dogs

Happy National Dog Day!

Photo Credit:Erin McNulty Pet Photographer

Photo Credit:Erin McNulty Pet Photographer

Happy National Dog Day! Celebrate accordingly ūüôā

 

Is this Real Life?

Let’s just take it back to Friday when I had to drive to Chicago for an interview.

I was extremely excited about this position: PR for a start-up in Greek Town that produces premium, 100% natural, human-grade dog treats called Lincoln Bark.  The thought of doing PR for a start-up is a dream to me, especially a company like this with so much potential with a product I believe in!

I immediately fell in love with the owner, and we sat and chatted for two hours. She offered me the job on the spot, but it was only for two days a week. ¬†I didn’t think 1. that would be nearly enough time for me to accomplish what the company needs and 2. that wouldn’t be enough money for me to live on. ¬†This was a great opportunity though! ¬†She told me to think about it and talk it over with Paul.

Saturday morning I sat down to write her a thank you  note when my email dinged.  It was an email from her offering me the position again but for full-time! After a super quick chat with Paul, I accepted!  

We then got ready to head out to our “Preakness Stakes” themed going away party, hosted by our dear friends. ¬†All (well most) of our closest friends were gathering for one last soiree to give us a send-off. It was perfect!

Image

You can’t have a party without cheese…

Image

My handsome man!

Image

ImageImageImageImage

Image

You also can’t have a party without puppies

About an hour and a half into the party, the hostess called everyone into the living room to give a toast. ¬†It was so great looking around at all of our closest friends and having them there with us… weird that they ALL had cameras, so I was feeling a little awkward. Then Paul said a few words telling our friends that they were our family and our home. Paul then said I had exciting news to share, so I told everyone about my job, I toasted to full-time employment and thought we were done when suddenly Paul said, “and there is one more thing”, and proceeded to drop to one knee and pull out a ring.

This is probably the part where you want to hear the sweet words he said and how I started to cry… but no, that would be too easy for us. ¬†Paul was immediately bombarded by the 3 golden retriever puppies that were in attendance, one which was trying to eat the ring. I blacked out and didn’t hear anything he said, but proceeded to flap my hands like a mad woman and call him an asshole because he had tricked me and said he wasn’t going to propose anytime soon.

Thank God I stopped my hands long enough and shut my mouth to hear him say, “will you spend the rest of your life with me?”, and I slid my puppy drool lubed ring on my finger and held on to a tiny shred of romance by hugging and kissing my fiance.¬†

How amazing to have all of our “people” there. It was a dream of mine to have our engagement happen like that and it was perfect. ¬†People really only remember the dog and the asshole comment, but it was perfectly us, and we got to spend the rest of the day with everyone celebrating.

Image

Dinner post going away/engagement party

There are better pictures that I can post later, but all I can say, in the most cliche way ever, is that I am the luckiest girl in the world!

Image

 

P.S. Holy shit, I’m a bride….

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

It has been a snowy few weeks here in Mid-Michigan, and the temps have been sub-zero for a number of days. So imagine the joy and surprise of the people when it hit a balmy 40 degrees yesterday.

Annually, whenever the temperature dips below 50 degrees for the first time in “winter”, I sternly declare, “Michigan is too cold! I will never survive another winter!”… yet any Michigander will tell you that in the depths of winter, if the temp rises anywhere near 35 degrees or higher, you mine as well declare it a heat wave.

Enter this gentleman:

Image

 

I get it, it’s 37 degrees out and feels like spring break, but sir, this is just inappropriate.

Luckily for my Christmas loving significant other, the balmy weather did not melt all of our snow.  There was still plenty left over for us to make a snow man, an activity I have not partaken in for years!

Making a snow man is harder than it looks! ¬†Snow is heavy, and molding a perfect or even presentable “ball” of snow is damn near impossible. ¬†Alas, after a few failed lifts to give him a mid-section, a number of facial reconstructive surgeries to take him from looking like a bunny to the predator then ET, we finally sort of made a lawn ornament we can be proud of:

Image

Spartan pride and Detroit represented

Image

 

Image

It is kind of hard to tell, but he is smiling

And the puppy helped of course:

Image

He’s so handsome!

Then, we retreated to our living room to sit by the Christmas tree and drink home-made Baileys, compliments of our dear friends. (We didn’t actually just sit by the tree, mind you. You just burned through our DVR then ended up watching Wheel of Fortune. ¬†I know what you are thinking; we are one hot couple).

At this point in the story I need to tell you about what has been haunting me this Christmas. ¬†A little, professionally wrapped box that was placed in my stocking. ¬†Any girl will probably know what I am referring to when I say “a little box”. Oh yeah, that kind of box:

Image

 

Paul put this in my stocking about 2 weeks ago, and I am convinced it has been just to mess with my head.  He is NOT a Christmas engagement person; it is just not his style, but a girl (especially me) just has to wonder.

I have been bugging him since the first present went under our tree to start opening them. ¬†I am a child, I just don’t wait well. ¬†Finally, last night, whilst watching Wheel of Fortune, Paul says that I can open one gift. ¬†I completely froze. ¬†He had this ethereal, loving, can’t-live-without-you, could-never-love-anyone-more, how-are-you-mine? look on his face. ¬†

Was this it? Was he thinking that it had been such a great night that it would be the perfect moment to propose? 

My heart started racing. Beads of sweat started to form on my nose. It was as if my parents had just caught me drinking and I was trying to hide the fact that I was drunk… Play it cool, just play it cool.

“Which one?” I ask… totally normal and level-toned I’m sure.

“The little one in your stocking.”

I sort of turned down the TV thinking, “I don’t want to be a brat about it, but are Pat Sajak and Vanna White going to be the witnesses to my engagement?” ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I would say yes to him any where, but part of me just felt like the situation was off… or maybe it was just the heaviness of the situation. ¬†I have never dealt with this kind of thing before. ¬†Was this the moment that I was going to be telling people about for the rest of my life? The moment I would call all of my friends about and have to repeat over and over in the coming months? Was I about to throw up? Did I look at all calm and unsuspecting?

“Steph, it is not an engagement ring, this is not Paul’s style”… I kept reassuring myself as I took the 6 foot walk from the couch to my stocking where the little box was resting.

“I’m in pajamas… I really wanted to be in a cute outfit…. Christ that could not matter less” I can argue a lot in my head in 6 feet.

I finally pull it out and make my way back to the couch when Paul says, “I really wanted to get this for you last year, so I am so happy I can give it to you this year.”

Female over-analyze activated: What the f**k does that mean?… Just open the present you weirdo. But my hands are sort of trembling (sort of = a lot), and I still can’t really breath. ¬†Would it be wrong to hit my inhaler real quick? As if that wouldn’t be a give away that I wasn’t completely emotionally collected.

Slowly tearing through the gold paper, I unveil a beautiful little white box with a very reassuring and fabulous little word embossed in the top of it: Pandora. All levels returned to normal, breathing again was possible. 

All was clear, all was safe; it was a beautiful Michigan State Pandora bead for me to put on my ever naked yet daily worn Pandora bracelet.

I couldn’t love it more. ¬†Sorry, Pat and Vanna, you will not be witness to my engagement ūüôā

Image

It’s so perfect!!!!! He wanted me to have extra Spartan pride before the Rose Bowl game.

 

P.S Congrats, Paul, you officially made me squirm and I know you loved it.

The Rebuild

One of the greatest facets to taking a break from running is starting back up again. 

Those first few steps during your first official “training” run, or rebuilding your base run, feel so light and easy (for me at least). ¬†Then you hit the wall of “OMG, I have lost all of my conditioning”, only to be soon followed by the victories of every longer run from there on out. ¬†

Sometimes, I can’t help but see the parallelisms between running and life. ¬†I love running because each run is an opportunity for victory (or defeat). ¬†The outcome is more dependent on my attitude about it rather than the actual run itself, kind of how you can treat your day. ¬†

Each new day offers an opportunity for victory or defeat. Whether you are conquering that pile of laundry, getting a promotion or bombing a presentation. Whatever it is, YOU decide whether you rocked your day or failed at it, and your attitude, not the checks marks on your to-do list, can determine that.

I don’t know how we just went from running to my soap box of positive thinking, but there you have it. I guess what I set out to say was that my efforts to get my base back and prep for a spring marathon are working ūüôā

I hope everyone is having a very happy holiday season so far! I know this guy is:

Image

He’s so mad!

A Few of My Recent Adventures

Some times you are just too busy living life to document it.  A double edged sword for someone like me, but here is a quick recap of what I have been up to:

Image

Some beer garden action in Ann Arbor for a dear friend/aunt’s birthday. What an amazing night. The weather was beautiful, the food was amazing, and the company was second to none.

Image

 

Image

Date night with Paul for Lansing Restaurant Week… the day after restaurant week ended…

Image

This is his best pose…

We were all excited to go to the Wrought Iron Grill in Owosso for restaurant week, only to realize that restaurant week had ended the night before.  AMAZING food was still consumed, and I would highly recommend this charming spot if you are ever in Owosso, MI.  Although, I am not sure why most people would be.

This dinner alone should have its own post, because it really was like a  bad (or good) Seinfeld episode.  

Let me just start with, our waiter was super cool, after we broke him in, and the food was really really delicious, but the service was terrible! ¬†We opted to sit outside on the patio, but regretted that decision because our waiter was a little too lax. ¬†We didn’t even get greeted or get water for 15 minutes (first world problems, I realize, but this is all going to show a point). ¬†

Our waiter offered us “coke products”, to drink and we had to snag a beer list from him (that never happens… turns out he didn’t think we were 21… thank you?). When Paul asked what was on tap, the waiter said, “it’s all crafty stuff” as if we would not recognize anything they had. ¬†If you know anything about Paul, you probably know that he is obsessed with craft beer. ¬†It is his hobby, his passion. ¬†We asked for the beer list, and got it 10 minutes later. ¬†The first world problems continued when we ordered our beers (a snifter, not a pint, the waiter asked) and it was given to us in bottles…. typing this all sounds so ridiculous, but again, I am just making a point. ¬†Beer like the one we were drinking tastes different in a snifter (all 12% of it), and really needs to breath. ¬†But, 10 minutes later we got our snifters. ¬†This was all happening, mind you, while the waiter was fawning all over his buddies at the next table.

Me, being the nice person I am and not wanting to offend the waiter, told Paul that we should move inside. ¬†We had already been there about 35 minutes and hadn’t even ordered yet (not due to us not knowing what we wanted, I assure you).

When the waiter came back, who really was a very nice guy, I told him that we wanted to move inside because I was getting cold. ¬† He said, “oh, no problem, I can just turn on one of these heaters”, pointing to the massive propane heaters they have on the patio. ¬†I looked to Paul for support, and he just laughed at me and kept on drinking his beer, (he loves to see me in awkward situations). ¬†So the waiter drags this massive heater over to our table, and it won’t start. ¬†The tank is empty. ¬†All I could think was, “God is going to make that thing blow up to punish me”. ¬†With no luck, the waiter picks up ANOTHER heater and drags it over to our table, which still wont light. ¬† This goes on for a good, awkward, 5 minutes or so. ¬†I finally just told him not to worry about it, feel free to spit in my food and thank you so so much. ¬†(Yeah, I totally looked like that high maintenance bitch).

This finally cracked the guy and he decided he liked us.  It was almost like we had to prove ourselves as cool for him to want to serve us.  After that he was great.

And then, toward dessert, Paul decides to have a serious talk… about our aging dog.

I am not a crier, but he just said the words, “so, while things are good and he is healthy, I think we should talk about what the plan should be for when Max dies.”

I immediately bust out into sobs, tears running down my face, and I can’t even form sentences. ¬†The poor waiter came back, who we had just gotten to like us, and looked at us like Paul had hit me or something. ¬†It was a smart move on Paul’s part, really, because I told him what medications to feed me and what to do with Max once that does happen, because I will be incapable of taking control of the situation.

I continued to cry the whole way home… the ENTIRE 40 MINUTE DRIVE…poor Paul looked like he had just set off a bomb on a school bus full of kids or something. ¬†My crying only stopped once we got home and I got to snuggle my puppy (my aging, 10 year-old puppy, who is in perfect health, btw).

Image

Puppy and me the next day, living the life ūüôā

Ok, so that was that adventure…. moving on…

The next day, Paul and I headed to the Tiger’s game with my BFF, Liz, and her husband. ¬†I am not going to lie, I don’t remember much after the ball park margaritas started flowing, but I do know that it was a very fun time, and my sweet sweet man bought me everything that was requested from my drunk mouth (a soft pretzel, nachos…) I mean, why else go to a ball park?

Image

This weekend, I have a half marathon coming up, a family function (pseudo family, but I have adopted them), and more adventures to follow.

I always aim for my summers to be full of adventures, but this one really has been.  I have spent time with so many great friends, made new friends, and done a lot of cool stuff.  And August is only going to be busier!

I hope everyone is well ūüôā Happy last day of July!

Let’s talk tornado protocal:

We don’t suffer from many natural disasters here in Michigan, just the occasional tornado here and there in the spring, like last Tuesday.

It had been raining and storming all day (side note: I LOVE storms).¬† When I got home, letting the dog out, I heard a tornado siren go off in the distance, but it was so far away, I didn’t think anything of it and proceeded to start making dinner.

10 or so minutes later, my phone is chirping, warning me that there is a tornado watch in my area, so I immediately turn on the news, and sure enough, warnings all over the place!¬† The ticker tape across the bottom of the screen is telling me to seek shelter, get away from windows, get in a basement if I have one, and make sure I have supplies just in case.¬† The only “supplies” we keep stocked in our basement is booze and beer, so note to self to make an emergency kit for the basement.¬†

Anywho, the dog has since come back inside, dinner is progressing nicely with water boiling, oven pre-heating, when the sirens in my neighborhood go off. It was my understanding that sirens only go off once a tornado has touched down, so I immediately begin gathering my kids (dog and cat), to head to the basement.¬† Peyton always sleeps under the couch, so I run over to it, pick it up, and all but throw it to the side, and grab her out from under it.¬† With Peyton under one arm, I grab Max’s collar to head downstairs.

At the top of the stairs, Max comes to a dead stop, pushing both front paws against the door frame and refuses to go any further.¬† He is starting to whine, trying to back up, shaking his head.¬† He has never had a problem with the basement before! Why now?!¬† My idiot brain immediately thinks, “OMG it is haunted down there and he knows it!”, but I would rather take on a ghost than a tornado at this point.¬† And yes, I do watch too much discovery channel.

As I’m pleading with Max to just come with me and to trust me, Peyton starts to notice that her big brother is freaking out, so she starts to freak out.¬† Meowing and twisting and trying to get free.¬†

The dog is whining, the cat is freaking out, I am fighting with them both at once, the water is boiling over on the stove, the oven is beeping because it is fully heated, sirens are going off, so I let go of both kids and just yelled, “FINE! We can all die together while I make a delicious meal!”.

They both just sat there and looked at me as I overhead the weather man on television say, “If you are in Lansing and hear sirens going off, you can ignore those.¬† There is no immediate danger or threat of a tornado in your area.”

Well, fuck you very much…

Dinner was delicious at least.

 

Max and Peyton being so good during the last tornado scare we had....

Max and Peyton being so good during the last tornado scare we had….