Friday, October 27, 2017

This is Us, 10 Years Later

As you read this we are on the beach enjoying a relaxing day celebrating 10 years of marriage. Marriage has ups and downs, times when we could have said enough but we always stick together. Even as I type this I can not believe 10 years, I mean when you first get married you always wonder what those milestone anniversaries will be like and where we will be in our life but the fact that it is already hear blows my mind. I am so proud of us, truly. And thank you to our friends and family who are on this journey with us. In the next 10 years my wish for us is to first be happy and in love. I wish that whatever decision we choose on children will bring us peace. I wish that our animals will always be a constant joy that fills our lives. I wish that Matt's career will bring him happiness and he will continue to succeed plus manage a work/home balance. I wish that I will continue with Real Estate and help secure our financial future.

Matt, even thought I know that out of everyone I know you would be the LAST person to read my blog in the off chance that you are (or I make you) I love you. I am glad we found each other. Happy 10 Years love!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

This is Us, Part 9

What makes us a family...

Isabella Savage is the OG, our lady Bella actually came before Matt but lucky us Matt loved her too. Bella is my constant, my best gal and I am blessed everyday to still have her in our life. She loves nothing more than cuddling with me while I read at night and early morning love from her Dad. 
 Matt and I adopted our boy Oscar in 2007 the Summer before we got married, we rescued him from a not so lovely home and we gave him a home full of love. Oscar was our boy our bossy hot tempered boy and our love for him knew NO bounds. It's almost unimaginable to think he has been gone for 1 1/2 years.
 Our big boy Ralph we practically got to raise from birth. We found him when he was 3 weeks old with no home and we took turns bottle feeding him and I took him to work with me for weeks until he was able to be alone. Ralph thinks he is also a weenie and he has the sweetest heart ever. He is the best big brother now and our 9 year old baby brightens our lives.
 Our sweet sweet old man Abner, he was the glue that tied us all together. He was always down to be snuggled and loved on and everyone he met fell in love with him like we did. We miss that old man everyday.
Our newest addition is so full of life that it is hard to be in a bad mood around him. Elway is such a lover and he loves nothing more than playing with his big brother. Elway has given us joy back into our life after loosing Oscar and his spirit helped get us all thru loosing Abner. We can only imagine what the future will hold with this one. 
Our animals are our children, they are a true extension of us and we are a family unit. We are not a conventional family but no one could ever tell us that our love for them isn't strong enough to call us a family. We are lucky to have them all and to have been able to share a life with each of them.

This is Us, Part 8

*We are 1 in 8*

You can not tell a story about us together without the biggest elephant in the room, per say. For 3 years of our 10 we struggled and lived our lives according to my period... fun.. NOT. Infertility is a funny thing you see, it changes you, your marriage, your family, it is always with you, you feel sad, you will feel proud of your strength, you will feel hopeless and then you will feel stronger as a couple or then possibly more apart then ever. I could go on and on about all the things we felt but first have a look back. MOST of my infertility blog posts you will find right HERE
 Yup, I still have all these needles or should I say my little sharp trophies in my bathroom. It is truly the only tangible thing I have left from everything we went to. The only thing I can hold, look at and the only things that can represent our pain in a real way. It might sound weird but I can't imagine ever getting rid of my needles.
 Something I have also shared with friends and most likely on here is how during this time Matt and I were as close as ever. We had a common goal, we had to do things together (and no not much of that involved actual sex) we had to make decisions together and Matt had to be home from work more often.  And now it is weird a year later we are not as strong.... we are struggling to find our common goal and although we are not fighting we are more separate. That is another thing I want this 10 year trip of ours to do..... HIT reset!!! Re-focus, actually talk and come home more together than we have all year. I am not putting pressure on it but we haven't been just us two on vacation or time away from work and TV in a long time.
 I know a lot of you wonder if we have made decisions about the future.... adoption? Honestly we have not but we have been just us two for so long I am thinking it might just be that way for us. And we love our animals more than anyone could imagine... they are not a replacement and never have been but a wonderful addition to our lives.  SO I am not sure and nothing we decide ever has to be set in stone, our lives are ever changing and who knows what the years to come will bring.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

This is Us, Part 7

It's NOT all easy...

If you know me or follow my blog then you know I am an open book. And I have loved so far looking back and recalling the great times for you all but it isn't all roses. I have been open about our struggles on here and with my friends. I have not nor will I ever be someone who says that marriage is the MOST wonderful thing ever, we are perfect. That is far from it. 
Below at my sister-in-laws wedding I can just see it on our faces, our forced smiles. I know how hard this time was for us. Marriage is like 🌊 waves..... there are ups, downs and in betweens. Some of those phases can be quick but other can last sometime. You just have to have faith the tide will turn.
 We have been thru my weight gain... 47 pounds. I was unhappy, I had never lived away from my family before.... that move, the before - after - and during was rough and I ate. I will always say that loosing 50 pounds as of today is one of my top accomplishments... because I did it on my own and the old fashion way.
Matt and I are both very prideful and passionate which means when we fight we fight hard. I have a funny story for you all...Maybe our second year of marriage when we were still in Okc and close to my parents let me add. Matt and I got into it so bad but he wouldn't let me leave (I flee when overwhelmed) I was desperate and I called, woke my parents and told them to come get me. Well they both came but as I ran out of the car Mom went inside to talk to Matt and Dad drove me around. AT this point I swear Mom and Dad sided with Matt more than me so Dad ultimately drove me back home and made my apologize to Matt. I am not a good apologizer... let me say.
 Matt and I have been thru deaths of our grandparents, members of our family being deployed and then the death of 2 of our children. Oscar and Abner... it's hard because we learn that we handle grief differently as well. All of that changes you, changes the marriage and you have to adjust for sure.
I have told several people that I am not necessarily celebrating "Oh I love you so so much for 10 years" rather than "We made it 10 years when we could have easily given up so many times and we need to celebrate that"

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

This is Us, Part 6

*Firsts and Things we LOVE*

You guys this pic below is of our FIRST Christmas together! In fact this was 2006, we were engaged and I was in the middle of my NBA season... hence the tan! LOL! This was also our 1 year dating anniversary! awe! Ever since this first Christmas together our 2 families work well together, Christmas Eve has always been spent with Matt's family and Christmas Day mine. We were also both lucky to be the oldest and we set that rule so all our siblings just fell into line when they got married! LOL 
(ps- I wish I still had that cute thermal)
This was either New Years Eve 2006 or 2007. Who knows. We are eating dinner at Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse in OKc. I worked there for almost 4 years I believe and honestly it is still one of my favorite jobs because it gave me LIFE long friends. Thru a co-worker Mike I met his wife Allison and I still consider her one of my dearest friends plus at least 4 other people I still keep in touch with today! So this place will always be special to me and not just because of the great food!
Matt and I went on our first vacation after the honeymoon to Monterey, CA and it was incredible! This was a Farmers Insurance trip and the location could not have been more amazing. Since this we have been on 6 wonderful trips thru Matt's accomplishments in his career with Farmers Insurance . 
 Matt and I LOVE to go to concerts and in fact I doubt I could recite all the ones we have been too! It literally could be over 50! This was early on in like 2007 I talked Matt into going to see Rod Stewart with me, I will always say for the most part Matt is a good sport! It was so much fun! People we love are Kings of Leon and then Incubus who we have collectively seen 4 times together and I have seen 6 times total!
Matt and I both graduated in 1999 so in 2009 was our 10 year reunions. We actually only went to Matt's and decided to skip out on mine. So maybe we will do my 20th and not his?
Below is me with Mr. Prom King, Homecoming King and Varsity Athlete! What a catch huh ladies?
 Matt and I both LOVE going to sporting events and for Matt's 30th Birthday I surprised him with a weekend away to Denver to see our first EVER NFL game! Who would of thought that 3 1/2 years later we would be calling this place home. Funny how things work out.
 Let me tell you the ways we love our OKC Thunder!!! My family has season tickets and Matt and I were at the first EVER Okc game in 2008!!! Thunder UP
In 2011 I was lucky enough to be able to surprise Matt the morning of the World Series with tickets to the game to cheer on our Cardinals!! You see I love gifting things to Matt or sharing experiences with him. The fact that I was able to give him the ULTIMATE sports fantasy is really selfish because of how happy it made me too!
Last Summer Matt and I went (Thanks to Farmers) to see a game at Fenway and spend time in Boston!! So fun!
 And just a few weeks ago we both went to Seattle for the first time. I love seeing the first picture in this group which was 11 years ago and seeing us now. We have changed, gotten older, wiser, been thick and thin and been thru so much but I do still see the faith for what is and could come in our eyes.

Monday, October 23, 2017

This is Us, Part 5

 A Place to Call Home
Oklahoma * Ohio * Colorado
 Matt and I bought our first home right before we were engaged! The house above was in Oklahoma and in fact was in the neighborhood right next to my High School. I loved the location and I loved how we made this house our home. Even though many times I hated this house! It had a lot wrong and we worked thru fixing so much but each year we did just that fixed something up. Isn't that what a first home is suppose to be? When I go home I still always drive by... Matt and I created those flower beds, we laid those pavers and trimmed those hedges.  Below was our first Christmas. Our First home and our Christmas decorations!
I have a sweet story about Christmas one year, I can't even remember which one but it is when Twilight or like New Moon opened in theaters and I left that afternoon for a before the movie party with my girlfriends. I got home late after the movie and when I pulled up Matt single handedly put up all the Christmas decorations. It was magical turning onto my street and seeing my house lit up as a surprise for me!
 I had lived within a few miles of my family for 30 years when Matt announced we were moving to Columbus, Ohio... a state I had never been to before. It didn't go over very well to say the least but we forged thru. We call these years the "Dark Years"... it was tough being away for the first time, Matt's career was changing and all that put so much pressure on our marriage. It was hard. Below is the home we bought in Ohio, Pickerington to be exact.... about 15 miles south of downtown Columbus. We did love this home so much, it was a perfect place for our family to visit us and we had a HUGE backyard with a pond. We aptly named all our Koi fish after the Okc Thunder Players!
I loved this home, well.....everything except for the WHITE carpet! EEK! But this kitchen was my fav and I fell in love with this home and this state for the most part. I thought this was a forever move so I found things I loved about the city and some I do still miss today. I loved the Short North, North Market, German Village and I will always look back fondly on Mom and I's trips to Ohio Amish country!  With that being said our move to Colorado was one of the best things for us...
Colorado is quite a change from Oklahoma and Ohio and not just the money part. We lived in a cute townhouse for almost 2 years when we moved here with our garage wall to wall boxes that didn't fit into the house! LOL! We tested out a ton of suburbs and ultimately fell in love with Castle Rock. 
Cute story for you guys, after we had been here for a few months I found the Castle Rock Outlet Mall, I mean of course I did. About a mile from the mall I drove into this cute community called The Meadows and I fell in love. I told Matt that day that this is where I wanted to live, I just felt it. I toured homes and got discouraged by the prices and demand but then 1 1/2 later we bought our home in The Meadows. I guess sometimes when you know, you know. 
I hope this is our home for some time to come. Finishing out our basement is our next goal, it will be like a complete in-law suite or parents suite in my case. Our boys love being able to "free range" in the yard, hang out on the patio and in this home I have learned to garden. 
We love Denver and we love sharing it with our friends and family. Hopefully the buck stops here. AND.... literally out of our backyard is Deer and bucks daily !☺️

Sunday, October 22, 2017

This is Us, Part 4

The Honeymoon
Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica 
 We stayed 1 week at Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica which is now rebranded as Sandals South Coast or something. I LOVED this resort and the white sand beaches! I loved Sandals! We were thinking about going to Sandals St Lucia for our 1 year but we didn't want to go somewhere with such a long travel time. Mexico is easier, a few hours and 1/2 a day instead of like 8-10 hours of travel!
 We had a wonderful time and looking at the picture below I can't believe how young Matt looks. In fact on this trip we also celebrated Matt's 27th Birthday just like on our trip next week we will be celebrating Matt's 37th Birthday! Lucky duck gets to piggy back vacations for birthday celebrations! I even remember what I got him for his Birthday on our honeymoon... I got him a new watch. I have always said that this week in October is my favorite of the whole year.... It's Fall, Our Anniversary, Matt's Birthday and Halloween! I wanted to maybe stay in Cabo for Halloween and celebrate the day of the dead there but I was worried about our dogs and being scared with people ringing the doorbell to trick or treat and if our pet sitter would be there that night during that time. So we are coming home that afternoon,  I know we really love our animals!
 I will tell you 2 never before insights into our honeymoon:
1. Before cell phones were what they were today and long distance calling with still thing, I called my parents collect everyday from our honeymoon to see how Oscar was doing and to check in. Not so funny part was that my parents got a bill for hundreds of dollars from my calls! LOL ....eek!
2. Also, one night on our honeymoon Matt and I actually got into a fight and we didn't even eat dinner together. I know that sounds shocking but that kinda goes with both of our firm personalities! I even remember what it was over.... should we get joint checking accounts. (eye roll)
I do remember not wanting our honeymoon to end, it is so true that after the stress of the wedding the vacation is exactly what you need.
Our trip next week is actually only our 3rd vacation together including our honeymoon. All other trips have been with Farmers Insurance and we have then stayed extra or just a weekend away! So I am excited!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

This is Us, Part 3

Our Wedding, October 27, 2007
Oklahoma City
Southern Hills Baptist Church and Will Rogers Theater 
 Our wedding day was great that morning my girls and I had a suite at the Skirvin Hotel downtown and while we got ready we had Halloween movies on the TV which made the day perfect! It was a stunning warm October day in Oklahoma and I was honestly completely relaxed.  We didn't have any hiccups and the day was beautiful and drama free.
 At our reception we had a Fall Make Your Own S'mores Bar complete with little burners for melting marshmallows. I incorporated gold into everything and had a stunning gold cake!
 I tried my best to play up the Fall theme and you guys this was before Pinterest, I should get a medal or something for using my own brain... right?
 We did a Halloween Candy Buffet as favor but we also made custom CD's for everyone with our favorite songs on them. I know CD's? Hey now, this is was when CD's were the way you listened to music. IPods were not even a thing yet! LOL
 I love this picture, it shows our light writing, our S ice sculpture as well as Matt and I in the background!
You know what is funny? I don't remember this day. I see these pictures and know everything but I have no memories, it is just a flash on my timeline. I can't put myself there and remember things but even a short time after the wedding I couldn't remember what I said or anything Matt had said.

The only negative on my day? We had a "friend" do the video and we never received any footage. nothing. I wish we had video to watch or to re-live this day but sadly we don't.

Friday, October 20, 2017

This is Us, Part 2

In October 2006 Matt proposed to me in our backyard with a Halloween Proposal! It was the Monday night before the NBA season started and my only night off that week and Matt suggested we head to our favorite place in Okc, Flips Wine Bar. I thought why? On a Monday? Thats weird. But ok! After we got home I went upstairs while Matt took Oscar outside when he called me outside to see this..........
It looked so much better in person, each pumpkin was lit up inside and my ring was on that Bat Bar. In fact that Bat Bar is still with us today, it's in our basement! Matt even had a witches cauldron for our champagne. And I also have that bottle still today as well as the spiderweb champagne flutes! I said YES and this will always go down as one of the best things Matt has ever done for me!

We took a year engagement to plan, relax and for me to finish up my NBA season. Below are some of our engagement pictures and you guys, we were matching polos!!!!!!!!! It's cute but man o man do times change! This picture cracks me up....
 This picture I still love today and this is what we used for our Save the Dates and everything!
 This picture is great because we are in front of the Oklahoma City minor league baseball stadium and clearly baseball has and had a big part in our lives and well as our love for Okc.


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