueless. How was I supposed to know that making a 11:30 AM nail appointment on Saturday would cause Trevor to bolt from the shower, run into the living room in nothing but a towel dripping water everywhere, grab his cell phone and announce that he his brother RIGHT THEN?

Of course, I would find out later that Trevor’s one job Saturday was to NOT lose me. No wonder my curtsy announcement of, “I’m leaving!” caused him to panic!

So, even though I had a feeling that something was up, I had no idea that I’d walk into a different nail salon an hour and a half later and find so many of my friends waiting to surprise me. Or that they’d have the next twelve hours of my life filled with fabulous food, people and fun!

This is my bachelorette hat from the back.
Anni did a great job with the veil!

So, I cried. Because that is what I do when I am surprised and touched all at the same time. And, well, it was also one of those moments when I realized that I not only had friends, but they liked me, too! Trevor mocked me about this later. Apparently, I am paranoid.

My Shirt...

Anyway, the day started off at a nail salon in East Dallas, where we all got mani/pedis while munching on cheese, crackers and olives while drinking wine. Wine, might I add that my friend Mandy picked up. This might not sound like news unless you’ve met Mandy – who, at 95 pounds, rarely, if ever, drinks and has been known to spit out Communion Wine at the alter. It was a big deal.

Pretty Toes!

Nails were followed by a few rounds of Bride Bingo at my house. I was having too much fun to pay attention, much less win. My personal favorite moment? When JLR discovered that RR had “bingoed” (or in this case “brided”), but didn’t announce it because RR had already won a round and was keeping quiet in the hopes JLR would be victorious. Those two, I swear!

Heading to dinner...

Bingo was followed by dinner at Kona Grill (yum, sushi). Our server, Chester, doted on us and made such an impression on the group that he was asked to sign my giant card. I’d tell you what he said, but the card was whisked away by one of my bridesmaids before I could read any of the comments. I have a feeling it will reemerge later on, though. No worries.

After dinner, the group relocated to Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar in Addison. The place was packed, but fun. And thanks to Anni, I ended up on stage. Have I ever mentioned that I can’t dance? Or maybe it is that I don’t know how to dance when the announcer tells me to dance dirty? And, really, how does one dance to Baby Got Back? Especially, someone who’s bootie shakes when she’s trying to shimmy? Oh, wait. I guess I should have tried to shimmy up there. Oops.

Luckily, I wasn’t the only one up on stage, and the lady next to me was more than willing to use me as her pole since I was doing more standing than dancing anyway. And, for the record, being used as a pole by a strange woman was much, much better than having my a$$ grabbed by random bar goers. Apparently, nothing makes men want to grab your bootie more than wearing a pink cowboy hat with a veil. And sometimes “grabbing” was more “pinching” than anything else. I still have the faded bruises on my posterior to prove it!

See my pink hat?
That's me during my brief tenure as a human stripper pole.

All in all, my bachelorette party was a blast. I keep tearing up while writing this post (again with all the drop-of-a-hat waterworks!). I am a lucky girl with the best(est) friends in the world!

Now, we just have to get the guys to take Trevor to look at boobies and we will be all set!

Oh, Monday...

After a 10 day hiatus, the AC was supposed to be back on in the office today. Apparently, they were just kidding, though. Nothing quite like having to periodically wipe the sweat off your hands so your fingers don't slip off the keyboard while typing.

I think I’ll go home soon.

Jiminy Cricket...

To the cricket that chirps incessantly all night from somewhere in my bedroom,

I am normally not a violent person, but your excessive chirping makes me want to squish you. Especially at 3 AM. It would be wise to immediately relocate upon receipt of this message.

I know you are supposed to bring luck to homes that you visit, which is fine as long as you leave my boudoir before I go to bed. If you choose not to comply, I cannot be held responsible for what I might do if I find you. Chances are that it will NOT involve me carefully relocating you to the backyard where your chirps have a chance in hell of being answered by some super-sexy female cricket.

I am just not a very happy person when aroused unnecessarily in the middle of the night. It really isn’t anything personal. Just ask Trevor what happens to him when he accidentally disturbs my slumber.

Anyway, consider yourself warned.

The Management

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It can always be worse...

This evening I found myself watching the Fox Octomom special on the internet. Why? Planning a wedding is stressful, but at least I don’t have fourteen kids and a two year old that slaps me in the face and calls me a b*tch. Nor do I think my house is haunted. Overall, my life is a picnic. I just needed a little perspective.

If you need some too, here you go:

(It is like a train wreck: You want to turn away, but just can’t.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dogs are growling all over Philly today…

Gypsy Kitty and I might be reconsidering our love of the Philadelphia Eagles now that Michael Vick has been signed. Hopefully, Donovan McNabb will stay healthy all season, and Vick won’t see anything more exciting than the Eagles’ sideline.

Generally, I’m all for second chances, but not when it comes to something as vulgar and heartless as dog fighting. Even if my favorite NFL quarterback and fellow SU alumni, McNabb, condones it. Nineteen months in a Federal Prison is a mere slap on the wrist. Vick should have been locked up for years, and never allowed back in the NFL. Because, quite frankly, nothing gives such a nauseating illusion of forgiveness like a $6.8 million contract over two years.

As for Haskell and Alley, they both root for other NFC east teams and already abhorred the Eagles. They are just a little more resolved in their hatred now – especially Alley, who as a pit bull mix, takes daily craps in the backyard in the hopes that Michael Vick will slip and fall in it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Like kids, but not...

From: Deals
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 11:20 AM
To: Haley
Subject: RE: wedding worksheet for musical entertainment

Here you go! Sorry again for the delay!


From: Haley
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 11:35 AM
To: Deals
Subject: Re: wedding worksheet for musical entertainment

Thanks so much! I will get this to Justin and have him call you directly with any specific music questions.

And how cute are your niece's and nephew's names?! My oldest brother is named Haskell...I have never met anyone else with his name, but glad to see that its finally catching on :)

From: Deals
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 11:42 AM
To: Haley
Subject: RE: wedding worksheet for musical entertainment

Haha! Actually Gypsy and Haskell are our dogs! I love the name “Haskell”, though. It is the name of one of Texas’ heroes (I work at [Texas History Museum], so I like the historical connection). It worked out perfectly because I loved the name AND I found Haskell just north of Haskell Avenue. He was a stray and had been hit by a car.

I’m attaching a picture for your viewing pleasure. :)

From: Haley
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 11:47 AM
To: Deals
Subject: Re: wedding worksheet for musical entertainment

LOL! - that's what I get for assuming...don't tell your brother that I just assigned two children to him - haha! I didn't even think having handlers for them was nieces and nephews are out of control!

This sounds like a meant to be connection with you and Haskell...I'm glad he found such a loving home. Both of your 'kids' look so happy :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gotta' love Monday...

This morning I managed to drool coffee on myself while talking to a coworker.

Yeah. I am THAT kind of sexy.

(Shakes Head)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to...

Trevor planned a surprise birthday party for me.

When the first guests arrived, I hid in the closet. Why? Because I fully intended not to observe my birthday and go to bed early. I was sick, after all.

Apparently, the closet isn’t a very good hiding place, however, and both Bert and Susie found me without ever really having to look. After a brief cry (I’ve been crying a lot lately) they managed to coax me out of the closet and into the living room. There I was handed a glass of wine and told to make guacamole (my one specialty).

Little did I know, Susie and Bert weren’t the only people invited that evening. Over the course of the next several hours, about twenty people came and went. Trevor, Susie and Bert cooked dinner for everyone, and Amy cleaned the kitchen. All I had to do was stand there and let Trevor know if anyone needed a tour of his new bar (many did which tickled Trevor to no end).

It was also nice to hear that we have made headway with the unpacking from people who haven’t seen the house in awhile (even if it doesn’t feel like we’ve made any at all). Apparently, having some art hung on the walls has made a lot of difference - even if Trevor hung some of the pictures in the hallway at his eye level (6’3)! Now if we can only make progress with the “wedding present room” we will be all set!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

And in other news...

Today is my birthday.


I had plans, but they kind of fell apart. It is just as well. I’ve spent the last several days sick in bed. I tried to run errands today, but judging by the way my head is pounding, I guess I over did it. Nothing quite like ringing in your 29th year with a mild fever.

Thursday I did something I almost never do: I called in sick to work. Trevor had a test that evening, and was also home studying. At one point, he turned on the TV in the bedroom for me. Five hours later I was only vaguely aware of the fact that I had watched an entire afternoon of E! True Hollywood Story.

The only upside to this television tragedy is that I am now full of random Hollywood trivia. For instance, did you know that Demi Moore grew up in a trailer park in Roswell, New Mexico and had a lazy eye that was surgically corrected as a teenager? Or that Sandra Bullock’s mother was an opera singer? Or that Kelly Rippa eloped to Vegas on some random Thursday that neither she nor her hubby-to-be had to work on All My Children?

Obviously, there are risks involved when you watch TV while both ill and heavily medicated. I’m still not sure why changing the channel never crossed my mind. I blame the NyQuil.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

You say it's my birthday (well, almost anyway)...

For my birthday, Trevor purchased tickets for the Counting Crows, Michael Franti & Spearhead and Augustana concert on August 4th at Nokia. We were especially excited about seeing Michael Franti (a.k.a. “Trevor’s Man Crush). Trevor and I have been fans of his for awhile now and are thrilled his music has finally gone mainstream.

I was also delighted to get to see the Counting Crows. Trevor and I had tickets for their concert (six?) years ago when they were on tour with John Mayer. I ended up having to take my grandmother to the hospital, though, and sent my sister in my place. Ever since, I’ve been looking forward to having another opportunity to see them. Good things come to those who wait.

Well, sort of anyway.

Unfortunately, Michael Franti was unable to appear because he was forced to have emergency surgery to remove a ruptured appendix. From what we gathered from Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz, if Franti had waited another day, he might have died. So, it wasn’t like Trevor and I could complain. At least, we might get another opportunity to see him in the future!

Plus, we still had an exciting evening. One of the security guards at the museum also happens to work at Nokia, and got us into the exclusive club overlooking the stage. There honestly isn’t a better place to wait for a concert to begin. And that wasn’t all, either. The security guard also upgraded our seats once the concert began. Suddenly, we were watching the concert from the second row. In a word: Awesome.

Anyway, here are some of my pictures. My camera was in the shop, so all I had was the camera phone (sorry!):

The Bar a la camera phone...

Trevor enjoying a cocktail. Yes, really.

Waiting for the concert to begin...

Adam still looked bigger from the big screen despite our awesome seats...


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Long Awaited Proposal Story...

Happiness only real when shared.
- Christopher McCandless

Since I’ve been engaged for a year TODAY, I guess it is time to finally tell (drum roll, please) the Engagement Story.

As you may remember from The Necessary Pre Proposal Story, Trevor and I climbed our first fourteener on Sunday, August 3rd, 2008. So, it came as quite a surprise when Trevor announced that he wanted to go on a hike to the Ice Lakes a mere two days later.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the Ice Lakes hike. See my profile picture? That was taken on the Ice Lakes hike back in the summer of 2004. Trevor and I have gone on it every single summer that we’ve been able to vacation in Colorado. The summer of 2007, we even did it twice.

Again. I HEART Ice Lakes.

It was just that my blisters hadn’t healed from the hike two days earlier, and I was still exhausted. Plus, my mom and Trevor’s friend, Tracy, had just arrived from Texas over the weekend. The Ice Lakes hike isn’t necessarily hard, but loooooong. For someone who has only been in the altitude for a day or two, it can be pretty…well, breathtaking (in the literal sense, of course).

Case in point (and a brief – but necessary – detour into the past):

When Trevor and I started dating in June of 2002, he was a smoker. At first, I didn’t really care. I figured our relationship wouldn’t survive the summer (I was about to start graduate school in Washington, DC), and – plus – who was I to make him quit? But after a year of dating it became obvious that the smoking really had to go. Either that or I did. I know it sounds harsh, but the longer I dated Trevor, the more I came to realize that smoking was a deal breaker for me. For one, I’m allergic to smoke, and nothing says “sexy” like itchy, red eyes and post nasal drip. Secondly, I had fallen in love with the guy, and I wanted him to be healthy. I watched my grandfather die of lung cancer as a teenager, and the more I grew to love Trevor, the less I was able to dismiss his smoking as “no big deal”. So, I gave Trevor an ultimatum: me or the cigarettes.

Trevor (surprise!) chose me, and started the process of trying to wean himself off cigarettes. This, of course, is a lot easier said than done, but I tried to be supportive (buying him the Nicorette gum, cheering him on when he went a day without a smoke, etc.). But about halfway through the summer, it was clear to me that he had fallen off the wagon. Even worse, though?...when I realized he had started lying to me about it. Trevor would see a mutual friend or one of my siblings, smoke and then beg them not to tell me about it. Not that I needed anyone to alert me to the obvious. For anyone who has ever dated a smoker, you can smell it on their skin and taste it on their breath – even if they’ve showered and brushed their teeth. I knew what was going on. I was disappointed that he was still smoking, but that was nothing compared to the hurt caused by his lying to me about it.

But instead of yelling at him, I asked Trevor to go with me to Colorado for a week in the summer of 2003. I’ve always loved to hike, and tricked Trevor into going along with me to the Ice Lakes. I say “tricked” because I knew the hike would – completely and utterly – kick his a$$. First off, the trailhead is north of Silverton, which makes the starting elevation well above 9,300 feet. Secondly, the hike to the lower basin alone is about 2 miles (not that far) but the elevation gain is an additional 1200 feet. I didn’t plan on stopping at the lower basin on this particular hike, either. My final destination was the upper basin – another mile and rather steep 750 feet of elevation gain farther up the mountain.

Trevor started out strong, like I knew he would. He had to stop frequently to catch his breath, but made it to the lower basin okay. But the mile to the upper basin was a completely different story. Trevor couldn’t go more than a couple of steps before stopping to catch his breath, and his progress was painfully slow. I rubbed it in (on purpose – I was making a point, after all) by literally running up the trail, stopping and waiting for him to catch up. But before he could actually reach me (I was worried he’d make me go back down if he did), I’d sprint ahead again. To say Trevor wasn’t happy would have been a gross understatement.

In the end, I made it to the top, but Trevor did not. He made it about halfway between the upper and lower basins before calling it quits. I made it all the way to the upper basin, but only stayed long enough to take a couple of photos of the view.

The trip down actually got pretty scary – at least for me. It was getting dark, and Trevor (despite going down hill) was moving very slowly. His legs were visibly shaky, and night was coming on fast. More than once, I considered what would happen if we were forced to stop and sleep on the side of the mountain. Or if Trevor's legs simply gave out and he fell and hurt himself.

Luckily, we made it down to the car before total darkness took over, and started our journey back to the Durango cabin. There were no words to describe my relief at seeing our blue rental car parked at the trailhead that evening.

The next day I was fine, but it took Trevor DAYS to recover. The Ice Lakes hike was a real wakeup call for him, and he made a promise to himself – not me – to get himself healthy. The result: Trevor never smoked another cigarette again.

For this reason, the Ice Lakes hike is more than just a pretty destination for us. It is the place where Trevor overcame his addiction to cigarettes, and I realized just how much I cared for him.

The following summer, Trevor and I returned to the Ice Lakes. The previous year, when he was still smoking, it had taken him 3 hours to reach the lower basin. But in 2004 he made if up there in under an hour. Forty five minutes later, Trevor was standing in the upper basin enjoying the view that had eluded him the previous year. It was a moving experience for both of us, and the first time I remember thinking that I could spend the rest of my life with him. I know that sounds super-sappy, but we had just accomplished something difficult together. It had been a long, two year journey, but we had made it! And the view from the upper basin was absolutely amazing. Trevor, who had never been a hiker before, finally understood why I liked it so much.

Trevor Victorious...

But, like usual, I digress.

On the morning of August 5th, 2008, the last thing I wanted to do was climb another mountain. Especially, a mountain that required I wear hiking boots or tennis shoes instead of Birkenstocks (again with the giant blisters!). So, during breakfast, I tried to persuade the group to go on another hike to Spud Lake (read: nice, short and PAINLESS). A beautiful little one mile hike that could easily be done in flip flops.

See? Spud Lake is beautiful, too!

But Trevor kept insisting that we go on the Ice Lakes hike instead, and for whatever reason, my mother – who had only been in the altitude for two days and knew first hand what the Ice Lakes hike was like – kept AGREEING with him!

Before I knew it, Scott, Tracy, mom, Trevor and I were in the car on our way to Silverton and the Ice Lakes trailhead.

I was less than amused.

Once there, I finally committed to putting on my hiking boots and groaned. Despite Band-Aids, moleskin and thin, wool socks, my blisters we screaming in agony. This pain only increased with every single step I took, and before long I was lagging way behind the group.

Trevor, in an apparent attempt to seem supportive, slowed down and tried to coax me along. This did nothing to lighten my mood. Instead, now that I was out of earshot of the rest of the group, I let Trevor have it and proceeded to b*tch my way up the mountain. It was, after all, HIS fault that I was on this stupid hike in the first place. I had wanted to wait until Thursday or Friday to come, but no, no. HE HAD to go on TUESDAY. Two friggin’ days after climbing a fourteener!

Me: “You have giant blisters, too! Aren’t they killing you?”

Trevor: “No. Mine feel fine.”

Me: “[With much bitterness] Well, then I wish pain upon you!”

So, yeah. I was regular picnic that morning.

My mood only continued to deteriorate when – more than two thirds of the way to the lower basin - the skies started to darken and all around us could be heard the distant rumblings of thunder. I actually remember hoping I’d be struck by lightening. This had nothing to do with wanting to die, mind you. I just couldn’t imagine walking all the way back to the car. The pain in my feet was almost unbearable, and I figured if I got struck, Trevor would have to carry me back down to the car (which, quite frankly, would serve him right since he’d forced the d@mned hike on me in the first place).

The Weather...

By the time we reached the lower basin, the blisters on my heels had started to bleed – YES: BLEED – into my shoes. I wasn’t sloshing around in them or anything quite so dramatic, but I could feel the warm dampness of my socks and was not amused. And the thunder, once distant, was now considerably closer. All around us were flashes of lightening – all the more alarming now that we were well above the tree line.

Up ahead I could see my mom, Tracy and Scott stop at the big rock at the base of the trail leading up to the upper basin. They had stopped to put on their raincoats, and grab a light snack. I assumed that this was as far as we were going to hike, considering the weather. But, by the time I reached the rock, my mom had started hiking up to the second basin with Scott and Tracy following closely behind.

Me: “WTF?! Where are they going? Are they crazy? We need to get below the tree line before the storm hits!”

Trevor: “Hold on. I have a walkie-talkie in my pack. Sit down on the rock and I’ll radio your mother.”

Me: “Okay. Hurry, though. They are already pretty high up.”

Trevor took off his backpack, and started to rummage through it. I took off mine as well, and pulled out an energy bar, opened it and took a small bite.

Trevor: “Can I have some?”

I nodded and handed the bar to Trevor. With disgust, I watched him shove about two thirds of it into his mouth, and hand the small, uneaten portion back to me.

Me: [Oozing with sarcasm] “Ghee, thanks.”

Trevor, completely unfazed, returned his attention to his pack, and proceeded to dig around in it – still presumably looking for the walkie-talkie.

I finished my energy bar and fed Gypsy Kitty and Haskell a couple of dog treats. All the while my mother, Tracy and Scott kept getting farther and farther away.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Trevor remove a plastic baggie from his backpack with something red in the bottom. I assumed it was the beef jerky he had purchased in Durango a few days before. I found myself more than a little irritated that he was choosing to eat instead of focusing on the oh-so important task of calling my mother and our friends back down the mountain before the storm arrived.

Me: “Seriously, Trevor. They are getting farther and father away. Where is the walkie-talkie?”

Trevor: [Handing me the beef jerky…] “Here.”

Me: [Pushing his hand and jerky away…] “Hold on, Trevor. We need to stop them before they get up any higher. Plus, with my blisters, I’m not sure I can catch up.”

Trevor: “[Deals], look at me.”

And that’s when I noticed that he wasn’t holding beef jerky out at all. It was a reddish-brown box with a diamond ring inside.

It started to rain.

Trevor tried to get down on one knee, but, with the rain and rocky ground, all he really managed to do was squat on the big rock with all of our gear on it.

He took a list out of his pocket, and read me five vows he had written on a piece of scrap paper. At the end, he asked me to marry him. We were both crying.

I said, “Yes.”

We kissed. He put the ring on my finger.

Then, I punched him in the shoulder and called him an a$$hole for dragging me all the way up the mountain with bleeding blisters.

We laughed.

I looked at my finger with the shiny, new ring on it.

Trevor: “Want to take it off and put it back in the box until we get back down the mountain?”

Me: “No, I think I’d like to wear it for awhile.”

Trevor: “Well, just so you know, it is yours now. Which means you’re responsible for insuring it.”

Trevor: a TRUE romantic, no?!

It was about this time that we both remembered my mother, Tracy and Scott. They had disappeared somewhere above us on the trail. Trevor – finally producing the walkie-talkie – started trying to call Grammy Pammy.

No answer.

We tried again.

Nothing but static on the radio.

Finally, we gave up and started to climb up after them. But we didn’t get very far before the skies really opened up and water started to pour down in torrents. Luckily, there was a small cave just up ahead, and Trevor and I both ducked in there for some shelter.

Trevor told me that he had been planning this proposal for months. He had asked both of my parents two months earlier, and the ring, which he had had made for me, contained my great grandmother’s engagement ring diamond. Since I’m such a history dork, this made the whole thing that much more special. I guess I never really realized just how well Trevor knows me until that moment.

Trevor had intended to propose at Island Lake, which is in a third basin above the second. Of course, his plans were tweaked when the weather turned bad, and my attitude from the get go that morning had left a lot wanting.

I asked to see the vows he had written. In all the excitement, I couldn’t really remember what he had said. I just couldn’t believe Trevor was proposing. It was all quite unexpected, after all.

Trevor rummaged around his pack and produced a piece of scrap paper with the numbers 1-10 on it. Beside 1-5 were the vows he had read to me on the rock not long before.

Trevor: “I meant to write ten vows, but I got to five and couldn’t think of anything else.”

I was so touched that he thought of five vows that I didn’t make (too much) fun of him.

About fifteen minutes went by before my mom, Tracy and Scott finally came around the corner on their way back down the mountain. Apparently, my mother was so excited about Trevor proposing that she forgot to turn on her walkie talkie. Wanting to give Trevor space, she had mercilessly marched poor Tracy and Scott up the side of a mountain in a watery deluge. By the time Grammy Pammy relented and started back down the mountain, the trio was soaked to the bone and shivering.

Tracy, in the altitude for less than 48 hours at this point, was complaining about her wet socks. And as they approached the cave, it occurred to me that none of them – with the exception of my mother – knew what had just transpired between Trevor and me at lunch rock in the lower basin.

Me: “Hey, Tracy. Want to hear a funny story?”

Tracy: “Can it wait?”

Me: “It’s pretty funny…”

Tracy: “Why don’t you wait to tell me back at the car. My socks are all wet.”

Mom: “No! Tell us now! I want to know!”

Tracy: “But my socks…!”

Me: “I promise to be quick.”

Tracy: “[Rolling her eyes and sighing…] Okay, just be fast.”

Me: “Okay. Well, Trevor dragged me up the mountain in a thunderstorm with bleeding blisters and proposed to me.”

Tracy: “WHAAAAT?!”

Scott: “Really?!”

Mom: “What did you say?! What did you say?!”

Me: “I said, ‘Yes!’”

Much squealing ensued, mostly from my mother and Tracy.

On the way back down the mountain, everyone was joking around about the proposal and we were all planning to go out to dinner that night to celebrate the engagement.

Mom: “I only told a few people that Trevor was planning to propose.”

Me: “Like who?”

Mom: “Well, your aunt and uncles, of course. And my Tortuga Sisters and Bridge Group. Oh, and…[the list continued on for at least ten minutes]”

Me: “Is that all?”

Mom: “And I just had to tell Larry…”

Trevor: “Who is Larry?”

Mom: “My flight instructor, of course!”

Me: “Is there anyone you didn’t tell?!”

Mom: “Well, who is Larry going to tell? And it’s not like anyone told you anyway, which is what counts!”

But the real surprise came after we got back down the mountain and I called my dad to tell him the news. My father has never been known to keep a secret, but he didn’t tell anyone that Trevor was going to propose. Not a soul. Amazing.

After I told dad the news, though, my cell phone lost its signal and we were disconnected. I tried to call back immediately, but it took awhile to find a signal on the winding mountain roads between Durango and Silverton. Meanwhile, my dad went down the hallway, and told my brother the news. Of course, William wanted to know whether or not I had said “yes” – something dad and I hadn’t officially covered before getting disconnected. So, my brother had to call me and ask. I was able to confirm that Trevor and I were, indeed, engaged before my cell phone lost the signal for a second time.

Closer to Durango, I called my sister. I had always joked with her that I got married, I planned to put her in a bubble gum pink dress with matching hat, ruffles and gloves. So, when she answered the phone, I said, “You know that pink dress I want to buy for you when I get married?”

Amy: “Yeah?”

Me: “Well, I better start looking.”

Amy: “What? Why? Wait a second! You’re engaged?! OMG!”

Amy then proceeded to tell the ENTIRE world that Trevor and I were engaged in less than twelve hours. That’s Facebook for you.

Because I am neurotic and never rush into things, the wedding date and the engagement date are over a year apart. This sounded like forever when I first got engaged, but now – twelve months later – the date is nearly here.

And I've been a less than enthusiastic bride. Case in point: I refused to even LOOK at dresses until March 30th (and even then it was by accident). Luckily, the second dress I tried on was the one I bought. I hate shopping, and would have gladly worn a hand-me-down if it meant I didn’t have to try on a gazillion white gowns.

Oh, and Gypsy Kitty and Haskell? Yeah, totally in the wedding. Alley Cat isn’t, though, because – according to Trevor – two dogs are fine, but three is either, A) A Circus, or B) A Dog Park. Alas, poor Alley! Just to clarify (lest anyone think that she is the red headed stepchild dog) – it wasn’t me that refused to let her be a part of the wedding party, but Trevor. If it were up to me, I would have had two flower girls!

Combine all the wedding drama with the new house purchase, and you can imagine my mental state. I’ve committed to a lot in one year, which is really saying something considering my irrational fear of commitment. I’m looking forward to the two week honeymoon, and recovering from all the excitement!

Maybe once we get back, we will have an opportunity to finally finish settling into our new digs. Because with everything else going on, there just isn’t enough time or energy to devote to unpacking right now. And all the wedding presents that keep arriving aren’t helping either. Not that I am complaining. I’m loving all the free stuff! It is just that all the unpacked boxes piled high in the guest bedroom are a constant reminder of things yet to be done.

Just incase you didn't believe me about the blisters!

~ The End ~

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Eight Legs are Six Too Many...

I know that they are harmless, but I do not appreciate seeing a LARGE one of these next to the toilet first thing in the morning:

Good morning. I am a harmless WOLF SPIDER.

Of course, Trevor had already left the house, so I had to deal with it by my self. So much for Trevor's job of relocating insects and arachnids to the backyard. Slacker...

And it wasn’t like I could just ignore him and hope Mr. Spider would go away. I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight because all the convincing in the world wouldn’t be enough to prove to me that the eight legged freak wasn’t hiding in my bed somewhere – waiting for me to fall asleep before scrambling out and attacking me at my most vulnerable.

So, I dealt with it. All by myself. Even when the little ba$tard crouched and ran at me when I was trying to cover him with a glass.

Luckily (for both of us), I was able to successfully relocate the spider to the backyard without major incident. And I only screamed twice, thankyouverymuch.

I deserve a certificate of achievement. Possibly a medal. Because spiders seriously weird me out. Even when I’m (fairly) sure they are harmless.


Saturday, August 01, 2009

On Futility...

“Futility: playing a harp before a buffalo.”

- Anonymous

There are no words to describe how it feels to write 46 thank you notes and finally make some headway with the process of putting away all the shower gifts in the “wedding present room”.

There are also no words to describe how it feels when fifteen new packages arrive in the mail the very next day, and the “wedding present room” is once again overwhelmed.

I cried before shutting the door and walking away.

Maybe I’ll try again next week.