Welcome Home, Holly Kitty!

Ahh! I’m so excited.

Sunday after Dan and I enjoyed pedicures in the neighborhood, we decided to walk into the same pet store where we got Tiger six months ago. We were just stopping in to see the two shop cats, Stella and Jackson, and also to see if the turtle, iguana and other friendly furries were in there and hoping for a visit.

We turned the corner from the fish room and saw none other than this cute little face staring us down.

Between constant eye contact with us, nuzzling up against her cage and the fact that everyone who saw her (inside and outside of the store) stopped by to “awwww” we were hooked. We didn’t walk into the store with the intention of adding a member to the family, but we took a day to discuss it and decided that we were ready for  a little kitty to love in our lives.

Monday night we picked up this little cutie, added a bag of dry food, a few cans of wet food, a litter box, some litter and a scoop! She’s officially part of the family!

I haven’t been around kittens much but Dan grew up with plenty of felines in his family.

I’m getting used to not being able to use verbal commands as you can with dogs, understanding that a wagging tail isn’t a good sign and that a little baby needs all kinds of love and attention. Attention that we are more than happy to give!

She’s a wild and rambunctious one – as I type this she’s ripping around the house, jumping over Dan, bravely climbing the legs of the table and pouncing on mice and feathers like it’s her day job.

When she’s ready to snuggle though, she snuggles hard.

Pretty soon she’ll need to get acquainted with the two golden sisters and hopefully it will go something like this!

I have a feeling this little girl will teach me a lot about myself and I’m looking forward to seeing Dan be a “Dad”.

Welcome home, Holly!

heart JE

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Happy Birthday, Brother!

Matt, today is your 29th birthday and I suppose you need some attention, even though Luxembourg just had a national holiday to celebrate the occasion!

You’ve always been an influence in my life and I’ll never stop looking up to you.

You’ve done everything you can to work hard, make a great example of yourself, challenge the process, encourage others to be great and to make life easier for yourself and the family you’ll have someday.

I look up to you because you refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer. You have the courage to stand up for what you believe and you know that if you push hard enough you can produce results.

You understand that building strong relationships is one of the most important things you can do, and you’re really good at it. I think it’s because you’re a loyal, confident, funny and witty person. More importantly you know that a BBQ always takes good friends and makes them great friends.

You understand the importance of balance in your life and you make the effort to take vacations, spend money on experiences and spend time with those who you love. Your ability to dream like a child at the age of 29 impresses me, and inspires me to live a more carefree life.

Other than your accomplishments in your career, you’ve done some pretty amazing things. Like a double major on an academic scholarship, going to grad school while working full time. Like travelling solo to Europe, just to explore, and later moving your entire life there just because you craved the adventure. You made it to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, rocking a mohawk. What’s not amazing about that?

 I miss you every single day. I don’t play pool as often as I should, ride the bike you bought me like I promised that I would or even take vacations like you encourage me to, but I still know that you’re proud of me and that you’re always just a phone call away. 

You have a ‘special’ lady who thinks you’re pretty remarkable, so please take care of her and continue to show her the creative, intelligent, witty, carefree, spontaneous, games-and-prizes Matt you’ve always been and I know you always will be.

Happy Birthday, MattMan! I’m happy you turned out okay.

heart JE

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: Sibling Love

Family is such an important part of my life. Without my wonderful and loving family, I don’t know where I’d be today.

I especially don’t know the person I’d be today without my brother who has guided me through school, through sports, through making good choices, through choosing the right kinds of people to hang around and even through finding happiness in my love life. He’s always been there for me and he always has my happiness and well being in mind.

Having this sibling bond in my life makes me appreciate it when I see it from other siblings and it was especially heartwarming to see the bond between Dan and his sister.

  • Whenever they saw one another she had her arms wrapped around him in full embrace.
  • He wrote a beautiful note to her in the wedding card.
  • The tears in his eyes while he watched the father-daughter dance were genuine and from the heart (photos not allowed to be shared).

Instantly I was able to tell that he’s proud of the woman she’s grown up to be, and could tell that she looked up to her big brother more than she was able to articulate or express.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is brought to you by the man who I love, who showed me his care and adoration for his little sister this weekend.

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

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

Throwback Thursday: Half Birthday

Today is one of my most favorite days of the year – my HALF Birthday.

I’ve celebrated half birthdays since I can remember and love keeping the tradition alive.

My brother claims to have started the tradition, but reality (read: how I remember it) is that a sunny spring day I learned it was my half birthday and had the scheme of a lifetime. I stood on a step-stool, reached for the wired wall-phone and dialed the phone numbers of my grandparents that were listed in my mother’s handwriting on the inside of a cupboard door. Each time I dialed a number, I would speak in my sweetest most innocent voice and invite my relatives over for a Half Birthday celebration. Yes, presents would be accepted and yes – there will be cake (mom just didn’t know it yet!)

One by one, the family started pulling up to the house via the back alley, hands full of gifts, balloons and surprises! The only ones who didn’t know about the party? Mom and Dad!

Being the loving parents that they are, and being the sweet little innocent child I liked to pretend that I was – they went to the store, bought the cake that I’d promised all of my guests, and we had a party that would last for years and years.

Nowadays my half birthday is celebrated a little differently – but I almost like it more than my actual birthday!

Normally the weather is decent in the spring, my parents take me out to dinner, I get half-ish gifts and I have zero guilt in sharing that it’s my half-special day with others. What’s even better? Mom’s half birthday is just two days later and we know we like to do each of our days justice – this half birthday thing isn’t just for me!

This year Dan and I are doing a pamper day with pedicures and evening plans he hasn’t shared with me yet, but there’s a rumor that I have a gift from mom and dad waiting for me at home. Hopefully I can also expect something special at work since I shamelessly marked the date on our calendar. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is brought to you by a little girl who knew that even the littlest milestones are important to celebrate – especially one’s centered around her beautiful cake-loving existence!

heart JE