Legally wed (almost) a year. Here is the recap …

It was this time last year that our home state made our marriage legal. We were so excited, it was like a second wedding day. Sorta like that … but without rain, stress, arguments or blisters. Good times.

So in the spirit of a (sort of) one year wedding anniversary I compiled the top 10 best of best things that happened this last year, our first full year of being legally married in our home state.

  1. We survived new car envy. She bought I convertible, I got jealous. We now share our vehicles. Whats mine is mine. What is yours is now mine too. I’m pretty sure it was in the vows.96a9c5c0cecad209aedb00bb45a2dffa
  2. The kids went away for the summer and we managed to focus a little time on us. Every relationship needs a little space alone to develop. Ours developed into missing the kids after a couple month extended honeymoon. Whatever works.Summer-of-Love
  3. We went to the beach, several times. There is nothing like feeling the sand between your toes. Or the sand hitting you in the face as it swirls around the car, coming off your beach gear. That’s what happens when you shove the sandy gear into the back of that super cute, top down convertible you HAD to take for the trip.  11137193_1011165278894072_8677361988249007150_n
  4. We watched fireworks for the 4th, from our mountain spot, all by ourselves. It was kinda romantic and super beautiful. The other fireworks throughout the year on the mountain, likely scaring the neighbors into calling for backup, maybe not so much romantic as horrifying. We are trying to keep our arguments to ourselves now. Sorry y’all. 11403087_1036972702979996_7696834849185982622_n
  5. We learned to budget. Just kidding, no we didn’t. We bought a new car and went to the beach a few times. We can’t seem to save any money. I have no idea why. Saving Money
  6. She learned to cook. Well, not really cook, but she can grill like nobody’s business. Thinking about our 1 year anniversary steak dinner she magically produced is making me hungry, 3 months later. sunset-2
  7. I changed my last time to hers. Finally. She ran out and changed the name on the mailbox … I am still learning to sign it. Or to recolonize it when called. fa38b4ca80e150dc2a1e9445abc452b4
  8. We made new friends. Together. Couple friends. That isn’t easy considering we are so different. It is almost like getting a raise, the one you don’t think it will ever happen. All of a sudden you are eating more than soup from a can, in your one room apartment, while talking to your cat before bedtime at 8pm. It’s a big wide world out there when you have couple friends to go explore it with. friends_cast_004a
  9. We found new things to explore together. Places to go, things to do, food to eat and fancy new beer to try. Again, a big deal because when we first met we didn’t have much more in common than mutual lust. No shame. None. 3190410_13213875_lz
  10. Last but certainly most important: Nobody was seriously injured or died. I’m not kidding, it was a close call a few times. Marriage is hard, apparently so is smothering your beloved with a pillow. wpid-wp-1432838209051.jpeg

Guess who decided to throw an impromptu party?

It was a typical Tuesday and I was feeling a little stuffy and stuck in a weekday slump. I must have temporarily lost my mind because I decided to have a bonfire party at our house … this Friday. Seemed easy enough, I will buy some beer and chips and invite some people out.

Nothing is ever that simple. Not in my world. I have no idea what kind of fog I was walking around in and now that I’m awake and it’s Friday a.k.a. “we are partying at your house tonight, right?” I am just a bit concerned.

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I needed this … yesterday.

I pre-party shopped last night, the night before my event. That was a first. I am always on top of these things. I am always a great hostess. I always think these things through with lists and check marks and real thought. Not this time.

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Everytime.

Although I hated it I handled that Wal-Mart cart, at 9 pm on a work night, like a boss. Narrowly avoiding free running children, detouring isle blockage, and dodging wild eyed class moms with cart loads of birthday cupcakes. I should get an award for making it out alive.

This is not my thing.

If I must shop the Wally I do it at 2 am on a Saturday with like 5 other people who are not interested in chit chat. Get your crap and get out kinda people. My people. I am not the week night last minute I’ve put it off so long I have to do it now with everyone else who is a procrastinator.

Except this week.

I think I covered all the essentials; I got the beer in 3 brands, an assortment of 2 liters, wine, chips, veggies, hummus, dips, a cheese and cracker assortment and stuff for the kids to make s’mores.

What I didn’t consider was a sheet to cover every pile of embarrassing clutter in my entire house. I am still wondering how much time it would take to buy enough covering to make my house look like one of those old abandoned houses in movies.

Or If I have enough time to hire someone to27fdae9b766b5bc20bdabc8b75571559 come clean up the house before anyone arrives tonight.

Or if I should cancel altogether. I could just drink the wine and eat my cheese plate alone.

I might even have enough beer to last us a few weeks. It might be totally fine.

We will probably spend all our time laughing and enjoying company around the bonfire.

My guests will probably not be attacked by dust bunnies.

What I didn’t consider was a sheet to cover every pile of embarrassing clutter in my entire house. I am still wondering how much time it would take to buy enough covering to make my house look like one of those old houses in movies. Or If I have enough time to hire someone to come clean up the house before anyone arrives tonight. Or if I should cancel altogether and drink and eat my cheese plate alone.

I will probably not be harshly judged on my lack of Martha Stewart level living. Probably.
fbb21528abf93b53f3a22f45589c0417 At any rate we have plenty of beer, if anyone starts looking scared I will just offer them another and a cracker from the cheese plate. I’ve got this. If I pull this off it will be a miracle.

A hostess with the mostest miracle.

Happy National Beer Day! Or something like that

If you have paid any attention to social media today you know today is National Beer Day. A holiday to some and a simple Monday for others.

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Once upon a time I was a wine and mixed drinks only kinda gal. I snubbed my “drinking age adult” nose at all efforts to serve me beer at social functions.

Then I met J.
My beer loving, social drinking sweetheart.

When we met she had, and I’m not exaggerating, cans of Miller Light and some bottled water in her fridge. That’s it. I nearly had second thoughts about what I was getting myself into. I’ve come a long way since then and she has too. Thanks to her I’ve learned to enjoy craft beer and look forward to trying new selections. She now has a brewery date any time she wants. Plus now has an upgraded fridge with food selections and bottled beer. Classy.

We’re lucky enough to live in a huge craft brew area of Western NC which means I’ve had a chance to taste test the best of the best. It’s a whole new world.

For all of you who are still beer shy I offer you this newbies guide to beer.

Try a flight the next time you are in a place you can try some brews.  You can sample several types and find your style. This is great for sampling seasonal beer too. Don’t be too shy to try something new. Even if you don’t like one of the selections you aren’t out the cost of a pint.

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A flight at a local brewery.

Ask your server / bartender for a recommendation. If your server is a non beer drinker he / she can still tell you what’s ordered most often.  Sometimes you can even taste test before you commit, just be courteous of your bartenders time. If the bar is full they may not have the time to tell you to stop being an asshole and order already.

Head to your favorite restaurant for Pint Night. These are great nights to enjoy a new beer because you get to keep the glass. That’s right. You can keep the glass. That means no more red solo cups at your next party. You can serve your friends in real glasses. Like grown ups.

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Free glassware! Pint glasses from local pint nights.

Try a selection which pairs well with your food this summer. There is something about a super cold beer on a beautiful evening, or afternoon, whatever your fancy. Having a burger? Pretty much any beer goes well with a burger hot off the grill but if you must narrow your choice try a medium bodied Ale. Chicken more your thing? Try a lighter Lager or a Wheat selection. These beers pair well with pasta dishes as well if you are not already having wine. Having a bite which is a bit heavier? Sharing an appetizer at your local pub? Try a Porter or Stout. while my least favorite, these brews have the most flavor and will be a dark, rich beer.

Grab some friends and attend a craft beer festival. There are many, many to choose from in our area. If there are none in your locality you should move. Pack your things and head someplace more fun immediately.Life is too short to be bored.

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Still lost on what to try? Lets compare to basic a wine selection. Light bodied beers such as the Lager and Wheat are much like the white wines we know and love, a Pinot or Sauvignon Blanc. There are also hard ciders crafted from a variety of fruit which compare to a sweet Moscato. Your medium bodied beers, such as the Ale are like nice mellow Merlot. The darker heavier bodied beers, which I have yet to work myself up to fully appreciating, such as the Porter and Stout are like the Cabernet of the wine world.

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So the next time you find yourself an occasion to have a brewsky, be it a Monday night after work or National Beer Day, be sure to try something new.

Live adventurous. Be brave and always have a DD.