Saturday, February 21, 2009

Missing Family

Ryan was supposed to have a "Concealed to Carry" Class today from 8-5:30...so he left the house at 7:30 am this morning. He returned at 8:15, because it turned out the class isn't until tomorrow. It was quite a surprise to me and excitement that I would get a WHOLE day of Ryan to myself. I think his misconception was meant to be--because I received a call from my Mom and Dad at 10:30am telling me that Grandpa Rudy had passed away. If I wouldn't have had Ryan there to hold my hand today--this would've been a really tough day.

This morning he passed away in his home, at the presence of my Grandma. My Grandma and Grandpa were the most devoted, in-love couple I have ever seen. Whenever they spoke of each other--twinkles were literally seen in their eyes. Now my Grandma is going to have to face life without him.

All I wish is to have been able to see him one more time. When I saw him at Thanksgiving, he was in great health. I never would've dreamt about it being the last time seeing him. I was expecting to see him in May when I visit this summer. He had been in the hospital for 2 weeks, but was discharged home on Thursday. I thought he was on the slow road to recovery. I never got to visit him in the hospital, I never got to give him a good lasting hug, I never got to say goodbye.

All I can do now is think about how wonderful of a man he was. As a child, I would go visit him at the shop next to our house while he worked on his engines (not as much time as my sister, Lisa, did...who practically grew up in that shop). I remember getting so excited hearing his old pickup rolling down the road to our house. Within seconds I would be running across the yard to visit him at the shop. I don't even remember what we talked about when I'd go visit--I just remember watching him work and enjoying the moments spent. (I'm sure I just talked his ears off.....)

What I wouldn't do right now to be able to go back in time and spend time with him. I would go to the shop, and learn as much as possible about his life. I would ask so many questions. He was such a wise man wish so much experience. He has seen so much. He's been through the great depression, he served in the war, he raised a family, and he watched numerous grandchildren grow before his eyes.

All I can think about is how essential it is to know, experience, and love the lives that surround us!! Don't wait for "next time you visit" to really hug those people, because you'll never know if that's the last chance you'll get. Never be shy to really tell them how much you love and honor them. For when they are gone from your life.......all you will yearn for is to tell them that they impacted your life.

So NEVER forget to tell your family how truly loved they are. Experience and enjoy every moment that you get with them, for those moments are treasures in history.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentines Day

In the past, Valentines Day was one to be despised. I would wear black, feel irritation, and basically dread the god-awful day of cheesy couples prancing around celebrated the day of love. .........Well, a few years later--things have changed dramatically, for I am now one of those "googly-eyed fools"...except on February 13, not 14.

Last year Ryan & I had really big tests the day after V-day...so knew that V-day would be spent long and arduously in the library. So we celebrated it the night before. It was amazing. We went out to dinner, and we didn't have to wait for a table--it wasn't busy, and we were one of the only people eating out on a random February night. Then on the 14th, we basically had the library ALL to ourselves, and it was amazing.


So this year rolled around, and we decided "Why not make it a tradition!?" Ryan & I are so enthuistic about our love, we have to celebrate it a day early! So we went to the gym after class Friday night, had a fun and hard work out--headed to the commissary and picked out our food and drink for the feast.

We got home and as I unloaded the groceries, Ryan had to run to the store to get some strawberries. He came back with beautiful yellow tulips, and Austi-Tosti (our favorite sparkling wine.....introduced to us Thanks to Ryan's mom :D). Ryan & I had decided not to do any gifts this year, so the flowers were a surprise (and they are my favorite flower ever..so he did well)


So after shower, getting ready, I donned my apron and we began to cook! The menu for the night was grilled Filet Mignon, scalloped potatoes, and asparagus. We planned on having Strawberry Shortcakes for desert, but were too full and decided to save them for actually valentines day evening.

As the dry rub was marinating the steaks, Ryan poured us some refeshing Mojitos, and we started on the scalloped potatoes.


And the finished product was delightful.... :)
As the potatoes were baking in the oven, we put on our coats and went out for a nice hand-in-hand evening walk. Throughout the night we laughed and relived the story of our first meeting, the beginning days, and how we fell in love. We came to the conclusion that God truly must've really wanted us to meet because we were BOTH very anti-relationship when we entered our sophomore years at UND...and were dating head-over-heals within two months!!

After our walk, I put the asparaus on the stove, and Ryan grilled the Filet Mignon. The finished product was absolutely beyond amazing.

(I am well aware that we are dorky for putting our Save the Date card in the display)

After our dinner, our cheeks hurt from laughter, and our tummies were very very full. We did the dishes, and headed to the couch for some relaxation after a wonderful evening!

Saturday morning, we woke up and made a wonderful healthy nutrition breakfast of egg white, spinach, and pepper breakfast burritos! We made a LARGE pot of coffee--put it on our traveling thermos, and headed to the library for a day of studying. We found a study room at the library (Yes, we were one of the only people at the library Saturday morning at 9....) and studied alll day long!

(We took a brief break to have a sandwich in a garden courtyard to enjoy the beautiful day). We returned home, and hit the books again. Finally at the end of hte evening it was time to relax again--and it was valentines day #2. We rearranged the furniture in the living room, layed out blankets and pillows, and watched a Romantic comedy. We did the same tradition as last year, and had pizza and beer for our evening feast....but didn't eat TOO much pizza--because we still had the Strawberry shortcakes!

Ryan assembled the shortcakes, and they tasted absolutely amazing...and were accompanied with 2 chocolate covered strawberries, and a glass of Austi-tosti :)


The evening was extremely relaxing and fun. The entire weekend was very rejuvenating and made us realize just how lucky we are to have each other! In the midst of all the fun & romantic dinners, and visits to the gym....we even put in 14 hours at the library in a matter of 2 days!!!