Saturday, September 8, 2018

oh hey

Hey guys!!
Can you believe it? It has been now over 2 whole years since my last post. I've wanted to blog but the time just didnt seem to work out. Life was busy (still is just looks different) and then my domain didnt renew. I have a million pictures (Im a picture hoarder) and felt they needed to be organized and there needed to be some sort of structure to my blog. It felt a bit overwhelming to try to figure it all out so I didnt.
until recently. I was remembering that when I first started blogging it was simply because I wanted to and because I liked it. plain and simple. There doesnt need to be structure or topics, just randomness is fine with me. afterall, the blog itself has a pretty random name, yes?

so Im back. with no plan. just randomness.
no real format. probably some typos and incorrect grammar.
this is not my job and it wont be perfect.
and thats ok.

you may be wondering what Ive done over the last 2 years?
Well...let me tell you. *warning* this is a really long post.
after all, its a summary of 2 years!!

In September 2016 I had this weird face thing happen. I was driving to my friends wedding and decided to take a car selfie because I felt beautiful and noticed my face was drooping. I was pretty committed to going to the wedding so I continued to drive there. Ive always been the type of person who if I say Im doing something, come hell or high water, I was doing it. (Ive since learned and practice that I have to make myself stop and think before committing and also if I need to cancel I need to give myself grace to do so). As more time went on during my drive, my face was going numb and it was spreading down my whole left side. I took a video and sent that along with selfies to my mom and asked if I looked or sounded different. She called me all calmly and encouraged me to go to the hospital, so I turned around and did. The whole experience was extremely scary and I dont really want to detail it out because I hate thinking about it. I thought I was having a stroke (luckily it wasnt one and all the tests of my brain were clear) I have pics too still but I only keep them as a reminder to myself to listen to my body. That whole day I felt weird and tired but I got extra coffee, went to the gym, pushed myself the whole day. Sometimes your body is saying to chill and that day mine was but I didnt listen. They called it a migraine aura without headache and apparently you can have stroke symptoms with it. like funky spacey brain, face numbness/drooping, and loss of words. I think mine got exacerbated because I was getting anxious also because I was scared and had no idea what was going on. Once I went to the hospital I lost all my ability to speak (very briefly) and they initiated the stroke protocol. I've had them since but I know what they are so its not as bad. After spending a night in the hospital, the doctor said that I needed to not be stressed out, I needed to rest. I was like ok, then I cant work because I work for DCF and that's high stress. So they had me stay out of work for 3 weeks.

While I was out I had to make myself not do much. My sister, T, called or texted daily to check in and make sure I was limiting my activity. I was told I was still doing to much. My mom asked if I'd come down to her house in SC so they could just take care of me so after a week of trying to rest at home, I went down to SC and lived the retired life with my dad and spend quality time with my nephews (and of course my sister, mom, and BIL). because oh yea, I got a new nephew in September too!!

here he is...Jack!!

at somepoint after recuperating I went to the winery with my friends
Jen, Jessica

and Cathy

Jessica has since moved to AZ (insert very sad face) but when she still lived here she always coordinated little day trips. She has a very special gift of bring different groups of friends together and making everyone feel welcome and included. before this day at the winery, I had not really hung out with Jen or Cathy.

Columbus day 2016....a day off for us State workers. Shaun and I went hiking with Achilles.
It was a gorgeous day.
Three things stick out to me about this day.

1. Shaun wouldnt go anywhere near the edge of this cliff and I learned that day about his fear of heights.

2. I remember getting annoyed with people several times that day because they kept asking if Achilles was an australian sheppard. no hes pure bread border collie....oh really? you sure? um yes I have his papers and also, Im his mom, yes Im sure.
but he had brown on his face
correct, hes a tri colored border collie
this happens frequently and I still get annoyed that hes called an aussie. I have nothing against aussies, hes just not one. thats all.

3. this mountain is near a shooting range and we kept hearing gunshots, which scared my dog.

October 2016, I went apple picking with this crew

The day after apple picked was 10/16/16. I know this not because I referenced my picture time/date stamp but because it was my first date with my boyfriend, Louis. It was one of my favorite days.
I met him online. At the time,  I was doing online dating (again) and had gone on a few dates, ironically I had 2 other dates with Louis'. 3rd was a charm and I'm keeping this one. Ill tell you more about all that another day. You all will love him too. Hes pretty much the best and all I prayed for as a partner.
ok, Im stopping now...its getting mushy.

Andrea, Michael, and I used to send each other snaps via text all the time. This one I had neck fawn. and was excited about it so I screen capped it.
its the little things.

In October 2016, Sarah flew up to Boston for 24 hours and we stayed overnight, first we explored the City then we saw needtobreathe.
it was short but so fun. you only live one time right?

this was our view from the room

at the show!

we really loved the view!

First round of selfies with my new beau, with filters

and without

some with Michael too

Thanksgiving 2016 with the Alders and Uncle David. Louis came along for the ride too!

work car hangs with Andrea

meeting in the hallway, random selfie (not our first)

sometimes Louis and I go on random adventures, just get in the car and drive. We find things to explore and sometimes end up at the shore. This day we found a little beach, it was so cold but we took a walk.

Christmas 2016, I really wanted to cut down my own tree. The year before was hotel living and we had a fake tree. Years before that I had some bad memories of cutting tress down so I wanted to make a new memory. Louis loves Christmas but hates the decorating and hates trees. He knew I wanted one so he came along to help find one with me. We missed the tree farm being open and he felt bad so he made another plan. He has a friend who used to sell trees and still had them growing in their backyard, so we stopped by there. I had a personal assistant and an electric saw to cut it down (I love power tools). (well at first i did use a regular saw to get the full experience).

it was a perfect way to make a new memory.

He helped me put in up and string the lights and the rest was up to me.
He was a good sport for dressing up with the pups too

In December 2016, my parents came up for my grandfathers 80th bday and met Louis. We went to Olde Mistick Village at night with all the lights.

This was grampi and I at his 80th.
I actually started this post on August 18 in the morning by uploading all these pics and wrote a bit.
That night he passed away. He was old (81) and had been ill but it still took us by surprise.
so now getting back to writing again, seeing this, makes my heart ache a bit.

after party hangs with my beau

festivus as work

oh my gosh!
when I first met Louis I talked a lot about my love of lights and hammocks. I also spoke about work and he picked up on the vibe that it was stressful.
so for christmas he made me this for my basement. A hammock frame with lights and he set up a bose radio so I could come down and relax after a stressful day.
I of course cried and couldnt believe it
what a great gift...meaning Louis!

Christmas 2016 with the squad add Louis

Louis' bday is right after Christmas, this was his party
party of 5 (him, me, pups)

pups got pup cakes (I think Tony the neighbor dog got one too)

oh yes, he did.

NYE with some of the GGs
missing Jil

back when we all worked together, walking to the store
sorry Jen
bad pic

January trip to see my fam!
I also got that new tattoo that you can see on my wrist (in Oct 2016)

Watching the Inauguration

twinning with T

back in CT, hanging with Tony
I think we had napped...I look like it at least!
also, spot those stellar mirrors...thats at Lou's house.
so youre probably wondering who Tony is. Tony lives next door to Lou's. Lou owns a 2 family and Tony lives in the other side. They share a deck and Tony comes in and out to visit through the doggie door. His dad, Mike, is Lous BFF. Mike used to have a doggie door too but Dixie took advantage so its gone now. She has to ask for permission to enter and has to be supervised.
(she makes herself at home, eats food off the counter, gets into trash...shes a little rude at times).

this is Dixie hanging with my boy, Achilles.
they love each other.

on another adventure.
we found the Niantic Bay Boardwalk
you can bring the dogs to the beach here (not on the boardwalk) from Labor Day until Memorial Day
its lovely and the dogs love it

snow day!

couch hangs.
Dixie cant control her licker.

I think this is Feb. We went camping (in a camper) with Lou's friends (Melissa and Ryan) in NH and went to the Ice Castle was really cold and windy

dinner with the GGs
always a good time

I remember this day
my allergies had a random flare up or I had a of those.
Lou wanted to take a walk.
I didnt.
he won. but because he was going to go regardless but would only be able to take Achilles and Dixie. Tony would have to stay behind. I went to be sure Tony was able to go...
It actually helped with my breathing and ended up being quite enjoyable for me

Achilles needed a little help with his "accident'' and Lou being a trooper and a gentleman, helped.
thats true love right there.

after that....antiquing.

Jessica and I attended an oils class to increase our education in essential oils

another day in Newport, a lot warmer and less windy

Lou was quite fond of this Limo and wanted it.
it wasnt for sale.

for Easter 2017 we took the pups to the beach in Niantic and had a picnic
Lou and I both dont have a lot of family around to celebrate holidays with so we started our own tradition (we've done it now 2 years in a row and both agree we want it to continue)
it was so nice, everyone loved it.

Dixie loves to flap those ears in the breeze

Achilles loves the beach!

lunch break road trip to get soup at Natures Grocer

how glorious

One of the GG's, Jil, got engaged and this was her bachelorette paint nite event
shes not in the pic

Jen trying out the selfie stick

making Achilles cuddle me

Achlles hammocking

Jil got married
this was my handsome date

me with the bride and groom

not sure what shes saying, not sure I trusted her either
Jil often doesnt have a filter
one of the reasons we love her
but also scary at times

my GGs


Bo came and stood right here
I didnt take a pic when he came there because I was enjoying the moment

May trip to see the family
brought my beau
it was his first time meeting T, Sarah, Lee, Luca, and Jack
thats his flying shirt, if you cant see, it has airplanes on it


everyone loves him.
Luca was told to hold an adults hand while walking and he chose Woo's hand
(he calls him Mr. Woo)

Lou likes to garden.
here he is prepping it
I helped too, thats why I have my sunhat on

grilling in the rain
(now when its raining and he wants to grill he puts on his bathing suit and it makes me laugh every time)

One weekend in June 2017, I went to NY to see my aunt Marcia, I brought Dixie and Achilles with me since Lou went to NH with his friends. It was a good day on that Saturday, Marcia went out exploring.

however, when we got back, Dixie had escaped.

Luckily she was found.
that may have been a deal breaker for me and Louis.

losing Dixie will have its own post, it was quite traumatic and it deserves its own post
or maybe just for therapeutic reasons I need to write about it =) whichever....stay tuned!

hiking with J, Sarah, Abby, and the pups

Lake day, Achilles loves the lake too

riding on the RZR

one of Lous friends has a house in CT and has a lot of woods behind it
he has made some trails so thats where we were this day
my allergies killed me for like 3 days afterwards
but it was fun

my dad was in town and we all went out to bowl then had dinner
it was a fun time
its always nice when family is in town

4th of July antiquing

so I wanted to go to the beach.
Louis and I hadnt gone in the summer together yet at this point.
I asked if he would on a Sunday and he agreed
We arrived by 10 and left by 1 because he wasnt happy with the crowd
I think crowded beaches sometimes are just part of the experience
he didnt agree
he looked so uncomfortable so we left
this is us leaving...

I told him that he doesnt always have to say yes to the things I want if he really doesnt want to go
its ok for me to go alone or with other friends
now I mostly go to the beach alone =)

One Saturday in 2017, we ventured out to Amy and Ryans church in New Milford. I wanted to go to church that weekend but we were going to the lake the next day so we did a Saturday night service. After, we had dinner at a place down the road. It has the best pulled chicken salad with BBQ vinaigrette. then we went to walmart to get balls to play fetch at the lake. Achilles often pops the balls and they sink so we got a few extra
and Louis took a quick ride on Pumba

Achilles with his balls.
His face looks so funny here

Lake day

In July 2017 Lou went away to NH (he does this a few times a year with his friends)
and I decided to take a spontaneous road trip and surprise the fam for Luca's bday
They were surprised

This is when we found out Jil, one of the GGs was pregnant
She didnt work in our office so we snuck away to take some excited pics to send her
it was our way of celebrating with her

Brad Paisley with Melkid
We paid $20 for lawn then we got the hookup and got closer since a friend worked at the venue
look at the girls behind us with their selfie
I just noticed that!

also, when we moved closer to see Brad, the folks in the rows behind us were such downers
they complained that we were standing
how do you sit at a concert?
are you not supposed to have

another lake day
Jessica came!
It was nice to have a kayaking buddy
When I first met Louis he said he liked kayaking
that was a fib
he grew up going to his father's lake house and isnt really loving fishing or boating of any kind
he mostly likes to go to swim or lay in the hammock

brown dog there is Buddy
his dad is Chris
Chris works for Lou
these dogs are shop dogs, they all go to work with the boys

One day Abby and I went to the beach.
We arrived and learned after waiting in a LONGGG line that it would be free to get in HOWEVER there was no swimming.
the waves were huge and the water kept creeping closer and closer
it was actually a really fun day
the waves were so powerful they wouldnt let you go past your ankles. even that knocked people over, we saw people fall right in front of us

another lake day
and kayaking
we went to the lake a lot that year

I love kayaking
its so peaceful and relaxing

Sarah came to visit and we went to NYC
We went to the 9/11 memorial and museum
then walked around this park
the memorial and museum were so was a very emotional experience
walking around I felt like I could ugly cry at any moment

While she was visiting, Sarah and I went to the beach in Niantic and walked the boardwalk then had a picnic on the beach
a great day

that night we had dinner with Josh, Abby, Louis, and the pups!

I think this was Labor Day 2017, we went for a walk with the dogs

it was hot
this was the best pic I got of them

Kate and I took the pups, including hers, to the beach
Dixie and Finn (Kate's dog) wouldnt sit in the back together so we had to separate them
we actually had to stop on the way to do this
Dixie and I in the front, Kate and Finn in the middle, Achilles in the way back
worked perfectly

Sept 2017, Camp RZR in NH
we went with friends, a big group, for a long weekend of 4wheeling
the event is sponsored and it was really fun
its full of all types of ATVs
we all camped at the same spot. each morning we'd cook a big breakfast then go out riding all day. most nights we went back and cooked and hung by the fire.

I learned my lesson and started wearing a dust mask
Louis is more of a risk taker

On the way home from this we were driving in a caravan of trucks with trailers, there were 4 trucks with us all pulling a trailer full of RZRs. On the highway and witnessed a motorcyle crash and had to stop, call 911, and help.
it was awful to see (I will never forget). It was due to the guy being drunk/high
Luckily a nurse happened to be passing also and did CPR and revived the man
we were all shook up by this...we didnt think he'd make it but thought we'd never know
a few weeks after it happened, the police officer who responded called Lou's and told him the man was going to be ok, his injuries surprisingly were not as bad as they should've been and that he was going to rehab.
I often wonder about this man and say a little prayer for him...

Lou and I helped Jessica around her house here in CT prior to her selling it so she thanked us by taking us to a winery festival

Trip to NY with Lou, he met Marcia I think for the first time during this trip.
We walked around the Lake (Lake George) went into a few shops

each time we left i triple checked all the doors so Dixie couldnt escape.

We hung in her backyard, ate snacks, drank wine, and grilled a bit
this pic is one of my favorites of all time

we went to the lost trails in PA and went through every mud puddle and mud mini pond Louis could find.

we were both soaked in muddy grossness
but I love it

When we went to Camp RZR, Lou was a bit dainty with his RZR.
it was an older one and overheated a lot. since we were there for many days he didnt want to ruin it by messing it up so he avoided water and mud
since the lost trails was one day he apparently didnt care and went full bore!
In my opinion...the more mud the better!

my parents came up to CT to fly from here with their old church friends to/from Israel
We had a little time before and after with them

after breakfast we went to Dicks to find my parents some water shoes so they could go in the Dead Sea

I found the perfect suit for J and he of course tried it on

Lou and I watch the Alder kiddos overnight
It was around our 1 year anniversary and our first date was a corn maze.
so we took the kids to a corn looked a little different than our first date!

Thanksgiving 2017
Turkey Dash in Charlotte
We drove down and had a long weekend with the fam

best high fiving partner
(after our first date I high fived him...)

dinner then drinks/dessert out with T, Lee, Sara, Lou, and I
its not often we get to do stuff like this since we all live so far
it was quite a treat

celebrating Josh's bday

getting a tree for Christmas 2017 looked a bit different
I didnt feel the need to cut one down this time.
I bought one and supported the local fire department

mandatory dress up the pups pic

date night
dinner then seeing the lights at hubbard park in Meriden

another date night at the New Mill
they decorate with so many beautiful things
I was in heaven
(they have lights all year around but add to it for the holidays)

for Christmas 2017, I got a kayak =)
until then I borrowed Lou's brothers


Lou and Achilles have the same bday, 12/27.
this was their bday celebration
pupcakes and cupcakes for all!
(the phone on the wall is just decoration)

another date night.
we went to Ivoryton and saw the lights
Lou likes the lights too
he doenst like them in his own house but likes looking at them

then we had dinner at the Griswold Inn
its set back in time
the staff all dress up like they did back then
the walls were full of history
they had carolers come sing to each table
Lou ate some type of game platter filled with random animals
I think i just had steak
it was interesting

I was trying to capture the room
Lou hates his picture taken
though hes sometimes a good sport, not this day

Over the winter 2017, I saw on the news that the ocean in Cape Cod froze
so Kate and I took and adventure to find it
by the time we went it had gotten a little warmer so it wasnt as frozen as it was initially but it was still so beautiful and neat to see

I started calling Kate "babooshka" after this day...
After exploring the frozen ocean we went into a bunch of little shops, exploring the little town.
In one of the shops the lady working there asked where we were from. I told her and told her we were looking for the frozen ocean...she said "the ocean is frozen?" I showed her the pic...she asked me to text it to her. She couldnt believe it. I was like...its just down the should go
(and how dont you know live here!!)

getting nails done with Lex to celebrate her bday

for Lou's b-day I got him quinipiac hockey tickets
it was a fun game (we went a few weeks after his bday)
they won!

couch hangs mean Louie falls alseep often
I am not a napper so this is what happens

Melissa and I went to NH/Maine
we stayed I think in Portsmouth NH and shopped a bit at the outlets then ventured to little shops and found a beach

I cut 5 inches from my hair

In Feb I was supposed to go to see Jessica who moved to AZ.
The weather caused my flight to be cancelled
I was very very sad

we went to FL for a bit
each night I walked on the beach
it was so pretty

this meal was amazing
shrimp with mango salsa over jasmine rice
so good

pups on the beach
I assure you Im not choking Achilles
it just looks that way for some reason
I couldnt drop the leash though because he'd take off for the water...hes obsessed with the ocean

spring training yanks game

Lous deck (his side)
lovely to sit and relax on
Mike has veggie garden boxes and I hung flowers for color
Lou hung those lights last year for me =)

We kept coming across things that said "Lee" so we took some pics to send to Lee
this one was actually Lou's idea

Easter 2018
beach picnic with the pups

Josh and Abby moved to SC but just before, Josh and I spent this day hiking with the pups and then had lunch
its always a treat to have time with him

trip to NY to visit Marcia
out exploring
(you can see here I cut more off my hair too)

for my bday Lou had to work that whole week, he owns a business and had an audit that week
so the Sunday before we went out antiquing and exploring then he cooked me dinner
I found this at one of the shops
it made me laugh
I wish I bought it and put it on Lou's desk

In May the whole crew minus Sarah came to town
whenever my mom comes to CT theres at least one stop to Friendly's
this was it

beach day with Kate!
we went to Hammonasset...relaxed then walked
its free now for CT residents to use the State parks (well the fee is now included in vehicle registration)

In June Louis and I went to the Bronx for a weekend. We saw 2 Yankee games and walked a lot!
I forgot my sneakers
see those black flip flops on the right
thats all I had (other than these sandals)
so random
my feet were so was awful
I had to wear these socks and sandals to walk to and from the 2nd Yankee game.
it was about 1.5 miles each way

at the game!
it was so hot! and the Yankees played really bad this night
luckily they won the first game we saw so that was exciting
this game...they didnt even score once! boo

We stopped by and saw an old friend, Jessica. Ive known her for years but hadnt seen her in a couple
It was quite hot so we went to the beach (and Louis endured the crowd)

In July we went to see Sarah in Nashville!

Lake weekend
thats our new camper

We went camping in NH with friends and took a rip on the RZRs
Lou bought a new one...traded the old for a brand new

2 weeks later, Lou, the pups and I returned and camped again
we went out exploring some nearby towns
Bethlehem is where we camped...its really cute
I really love that area
its really beautiful

so this is where I'll end...the post is long enough!!!
I intended to bring us current and post this in August but things changed.
so its current through mid-august!

I have a lot of pictures of each of these activities and may revisit and post individual posts about each of them as well as some fun stuff from the last few weeks!! stand by