Didn’t get the couch, but I got a husband instead

If you’re on Facebook I’m sure you know the “Facebook memories” notification you get every day that dredges up old memories. For me, they are usually the things I want to forget. But, every once in a while, they bring up some of the best memories. Today, my memories were some irrelevant college statuses about class, a picture of Mara laying across my face and some photos of my first ever trip to a rock gym. The memory that really made me smile was the one with the rock gym photos. Why? Because that was the night I met my husband. Doesn’t that just give you the warm and fuzzies? Seeing those photos really got me thinking.

On February 20, 2014 I never imagined that I was going to ask a friend for help picking up a couch and end up meeting the love of my life. Romantic, right? Let me tell you the whole story.

At the time, I was living on my own in my little one bedroom apartment in Cranston. I had been single for only a couple of months and was NOT looking for any sort of relationship. I was in my “I give up on men” phase of life again because my recent ex was another idiot. Anyway, I had ordered a new couch for my apartment and asked a friend, Scott, who had a pick-up truck to help me pick it up from the store and bring it home. He had a buddy with a bigger truck so he asked him to help, which thankfully, he agreed to. I was just about to get out of work when I had gotten a call from Big Lots saying that accidentally sold my couch and that if I wanted they could order me a new one, but I could not pick it up that night. I called my friend in a rage and told him to forget it, I didn’t need any help. Unfortunately, the boys were already an exit away from the store on I-95 in the middle of rush hour traffic after driving all the way down from Massachusetts (about 1 hour away without traffic) so his buddy was a bit pissed to say the least. He told Scott that since theyCentral Rock Gym in Worcester, MAdrove all the way down here they were going to pick me up and I was going to go rock climbing with them – whether I liked it or not. I argued for a minute or two until the truck guy got on the phone and told me I had no choice and they would be there soon. I got off the phone thinking the guy was a total asshole. If you haven’t caught on by now that asshole was Josh. I got home, changed into gym clothes and we were on our way back up to Massachusetts for some rock climbing. Scott and I entertained ourselves climbing with each other after a quick lesson from Josh, while the more experienced climbers did their own thing. After a couple hours of climbing we went out and grabbed a drink or two before heading back. Josh dropped off the two guys first before taking me home. It was a long drive back and I still thought Josh was a jerk, but as we talked more I decided he was somewhat bearable. We ended up getting to my apartment and continued talking outside until about 4 am. We had already exchanged numbers earlier in the night, so we continued our conversation over the next couple of days. Once I got a feel for his humor (which is very unconventional and takes time to understand) we got along great. He finally asked me out on our first date, where we went to Friendly’s and had Jim Dandy’s. Any guy that gives me ice cream gets bonus points – but a guy that gives me 5 scoops of ice cream, 3 toppings and bananas wins! It was a couple weeks later that he officially asked me to be his girlfriend. The rest is history.

I think back to that day and never would I have imagined that the rude guy with the weird, twisted humor would one day be my husband. It’s amazing how everything really does happen for a reason. It’s like when your mom says “you’ll thank me later,” well, Big Lots, thank you. Thank you for selling my couch to someone else. As someone who plans her life and tries to calculate her future in spreadsheets and Gantt charts, I’ve finally realized that you can’t. My path has also made me realize that certain people are put in your life for a reason. Without Scott, we never would have met. He was meant to be in both of our lives so that we could find each other. So thank you too, Princess. It’s amazing the way the universe works, huh?

Thank you Facebook for bringing up this memory today. It just makes me remember how grateful I am for the little things that up end being the best things in life.

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True love is buying you Sudafed at 3am

So this is a post just to brag about how amazing my boyfriend is. Continue to read at your own risk.

The last 3 days I’ve been sick and dying with a real nasty sinus infection. On Sunday I finally hit a wall just in time to go back to work on Monday. I dragged Josh out to the store to get a cool mist machine, figuring I could try and stop this from happening. He gave me some Mucinex out of his bag of medic tricks and we went to bed. About 3:30 am I woke up in tears from all of the pain and pressure in my face and my head. I woke Josh up and asked him to take me to the store to get medicine. Through my hysterics and groggy, stuffed up, delusional mind, I kept asking if he was mad at me and hated me. He kept assuring me he wasn’t mad and that he loved me very much. He tried to leave without me and insisted I stay in bed and rest while he went to get me meds, but me being the stubborn body that I am had to go. I felt bad enough that I woke him up at 3 am to make him drive to the store, I wasn’t going to make him go alone. Plus I knew the 30 degree air would make me feel better.

The whole way there I just kept apologizing about making him wake up and drive. He reminded me that this is what he does when he works the overnight shifts at the ambulance company, except this time it was for me so he didn’t mind. We made it to the store, talked to the pharmacist, got the Sudafed and hit the road. I did consider Denny’s for a hot minute since it was right in the parking lot but I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy any part of it so we went home. When I lived in my apartment in Cranston Josh and I frequented the Denny’s down in Warwick on late nights, so much so that the waitresses knew our order when we sat down.

We got back home, let Mara out to pee, Josh gave me my drugs and we went back to bed. He held my hand, gave me my favorite forehead kisses and told me how much he loved me and that he could never hate me for 3 am trips to the drug store. When we woke up he made me breakfast, which I couldn’t taste at all. Since my back was hurting really bad from all of my coughing, I went back to lay in bed. He came upstairs to rub my back for me before he left for work. As he usually does, he wanted to make sure I ate before he left so he made me a grilled cheese and some ginger ale and chocolate syrup. A few more kisses, and he left. When he got home he picked up right where he left off, making sure I had my next dose of medicine, making sure I ate, making sure I had plenty of fluids and that I was comfortable.

I have never met someone who bends over backwards and then doesn’t complain about it. I have met too many people who will help you, but then turn and around and whine or complain or you end up owing them one. Josh is never like that and that’s one of the million reasons why I love him so much. Unfortunately I needed a second day of recovery so I am home again. Josh works a 16 hour shift today so he left at 3:30 am. He’s been texting me every so often to check on me and make sure I am doing ok. I am the luckiest girl in world to have someone so loving and sweet to take care of me when I’m happy and well and when I’m miserable and sick.

-AB

Oh hello Planet Fitness…it’s been a while

When I lived in my apartment by myself I became a total gym nut. I went every single day and completed my same routine. I am not a fitness guru by any means, but I dropped some weight, trimmed down and felt good. Once life started to get in the way again and bills were a bit excessive I ended my gym membership. I was pretty bummed because I really enjoyed working out. It was an hour or two all to myself, music in, feeling good. A couple of weeks ago Josh brought up the idea of joining up together. Josh works at our local rock gym, so he’s always felt that was the perfect workout for him. He wasn’t really a fan of the traditional gym and with a free membership to the rock gym he was happy. Recently, he set a goal for himself to build his upper body strength and felt as though that was more easily achievable at a regular gym with free weights. Rock climbing, particularly bouldering, demands a lot of upper body strength which is why Josh wants to get stronger. He enjoys bouldering most of all so to improve his technique and abilities he needs to build his strength. One of the perks of the Planet Fitness black card that Josh also enjoys is the use of the hydro-massage tables. He asked if I wanted to sign up again so I evaluated the finances and decided I could manage the membership fee again.

I am pretty psyched to get back to my workouts. Usually my routine consisted of a mile on the treadmill (3/4 walking on incline and 1/4 running – shin splints aren’t pretty and don’t make for a good running partner), 100 abs, 100 obliques, 100 inner thigh, 100 outer thigh, 100 glutes, 25 biceps, 25 triceps and a good stretch. Clearly you can tell where my strengths are. Hint: it is definitely NOT in my arms. I usually use the machines and avoid any and all free weights. When I went to the gym I was a single girl who went by herself. I attempted the squat rack once and after being hounded by all of the creepy guys offering spots I decided that was the first and last time. I’d like to think they were asking to be nice and to actually help me, but when they also asked to grab drinks on the way out I somehow doubt there was no ulterior motives.

There were multiple occasions where guys were more interested in following me around trying to get a date instead of working out. But it was not just the men, but the women too. They were more interested in looking pretty and flirting than actually working out. Trips to the gym were a great way to get my daily workout AND a laugh watching some of these people who claimed to be focused on their fitness. I am not well versed in the perfect workout and I would never consider myself knowledgeable about a beginner, but I didn’t go to the gym to get dates and flirt with the guys flexing their muscles. Way to give us a bad name ladies.

When Josh stopped by the gym to signup they offered him a Fitbit for $30.My parents wanted to get me the Fitbit last Christmas, but for $150 I didn’t think it was worth it. I go through phases and frequently move on from fads so for $150 I passed, but for $30 I don’t mind. They were out when he signed up, but they will be getting another shipment on Wednesday so we will pick ours up then. The one thing I hate about tracking my eating, sleeping and exercise habits is that I already know I suck so it’s just something else to tell me that.

I am happy to have a membership again and can’t wait to start going back and getting my workout on. I am even happier to go with Josh as he will help me with my workouts and actually give me advice on what I should be doing and how I should be doing it. Is it bad that I am already dreading the New Year’s resolution crowd though?

Well, we will hit the gym tomorrow after doggie training class so we will see how it goes.

-AB

There’s nothing sexier than a man who can cook

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

In my short 24 years I have met far too many men who can’t get by in life because they lack the basic life skills every human should have. The knowledge to do laundry and cook seem to be the biggest challenges of them all. I have been fortunate enough to find a man that can do both without guidance and coaching. Josh comes from a family where the men cook and the women bake, so in our house that’s the way it works. Josh does all of the cooking and I do all of the baking. As much as I like to cook, I am happy to give up the chore of making dinner, especially when I am spoiled with amazing meals.

Classic lemon rosemary chicken w/pasta

Classic lemon rosemary chicken w/pasta

Josh follows the “primal” lifestyle. For those of you who don’t know what that entails, he cuts out all grains, starches, carbs, legumes and any other possible happiness out of his diet. As an extreme pasta enthusiast you can see where our choices in food clash. I also refuse to eat vegetables, which Josh eats a lot of. Most of our meals consist of a meat – steak, chicken, sausage – and then a veggie or occasional sweet potato for him and rice or pasta for me. When I bake, I tend to substitute almond flour or coconut flour for the regular flour. His favorite treat is chocolate chip banana bread.

Ginger rosemary buttered chicken, wrapped in bacon atop a grilled pineapple. Optional: Brussels or potatoes

Ginger rosemary buttered chicken, wrapped in bacon atop a grilled pineapple. Optional: Brussels or potatoes

Today he decided to create an Instagram to showcase all of his food creations. He likes to think of it as a digital photo album of recipes, which he takes great pride in. Feel free to follow him @doc.cat to see all of his tasty creations and what I am having for dinner.

Tuscan steak and shrimp

Tuscan steak and shrimp

Josh loves to experiment with different spices and flavor combinations. Aside from the usual classics, he often times like to open up our well-stocked spice cabinet and create a delicious meal. Occasionally I find recipes on Pinterest or Facebook and send them over to Josh. He is always happy to make whatever I send over, whether he actually eats it or not. The mozzarella stuffed meatballs were his latest creation based on a recipe I saw on Facebook. Just like going to the grocery store hungry, Pinterest-ing while hungry can also be dangerous. I’ve pinned more recipes than I could ever imagine. Thankfully I have a great cook who loves to make new things who will make them all for me.

Rosemary/onion grilled steak with blackened shrimp

Rosemary/onion grilled steak with blackened shrimp

Family recipe Alfredo over grilled chicken and pasta w/ homemade pina coladas

Family recipe Alfredo over grilled chicken and pasta w/ homemade pina coladas

Chicken parmesan, garlic bread, pasta

Chicken parmesan, garlic bread, pasta

-AB