Monday, April 29, 2013

Road Trip through Europe - Our Plan

Mike and I spent the last 10 days touring Germany, Austria, and Slovenia in a rental car with my Dad.  Here's a graphic itinerary of our trip.

I'll start recapping as soon as I'm caught up on sleep and no longer operating in a jetlag-induced haze.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our Engagement

Mike and I celebrate a lot of anniversaries in the spring.  We met on March 16th 2010 (albeit online), met in person April 16th, (give or take a day or two on the memory is hazy), he asked me if he could date me on May 17th 2010, asked me to marry him on April 20, 2011.  We got married March 17, 2012. 

I designed our wedding website (A March Wedding) on my own using fairly simple one column blog design.  After the wedding, I took over the site's URL and A March Wedding the blog was born.

But before it was the blog, it was a fun engagement announcement and information portal for guests and friends.  This is what the Love Story page looked like:

Yes, the date is wrong.  We had to change date and venue half way through planning. That was fun.

It was simple, a little over the top, and my color palette was clearly on Easter Egg Acid, but it did what it needed to do.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Visiting Rome - Favorite Places Tour

The first time Mike needed a passport was when we visited my Dad in Italy over Christmas holidays in 2010.  It was also the first time the two of them met - quite a monumental trip.

If you're going to pose with one of the many costumed actors at the Roman Forum, be prepared for them to ask for 20 Euro after the photo has been taken and without any notice beforehand.  Also be prepared to only give them 2 Euro despite their demands for more.

In addition to Rome, we did quite a bit of exploring in Naples and Cuma.  Mike and I are heading back to Europe at the end of April for an anniversary/birthday trip.

**In preparation for my trip to Germany/Austria/Slovenia in April, I'm going to start a temporary travel series that revisits some of my favorite places and photos.**

Friday, April 19, 2013

Visiting Western North Carolina

The engagement edition.

I lived in Asheville for a few months while interning at WNC Magazine.

On my 22nd birthday, Mike drove up with a little surprise.  You can read that story here. Tomorrow is my 24th birthday and the 2 year anniversary of our engagement.

This post is mostly about the hike: Pisgah Trail to Looking Glass Rock.  6 miles round trip.  The trail is lush and the vegetation abundant during a western North Carolina spring.  It was a mild afternoon in the mid 60s and I remember it being unusually humid after a morning rain storm.  Because the whole excursion was a surprise, I didn't quite dress appropriately.  I opted for shorts and a tank top when I made the hike for a second time with my parents.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Visiting New York City

New York. The City. The Countryside.

I visited the city in December of 2010.  It was my first time there and I was absolutely enthralled.  I don't know what it is about the place...the energy, the lights, the limitless capacity for exploration, all of the above?  I think the fact that it was Christmas time might have played a part.

In September of 2011 we visited the a different part of the state for a wedding that would NOT be stopped by a little torrential rain and flash flooding.  The bride's hometown was hit hard.  I originally wrote about it here.

Oneonta is a small town not too far from Binghamton.  It was about a 15 hour drive from Aiken.

It was something to see, that's for sure.  Thankfully by the time Saturday rolled around, much of the water had receded and didn't interfere too badly with traveling in/around the Oneonta area.

**In preparation for my trip to Germany/Austria/Slovenia in April, I'm going to start a temporary travel series that revisits some of my favorite places and photos.**


Monday, April 15, 2013

Visiting Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

I would go back to Wyoming again and again.  I loved it there.  The remoteness. The mountains.  All of it. We went in May and the entire world was still frozen and silent.

Downtown Jackson was adorable, albeit crowded with novelty stores and tourist traps.  It reminded me of a smaller (MUCH smaller) Gatlinburg with better scenery more rich people.

**In preparation for my trip to Germany/Austria/Slovenia in April, I'm going to start a temporary travel series that revisits some of my favorite places and photos.**


Friday, April 12, 2013

Life of Late

LOVING// Kittens. Cats. Felines in general.  Shocker.

LISTENING// Randy Houser! I wasn't a huge fan we he first started getting played on XM but now I can't stop listening to "Running out of Moonlight" and "How Country Feels."

READING// The Hobbit.  I just finished Anne of Green Gables and Cat's Cradle (gotta cross those off my list), so now I'm back to the Hobbit.  I started it a few months ago before the movie came out and got sidetracked about half-way through.

SAVING// For our deck! Mike and I want to build a deck off the back of the house and I'm so excited to start this project.  I hope we have it finished in time for summer.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Visiting WNC Waterfalls


If you ever visit western North Carolina, make sure you do a waterfall tour.  Below is my friend Megan at High Falls.

This is the two of us at Hooker Falls.

A lot of the falls require a short walk/hike to get to the best vantage points but it's completely worth dedicating a day and a few miles of trekking to see even a fraction of what the Appalachians have to offer.

Lake Lure was one of my favorite places to visit.  There's not a lot happening during the winter, but thankfully the beauty is not seasonal.

If you have the opportunity to leave downtown Asheville but aren't in the mood for a long car ride, mosey on over to the Grove Park Inn for some wine with a view.

I spent a lot of afternoons here.

**In preparation for my trip to Germany/Austria/Slovenia in April, I'm going to start a temporary travel series that revisits some of my favorite places and photos.**


Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Kelsey and I are somewhere in the Arizona desert at Country Thunder from now until Monday morning!

See ya when I get back!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Visiting San Diego

Today I am San Diego bound! California twice in one year, what are the odds?

Here are some photos from my first time to California way back in 2008.

It doesn't seem that long ago.  Stay tuned for an update after I get back!


Monday, April 08, 2013

Married to the Law

*This post has been updated as of September 

I might get in trouble for posting some of these pics. OH WELL.

I get a lot of questions about Mike's job.  His schedule.  His duties.  Things like that.  When I tell people, their reaction is usually either awe, curiosity, or pity.  Sometimes a combination of the three.  They say, "wow, you must worry constantly."

I worry. A lot.

When we first started dating, he worked "the road." His shifts were ridiculous and it was virtually impossible to date him.  When I'd drive up on the weekends, he'd be sleeping for the majority of our visit, and I'd be left alone during the day to occupy myself in a strange city and strange house.  Plus I never got to play with his sirens and I found that to be incredibly stupid.  What's the point of dating a cop if you can't push the buttons?  He still won't let me play with the sirens.

Eventually he made the transition to Special Ops and started working with the Bloodhounds. Not only was it a promotion for him, it provided me with certain perks.

After we got married, he was able to bring home Ginger.  Our yard and home were turned into her personal Bloodhound Retirement Community.  It was special because Ginger was the first dog Mike tracked with, and Mike was the last human Ginger knew.

After Ginger came another milestone.  Cooper the bomb dog.

So not only did he track criminals & lost children/elderly people, he answered SWAT and Bomb calls.

So what is it like? Every day when he leaves for work, it's like a 12 hour mini-deployment.  What will the day hold? Will this be the day things go wrong?  I am sometimes woken up at 2 AM by the most annoying ring tone known to man, and while I roll over and plug my ears, Mike gets up, gets dressed, and puts bad guys in jail.  Sometimes things happen that he tells me about.  It makes me sad to know he sees the worst in people on a daily basis.  He's seen things that would scar me for life.

It would be easy for him to quit.  To find something less heart-hardening and more rainbows/butterflies/cupcakes frosted with dreams and sequins.  A job that didn't require seemingly endless periods of being "on call."  A job that paid him adequately for the work he does.  A job that didn't require him to cancel plans on a dime or squeal out of the driveway at 4 in the morning to chase a belligerent, worthless, waste of humanity through the woods.

And really the worst part about his job is the lack of respect or gratitude society has for Mike and his fellow officers.  Sometimes we sit on the couch and watch videos about cops.  Cops getting bested by drunk thugs, surrounded by a mass of ignorant partiers.  Cops doing their job yet being put on blast for using force.  And people laugh and make comments about the "pigs," their "self-righteousness," their "racism."

Yes. That's the worst part about the job.  Knowing the sacrifices he and his co-workers make for our home.  And 99% percent of the population would rather laugh at their missteps than applaud them for their successes. 
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