25

25

As I mentioned in my last post, over the weekend I celebrated my 25th birthday. I am now a whole quarter of a century old… so dignified and refined, now. (Not really).

It was such a great weekend. Anyone that knows me, knows that I love surprises… in fact, I often expect surprises (I know, super bratty), and so I rarely end up surprised. In our 5+ years together, Mike has never really surprised me, and so this year for my birthday, I decided to throw my own birthday party. I figured, new birthday, new attitude– in order to get what you want, sometimes you just need to take initiative and do it yourself. That way, you don’t end up waiting and hoping for someone else to do it, and you know you’ll be satisfied. So, this year I knew I’d want to be surrounded by friends on my special day and so I set out to make it happen. Little did I know, Mike had already sent out his own little birthday party invites! I’m still surprised he was so calm when I told him I wanted a party and sent out my own invitations… he didn’t give anything away.

So anyway, finally Saturday (my birthday) came, and Mike took me out to dinner at Lolita. We had a 5:45 reservation and I was expecting my friends to arrive at our house around 9:30 or so. Well, after our dinner date, I walked back into our dark house, ready to do some finishing touches before everyone’s arrival. As I walked towards our pantry, I saw a balloon out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and heard loud screams of “SURPRISE!” and blasts of horns and saw confetti swirling around our dining room. I had just finished flossing my teeth in the car (a romantic drive home from dinner, but thank goodness I did!) so I threw my floss to the ground, held my face in both hands and shouted something like “Holy sh*t!”.

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It was the perfect surprise party because I was prepared to have people in my house, but I was still absolutely shocked that everyone was waiting there for us when we got back from dinner. And Mike even invited some of our friends from college who trekked in from out of town for the big event. It was great.

Me and some of my college buddies!

Me and some of my college buddies!

A little flip cup before heading to the bars... we all felt so old because we couldn't remember how to play... we reclaimed our coolness though, don't worry. Take that, 25!

A little flip cup before heading to the bars… we all felt so old because we couldn’t remember how to play… we reclaimed our coolness though, don’t worry. Take that, 25!

Replenishing drinks with fresh ice cubes.

Replenishing drinks with fresh ice cubes.

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25 is going to be a good year– I can feel it. And this Thursday will kick it off when Mike and I set off to enjoy one of his awesome gifts together– sunset kayaking in the Cuyahoga!

I can’t wait for more adventures this year with all of my amazing friends and family. Feeling extra thankful for my life right now.

Until next time.

~Steph

Summer Lovin

Hidey-Ho! Well, summer is in full-swing now– weddings, festivals, heat waves…. aaaaand I’m setting up my classroom for the new school year! Craziness. However, according to Mother Nature, summer only officially began one month ago, and there are actually nearly 2 months of summer left. Just because school starts in August does NOT mean summer is over! There’s still lots of sun to catch, lots of pools and lakes to swim in, lots of drive-ins to swoon over, lots of outdoor concerts to attend, lots of patios to drink on and lots of porch nights left!

I’ve been enjoying the season thoroughly– this is part of why my blogging has slowed down lately. I’m trying to get outside as much as possible and we all know how that glare on your computer screen from the sun makes it IMPOSSIBLE to see anything. This is also why you haven’t seen any home improvement posts. Mike and I made a pact to slow down with the projects during the summer so we could enjoy life. And that we have.

Last Friday, we drove down to Columbus to celebrate the wedding of two of our college friends and on Sunday we enjoyed the Taste of Tremont.

The wedding was beautiful and the happy couple planned it perfectly, taking care of their guests– it was a truly enjoyable experience!

The ceremony was in German Village– an adorable little area of Columbus.

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Before heading to the reception, we opted for a mini photo shoot. Mike took lots of secret candids of us– he’s learning, that one!

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I have a secret to tell you about my silk green dress– I bought it at a … wait for it…

Yard Sale!

It’s, J.Crew 100% silk and an XS! Aaaaaand it was… wait for it…

$7.

Yes. SEVEN DOLLARS. Best bargain EVER.

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Couldn’t be more in love with this guy.

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Denison girls at the reception venue– Dock 580.

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I almost caught the bouquet…. but then it just fell short of my grasp. So naturally, I did what any other girl who’s been dating her man for 5 1/2 years would do… I scraped a little left-over tuft from the dance floor and pretended I caught it. That means I get married next, right?

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Before heading home on Saturday, we grabbed brunch with everyone… as you can see from my greasy bed-head and puffy eyes (my friends and I lovingly refer to morning-after eyes as “vagina eyes” or sometimes “vajeen eyes” [channeling our inner-Borat] … don’t judge), I don’t handle partying all that well in my old age.

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When Mike and I got home on Saturday we ordered out from Happy Dog and ate too much unhealthy goodness while sprawled out in our air conditioned home,  watching a marathon of The Office until bedtime.

Sunday was the infamous Taste of Tremont event in our very own neighborhood of, you guessed it, Tremont.

We took Denver for a while and were very impressed with his behavior. For like, the first time. Ever.

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Taste draws over 25,000 visitors to Professor avenue in Tremont for this one-day, 8-hour event! The great thing is that we live here so we were able to walk back and forth from the festival to our house and not deal with parking at all. Another glorious thing about living where we live.

We wandered around and ate delicious food and drank delicious drinks and met up with lots of friends.

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After hours of summer celebration in Tremont, we found a stray kitty on our walk back home. Somehow, she made it back to our house with us. I took her to the vet the next morning because she was covered in scabs and bumps and was emaciated. She purred through the entire vet visit and this is how she chose to ride in the car.

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The vet estimated her to be around 12 years old and the poor little bag of bones only weighed 5 lbs! He treated her for fleas and in the 4 days since we’ve had her, she’s doing much better.

We’re not looking for a cat, but for now we’re nursing her back to health until we decide to keep her or find her a purr-fect forever home. Until then, we’re calling her Kitty-Cat and she and Denver are learning to be friends.

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So, those are our adventures from last weekend! It was truly a great summer weekend and I’m looking forward to this upcoming one!

Friday night we are going to Burning River Fest and watching our friend’s band, Honeybucket, play on the main stage! Saturday is my birthday– the big 2-5! Woohoo! Mike’s taking me out to dinner at Lolita and then we’re having a little birthday party at our house. It should be another memorable weekend!

What are your plans? Hope everyone’s soaking up summer!

Until next time.

~Steph

Does Anything Make You Feel More Alive?

Than being outside? Whether it’s a stroll through town with your friend, kayaking on the lake, having dinner on the front porch, or hiking through the woods, I think I feel most alive when I am outside.

Now don’t get me wrong- homegirl likes her air conditioning and wifi– I’m not sure if I’d appreciate the outdoors quite as much if I didn’t know I’d have a comfortable indoor retreat at home!

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But truly, I welcome the opportunity to get outside and breathe.

A couple of weekends ago Mike & I took a trip to The Ledges Trail in the Cuyahoga National Park. (I read about this hike, as well as some other fun things to do in Cleveland here). Though the hike itself was pretty easy (call us weirdos, but we like a hike that leaves us winded and sprawled out on boulders by the end… must be the Colorado in us), it was absolutely gorgeous. You’d never think such a majestical place was nestled in between suburbs of Greater Cleveland.

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I loved the striking contrast of the bright green moss and the dulled out, weathered wood of the trees.

The thing I love about Ohio is how green it is.

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And I honestly was shocked by how tall these ledges were!

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Mike and I both were also very proud of how handsome Mister Denver looked in the wilderness– very rugged, no?

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His mama was clearly doting on him… a lot.

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And then he doted on me… when I was trying to sneak off to pee.

MOM! WAIT!

MOM! WAIT! YOU COULDN’T POSSIBLY WANT TO PEE ALONE, RIGHT?!?!???

It was such a great day– we got to hike in the cool, damp shade of the trees, and then after a couple of miles, the trail opened up to a great big field. We let Denver off his leash to do what he does best– puppy prancing.

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somersault?

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And puppy bouncing.

DSC_3607 DSC_3606 DSC_3608 DSC_3610While out in nature, we naturally saw some chipmunks in action.

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DSC_3519It was a balmy, sticky, sweaty, beautiful day, and I look forward to many more days just like that one.

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Another reason why Cleveland rocks.

If you don’t have anything planned for the weekend, why not get outside?

Until next time!

~Steph