Funny how things change in time….

I haven’t posted a new blog post thingie in ages. This morning I decided I should. Everything has changed since my last post, which was probably over a year ago.

This used to be all about my adventures with a great guy I dated, Ryan. Ryan is no more. I mean, he’s probably still alive, I didn’t take him out or anything. He’s not mine no mo! And for that, I am grateful. It led me to be right where I belong. There were so many things about him that I really enjoyed. I can’t say anything bad about him if I wanted to. We split because I couldn’t deal with his ex wife issues. He was over her or the most part (I Think…that is kind of questionable) but his family certainly was not. They made it very clear that they had known her since she was a teenager and they still considered her to be their daughter in law. Fine, keep the delusional money hungry horse faced ex wife, I don’t want that drama in my life. So we ended things, fairly nicely. It was all fine and dandy and peaceful until he said he wanted to come get the rest of his stuff I had and maybe we could…not wear clothes together, but he didn’t want to talk about the break up. So I just put his stuff that I still had on the BBQ pit, lit it on fire, sent him a picture and let him know that no, he absolutely was not welcome to come to my house and try and do boyfriendly things to me since he was no longer my boyfriend. Haven’t seen him since! I’m not the kind of girl that you can call up and expect to visit after you have screwed up and you get lonely. When I am done, I am done and if I have to show my crazy to make that clear, hand me the lighter fluid!

So anyway, moving on, as I said before, there were a lot of qualities about him that I did like. When I started dating again (quickly after) I decided I would find a man with some of the same positive aspects. I found a really cute small town police officer who also had amazing taste in cowboy boots. Again, kids the same ages as mine. Same height. Same hair and eye color. My girlfriends joked that he was “Ryan 2.0” because there were so many similarities. I like what I like!

Our first date, my house had just been raised, lifted 4′ above the slab and I was spending a lot of time getting it back to normal. The yard was a giant mess and had mud everywhere. I invited him over to help me plant a garden. It was so cute, he showed up in his fancy boots and his expensive Buckle jeans…not gardening clothes! He got right down there with me and helped plant a whole garden. It grew over time and gave us dozens of tomatoes and the flowers did very well. It was beautiful. We went and had sushi at the park nearby and he tried to get me to eat some with the raw fish, I wasn’t having it. My best friend came over and approved of him. It felt like we had been together for years. He was so …right. It was comfortable and easy. When he hugged me I fit perfectly in his arms. He was kind of shy but talked to me a lot. He had this kind of goofy smile that makes you smile because it’s just so funny and quirky. We had a lot in common and he loved fishing and hunting, which is “manly” and a big plus in my book. He lived far away, almost two hours away. But he came back the next day to spend time with me again. And the next weekend after that when he was off. Then the weekend after. You know, there was never once a day he had off that he did not come see me. If he had 24 hours off, he wanted to make that drive and spend every possible minute with me. We went fishing all the time. I caught all the fish! More than he did. We went to the French Quarter and spent too much money and had too much fun. We discovered new restaurants together. We played pool together. We watched a lot of movies together. His children came down for the summer (they live out of state) and I fell in love with them. Amazing boys. My boys became good friends with them. Those kids eat everything I cook and rave about how good it is. Unlike my picky children. He went through police academy to become post certified. I was right by his side through the whole thing and went to his graduation. He became my best friend. I admire so many things about him. He is very gentle and kind and sweet. He is soft-spoken and somewhat shy. He has been all over the world, he served for 14 years in the Navy before becoming a police officer. So the stories about all of the places he has been are amazing. All the foods he has eaten, all of the cultures he has gotten to experience for a short while…it is interesting. He is very intelligent and we share many of the same philosophies and ideas. Plus he has a super fuzzy chest that I can’t get enough of. It is better than my favorite pillow.

wedding day academy mexico

He is my husband now. His name is Josh. He put a BEAUTIFUL pink morganite and diamond Scott Kay designed ring on my finger, we had a short engagement and got married December 4th. Scott Kay happened to pass away on our wedding day. It was a very small wedding. I wore simple dress and we got a Chantilly cake from Whole Foods. He picked my flowers and I forget what they were called, but they were beautiful and very unique. We opted for a small wedding because we had just moved in together and spent Halloween on vacation in Mexico with my kids, so no honeymoon necessary. He works full time and it’s just not practical to vacation as much as we would really like to.

More exciting news! We opened a business together and I became a homeschool mom! More about that in a future blog post.

In closing, I am a very blessed and/or lucky lady. I went after what I wanted and I got it. I got the most wonderful man in all the world who treats me like a queen. I never thought I could be so in love, so at peace, so comfortable and happy with my life and the people in it. Never settle. Go get what you want. Be it a partner, a job change, a vacation…just go for it. Make it happen. You will be glad you did!

No More Peas and Carrots.

Never saw it coming. Nobody did. Ryan and I were a Great couple. Not just a good couple that loved each other but a truly great couple who enjoyed every minute of being together. Unfortunately, love isn’t enough. It would be nice to think that rainbows and sunshine and happy couples make the world go around but that’s just not the case. There was one huge issue that will be in his life forever that we could not compromise or see eye to eye on and it was the Only source of our arguments and tension. The break up was about a month ago now I guess….when we quit seeing each other and he needed “space” to think about things. He got his space, I had to be the one to make the call and say what we were both thinking. The relationship ended fairly nicely. My girlfriends helped me through it a lot. My best friend was there for me to go over and cry and bitch and moan and get coffee and hugs several times during the split. It was really hard on both of us. We both felt that the issue was not possible to fix in any way and would be a constant source of pain and anger and that isn’t what is best for either of us or our children. We will go our separate ways. This “issue”….truth is he was married for ten years to a vindictive, controlling, manipulative woman who is money hungry and Evil! Evil I tell you. Between the insane amount of child support she uses on her coach purse collection and her new millionaire husband who probably hasn’t yet even realized he’s signed his testicles over to Cruella de Vil….you’d think she’d save up a little and get her chin fixed. Unless Jay Leno is her biological father……anyway, evil horse faced selfish delusional inbred swamp critter can go ahead and continue to torture her ex husband until the kids turn 18 if she wants. And he can let her. I don’t care anymore, I am Done with it. DONE. And you know his mother told me, “There’s no problems with her (horse face) when he is single!” Yeah, well he can be single. Forever.

So I thought about deleting this blog since I started it as a way to record my adventures and big moments and all that crap and it was all about Ryan and I. But I changed my mind. Because I am pretty awesome if I do say so myself. Even without Ryan. In fact, I made him look way cooler than he ever could even hope to be. (Ok, perhaps that’s a great exaggeration, he was the most fabulous non gay “gay boyfriend” I ever had) Whose toes am I going to paint now? Can I paint my boys toes with glitter polish? While they sleep!!! That’s genius. I will still have many more memories I’d like to keep track of and I don’t see any need to delete the past stuff I had with Ryan even though we are no longer a couple. It was great, I enjoyed it all and I’m happy that it happened and want nothing but the best for him (and for a bird to poop on his ex wife’s head, I want that to happen). Final verdict: The Blog Stays.

The luckiest girl in the world…

Every woman wants a man who loves them to the core. Through thick and thin, health and sickness, mood swings and happy times. A man who will be her best friend, make her laugh, pay attention to the little details, buy her flowers, kiss her forehead and always make her feel like a princess.

I found all these qualities plus more in this man I call Carrots. He’s mine and I wouldn’t give him up for anything. Tonight was the first night in our entire relationship that I have done the driving for the distance between us. It’s an hour and a half away. He came last night to watch the Super Bowl with me. The Seahawks won! He brought tiny sandwiches, we had fruit, steaks and baked potatoes and I made brownies from scratch. I had horrendous cramps all day and the period from hell.

Wake the kiddos up, get them off to school. We laid in bed and just talked and were silly for a couple hours. He was hungry and when he’s hungry he gets “Hangry”. Hungry and Angry. One of those people that has to eat or else it affects his mood. We decided to go on a quest to find the best burgers in town, so I asked a few friends who know these things, got a great recommendation. Phil’s Grill in Metairie. Went and had HUGE burgers and milk shakes. Chocolate is my downfall when I have girl problems. I can’t say no to it, give me a ton of it, drown me in chocolate!  It makes me happy. I ordered an oreo milkshake with chocolate ice cream. Oh it was soooooooo good. I drank all mine and he asked if I wanted the rest of his because he wanted a beer. Hell Yeah! We can’t let a chocolate oreo $6 milkshake go to waste! Between that and the fried pickles, I wasn’t even hungry when the burgers came. My burger was delicious. I got what I always get on any fancy burger, all the veggies, swiss, mushrooms and bacon, well done. He was feeling adventurous. This may have been the biggest burger in the world. He got an insane burger that was covered in Zapps potato chips (a New Orleans brand) and then deep fried! The inside was stuffed with cheese. With pineapple rings, jalapeno, and God knows what else in that 8 inch burger with spicy potato salad on the side. Quite impressive! Neither of us could even finish half of them before we were about to explode. $46 in burgers, milkshakes and pickles. Spendy, but worth it! It cured the Hangry. We can’t have Hangry Carrots!

Went across the street to the store that sells LSU and Saints apparel and swag…I found the cutest shirt! LSU is purple and gold, and I have a really cool shirt he got me in those colors. The one I found today looks more like a Victoria Secret tee shirt. It’s white with 2 pink stripes around the short sleeves and the top part of it above the chest is solid pink and it says “LOVE” on top across the chest and then “LSU TIGERS” Hot pink is my color. I love it almost as much as I love chocolate. Maybe even more. As soon as I saw it, he knew what that, “Oh Honeyyyy! Look!” meant. He said, “Baby, it is So cute and if they have it in your size, I’m getting it for you right now.” They had only one left in my size. Yay!!! Best boyfriend in the world. It fits perfectly too, it’s going in my favorite shirt collection for sure.

Blah blah blah…there were three long paragraphs here about mushy shit and how great Ryan was….post break up Edit! Don’t want that there anymore.

Sneaux Storm!

It’s been quiet around here lately. We had a “snow storm” or as we like to call it in Louisiana, “Sneaux”! There wasn’t much real snow at all. It was ice and freezing rain and misery coming from the sky. Snow is white powdery stuff that you can play with, I know about real snow. This was nothing like that at all. Everything froze over. The roads, bridges, the hearts of the people in the northern states. They made fun of us southerners! Said we can’t drive in snow, have to shut down the entire state. That’s right bitches, we shut it down! We like our sunshine and flip flops. My kids got a few days off of school to hang out with me instead of suffering the cold temperatures. Guess what, northerners…I have Mardi Gras, king cake, the best seafood in the world, damn good seasonings, the French Quarter, my state is full of gentleman who look hot in tight jeans and boots and I can tan outside 9 months out of the year, you know what you have? More snow. Ha.

Carrots had to work for all of this since we were under a state of emergency and idiots who were determined to drive kept ending up in ditches. There were tons of wrecks. He was freezing but in typical super hero fashion, he handled it like a champ. 12 hour shifts. It would have been 7 days in a row of 12 hour shifts if they hadn’t cut him a little slack and let him off at noon yesterday. Thank goodness, he needed it! He told me he was really tired and needed to do laundry and a few things. Of course I missed him and wanted him to come visit, living an hour and a half away though and understanding that he was tired of driving I told him have a great day and relax and do whatever. That would have been just fine, I had a bunch of cleaning and laundry (ugh laundry, yuck) to do anyway. Knowing Ryan…I still kind of expected him to show up. He’s like that. Any chance he has to make me smile, he’s on it like white on rice. I didn’t put on my face or shave my legs or anything though, thinking no, he really needs to stay home and rest, he’d be smart to do that. He would have come over Sunday for the super bowl and stayed Monday and Tuesday, that’s plenty of time with him. I called him a few hours later and asked what he was doing, he said, “just sitting in the chair.” There’s two recliners in the living room, I pictured him in one, he sounded like he was half asleep. It was hard to hide the tiny bit of disappointment I felt. We chatted for a few minutes and I let him go and then text him and said, “I kind of expected that you would show up anyway, I just miss you and love you, enjoy your day off.” Not even two minutes later I got a facebook notification, he posted, “Guess Where I am -feeling awesome!” It said he posted it from where I live. “No way, you are here? Now!?” Yep! He drove here after renewing his inspection sticker and getting a new insurance card so I can borrow his car next week. What a guy. He gives me the biggest smiles ever. I couldn’t stop hugging him. Even though I kind of suspected he’d come, I still couldn’t believe that he actually did! It was great. So we had fantastic sex while the Mormon Missionaries were downstairs talking to my father and the kids were downstairs doing homework. I love it when he gets like that and can’t keep his hands off me and it just can’t wait. I still think he is just soooo hot. I have the biggest crush on him And he’s my boyfriend, makes it extra awesome. After all that good stuff I made him dinner. Nothing too fancy, meatloaf and corn on the cob and mashed potatoes. I discovered that onion Lipton soup mix makes a really good gravy. Better than brown gravy. He liked it. It’s very important to me that he likes my cooking. He reminds me constantly that he hates my spinach. If I’m upset with him that’s his comeback, “yeah? Well….I Hate your spinach!” He ate that spinach the one time I made it and didn’t tell me he hated it until after he ate a good bit of it. That’s love. 🙂

I have discovered that he’s not this sweet to everyone. It’s just me. He has an asshole side that can come out for other people and he will say exactly what he thinks, nice or not. I appreciate that quality in a person though. He can be very direct and assertive. It’s the police officer in him. I think if he didn’t have to deal with idiots and enforce the law and tell people how things are going to be and occasionally get physically aggressive to protect himself or make an arrest , he’d probably be really soft and mushy in general. A complete “nice guy”, the kind that gets pushed around. 14 years as a cop has toughened him up and made his heart a little colder to people in general. I like that about him. He’s my bad boy who has never broken the law. He’s never even once smoked pot in his life. I never have to worry about my safety with him. He sees everything that’s going on around us and is aware and ready at any time. There is no doubt in my mind that man would protect me with his life if he had to. Since he loves me in unmeasurable ways, I get all the sweetness. None of the asshole side. His mom did tell me months ago that he’s only this nice to me. To the other women he’s dated as well, he treats his ladies right. But nobody cares about those bitches. I’m the current queen of his world and plan on keeping that title forever! We had a funny moment where I asked him if his girl scouts cookie order came in yet. He said not yet. I asked him to share them with me when they come. I informed him, “Now would be the perfect time to start practicing for marriage, I want half your cookies.” To which he responded, “We are not yet married, you get ONE.” I pretended to have hurt feelings and be appalled, hoping he’d say I could have them all. We negotiated back to half, which was what I originally wanted anyway. Thank you Tom Hopkins, for my professional sales skills. The deal isn’t completed yet, until I eat half those cookies. Mmmmmmmmmmm……girl scout cookies.

I wish I could remember what had him dying laughing. He was cracking up almost crying laughing when we were in bed. He hates avocados, boiled eggs……and my spinach. Whatever started it, I’m not sure, but I was whispering that I was going to feed him those things, in my sexiest and seductive voice in his ear and biting him just a little bit. After that was over he was playing on his phone and I was on mine, the radio was on and I was half way listening. I said, “Baby, this is gonna be the best day of my life.” He had no idea what I was talking about, it took him a whole minute before he noticed that song was on. “This is gonna be the best day of my liiiiiife….” That’s all I know.

I kind of maybe got my job back. It’s a crazy dramatic story I don’t feel like getting into now. To make it short, I got a call from the dealership owner saying he’d be in town for the NADA convention (which I would LOVE to go to!) and wanted to meet with me. Ryan was here that day, this was before the big “snow storm” and he watched the boys for me while I went and met with him and his son. We had dinner downtown and talked business. I had never met the owner previously, even though I worked for him. I was doing a million different things but mostly advertising and customer relations for a dealership in Tampa. Where the general manager there is my old boss who I worked for (in person) at a different dealer in the Tampa area. There were some huge conflicts when this new dealership opened up, with the software company they were using (which I also previously worked for in Tampa) and I quit and said they needed to sort it all out and get it straight, here’s what I feel is wrong and needs to be done. I made it clear that if they didn’t want to do that, I expected them to fail and I wanted no part of it. Biggest fit ever when I left, I made sure they realized exactly how much work I was doing that they software company was taking credit for. Shut it alllllll down and said let the software company fix it, they should have been doing it in the first place. It was a mess. Totally never expected them to call me; ‘Hey, you were right. The software company is gone, we want you back and we are sorry we didn’t handle it differently then’. What?!? Then it snowed and Louisiana froze over. Predictable. So that’s cool. If they compensate me well and I can get back to work for them, I’d be pretty thrilled. So would Ryan I’m sure. Being an unemployed single mother, with not one but two deadbeat fathers for my two boys (who have court dates soon!) and not working, my bank account is not what it used to be. I can never thank him enough for everything he so generously does for me. Anything I need, he will help me with if he can. I never take advantage of that and I do what I can for him as well every time it is possible. I like it a lot when I get to help him or do something nice for him. When he was saving for the cruise and I had a little more income there were a few times he let me buy lunch and stuff, I love that. He doesn’t have too much pride to let me help him if he needs it. We are very open about money and have been since day one. What’s his is his, what’s mine is mine, but in general it kind of all goes together. I don’t see money ever being a problem in our relationship or eventual marriage. For several reasons. I usually make a decent amount of it! I’m a good spender, not too crazy. I go on a $100 make up spree once a year and then feel almost guilty about it, other than that I’m a big sale shopper, I budget, handle bills well and all that good stuff. He’s really good at budgeting when he needs to. He even tells me now when he’s considering a large purchase, not that I feel I should have any say so in it. Tonight I mentioned that I have to pay my phone bill tomorrow, I can, but I’ll be stretched even more thin for a few days. No hesitation, he asked if he could do it for me. I cried. I don’t think he knows I cried, but I did. I have never had a partner who was so willing to help me when I need it, and not look down on me when I have a hard time. In the past it was always about helping them, I felt like it was just my job to help my man, that obviously didn’t work out well. The last one ruined me financially and it set me back a lot. So having Ryan being so generous and so kind, it’s different. He’s literally given me the shirt on his back. I smiled and said “I like that shirt, it looks comfy to sleep in.” Then it’s off him and in my hands. “Here baby, you can sleep in it.” Awwww! That’s just so sweet. Who does that? Other than Carrots? Not to brag, I really think I have The Greatest Man in the World. Sometimes if I talk about him too much, other women like to pipe up and say, “My boyfriend brings me flowers and candy when I have cramps.” That’s nice and I’m happy for them but now I feel like that’s what a man who loves you is Supposed to do. Plus a whole lot more. Ryan has set the bar impossibly high and nobody even compares in my mind. If for whatever reason I wasn’t able to marry him one day, I don’t think I’d ever have a man who was nearly as wonderful or that I could love and trust even half as much.

That’s another thing, our trust is solid. That means so much to both if us in our relationship. He’s been hurt before by no good lying cheating skanks. I hate that people hurt him but I’m so glad he’s mine. I’m able to protect his heart and not ever let it be hurt again. (So thanks, Whores!) He’s never even considered for one second that I would do anything to jeopardize our trust. I absolutely would not. He hasn’t either. Any time I have had questions, such as women he’s friends with he answers all my questions with no problem. Never makes me feel like I’m being jealous or ridiculous, it’s ok to ask because he has nothing to hide. Once when I was feeling extra hormonal and crazy I asked him about a pic I saw when he was scrolling through his gallery on his phone, he gave me passwords to his online storage for photos and everything, no problem. Then when I feel like an idiot, he lets me know it’s ok to ask him anything I want, he’d never hurt me, I can have any password to anything at anytime if I wanted it. That’s all the peace of mind I need. I created his email account and haven’t even checked it once since I made it. I don’t look through his phone at all (I did a couple times months ago). I don’t need to. There is nothing there that would hurt me. I can say that confidently and never need to even check now. That’s a Beautiful feeling. Seems like something that everyone should have but it seems to be pretty rare, unfortunately. I never had it this way in any previous relationship. But everyone knows Carrots is no ordinary man! He’s extraordinary.

Pretty soon I will have some really exciting news about a huge change for him, that affects us in many ways! Plus my birthday is coming up and he’s already got a big pink cake all planned out. We are going to celebrate by first 29th birthday right! Next year, my second 29th birthday, will either be really happy or really sad….I haven’t decided how I feel about that yet. I’ll never be 30. I’ll be 29 again until I’m 40, then I’ll be 30. That’s the plan!

 

I said I don’t want a whale in a box or a bag…

I said I don’t want a whale in a box or a bag…

Sitting in an IHop with Carrots and all the boys watching that video and cracking up last weekend in Tennessee…something made me think of that tonight and he reminded me what the video was, so I shared the link in the title! Hilarious…..”I don’t want a stair”. The whole thing is funny. Click it and enjoy!

He came and spent the night with me last night. I made him some great pasta and I’ll copy down the recipe so I can make it again. It was late and just went to bed and such after some of the best lovin ever! That man drives me crazy. He’s seriously talented. And sweet and thoughtful and sexy…..

Anyway. Today we had the best wake up. We both woke up early, around 6 or so and snuggled up. We fit right up against each other in any position. Legs wrap around each others, he pulls me all the way close to him so there’s no room between us and holds my hand. He’s super romantic occasionally and I can’t get enough of it! We stayed like that for a while and ended up getting as close as possible, It’s extra awesome in the mornings. Still too early to get out of bed but we were wide awake. Discussing the hypothetical zombie apocalypse. Both us us are huge Walking Dead Fans! It comes back on my birthday, yay!!! When we are laying there nude being cozy with each other right after getting the morning started in the best kind of way, you’d think he’d be the hero in this silly made up scenario! Nope. If the zombies came he thinks I’d get a limb bitten off. He said I’d want to pet them. No I would Not! I don’t even like to pet dogs, why the heck would I pet a zombie? Come on now, that’s ridiculous! He said I’d get bitten and he’d have to save me and cut off my hand. Then he’d call me Stumpy. That’s not even cool. ….Stumpy. He said “there’s no time for snuggling during the Apocalypse”. My cue to make coffee and breakfast. There was about 20 minutes of quiet before the kids got up! Peace! Coffee, healthy smoothies, breakfast. His arms were hurting from working out and all day we joked that he has little T-Rex arms since it hurts to straighten them out. He’s funny with his useless T-rex arms.

I cut his hair! I always cut his hair and he has beautiful hair for a man. It’s thick and full and he’s not losing it at all. Black with lots of silver in it. No gray, it’s a really cool shade of silver. Liquid metallic! He usually likes it all spiky or in a little feaux-hawk. But today, he wanted it all gone. He insisted. I shaved it off. All of it, gone just like that! I was only slightly afraid that he’d look nothing like the handsome man with great hair that I fell in love with, but….of course, in typical Ryan fashion, he pulled it off and rocks it like it’s nobody’s business. He could make a cardboard box look sexy.

We went to the park with the kids and fed the ducks and walked a mile and a half. There is a nice track and two playgrounds and the kids found other kids to play with. Walking and talking, about everything, I didn’t realize until an older lady gave me the biggest smile, we had been holding hands for about 3/4 of a mile. She looked at us both and smiled, it was really sweet. Yeah, I suppose when people are walking a track quickly they wouldn’t normally hold hands, but we do. Especially if we aren’t really looking at each other. It’s comforting. In that moment when it was brought to my attention I felt really proud to be holding his hand.

He took his older son to basketball practice this evening and went to visit his friends. He must have just missed me or felt bad for making me zombie bait in his hypothetical zombie attack (that’s unlikely). Tonight he said the nicest things. I’d like to remember them forever. “I love you so very much. I truly could never tell you with words. You are my world. I’m so very head over heels for you. I can’t wait until the day comes that you are my wife and I can come home to you. That will be so amazing.” He went on and said, “I’m glad I found you or you found me or we found each other. We are meant to be. It’s an honor to be your partner and best friend. You’re better than the best of anything I could have ever wanted.”

Awwwww! He makes me melt inside. Into a big mushy puddle. I want his kisses every morning and to be able to rub his back each night for the rest of my life. Being with him is the best feeling in the world, he’s just everything. I can’t even describe the feeling of being in his arms, it’s like the feeling of going back to a place you really love that’s very peaceful. It’s like being the first ones on the most beautiful beach in the world; in Cozumel, staring at the clear water and smelling the salt in the air. So amazing. Every single time. It’s like being home as far as the comfort level. It’s not something I could even begin to paint a good picture of with just words. He’s my one person. I hope he lives to be 102 and is healthy and happy. I want to love him forever.

The pasta may have been part of the reason I got an hour worth of fantastic naked time last night, definitely saving this recipe right here to make again!

1 box Rotini Noodles (cooked al dente), Cream of Chicken, Cream Of Mushroom, Milk (maybe 3/4 a cup) a Little Butter, Cooked Broccoli, Pieces of Ham cut into cubes (about 1.5 cups) seasoning (salt, pepper, a little red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder) Italian cheese blend (1 cup, shredded) Bread Crumbs (1/4 cup or so)

Cook noodles, cook broccoli, drain both, cut ham, in large pot mix butter, milk, both Cream Of Chicken and Mushroom soups, seasonings. Add noodles, broccoli and ham. Mix well and make sure soup isn’t lumpy. Place in 9×13 baking dish. Preheated to 350. Sprinkle cheese and then breadcrumbs and a little more garlic. Bake for 30 minutes and then 5 more uncovered.

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How to get (and keep) the best kind of man…

It’s no secret that I’m crazy about my boyfriend. Who will one day be my husband because he’s also pretty in love with me. If you know us or are even friends with either of us on facebook, the mushy content can probably be a little throw-up inducing at times. I’m just fine with that! It’s better than us sharing pictures of our dinner constantly or posting how much we hate politics. The kind of love and friendship and blended family we have together is special and rare and we both like to celebrate it. It took years and years to find the one person in this world who I can share anything with, who always understands, who loves and protects me and always has my back. Like any couple, we have our moments. Neither of us are perfect people, yet we accept each others flaws as well as appreciate all the other persons great qualities.

I have leaned there’s a few key things to a successful relationship. Respect is #1. Men need to be respected…and a relationship is much more likely to be a wonderful one if the woman truly respects her man. I respect Ryan as my partner, as a father to his boys, as a father figure to mine, as a police officer, as a son to his parents and as a brother to his sister. I respect him as a man in general, especially as my man. He is the head of our family even though we are on an equal playing field as partners. Trust goes hand in hand with respect. If you don’t trust your other half 100%, you got nothing. No foundation. We live far apart from each other now and I don’t get to see him all the time. There’s zero doubt in my mind that he loves me and is always thinking of me and considers me when making decisions. He would never ever intentionally hurt me in any way. He trusts me in the same way and knows that he is my heart and he comes first and his feelings matter very much, I would never jeopardize our trust, that’s something that can never be fully rebuilt once destroyed. Forgiveness. We both wake up on the wrong side of bed sometimes. So goes life. If I’m slightly annoyed I tell him I’m annoyed because (whatever reason)…and it’s bothering me. If it’s something we need to discuss further, we can talk about it when he’s free and can devote his attention to it, but I love him and hope he’s having a wonderful day. I can only think of once he’s been frustrated with me for just a moment. I could tell I unintentionally said something he didn’t appreciate and he just gave me That look. You know, That look, it says, “you really went there, I am not happy with you.” So I gave him some space and apologized for upsetting him as soon as he came to talk to me. I let him know I would never intentionally upset him or piss him off, he means more to me than that and I was out of line and I’m sorry. That’s all he needed to hear. Hugged me and said it’s fine, no tears. Forgiveness and having a soft heart towards each other is so, so very important. Appreciation. All the reasons I respect him, I also appreciate those things about him. I let him know every single day that I appreciate him. Remind him that he’s awesome and a wonderful man and I’m thankful that he’s mine. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have him as my partner and friend. In turn he strives to be the best man he can be for me and for the rest of the world as well. I tell him I’m proud of him. For all the big things and all the little things. I’m his biggest cheerleader. Went to the gym this morning? Yay! Way to go! I’m proud of him for being such a responsible father. For always being polite even when he doesn’t want to be, especially with some of the junk and stupidity he has to deal with at work. Encourage him. Remind him he’s not alone. In anything he does, I’m here to help. He wants to get healthier, I make him healthy stuff to take home for lunches, pick him up some good low calorie snacks to put in the police car so he doesn’t eat junk and feel bad about it later. From little things like that to big things, such as changing careers and saving for a home. Whatever he wants, he has my full support. Hold him accountable. He actually brought this to my attention during a disagreement once. A disagreement about a sensitive subject in his life. I gave my two cents on the issue and told him I just feel that he could handle it in a much better way. He told me thank you for holding him accountable for his actions, he’s glad that I do and he knows I do it because I love him. Absolutely the truth. Honesty and openness…we will get old together. Our solid friendship will be there to help through life’s ups and downs. Love doesn’t make the world go round unfortunately and it’s not always butterflies and rainbows and sometimes we don’t feel crazy super in love and romantic. That’s totally normal and fine. Having a real and close friendship will make spending life together that much more enjoyable. I talk to him like he’s my best friend, because he is. I share funny things and make him laugh, I listen when he just needs to vent, tell him my secrets when the time is right, be silly with him, do things he likes with him and be considerate of his needs and wants and feelings. I often do things to make him proud of me. Men gossip more than women! Give him good stuff to brag about to his friends! I’m the girlfriend that he enjoys being around, wants to do everything with, makes him proud to be seen in public with.

Now this next section may be slightly controversial. This is what I think is important for women and a lot of women wouldn’t agree with me about it. I’m fine with that!

Women should be lady like. All the time. I don’t mean always wearing high heels with red lipstick, but that shouldn’t be ignored. Even when it’s pajama time or one of those days you stay home and don’t get dressed until noon, make it look good. Never neglect personal hygiene. Legs should be shaved, cupcakes (code word for vag) should be smooth or kept up, hair should look acceptable. It takes two minutes to put it in a cute bun or ponytail even on the worst hair day. I personally prefer long hair and think it’s much more girly and feminine. Mascara and moisturizer and cherry chap-stick go a long way and take virtually no time to apply.

That’s another thing, being feminine. So many women seem to totally let that go out the window. Ladies, come on now! Embrace being a woman and all the nice features that come along with it! Pretty girls don’t burp or fart. They don’t even like to talk about it. Always pee with the door closed! That ends that discussion. Wear dresses or skirts occasionally. Cute panties are important too. Panty-lines are gross.

Cooking…..that’s a touchy subject everyone has their own opinion on. Some women just can’t cook and accept it as just being the way it is. Being a southern gal from the city with the best food in the world, New Orleans, I find the ability to cook a huge necessity. Not just a good quality to have, but absolutely necessary. A man who works hard should be able to come home to a nice dinner. Especially a man who works 12 hour shifts and is risking his life on a daily basis. Every chance I get to make him dinner, I do. Anything he wants. If I don’t know how to make it, I’ll learn. Now he’s also an excellent cook and likes to be in the kitchen with me. He loves to bake. So it’s become something fun that we like to do together and it’s a good routine for us to be able to spend time in the kitchen helping each other and talking about whatever comes up.

Speaking of talking about whatever comes up….the bedroom! Ladies, stop hating porn. You read about it! 50 Shades of Gray is the hottest book out these these days and all my friends have read it and probably drooled all over their copy of that book. What if your man said, “Oh, so you like Mr. Gray better than me? He does it for you and you aren’t interested in me?” (Or other nonsense you won’t hear a man say about porn) Women like books about porn for the same reasons men like videos of porn. Humans in general are sexual beings. Most people have the desire to have kids and reproduce, Just part of normal life. Most women can appreciate a hot guys body. Why is it not ok for a man to look? If your man would rather have porn over your body on a regular basis, there’s definitely a problem with that….and he’s probably not the man for you anyway. In a healthy and happy relationship with all the qualities I mentioned previously, respect, trust, appreciation, friendship and love….let there be porn! I often send him links to videos I think he would enjoy, or links to videos that I enjoy. (I hope to God his mother never discovers my blog!) Or even in the grocery store, I’ll whisper, “hey baby, really nice butt on that girl with the blue top on to your left!” He will glance and smile and get a kick out of it that his girlfriend is relaxed and trusting enough as well as secure enough to admire and point out a good looking person. He sends me pics of country music super stars I find hot. Above all, he’s mine and he loves me. I have stretch marks, a c-section scar, my boobs aren’t as perky as they once were (thanks, kids!) and I could definitely do a few more squats. Physical attraction to each other is important but our love runs much deeper than looks. I am secure in knowing that he wants me and me only. That he finds my imperfect body beautiful and is glad to have his way with it and wants me in every way. Pointing out a nice rack or admiring a Hooters waitress won’t change that. In fact, it lets him know I trust him completely. This opens up all kinds of doors. It creates a whole new level of fun in the bedroom. Nobody should ever use sex as a punishment or make their partner feel unwanted when things get hard. I mean times, issues, things in life…when things are difficult. (just to clarify!) When I’m having a hard time, he’s my go-to. I want his arms around me, I need him close to me. Sometimes sex is a great distraction and helps you feel closer to the person you love. When you feel connected it’s much easier to compromise and be compassionate and all those things.

Trust plays a big part in the bedroom. Having a partner that you can share your most intimate thoughts with is amazing. We have a no-boundaries rule in the bedroom. There’s no secrets. I want to know what turns him on. The things he likes that he wouldn’t normally feel comfortable sharing. No judging. If he said he liked some crazy wild out there stuff, as long as it’s legal, fine with me! As long as it doesn’t involve other people in our lives, it’s fair game. I do not and will not ever share my man and he feels the same way. It took a while to get him to completely get over being a little bit shy about sharing intimate thoughts, it was worth waiting for. The closer we get the more we both get to enjoy it. If he’s into something that I’m not into I don’t instantly shut him down and say no way that isn’t going to happen. I consider it, tell him what I do or don’t like about it and let him know I’m willing to try it. As his woman, as his partner and his love, I want to turn him on. I want to be the girl in his fantasies. As a joke once when we were being silly he said his fantasy is me, in a bacon skirt, wearing a football helmet, holding a beer. I’m still trying to figure out how to make a bacon skirt…because I’d totally do that and take a few pictures for him! Just to make him smile. I let him know he does it for me, allllll the time. He probably gets tired of hearing how handsome he is. That he’s perfect in every way for me. That I love his smile and his eyes and sexy hair. That his manly thighs turn me on and I constantly want to grab his butt. I can’t wait to get him naked and alone with me.

Then there is mutual consideration and understanding of each other as individuals. I tell him he’s hot and amazing because he can’t read my mind. I don’t say I’m mad and let him try to guess why. Men and women are different. Sometimes when you are so close to a person and feel that they know you better than anyone and you finish each others sentences often, it’s easy to forget they can’t read your mind. Say what you feel. Be polite and kind to each other. Like many couples, we are on different pages with our sex drives at times. Instead of it being a problem, or one partner feeling like the other isn’t meeting their needs, we talk about it. I let him know that I will never, ever turn him down. A headache is not an acceptable excuse. There’s Tylonel for that. If one of us isn’t in the mood, that’s fine because we communicate what we want exactly. Often times I’ll tell him that more than anything I just want to be close to him, it doesn’t have to be all hot and steamy. He will say he just wants to snuggle. But if one of us really wants and needs the other, we do our best to be accommodating! Our love life is fantastic. It is a topic that requires a lot of communication and trust and even some vulnerability at times. It takes work to have a great love life and that is very important in a relationship. We are friends first and then lovers. I appreciate and love that about us and it has a lot to do with what makes us a great team and a happy, healthy couple.

Parenting…..can be stressful. Especially when you blend a family. There’s previous spouses, there are kids that instantly become siblings pretty much, there’s lots of great things and a few tough things about it. It’s best done together. I find it’s something you have to be on the same page about. Parenting together does have boundaries. I love and respect him as a father. He appreciates me as a mother. His children look up to me and I love them as if they were mine. He feels the same way about my kids. But he’s not my kids father. I’m not his kids mom. That’s just the fact of the matter. We don’t spank the others children. For us, it’s just a line neither of us feel the need to cross. As far as discipline we are on the same page. I’ll punish his kids, he can punish mine. We do many things as a family. We treat all the boys equally. I tell each one of them privately that they are my favorite and they all believe they are. This is true, they are all my favorites 🙂 in their own ways. We celebrate their strengths as individuals, encourage them as brothers, raise them to be good little men. Parenting is definitely difficult at times. He has struggles as a divorced father, always feels like he should be doing more and worries about if his kids are truly happy and doing ok. I reassure him that he does a great job and he’s a wonderful dad. He really is. The absolute best dad I have ever seen. When he’s having a hard time we talk it out, come up with new ideas of how to handle things together. Sometimes he just needs me to listen to him vent his frustrations or worries and doesn’t need any advice. Every now and then I hold him and comfort him when it’s all just too much and he needs a break from real life and adult responsibilities. We all have our moments of being overwhelmed, especially as parents (and parents of pre-teens with attitudes!). When mine are driving me crazy, or if they did something cool and I’m proud of him, or if I don’t know the best way to handle something, I talk to him about it. He’s my rock, he’s my partner and taking care of us as a couple makes us better parents. It is nice to know that he understands my struggles as a single mother and he wants to help me in every way possible or be there to listen if I just need to let it all out. Our kids are pretty well adjusted and happy boys for the most part. Overall they get along well. The big boys are 11 and 10 and the little boys are 8 and 6. They are all so unique. The little family we have made together is really awesome and I’m very proud of it.

Gross the kids out. On a regular basis. This is a good one! We hold hands. all the time. He places his hand on my lower back when we are in public. We kiss each other whenever we feel like it (save all the heavy making out for private time). He always opens the car door for me, even when we are coming back from grocery shopping. I wait, I’ll actually pause and wait for him to open the door unless it’s raining or we are in a rush or whatever. I’m fully encouraging of him being a gentleman and our boys learning those things by example.

Share in his excitement and happiness. About anything and everything. he’s into college football. I’m not. I like NFL football. I think college football has stupid rules, I hate their playoff system, I feel like the players don’t want to get hurt OR they are playing their hearts out so they can get into the pros….it’s just not my thing. But he loves it. So I love it with him. It is nothing for me to bake some wings and put on some purple and gold stuff and root for LSU on his behalf because it brings him joy. In return, he helps me shop for pretty dresses because I like it.

It has to be all about him sometimes. He just found his old partner (police stuff) who he was good friends with but lost touch with and is really happy about it. That is pretty cool. I suggested they go grab a drink together and hang out. My womanly instincts want to meet his friend and bake stuff and hang out with them while they catch up. But it’s not always about me and what I want and he needs his space to do his own things just like I need mine. He goes hunting, I’m all for boys nights at Hooters once or twice a month. I want to have wine and talk about high heels and make up and sex, with my girlfriends occasionally. I encourage him to be the man I fell in love with who had his own life and just included me into it. Knowing that you can survive apart and you are a couple only because you truly want to be, not need to be, is really powerful. We depend on each other emotionally in many ways. I know he’s always there for me no matter what and I’m here for him in any capacity I possibly can be for him as well. Financially, boundaries are important. I will never let him be the sole income for our family. It’s not fair to him to have all the responsibility placed on his shoulders and money troubles are a problem for so many couples. When we live together one person may provide more in certain areas than the other does, but it will never be all on him. I know from first hand experience that being a stay at home mom is the hardest and most demanding job in the world. It truly is. I used to love to go back to work after my days off sometimes just for a break! I will always work to help provide for us and pull my weight. In the event that I wasn’t working and we had bills together, if something happened and I was just not able to for whatever reason for a while, that house would be spotless, dinner would be cooked and he wouldn’t lift a finger. His underwear would be nicely folded and I’d make sure to work out extra and keep up with myself the best I can as well. If he’d be willing to do whatever necessary to support me and my kids plus his kids and our whole family in the event that I couldn’t, that’s a privilege that shouldn’t go unappreciated or unnoticed. As his partner, I’d rather provide half of the income and split all of the house hold responsibilities and keep it equal and balanced between us. When it comes to money, I subscribe to the “yours, mine and ours” theory. I have mine, he has his, we share whatever we need to. Money isn’t a topic worth fighting about in my book. As long as both partners are doing their best. You can’t take money with you when you die. Your kids won’t remember how much you spent on them. I don’t remember or care what my favorite bracelet he got me cost or how much I have spent on our lunch dates. If he has it and I need it, he shares. If I have it and he needs it, I share. It’s a team effort. When he books a vacation I pick up the things we will need for it. When I stay at his house I get groceries and cook for everyone.

It’s about being considerate of the other person and being open and communicating well. It’s about being the best partner you can be and being the best best-friend possible to the person who loves and wants you. Love like this is special. I’d be lying if I said it just came simply. It takes work. It takes dedication. It takes us turning to each other instead of against each other when times are tough. There’s been a lot of tears mixed up with countless hugs and smiles and laughs, a few fights and a whole lot of unlimited love with no conditions. It’s all worth it in the end.

Pigeon Forge and Eggrolls!

Second awesome vacation! Since this trip to Tennessee came about as a result of me telling Carrots that my perfect vacation idea is a cabin in the woods with all of our kiddos…..of course I tried again. During this amazing trip I did say, “Honey, this mountain and cabin and everything is so nice, but a vacation to Greece in the summer would be Really Perfect!” It didn’t work, but I figured it was worth a try 🙂

He worked all day and then drove the hour to my house. We all had pizza, they saw a pedestrian get hit by a car in front of the pizza place on the way over here. That’s a terrible way to start a vacation! Fed all the kiddos, managed to stuff all the suitcases and pillows and blankets into his SUV, pile all the children in and we got going! Driving at night so the kids can sleep is the way to go. There’s got to be that one stubborn child who refuses to sleep and asks a million questions the whole drive. It was kind of amusing, my youngest son is a funny kid. They slept for the most part, we drove all night. That drive went by quickly, took about 10 hours or so. There were tons of deer on the side of the road. I’m always terrified of them jumping out and getting hit. The drive got more hilly, the air got cleaner, Tennessee was beautiful! He did get pulled over for speeding and a very nice police officer who was quite a gentleman saw his badge and then gave directions to where we were going and a few minutes of friendly small chat instead of a ticket. Now he was Not intentionally speeding I must say. We were in a construction area of maybe two blocks total and the speed limit dropped from 50 to 30 miles an hour in that one spot and nobody noticed. Tennessee was beautiful! Mountains and trees and such. We went to find the cabin first. Found it. Wayyyyyy up high and around a very narrow and curvy drive uphill with traffic going both ways and only one lane! Kind of scary! Then the driveway up to our cabin was one city block long, also narrow and curvy and very, very steep! It was icy and the roads were wet. The SUV was like ‘nope, not going up this!’

(Which surprises me, because I’m KIA certified and have sold tons of Sorento’s and even had one of my own for a few years. I never knew how well or not well they handled serious road conditions)

We went back to town and got some groceries and such. We were both beyond exhausted. Kids were ready to play, everyone wanted to be Out of the car! Breakfast at IHop. All the boys love it, those kids could live off of breakfast stuff. Ryan went into the store to get the groceries and I stayed with the kids. Even though he was tired and stressed and feeling like we would never make it up that road and into the cabin….he returned with a dozen absolutely gorgeous pink and white striped roses! He’s too sweet.

Around this crazy heart attack inducing mountain again and up to the driveway. I just knew we were all going to crash and fall off this cliff. He committed to it and went up that driveway! You have to take it kind of fast to get up it. The kids were loving it, they all cheered him on, I’m gasping for breath and trying to decide if I’m impressed or terrified. A little of both.

This cabin is Stunning. I mean Perfect. It’s Huge! (‘That’s what she said!’) Way bigger than we expected. The kitchen was adorable. The living room and dining room were gigantic and beautifully decorated. Our bedroom had a big tub with jets in it! Downstairs was another large bedroom with a king size bed, another bathroom, a small living room area and a man cave! Pool table, Foosball, darts, a video game with Ms. Pacman and Donkey Kong and cool old school games. The hot tub outside was on the downstairs balcony, overlooking the road and the mountain. There was a very long upstairs balcony as well. The whole place was beautifully decorated in Bear stuff and very clean. You can tell the owners of that cabin love it and take good care of it. This is officially our cabin in Tennessee now. If it is available we will most definitely choose it first.

http://www.amazingviewscabinrentals.com/cabins/autumn-bearadise/

The boys played, we had a nap and then cooked dinner and hung out. The kids loved it. Saturday morning it was pouring rain when we woke up. Had breakfast, had coffee together and enjoyed the view. Both nights we got in the hot tub, the boys liked that too. I got to take a bubble bath in the ginormous tub in the bedroom. You can fill it all the way up to your neck. Best tub ever! I asked Ryan to join me. One would think that a very in love couple who’s wildly attracted to each other would have some hot action in this romantic bath tub. Nah, we just hold hands and talk about plans for the day and such. I’m not complaining at all, it’s really cool that we so naturally switch back and forth between best friends and lovers many times throughout the day.

We went to the Ripley’s Aquarium! That place is awesome! The sharks were the coolest. I liked the little starfish too. We both managed to kiss a fish through the glass. I don’t remember what the boys liked the best, probably the sharks too. They were all over the place, I usually spend the whole time trying to keep them all together whenever we go anywhere as a family. Especially a fun place like that, they were so excited and wanted to see it all! There’s so much stuff to do in downtown Gatlinburg. Also a ton to do in Pigeon Forge. We are already looking forward to going back when we have more to spend and can stay longer. There’s go-carts, mini golf, so many things. Each of those cities has a little strip that is full of family things to do.

The Saints game and Seattle didn’t come on because the cable was out. meaning our kids couldn’t watch TV at all! They survived. We did rent them a movie. The little boys watched Despicable Me 2 and the big boys watched Superman or Man of Steel or something. Ryan didn’t feel well and went to bed early Saturday night. I roasted marshmallows and made smores for the boys! It rained a lot so all the wood was wet and I don’t know how to do those things without Ryan, so I just helped the boys roast the marshmallows over stove burner! It worked! We all got in the hot tub as well and let Carrots sleep. he felt much better Sunday morning and it was time to pack up and go home already. That’s a looooong drive in the daytime with all the kids awake! The big boys were quiet and happy with their MP3 players blasting in their ears nearly the whole drive. The little boys asked a bunch of questions including, “what state are we in now?” “how much longer?” Ryan and I were both ready to pull our hair out. He drove the entire way back. Lunch at Chili’s was pretty good, I can’t remember what city but we had a really great waitress. My older son had a great burger with crunchy stuff on it. Ryan and I often share whatever we order and we had spicy chicken and ranch/chicken quesadillas. Yum! I got a really neat pic of us holding hands. He didn’t even know I took it. We constantly hold hands, he’s the most touchy and loving boyfriend I have ever had.

I missed him for a few nights and then he came to visit on his off day. He was really sick and had stayed in bed all day. He doesn’t get sick often and he is so unlike himself when it happens! I didn’t have any pink and white frosted animal crackers for him, we snuggled all night. I love him so much. We always wake up at the same time in the middle of the night and we had a funny moment. I woke up at like 3 am and snuggled up close to him and discovered he was also awake. I said, “Honey I have this song stuck in my head and it’s driving me crazy, ‘I don’t why you don’t take me downtown like you got anywhere better to be…’ by Lady Antebellum.” He said, “That is crazy, I was just dreaming about that song.” There was no radio or TV or anything on. Funny. So we made love and went back to sleep. He’s awesome at that too. Going back to sleep I mean 🙂

Carrots felt so much better the next day, I knew he would after spending the night in my bed. Feeding him and giving him all my kisses and love always heals him quickly. He did some yard work and we went grocery shopping. Got sushi and king cake at Rouses! We found king cake flavored vodka as well! Goes well with pineapple juice. I made sure to get some healthy stuff for him to keep in his police car as well. I try to help him eat right, I’d like him to live a long time and have a healthy enough life to enjoy it.

Did I ever mention before that he’s a police officer? 14 years of doing it. He’s 35 and I’m 28. The seven year difference is pretty perfect for us. it’s not weird until he points out that I was in second grade when he was a senior in high school…..he’s got a few health concerns that I worry about, his back is bad and his shoulders are falling apart. Rotator cuff surgery on both of them and they are  full of scar tissue and hurt him a lot although he rarely complains and is the toughest man I have ever seen. That big heavy belt he’s been wearing for 14 years doesn’t help with the back problems. His job is another reason I keep track of all the little things…it’s really scary to think that one day memories could be all I have of him. It is a reality that we both are aware of unfortunately. I’m not very religious, but I pray for him just in case it helps. He wears a purple hair tie around his wrist. He got that from me on our very first date and he’s never taken it off. One day he told me it’s not the hair tie he loves, it’s that he feels as long as he has it on he will be safe and be able to come home to me and nothing will happen to him. When he’s in a dangerous situation I ask if he’s wearing it and knowing he is makes me feel so much better.

Even just going to the grocery store together is awesome. It was nice to have a few hours just us with all the kids at school. Dating each other is awesome. At the store we have fun and get distracted and smell the flowers and look at the cakes and check out all the crazy liquors and all kinds of stuff. We decided to make Chinese food from scratch! Before you attempt this, let me save you the trouble. It’s not worth it really. It’s spendy to make and takes a long time, makes a ton of dirty dishes and you have to cook and prepare a lot of things separately.  We made fried rice and sesame chicken, which I made up from scratch and that came out awesome. He made egg-rolls and I must say I was impressed! We should have added salt and pepper and garlic in the mix before filling and frying them, but for our first attempt at it, it was really good! It took about three hours overall. I don’t think the vodka slowed me down at all….but it’s possible. Men that can cook are the best kind. He brought me his NINJA mixer/chopper/blender thing that is awesome for anything you can imagine in the kitchen. I used it to grind coffee beans and I’m going to make some great smoothies! Obviously healthy smoothies balance out all the king cake and Chinese food.

There will probably be lots of cooking dates and just hanging out and no more fun vacations until until this summer. Because ……..

……….

……Today we discussed moving in together! We have talked about it before and both knew it would happen but now we are both going to actively work towards saving for a house and moving this summer. I can not wait. To be able to live with my best friend? That’s exactly what I want for our one year anniversary. And a ring wouldn’t be too bad either! Toe Nail painting parties once a week! I can wash his hair for him all the time and make sure he has dinner on the table when he comes in from work. Borrow his boxers and tee shirts and girly socks anytime I want. it’s still like a sleepover party every time we are together and we have had hundreds of nights together. Even though he’s an hour away, we are together every possible chance and it’s about half the time.  We will have a really cool house, that’s for sure. Between our odd senses of humor, his artistic abilities and my creativity and both of our Pinterest accounts…it’s going to be fantastic.  Time to save for a home for Carrots and Peas! cabin holding handsnickroadtipUs

Cruise! Roatan, Belize and Cozumelissa

That’s what it should be called. Cozu-Melissa. Because I love that place oh so much, if I could buy the whole island, I would in a heartbeat. I think Cozumel is an island…or a peninsula. Isn’t a peninsula just an island but it’s connected by a little natural land bridge? Maybe I should google that.

Pretty quickly after we first started dating he said, “hey, want to go on a cruise with me? I already paid for everything it’s all taken care of all you have to do is show up and bring a swim suit.” Hell Yeah! So that was pretty neat and I was very excited about it. I had never been on a cruise before and I Love to travel. I have been all over the states, but never out of the country unless you count lunch in Canada with my Granny when I was a little kid. She lived in Tacoma. We just drove there for lunch. Doesn’t count. So yay! A cruise! For seven days! We had a lot of fun shopping for it and anticipating it. The lines were very long and the check in process takes a couple hours….after that you are treated like a celebrity! I’m ready to book another, it was awesome. Except Belize. The first two days were “sail days” and we were just on the ship sailing to Roatan, Honduras. I was so excited the first night that I could not sleep much and woke up around 4 am and went to find coffee and check the ship out. Security followed me. It wasn’t quite what I expected, I thought the ship was like a 24/7 party! Nope, it pretty much shuts down late at night/really early in the morning. So I made friends with this elderly gentleman who was up waiting for the gym to open. He told me all about how he brought this lady who’s not really his girlfriend and she’s kinda crazy. I woke Ryan up at 6 because I was just too excited and I needed my best friend to hang out with me and share in the caffeine overload! The ship was Beautiful! It was huge and there was so much food, all the time. I gained ten pounds. We like to eat. Guys Burgers was on the ship, with that guy, Guy, from the food network, diners and drive in’s or something. I think I saw the show once, he has cool hair. Those burgers and fries were Awesome! They had really good Mexican food too, from a little place called Blue Iguana and we had tacos for breakfast once. Huevos Rancheros? What’s that mean? Steak and Eggs? The pizza was really good too. But the formal dining room was my unexpected favorite! I remember telling Ryan that I’d only pack mostly casual stuff because I didn’t want to get dressed up and eat in the formal dining area all the time. Wrong! Jeans and a nice top are acceptable most nights. They had the best food! Small portions so that you can order anything and everything you want. I remember the rye bread, we fell in love with rye on the cruise! I remember the shark balls, we called them shark testicles. They were fantastic! Lamb with green mint pepper jelly was delicious. The white chocolate bread pudding with dark chocolate was one of my favorites. I found a recipe to make it but it looks way too intense. I get down in the kitchen but that recipe is seriously complex. The melting chocolate cake….ohhhh……and the Kiss on The Lips drink was by far the best, all 15 of them were perfect! 🙂 What else did we eat? Everything! We had a bunch of other people with us as well and there’s little room service cards in each cabin…it was really tempting not to fill one out with all kinds of crazy stuff in the middle of the night so room service would bring them one bagel with 9 cream cheeses and cheerios with no milk and 14 cups of coffee. That would have been funny. Cozumelissa had the best nachos in the world and fish tacos….more about Cozumel later!

First we went to Roatan, it was gorgeous! You get off the ship and you’re in a big shopping area to the left and then a trail to the beach to the right, we took the trail and went to the end of the beach and got got a huge drink called the something monkey (?) it was kind of chocolaty and wonderful. We walked way out to the pier and the beach. I got my hair braided by some natives, they put some colored thread and a pink bead in a piece of my hair. We explored in the water for a long time and found beautiful coral and huge shells. It’s so clear you can see the bottom. We both stepped on fire coral, which has like little tiny shards of glass that are impossible to see or pull out of your feet and it burns So badly. For a couple hours and then it goes away. We ate chips and ceviche  by the beach. Ceviche (not sure on the spelling) is the inside animal of those giant beautiful shells. It’s really chewy. I wasn’t a big fan of it, I liked the shrimp and tomatoes it was mixed with. We checked out all the shops and I got the cutest sunglasses there. Back to the ship for a nap and another fun night. I wore my favorite bikini in Honduras, my Mermaid bikini that we found at Charlotte Russe for less than $3! It was on clearance for $1 and some change a piece. Fits perfectly. Had it not been on sale, it would have been a $50 bikini. Score!

Then there was Belize…..oh God….that awful place. I don’t even want to think about it. I expected Belize to be the best place on the trip! It looks beautiful in the pics. It’s that place with the giant dark blue cave hole in a perfect circle in the ocean. Well, that’s because it’s the toilet bowl of the Caribbean. The ship can’t dock up near Belize, so you have to take a 20 minute boat ride to Belize. About 70 people per boat, so there’s a long wait to get off the ship with thousands of people. We get on this little speed boat, there’s signs saying “No Drugs, we fully cooperate with police and this boat and it’s occupants may be searched at any time.” oooookkkkk…not looking promising. We get off the boat onto this dock and there’s heavily armed guards all over the place with tee shirts that say Security on. Not like police officers here. Take a bum, write Security with a Sharpie on his white tee shirt, give him a crazy loaded gun 3 feet long that looks like it belongs in a video game. Not a shot gun. Some kind of missile/rocket launcher that will kill you in a second if pointed at you and the trigger pulled. Now picture 100 of those guards everywhere. That’s Belize. The excursion we had planned there was supposed to be awesome. Cave tour in water canyons, and zip-lining in the rain forest. It had to be better once we found our excursion guide and got away from all the security guys, right? Way wrong! We finally find our guide guy, we think. He brought us to this hut. Literally a large, empty plywood building with a straw roof. One computer and a desk in this hut. The lady takes the rest of the cash from everyone and says the cave tour has been cancelled because of all the rain they had. So we had to just wait for the zip lining guide to come. Now in Belize we could only be off the ship until about 3 pm, the ship Will leave without you. It was after noon, the tour was supposed to take two hours (just zip lining) and the guide wasn’t there. So this other guy who we originally thought was our guide tried to entertain us. We did not book this through Carnival. Someone wanted to save a few bucks and do it through a private company on the island. This man tried to sell us all kinds of strange things. Bracelets he made and hung up on this PVC pipe holder thing he made. Some ladies, I suspect his wife, came and tried to braid the girls hair, they got that done. he also informed us he’s a taxi driver and a real estate agent, he can get us a great deal on land there. He could tell we were all very uncomfortable and worried, so he would start playing these little drums to try to provide some music, it was really awful. His musical career was over at about age 5 I suspect and everyone was annoyed. After about another hour the guide shows up. It’s already like 1. We have to be checked back in and on the ship within two hours. Plus the 20 minute boat ride. I don’t feel so good about this, but lets go. The van was an old rickety van, it had American dollar signs spray painted on the windows…and a Miami Heat basketball game decal. That’s weird. We get in the van, Ryan and I are all the way at the back, he starts driving past more armed security….one of the guys in our group is talking to the driver to make sure we will make it back to the ship on time. Driver laughs and says he will try. he makes a Not Funny joke about how he doesn’t tell American tourists his real name, we can call him Bob. Or Fred, Or John, whatever his generic fake name was. That was all I needed to hear. I looked at Ryan and said, “baby, I can’t do this, I’m terrified, I want to get out of this van NOW tell him to pull over.” Ryan asked if I was serious. Do I look serious? I’m about to cry, I’m going to have an anxiety attack, I will jump out of this moving van and swim back to the ship and the guards can shoot at me if they want, get me the fuck out of this fucking nasty place with not funny, very late tour guides… right now. “Hey, pull over, we don’t want to go!” Driver asked if we were serious. Everyone else we were with asked if we were serious. Hell yes. He was nice enough to take us back to the area full of armed guards. Everyone with us was clearly wondering if they should also bail and say screw this excursion and Belize. But they were brave and decided to go! Back near the speed boats, we checked out the little tourist area. The excursion company was nice enough to refund our money, surprisingly. We bought some chocolate, I got chocolate with Lime, he tried chocolate with chili powder. Talking to the nice young lady in the chocolate shop (which had security cameras inside and outside) we asked her if the place was really that dangerous. She assured us it wasn’t too bad. All the police and security are there at the port, they don’t care about the residents. You only call if someone dies and they need to pick up a body. If the police don’t like you or if you call too much, they won’t come at all. Nice. On our way out we noticed that in between two of the shops in an empty lot, there was crime scene tape and and ambulance and a body. That was more than enough for me. We ran into our favorite photographer that we had made friends with, Ivan, and I gave him a hug and said we hate this place, going back to the ship. He agreed and said it’s pretty awful, Carnival only stops there because it’s the cheapest port. Got back, took a nap, thanked Ryan 8 million times for letting me chicken out and not go, if we had gone we surely would have been kidnapped and traded for 6 goats and $17 American dollars. Everyone else survived and said it was a lot of fun and they made it back to the ship with plenty of time left. Although Ryan’s friend asked the driver to hand over the keys to the van during the excursion so the driver couldn’t leave or mess with the bags they left in it, the driver obliged. Still, I’m glad they all went and had fun and I’m glad I got the hell out of there and didn’t go. Belize is seriously disgusting and scary.
I read an article not long ago that said Belize is a bad spot for cruise ship tourists. The people of Belize know that the tourists have to be back to the ship by a certain time and obviously carry a good bit of cash on them. So the police there often pull over or detain a tourist for no valid reason other than looking suspicious and will plant drugs on them and say pay me X amount of dollars or I put you in jail and you won’t get back to the ship. The police take whatever cash the person has. I believe that definitely happens pretty often there. Don’t ever go there.

 

Why these pics inserted here, nobody knows. I thought they would be at the bottom or something…but they are here. So Whatever! Enjoy!cozumel cruise love mac us hal water

They saved the best for last. We get to Cozumel and instantly once you get off the ship, it’s just Beautiful. Breathtaking and amazing. Big giant area to shop, tons of awesome stores. We had a coupon for black pearl earring from a diamond store for $15 and so I got those and they are really perfect little pearls that I love. I got a few other cool earrings there too. Turquoise skulls  that were handmade. Black coral earrings with hot pink coral too. I forgot the story behind the black coral, but it was really neat. I know you can tell if it’s actually black coral because the inside has rings in it, similar to tree rings. The black coral looks like sticks. Tons of handmade items for sale for great prices. We checked out all the shops and then had a couple hours before our Mayan ruins excursion (booked Through Carnival this time!) We talked to a taxi driver and asked him where we could go, who has the best nachos and is there a place we can play on the beach for free. He said he would take us to Mr. Sanchos. I don’t know who Mr. Sanchos is, but if he makes good nachos, let’s go! See, I’m brave and adventurous….just not in Belize. This cab ride was crazy! he was going about 100 miles an hour and apparently they don’t really have rules for the roads, you just go as fast as you want and try to get out of the way at the last second when oncoming vehicles are about to smash you. They obviously issue drivers licenses based on how far you can get in Grand Theft Auto. So we get dropped off at this place. People try to sell us stuff, more pictures, beach all day and food and drink packages for one low price, no thanks, can we just go to the beach for free? Sure, right this way! Stop for a minute….just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. It was The most beautiful beach I have ever seen. This is Heaven on Earth. Nobody else was there yet, just Ryan and I. We could not believe it. Crystal clear water, the whitest softest sand, coconut trees with coconuts falling everywhere, it could not have been more perfect and serene. Waiter lets us know anything we need, just ask. Yeah, we need to stay at your house, buddy! Can we move in and work here with you? We played in the water for a while, it was amazing. We ordered nachos and margaritas. I had a mango margarita, Ryan had the same with chili powder around the rim. In the Caribbean chili powder seems to be about as popular as salt here in the US. These nachos. Best thing I ever put in my mouth. Besides Ryan.  Ok… best thing I ever ate, that’s better. These weren’t any ordinary nachos. We got half steak and and half shrimp. The chips are like their handmade tortillas cut into pieces and baked. Not exactly sure what kind of white cheese that was, it was more like mozzarella than queso Mexican cheese.  I don’t remember what else was on them, but I’m telling you, they were made from God himself. God lives in Cozumel and works at Mr. Sanchos. That’s the only way to explain it. And the people of Cozumel….first of all they ALL spoke English! Every single person spoke English, and spoke it well! Every menu, every everything was in English. Spanish wasn’t even an option. Same on the cruise ship, English only. I thought that was interesting. We take another terrifying cab ride back to the tourist area. Was our cab driver listening to Backstreet Boys on the radio? I remember looking at Ryan and we were thinking, well that’s funny. (Same brain. We joke that we share a brain because we say the same things and finish each others sentences and even thoughts often times, that’s how I know he was thinking that’s funny) It may have been N’Sync, but it was an American boy band from my pop tart days. A little more looking around the shops and it was time for our excursion. Oh God it was hot. and humid. This was on November 1st I think. We left October 27th and came back the 3rd. It was about a 40 minute drive to the Mayan Ruins site, which was really cool. We were on a big tour bus and got to see a lot of Cozumel and our tour guide was wonderful. A short little lady named MiMi who spoke “perfect broken English”. She was hilarious. Cozumel seems very poor. Lots of shacks and huts, places we would never dream of raising our families in. But the people are So nice and So happy and generous and gracious and just awesome. There was a Walmart there, a McDonald’s, lots of things we are used to seeing. She explained that The Fair Trade Act that was signed (I think in the 90’s by Bill Clinton) really did great things for Cozumel and it’s improved the lives of all the people there because they are now able to get goods and services they didn’t have before. Such as products Walmart carries. Plus it provides jobs, they have an option sometimes to sell their products to stores like Walmart like we do here…good stuff. Think about that next time you are standing in line and the old lady in front of you has 76 items in the 20 items or less lane and you are despising Walmart a little extra. We complain about it here so much, but other countries are so grateful to have it, and that’s kind of cool. There were signs for Tacos everywhere. Outside huts where people lived. “tacos!” Painted on plywood. MiMi did tell us there is oone thing they don’t have and never will have in Cozumel. “No offense to anyone, but we will not have Taco Bell here. No way!” Lol! I don’t blame her. Who needs Taco Bell when you can get God to make you nachos? I suppose when people are taught English…it’s very hard to teach some things. Such as a pause or a break in talking. Or little things, like “you know”, “just saying”…things of that nature. So MiMi would say, “Is that okay?” often in place of a break. At the funniest times. For example, “We will get to the Mayan Ruins site and we will stay together and I show you around and tell you everything I know, is that okay?” sure MiMi, that’s fine by us! The ruins were beautiful. They worshiped women and had some odd rituals back then. They sacrificed the most beautiful and  smartest woman when they had a drought and needed rain. When the rains came and it flooded they sacrificed another beautiful woman to make it stop. There was a sacrifice to get pregnant, all kinds of interesting history. Good thing I wasn’t alive back then! I’d have been killed in the name of rain. 😉 It was an honor to be chosen for a sacrifice. The steps were small because all of the people had much smaller feet and they walked up the steps going diagonally instead of straight up in a line like you’d normally take stairs. I don’t remember everything about it, but I really enjoyed it a lot and MiMi was awesome. On the way back from the tour we took a different route around the island or peninsula or whatever Cozumel is. We saw all the beaches and ocean…..so amazing. The other side of Cozumel is virtually empty. Nobody lives there and they don’t put businesses or anything there because of the weather. Hurricanes come in on that side and the floods would constantly wipe out the homes and buildings, so they leave that side vacant and let the beaches be and the wildlife flourish. There is one two story restaurant, open air style on the top half, shops below. We ordered fish tacos. I got a margarita. A real one. I’m not much of a tequila fan at all….but something about being across from the beach, with a mariachi band playing, in Cozumel says have a margarita! It was Huge and made with silver tequila. I liked it a lot. Best margarita I’ve ever had and I have tried a few. Ryan didn’t like it. I was secretly glad because I didn’t want to share. The tour was running behind schedule and we had to pee soooo bad and we still wanted to get a few things at the shops for our boys. We got back to the tourist area and literally ran to the shops. Picked up marble chess sets for the older boys. Luchidorete or whatever his name is masks for the little boys. You know, the Spanish wrestler masks that are all colorful and wild? A few other things. We did not buy a huge marble penis although there were tons and it was tempting. Or a penis candle. No penis souvenirs.  They have a lot of penis memorabilia in Cozumelissa. Weird. To the bathroom, back to the ship, this was a mad dash. We weren’t the only ones who thoroughly enjoyed Cozumel. On the way back to the ship you have to walk this long cement dock. Some hot and wasted chick grabbed my cleavage and loudly announced that she loved my boobs and Ryan is a luck man because he gets to play with them. Thanks drunk lady! Then it was nap time again. The water in Cozumel made my hair so perfect. It’s super curly and the wind and the salt in the ocean and all the things were the perfect combination for my hair. I think it was about 4 days until I washed it after that, I wanted to keep Cozumel in my hair as long as possible. Because I’m gross like that. Ohhhh…Cozumel, I miss you. Can not wait to go back!

More cruise food. More family time. Lots of naps and snuggles and privacy for Ryan and I. Lots of shopping. He got an awesome $500 watch for $150 or so I think. He bought me a Beautiful charm bracelet. It’s just like the Pandora bracelets, but even prettier. It’s dark blue and has a tiny cruise ship and anchor and a few little charms. I also got the cupcake charm that has little colored stones for sprinkles and color changing beads too for it. Love that bracelet. The Del Sol stores were really cool too. They sell all kinds of color changing stuff. I got some polish that changes from glittery and silver to dark pink in the sunshine. We got a lot of cool little things. We ate so much good stuff. There were cool shows, great musicians on the ship. We made friends with Larry, a really talented singer/guitar player/harmonica player. He was our favorite. There was Martin AuCoin, he was a talented piano player we liked a lot. The comedy shows were funny. Brunch in the formal dining room was cool. Ryan got french toast covered in Cheerios and macaroni. Goofball. french toast and macaroni for brunch? Only on a cruise. I need to make the boys french toast like that but with fruit loops instead. They would like that. In fact, Ryan and I are both sick now. If he comes to visit within the next few days I’ll surprise him with french toast and macaroni, he will get a kick out of that.

We had tons of amazing sex. We got to get really dressed up a few times, got beautiful pictures. The photographers are funny. They are set up with their backdrops all over the ship and try to get you to take pictures every time you walk by. You get tired of posing for pics after the first couple days. We loved Ivan, he was the funniest photographer. We were like Really Ivan, pics Again? Fine. We did ridiculous pics, like Ryan pretending to strangle me, we made Ivan get In the pics with us and have another photographer take our pics. We brought my youngest sons Teddy Bear with us and took pics   Got lots of rest….oh Halloween! For Halloween we all wore tutus! There were ten of us total on the cruise. He and I. His parents. His best friends who are a married couple.Their two kids, and his two teenage nieces. My friend Sarah made us all tutus, even the guys and we all wore them. Ryan looks very pretty in tights and a tutu by the way. They were all purple and gold for LSU. During the cruise there was a night where I had too much wine and too much ocean sickness (I was really uncomfortable about 1/3 of the time on the ship, it’s a very wavy feeling constantly) and was a bit overwhelmed by his friend drinking too much and being a butt head. I told Ryan that I really appreciated and loved the cruise, it was cool, but I never want to do another with a large group of people (I would do it again actually, that’s just how I felt at that time) and I said my perfect vacation would be just me and you and all the boys somewhere secluded, like in the mountains in a cabin in Tennessee or something. I didn’t even think this through or really suggest we do that. I meant one day in a few years or whenever. After we had been back home from the cruise for a few days he said he had a surprise for me and was coming over to spend the night and we would pick and book a cabin in the mountains.

Next post is about our vacation to the cabin in Tennessee with just he and I and all the boys.

P.S.A. This Blog…

I left town for a few days and had an awesome vacation with my honey and all our four minions. Checked my e-mail and it says people are following and like my blog posts! Well thanks, people! Whoever you are. I don’t even know how you found this blog as I haven’t told anyone other than Carrots that I have a blog now all about our mushy shit.

I’ve never really done the blog thing before and honestly I’m not real familiar with how it all works. I just have a very bad memory and type faster than I write so I decided to start it as kind of my online diary/scrapbook of all of our things and memories and adventures and some favorite pictures from each adventure.

So I must warn you in advance, it may get pretty personal at times, it may include a few private details of our lives, but if you’d like to read all about my mundane life with a few exciting days thrown in here and there, feel free and enjoy it! You will probably be totally grossed out and sticking your finger in your throat about how awesome and wonderful and sweet my man is. But that’s ok! I warned you! 🙂