"For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I was at work today, I realized that I said "ya'll" to my new co-worker just 5 minutes shy of explaining how to pronounce "E Komo Mai" (Welcome in Hawaiian) and talking about my growing up in Baltimore. Then on the ride home today, my iPhone music shuffle picked up a previously abandoned Muse song added to my collection years ago by an ex-boyfriend I haven't talked to in forever. I was never into Muse. At all. And suddenly I liked this song. And the others from its album.

It got me thinking about how I've changed in the almost 7 months since I've moved to Hawaii. I decided my list was long enough to warrant being written down (and laughed at). So here it is:

 Things I’ve Lost since Hawaii:
  • One less non-broken bone. (I broke my toe last month when my sister came to visit. I was unsure if I really did at the time but a month later it’s still sore so I think that is a yes. Not a big deal, but I’ve never really broken anything before. There goes that winning point in the  “Never Have I Ever” game.)
  • My single status…er, well engaged status. 
  • My last name
  • My Maryland license (I do miss that little blue crab on it but my huge rainbow is pretty awesome.)
  • My tolerance for cold weather (I freeze when I walk in air condition now. I took two sweaters with me to breakfast this morning because I was shaking the second I walked in the door!)
  • My stereotype of military life & wives
  • My need to wear socks ever again (Long live flipflops.)
  • My car (Still heave a little sigh every time a silver Toyota Echo with all 4 missing hubcaps drives by.)
  • A few checked off items on my life goals list (Get Married, Drink Champagne on an Airplane, Get a Drivers License from Another State, Visit Hawaii- that was number 2 on my list!
  • Contact with a few people I probably wasn’t meant to stay in touch with anyway (…so no real loss there.)
  • Any desire EVER to waitress again. (In fact I’m considering gouging my eyes out with forks before doing so again. I still have nightmares from my one evening spent working in Outback where the words “NEVER AGAIN!!” echoed through my mind all night like a crazy person.)
  • Any sense of consistent dialect (I still say, “hon” from Baltimore, “ya’ll” from Charleston, and now end every sentence with “yah?” from Hawaiian pidgin. Plus I really like to say “Aloha!” )
  • Two bank accounts. (No Bank of America’s or Baltimore County Credit Unions here.)
  • My white pasty complexion and dry skin (Don’t miss either ONE bit!)
  • My previous favorite necklace (A mother of pearl four leaf clover I paid a quarter for at a flea market when I was 10 and a horse-shoe charm with “Good luck” written in it I bought for myself when I moved out of my mom’s house officially for the first time…come to think of it that’s probably not good luck.)
  • 2 Tupperware lids. (No clue where they went. Wonder if you can order that specifically….Hmm.)
Things I’ve gained since Hawaii:
  • A wedding band
  • A husband (!!!)
  • A boatload (literally) of friends
  • A tan J
  • Greta (My “new” car…a ’99 beat-up aqua-colored Toyota Corolla who acts kind of fussy sometimes and likes to tease me by putting on her Check Engine light every 3 weeks or so but still kinda feels like a caring, worried Grandma.)
  • One more state added to my roster of states visited (Now at 44!)
  • A HOUSE of our own!
  • An insatiable desire to bake cupcakes frequently (And an even more house-wifey obsession for cute little aprons. I think I used to watch Girls Next Door to often- you know how Holly always dressed up for doing silly little things? Totally becoming me.)
  • An appreciation for always having lived on Eastern Standard Time….and an anger for when companies on EST call me at 2am.
  • 14 new bikinis
  • A passion for non-profit work & at least for now a job that makes me pretty happy
  • A big expensive white dress
  • Occasional awesome care packages from Mom (Which ALWAYS contain about 15-25 dog treat coupons which show me where her loyalty really lies.)
  • A new pen pal- my sister!
  • A new language (Well, not completely, but I do know a LOT of words now. Plus, ever since moving here I made myself say every single street name in Hawaiian out loud to practice and I have a real knack for Hawaiian pronunciation now I think….although I did JUST learn how to pronounce my street name after 6 months of saying it wrong. Oops.)
  • An amazing new ability to “man up” and handle tools. (I’ve hung pictures, drilled, and even assembled a TV stand…in only 4 hours….um.)
  • A new love for red wine. I currently have 5 opened bottles. (Sorry, Mom.)
  • A newfound appreciation for military wives (and kids)
  • A longing for Charleston I didn’t know I had.
  • An herb garden (Which reminds me…I’m having fresh eggplant for dinner tonight!)
  • An underlying fear of tsunamis (following “The Tsunami That Wasn’t” back in February. I still keep meaning to buy a tshirt that says I survived the February 27th Tsunami.)
My Constants:
  • My dog Maggie. (Don’t know how I’d survive deployment without that dog. The neighbors seriously must think I’m nuts. I raced her down my street back to our house the other day, the whole while yelling at her like I would to a person: “I’m going to beat you. I’m almost there. Ha! In your face!” I did beat her but it was close. …Only to see my neighbor across the street outside looking at me and smiling awkwardly. Ooops.)
  • My family.
  • My hair color.
  • My love for beaches….actually that has definitely increased with the overabundance of clear, turquoise waters and white sand beaches, and trade winds that keep the weather perfectly balanced….(Sorry. ;)  )
  • My silver palmetto palm tree necklace I got at Rainbow Street Market in downtown Charleston that I pretty much wear all the time.
  • My phone number. (I’ve had it since I was 17. 410 forever, baby. Although I am forcing Nick to convert from his 314 St Louis area code. Sorry, Nick.)
  • My slight obsession with photography. (Only now it’s developed into an obsession with iPhone photography apps.)
  • My appreciation for Maryland crabcakes, cream of crab soup, and Old Bay. (If someone tells you Old Bay does not go with everything they are WRONG!)
  • My love for Nick…I take that back. That’s definitely changed. I only miss him and love him more every day.
You have to let go of some things to make room for others…but in the case of my two missing Tupperware lids I’m not entirely sure that’s true. But for the most part change has been good to me.

I couldn’t be a more happily married woman. Unless Nick was home from deployment but I’m taking one day at a time. And twice in the past two weeks I have had comments from two different people that couldn’t believe my age. Not that I’m old by any means but it was nice they thought I was a college kid.

Enough reflections. I need to go race my dog around the block. Aloha! ;)
Our wedding wasn’t exactly conventional...but then again, I'm quickly learning that nothing is very conventional when it comes to military life. :)

Nick and I had originally been planning on picking a date next year to have our wedding, a date when all our family could make it.

When we got to the island though, we just realized how much easier things would be if we went ahead and got married now instead of waiting. We were excited to get married..plus it was even more exciting to think about having a private ceremony and practically eloping.

I watch all the crazy wedding shows- Say Yes to the Dress, Bridezillas, Four Weddings...People get so focused on making everyone else happy that they can easily lose sight of what's most important to them. What I loved about what we did was that we focused exactly on what we wanted and had a beautiful little memorable wedding.

I planned for about a month and a half- not easy to do in Hawaii. People and life move a little bit slower here- “Aloha time.” Companies were not quick to respond to me when I was on a deadline. Nick could only do the wedding on certain days with his work schedule so it wasn't an easy month of planning but everything came together beautifully. The two things I really wanted to be perfect were the dress and the photographer- and those two were definitely what we spent the most money on- but well worth it.

Our close family and some friends knew about the wedding but it was so much fun to surprise everyone else.

The wedding took place at Waia'lae Beach Park on the island of O'ahu in front of the Kahala Resort Hotel on Sunday, March 21st, 2010 at 4pm. We had just three guests present- Jared (Nick's roommate from the Naval Academy) and his wife Melissa (and their baby Gunnar too) and our friend Megan who is dating another guy named Lou who Nick went to the Naval Academy with. Lou was unfortunately unable to make it. The dates for his month-long mission kept changing and he ended up coming home the day after our wedding.

Megan was there with me in the beginning to help pick out my dress, which I was sad to do without my mom and sister and best friends.

I realized that by doing the wedding early there would be bittersweet moments. I wanted my mom, my sister, and my two closest friends there. 

By having this private ceremony, Nick and I never had engagement pictures, I never had a true bachelorette party, and we're not going to have a honeymoon for some time. So things are definitely happening out of order but...like I said, not conventional.

But there was something so special about it just being basically us. I never thought I would have my wedding on a beach. That's not to say that's not what I wanted- but beaches back in Maryland aren't what I'd dream of for a beach wedding, and east coast weather is far too unpredictable for me to even have tried to plan an outside wedding if we lived there. 

Being in Hawaii really opened up a lot of possibilities. We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather.
The night before the wedding we exchanged our wedding gifts. Nick gave me my first pair of pearl earrings- so beautiful and something I had been hinting about but not even on purpose. I gave Nick handkerchiefs which I had embroidered for him with his initials, our wedding date, and “I love you.”

The day of the wedding I had my hair and makeup done by an amazing artist in Honolulu by the name of Maleana Cosmetics. Megan came over to the studio while I was getting ready and we toasted champagne in plastic champagne glasses. 

Thank God for the champagne- now I know why people hire wedding planners. I was so stressed something would go wrong! Fortunately, my hair and makeup turned out beautifully. It was really cool getting airbrush makeup. And my hair turned out perfect- it was mostly down with some pieces on the sides and top pulled back and dendrobium orchids tucked into the back.



Nick had dropped me off at the studio and had gone to pick up the cake to take to the restaurant where we would later have our reception dinner. I was so worried he wouldn't get back in time. I originally hadn't wanted him to see me before the wedding, but since the wedding would be outside at the beach there weren't a lot of options- he would have seen me at some point anyway. I was really happy though we timed it out so that he didn't see me getting my hair and makeup done. He got back in time and the videographer filmed Nick when he saw me for the first time in my gown with everything done up. I'll never forget the look on his face. :)

My gown was a light ivory color, A-line/empire waist with a champagne colored ribbon tied around and a cameo with ivory lace on the back. The dress itself was a lace overlay with embroidered flowers and beaded pearls. My veil was about shoulder length with a classic ribbon on the bottom.

Nick's suit was a khaki colored linen fitted suit. He wore an aqua button-up shirt beneath it with an aqua, turquoise and silver polka dot tie, a light pink pocket square with white trim (to match my ribbon), and a Thai dendrobium orchid boutinerre. (He considered wearing his uniform but it just seemed too formal for the relaxed beach wedding we had planned.)

My bouquet consisted of white, crème-colored, light pink, and apricot garden roses. It was originally going to be dahlias but the dahlias were in a storm earlier that week so they had to be replaced with garden roses last minute. They actually smelled really amazing and looked beautiful so it ended up working out very well.

I bought Nick a straw fedora from Banana Republic and gave it to him the day before the wedding. He wore it in a few of the photographs and it looked awesome on him. After searching for over a month I found a pair of aqua polka-dot peep toe shoes. I didn't actually wear them for the ceremony (I was barefoot, Nick wore Rainbows) but they were great for the pictures later and added a fun little splash of color. They also matched Nick's shirt very well.

Upon leaving the makeup studio, we rushed to the beach and found the photographer, Elizabeth Morgan, who snapped some shots while Nick parked the car, and we all walked up to the beach to find the minister. The one sad thing I will say about the day was one thing didn't go as planned; I was going to have a guy playing guitar to "Stand By Me" as I walked up the aisle and "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz on ukulele after they pronounced us husband and wife.

Unfortunately, the craziness of wedding planning got to me. I searched all around trying to find the perfect person for the job and was so happy when I found a guy...however, as I realized the day after our wedding, almost the whole time the uke player and I communicated via email, I was saying the wrong date- April 21st. Nick even looked over the contract before I signed it...for April 21st. Neither of us caught it. He later told me if I had gotten a hold of him sooner it probably wouldn't have been a problem to make it that day. Unfortunately we had to go on with the wedding without him. It went fine without him, I just would have really loved the music. He was kind enough to give us a refund though since it was such a miscommunication.

Other than that, everything went smoothly and perfectly. We had a little spot on a patch of grass next to a palm tree on the beach. Megan had scattered some dendrobium orchid heads on the ground. 

The wedding itself was so beautiful...but I couldn't tell you anything that the minister said. Megan and Melissa both did a reading for us- 1st Corinthians. Nick and I both wrote a little something to say to each other and it was very emotional reading our feelings.

After the ceremony and the signing of the marriage certificate, we got a few group shots with Jared, Melissa, Megan and Gunnar before they left to wait for us at the restaurant. We stayed for an additional hour getting lots of fun pictures- barefoot walking on the beach, dancing on the beach, balancing on rocks, me jumping into his arms, him carrying me into the water, me actually getting attacked by a wave at one point (the whole train of my dress got wet), gazing into each other's eyes, and more dancing on the beach, and walking off into the sunset.

Afterwards, we headed to a fun little restaurant in Waikiki called Tiki's Bar & Grill. My main goal with finding a restaurant was that I wanted somewhere that had entertainment and that was fun with really good food. Originally I was looking into fancier restaurants but none of them allowed you to be very close to the entertainment, or simply didn't have entertainment on a Sunday night. Tiki's looked fun from the pictures- Tiki poles all over the restaurant, a fun-looking atmosphere and a good menu with some really yummy-sounding drinks.

When we got there, Megan had scattered flowers all over the table. We had glasses of champagne waiting for us (we got to keep the commemorative Tiki's glasses!). We all had calamari and bruschetta for appetizers. I had a Mai Tai in a fun coconut cup...which ended up having a picture of Lono, the god of fertility and peace. We had a good laugh about that.

Nick had dropped off our cake at the restaurant earlier on that day so I hadn't seen the final product yet. It was so beautiful! I ordered the cake from A Cake Life, which I actually found on Twitter before moving to the island. It was a two tier buttercream cake with lilikoi filling (passion fruit) and fondant icing. It was the smallest two-tier they could make- a 6inch bottom layer and a 4 inch top layer, all 8 inches high total. It had a turquoise ribbon around the bottom of each layer and tiny pearl dots scattered on the fondant. On the top and sides as accents were real, tiny pink roses.

Nick and I weren't too messy with the cake cutting and eating. He made sure he took off his suit jacket first just in case. I did end up accidentally getting some on his face. :)
We saved the entire top tier of the cake by ziplock-bagging it and sticking it in the freezer...I hope it tastes as good a year from now!

After Megan, Melissa, and Jared left, Nick and I went to the giftshop. I have a tradition of collecting random bar/restaurant t-shirts for my future alcoholic patchwork quilt so I definitely wanted to get a t-shirt to remember the night. We both ended up getting a t-shirt and posing in front of the huge Lono Tiki statue-probably my favorite picture of the whole day.

Lono, the god of fertility
We ended up going home with two Tiki's champagne glasses, a 20 oz Tiki glass, a Tiki coconut cup, and two t-shirts.
The night ended way too early, but Nick had to work the next day. The whole day was such a dream come true. 

It was just so much FUN- once I had a glass of champagne at the hair studio and relaxed and stopped stressing about everything going well. It just went well on its own. Nick and I agreed later that we're happy it was kind of just us sharing our moment the first time. We still plan to have the whole family and our friends out next year for a bigger wedding and party. (Hopefully we can get the ukulele player for that!) But it was nice to have some privacy and not worry about everyone else and making sure they were happy and comfortable for this time.

I felt like everyone was there in spirit too. One idea I had come up with when I first started planning the wedding was to have my mom, sister, and two best friends contribute to my “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue.” I got one from each of them to wear that day. 

I received a pearl bracelet from my mother (Old), a pin that was my grandma's from my sister (Borrowed), and a garter (Blue) and heart toe ring (New) from Erin and Rachel, my two best friends. My sister also lent me a pretty diamond hair clip that she wore on her wedding day too.

It was really nice to have them think of me and I was happy to be able to see them there with me when I looked at the items. My sister also sent me an amazing wedding countdown with a little plastic blonde Bride wedding topper that was Velcro-ed to the countdown and moved from date to date.

I don’t think I’d change a thing about that day. It was just so much fun and I felt really pretty and so happy. J The next night after Nick got off work, we ordered a Dominos thin crust white garlic parmesan pizza (my favorite!), had champagne, and watched Just Married. I called it our “Mini-moon.” We also have a sunset dinner cruise coming up toward the end of this month that we won in a silent auction. That will be another mini-moon for us. We’re going to wait a few months until things settle down and then plan a honeymoon to another island, probably Kauai. There are ziplines, rainforests, beaches, hiking and so much more to do there. We still definitely plan on having a bigger wedding next year- enough in advance for our family and friends to come visit.

We’re so happy to be newlyweds now! It feels so grownup when I say I have a “husband.” We still watch Family Guy and make “That’s what she said” jokes. Our idea of a fun night is still staying in and cuddling on the couch. We’re just an old married couple now.  I love it.

Thank you to all our family and friends for supporting us and loving us. I’m so excited to have a new last name and a new family now!

If you would like to see our wedding website (which I started the week before the wedding) or view our registry page, please visit: www.sarahlovesnick.com

Rehobeth for Joe & Cait's wedding
Sometimes I feel like it was so long ago that we found out that we were moving to Hawaii but now that it's almost here it's coming at me fast. And with this snowy crazy weather, it can't come quickly enough.

Caitlin, me and Ali- night before the wedding
I feel good about things right now. I feel on top of things for the most part, and that's important. Last week I felt like I was falling apart and was borderline having panic attacks just about every day trying to think of all the stuff that needed to be done.

Maggie had her vet appt on Thursday and got her health certificate. I called the Quarantine Center in Hawaii to make sure everything was fine with her other paperwork and found out she qualifies for direct release from the airport rather than the "5 day or less" quarantine. She still has to stay overnight because of the time our flight gets in, but she will be released the next morning at 8am. So I'm happy she is all taken care of...just need to get through the plane trip with her.

Condo partying night before the wedding
We went to an awesome wedding in Rehobeth Beach this weekend for some friends from nuclear power school in Charleston. It was a snowy crazy weekend but it was a lot of fun. I was particularly excited I got to hang out with my good friend Ali I knew from Charleston (one of the nuke guys' girlfriends). I haven't seen her or talked much since leaving Charleston so it was fun to hang out and catch up and just have fun.

oh those navy boys.
The wedding was beautiful. Nick was in the bridal party in uniform. They had a string trio that played "Tale as Old as Time" from Beauty & the Beast as the bridal party walked down the aisle. So pretty.

The reception was a BLAST. So much fun. Although right afterwards we had to leave and drive back 3 hours to Baltimore so Nick could catch his flight to Hawaii early the next morning. It was a miserable drive. The Eastern Shore isn't used to heavy snow and that's exactly what they got that day. The roads were horrendous and definitely stressed me out a lot. I kept thinking, "I can't wreck the car! Nick needs to get on a plane and I have to sell my car next week!"

Nuclear power school reunion at the wedding
Thankfully we AND the car made it back in once piece (each?). Nick caught his flight on time. He made it into Hawaii about 4:30pm Eastern time, 9:30pm Hawaiian time. He was quick to tell me that it was 82 and sunny and sent me a picture of a clear sky while he was driving.

As you could tell from my previous blog entry, my car sold. It was official today. I still keep thinking it's outside the house on the street, but it's not. The girl who took it really seemed to be a little odd and quirky like me so that makes me happy. My Echo was a good car and needs someone a little kooky driving her.

Happy couple: Mr. & Mrs. Milo
The movers also came this morning and took the rest of the stuff that I don't need immediately. In fact, we won't get this shipment for over a month so it was difficult deciding what I could do without for over a month when it will be warm weather. I wish I had known while we were in Charleston that we'd be getting one more pickup...I could have brought a few more summery things with me for when I first get there before we get into our house.

Anyway, tomorrow is my last day in Baltimore.

Ali & Matt...getting crazy at the reception
I have a checklist a mile long of places I need to go and people I need to see. My engagement ring needs to be picked up (a tiny diamond on the band came loose Sunday and they are fixing it), pick up prescriptions, my license and registration need to be returned to the DMV so I can cancel my insurance, meet a friend for brunch, return a shirt at Target, get to the bank, pay bills, call the live animal desk at the airport in Hawaii to tell them they need to keep Maggie overnight, find out where the dropoff desk is for Maggie at the Baltimore airport, pack,  put all the Live Animal stickers on Maggie's crate, and meet p with my sister tomorrow evening one last time. Whew.
And blog. ;*)

I finally feel okay about everything though. These are just loose ends. Easy to cover- but will just take a little while.

So many good times.
I will still be nervous about the flight. More for Maggie than me. I'm fine. Just not excited about flying for 13 1/2 hours....ugh talk about nap breath. Also Nick is looking into cars there for me. He may be checking out that silver corolla tonight...how perfect would that be?

So thank for sticking it out with me and listening to my ramblings....almost there!

And don't worry. I absolutely won't stop blogging when I get to the beach. The trip getting there is fun but the big adventure is still to come. ;*)

PS. I added some new pictures in Photos de la Blonde - Check it out!

Many of you know I was homeschooled when I was younger. I also came from a very religious household. I never believed in Santa or the Easter Bunny or any of that stuff.
But when I was about 12 I decided to take back some of my youth and start believing in Santa....I can live without the Easter bunny. :)
Ever since then I have written a letter to Santa ever year. It's sort of a way of putting down what I want, what needs to change...and just sort of reflecting.
Since I've neglected my blog in the craziness of the holidays and of course the engagement, you all get to hear my Santa letter. So here goes...

Dear Santa,
This might be my simplest letter ever. Honestly, I've already gotten what I really wanted. I have an amazing guy and I got a gorgeous ring from him. We also got our house, the most well behaved dog ever (well, most of the time- my Shem Creek Bar & Grill beer koozie begs to differ), and plans to move to one of the most beautiful places I know of. And to make things even more perfect, I got to see my last snow this past weekend- and it was quite the blizzard. Nick was here for the weekend before flying out to St Louis to be with his family and his flight ended up getting delayed by a day. So I actually got a long, lazy, snowy weekend watching movie after movie with my fiance. It was awesome.

My family did Christmas today (my parents have crazy schedules) so I'm actually flying out in about 6 hours to St Louis to be with Nick and his family for Christmas. Honestly, I think my wish this year is just for safe travels and no flight delays please! I have never flown on Christmas day before. I don't know if it will be depressing or really cheerful. Although I'm armed with freshly updated iPod which I just loaded my new Glee soundtracks onto and I still haven't gotten a chance to listen to Lily Allen's Smile cd or Matt Nathanson's latest either. At least I'll be content listening to my music the whole way.

I digress.

As I sit here in front of my computer, with 24 hours of A Christmas Story on TV (I think I'm watching the movie for the 3.5th time tonight) with my bags open and somewhat packed on the floor in front of me, I just feel really thankful. Thankful to have such an amazing guy and now not one but two amazing families. Ahhh, maybe I could wish for good luck in meeting the whole family? There are going to be a lot to meet tomorrow!
And I also hope for everything to fall into place in February with the big move. And to be able to survive my first deployment in April....but that's still a bit away.

Oh Lord...I have to be up in like 3 hours. I should probably go to bed.

To all of my friends, family, and readers- Happy Christmas (Yes, I like the British way of saying it better!) and a Happy New Year. Everyone stay safe! Thank you for all your support.
I can't wait for this crazy new year to begin.

that crazy Blonde

Well, you know me. And you know there's a story. :)
Crazy Gloria dancing
My sister had planned a bus trip to New York City for me and her as a Christmas present about 3 months ago. We've gone a lot of times before on a chartered bus with this crazy old lady named Gloria who who claims she was a Rockette and does high kicks and can can dancing to Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" when we enter the tunnel to NYC....Love it.

This time around, since Nick's birthday was Wednesday I decided to look into staying overnight- something I've never done in New York before. Nick booked a room at a military hotel for Saturday night and even got tickets to see Shrek on Broadway- my first Broadway show!

Posing in front of a HUGE wreath in Little Italy
Thank God for Starbucks!
Saturday my sister and I left at 6am to catch the bus up. We arrived shortly after 10 and had a blast shopping. We walked to Macy's and H&M then went down to Canal St and shopped through Chinatown and Soho. We took cheesey pictures in front of huge wreaths on restaurant doors. By mid to late afternoon the light drizzling of the morning had turned into rain mixed with a few snow flakes (it was the first day of snow!). We were both cold and wet.

drowned rats!
We ate at a little restaurant called Il Fornaio on Mulberry St. The food was awesome and the canolis were the best I've ever had. Nick ended up meeting us there for a drink.

Catching some drinks in Little Italy
My sister Tina needed to meet the bus at 6:45 and we were going to see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Nick didn't have the tickets to the play with him though so we swung by the hotel before the tree...then realized we didn't have time to see the tree before the show. We barely caught up to Tina's bus on time- I scrambled to get my bags off before the pulled away and took me with them...it was a close call!

I was anxious about being so close to Tina missing her bus when we got to the show. Since we were a little early and we both wanted to eat before the show we went across the street to this little pizza shop called Italia Mia. The 40something Italian lady who worked there (and probably owned it) was hilarious. Nick went up to the counter to give her our order and she just waved her hands and told him to sit down and told him not to get up. The whole time we were there she was answering her cell and talking in Italian. She told a table once how bad a waitress she was...I told Nick we should adopt her as our 3rd mom.

Shrek the Musical was amazing. I was so impressed by the set alone and how it kept rotating. Shrek is one of my favorite movies and they did an amazing job portraying it. Lord Farquaad was my favorite- a huge burly guy played him and since Lord Farquaad is supposed to be a midget, the huge actor performed on his knees the whole time with little fake legs attached to his real legs. His real legs were hidden by the cape. It was ridiculous. Such an awesome show.

Afterwards, feeling exhausted and pretty gross-looking from spending 9 hours walking around in the cold rain and sleet I really just wanted to go back to the hotel and clean up since Nick wanted to go out. "Why don't we just see the tree tomorrow?" I suggested. He insisted we see it then. And added that it was right around the corner anyway.

Rockefeller Center
He was right- the tree was pretty. Still just a tree but a pretty one with all the lights on at night. I got my camera out and took a few pictures of the two of us before a couple about our age offered to take our picture if we took their picture too.

The 'Before' Picture
I quickly agreed and they took a picture of us. Then we switched and I took a picture of them in front of the tree. It was a nice couple and the girl was from Baltimore too. "Thanks so much!" I said again as we handed their camera back.

"Can we get one more?" Nick asked them. I looked at him funny. "Did the other one not turn out okay?" I asked him. He just shrugged. My camera has a habit of taking random blurry pictures so I thought maybe he had gotten a glimpse of the picture they took and it hadn't come out.

I almost forgot to say 'Yes!'
We got into position again for another photo and the girl started to take a picture. Nick paused, and said, "Oh, just one more thing."
And he got down on one knee. :)
Everything happened pretty fast but I do remember him asking me to marry him. I almost forgot to say "Yes!" I was really surprised.

I just kept kissing him and telling him I loved him. I was really thankful too that the girl kept getting pictures for us.

Yeah, that deserved a kiss.
He put a ring on it!
We called both of our moms from the Plaza before walking back to the hotel. Nick went out and bought a bottle of champagne while I showered and got cleaned up to go out. The hotel itself was laughable. It was this military hotel that you rent by bed. It was only $100 for both of us- but the communal bathrooms and showers were on different floors. I showered in socks because I was scared to death to let my bare feet touch the bottom of the gross shower. There were these pipes in our room that every time someone on the floor above flushed you could hear the water rush through the pipes followed by a long continuous LOUD popping sound....all night. We even had to push the twin beds together so we could sleep next to each other...definitely memorable. Hah.

the ring!
After a few glasses of champagne, we walked around the corner to a bar called The Wharf and I had much more champagne and some midnight snacks while I stared at my ring under the lights and heard 5 Lady Gaga songs followed by Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind." Gotta love crazy New York bars that are open late.

The next day I was determined to go to Serendipity Cafe- Serendipity is one of my top 5 favorite movies and Tina and I even stayed up Friday night watching it before the bus trip. I got pictures of Serendipity and would have loved to have eaten there but that's going to have to wait for our anniversary return trip some day- the cafe was booked through all of December and the walkin wait was 2 1/2 hours. I did get a mug though. :)

It's funny Tina had told me earlier Saturday about all the great New York prints and pictures I could get but I said that I wasn't really interested in anything like that. While NYC is a nice city to visit and of course to shop, nothing really significant had ever happened there for me so I had no reason to have anything hanging on my wall that signified NYC. Suddenly everything changed on Sunday. I wanted to find something to hang up or have in our new place that I could remember was from New York City the weekend Nick proposed to me. I really didn't find any cool pictures or anything so I was fortunate that Rockefeller Center had a gift shop and Nick bought me a beautiful snowglobe of the tree and the Plaza.

What will 2010 bring??! (Oh yeah...Hawaii!!)
The entire weekend was...well, it had character. I kind of like that it wasn't perfect. It only made that moment stand out even more to me. I wasn't entirely sure that Nick had the ring. I was pretty sure he was going to propose sometime within the next 3-4 months but I thought he was going to wait until he asked my mom first (I made him ask her when we called to tell her we were engaged..haha). Maybe it worked better that way because I would have known it was coming had he already asked.

It's so funny to think a year ago we had just moved in together. I didn't even really know how he felt about me.

I'm so happy to have him in my life. It's nice to be able to look down at my hand and see a sign that someone loves you so much that they want everyone to know it.

Ahhhhh. So many more adventures to come. I can't wait. ;*)

We're engaged!

PS. Thank you everyone for all the congratulations!! xoxoxox
I still have no idea. I have been up since 4:30 and only went to bed at 2:45am.

See this morning was Nick's "graduation" from his current program here in Charleston called Prototype. I took off work to go (before I knew it was so early in the morning I really didn't need to take off work). I was falling asleep last night hanging out with him for some reason so I had a teeny cup of coffee at almost 8pm and apparently the effects were a bit much. Ugh I hate not being able to sleep.

The graduation this morning was mainly for the enlisted guys. It took basically an hour and a half for the 200 some enlisted guys to line up and get their orders while the officers (all 30 something of them) got in order pretty quickly (much easier with 30 something guys). An hour and a half of waiting around for a 15 minute ceremony which really was for the friends and family to take pictures of the enlisted guys (since they had all the chairs facing them and the officers lined up awkwardly along the side of the room where you couldn't take good pics). Then the like 8 guys they actually gave awards to they lined up and stood in front of them as they gave them the awards instead of calling them up one by one. I would have been pissed if one of them had been mine since you couldn't see them to get pics. And some of the people around me had flown in to be there for it. Oh, Navy.

We booked out of there, cam back and changed, and went to lunch at this amazing little restaurant in North Charleston called Sesame Burgers and Beer. It's owned by the same two owners as my restaurant. Such amazing food.

Then I dropped Nick off at this little airport where his friend who owns his own airplane flew himself and Nick to somewhere near Clemson where a bunch of the guys are camping all weekend for one of the guy's bachelor party. I'm not really worried. They'll basically be in the woods. Fifteen guys. In the woods. In a a cabin. Pretty harmless bachelor party. And also an awkward sausage fest. Sounds kind of boring actually. I suggested taking Scattergories with him. :)

I came back and downloaded Colbie Caillat's new album online (which I'm listening to as I type this)...I seriously thought she had just released a bunch of old songs on an album with like 3 new songs. I didn't realize she had a whole new album and I'm a bit upset I didn't find it sooner. My ex boyfriend turned me on to Colbie before Bubbly even hit the radio waves, before her first cd was even out and she just had some songs on her myspace. Obsessed with her light-hearted, happy songs (for one of the great ones off that album, check out the media player below- hurray for now being able to upload audio!).

I took a nap after that and now here I am...already after 4pm. Where did my day go? I thought after getting up so early I'd have more of a day. I slept less than 2 hours.

I have a TON of apartment cleaning to do. Since Nick is out of town until Sunday I invited some of my close friends over for dinner tomorrow night. However the apartment is in shambles from two weeks in a row of going out of town then straight working. My day off Wednesday was basically committed to hanging out with Nick (lazy day!). I'm not a fan of cleaning the apartment when he's here. Especially since I have like 3 weeks before I'm going to not be living with him again until February.

Also he found out yesterday that he will be deployed in April for about 6 months. Two months after moving in. I guess it's better then so that he will be back for he big holidays like Halloween (well, it's my favorite holiday), Thanksgiving, and Christmas. So I guess that's good. But it definitely means we have to get out ducks in order when we move to Hawaii. We can't just get a temporary place for a month or two then move into something more permanent if we can't find anything sooner. There's no way I can do all that moving and handling on my own. We have to make it count the first time. Next week we're going to start calling and seeing what we can get approved for mortgage-wise since it kinda sucks to put three years into renting an apartment. Guess we'll see.

Getting way too ahead of myself. Half the reason I couldn't sleep well last night. The other half was because I was googling fun sparkly things. I'm going to leave that up for guessing. ;*)

Okay, procrastination over. I'm going to go get started on cleaning this apartment like a 1950's housewife. Riiiight after I eat something....
Awkward Officer Lineup @ Prototype Graduation 10/9/09