Tough Mudder #2

First I want to say another Happy Father’s Day to my amazing dad! I didn’t get to spend any of the weekend with him but mom treated him right and we will celebrate properly later this week. It sounds like all of you out there also have pretty remarkable dads. That makes me happy.

This weekend was Tough Mudder #2 for me and it was fun to drag Dan along – even if it meant having to watch the DVR version of the US Open when we got home.

Brooke was awesome and drove us East to the city of Fossil where we witnessed the other side of Oregon that those of us from the city often forget about. Fossil, OR is a place where there’s no cell service and a simpler way of life on the ranch.

Or way of life on the ranch was anything but ‘simple‘, but at least we had a fun stay!

Quick Hits – then I’m hitting the pillow!

  • Last year I only made it over 3 of 4 walls, this year I made it over all 4 (with 2 slanted toward us!)
  • Last year I fell multiple times on Everest and never made it up (I quit) and this year I made it up the first time!
  • Having Dan there was the extra boost I needed to get me through ❤
  • Dan was a sweetheart and crashed into the water on the monkey bars before me, just to make it less embarrassing when I fell in on the first rung
  • Arctic Enema was actually a welcome relief from the warm temperatures
  • I had a ‘Brain Reboot” (blacked out) for a moment through Electric Eel. I opened my eyes, heard white noise and just kept crawling.

Sorry for not many photos, my iPhone was stored in our bag pretty quick once we made it to the venue – you’ll have to wait for the official race photos!

Thanks for a fun weekend, friends!

And yes, this was me on the monkey bars.

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Wedding Weekend

Thank you for sticking with me this week. It’s been a long one. #TWSS

From the start of the work week where Dan and I didn’t arrive into PDX until 2:30am Monday, to going cross-eyed over spreadsheets Monday and Tuesday, confidently delivering my beautiful work on Wednesday and some defending of my numbers today – I’m so thrilled that it’s Friday.

Let’s talk about how my weekend was where I finally got to Meet the Parents and a few other special members of Dan’s family!

Friday was a wild and crazy day at work and I did everything possible to get out of the building before noon so that I’d be able to connect with mom and make my flight. With a lightly packed gym bag and fully charged electronics I stepped onto the plane and took a nap instantly. Before I knew it I was in Texas for my layover and had already sat down to enjoy the sweet taste of victory for my successful Quarter.

I made it into Nashville just before midnight on Friday where Dan escorted me back to our hotel in Kentucky to a King size bed that has us wanting to make a purchase soon. We made a pit stop for a quick snack and since we were somewhere foreign Dan insisted that White Castle was the only place we could go.., so obviously there’s no photo evidence of what we actually ordered and consumed. #Faturday

The very next morning came early as we were woken with an invite to breakfast, at which I immediately jumped out of bed and into get-ready-to-impress mode for the first meeting in person. Holding Dan’s hand as we approached the restaurant, I instantly felt a calm aura when I saw Dan’s mom, dad and sister in the hotel lobby. Before I knew it I was meeting aunts and uncles from Chicago and Switzerland, bridesmaids and former neighbors. I hadn’t even finished my first cup of coffee yet!

After passing through the first round of interviews, Dan and I went on an errand run to find him razors and the finishing touches on the gift we got for the bride and groom.  Exhausted and a little taken aback by the humidity, Dan and I both took the afternoon calm to catch a quick nap.

Like magic, I was soon dressed, in the chapel and witnessing this beautiful lady walking down the aisle. Her parents gave her away in front of family and friends while shutter clicks could be heard from all around the chapel.

These are not my photos. I was too busy admiring her dress and dreaming about my own aisle moment.

Following the wedding, we took our time to get back to the reception hall for a wonderful meal and a night full of dancing. Once I dined and was ready to get my man out on the floor, we danced the night away and had everyone in the room thinking that we’d taken lessons together. From there we laughed, I made new facebook friends, I even grabbed the microphone when the timing was right and had family members asking Dan “Where did she come from?”

Sunday morning came too soon and we said our goodbyes at the Louisville airport. Once we were through security we treated ourselves to “two means four” whiskey orders to celebrate a successful first meeting of hopefully many. Other airport antics included planks, walking around, delay after delay and finally coming home to my amazing parents who picked us up at 2:30 in the morning with the golden sisters – and with a special made lunch in hand.

Such a wonderful weekend, thank you for a wonderful time Dan and family! Congrats, Emily!

heart JE

Throwback Thursday: Meeting the Parents

I can’t believe that it happened so quickly, but it’s May 30th and in two days I get to finally meet Dan’s family.

Dan’s already been in Chicago for a week and has been doing everything from meals with family members to golfing daily with friends (big surprise!). Originally the master scheme was to leave Portland together over Memorial Day weekend and get the grand tour, but the timing wasn’t in my favor with the end of our fiscal year this week. The trip to Chicago is postponed and rather I head to Bowling Green, Kentucky tomorrow – the location of Dan’s little sister’s wedding.

Yikes – meeting the family at a wedding! I know, I’m a little nervous too! 

I joke, I’m probably not as nervous as the normal girlfriend should be for the occasion. I’ve had the pleasure of loyal readership and email correspondence with Dan’s mom, while I’ve overheard the jovial voice of Dan’s dad when they’re on the phone together bantering about everything sports, cars, motorcycles and action movies. 

It’s a little crazy for me to think of all the time Dan’s spent with my family and how often I’ve had to sit back and read mom and dad’s facial expressions depending on what was coming out of Dan’s mouth. Remember the flower incident, Dan? Now it will be fun to witness him with that feeling. He will have to make sure that I’m keeping in line, not doing my infamous nervous jabber and most importantly that I don’t drink too much and take over the microphone at the reception in front of the guests. Kidding, but seriously.

An extremely rewarding part about the trip will be leaving work in the middle of the day tomorrow to catch my flight – the perfect way to wrap up the past three months of the most demanding and exhilarating work of my life.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is brought to you by a girl who knew the importance of packing light, dressing for the destination and posing with confidence:

See you soon, baby!

heart JE

The Truth about Cohabitation

I alluded to sad times last year during this week and I guess I can’t really back away from writing this post now.

You’ve all given me positive feedback about the Boyfriend + Cohabitation posts for the last 20 weeks (TWENTY?) and I’m here to tell the story about our relationship before he moved in with me. A story about when I moved in with him.

Dan and I met in the summer of 2010 through an intramural softball league and didn’t exactly hit it off at first sight. He was the 3rd baseman and I was the first basewoman. Any of you who know a thing about intramural softball would know that the 3rd and 1st positions interact a lot. I say we didn’t hit it off so well because he’d always short hop me (bruises!) or air mail me (white girl can’t jump!) and I just thought he wasn’t good at ball. There wasn’t much there to kick off a conversation!

Our first memorable interaction was after our team had won first place and went out to celebrate afterward with beer and tots. He conveniently pulled up a chair next to me, cracked every joke he could to have me in stitches and even snuck his way into getting my phone number when I was sharing it with some of the ladies on my team.

From that day on, he and I hit it off easier than I’d ever gelled with a guy before. Conversation flowed seamlessly, we’d meet late for dinner and drinks and wind up closing down wherever we went, no matter how late their hours were. 10pm, 1am, on weeknights! We didn’t want to leave one another’s company until we were given the glare and the ‘you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here’ look from the bar/restaurant/pool hall’s staff.

These late nights weren’t exactly easy on me gramma likes her sleep and one day in early 2011 before an evening meet-up I stopped at Target on the way to dinner and bought a new outfit. The outfit wasn’t for the date, it was for work the next morning. I was going to stay the night. I surprised myself with this bold move, mostly because I wasn’t the girl that did that type of thing on the regular, but also because my intent wasn’t a relationship with Dan.

So, Jessi – what exactly were you trying to accomplish by staying the night with a ‘friend’ with no intention to date him?

I still can’t answer that question. There was something about Dan that brought me comfort, confidence, peace of mind and happiness. That one night staying over turned into two nights a week, turned into me bringing over clothes and buying an extra hair dryer. Then two nights a week turned into more – rearranging his closet to fit more of my things, going to ikea together to install a place where I could get ready in the mornings. Four nights a week then morphed into grocery shopping for the two of us, buying furniture together and making decisions about travel together – and yet I still wasn’t his girlfriend. Oh, so that’s where ‘cohabitation’ comes from!

It went so deep as to not having access to my full wardrobe for a year.

Spring of 2011 quickly turned into Summer of 2012, memories, dates, road trips together – and I still wasn’t claiming him as my boyfriend. I still hadn’t told my parents, friends, co-workers or loved ones that I was involved in a relationship, that I hadn’t stepped foot into my own home for months or that I was even dating someone. Someone as special as my Daniel.

If I was Dan I would have quit me a long time before that. I was a jerk.

Late Spring of 2012 Dan’s sister called him and excitedly announced that she was engaged! He was so happy for her and at the same time guilt hit me like a brick wall. Was I leading him on? Was he going to start thinking about marriage soon? Is he my forever or was he just the closest chair?

After a hard weekend conversation with my mom just a few days after she met Dan for the first time at my 24 1/2 birthday dinner, I decided that I had to end whatever it was that I was doing. During my conversation with my mom which she will still never forgive me for I didn’t confess that I’d been living with him for a year. She sensed from meeting him that we were great friends but that if I wasn’t going to date him then I needed to give him space and let him find ‘the one’.

Monday May 21st after work I let myself into his home, rolled up my sleeves and removed every last piece of evidence that I’d ever lived there. Through waterfalls of tears I raced up and down the stairs with handfuls of clothing on hangers, duffel bags full of shoes, grocery bags that carried make-up and craft supplies, the kitchen appliances…everything that I’d brought into his home and that we’d made ours. I was in such a hurry because I didn’t want his roommate to catch me and even worse for him to catch me.

I was on the road within an hour – my little car was bursting at the seams with bags and shoes, ugly cry/sweaty hair, heartbreak to the max.

I hadn’t even given him a hint that I wouldn’t be home that night.

At 6:45 I received a text message from him “What can I make us for dinner?” More tears.

I cried myself to sleep that night, I sobbed to my mom on the phone several times, I cried and cried to Dan when we met the next afternoon for lunch to talk through why I’d left. That I was really just scared, that I wasn’t his one and he wasn’t mine. Sitting there in the restaurant, there was no emotion on his face, no concern for my heartbreak, nothing but an acceptance that what we shared was over and that he wasn’t going to spend another minute chasing after my affection. I thought this was where the secret story of our time together would end.

But it didn’t.

For days and nights, sitting at my desk or over a simple conversation I’d break into tears over what I felt I’d lost. No, what I’d thrown away.

After suggesting dinners, drinks, lunch, walks in the park, everything to see him – I finally dragged him away from a workout and treated him to seeing The Avengers on a weeknight.

The drive to the theater was silent, during the movie I extended my fingers to hold his hand and instead he handed over the package of twizzlers we’d snuck into the theater. We didn’t speak much, and I felt like my window of opportunity was shrinking.

Just one mile before I was to his home and going to have what seemed to be my last face to face conversation with him, I calmly spoke.

Dan, do you trust me?”  (silly question)

“Uhhh…. ” (with that look he gives me)

Well, I’m a little crazy, but what if we start. over?

(blank stare).(frustration). “How?”

Start over! You forget me, I forget you – we forget everything we’ve ever done together and we just start. over. Right now, see –” I pull out my phone. “This is you in my phone. I’ve never deleted a single text message from you. Do you trust me?

“There’s no way to start over, Jessi. There isn’t.”

Dan! Watch me.” Swipes finger across the screen, taps the red bar. “You and everything you’ve ever been is now deleted in my phone. Now you do it too!

An uneasy Dan pulls out his phone and with less drama does the same, and away went all of the messages we’d ever shared.

I dropped him off to his home, looked him deep into his eyes and said, “you know where to find me“.

And he found me…..

Happily and instantly, we started over.

heart JE

Wrap n’ Roll

Wrapping up the week and rolling straight into the weekend, that’s the name of the game! This week has flown by and I’ve also felt incredibly productive both at work and at home. I was able to run 4 weekdays (including this morning…which was a really early alarm for everyone), got a great amount of work done and was even able to sneak in a pedicure, a movie and some time with my Mr. Dan.

First of all, the half birthday celebrations yesterday were more than expected as always and I feel pampered, loved and fulfilled.

The day started out with Dan chauffeuring me into work in the rental mini-van, then returning to deliver me a extra big latte with extra big results, followed by a facebook frenzy of well wishes by friends, family and the sweet little sisters below – who are experts at photo editing #amIright?

The next wonderful thing that happened to me was this ‘omg!’ inducing lunch complete with meal-prepped grilled chicken, lettuce, 1/2 avocado and S.R.I.R.A.C.H.A. Dan was in charge of the sriracha ‘drenching’ on this one and sad to say it just didn’t kick enough. Therefore, tomorrow’s container leaves the chicken unrecognizable to the naked eye. #morespiceplz

At the end of the day after I had to put out a few tiny little fires at the workplace, Dan swooped me up and took US to get pedicures together in Beaverton. He loves taking me to get pedicures and he’s the happiest guy I’ve ever seen sitting back in the massage chair, people touching his weary hairy feet and even a little nail polish. He may not be as appreciative of me getting photo evidence for the blog, but I think he and his clear-painted nails will get over it!

To wrap up the evening, this handsome guy whisked me away in our weekend rented mini van and we headed to Cinetopia for dinner and Great Gatsby. I was thrilled beyond belief as I saw a dear childhood friend of mine enter the theater just after me, and it was a great to giggle, chat and make ‘let’s see each other soon’ plans with one another. In the meantime I’ll work on finding old photos of our younger years for a Throwback Thursday, Gretchen!

When we returned home late, I was surprised to find that my parents had dropped off a chocolate cake, fresh raspberries, a gift card to our favorite java spot and a beautiful flower in a vase picked straight from the garden – all for the special day!

I have the greatest family, friends and boyfriend I could ever ask for. It’s easy for my mind to be happy when there’s so much positive energy flowing through my beautiful life.

This weekend I have a lot of solid blog (this one) and educational reading/viewing to dive into (like this!) – many peaceful running miles while Dan’s off being important, and a whole amazing world around me to take in, one breath at a time!

heart JE

Week 18: Cohabitation

I’m so happy that Dan and I headed to the coast last weekend because we really haven’t seen much of each other this week. We’ve both been so busy that when we do see each other it’s dinner time, it’s get-ready time or it’s ‘dont-bother-me-i’m-blogging-time’. Rough life

Before we get started with the week – check out the Bad Lip Reading for The AMC’s The Walking Dead

…Dan says that’s me at 2:45

Back at it –

House chores have fallen by the wayside and just yesterday we sorted week old mail into three important piles. The yours, mine, and ‘how do we stop getting this…’ piles are still sitting on the dining room table, but at least they’ve been sorted. Third time was a charm on loading / running the dishwasher as well. Soap was in, racks were loaded, but somehow there was no urgency in actually running the thing. Lastly, you know it’s bad when you decide to just buy more athletic wear to stretch out the frequency of laundry loads rather than just find the time. Love the new sports bras though!

Enough about what we’re doing wrong! How about what we’ve done right this week! Food related, obvi

1. Avocado + Sriracha Toast at the Coast

2. Costco trip turned into a belated Happy Birthday cake

3. Cinco de Mayo guacamole prep – yum! 

4. Post dinner-date with Brad and Brooke led us to ice cream

Dan wanted to make sure that I shared some of the cuteness from this weekend. Bella is an excellent snuggle-bug and my handsome Daniel was happy to take a nap on a hot day. Daniel is a favorite among the two golden sisters, they find it hard to leave his side when he’s around.

Can you even believe that he and I have lived together for 18 weeks? I can’t – it feels like much longer than that and I am so thrilled to call this house a home.

Enjoy your weekend and hug/call/cherish your mother!

heart JE

Unwind

Thanks for not throwing things at me on Friday for lamely re-directing you to another post that explained how I was feeling – a quality post just wasn’t going to happen.

Some things that did happen on Friday:

  • Scrambled and flustered practice-round presentation
  • A slap in my own face for revealing how scrambled I felt to my team and manager
  • Twenty minutes to myself to get game-time ready
  • A solid, composed and confident presentation when it counted.
  • A celebration patio beer with the team Except they got lunch too
  • A surprise work-birthday party… followed by not much other work.
  • Supergoose IPA in the sun while waiting for Dan to meet me at the theater
  • Iron Man 3 (great flick!)
  • Crashed hard when we got home at 10pm

Saturday morning Dan and I woke up early and refreshed. We quickly packed a bag (that held mostly our electronic devices) and hit the open road to meet up with my parents and little sisters at the coast.

The sun roof open and our sunglasses on the entire trip made us feel like it was mid-July. While the temperatures crept into the high 70’s and the rays of the sun soaked into our skin we felt nothing but joy, relief and a youthful nostalgia of summer break. We talked more in that two hour car ride than we’ve talked in the last few months, and even though a good majority of it was about work – it felt great to listen to his voice, talk about ways we can help each other and get inside of each other’s heads more than the usual “what do you want for dinner, how was your day, did you feed Tiger” conversations.

Unwinding for the weekend was the best thing we could have done for ourselves and definitely helped me with my ‘be spontaneous’ goal. As you can imagine, no additional work for the week was done for this blog, no work was done, no food prep was accomplished and we’ll have to save our Costco trip for another day.

And I’m fine with that, because nothing can beat a sunset like this one.

heart JE