Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Myrtle Beach in March

It has taken me a while to catch up with blogging and I am still not there. I have a million things I would like to blog about, but I have not had the time to get around to it lately. I still have blogs from January that I want to post. Not only am I out of date, I am out of order. Ugg!

In March, John's family had a get together in Myrtle Beach, SC. They rented a condo for the week and invited everyone down, my parents included. We could not go for the whole week, but we took a Friday off. It was towards the end of March and still cool at the beach. The weather was sunny and we had a spectacular view of the ocean from the condo. The condo had 4 bedrooms, a big kitchen, dining area, and a large balcony. The place was perfect for a large group.

During our stay it was Warren's Birthday (our brother-in-law) and we celebrated by a nice dinner, cake, and present opening. On the morning of his birthday, several of us decided that we would run down to the beach and write him a Happy Birthday wish in the sand as a surprise. When he woke up, we asked him to come out on the balcony and look down. He was surprised and he loved it!

Besides being with family, what I loved most were the sun rises. When left to my own devices, I never wake up early without an alarm clock. For this stay, John and I shared a room with my parents and I was woken up by snoring. I am a very light sleeper and both of my parents snore. Needless to say, I did not get much sleep! The good part of it was that I was up so early each morning that I saw the sun rise. I really enjoyed sitting out on the balcony with a cup of coffee and watching the magical event. I felt like I was with God as the son rose. It was a very touching experience for me. The sunsets were also amazing. I did not get to enjoy those as much because I was busy with family cooking dinner or hanging out. I did not mind though because I got to see the sunrises.

As always, I enjoyed spending time with our nephews. Alex is 3 and a half and Andrew was about 7 months. It was fun to wake up to their smiling faces each morning. They are both very pleasant children. It was so cute to see Alex and Andrew interact. Alex would dance around for Andrew and he would just giggle and coo back. It is easy to see that they really love each other and that is fun to be around!

I am so thankful that my family and John's family get along. It makes holidays and vacations so much easier.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Espresso With John

Ok, so I know I said that I would blog about the products in my store and I know I promised way back to post about food I made with the organic blueberries that I picked. Well, I have decided not to post about either of those things right now. I will get around to both of those topics sooner or later. Right now I would rather blog about something else. John and I celebrated our four year anniversary on June 25th and I wanted to blog about something important to us.

Last summer, John and I took a trip to Aruba because we both needed a vacation. We had not taken a real vacation together, alone since our honeymoon in 2005. We felt it was time to get far away from North Carolina and enjoy a different way of life. John had never been to a place where the water is clear (or least blueish green). It had been since the 90's since I had been able to the Caribbean. So, we decided to take a trip to the Island of Aruba.

During our vacation, we went out to eat every night (we had no problem finding vegan/vegetarian fare). Afterward, we would get espresso and chat about the vacation and life in general. This was one of our favorite things during the trip. Before we were married, we used to spend time going out for coffee or sitting and chatting. We recognized that we do not do this anymore. I guess life just got in the way.

During one of our last nights in Aruba, we decided that we wanted to bring something back with us. We did not need souvenirs or local Aruban art, we decided that we would bring back the gift of having espresso together. To some, this may seem silly. To us, this was a rekindling of the beginning of our relationship.

We started off as friends and progressed to best friends. It was not until two (more like 2.5 years) later that we actually began dating. At the inception of our relationship/friendship, we spent many hours at the local hangout called Jackson's Java. It was close enough to campus that we could walk, if we needed too, but far enough that it felt like we getting away. We would study, play board games, meet friends, have debates, conversations, etc. We did this on a weekly basis, sometimes on a daily basis. When we could not make it to Jackson's Java, we would meet on campus at the Prospector or RDH (affectionately called "Rats Die Here" and "Rancid Dinning Hell").

You see, having coffee/espresso together was the basis of our relationship. We got to know each other over coffee and we maintained our relationship over coffee. It is a shame that we let it slip away over the years.

Since our return from Aruba, we have attempted to have espresso with some regularity. Sometimes we are successful and sometimes we fail. We often have very different schedules and it is not always easy to find time and energy to pull out the espresso machine. In at attempt to succeed, we always keep soy creamer and Whole Foods organic fair trade espresso beans on hand for an impromptu espresso session. We sometimes even add in an extra special treat by making or buying vegan cookies from Whole Foods. (When we make espresso at home, we steam soy creamer. I know, it is not traditional espresso. We like it though :)

It has been one year since we went to Aruba and I would like to make a mid-year resolution to do this more often. We are, after all, best friends and best friends should have espresso together.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Helena Fix!

My brother recently sent me professional pictures of Helena in the mail. I need to get my hands on a scanner to post them. For now, I have some in my email that I have been meaning to post since April. It has been a busy couple of months with buying a house, moving, a death in the family, etc.

Enjoy her sweetness! I will post the new ones soon!

(My brother says she has grayish eyes)

(This is certainly an expression inspired by my brother)