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Blessings & Memories

Whew!  Where have the last 2 weeks gone?!  I don’t know about you but I’m trying to remember where the last 14 days went! There was playoff baseball, my 10-year wedding anniversary, work, dentist appointment, Browns games to watch, late work meeting, and keeping the everyday household in order while Mark is working 7 days a week 12 hours a day getting the new store ready to open!  Wow! 

So….1st let me say-on his only day off in the last  2 weeks, I had a fun trip to the Cleveland Aquarium located on the West Bank of the Flats in Cleveland last Saturday with Mark.  Thanks to Positively Cleveland posting that you could have free admission with your game tickets from the last 6 Indians games, we had the chance to check it out at no cost!  Now that’s a savings!  I absolutely loved being able to touch the sting rays and the turtles!  They were huge!  The fact that it is in the same building where we used to eat at Rock Bottom Brewery is pretty cool.  The repurposed space still gives the industrial feel of the original building but with a new twist.  The sharks were HUMUNGO!!!

Touching the stingrays & turtles....so cool!

Touching the stingrays & turtles….so cool!

Fish are so fascinating!  Scary Sharks that make me want to stay out of the ocean!  Turtles rescued and now happy at the Aquarium.

Fish are so fascinating! Scary Sharks that make me want to stay out of the ocean! Turtles rescued and now happy at the Aquarium.

It was a beautiful early fall day with sunshine and warm breezes.  After the fish visit, we headed to The Melting Pot at Legacy Village for dinner to celebrate our anniversary.  I’m thoroughly surprised we were able to walk after that meal!  My favorite part had to be the Bananas Foster Fondue for dessert.  I seriously could go there everyday just for all the different styles of chocolate fondue they have!!  The best part about the meal was the joy & laughter we shared while “fondueing” our food.  Our server was a trip laughing right along with us and made the visit even better.

"Fondue Date Night"

“Fondue Date Night”

I can hardly believe we’ve been married 10 years already!  Seems like just yesterday we were standing in front of our family & closest friends saying our vows.  It may have rained buckets on our wedding day, but married life has been better than a girl could ever hope for.  I definitely have the best husband ever!  Sorry to all of you still looking since I already got the best one there was!  🙂

Niagara Falls, NY September 27, 2003

Niagara Falls, NY
September 27, 2003

10-7 anni

I realized this past week just how truly blessed I am.  With Mark working long days and basically coming home just to eat a meal, shower, sleep & repeat the next day, I’ve kind of gotten a taste of what it would be like to not have him.  Yes, thanks to modern technology, we can talk several times through the day or text, but I sure do miss him in the evenings.  Not just because I get to do all the house stuff like mow the grass, feed the dogs, make meals pack lunches, clean, do laundry and all that other stuff…..I miss him being there.  Just knowing he’s in the next room gives me a peace & feeling of contentment.  He’s home, he’s safe and I can hug him, kiss him and see him any time I want!  I got married when I was 33.  That’s late in life by some standards and right on time by others.  I spent my late 20’s and early 30’s wondering if I would ever find that certain person who was meant to be for me.  Was God going to have me live single all my years or what?  I figured it was out of my hands and left it up to Him and wouldn’t you know, I met Mark.  Yes, we met on E-Harmony!  Back when it was just getting started.  Less than 2 months after we met, I knew he was the one.  Honestly–I think we both knew after a few weeks!! It was instant.  People use the term “love at first sight” and I am a true believer in that.  We were married 8 months later and here we are.  Not every day is ideal and we have rough times just like other people.  But, there is no yelling or shouting or mean words.  We can disagree, but truly when you love each other, you do everything possible NOT to hurt them-with words or actions.  Both Mark & I have exceptional parents who have been married for almost half a century.  What a legacy!  They’ve set the example and we now follow it.  My hope is that those who follow behind us, see a loving marriage between 2 people who place the other on the highest pedestal possible.  That’s what marriage is all about.  It’s not about you —-it’s about your spouse.  So, if the little things I can do make life better for Mark, then I’m successful!  I love him!  If you are married & you’re reading this, stop & go hug your spouse.  Doesn’t matter what they’re doing–interrupt!  It’s the little surprises that keep ’em guessing!!  🙂10-7 aan 3

Just remember that middle age doesn’t mean the end of things–it’s the beginning of something–whatever you choose.  It’s never too late to show your spouse what they really mean to you.  Even if it’s just a post-it note on the bathroom mirror saying “I love you” it matters!!  I always tell Mark that I don’t need a dozen roses to know he loves me.  I simply need him to reach for my hand when we are walking into a store, kiss me when he gets home or maybe just empty the dishwasher after I run it (inside joke–I hate emptying the dishwasher!)  It’s a cliché but it’s true–Life is short and we are not promised tomorrow.  Make the most of today.  You can’t rewind time so savor what you have and love with purpose unconditionally.My favorite saying

PS–Cleveland fans—-we know how to support our teams!  Even after the Tribe lost, even after the injury that knocked out our QB, we still carry on.  It’ll happen…someday…maybe while I’m still breathing on this earth!

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“Falling” into the weekend!-Part 2

First, I’ll tell you a little about the weekend & then share some thoughts (the thoughts are mine-so get ready!)  What a fun-filled Friday!!  Joined by 2 friends, my husband & I spent Friday in Cleveland eating & laughing & eating some more!  We spent the evening watching the Indians defeat the Astros to take possession of the #2 Wild Card spot in the AL!!  WOOHOO!!

Steve’s Gyros at West Side Market–if you haven’t had one—GO NOW!!!

Eating Steve's Gyros at West Side Market!

Eating Steve’s Gyros at West Side Market!

A stop at Great Lakes Brewery & on E. 4th Street before heading to the game.

A stop at Great Lakes Brewery & on E. 4th Street before heading to the game.

The Social Media night at the Indians game DID NOT DISAPPOINT!  Hot Dogs, Pulled pork, Pulled BBQ chicken, mac & cheese, chips, potato salad, soda & more–all you could eat (and we did-even after that GYRO!) plus giveaways, the chance to hear Mike Aviles & Mike Chernoff answer fan questions, Nick Swisher “Brohio” t-shirts and TONS of social media freaks that all LOVE the Tribe!!

Onion!

Onion!

Social Media Night at the Tribe Game

Social Media Night at the Tribe Game

We made it thru the 7th inning stretch before the skies opened up and the rain deluge began!  With most of us realizing this was most likely the last baseball we’d see played at Progressive that night, we headed for the parking lots and made our way home.  And boy did it RAIN–we were dripping wet by the time we got to the truck but laughing too.  It was a wet but fun ending to the day.

The rains came down as the floods came up!

The rains came down as the floods came up!

Saturday I met my mom for lunch at a local bakery, Maggie’s Magic Muffins, in Austintown.  If you are ever there-try the Snow Bird Muffin (it’s coconut crème filled!) The rest of the weekend has been the normal weekend duties of groceries, cleaning, more cleaning, and REST after the long day Friday.

It’s the first day of fall today–Officially!  Change of seasons-one of the reasons living in Ohio is not so bad.  I now have orange lights decorating my bushes (NOT in honor of the Browns!), scarecrows in the flowerbeds, mums in the flower pots, and pumpkins & cornstalks will be arriving this week to complete the decor for the front of the house.  Yes, I love warm weather but I also love pumpkins, decorating the yard with cornstalks and mums, hayrides, bonfires, hot cocoa and the chilly air that means you have to wear a sweatshirt when you go out.  Yes, I’d also prefer to skip all that white flaky stuff that’s destined to fall in the coming months and bring ice and frigid temps that require 6 layers of clothing, coats, hats & gloves just to go get the newspaper off the front porch! 🙂  But it’s going to happen, regardless of what I want.

 Just like the weather changes, so do other things & situations in my life—EVERY day it seems.  Sometimes, I am perfectly fine with them–other times, not so much.  I grumble, I mumble, I resist and yet, it still happens.  I choose how I react & I choose the attitude and approach I’m going to use to deal with whatever the current change is.  I can react like I am with the cooler fall weather by embracing the change and making the best of it, even if I don’t like it.  I choose to make this fall season enjoyable & I’m learning that is exactly how I need to react to change and to new “seasons” in life.  Less mumbling & grumbling and more “pumpkins and mums”! 🙂  Trust me–I fail often.  I’m not one that can disguise her feelings and so if I’m unhappy with something, it shows.  But, even in these middle-aged years of my life, I know that I am still learning about life and attempting to improve myself and that will continue right up until my last breath I’m sure.  Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don’t.  But I’ll keep trying.  The seasons will keep changing and so will my life.  The question is, how often will I have “pumpkins and mums” after the change?!

(PS–I’m watching the Browns game while I write this–talk about reacting to CHANGE!! 🙂  If you’re a Browns fan–this post is for YOU!)