Let’s Try Again

We are now well into 2014 and I just feel like life is flying by! I am going to try and dedicate time to blog, even if it is just for me as a form of my own diary. 

I last posted in September and many things have changed, as well have stayed the same. I am still struggling with weight loss but am trying some new methods to battle it. I feel really good about where I am with my exercise, I just need to stop being so dang hungry all the time! But more on that later…

We moved out of the apartment and into a beautiful house. I am still living with my parents, but truly enjoy their company and feel good that I am saving money.

I started working full time, and even though it is not my dream position…I love working with students and the school that I teach in is just amazing. 

I just stopped nannying for a sweet toddler named Caroline…I have been babysitting her since she was born! Caroline has a new brother so Laura won’t need me to babysit anymore. I have to admit that it will be nice to have more free time during the week.

Matt graduated, got a job, and turned 24! He has big plans for this year and I just want to be a part of them.

I am enjoying 2014 so far, but like I said, time just moves too fast. I have no problem growing older, but don’t like forgetting the present! Hopefully this blog will motivate me to live like I have something worth reading over again.

 

Week 1 Down

This week was a good one! I had a few off days and some very good days. I just have to keep pushing!

In other news…

I started going to the Chiropractor and that has made me feel better. Once I get back from N.C. I am going to start a workout plan. I want to swim 3 times a week for at least 45 minutes, do a class at the Y 2 times a week, and do yoga 2 times a week.

This weekend was a fun one. Matt and I went to Medieval Times. The food was good and the horses were beautiful, but the show was a little cheesy. Matt looked so cute in his crown, though. On Saturday, I did a little yoga and then went to Bullard’s Fall Festival where I spent some time in the dunk tank! It was fun but I felt a tad self-conscious about the water displacement when I was dunked in! We went to Aurelios with Matt’s parents after the festival for pizza. Today I went to church and taught Sunday school. Then I went to the mall and bought the most beautiful boots. I am trying to only buy things that I will wear even when I loose weight.

I am very excited for tonight to watch Revenge and do some stretching!

Starting Again…

So the last time I wrote, I was telling you about the 3-Day Diet. Well, it sucked. I won’t be trying that again. I didn’t loose any weight and felt hungry for 3 days. I am now going to try and stick with good, old-fashioned working out and eating right.

Sooo…back to our regularly scheduled broadcast…

This weekend was a good one! Allison came home from college and on Friday we went to the fair with Matt. We went to the petting zoo and watched a tiger and horse show. It was fun! On Saturday, Allison and I went to Henry’s for lunch (probably the source of my weight gain). Saturday night, Allison went back to school and I headed to Matt’s to watch Dark Knight Rises. I just love that movie…we’ve seen it many times but it never gets old.

Today…I taught Sunday School at church and then walked 4 miles. First day of Fall yo! I could have celebrated with a PSL, but I refrained and spend a good hour enjoying the crisp air and sunshine. It was during that walk that I devised my weight loss plan.

I have eaten well today (minus the sausage cheese balls for breakfast…thanks mom). I had a smoothie for lunch, along with some Costco samples, and chicken salad on lettuce wraps for dinner.

Let’s hope for a healthy week…it’s up to me!

3 Day Diet

Life as an adult is definitely a change. I am adjusting to have a set schedule, responsibilities and bills. If you are still in high school or college…ENJOY IT! I always wanted to be grown-up. My dream age was never 16, like most 10 year-olds, it was 26. Truthfully, there are days when I am so amazed by the miracle that is my life, and I feel so thankful, however, there are just as many difficult days where I wonder how I am going to do this for the next 30 years! Luckily, working with kids make those difficult days worth it.

I think I may just be a little more grumpy and nostalgic today because I am HUNGRY! Like really hungry.

ImageI am particularly hungry today because it is Day 1 of the 3-Day Military Diet. Now I don’t have any evidence that supports that this diet is indeed “military” – approved (in fact, I have a hunch that somebody just threw that word in front of diet to make it sound legit), but there are a lot of positive reviews about the diet. I think what makes the diet work so well is portion control and calorie restriction…imagine that!  Don’t ask me why this sounds more appealing and easier than simple moderation…I don’t have an answer for you. But I did want to tell about my experience with the diet.

Here is the 3-Day Diet Menu. (I think that I am giving this a try because it endorses ICE CREAM).

DAY 1:

Breakfast–1/2 Grapefruit, 1 Slice of Toast, 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter, and Coffee or Tea

Lunch--1/2 Cup of Tuna, 1 Slice of Toast, and Coffee or Tea (any brew, as long as it’s caffeinated)

Dinner–3 ounces of any type of meat, 1 Cup of Green Beans, 1/2 Banana, 1 Small Apple, and 1 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream 

 

DAY 2:

Breakfast–1 egg, 1 Slice of Toast, and 1/2 Banana

Lunch–1 Cup of Cottage Cheese (Or 1 Slice of Cheddar Cheese), 1 Hard Boiled Egg, and 5 Saltine Crackers

Dinner--2 Hot Dogs, (no buns), 1 Cup of Broccoli, 1/2 Cup of Carrots, 1/2 Banana, and 1/2 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream

DAY 3:

Breakfast–5 Saltine Crackers, 1 Slice of Cheddar Cheese, and 1 Small Apple

Lunch-1 Hard-Boiled Egg, and 1 Slice of Toast

Dinner–1 Cup of Tuna, 1/2 of a Banana, and 1 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream

 

I believe that if you follow this diet exactly, that you will be consuming right around 1000 calories for the day. I typically eat around 2500, so this is a dramatic drop for me. This diet is so lucrative because some people lose 10 pounds in 3 days! I would love to see that kind of results so I am sticking to it as strictly as possible. I just finished my lunch on Day 1 and am feeling pretty good! My stomach started rumbling around 9:30, about 3 hours after I eat breakfast (I am still amazed that I get up at 6:00…adulthood!), but that is normal for me. Usually I eat a snack, but today I waited until lunch (which I ate promptly at noon). I have been sipping on unsweet tea and black coffee all day, and that has helped. I will be switching to water soon!

I am not going to weigh until Thursday, because I don’t want to get discouraged early on.

Well…that’s it for now! I am heading to Bootcamp at 4:30 and to the Chiropractor before then (I am praying that they can fix me). I can’t wait to update here on Thursday…hopefully at least 8 lbs lighter!

 

Updates

Summer is coming to a close and I have to admit that I am pretty excited about it! I just can’t wait to start the school year as a first time teacher. I have been going to my new teacher training and feel so inspired and ready to meet my students! 

A few other things have happened lately…

I got food poisoning! A couple of weeks ago, I went out to lunch and shopping with a friend and started feeling a bit weird on my drive home. I went straight to Matt’s where he cooked us brauts. After our dinner, I went straight up to his bed and didn’t move. I felt so strange. My skin hurt to touch and my stomach was churning. I drove home with the windows open and air on full blast to avoid the nausea. 

My symptoms lasted a few days before I decided that I should go to the doctor. The diagnosed me with food poisoning and hooked me up to an IV to re-hydrate me. I felt so much better after the IV and was very proud of myself for not passing out (as I usually do when needles are in me for more than a second).

Other than my bout with food poisoning (which I am blaming on Matt…I’ve decided), I have had a pretty fun few weeks. Matt and I met up with some new friends at Sweetwater Brewery in Atlanta where we were able to try out a few different beers and hang out on the patio. We also went to a party at Samantha’s and had fun with her, as always.

Next week, I will be going to the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox 20 concert! I am going to enjoy my last few days of summer while anxiously waiting for school to start.

New York Lovin’

This summer has been a great one for traveling! I got to visit D.C. for the first time and Matt got to visit N.Y.C. for the first time. A couple of weeks ago, Matt and I used to airline voucher that I had gotten from my last trip to San Francisco to fly up to the Big Apple for a long weekend. He is such a city person that I knew he was going to fall in love!

We left Atlanta bright and early on Friday morning (7:05 flight!). As usual, I struggled to get to sleep the night before traveling so I survived the first day in the city on caffeine. After a sleepy flight, we broke through the clouds and Matt had his first view of New York from above. It really is such an impressive city. We landed at Newark and took the train into Penn Station and then walked to our hotel in Chelsea.

I am an obsessive planner. I wanted to see all that we could in New York, so I researched the best way to see the city (double-decker bus) and compiled a list of the places I wanted to visit geographically with a time line and places to stop for meals along the way (based on the Travel Channel’s guides). I planned this trip HARD CORE.

Imagine my frustration when we checked into our hotel and were already 2 HOURS behind schedule, even though we had been on the go all morning. 

Eventually we set out on our way and I tried to relax and go with the flow.

We finally made it to Times Square where we explored a bit. Then, Matt and I picked up our New York Passes and bus tickets and hopped on to our first destination which was the Natural History Museum. On the way there we stopped at the Shake Shack and had delicious Shack Burgers and cheese fries. Heaven. And then…because we were close to it…I stuffed myself even further with a chocolate walnut cookie from Levian Bakery.

It was unbelievable. (It was here that I also saw Michael Cera…made my day!)

Then we moseyed (ran) our way to the museum and took about 30 minutes to explore and watched the Space Show (narrated by Whoppi Goldberg). Because we were running out of time, we had to skip the next item on the list, which was ride bikes through Central Park. Matt and I were so tired and nasty from the humidity that it just wouldn’t have been fun. We took a cab back to our hotel, rested and showered before heading back out into the city.

Matt and I walked to Rockefeller Plaza where we did the “Top of the Rock” and had amazing views of the city.

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Next, we hopped on over to Times Square where we took a double-decker bus Night Tour. It was so wonderful to sit down and see the city at night, with the cool air and fun commentary from our guide. The tour took us all over Lower Manhattan and then across the bridge to Brooklyn! We had some incredible photo opportunities.

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Once our tour ended around 10:00, we headed out for pizza at a great Italian style place called Capizzi! We were both exhausted by this point, but very impressed by how much we had accomplished in one day. After our dinner, we walked home (a very long way) and fell into bed.

Saturday morning dawned and I awoke with a vengeance to tackle the day. Matt did not. We compromised and slept in until around 9:00. Then we caught a double-decker bus to the Financial District where we visit the 9/11 Memorial and then walked to Battery Park. Once in Battery Park, we boarded our sailboat for our sail around the Statue of Liberty! This was definitely my favorite part of the trip.

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Our sailboat was called the Shearwater and we were very lucky to have  relatively empty tour! Matt and I felt like high rollers with all the private attention we got! And space to stretch out on the deck.

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After our relaxing sail, we hopped back on the bus and headed for our next food destination…Katz Deli! This was Matt’s #1 request for the whole trip. I will tell you…it was well worth the trek (it’s kind of out of the way of the rest of the touristy stops). We even saw a movie being filmed on our way to Katz (although I don’t know what movie it was). After splitting our Pastrami sandwich, we went to Doughnut Plant and continued stuffing our faces. After eating our way through the city, we decided to head back to the hotel and rest.

Once we regained our energy, we headed back out and walked around Times Square. There is so much to see even people watching in NYC. I loved seeing the street performers and fashionable people. After people watching and exploring, Matt wanted to find some authentic New York pizza. We headed to John’s Pizza at 11:00 and it was still packed (amazing to us small-town folk). We split a pitcher of beer and some cheese pizza and meandered back to the hotel happy and wanting to move immediately.

Sunday morning Matt and I decided to go out for a good New York bagel and walk around the High Line, which was very close to our hotel. It was a humid morning and we soon realized that no matter how cool the High Line was (a walking trail that was built on old train tracks above the streets), we wanted to do something indoors. We made our way back to Rockefeller Plaza and decided to do an NBC Studio Tour. It was a welcome relief to be in air conditioning, and I enjoyed seeing the sets of SNL. Next, we shopped on 5th Avenue and only bought some Godiva chocolate (my tastes get a little picker in New York).

Finally, it was time to head to Penn Station to catch a train back to Newark for our flight. I was so sad to leave New York but I know we will be back soon! Back to Southern Hospitality, more humidity, and dull Papa John’s pizza…

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I’m Feeling 22!

…and awesome!

I am very excited to have gotten a job! I will be working at a wonderful elementary school teaching to 3rd and 4th graders! As much as I would love talking about teaching on my blog (since it’s such a huge part of my life), I don’t think I will, because I want this to be about all the other great parts of my life!

Along with landing a job, I also celebrated my 22nd birthday.

I have to admit that I am not very excited about birthdays anymore. Cake and presents are nice and all but it is just another one of those days where you feel expected to have likeomigod the *best* day ever, and it always turns out to be a bit disappointing. I did have a nice day and felt lucky to spend it with my family and close friends.

I can’t wait to see what this 22nd year on this planet brings! I have a feeling it will be a good one!

Trip to D.C.

I got home from Washington, D.C. last night! I was gone for a week as I chaperoned my church’s mission trip. It was my first time to D.C. and it was an amazing experience.

There were 4 chaperons that went on the trip (how crazy that I am old enough to be a chaperon?!) and 11 teenagers. It was a great group of people and we were able to do mission work with the homeless and hungry, as well as explore D.C.

The whole gang visiting the National Mall.

On Sunday, we arrived early at the Atlanta airport for our flight into Baltimore. We had a long wait to check our bags and go through security, due to our large group, and we ended up being the last on the plane. I’ve never had to run through the airport before! Once on the plane, we were able to relax and rest.

We arrived safely in Baltimore and took a bus and then a Metro train to our station at DuPont Circle. Our group stayed at The Pilgrimage, the basement of The Church of Pilgrims, in the heart of D.C.  The location was wonderful, but the amenities left a lot to be desired.  Our group happened to be staying at The Pilgrimage with another church group from Pennsylvania.  It was difficult sharing such close quarters with people that we didn’t know and whose views were very different than ours. 

Once we unloaded our luggage at the church (and I claimed the bunk bed next to the only outlet in the room), we headed out to shop for our groceries for the week. I was assigned the “dinner” for the week and let me tell you, it was a big job. It felt a little strange to be buying so much food when I knew we were there to help people who had no food. 

Our first day of mission work was Monday and we worked with A Wider Circle, a charity that acquired donations to give to those who are starting a new stage of their lives. They also provide job advice and professional clothes. We spent the morning moving furniture and organizing the large warehouse.

 Our day at A Wider Circle ended fairly early so we were able to do a little sightseeing. Our group took the Metro to Union Station and walked to the Capital and the Senate. It was amazing to be able to see something so iconic.

The Capital Building

Monday night we tried to bond with our roommates from Pennsylvania and we all cooked pasta together. I was in charge of dinner (again) and realized just how difficult it was to cook for 35 people! I felt like Chef Robert on Restaurant Impossible!

Look at all those loaves of bread!

I was exhausted by the end of the day from so much walking and physical work. It was hard for me to sleep the first few nights in D.C. because there were so many noises from the city that I was not used to. Luckily, exhaustion eventually won and I had no trouble sleeping by the end of the trip.

On Tuesday we went to The Capital Food Bank and sorted goods that were donated. It was fun work but I was starting to feel like I would never be able to see the fruits of our labor (I wanted to be able to interact with people who needed our help, instead of just working behind the scenes). It was another short day, work wise, and we were able to spend the rest of the afternoon visiting the White House and going to a nice dinner with the group.

Wednesday was probably the longest day of my life. Our group of 15 needed to split up for the day and Group 1 had 3 places to go (starting at 5:00 am), while Group 2 had only 2 places to visit (and they didn’t start until 8:00 am). I secretly had my fingers crossed to be put into Group 2 because I had been sleeping so poorly, but I ended up being 1 of 2 chaperons for Group 1. I am so thankful that I was because we had a great day.

Wednesday morning started out at a soup kitchen. Once again, I was put on cooking duty. Luckily, once the food preparation was complete, I could go out and mingle with the guests. I ended up having some amazing conversations with people who I know have impacted me greatly.  There was one man that was a photographer. His camera was his only possession and he was so proud of it. He had some of his prints with him and he showed us his work. I was in awe that somebody without a home would be able to capture such beauty. 

After the soup kitchen, we had a quick coffee break before we headed to Martha’s Table. Martha’s Table is an organization that prepares foods to send out on food trucks. People are able to eat at these food trucks twice a day. Our group was put on food prep. I have never chopped so many potatoes in my life. We were all getting tired by this point, having been up for so long, and cutting potatoes for 4 hours got a little monotonous. Luckily, there were no slips of the knife from weary workers!

Hairnets are hot

After Martha’s Table, we realized we had about 3 hours until we needed to be at our next location. The one place that I had been wanting to visit in D.C. was Georgetown, specifically, Georgetown Cupcakes. The rest of the group needed no convincing and we hopped on the Metro to take us across D.C. We walked across a beautiful river and into the breathtaking town. Not having a lot of time, we made our way directly to the famous cupcake shop and got in line. I ordered the Red Velvet and the Chocolate Ganache. My tummy was so happy. The cupcakes were delicious and the scenery was even better.

My awesome group on the bridge leading to Georgetown.

After our pit stop in Georgetown, we headed to our final work cite for the day. We went to a place called Thrive D.C. where our group served dinner to women and children (they also sang karaoke). I was asked to monitor the computer lab that gave homeless people access to the internet during the day. I gladly accepted as I had been away from the computer for a few days now and I was anxious to see if I had any job leads. (It turned out that I did, but I will leave that for another post).

Once our marathon of a day was over, we dragged ourselves home for dinner and fell into bed.

We had another 4:45 am wake up call on Thursday morning. Our last day of mission work dawned bright and early. The entire group made our way back to the soup kitchen where we had worked the previous morning (Charlie’s Place). I was excited to get back because I wanted to see if my new friend the photographer would be there. Unfortunately, one of our sweet girls got sick on the way to the church and I volunteered to take her back to The Pilgrimage. I was a little bummed to be missing such a great experience and a chance to see my friend, but luckily, I passed him on my way back to the church! Talk about A God Thing! Seeing his face light up at seeing me and me realizing that I was actually friends with a homeless person really solidified how great this experience had been for me. I spent the rest of Thursday morning trying to help our girl feel better and relishing my run-in with my new friend.

I actually had some free time on Thursday afternoon to visit a friend from high school and college! My friend Sarah and I met up for coffee just off the Metro Center Station. She is in town for the summer working at a hospital for her internship. It was nice to have an afternoon to myself and to walk around D.C. not feeling like a tourist (like travelling in big groups always tend to do).

When I arrived back at the Pilgrimage on Thursday night I walked into a debacle. Our group had decided to cook “Brinner” for our dinner and the bacon had burned. The fire alarms were screaming and people were fanning the smoke out the windows. Our housemates from Pennsylvania did not enjoy that very much. By this point in the trip I was very ready to go home!

Friday was a sightseeing day and we struggled to all agree on where we wanted to go. We ended up going to the National Cathedral for a tour at 10:30. I was in absolute awe at seeing how God inspired people to create a worship space so beautiful. It was designed to be second only to Heaven. 

Amazing

We all had some Episcopalian pride due to the fact that the National Cathedral was Episcopalian and so is St. Teresa’s (our church). Our tour was so special and I left feeling very blessed for the experience. 

After a quick lunch, we decided to go to the Holocaust Museum. It was a very sad few hours but also very informative. Most of the older kids in our church really appreciated the museum because they had just studied the Holocaust, while a few of the younger children were just saddened and depressed.

Next we went to the National Archives were we got to see all of the United State’s important documents. This stop was high on my priorities but I have to admit that I was a little disappointed.  I did not realize how faded the words were on the documents and also how crowded it would be. Nevertheless, it was great to see such historical documents.

To end the evening, our group had another great dinner out together. 

Saturday morning started by us cleaning and packing. We left our luggage at The Pilgrimage and bade farewell (happily) to our Pennsylvanian roommates, and then headed to the National Mall. We walked the entire Mall and I have to say that visiting the Lincoln Memorial was by far the most memorable part of the trip. My heart just leapt to my throat when I saw such an iconic image of such a great man.

The girls in front of Honest Abe

After walking the National Mall, we found a food court and grabbed lunch before heading back to get our luggage and head to the Metro for the airport. Our flight was supposed to leave at 7:30 and we ended up getting to the airport extra early (4:30). We were all tired and sweaty and just so ready to go home to our own beds. We could not have been more disappointed to see that our flight was delayed! I had packed in a carry-on (along with 4 other kids) and marched myself up to the Help Desk and found us a flight that could leave at 6:05. After clearing it with the other kid’s parents and getting myself and big cup of coffee, the 5 of us boarded our flight and hugged the rest of our group goodbye (as they had checked their bags and could not get on the earlier flight). When we landed in Atlanta at 8:15, we learned that the rest of our group’s flight was delayed until 10! I was so thankful that I had packed light and was home safe and sound.

Matt picked me up and the airport and after assuring that the few kids made it back to their families, we headed home!

I love to travel, but there is nothing that compares to sleeping in your own bed. I cannot wait to go back to D.C. and keep exploring the many museums and culture (I was a little sad that we never made it to any of the Smithsonian’s). 

I have a few days until Matt and I leave for NYC! And I will be 22 in exactly 1 day! Good things are coming!

My Love Story

So last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, I started thinking about my love story with Matt. Our 5 year anniversary is coming up in August. I have now known (and had a crush on) Matt since 2006! We have so many sweet memories of the “early days” that we often talk about, but I find myself forgetting little details. So…I am going to share it here.

Matt is one year older than me, and we met at Harrison High School on the swim team my sophomore and his junior year of high school. My first impression of him as the new kid was that he was very cute, and a bit stuck up. Rumors had been floating that he had a girlfriend back where he came from and that made me a bit wary of him. He was also very quiet, which I took as arrogant. I admired him from afar but focused on my more attainable crushes (gosh, hormones really are rampant in teenage girls). It wasn’t until his senior and my junior year that we began talking.

Matt used to swim on a year-round team and would not practice with Harrison’s swim team, only participate in the meets. I didn’t see him often until November, after he got in a car accident and could not keep up at his old practices due to a knee injury. He started coming to our regular practices and swam in the lane next to me. All the girls on my team loved him. I began to realize that he was not arrogant, just a bit shy. I remember my friend Kaitlyn telling me that he had asked about me a few times and mentioned that he liked my smile. I was ecstatic and began thinking that we had a chance. During our practices, I would go so far as to try and sync my flip turns to be the same time as his and always made sure that I had the best form (so lame).

In December, our team had an overnight meet in Tennessee. I remember sitting close to Matt on the bus and being very jealous as he sat with my friend Kaitlyn, sharing headphones, and laughing at Dane Cook’s album (good Lord, I hope our taste has matured). Kaitlyn was just a good friend to him, and even got us all to go out to Waffle House together, although Matt and I were too shy to make much progress.

In February, our team had our very last swim meet (Matt’s very last high school meet, ever). It was supposed to be a fun meet, Senior Appreciation Night, and silly relays. I had been hearing about Matt dating another girl on our team and was very upset. But lo and behold, Matt and I ended up doing a silly relay together (along with my sister) and I thought that he seemed interested in me! Hope again!

 At the same meet, a year later! (Matt wasn’t ready…I’m ALWAYS ready 😉

Later that night, after all the races were over, a big group of us on the team decided to go out for Mexican food. It was Matt’s birthday and we were going to celebrate. We arrived at the restaurant and found that there was a long wait to seat a group as big as ours. The girl that Matt was supposedly dating turned to Matt and asked if he’d rather go to a different restaurant. Matt said he did but that he had driven his friend and his friend wanted Mexican. Then Matt turned to me and said, “Emily, could you drive Colby (his friend) home?” I was devastated. I really had thought that Matt was interested in me, and here he was, pawning off his friend so that he could go eat with another girl. That was probably the most upsetting moment I had ever had in my dramatic teenage years.

Matt and “the other girl” ended up staying with us at the Mexican restaurant. He sat by me and I remember him asking me if I was a vegetarian after I ordered the Veggie Quesadilla (I wasn’t…the things the mind decides to remember…). After we left that night, I was still stung with the feeling of unrequited love. I focused on my other crush, once again, and tried to forget about Matt.

 Matt at his birthday dinner with the team.

I ended up finding out that Matt’s date with “the other girl” did not go so well. My heart soared! A few weeks after the Mexican restaurant incident, we had our swim team banquet. I was named team captain for the next year. The day after the banquet, I woke up to my dad telling me that our beloved dog had been hit by a car. Cody died that morning and I went to school in tears (attendance policies are very unforgiving if you skip school because your dog died). I remember avoiding Matt’s glance in the hallway that day (we always shyly smiled at each other in between 2nd and 3rd period) because I did not want him to see me looking so upset and with no makeup on. He ended up finding me in the hallway after lunch and came up to me and said, “Captain.” He did a cute little hand salute. It was such a sweet and bold gesture (for him) that I was actually able to smile.

The rest of the school year went by and our only interaction was the sweet little waves and smiles in the hallway. I made promises to myself every morning that I would just go up to him and ask him out. It never happened, and when the seniors had their last day, I was very upset. I didn’t even want summer to start because I thought I would never see him again.

The fates shined upon us and Matt ended up swimming for my friend’s summer league swim team that was my summer swim team’s rival (my friend and I were the coaches of our respective teams). He would be at our first meet! I was so excited to know that I would be seeing him again. The night of the meet, Matt ended up breaking his heel doing a flip turn in my neighborhood pool. I used my lifeguard skills and wrapped his foot. We flirted shamelessly the entire night, so much so, that I neglected my coaching and swimming duties! My team ended up losing by 3 points (practically nothing in the swimming world), but I couldn’t be upset because it had been such a fun night. Both teams ended up going to Brusters’ afterwards to celebrate. This is where I think I broke Matt’s little heart…

I had a very good guy friend growing up and he happened to be on my swim team. This friend was an obnoxious flirt and loved messing with me. While we were at Brusters’, Matt thought that this friend of mine, and I, were dating. Matt left Brusters’ a little abruptly and I was heartbroken once again, not knowing how Matt had interpreted things! Our one shot was gone and this time I knew we would never see each other again.

The stars aligned and on our last swim meet, which happened to be my 17th birthday (June 25), both teams (mine and Matt’s) ended up at Brusters’ again! This time, I was bound and determined to make something happen. I bravely gave Matt my number and we talked about going to see a movie together.

A few weeks later, Matt texted me (this was still in the time when text messages cost $0.30) to ask a question (the icebreaker). I was on vacation with my family and he had asked if I was going to be at a swim meet…I wasn’t. Luckily, he found the courage to ask me out to the movies once I got home from my vacation. We went and saw “Don’t Mess with the Zohan” and I remember agonizing about what to wear. The movie was terrible and I was so rigid throughout the entire thing that I barely remember the plot. After the movie, he walked me to my car and hugged me. We made plans for a second date. Our second date was at my house and we ordered pizza and watched “Superbad”. He ended up staying at my house until 2 AM. I was too polite to ask him to leave and he was too polite to excuse himself. I remember talking in my living room and just staring at the clock, as the time flew by. I felt so grown up having a boy over so late, even though we sat a good 6 inches apart. He finally left and I was just glowing.

The next morning I woke up to a Facebook message (Facebook was very young, Matt didn’t even have one) from one of Matt’s friends saying that “Matt was missing.” The message said that Matt’s parents had called his friend asking for Matt (Matt had told his parent’s that he was going to that friends house, being too embarrassed to tell the truth). The friend said he had never heard from Matt and Matt’s parents had called every police station and hospital in the area. My lovely sister replied to the group message saying that Matt had been at our house until 2 AM. What a good impression. Matt was safe and his parents were furious and now everyone knew that we were dating.

We went on exactly 8 dates before Matt plucked up the courage to kiss me. I remember thinking that maybe we were just friends. I decided to plan a date that was a little more romantic than just dinner and movies. I asked Matt if he wanted to go to the lake on my family’s jet-ski, just us two. It took him a day to respond. I was in agony thinking that I had been too forward. Finally, he responded, apologizing for the delay, as he had been sick.

We went to the lake on a very hot summer day (after I had painstakingly shaved my legs and tried to apply “natural” makeup). As we were idling out to the open water, me in the driver’s seat, I told Matt that he should hold on. He asked, “To what?” I groaned internally and thought that this boy was going to make this difficult. I shouted over the motor, “To me!” He grabbed my lifejacket as lightly as possible as I jammed the throttle. We had a great day tooling around the lake and laughing.

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When the sun got too low in the sky, we packed up and headed back to my house. We watched Talladega Nights in my basement and Matt FINALLY put his arm around me! Yes, that is how slow he moved. (He tells me now that instead of watching the movie he would watch the clock and say in his head, “Okay, at 11:18, you will put your arm around her shoulders.”) Right as the movie ended, all of the power went out. I mean everything, including the street lights all around our neighborhood.  It was pitch black. We stood up (him never taking his arm from around me), and made our way upstairs to find a flashlight. He decided that he better go home and check on his family since the power was out. We walked out in the pitch black night to his car. He hugged me for about 20 minutes. And finally…(cue the harps) …WE KISSED. Our first kiss was so sweet and I’m so glad we did not rush into it. It was perfect.

After that first kiss, we became that disgusting couple that nobody wanted to be around. The floodgates had opened and we were shameless teenagers in love. I remember going to Braves games and him putting his hand in my jeans pocket (he would NEVER do that now). I cannot remember a happier time in my life.  Matt eventually had to leave for college and it was very hard to say goodbye. Luckily, we saw each other nearly every other weekend. Our long distance relationship made the time we spent together so special. I don’t think we had our first fight for about a year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA My favorite photo of us, taken soon after he left for college.

I am so lucky to have Matt and even though our relationship has many ups and downs, I am thankful to have such sweet memories to think about when I need a little reminding of how perfect he is.

IMG_0752Matt and I recently at a Braves Vs. Cubs Game

In Need of A Change

I like to be busy.

I did not think that I was that way but I am going stir-crazy not having anything to work towards.

I had surgery for a deviated septum exactly a week ago, and while it was a painful and sleepless few days, I have fully recovered and am just waiting until I can work out again (a few more days). Before my surgery, I have just been shopping, and going to the pool, relaxing and sleeping in. It sounds like the life but I feel like I have no direction. Something needs to change-soon.

Luckily, I think I have nailed down a job as a transcriber, working from home. I am thankful that I will have some income and something to do with my day, but it doesn’t allow me to be around people, or doing what I’m passionate about. I also have an interview tomorrow for a temp position. Hopefully that will come through as well!  I guess I expected to have a teaching job lined up, even though that is not very likely. 

Right now, the real world seems like an exclusive club that doesn’t want to let me be a part of it. I know that I am only 21 (almost 22) and have accomplished a good amount for my age, but I am just ready for more.

Again, sorry for being ranty…just a lot on my mind. :/