Thursday, May 27, 2010

Special Events

Been a while, eh? Well, blogging friends & blog-stalkers, that just goes to show how crazy school has been because I lack time to both write AND do something blog-worthy. A double whammy. Life has a way of going on, though, doesn't it? There have been some wonderful events in the Reich-Hogen-Thurner-Rosener-Park family. Wouldn't it be crazy if instead of taking one or hyphenating two names at marriage, everyone in your family had to take the additional name?! Just a random thought. They happen.

Okay - events - BIG ones. First, Clara and Evelyn were baptized! Oh the little beauties were just two lil' peaches on their special day. Trained well (haha). Ceej and I were happy happy happy to be able to see the baptism because fun time is slim around these parts, especially if it means hours in the car.

My neice, Elliana, turned 3 whopping years old yesterday! I wasn't there, but it deserved notification. She's the cutest lil' lady you'll ever see. Unless, of course, you have your own daughter - then you're biased.

Next, my sister-in-law, Jenny, was rescued from the hottest day of the year by our Godson! Lucas Xavier was born May 24th in the wee hours of the morning weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces at 21 inches long. He decided that his mom's day off in their non-air-conditioned home was a good time to grace us all with his presence (allowing her to beat-the-heat in the air-conditioned hospital while not being 9 months pregnant). What a gentleman.

And, finally, Ceej and I have celebrated our first year of marriage. We woke up early and went to breakfast at Altoona Family Restaurant (where else?), attended the baptism of our nieces in Stillwater, and then headed to the cities for the Twins vs. Brewers game. The tickets were a surprise for him from me - he's a huge Twins fan! We decided to take turns planning an anniversary surprise for one another, and I have the odd years (no pun intended). SO, for numero uno we watched the game, and I kept the secret planning process zipped for a whole week! That sounds better than "I couldn't bare it any more and told him everything Friday night, when our anniversary was on Sunday." After the game (where we probably lost about 10 pounds each via perspiration), we had dinner at Cancun. Then we climbed the mountain where we got engaged, and Ceej played guitar in the moonlight and sang me a song he'd written. Okay, you caught me. I had an assignment due at midnight, so we sat next to one another on the couch and I completed it while he enjoyed every second of "Minute to Win it."

It was a great day and -better yet- a great year. We have been truly blessed to have one another and thoroughly enjoy our first year of marriage - looking forward to the wonders of our future. A little recap of our year: became roommates, honeymooned in Duluth, spent the summer livin' the dream with both of us working full-time and then coming home to spend time with one another, I started school (a story in itself), gained 2 nieces and a nephew/Godson, spent a week in Jamaica, a weekend getaway at Metropolis Resort, attended 4 weddings, grew a garden, killed some plants, learned how to cook guacamole, salsa, and a few other things, took lots of walks & bike rides & runs, spent a week with my family's at our cabin, got sick a few times, been in awe of one another, laughed (a lot), cried (me - a lot - regarding school - poor Ceej), and countless other milestones. It was better than anyone could have dreamed - simple & perfect. I can't believe how close we've come & how much we've grown as a couple, and I look forward to every minute of our life together.

So, that was the past week. I also took 2 exams in Rochester yesterday AND learned how to stretch my lumbricals. If you're interested in changing your life, do the following: First, your lumbricals are the muscles between the metacarpal bones in your hand - palm (or volar, if you will) side, which are innervated by the median nerve and are commonly affected by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, because I'm sure you were wondering. Anyway, what you do is basically make a "claw" by hyperextending your hand with a pencil "rolled up" in your 4 fingers. I don't know if that makes sense, but you know you're doing it right if it feels like leather is being stretched across the inside of your palm and, for a brief moment, you know what Heaven will be life. Being a heavy-computer-user myself, this stretch has made my hands some happy campers. I do it often. Maybe excessively. If you're interested in seeing the lumbricals, to know what you're working with, they're the purple muscles in this simplified picture:

As a side note, I came home after 2 days in Rochester and 7 hours of sleep over 2 nights to finding out that my husband had planted us a beautiful garden! I just love him.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jammin' in Jamaica

Rats! I definitely intended to write more about our vacay in Jamaica, but you'll have to settle for the brief version because I have a module (like an online class with an additional 60 text book pages to read) due at midnight. First off, we LOVED it. It was an amazing time to spend together with (gasp!) no phones/TV/homework/distractions. Here is the view we saw outside our balcony each morning:

Don't get me wrong, this little all-inclusive-resort was by NO means a 5 star place... we realized this upon arriving as we had to hold the elevator button down until it reach our floor, which it falsely declared as the 4th (it was the 6th). Then, we found a little cockroach in the bathroom. No problem, mon! We were looking for a fun-filled vacation to be TOGETHER, experience a new country, and lounge on the beach/poolside for far too many hours soaking up enough sun so I wouldn't feel deprived this summer; that, my friends, is EXACTLY what we got.

Here is a general synopsis of our wonderful schedule: Wake up around 8:30, get in our suits & put on sunscreen, go to the yummy buffet, go sit poolside for a couple hours, participate in Aquacise (a 30 minute pool exercise program put on by one of the fun workers - way too entertaining), reapply sunscreen, lay by or swim around in the pool again, play in the warm ocean, decline about 5 offers to purchase paraphernalia and hair braiding, go have lunch & reapply sunscreen, go back to the ocean and/or pool to lay, go in the ocean and/or pool to swim and play, maybe ride on the fast sailboat or kayak, go lay down again, go back to our room and load on aloe to our sunburned bods, shower & get dressed up, go to one of the fancy restaurants for dinner (steak, shrimp, pasta, the works), have a couple drinks while watching the reggae band play, attend whatever activity was put on by the place (e.g., dancing, beach party, circus show, magician, & karaoke, to name a few).

Oh, MAN, I wish I was back there! Although I have been dreaming about it every night, so that's the next best thing. Our resort was very laid back and "more liberal than Sandals", according to one of the workers (whom we also declined paraphernalia from). The people that worked there were SO fun and outgoing and excellent dancers. Example: We were playing a game with some and I commented on their amazing dance skills... so they break out in a dance to whatever was playing... then literally start a "dance party" where even the lifeguards came to the area and started dancing to the music (which was always playing). This went on for about a half an hour and looked like a planned or choreographed event. Ahhhh the memories...

Our flight back included a 9 hour layover in Miami, so we checked our luggage and took a bus to "Miracle Mile" (a shopping/downtown area). We were QUITE tired, so we took an hour rest in a random (but nice) park. It was a beautiful day! After the delayed flight and drive home, we finally got in bed around 2 in the morning - a whopping 22 hour day of traveling. The only thing I would change about our time in Jamaica would be to extend it... it was glorious.

Now, sadly, I'm back in school. BARF. I was in tears today because I just want to hang out with my hubby and NOT be stuck in a room layered with too many fatty books entitled such things as "The Functional Anatomy of the Human Brain" and "A Function-Based Approach to Stroke Rehabilitation" listening to reggae music (true story - I'm slightly obsessed). Welcome to summer.

Note: Clearly I am not in the "school groove" yet, as this was not a short posting.