Gone (Apparently In An Instant) Girl

The longer I go without writing here the more exciting and triumphant I feel the next I post I write needs to be. I want to be here telling you all about fabulous tales and exciting developments that have kept me from writing, but instead I think today we are just going to get right back on the horse and talk about something really important: Ben Affleck’s junk.

Gone Girl

I went to see Gone Girl this weekend – a movie that I was incredibly nervous about seeing because I devoured the book and something about it didn’t seem to be structured in a way that would really lend itself to film. It was built to be a page-turner and the whole book/movie/etc was just so full of hype that it seemed to be just ripe for disappointment ya know? But I was determined. Almost determined enough to re-read the book but man I just HATED the way it ended (it left me pissed off for days) and I still haven’t actually finished a book since Brandi Glanville (despite my book club meeting four times now –OH, THE SHAME) so that just wasn’t going to happen.

I went to see the movie on opening weekend. Sidebar: I spent my entire youth being corrected every time I would say “I went and saw a movie” when apparently the correct grammar is “I went to see a movie.” Why is this correct? Like, I seriously have PTSD every time I mention seeing a movie and when I hear other people say they “went and saw” a movie it is like nails on a chalkboard and I don’t even actually understand why this is correct. I know I was an English major, but clearly not one that focused on grammar so I need someone explain this to me. Whew — ok, let’s back up on that dirt road!

Garrett was out of town and even though it was opening weekend I had been sick all dang week and though seeing Gone Girl would be a nice Sunday Afternoon reward for like, surviving my first (and hopefully last) “Mystery Illness of the Season”. Important note: I chose to see it alone, which may sound supremely anti-social but might actually be my favorite thing to do, like ever. I show up totally early because I’m a dork and very particular about my seat, I park, I get my buttered popcorn (sorry/not sorry), and then if you can believe it – I READ A BOOK (currently reading this, cross your fingers I finish it along with the rest of the internet) while I wait for the movie to start. I am a die hard extrovert, but there is something that just tickles me to death about strung together hours of alone-ness and silence and pure entertaining enjoyment! I mean, I am still there doing it with other people – which I enjoy – I just don’t want to actually talk to anyone or be bothered and leave me alone I am reading my book – oooooooh are those previews? Yes let’s get this (silent) party started! I dunno. I just love it.

The night before I was watching Entertainment Tonight or Extra or whatever monstrosity lets Mario Lopez gossip about celebrities and overexpose his dimples and all of a sudden there was all of this talk about Ben Affleck’s full frontal nudity in Gone Girl. Now this is where I need to tell you that I unabashedly love Ben Affleck. I just do and I just can’t apologize for it. I love him when he is douchey. I love him when he is socially conscious. I loved him during the J. Lo period. I loved him in The Town (MEOW!), I just love him and it cannot be explained. Ben Affleck, full frontal? I mean, I just wasn’t sure I was ready to take our (non-existant, creepy celebrity love) relationship to this next level. But I mean, come on: I was intrigued. And then I came across this picture from Regan on Instagram and just about died laughing when I read the comments:

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A girl after my own heart asks “Did you spot Ben’s wang?”

And Regan eloquently articulates that it was more artful side-wang.

Artful. Side. Wang.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

And with that in mind, I eagerly put down my book and watched the movie.

But you guys, I TOTALLY MISSED THE ARTFUL SIDE WANG! I mean, I don’t know if I was like really into my popcorn, or daydreaming about something else — but I completely missed it. This is the story of my life. I always seem to be looking the other direction when faced with side wang! Artful or not, I can not tell you where it was in Gone Girl. (But you can tell me! WHERE WAS IT?) What I can tell you is that the movie was alright. In some ways it was better than I thought — the casting was great, the feel of the movie felt pretty true to the book. But in others it felt a little rushed or lackluster, so I’m on the fence about whether I would actually recommend it.

If you read the book (and liked it) I think you have to see it. If you didn’t read it, I’m not sure you would have the pulse-quickening, suspense building experience with the movie that the book will give you. If you read the book and hated it, I’d say skip it. I mean it’s clearly not worth seeing it for the wang alone (but is any movie? Let’s be real.) So I don’t know. Undecided. What I am totally *decided* about though is that Rosamund Pike is basically flawless. I mean where did she come from, what has she been in? I know, IMDB could tell me all that, but you guys are more fun to talk to than IMDB. So that’s the unofficial review! I hope you are glad you just read 1000 words to get to that opinion. That’s some Roger Ebert Realness for you right there.

I feel like there is a two thumbs up style dick joke here that would totally wrap this post up nicely, but I’m a bit out of practice and I just can’t quite string it together. So instead, tell me — did you see the movie? The artful side wang? Did you read the book? What did you think?

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Tuesday Bullets

Came home to an epic laundry fail.

*I was living on the edge yesterday with the amount of laundry I hung to dry on my guest bathroom shower curtain rod. Clearly I miscalculated. What a mess!

*I had to take a test for this nutritionist that I’m seeing that required me to consume only 24 oz of water in a day. EEP! Yesterday was that day and seriously, it was torture. I got up this morning and was like “I WILL DRINK ALL THE WATER I WANT JUST BECAUSE I CAN” and man, I’ve never felt so excited.

*Speaking of the nutritionist, we are embarking on a little experiment together (HOLD ME) — I’m quitting coffee again. When I type that sentence my brain just sees ALL OF THE SWEAR WORDS IN BIG BOLD LETTERS. So. Any decaf teas you want to tell me about? Because I have to replace my morning ritual with something or this will never work.

*My closet is annoying me. I’m not going to say I’m in a full on clothing funk, but my clothes are boring me and even pinterest isn’t seeming that inspiring. Maybe it’s the changing seasons but getting dressed is just feeling like a drag lately. Perhaps I just need to go out and shop for a whole new wardrobe. ;)

*With the three day weekend coming up Garrett + I really want to see a movie. I know, wild times! But remember, on weeknights we get really crazy and do things like juice and listen to music. Anyway, what have you seen in the theater lately that you just loved, anything? Any disappointments we need to stay away from?

*While not in a clothing funk I *am* in a reading funk. I can’t even tell you the last book I finished, how sad is that? Goodreads tells me it was Brandi Glanville’s book Drinking and Dating and that was all the way back in April. Man, that is EMBARRASSING!

*I did read some great advice about reading funks recently though: If you’re not reading at the moment, you’re just not reading the right stuff. I think this is so true. I think maybe I need to put down the literary fiction and either read something scary, angsty, or hot pink. Recommendations welcomed.

*What’s new with you this Tuesday?

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Fun Things to Read On A Friday

Dang, somebody put this inspirational date night on Pinterest! #seniorcitizens
Was your week as wild as ours?

HEY-O, it’s been a while since I shared some fun links around here, but it’s Friday so why the heck not? It’s just a few, but they all made me laugh, nod or salivate. That’s the Holy Internet Trinity, I think.

This weekend we are taking a day trip, cooking up a storm, and definitely relaxing, but who am I kidding, we are still breaking in our new juicer so we will probably play around with that some too. Any fun juice recipes to share? HOOK ME UP.

Hope you all have a fun and restorative weekend, friends. Let’s do this again next week! :)

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*This post of 5 Favorite Food Bloggers is full of links to gorgeous food inspiration.

*This weekend I’m planning on making these Ranch Carnitas, this Peach Frozen Yogurt, and perhaps this Slow Cooker Thai Beef Stew just to have some food ready for the week.

*The Muppets doing Beastie Boys? This made me chuckle.

*All of these outfits made me ready for fall! COME HERE, LEGGINGS!

*I loved this idea that content creators/creative folks should not be aiming to “inspire” — let’s all just write what we want!

*I know the word life changing is often overused, but when it comes to books they really can be. Here’s an inspired reading list. (Related: 8 Books That Helped Me Take Charge of My Own Health)

*How To Do 10 Things Slightly Better — WIN!

*A Haircut Menu — where has this been all my life?!?

*6 Ways to Win at Whole Foods. HA!

*After reading this book this year I’ve taken to swapping out the word “but” and swapping in the word “and.” It has been kind of a game changer for me and I loved this post that expands further on the power of that idea.

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Twelve Weeks // 235

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We are 4 weeks in to some new squat programming at my gym and frankly it is killing my will to walk.

It’s called the Hatch Squat Program and it’s a 12 week cycle that basically includes 2 days a week of A WHOLE LOT OF HEAVY SQUATTING with bonus spreadsheets! I’m serious about the spreadsheet, you can find it here if you endeavor to do this on your own, you crazy squatting beast!

A month in, I think it just might be working mostly because my legs feel mostly immobile about 4 days per week. I have to pep talk myself at least once a day to take the stairs at work. It must be because my legs are getting stronger, right? TELL ME THEY ARE GETTING STRONGER. It’s the kind of workout programming that makes you ask yourself the following day “Do I really need to go to bathroom right this second, or can it wait?” because sitting down is requires reinforcement.

One of the other things kind of blowing my mind is that one of our coaches was somewhat pregnant when we started this cycle, but when we are done with Hatch she very well might no longer be pregnant and will have a real, live baby. A new squat PR? A human baby that you’ve grown with YOUR OWN BODY? So much can be accomplished in just 12 weeks.

Measuring progress is one of my favorite things and for some reason I always find it more enjoyable to work toward something new that has a finite end up ahead. I think that is why I enjoy AMRAP workouts in CrossFit so much more than Rounds For Time workouts. Sure things are going to be hard and get ugly, but when I know it’s only going to be ugly for 10 minutes, or 12 weeks, or just until “Race Day” I somehow tap into this fount of available energy that otherwise seems unreachable. I should probably chew on that a little bit more before figuring out what I want to accomplish next. Bite size pieces, for the win.

Anyway, when we started Hatch my Squat 1 Rep Max was 235. I’ll let you know where it is in 8 weeks. Any of you ever survived a 12 week Hatch cycle? Talk to me…and my jello legs. :)

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Tuesday Tedium

It's pretty much the cutest thing ever to watch Buster go have coffee talk with the neighbor dog each morning. It's like clockwork. They must have a standing date. ❤️

*Every morning while I am putting on my makeup and blow drying my hair I let Buster out of the bathroom and into the back yard. (If you don’t know what my bathroom looks like that might sound confusing, but basically we have a door in there that opens to the backyard. Well, it turns it wasn’t that confusing after all. You can kind of see the door to the outside behind the shower in this picture so there’s a visual in case I am making no sense.) So, because he inside most of the day (sorry adorable but practically Albino dog, the vet says no sunbathing for you!) I try and let him get outside and sniff around while I’m getting ready before the sun is too high in the sky and radiating everything in sight. Have I mentioned how fond of summer in Sacramento I am? Anyway, every morning without fail he runs down the path we have in the backyard to this little chink in the fence where he can sniff at the neighbor dog that lives behind us. Neighbor dog is a black lab named Casey who is outside most of the time, and I swear to god, you guys, they sit around and kvetch for like 10-15 minutes every morning. I know they MUST be communicating, but WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?

*Speaking of animal communications I totally want to see a dog psychic. let that sentence sink in for a second. Did I say psychic? Ahem, “Animal Communicator.” I know, I know — I sound like a raging lunatic, but there is one that comes highly recommended in my area (seriously, she has Yelp! reviews!) and there is a part of me that is just DYING to see if she can really give me insight on what Buster is thinking. It’s not that expensive, so I am very tempted if only to have the experience: what does an animal communicator do? What would she say? How would Buster respond? I mean, frankly I should do it for blog fodder alone — AMIRIGHT?

*We are going to go a see a wedding venue this weekend, and I am hoping this is the thing that I need to get my ass in gear around planning a wedding. I am a bridal failure, you guys. I am so happy to be engaged and so happy to be marrying the love of my life and all that but every time I think about “Planning A Wedding” I find really urgent things to do like clean my baseboards or alphabetize the magazines that I am throwing into the recycling bin, you know? I’m hoping that finding a venue we are excited about will give me that equivalent connection/excitement that seems to happen to expectant mothers once they find out the gender of their baby? I don’t know. If not — I may need some cheerleading. :)

*I have been working with a nutritionist and it is turning out to be a real exercise in change management, self sabotage, and a little “getting my ego in check” thrown in for good measure. So much to say on all of these things, but really it comes down to “What do you mean I need to stop using garlic and onions for 10 days? WHAT WILL I COOK IF I CAN’T HAVE THOSE?” Any of you have experience with Metabolic Typing? She has me experimenting this week with a meal plan based on my metabolic type and I am feeling a little bit ragey about it. My type is a “Fast Oxidizer” — which will mean nothing to most of you, I’m sure but if you are curious about determining your own metabolic type or if you are just bored at work and want to take the nutritional equivalent of a Cosmo Quiz, you can probably get a pretty good idea from taking this free online assessment that is somehow associated with our old buddy, old pal Jillian Michaels.

*Speaking of Jillian Michaels, will her podcast give me rage or is it worth listening to? I have softened on her just a smidge since she has decided to leave The Biggest Loser and talk (though somewhat vaguely) about what a sham that show was with respect to health. Entertaining? Yes, sometimes. Promoting healthy habits? Notsomuch. Anyway — where were we? *clap clap* Ah yes, Jillian’s podcast? Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Any other fitness-related podcasts you’d reccomend? I’d like to listen to them while eating Taco Bell on the couch.

*Juuuuuuuuuuuust kidding. Just checking to see if you were still reading. Happy Tuesday, y’all!

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Getting Back On The Horse

Took the day off to do important things like drink coffee while walking my dog

There is a layer of dust on this blog that is so thick I want to stick my finger in it and write WASH ME.

I wouldn’t mention it at all, but HELLO, there was I time I wrote here 5+ days a week. And I LOVED IT. I’ve been stewing about this for weeks, and while I don’t know that I have a locked down solution, I will tell you that it is very clear to me that when I am not writing here I feel like there is this giant hole in my life sucking the energy out of it. Some of you may think that sounds completely ridiculous. Some of you get it. Regardless, it’s the truth for me.

I like writing here. Yet I am not writing here. These two things are not so harmonious, and I am not the only one who has noticed.

Things Garrett, the ever-private-doesn’t-even-have-Facebook member of our relationship has said in the past month:

“You should blog about this, don’t you think?”

“Do you want to take a picture of my dinner?”

“Are you sure, it looks really delicious?”

HA! Such a good supporter, that guy. I know he can see just how much I miss this blogging thing.

Delicious afternoon with @homesweetsarah

Related: I spent Sunday doing yoga and drinking champagne with one of my favorite people yesterday and of course since we are Friends From The Internet the conversation obviously had to turn to blogs at some point. We both shared a similar sentiment that lately our favorite blogs to read are the ones where you get a little everyday slice of life.

Sure, I love a good aspirational blog on occasion, or a blog with content that is going to teach me how to do something. But more often than not I find that when I make time to read the internet I want to hear how you are living:
what you are reading
what you are watching
what you are cooking for dinner
what you are storing in your freezer
what you are wearing
what you are learning
what I need to buy the next time I’m at a drugstore
what your workouts have looked like
what yoursummer goals were
And of course, marvelous things at Trader Joe’s

The good stuff, ya know? How we’re living.

The mundane. The everyday.

So anyway, all of that is to say — I need to get back on the horse here, because I’m not happy when this place is so quiet. And while I don’t know exactly what that is going to look like (though I’m sure it will include finally tying up my engagement weekend with a bow because JEEZ LOUISE that happened back in May, and I haven’t finished telling that story, I MEAN COME ON!) I think I will just take some time to write about how I’m living.

I’ve missed our chats, guys. What’s new in your neck of the woods?

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Our Engagement Weekend in Wine Country (Saturday)

(If you missed Our Engagement Story or Our Engagement Weekend (Friday) check those posts out first)

On Saturday we continued our unofficial Food and Wine Tour of Sonoma County. Priorities of food and booze…hmmm. This is how we roll when we travel, what can I say?
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Since we knew we were going to be drinking wine for most of the day we made sure that we planned some serious fueling. :) We did an early + light breakfast at the Sunflower Caffe on the square, and while I was dying to try the lamb burger that we had seen them make when the restaurant was featured on Diner, Drive Ins and Dives (CHEEZY TOURIST ALERT! I AM NOT ASHAMED!) something about lamb burgers in the morning just wasn’t screaming my name. I opted for a giant cup of coffee, some pastry, and okay already — you busted me, some sangria.

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The whole time we were eating I just keep thinking — THIS IS MY FIANCE. FIAAAAAAAAAAAAANCEEEEEEEEEEEE. That is a weird word. But I was still happy to be saying it.
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Let’s call him my Beyonce instead, okay? Okay

Afterward we headed down the street to Train Town where I’m quite sure we were the only adults without children. It’s a place we both frequented growing up so we like to stop there occasionally when we are in town. It’s nostalgic and they have a short train ride that takes you on an “over the river and through the woods” route to a petting zoo. You guys, I feel like this is starting to make me sound like a total weirdo, but it’s really cute and we always get a kick out of going there.
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I promise we’re not here to steal your children. We’re just reliving our own childhood!

We hopped on a train, went over bridges and through tunnels and listened to kids screaming with glee.And then obviously I took a selfie with a goat when we got to the petting zoo, as you would. The llamas were not interested in being internet famous, so I guess we’ll have to try again with them next time.
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We bought a few souvenirs in the gift shop
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and then it was almost time for lunch! (More eating? But of course!)

We had lunch at the Sonoma Mission Inn and they may make the best fish tacos ever. I need a good fish taco recipe because when I make them at home they are always lackluster. Do you have one? Then you must share, please!

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So breakfast and fish tacos definitely had us prepared to wine taste and so we headed over to Napa and hit up a few wineries before heading over to our only actual tasting “appointment” of the day at Robert Mondavi. The grounds there are spectacular and my crappy iPhone photos just can’t do it justice, but I was just overwhelmed with how big and beautiful it is.
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We tried to take a few pictures and it didn’t matter from what angle, there was no way you can tell what a sprawl it is.
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We had an appointment in their Reserve Tasting Room that one of Garrett’s coworkers had hooked us up with and they gave us some crazy generous pours and pointed us out to the patio to enjoy our experience. What a lovely afternoon that was, I tell ya. That is the way to taste!
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Yep, there’s my Beyonce again. Isn’t he cute when he’s all relaxed without a care in the world?

We bought a few bottles (a special one to have on the anniversary of our engagement – heck, maybe with our Potatoes Colcannon haha – and then one to have on our first wedding anniversary.) What can I say, we are some sentimental saps.

We had a bit of time to kill before dinner and we just happened to be very close to the area where Garrett ran his leg of The Relay the year before. We decided to dork out in the parking lot where we had waited as a team and recreate one of the pictures from this post as a joke.

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I don’t know — it was funny to us at the time. It was probably the wine. :)

For dinner that night we decided to try a recommendation from our friend Megan and hit up Bounty Hunter Wine Bar + Smokin’ BBQ. The food was delightful and so were the wine + spirit pairings. We started off with the charcuterie tray and then split a BBQ Platter that was INSANE.
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If you are in Napa and happen to be with someone who would is impressed by meat, you NEED to take them there! STAT!

After that enormous slab-o-meat dinner we were sure we wouldn’t eat again for weeks.

Um…or until Sunday. :)

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Our Engagement Weekend in Wine Country (Friday)

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Thanks for all of your sweet comments on our engagement story yesterday. As I mentioned, our wine-country weekend hanging out with my cousins had just been a ruse to get me packed and ready so Garrett could treat me to what was probably one of our most memorable vacations yet. We were sad to say goodbye to Domaine Carneros, but so happy to have made a memory to celebrate there time and time again. Our next stop was getting into town to settle down into our weekend digs.

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Unbeknownst to me, Garrett had rented us a little cottage near downtown Sonoma where we’d be staying all weekend. It was at the end of a private road and we had our own little vineyard decorating the driveway. Isn’t that just the cutest? I was ready to pack my bags and move in for good!
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We had about an hour to relax, unpack, freshen up, have a glass of wine and then it was off to our dinner reservations at The Rutherford Grill in Napa. When Garrett initially mentioned that we had dinner reservations I was a little bit nervous. While we are both food enthusiasts, we aren’t big fancy-fine diners, you know what I mean? And the whole food and wine scene in Napa can be a little snooty in certain places, so I was a tiny bit apprehensive. But honestly, The Rutherford Grill was the perfect spot for us.
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It wasn’t AT ALL snooty, the food was on point and as you can imagine the wine list has some really great selections. Our waitress was so cute, and totally tolerated the two of us who were still in giggly OMG WE’RE ENGAGED mode. Garrett got prime rib, I ended up ordering the Hawaiian Ribeye and we both opted for Colcannon Potatoes. Have you ever had that kind of mashed potato? HOLY MOSES, they are the best potatoes I’ve ever eaten in my life. I think we may have to eat them every year on the anniversary of our engagement! (You think I’m kidding, but man they were THAT GOOD!)

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Hi, you’re having the Old 96er for dinner. :)

After dinner we headed back into Sonoma and went for a walk downtown in the historic town plaza. I’ve written about Sonoma pretty extensively on this blog — it’s a place I hold close to my heart. I have so many memories here with both of my parents after my grandma moved to wine country, so it felt really special that Garrett and I were enjoying such an exciting time in our relationship in that city. In some ways it felt like my grandma and my dad got to be privy to the whole thing. As we walked around the square I just couldn’t get over how perfect everything was. Of course right as I was looking off into the sunset thinking about what a romantic evening we were having a bunch of kids drove by in a Hyundai blasting the explicit version of “Rack City” so, you know — back to reality. :)

Right off the square there is a painting called the Valley of the Moon mural. My grandma would always take me over to it when I’d visit her growing up. Full disclosure: it’s right by an ice cream parlor, so you know — of course she loved art, but it was also her way of always saying “Yay, culture — now let’s go eat some ice cream!” :) Summers with grandma were the best, you know?

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Anyway, one of the fun memories I have as a kid was that hidden inside this mural of people, places and things related to the “Valley of the Moon” (as Sonoma is known), was a “Where’s Waldo” style couple — a bride and groom, listed under their wedding date — somewhere in the mural. As a kid it was always fun to race to see how quickly you could find it, and even though we’ve done it many times, of course that night Garrett and I had to take a minute and scope out the happy couple. (It’s in the bottom right hand region if you are ever in the area and want to find it.)

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Then, of course we had to head over and have some ice cream, duh. :)

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If you’ve been around this blog for any length of time, you already know that Garrett took great pleasure in ordering two scoops of bubble gum ice cream. (Gross!)

Afterward we grabbed a glarifee as a nightcap over at Swisshotel and then headed back to our cottage. I mean let’s be real — we literally couldn’t eat another bite! haha

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Garrett had a full day planned on Saturday and so we wanted to make sure we geared up for it.

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Our Engagement Story

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Eight and a half years (to the day) after our first kiss, Garrett got down on one knee and asked me to marry him on the fabulous patio at Domaine Carneros. The wine country setting and beautiful weather could not have been more perfect, and somewhere in between hugging him tighter than I probably ever have and smearing mascara all over the collar of his freshly laundered shirt (nice, Holly) I said yes.

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I’m going to tell you all of minutia: how he asked, how he managed to shock the hell out of me, how we spent our engagement weekend, you know – all the good stuff – but there are just so many things I want to capture that I am not sure where to start. I think we’re going to have to do multiple posts here. I guess maybe the best place to start is at the beginning.
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Garrett + I have been together FOREVER (it seems like) and I know the fact that we have not tied the proverbial knot yet has really befuddled a lot of people. I’d say I knew about a year into our relationship that this was it, but we’ve just kind of meandered our way to this point. All I can say is that it has just made sense for us. We knew we’d get married eventually, it was just a matter of figuring out when the time was right for us. I can’t say I’ve been patient every single moment of the process, but in the end I’m so happy things are unfolding as they are.

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One of the things about being together for so long is that while I knew we would get engaged one day, I didn’t feel like it would ever be a *surprise* you know? I mean, WE LIVE TOGETHER, I know Garrett’s habits.  And the truth is, I am the planner in our relationship. If he were to all of a sudden plan a special weekend or a random “romantic date” that deviated from the normal stuff we do, I’d totally be on to him. But he was determined that he could make it a surprise and in the end, he totally did! Here’s how he did it.

About a week prior to the day, my cousin Jim (who lives out in Sonoma with his wife Gina) sent me a text inviting us out for the weekend. It was impromptu, but he mentioned having a Friday off and that it would be fun to spend the weekend cooking, bike riding to wineries and just hanging out. We’ve done this in the past so it didn’t seem out of left field and so I followed up with Garrett. He hemmed and hawed a bit and said he didn’t think he could get that Friday off of work (sneaky little sucker!) and then finally was like “What the heck, let’s go!” So we made plans to head out the following weekend. I checked with my mom to see if she was available to watch Buster (shocker, she was: SHE WAS IN ON IT TOO!) and so we dropped off our little pooch and got on the road, of course snapping a little pre-engagement family selfie.

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Garrett nonchalantly suggested stopping at “that neat looking champagne place we always pass on our way out to wine country.” I thought it sounded like a good idea but then I googled and the champagne tasting was like Stupid Expensive. We were just starting our weekend, so I was like “Meh, let’s just skip it.” HA! Of course Garrett had to get me there since that was where everything was set up, but it took a little convincing. Thank god for Sarah, who I happened to conveniently be texting that morning. She talked me down from being a total miser and said we should split a bottle and get a fancy cheese tray. Garrett is clearly forever in her debt. :)
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If you’ve never seen Domaine Carneros then you might not know why we always want to stop there on our way into wine country. It looks like a castle and it’s nestled up on a little hill right off the Carneros Highway. Just about every time Garrett and I head into Napa or Sonoma we pass it and say “Someday we’ll stop there when we have more time.” I imagine now, we will make the time to stop there, but this was our first time and even though I had no idea what was in store, it felt a little magical.
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We were seated on the patio far away from the crowds (ahem, totally planned, and yet it didn’t seem weird to me — clearly, I’m not the most observant person. LOL) and quickly ordered a flight of champagne and a cheese tray. Oh, the cheese tray. I will remember that cheese try for life, you’ll see why in a minute.
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We were just having the best time because it was Friday, we were supposed to be at work, the weather was beautiful, and we were about to embark on a much needed weekend of fun and relaxation. Both of us had been really bogged down by work things, and we realized we had been on that Life Hamster Wheel that sometimes feels like it just happens out of nowhere. As we were clinking glasses and enjoying a few small bites we began talking about how moving forward we needed to be better at focusing on all the gifts we’ve got in our life instead of getting bogged down by those little daily things that take up so much brain space but don’t really mean anything in the long run.
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As you can imagine, Garrett was sort of priming the pump because he had a much bigger question to ask. I was just off in my own little world though, thinking about how happy I am — in my life, in my relationship, in my job, just in general — and I think I got so excited to make some brilliant point about gratitude that I excitedly kicked the table and knocked over all 3 of our champagne glasses, shattering them everywhere onto our cheese tray.

Folks, YOU JUST CAN’T TAKE ME ANYWHERE. :)

Garrett immediately stood up and looked absolutely panic-stricken which struck me as kind of funny because, uh…this is not the first time I’ve made an embarrassing mess by knocking things over. Serious bull in a china shop, here. I had spilled champagne on my dress, there was glass everywhere and when I stood up he grabbed me with both hands by the shoulders and said “You just sit here, I’ll go get a napkin.” But his face, oh you guys, his face. Luckily I sat back down and began to kind of sun myself in hopes that the champagne would dry and didn’t think another thing of it. Garrett was so panicked though because he had been just about ready to pop the question, and so my cousin’s wife Gina (who had graciously volunteered to help Garrett out by playing Day-Of Photographer) was standing behind me getting ready to start snapping and he was completely freaked out that I would turn around and see her and then the surprise would be blown!
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What can I say, people — I’m a wild card and I keep Garrett on his toes. :)

In the meantime, as Garrett was inside “finding a napkin” (really he was regrouping with Gina) our server had come back out to our table and had brought with him a bottle of their fancy champagne and two glasses. He clearly hadn’t got the memo that Garrett didn’t ask yet, but he could tell by the shattered glass and champagne everywhere that maybe he had encountered a bit of a hiccup. His face was sort of panicky too — and he just kind of stammered “Oh, I’m going to leave this celebratory bottle here and maybe go find you someone who can clean up.”

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And you guys, I still didn’t have A CLUE. In hindsight, both Garrett + I are so grateful that I had my head in the clouds all morning and was just in full on flexible relaxation mode because otherwise there were just so many times I could have caught on. Eventually the mess got cleaned up, and we got back to what we had been talking about before — how grateful we were for each other, for our lives, and the support we have in each other and then all of a sudden all I remember is Garrett getting down on one knee and whipping out a ring.

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He has since told me exactly what he said, but you guys I TOTALLY BLACKED OUT. Like I was so completely shocked that I can’t even remember what he said, how he asked, or anything that happened before I realized I was doing the full on Oprah Ugly Cry with happiness. In the middle of all of that he turned me around and said “Hey look, it’s Gina behind the camera” and I was so surprised to see that she had been in on things from the start!

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There was lots of hugging and squealing excitement and then Garrett and Gina dropped the bomb that — oh yeah, my cousin Jim wasn’t even in town that weekend. Jim was at a bachelor party in New Orleans and all of his excited texts that morning about “how much he was looking forward to seeing us” and “when were we leaving?” etc was just to help keep me off the trail and to help Garrett keep things a surprise. I was truly shocked that so many people had been in on things, yet I hadn’t even had the slightest inkling things were going to go down the way they did.

After all that celebrating we realized that we had a bit of an audience.

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Strangers were applauding and taking our picture and raising their own glasses, and it was just such a surreal little moment. Garrett let me know that he had planned a romantic weekend for us, that we had a cottage to check into, and restaurant reservations waiting on us, and that we had the whole weekend to just relax and enjoy the moment, which is exactly what we did. I’ll tell you about all of that in another post, but in the end I really can’t believe that he pulled it off. It was a shock and a surprise of the best kind, and being the over-documenter that I am, it was so special that he had Gina there to capture the moment. I just think it will be so fun to look back on down the line or when we have kids. It’s been fun even in the past couple of months to just relive that crazy feeling of surprise.

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I feel so grateful that Garrett is going to be MY HUSBAND. :)

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Five Things Friday

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*Sometimes I feel like Fridays are a Vitamin B12 shot to my psyche. I’ve been playing catch up all week because I was out of town last weekend, and so by Thursday I was doing some serious dragging. But I woke up this morning bright eyed and bushy tailed because: IT’S THE WEEKEND. And the promise of that is more powerful than espresso. (Though espresso helps too :)) I actually feel excited about mundane chores like grocery shopping and meal planning — woo hoo! PS — what are you making for dinners this week?

*So, this whole engagement story blog post is getting embarrassing. I know, I know, I need to write it. Actually, it is written, but I can I tell you the obstacle that is hindering me? I have a ton of cute pictures from the day it happened that my cousin Gina took and sent me but they are all housed at Shutterfly and I have no idea how to get photos from Shutterfly into a jpeg format. Anyone know how to do this?

*I have checked out a ton of books from the library and I am so excited to start reading some of them, but then I fall victim to this phenomenon. It is so sad, and I feel like as the years go by it is only getting worse.

*I am taking golf lessons! I decided that this was going to be The Summer of New Things and so I signed up to learn how to golf. It is fun being a beginner. I bought myself a set of clubs this week so I can finally start practicing all the stuff I’m learning on my own time. It’s so rare that we just learn things for fun as adults. It feels kind of good to have no idea what I’m doing.

*So I started working with a Certified Nutrition Practitioner who is very much aligned with my philosophies around health, activity and food. Some of you will undoubtedly think that sounds super boring and like a total drag and others of you may think it sounds about as awesome as I do. I’m sure I’ll blog about it more but we are kind of working through some baseline tests to see where I’m at with respect to general health, metabolic function, allergies, etc and then working to tailor a specific protocol for my goals. I don’t know why it took me so long to get this particular ball rolling because now that I’m doing it, it is exciting and fun. I love life/food-hacking and all but it can get exhausting when you are not getting the results you want. I thought, what the heck — let’s farm the hacking out to a nutrition professional.

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So what’s new in your neck of the woods?

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