...I bring you a photo from March 1999. Fifteen years ago, the first March we spent together. The month we met. It really seems like no time has gone by until you put it into that kind of perspective. (And, it is quite possibly the most unflattering picture of me ever taken. Ever).
...since my competitive skating days are long gone, I start thinking about what I could possibly medal in now. The competitor may retire but never dies.
Laundry folding. I mean, I'm not going to say that I time myself sometimes. But sometimes I do.
Number of times I have sung, "Everything is Awesome," after last night's Lego movie viewing. More than anyone in the WORLD, I'm pretty sure.
Adult Amazon purchases. The Nosefrida would have completely grossed 24 year-old me out. 34 year-old me can't wait. If you doubt me, read the reviews. If you don't have children, please don't click on that link. But I guarantee, five or ten years from now when you too have children, you will come a-hunting on my blog for the link to the incredible snot sucker.
Kitchen mess. Am I the only one whose kitchen always looks like this when they try a new recipe?
Twizzling texts between Ken and I. (And by the way, Twizzling is a new term in figure skating and one I think, every time I hear it, "Are they really saying that? Yes. They are really saying that.")
In 2002, Ken, Charmer, and I found out that we were moving back home. Back east. Lo and behold, HGTV's Dream House that year was in St. Michael's, Maryland. I took it as a sign. Sure it would be a three-hour commute for Ken, but I figured if we won it we could buy a small plane for him to commute in.
It's easy to have pipe dreams. Kind of like daydreaming about the outfit I'll wear for the press conference when I win the lottery.
I entered my entire family online every day. I even mailed in postcards. On the night before I knew the winner was being notified on live TV, I cleaned the house, anticipating visitors.
And, well, if you haven't already guessed, we didn't win.
Today, mom and I visited the small town of St. Michael's (now only 45 minutes away) and on our way there I began an ernest search for the Dream House location. It wasn't that hard to find. It's a rental house (for a mere $850 a night) and the address was right there.
So the house wasn't exactly in St. Michael's. If where we live is rural, this location was outright desolate. The abandoned gas station about a mile from the spot advertised gas at $2.15 a gallon. Yeah.
As we drove down the long driveway (me worried the entire time we were going to get arrested. I'm a big rule follower), a huge deer jumped out of the front lawn, the house's only inhabitant. The "Doggie Dream House" was pretty forlorn looking and the whole house in general just looked...sad.
You know me. Still felt like a celebrity sighting.
Friday night I experienced something I've never experienced before. Food poisoning. I literally, literally, literally thought I was dying. In my anguish I even told Ken it was worse than child birth. I later relinquished that statement, ladies, don't worry.
Clara wanted to put a Dora band-aid on my IV wound (I do not have good veins), and Charlie kissed my belly to make it, "Fee better." Today I finally started to feel like a member of the human race again and even made it out to the farm with the kids, then took a two-hour nap.
...no, the kids aren't driving me to drink. Well, at least yesterday they weren't.
Meet Margarita, our friendly liquor store golden retriever.
Margarita is pregnant with nine golden retriever puppies. Nine golden retriever puppies. Her baby daddy is Cruzan, the store owner's other golden.
She is the sweetest, kindest, gentlest golden. She reminded me of every golden retriever I've ever loved. "They will be Christmas puppies," the owner, Jim, told me. Born the end of October, ready to be waiting in a box on Christmas morning.
I thought about Margarita and those puppies all night last night. I thought about Charlie carefully touching her back and working his way up to her ears. How he insisted on going back in the store to say goodbye to her one more time. I thought about the cackle Clara let out as Margarita nudged her in the chest with her nose, asking for another rub. I thought about the glee that opening a box filled with a golden puppy could bring. I thought about the unconditional love a dog, especially a golden, gives at the end of some of the hardest days.
And I realized...My heart is ready.
But the reality is we just can't do a puppy. At least right now. I asked Jim if he could keep the puppies and we'll take Margarita. One thing is for sure, I might become quite the wine sommelier in the next few weeks as we make excuse after excuse to visit her and her growing belly.