New York State of Mind

The rest of the story in a somewhat Wordless Wednesday (anyone remember the last time I did one of those? Me neither).

Because I missed it last time, here is the most awesome picture of the large pizza the fiance (!!!) and I finished off at Grimaldi’s.

pizza

Delicious.

And now? Our engagement weekend in pictures.

Stadium 13!

Stadium 13!

They never would have kept this up at Busch Stadium with that kind of rain.

They never would have kept this up at Busch Stadium with that kind of rain.

Brunch in the West Village!

Saturday brunch in the West Village!

highline

Highline in Chelsea.

fave

Cupcakes at Billy's!

Cupcakes at Billy’s!

Central Park, and obligatory stop by Strawberry Fields.

Central Park, and obligatory stop by Strawberry Fields.

Quidditch!

Quidditch!

Matilda on Broadway

Matilda on Broadway

Times Square

Times Square

Rockefeller Plaza

Rockefeller Plaza

South Tower Memorial Pool

South Tower Memorial Pool

And then possibly the best part. When we got home, he took me to the place where we had our first date, Ted Drewes. Waiting for us were friends and family ready to celebrate our brand new engagement.

This part was supposed to be a surprise as well, but my sister Melissa kind of spilled the beans before I was even off the plane. Granted, this is a good thing as if it had been a surprise, I would have burst into tears when I got there, and no one would have gotten a word out of me for an hour.

Emotion + exhaustion + excitement + THAT surprise = Ann’s meltdown.

We’re going to ignore that there were moments of meltdown, like when our friends from Springfield (3 hours away) walked up. Like hugging my best friend and nearly asking her to be my maid of honor right then and there (I did wait to ask….for a day). Like showing the video clip of the actual proposal to my mom and future mother in law.

Yeah. Tears.

Ted Drewes! Where we had our first date.

Ted Drewes! Where we had our first date.

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Hey Baby, I Think I Wanna Marry You

So this happened.

IMG_0084The story!

Friday morning, I was woken up at 450am (ick). I was really confused because Adam was waking me up, and I was kind of worried that I was sleeping through my alarm. Then I noticed that it was the four o’clock hour, not the five o’clock, and I was confused. Adam goes, “How much do you trust me?” which is not something to say to a not-quite-awake person. I, in my ever so eloquent state, mumbled, “Um, a lot?” So he told me to put my glasses on and handed me two half sheets of paper.

It took me a second to realize that it was a boarding pass. Then I registered that it said LaGuardia. Then I registered that my name was on it. AND THEN I registered that the date was for that day.

And then I flipped a little bit.

I asked about whether I needed to call into work. He told me it was taken care of. I reminded him of plans I’d had with April and Ali for the weekend. He told me they were fake plans, and that it was taken care of. He told me that I had one hour to pack and get ready (he did apologize profusely for me having to pack, but he wasn’t sure what I’d want, etc).

So I packed. Kind of. It took me a bit to figure out what I needed to take since all he would tell me is that I needed walking shoes, comfortable stuff for walking, and then something a little fancier for Saturday night. Do you know how difficult it is to pack multiple options into a tiny carry-on bag? Difficult. Mostly because of the shoes.

Anyway, as we drove off to the airport he played two songs for me. Sinatra’s New York and Jay-Z/Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind. I started teasing him about missing opportunities. Where was “Uptown Girl”? Where was “New York State of Mind”? Heh. As we were driving, I googled which baseball team was home because I know him, and obviously we were going to a game since I’d never been to either stadium.

After getting through security, he told me he had a surprise for me and handed me a little bag, out of which I pulled a fancy new camera. He said, “We are NOT taking just cell phone pictures while we’re in New York.” And then he handed me an envelope containing tickets to both a Yankees game (see?) and Matilda on Broadway.

People keep asking me if I had any idea this would be coming, but because he pulled out the tickets immediately, I really didn’t. I figured it was just a fun surprise since I’m trying to get to all the stadiums and have always wanted to go to NYC.

When we got there, we took our bags to the hotel and headed off to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

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He said he wanted to take me to a pizza place that came very highly recommended. As we were walking across the bridge, he was telling me how there were a ton of locks locked on the bridge, as people would write/engrave names/dates/etc on them and then leave them on the bridge. I thought this idea was awesome and was really bummed I didn’t know since I had an unused lock at home.
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Here’s where I have to interject that in hind sight, I was incredibly blind to just about everything once I figured out we were going to NYC, but during everything, I was just happy to be there.

We ate at this place called Grimaldi’s (omg, YUM), and after we finished off a large pizza (yep) we took a walk down to the Brooklyn Bridge Park. We were just kind of walking along, and I sat down to just look at Manhattan, as I was still marveling that I was there in the first place.

I caught movement out of the corner of my eye, and figuring he was getting up so we could keep walking I started to grab my stuff, but then froze as he was on one knee in front of me. My jaw just dropped as he slid the ring on my finger and asked me to marry him. I don’t even think I fully was able to choke out “of course I will” before I was crying and kissing him all at once. He told me later that he had been looking for a somewhat secluded area so it could be a private thing between the two of us, and for NYC he did ok. There were, though, six people who were walking behind us who started clapping and cheering for us, which I was surprisingly ok with.

We started walking back to the bridge to cross back over into Manhattan, and we hadn’t gotten more than 20 feet when he told me there was just one more thing and handed me a hunk of tissue paper, which contained the lock in the very first picture of this post. And then I cried again.

Shortly after, we stopped so I could call my family, and then we took a deep breath, knowing our phones were about to die, and put the picture on facebook and twitter.

And then our phones exploded.

We talked to his mom for a little bit as we walked back to the bridge, and then shoved the phones into bags and pockets to give us time to find a place to put the lock.

As we walked by one place, we realized that there weren’t too many locks and that we’d be able to get ours on pretty easily. It took us just a moment, but THEN we realized that the light post we were standing next to looked directly down at the bench where he proposed. So there we left it.

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And there we will go back to find it over the years. I will never see the Brooklyn Bridge, whether in pictures or TV/movies or in person without feeling very fluttery in my stomach, remembering the absolute apex of happiness in my life so far.

Happy

I am happy.

So happy that sometimes it feels unfair, like I’m taking more than my share. I recognize this is flawed logic, but still.

Reasons that I’m happy!

  • Just spent the most PERFECT weekend with GCB. Pub crawl Saturday, quiet Sunday, anniversary and Cardinals home opener Monday, and waffles and turning in the keys to my old apartment Tuesday. I don’t know that I can fully express JUST how good it feels to be done, DONE, with the old place. When I moved in, I was finally back to living alone (which I truly enjoy). But this, the living with the boyfriend thing, is SO MUCH BETTER than living alone. That and the perfect weather on Monday, baseball being back, recreating our first date (Ted Drewes!!), and just relaxing made all four days out of work so worth it. Going back to work today was rough. Ha.
  • This weekend my lovely friend Josey, along with her awesome husband and daughter, are coming to St Louis! Baseball, good friends, beers. What more could you ask for?
  • NEXT weekend, my roommate from my freshman year of college, Laura, and her husband are coming in for the Tap’n’Run. That weekend will be HOCKEY, good friends, and beers. And running.
  • And then there are the plans. OH the plans! Trips to the lake and to Chicago; my sister, brother-in-law, and adorable nephew coming to Missouri in July; going to visit family in Baltimore in May; concerts, baseball games, SUMMER, a new nephew!!!
  • On top of that (there’s more?!). The running. And GCB running WITH me! Tough Mudder in September, then a month later a Halloween half marathon. I am SO excited to have him want to share in these type moments with me. I really hit the jackpot finding him.

Things are just so, SO good right now. I feel lucky every single day.

Perma-grin, right over here.

I Like to Move It, Move It

Dudes. It happened. Moving happened.

My apologies on the silence, but seriously, do you know how much time it takes to go through three years of accumulated junk? Long time. And now it will take time to unpack a majority of said junk (the stuff that made it through my THROW AWAY ALL THE THINGS phase). BUT. Moving is done.

My boyfriend is my roommate, and that is AWESOME.

And, because I’m so much more excited about the bread nuggets in this salad than I should be, I’ll leave you with a picture. This is the view from the roof of our building.

I love this place.

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Two Weeks

Two weeks from today GCB and I sign the lease to our very awesome, very OURS, very downtown loft.

Guys, I am FINALLY moving back into the city!!! I lived in the Central West End for a year back in 2008, and I LOVED it. I loved being able to run for less than half a mile and end up in Forest Park. I loved walking to assorted eateries and coffee shops. I loved the noise, the PACE, the fact that it seemed to pulse on exceptionally busy days. I moved straight to U City after the CWE and have been here for the last four years.

But oh man, I am so excited to get back. This time it will be even better! This time I’ll be MUCH more financially stable. Not to mention the whole “walking distance to both Busch Stadium AND Scottrade” thing; being super close to things like our favorite restaurant, my dentist, and the place I would go for PT on my hip; guaranteed parking spots; grocery store super close; etc.

The fact that I’m finally going to officially live with GCB? Icing on the cake.

The only problem? It’s still two weeks away. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW FAR AWAY THAT IS?!

You see, two weeks is too long to go ahead and pack my kitchen, since we still use the majority of stuff frequently (hell, yesterday I used a pie plate to make chicken pot pie….when I’d originally thought I’d be packing it yesterday). Clothes? Yeah, right. I live in the midwest. I will probably need t-shirts AND hoodies over the next couple weeks. And you’ll all be pleased to know that no, in fact I cannot pack my bathroom stuff either as I’m quite attached to regular bathing.

I just…..I want to move NOW. I want it as bad as this Harbaugh wants cake. I WANT IT NOW.

I Belong with You, You Belong with Me, My Sweetheart

You all know that I am by no means a fan of Valentine’s Day. Not the hooplah, not the expectations, not the hurt feelings, not much of anything. Since I have been with GCB I have had a few people ask me if I was going to change my mind. No. No I’m not. He’s working tonight, and I’ll either be lifting or working through season eight of House.

That said, about a week ago Josey posted a wonderful list about her husband and the ten reasons that he’s the one for her.

I loved every single bit of it.

You see, I have been saying for the last 10 months that every single day GCB says or does something or I experience something that makes me fall even more in love with him. Every single day, without fail.

So today, in a rather abrupt departure from the type of post I would normally put up about this holiday (or the lack of post because really, it’s just another day for us), you get my list about GCB.

10. Because he makes me laugh. Our senses of humor are incredibly similar, and that fact keeps us laughing together every single day. It can be the mostly-asleep snickers that happen when he says something silly as he’s crawling into bed with me after an evening shift, or the silly jokes he makes about Frosted Flakes and dead toenails (just go with it), or even just the way he tells a story. The man’s funny.

9. Because he makes me feel like the most beautiful person in the world. He isn’t stingy with his compliments, and the way his eyes follow me, even if I’m just in a sweatshirt and jeans, makes me strut. He tells me every day that I’m beautiful. Lately I haven’t been feeling like my normal, confident self, which is entirely due to me not working out in four solid weeks, but throughout that time I’ve never had a single doubt that he is entirely attracted to me.

8. Because he is excited to experience new things with me. Training for and running Tough Mudder will be the first time he comes into my running world as more than just a spectator. I don’t play hockey, but he can certainly run. I love that he is not only willing, but entirely eager to get to share this part of my life with me rather than just watching as I disappear into the distance.

7. Because of the way he kisses me. There are the deep, meaningful, passionate kisses that leave me absolutely weak in the knees. Or the soft ones on my temple or top of my head as we’re curled up together. Or the ones when he gets home where he seems to be working on kissing every spot on my face he can get to. The best ones, though, are the ones from when we are reunited, no matter how long we’ve been apart. They are the ones that are so powerful, so staggeringly good at conveying one simple fact. That he missed me.

6. Because of the way he loves his family. I love spending time with him and his family because it is so obvious that he cares so very much for all of them. Family is hugely important to me, and I am so glad to be with someone for whom that feeling is the same. Not to mention seeing him play with his nieces me melts me into an absolute puddle of goo from my ovaries all the way out to my fingertips.

5. Because he is as big of a nerd as I am. Perhaps his nerdiness is in different areas, but we both definitely have a geeky side. I love that I could bring home a Ravenclaw pin for him as a souvenir from Harry Potter World that was meant for the Quidditch bag he had previously bought for himself. I love that he just gets it.

4. Because he is easy to talk to. I can talk to him about ANYTHING. I haven’t ever once felt embarrassed or self-conscious about anything I thought or felt, nor have I ever felt judged for holding a firm opinion. Even if we’re talking about nothing, he’s a fun conversationalist.

3. Because he is my biggest fan. Through Ragnar, through three half marathons and a full that I didn’t train for, he was there, encouraging me on and cheering for me and building me up when I felt low. He’s always so proud of me for the things I accomplish, and he doesn’t shy away from telling me.

2. Because he accepts every single facet of me. My quirks, my oddities, my opinions, everything about me, to him, is perfect. I have never and will never have to worry about being asked (or coerced) into changing one iota of myself. He loves me for me.

1. Because being with him has made me really and truly believe in the heart-stopping, breathtaking type of love that for the longest time I didn’t think really existed. I am far less cynical because of him. As recently as a year ago, I was the type who would scoff at the people who said, “I just knew,” because duh, you can’t “just know.” And then the universe laughed. I have known since our first date that I wanted to BE with him. I have known since very shortly into our relationship that I had fallen and would continue to fall hopelessly, unequivocally, end-over-teakettle in love with him. I have known for a LONG time now that I will marry this man. This love is powerful and real, and it has CHANGED me.

us

He is my person. He is who I want to share every high and every low with. His are the arms I run to in celebration and for comfort. He has the dimple I hope to one day have passed along to my children. He is who I want to wake up to every single day and whose arms I want wrapped around me every night.

He is the extra shot of espresso in the latte I call life.

He makes me better, he makes me want to BE better.

He is without the slightest hint of a doubt my best friend and the love of my life.

I am so, so happy he’s mine.

Enter Sandman

Up until this morning, every single waking second since my marathon has been spent with me fighting to keep my eyes open, to keep myself upright.

Apparently running/walking for 26 miles makes a person tired.

Getting sick-ish on top of that was just a bonus in the “how tired can Ann get” game.

Really tired, apparently.

I was going to spend this past weekend doing absolutely nothing but laying around my apartment, relaxing, catching up on sleep, etc, but then late last week I got a very special email. Remember my hockey blog? Right, well, remember that last year I got to go hang out at the Cardinals Winter Warm-Up complete with media credentials from the Cardinals blog in the network? Yeah, that happened again. So instead of my very relaxing weekend, I spent it on the motherfucking GO. All three days of my three day weekend. Gogogogogogo.

I could hardly keep my eyes open all day yesterday.

So last night I went to bed at 930. I hardly woke up when GCB got home (close to midnight….I think) and slept straight on through til 7am. I was supposed to get up around six, but I reset my alarm and kept right on snoozing.

Today? I feel FANTASTIC. This is the most awake I’ve felt in WEEKS. You know what not being tired does to a person? Makes that person HAPPY!!

This is not to say that I haven’t been happy, but oh my goodness being rested just started my day off so well.

Add that to the fact that this morning I spent a little time filling out my part of the application on an apartment for GCB and myself, plus tonight being a girls’ “wine and Magic Mike” night, well, I’ve been damn near giddy all day.

Guys, there are BIG changes ahead. Big, awesome, incredible changes that I am just so anxious to get to.

Today is a great day.