*insert your own captivating and clever opening sentence here*
The first sentence is always the hardest so I’m just gonna let all (ha, what all? Like two of you) readers fill in the blank for me.
So. Life. The last time I wrote anything on here was June 2014, and it was a deeply insightful recipe for Maple Bacon Doughnuts. Most of you probably know what’s been going on in my life since then, but what would this blog be without me providing a “quick” recap?
In June of 2014 I was dating this guy, he was pretty cool and life was good. When we started dating the year before we decided that neither one of us was interested in dating just for the sake of dating. If we were dating, then we were going to be serious about it. With that in mind, we made a decision shortly after we started our relationship that over the summer leading into our senior year at Johnson & Wales University we would either break-up or take the next step. I can’t tell you with any certainty whether that conversation took place before or after the mighty Maple Bacon Doughnuts, but we came to the conclusion that since neither one of us was crazy and we still liked each other after a year we should get engaged. Other things were also discussed (minor things), like where we were spiritually, any concerns we actually had, where we would live, what life would be like in a sort of general sense after we were married… You know, that sort of stuff.
So Fall of 2014 was the beginning of Senior year and my constant anxiety that I’d be wearing something ugly when Max proposed (oh, spoiler alert, the guy I was dating was Max). July, August, September, October, November passed…. At this point I was worried that I wouldn’t get a chance to go wedding dress shopping with my sister (who was going to be home for two weeks for my best friend’s wedding) and my best friend in January. There was a discussion and I finally at least knew I would be engaged by January. Cause no one wants to be the lady who goes wedding dress shopping before they’re engaged. Or maybe that’s just me (really, I don’t know).
December rolls around and my best friend suggest we take a day to set up her wedding registry, so we went out for the day. Max and I were supposed to have fun and fancy date night that evening, so naturally there were discussions about what to wear. Eventually I headed back to my apartment to get ready for the date. As soon as I opened the door to the apartment I saw candles and flowers and Max kneeling in the hallway with a ring box. Cue the tears (so many tears). I really don’t remember what he said (sorry) except that he used my full name and asked if I would marry him at the very end. Obviously I said yes. With more crying. You know the funny thing? I have no idea what I was wearing when I got home. I guess that wasn’t so important after all.
January was my bestie’s wedding, and it was great.
February was ~engaged~ Valentine’s Day, which consisted of going to see the Broadway cast of Phantom of the Opera in Charlotte and taking a day-trip to Asheville to see the Biltmore Estate. March and April were spent thinking about where we were going to live after graduation and where we would work. Max had a connection with a hotel that was going to be opening in Raleigh, so I started looking for a job in the area while he was talking to people about that. In the end he decided that he wasn’t interested in that particular hotel, but I had already accepted a job offer at The Carolina Inn located in Chapel Hill, which meant that we were headed for The Triangle. Through some fun connections at the first hotel where I worked, Max ended up getting a job offer for a hotel that was going to open that summer (July 2015) called The Durham.
Graduation rolled around, I packed up and moved out of my apartment that afternoon, and moved to Cary, NC the very next day. Over the summer I lived with my aunt, and Max lived with family in Garner. Very conveniently for us, Cary and Garner are only about 15 minutes away from each other. We spent the summer settling in to our new jobs, looking for an apartment for the fall, exploring Durham (where we were planning to live), and spending as much time together as we could.
In September I went on a cruise with my family. For anyone who is planning their own wedding (or just getting married), I highly recommend taking an internet-free vacation a couple weeks before the wedding itself. It was so nice to get some time off work to relax and spend time with my family without thinking about wedding stuff constantly.
When we got back I worked for a couple more weeks, started moving stuff into our apartment where Max got to live as a bachelor for a little while, then heading down to Waxhaw for the wedding.
What can I say about the wedding itself? It was (in the understatement of the year) great. We got to see friends who travelled in for the wedding, spend time with extended family, and collect all sorts of stories about Janice (if you want to know, ask). We are so thankful for everyone who worked together to make it such a wonderful day, including our friend-tographers, Rob + Kristen.
We went to Charleston for our honeymoon where we ate our weight in delicious food and spent some quality time getting pampered at the Wentworth Mansion spa where we stayed.
The rest of the “quick” update is actually pretty quick from this point forward. Married life is great. Married life is wonderful. I used to think it was cheesy when my parents said they were each others’ best friend (sorry, mom & dad), but now I get it. Married life is super fun and crazy quirky. Getting to start our own holiday traditions has been super fun, and something I really enjoy. Holidays are difficult when you work in the Hospitality industry, but so far we’ve been finding ways to make it work.
Moving to a new place and getting married at the same time is a big change, and one that made me realize how difficult it is to make friends as an adult. Seriously, how do people make friends?? Thankfully, Max already knew people in the area (benefits of moving near a place you grew up) and that helped me meet some people. I also eventually met some really great people through work, even though it took a while.
In January of 2016 I decided that the only reason I didn’t run was because I didn’t run, and that seemed silly. So I set a goal to run a half-marathon. The half-marathon was for a couple reasons. 1) I knew that if I wasn’t running to actually accomplish something, then I wouldn’t be disciplined enough to do it regularly. 2) I hadn’t been to Disney in a long time, so I thought “go big or go home,” I’d sign up for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. Max is not a Disney theme parks kind of guy, but he said if I could run 13.1 miles he could go to Disney with me. That was all the motivation I needed.
I started babysitting on a regular basis for a local family in March that I still work with today. They’re a really sweet family and it’s been so fun to watch the youngest, who was only two weeks old when I first met him, grow over the past year.
Over the summer I got to go to the beach a couple times with one of my wonderful new friends, which provided some much needed time away from work. It was incredibly relaxing to be able to roll out of bed in and the morning and step off the porch and on to the beach. We also celebrated my birthday in June and Max’s birthday in August with festive activities.
Max pretty much went all out for my birthday, throwing a family party and a friends party a couple days before, complete with a birthday crown and gallons of guacamole. The day after the party we went down to Wilmington to spend the night on a boat. Yes, a boat. Did you know that you can AirBNB pretty much anything? Apparently you can. We spent the afternoon exploring the downtown area, seeing The Shallows with Blake Lively, visiting the Museum of the Bizarre (you get your money’s worth in laughs), and having a tasty seafood dinner before heading back to the boat where we enjoyed watching the sunset over the water and toasting to 24. We spent the next day at the beach and then stopped at Flaming Amy’s (you can’t go to Wilmington and not go to Flaming Amy’s) and Kilwin’s to get some fudge before heading home. Definitely my favorite birthday to date.
In October of 2016 we celebrated a (very successful) first year of marriage by taking a quick trip to Charlotte to watch the Panthers lose in their magnificently typical fashion and eat some slightly stale freezer-cake. We also decided to forego anniversary gifts and instead go on a shopping spree at Southpark Mall with “treat yo’self” motto. All in all, a pretty great weekend.
At the beginning of November we celebrated the start of my new job at The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club. For several reasons I had decided it was time to move on from The Carolina Inn, and so far I am incredibly glad to be where I am.
In December we were able to celebrate Christmas Eve with Max’s family for the traditional gathering they have, and on Christmas Day we met my family half-way between Durham and Charlotte for Christmas Dinner at a Chinese restaurant. It was a unique experience, that’s for sure. We were then able to go down to Waxhaw a couple days later to celebrate Christmas full scale, which was really nice.
January was spent recovering from the holidays and gearing up for the half-marathon/Disney trip at the end of February. For more about the trip (it’s really a whole thing in and of itself) click here.
Since then, I’ve been recovering from a (suspected) IT Band injury, which has actually been pretty frustrating. Over the course of the last year or so I’ve become really accustomed to running and being more active, so having limited mobility for a while and not being able to run for well over a month has been a challenge. My goal at the beginning of the year was to run a race every month, unfortunately, is no longer feasible. BUT today I was actually able to run for a quarter mile completely pain free, which is a huge improvement from barely being able to walk up a half set of stairs. I’m trying to look at this time as a chance for me to learn more about weight-training and cross-training in general to help prevent future injuries, which has a helped a little. Anyway, if you could be praying for me about that I would appreciate it.
We also bought a car, which is pretty cool. We then sold my truck (farewell, Style), so we’re a one car family for the time being. It’s actually working out really well so far, Max only works a couple miles down the road from me, so we can usually ride to work together. If our schedules don’t match up, Uber has been filling in the gaps.
What’s next? I think that’s how I usually end these things, but it’s been a while so I might be wrong. Anyway, right now Max and I are both gearing up for the Duke Graduation Weekend here in Durham, as it’s the busiest time of year for both of the hotels where we work. The summer will be pretty slow once that’s over, so I’m going to take advantage of that and visit Evelyn in Hawaii! As you can imagine, I’m pretty excited about this little adventure, and if I don’t wait three years to write something on here again I can bet you’ll hear about it.
On a different note, I’ve been trying to find a way to handle a unique situation that’s somewhat emotionally complicated. Again, if I don’t wait three years to write again you’ll probably hear something about it, but I would appreciate some prayer for that.
If I’ve left anything out or you want to know more about something, let me know! I’ve realized that I treat this platform more as a diary than anything else, but I’d love to have a conversation about it if it starts one. If you’ve read this much, you’re a more dedicated person than I am. Good for you.