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Holiday preparations and celebrations

19 Dec

It’s Christmastime in the Evans house!

Addam and I have spent the past few weeks decorating for the holidays and stocking up on gifts. While we knocked the majority of our shopping out in one night (give or take a few hours on ebay), we’ve made an effort to stretch out the season as best we can.

Although I’m sure everyone reading this already knows, Addam and I are spending the holidays at his parents’ house in Athens, Ohio. Even though Emily, Ryan, Steve, Judy and Dave visited us around this time last year, it’s been two years since we’ve had a real, family Christmas, and we’re very much looking forward to the trip.

We leave this Wednesday and return the following Wednesday — just in time to ring in the new year in the MIA. As fun as that should be, I can’t wait to get away for the holidays. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas at 75 degrees, especially without family close.

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To, for and because of my mom

8 May

In celebration of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d post a photo blog highlighting some of my mom and my earliest memories. Like any mother/daughter duo, we’ve had our rough patches, but we’re finally starting to pull the pieces together. Our relationship is stronger now that it’s ever been, and I wanted to take a moment to thank the most important person in my life for all that she’s done.

I may have accomplished a lot in my 24 years, but I could not have done anything without my mother’s support and understanding.

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You can go home again

19 Apr

I know a lot of you have been wondering how things went with my mom this weekend, so even though I’m tired after a long production day, I thought I’d provide an update.

I left on Friday. After biking and bussing about seven miles in the wrong direction, I had to take a taxi to Miami’s Amtrak station in order to make my train. (I actually have a decent sense of direction, but what am I supposed to do if the address Google Maps gave me happened to be for a station that hasn’t existed for years?)

Addam hung around until I had to call a cab, then saw me off. After 20 minutes and $20 I made it to the station, about an hour before my train was set to depart. In my rush I had forgotten to pick up anything to eat for the trip, but I was able to raid a vending machine for some Wheat Thins, which happened to be the only vegan-friendly option in the entire station.

I’ve never taken the Amtrak before, but it was actually really convenient. As soon as I walked in a man checked my baggage, and as soon as the train arrived attendants started directing people to their seats.

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Something to do, something to love, something to hope for

14 Apr

Well, folks — it’s been a long week, but I’m gearing up for an even longer weekend. For the first time since I moved to Miami, I will be leaving the city to visit family. I only wish it were under better circumstances.

As most everyone who reads this probably knows, about four years ago my mother had a lung transplant to combat the severe emphysema she had developed about three years prior. She grew up in a coal mining town and started smoking at a relatively young age, but while her sickness was not surprising, it was none-the-less devastating.

My father died of lung cancer when I was six, and the thought that my mom was dealing with similar issues caused me to break down. It’s been a hard couple of years, but somehow we’ve made it through, only slightly worse for ware.

The other night I got a call from my Aunt Martha telling me that my mom was having trouble breathing and had to be taken to the emergency room. She has Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), which doctors think she most likely contracted from a child. After tons of X-rays, tests and IVs, it appeared she had a spot on her lung. Physicians had to perform a biopsy.

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Ben, bikes, boats and Biscayne

9 Apr

I have yet to fully recover, but I figured there was a group of people out there waiting to hear all about the fabulous weekend Addam and I had with his little brother, Ben.

Ben got in Wednesday afternoon, making it ridiculously difficult for me to concentrate on the interviews I had to conduct before calling it a wrap on my work day. I did my best to stay focused, and Ben picked me up as soon as I finished up. At that point we had a few hours to kill before Addam got off work, but we decided to go for a swim in South Beach rather than hurry home.

It was the perfect afternoon for swimming and the first time I’d been in water since the new year. Ben was amazed by how blue the water was and kept saying that it was the only time he’d swam in an ocean so clear, but I couldn’t believe the waves. Addam and I must have been catching the tide at the wrong time, because any other time we’ve been they have been pretty weak. That day, however, they were making me their lap dog. The waves tossed me all over the ocean, and by the end of an hour I was pretty worn out.

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Black Swan and Brother Ben

29 Mar

With all the build-up I’ve been providing via this blog and Facebook, I kind of had to post an update to let everyone know that all is right in the world — Black Swan is FINALLY in stores and in my hands.

Today was production day at Miami Today, but I left for work about half an hour early so I could stop by Target on the way in. It was about 8:30 a.m. by the time I got there, and for a second I was worried that the place wouldn’t be open. I was one of about three shoppers, and it took me a minute to find the electronics section, but it was definitely worth the trip. I’ve had the movie propped up on my printer as inspiration to get me through my busy work day.

And as if I needed any more inspiration to make it through my work week — apparently Ben, Addam’s little brother (for those who don’t know), is driving down from Virginia as I type. I don’t know what is inspiring the trip, but Addam texted me around noon to tell me that Ben was packing up the kayak and would be in town within 24 hours.

I don’t really get it, but I’m really not complaining. It’s been about two weeks since anyone’s come down, and I was starting to get a little bored. Not to mention, it’s been more than a year since I’ve seen Ben, so it’ll be nice to catch up.

But alas, my stories have been returned to me, meaning it’s time to bike my butt home to enjoy the genius that is Darren Aronofsky.

“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” — Walt Disney, (1901-1966).

“Salute Your Solution”

4 Jan

This post is coming to you a bit late today — partly because it was my long day at work and partly because I’ve been so busy lately that I needed to shut my mind off for a bit. After biking home I spent the majority of my evening watching movies and forgetting how to think. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Addam was off work yesterday, so when I came home I didn’t have to worry about how I would waste time while waiting for him to make it back to the apartment. He had stopped by the grocery store and brought me home all the ingredients I needed to cook some of the best, and healthiest, cheesy potato soup I’ve ever had in my life. (I know that “cheese” seems to negate “healthy,” but everything was either low-calorie or fat free, making it less than 250 calories per serving but just as rich and filling.)

I spent the evening peeling potatoes and slicing carrots. I threw everything in the crock pot and left it alone for the night, only to wake up to the smell of potatoes roasting in vegetable broth. I’ve never been much of a cook, but waking up this morning almost converted me. The smell may have convinced me to make cooking a habit if I didn’t have to wake up half an hour early to add in the finishing touches (a.k.a. — milk and cheese). Needless to say, I had a very yummy, very nutritious, lunch today.

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Are you my friend when I need one? (I need someone to be one.)

28 Dec

Hellosh, guys. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and survived their Monday morning without being too worse for wear. It’s another four-day work week for me, which is nice on the weekends but not so much fun come Monday. As much as I love having a day off, Tuesday comes without fail. It doesn’t matter if I’ve worked 40 hours or 40 minutes — come production day I have to have something to fill the paper.

This Monday was actually pretty hard for me.

As soon as I got into work I received a text message telling me that my Aunt Martha, who has been like a grandmother to me since the day I was born, was in the hospital. She’s always had heart problems, and the day after Christmas she suffered from congestive heart failure.

Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping as well as it should to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the body. It can develop over the course of years, and symptoms typically get worse over time. As the heart tries to make up for its gradual weakening it enlarges and forces itself to pump faster, which usually causes fluid to build up in the lungs.

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Close, closer, closest.

22 Dec

At this point you’re probably sick of hearing about my epically awesome weekends. I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to sit through just one more, as this last one was just as good as the two previous.

Emily and Ryan came back from their cruise on Friday and got into Miami around 10 a.m. You can’t even imagine how unbearable it was — sitting at my desk trying to focus on the articles I was writing when I knew that my faves were less than six miles away.  I wouldn’t have been able to stand it if they didn’t meet me for lunch at Bayside.

I had some pasta that was drowning in some really watery marinara sauce, but while my food was terrible, my company was amazing. I spent an hour catching up on all of the happenings of the lovebird’s trip and looking through the photos they took, which were all super cute. While I was a little jealous that I wasn’t able to enjoy their vacation with them, it looked like they both had an absolutely amazing time. I was the only one at the table who hadn’t been on a cruise, but Addam’s a pro, so they had a lot of stories to compare.

After lunch I went back to work to finish up a few stories that I had lingering over my head. Addam, Emily and Ryan picked me up from work around 6:30 p.m., and we all headed out to Coconut Grove to catch an opening night showing of Black Swan.

Before we made it to the movie we stopped to pick up Ryan’s drummer, Pat, who was in Miami for some reason I can’t remember. He was a really fun guy, and we all spent a few minutes tailgating behind Ryan’s car before making it into the theater.

The movie had assigned seating, which was kind of weird, but after figuring out a way that we could all sit together the mayhem began.

The movie was amazing, but I knew going in that I’d love it. I’m a huge Natalie Portman fan, and I’m kind of nerdy when it comes to A. Ballarinas and B. Swan Lake. I’m extremely uncoordinated, but I’ve always admired the artists/athletes who can make it work while looking like they’re not working at all.  AKA — my little sista!  She’s practiced from the time she was three until she went to college, and I literally cannot see anyone go on pointe without thinking about her.

I talked throughout the entire movie and probably drove Emily crazy with my slew of ballet-related questions, but I think everyone had a good time. I’d highly recommend the film to anyone who wasn’t overly squeamish. (Don’t get it twisted — this movie centers around ballet but it’s not for the weak of heart, or stomach.)

After we got home Emily and I went through about every article of clothing I have in an effort to put me together some cute work outfits. Everything I lack in style, Emily more than makes up for. She was putting together combos that I would have NEVER considered, and in the end I ended up with a huge selection of options. I didn’t think I had anything to wear, but it turns out I just didn’t know how to wear any of it.

On Saturday everyone had to wake up relatively early, as I had set up appointments for Emily and I to check out wedding dresses. (Since last Sunday ended up being such a bust, I wanted to make sure that we had everything set up for this weekend.)

We stopped at Burger King for a quick breakfast, and then the boys dropped us off on Miracle Mile. I had three appointments scheduled for the day, the first two of which were only an hour apart.

The first place we checked out did not have much of a selection and wouldn’t let us take pictures. Pair that with the fact that the attendant who was helping me kept asking if I was “ready to make my final decision” and it’s easy to understand why nothing I tried on there will be a contender for my final purchase.

The second place we went, however, was amazing. The lady who owned the shop wasn’t supposed to let us take photos but told us that she “didn’t see anything.” I tried on about seven or eight gowns, and there were three that I could see myself walking down the aisle in. And the best part was that everyone in the store was incredibly nice. I’ve never been called a princess so many times in my life, but I’m telling ya — I didn’t hate it.  (I don’t have all the pictures right now, but I’m planning on posting a wedding update later in the week. Keep your eyes pealed if you want to see the options I’m selecting from).

Emily got to try on a couple of bridesmaid dresses at this spot, but I don’t think that either one of us found anything that we were married to. (Pardon the pun.) One looked like it was going to be a contender, because it had an almost sea-shell like bust and looked really interesting, but in the end all I could stare at was Emily’s boobs. It made her out to be even more top heavy than she already is, so we decided to try out other options.

After the second location the boys picked us up, and we drove to our third appointment. We had a break, so we stopped for lunch at a little quesadilla joint where we almost, almost got rained on. After the close call the boys headed to a guitar and amp center, and Emily and I headed to Ever After, which is perhaps the ritziest store I’ve ever been to in my life.

I knew from the second I walked in that the place was going to be way too rich for my blood, but when I saw that the lowest price range on the questionnaire they gave me was $3,000 to $5,000 I had to pinch myself to keep from laughing. Not wanting to be rude and walk out of my appointment, (and not having a ride if I did), I decided to relax and make a fun time out of it.

The sales associate’s brought me some coffee on a silver platter and gabbed with Emily about her experience interning with Oscar de la Renta. From there they took me into their showroom and pulled out dress after expensive dress. I didn’t turn down anything and tried on absolutely everything. I knew it was a waste, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t fun! I tried on gowns that were more expensive than my Jeep and Hyundai combined, and almost all of them were absolutely beautiful.

And while they obviously didn’t know that I was making a bit of a joke out of the entire appointment, the women who worked there were very nice and made me feel extremely comfortable. I know that they get paid to be nice, but they were both extremely flattering and seemed really interested in what look I wanted for my wedding.

I fell in love with the Oscar de la Renta dress photographed above. While the model is gorgeous, the pictures I’ve posted really do not do the gown justice. The ladies who were helping me put an entire look together, complete with earrings, a bracelet and a net veil. I know for a fact that it was probably the most expensive outfit that has ever touched my body, but I was living it up. It’s sad that it takes a $10,000 outfit for me to say this, but I’ve never felt more beautiful. Thank God Addam will never see me in it.

After the lavishness that was Ever After, Emily and I decided to skip our final appointment. We all headed home to prepare for the night’s festivities — a moonlit cookout.

Emily and Ryan invited over some friends they had met on their cruise who were going to be in Miami for a couple of days, and Addam and I invited Vicki and Tati. The entire night was incredible. Addam grilled up shrimp and lobster tails for the group and some asparagus and tofu for Emily and I. (Vegetarians — we’re always making things difficult.) Ryan brought out his guitar and entertained everyone with some of The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show’s finest,and I’m telling you now that if you’re not a fan on Facebook — add them. Look them up on iTunes, check them out on Myspace, Google them — do whatever you have to do, but make sure that you check them out, because Ryan is amazing. The most relaxing parts of my weekend were listening to him work out new songs on the guitar while I combed the internet.

The best part of the night, however?  Addam asking Ryan to be a groomsman! He’s been planning on asking since last weekend, and I couldn’t have thought of a better time for him to “pop the question.” Emily and I were so happy we were practically balls of mush. I know it’s still early, but I can’t wait to look out at the wedding party and see all the family and friends we have supporting us and our life together.

After a long night of food and drink, Ryan carried me to my bed, and I settled in to a long-night’s sleep.

The next morning I was in the mood to do something Christmasy.  Ryan had missed Emily’s performance as Clara in The Nutcracker her junior year, but luckily Addam and I have the video. We watched the entire performance, and I was reminded of the chill bumps I had while I was watching her perform the part on stage, three years ago.

After watching the prima ballerina, we all headed to South Beach to make some sand castles.

The boys seemed to be a lot more into it than Emily and I, but it was fun watching our men at work. Ryan was completely consumed with digging a trench and sculpting a drawbridge, while Addam worked construction. He ended up knocking over more towers than he built, but in the end the guys really made it work!

After the beach we dropped Yoga off at the apartment and headed to dinner at the O.G. — Original Gangsta — Olive Garden. I was starving and hadn’t been there since Chicago, so I maxed out. I had my usual —  fried lasagna bites. Emily had cheese ravioli (I got to take her left overs into lunch the next day and just looking at them made me want to cry missing her), Ry had the “man’s meal” — the tour of Italy, and Addam had  seafood pasta (surprise, surprise). It was extremely busy, so we ate at the bar, which was just as nice. I wish I had a photo to post, but we were all so hungry that we barely even talked.

We had such a busy weekend that once we got home we all just wanted to relax. We put on the movie Waiting and went to bed shortly after it ended. By that point Addam had taken some bad Robitussin and wasn’t feeling well at all.  He was still feeling weird the next morning, but I think he’s finally back to normal.

The next morning was the hardest I’ve had in Miami. Everyone woke up early, and while I got ready for work Addam, Emily and Ryan packed up. Emily and Ryan had a 10.5 hour drive to Myrtle Beach and made a pit stop to drop me off at work.

It was the hardest goodbye I’ve had in awhile, and I was a blubbering mess for most of my work day.  I’d be doing fine and then another reporter would ask me if my sister was headed home and I’d tear up. It sounds ridiculous, because I’ve had to say goodbye to Emily so many times, but last time it was so long before I saw her again. I can’t go that long this time, and my heart hurt just thinking that I might have to. She’ll be in the wedding, but as much as my fellow staffers tried to assure me that the time would fly by, I know that it doesn’t. Not like it did when I could stop by on my way home from school and see her any time I wanted. Not like when I knew that she was always in the room next door. I don’t know what needs to happen, but I know that this distance thing won’t ever work for me.

I, somehow, made it through my work day, submitted two stories and brought one home to work on. I wrote the entire time Addam was at work, and when he got home we headed outside to watch the lunar eclipse. It was the first time in 400 years that it has occurred on the same day as the winter solstice, so as an astronomy geek, I was pretty excited. It was amazing to watch, and I hope that everyone had a chance to witness history. As you can see by the photo I’ve included in this post, taken by my talented friend Mackenzie Grimes, the moon glowed red.

I crawled into bed way too late, and woke up way too early for a full production day. Having successfully made it through another week, I feel like I should be more tired. I have Friday off, so hopefully I’ll be able to cage up my excess energy and get a lot of work done tomorrow and Thursday.  While I’m trying to remain optimistic about the holidays, it’s going to be hard bouncing from three amazing weekends into a lonely Christmas. Still, it was worth it. I wouldn’t give up the past three weeks for anything.

“And I love my sister,
Lord knows how I’ve missed her,
She loves me,
And she knows I won’t forget.
And sometimes I get jealous,
Of all her little pets,
And I get lonely,
but I ain’t that lonely yet.”

— The White Stripes, I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet).

Lord knows how I’ve missed her

14 Dec

Just when I thought that this weekend couldn’t possibly top last, Emily and Ryan make it into town for a full three days off fun and fabulousness. I would have posted this update on Monday, but I was so tired I think I may have fallen asleep on the bus on the way home from work. I had to use the majority of Monday evening to recuperate.

As much as I love my job, the nine hours I spent sitting at my desk on Friday seemed unbearable knowing that my little sister was slowly making her way down to me. Emily and Ryan woke up to a flat tire, so they ended up being a little later than they expected, which was horrible for them, but great for me. If they would have gotten in before six I don’t know how I could have stayed to finish up the articles I wanted to submit before they got in.

My favorites made it to my apartment right around 6:15 p.m. and met me around 30th street shortly there after. After a few squeaks, squeals and bear hugs, we all made our way to Bayside, which is quickly becoming Addam and my favorite place to take visitors. We parked at my office, and I gave them a quick tour before we headed out.

Emily and Ryan were starving, so we got some pasta. It was an absolutely gorgeous night, and we decided to sit outside and catch up. It’s strange how having Emily near me for even one minute makes me realize just how much I’ve missed her. Every time I see her again I always wonder how I stand being away.

We walked around Bayside for awhile, seeing the sites and taking some fabulous photos. We had a brief upset when Emily lost her purse (would she be my sister if she didn’t?), but relax, relax. After three days of calling Bayside and the police, the only kind soul left in Miami found and returned it. I know, right?! I thought that she’d never see it again, and yet, there it is, sitting by my feet as I type.

After after-dinner drinks, some fun photos with the local Swisher Sweeties, and a few trips around the city on the Metromover, we headed back to the apartment, where we all stayed up ridiculously late laughing and planning the weekend festivities.

Before I go on and on about the rest of the weekend, I think that I need to point out to everyone who does not already know that this is the first time I’ve ever met Ryan. We’ve talked a bunch, we’re Facebook friends, but I’ve never quite met him on the face-to-face. Needless to say…I was very impressed.

I don’t really know how to describe how good he is to my sister, which is the best thing about him, but suffice it to say that I know she is being taken care of, which lifts a great weight from off my shoulders. I also know that she’s happy, which is quite possibly the most important thing in the world to me. In fact, her happiness completely coincides with how great I think he is, and from where I’m sitting, they’re both 10s.

AND — the dude is incredibly funny, which I always appreciate. I don’t really hang with people who can’t make me laugh, and he had me cracking up all weekend. It makes me feel fortunate that he’ll be in both Emily and my life for a long time to come.

After a late night and (somewhat) early morning, we all hopped in the car and headed out to Key Biscayne to check out wedding locations.

We got a little turned around finding Crandon Park, but once we found the place we got the full tour. Every place we saw was amazing and would make for a beautiful location, but I think Addam and I are going to go with Club Paradise because it’s private and has the most shade.  Addam’s putting the deposit down tomorrow morning, so I need to make sure to get the finishing touches on my save the dates.

Addam and I have decided not to have the reception on the beach. It was a hard decision, and something we didn’t want to give up, but we love music, and Crandon Park doesn’t allow for any sort of amplification. Which…just does not work for us.

After checking out the hot spots the whole gang headed down to the Rusty Pelican for dinner. We had been told by park officials that that is where most couples end up having their reception, but when I went to inquire about rates they told me that they were going to be closed for renovations over August.

I don’t get why they plan to renovate, because the place was absolutely amazing.  I honestly didn’t think that any of us would be able to afford it at first, but we stuck it out and were glad we did. The food was epic.  I literally could have filled up on bread, and I think I kind of did. I got the best tomato soup I’ve ever had in my life and a salad.

The only thing better than the food was the view. Our waiter, who was a bit rude and absentminded, placed us near a big window by the water, so we got to watch sea planes and yachts jet by while we ate. We even got a glimpse of a wedding reception, which only made me more excited about my big day. (Oh, and one of the groomsmen was From Fergie.  I mean, really. I think it was him. I wanted to hire him to work my reception.)

Right after dinner Emily and I went wedding dress shopping for some quality bride/maid of honor time.  It was about 5 p.m., and I thought a lot of places would be closed, but David’s Bridal was open and accepting.

Guys…I tried on soooo many dresses.  I’ve said before that I am not the typical bride. Since I had no idea what I liked, I wanted to try on everything. I put on mermaid cuts, strapless cuts, form fitting and flowing. I tried trains, no trains, veils and tiaras, and in the end, I still love the first one I ever tried on.

I’m not including the photos of actual contenders on here, because I am sure Addam will be reading this blog post. The one I’m including is a total princess cut. Definitely not what I’m going for, but I had to try it. Don’t worry. I plan on posting an update, for your eyes only, later this week. I’m not very traditional, but I want Addam to be amazed when he sees me in my dress for the first time. Which means that he absolutely cannot see me in my final pick. He seems ok with that. In fact, I think he may be more concerned with keeping the dress hidden than I am.

I do have to say though — I never knew how much putting on a wedding dress would affect me.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I never thought that I’d ever feel so bridal. Seeing myself in a gown for the first time really got to me.  It all seemed so official, and I couldn’t wait for Addam to see me walking toward him on a beach in Key Biscayne.

The coolest part? There was no mirror in the changing room, so the first reaction I ever got was Emily’s.  I’d come of out the little closet and immediately look to her for an opinion, which kind of helped me judge what I would think upon seeing the dress.  (Yeah, she has that much of an influence over me, and I really just want her to think I’m pretty on my wedding day. Is that so insane?) We immediately sent all of the photos we took to Steve and Judy, but as they had completely conflicting opinions, I really don’t know what that to take away from it all…

After picking out of ton of swatches, (I think I’m going to go with a jade green and tan-ish color), Emily and I headed out to meet the boys, who apparently spent two hours drinking whiskey and shooting the shit.  We had planned to go see Black Swan, but I incorrectly thought that it was already playing in Miami.  We’re going when Ryan and Emily get back from their cruise on Friday.

Without plans for the night, we all decided to head out to South Beach.  A couple of five-hour energies and we were more than good to go.

After Emily and I  followed this troll of a woman into a ritzy hotel to pee, we met up with the boys and headed to the water. We spent the evening munching on leftovers and taking ridiculously cute and funny photos.  Addam would shout out a scenario, and we would all pose to act it out. I wish my descriptions could do the game justice, but it really was a good time. If nothing else, we kept each other laughing.

After Addam took a jump in the December ocean, and after taking about a thousand pictures of these classic CJ’s we found near Collins Avenue, (Addam is obsessed), we headed home.

Addam had to work on Sunday, so Ryan, Emily and I planned to spend the day checking out wedding dresses and bridesmaid gowns. Unfortunately, it turned into three hours of driving around in search of any open bridal stores. After wandering hopeless for a couple hours, we decided on Macy’s, which also had absolutely nothing to work with.  I’ve already scheduled a ton of appointments for next weekend so we don’t run into the same issues.

Addam got off around sixish, and we all headed to this BOMB Mexican restaurant where we fueled up on chips and tacos. The service was lack-luster, but the food was amazing. The woman who rang us up was simple and foolish, so my food was free, so I honestly can’t complain. The sauces were amazing, and Addam and I plan on hitting it up again in the near future.

Back at the apartment we had an easy evening of The House Bunny and  Zack and Miri Make a Porno.  I don’t know what time I went to bed, but I do know that Monday morning was a tough one.

Luckily, we all went out for breakfast, which was a good start to what would be a long day.  I maxed out on a much needed egg and cheese sandwich from Subway, and Ryan and Emily set out for their cruise. Addam spent the a.m. making sure they were all aboard, and I was jealous that I couldn’t be there to send them my love as they set sail.  I pictured myself waving furiously as their boat made its way out of the port.

It’s now Tuesday, and I’m much more rested. I plan on going to bed early everyday this week in anticipation of the incredible weekend I have coming up. Dress shopping, tattoos and Black Swan? Yeahhhh. I can deal with it. I just wish it never had to end. Not to get sappy, but it’s going to be really hard to embrace the cold after being engulfed in sunshine.

“I’d rather laugh with sinners than cry with saints.” — Billy Joel, musician.