One Year

My my my, how things can change in a year.

A year ago today, I spent most of the day texting back and forth with a boy, the second day I’d spent most of the day texting him.  With flutters in my stomach, I texted this boy and said I was planning on going to an appointment after work, and then I was going to Joe’s KC BBQ.  It was more of a statement than a request for a date, but he agreed to meet me later that evening.

After a delicious dinner and 3 hours of talking, we agreed to meet again on the weekend, to see a movie.  Once the movie was over, we spent another 3-4 hours talking and walking and sharing gelato.  We waited 3 or 4 days before seeing each other again, and from then on, spent nearly every evening together.  We watched a baseball game together, having calzones at Grinders, and shared our first kiss. We had our first run together a week and a half after we met.  He waited for AAA with me when I locked my keys in my car.

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We talked and talked and talked.  For two relatively quiet and introverted people, we talked a lot.  Sometime between that first run together and our first 5k together at the end of July, I knew that this boy was something else, and that our relationship was different.  We hadn’t even quite been together for 2 months when I knew our relationship was going somewhere.  We told each other we loved each other, and I felt it in every bone of my body.

Before we knew it, the holidays were upon us. I invited him to Hays for Thanksgiving, and then we planned for me to fly to Detroit after Christmas for the New Year.  We spent 12+ hours driving home on New Years Day, including stopping in Indiana to run, singing and laughing and listening to books on CD, and meeting Chris’ best friends on the way home.  6 days later, on the 6 month anniversary of our meeting, Chris dropped down to one knee and asked me to marry him.  The half year whirlwind of our lives together was just truly starting as I said yes.

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Now, 6 months later, we are well on our way to planning our wedding, we just moved in to our new townhome together, and we’ve built our lives around each other. All of  this in just a year.  It feels like so much longer than a year, it’s been a lifetime lived in this year, and I can’t wait for many more years to come.  I honestly couldn’t be any happier than I am with Chris.

4 months from yesterday, we’ll say “I do,” and in 4 months, exactly 16 months after I met that boy at Joe’s KC, we’ll wake up and for the first morning of the rest of our lives, we’ll be husband and wife.

Happy 1st year anniversary, my forever love.

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To My Valentine

Dearest James,

It’s been 11 years since you asked me to be your girlfriend, and let me into your heart.  Now, 11 years later, and almost 4 years of marriage later, I love you more than I thought was imaginable.  Happy Valentine’s Day to my one love.  Photo Oct 25, 10 40 55 AM

Thank you for always being my #1 fan, my best friend, my truest love.  Thank you for showing me what love is.  Happy Love Day, love!

Yours,

Renny

Milwaukee (Part Two)

This is a continuance about my trip to Milwaukee with my mom and dad to visit my sister and brother-in-law last weekend.  Read part one (Saturday and Sunday) of our Milwaukee trip here.  I also wrote about couple of runs with Mom and Kristen in Milwaukee here.

Monday, after our run, we drove by the lake front, and stopped at a gorgeous little beach, Atwater Beach, in Shorewood.  There were about a thousand stairs going down to the beach, and it was a most perfect, sunny day.  Okay, there were only 140 stairs or so, but it felt like a lot!  Mom collected small rocks and shells, and Kristen, Dad, and I played on a swing set made of large discs.  We also walked out on one of the docks and watched the small waves roll in.

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After we left the beach, we walked along the lake front behind the Art Museum, fed the seagulls and ducks, and watched quite a few runners, walkers, and bikers.

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On Tuesday, we went to the Milwaukee Zoo! We saw all of the exhibits except the kids’ petting zoo.  All of the animals were pretty active, and it was a gorgeous morning.   The gorilla was showing off, running in front of us several times, he had some HUGE muscles.  There was a baby snow leopard, which was adorable.  The lions, tigers, and leopards were sleeping, but nearly every other animal was out and active.

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The bears were sleeping too, but one of the brown bears stretched a couple times.  The giraffe’s were funny to watch, trying to get leaves from on top of the rock, or doing the splits to pick up leaves from the ground.  The elephants were picking up 6 foot long branches with leaves on them, dragging them along while walking to other branches or hay to eat.  It was like they couldn’t get enough in their mouths.Photo Oct 11, 7 32 59 PM

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There were also quite a few children at the zoo, especially for a random Tuesday morning.  A couple of the kids called Mom weird for talking about the Bongos, which were strange antelope-like animals.  We also got quite chuckle out of some strange large birds that were “talking” to each other, it sounded like some kind of African music.  No animals chased us or peed on us, so it was successful zoo trip!  (I once was sprayed by a rhino, and Mom and I were chased by a Swan near my apartment while running once, which is why I mention that!)

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It was a great morning at the zoo.  Afterwards, we went to an Irish pub for lunch.  We went the gym Kristen works at that afternoon, ran a couple miles on the track that encircles the gym (with windows out to the street), and then went to the interval class Kristen teaches. That evening, we went to a really nice dinner at Jackson Grill, a steakhouse in an old house.  We celebrated Mom and Dad’s anniversary.  Kristen and I were able to surprise Mom and Dad with 2 glasses of champagne and creme brulee for dessert. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

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Wednesday, we got up early and went to the airport to fly back to KC.  We were in Milwaukee from Saturday mid-day to Wednesday morning, and we crammed a lot of fun, family, and food into those couple days, I’m so happy we got the chance to go.  When we got back to KC, Mom and Dad took James and I out for his birthday, then they drove home that afternoon.

Again, Mom and Dad, thank you for taking me along on your trip up to see Kristen and Thayne, I’m so thankful I was able to go.  Kristen and Thayne, thank you for a wonderful stay.  I can’t wait to see you guys again soon.

Check out part 1 of our trip, Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee, here.  And also be sure to read about running near the lake in Milwaukee with Mom and Kristen, here.