Tuesday, August 27, 2013

8 years ago...

8 years ago today I went on my first date with Jesse. We met on match.com and I have to admit that I sighed a huge sigh of relief when I met him. I was only on there for 2 weeks, but I did some power dating (I think Jesse was my 5th date) and was exhausted. I hadn't dated like that... ever. We both removed our profiles shortly after meeting and never looked back. I'm not sure I knew he was the 'One' at that time, but I knew he was worth getting to know.

We don't celebrate our 'first date' anniversary, but I was recently perusing our wedding and honeymoon pictures and I started to reminisce. We were married in St. John, USVI about four and a half years ago. The ceremony was just Jesse, myself, the officiant, and the photographer... and a well placed video camera to film it for Jesse's mom.

The reason I was recently looking at our wedding pictures was because we plan to update the photo above our bed. I think we'll use the same picture since we love it so, but make it bigger, put it on canvas, and maybe change it to sepia from the current black and white. The way we have it now just doesn't quite fit our room.

At any rate, this post is really an excuse to show off my wedding/honeymoon photos.

Our first night we stayed on the island of St. Thomas. Once we moved to St. John the next day we still had to come back here to get our wedding license. One of the reasons we picked St John was because it is part of the United States so there wouldn't be additional obstacles to having our wedding be official. Puerto Rico was another choice, but we thought the beaches in St John were a little more pristine and since we were getting married on the beach it became the deciding factor.

We stayed in that pink building with the white curtains at the base of the hill.

Once on St John we settled on the quieter side of the island, Coral Bay. Up on a very steep hill. It was gorgeous, but I couldn't imagine having to drive up and down this steep road all the time - especially when the weather was foul. It was a bit scary for me so I always made Jesse drive.

Driving to the quieter side of the island

Where I recovered from heat exhaustion - more to come on that.

Our villa was actually a private two building space (and totally worth the treacherous ride). One building had the bedroom and a bathroom with an outdoor shower. From there you would head outside and go down some stairs to the patio (with jacuzzi tub) into another building which had a screened in room (above) that included a dining area, and a kitchen, living room, and second bathroom. It also had a porch on which we sat every morning and watched the birds and the lizards. There were these tiny little lizards that were everywhere. They were totally harmless, but I'm surprised we didn't step on any because they really were everywhere.

View from our porch

We had our wedding a couple days into our trip and then enjoyed the rest of the week as husband and wife. I loved our officiant because she was more on the earthy side than the religious side. She catered the ceremony to what we were comfortable with and helped us select a beach to be married on (Trunk Bay). Our photographer was awesome and put my husband at ease. As I've noted before, he's not a fan of having his picture taken.

I love that we got married this way - just the two of us. I love our family, but this was such a special moment between Jesse and myself. Plus, I'm not the center of attention type of person. We had a small party a few weeks after we returned home to celebrate and it all felt so right. I can't imagine having a large wedding for us.

Not sure if you can see it here, but there is a bruise right above my elbow. Two days before we left on our trip I was standing on the kitchen counter with my flip flops on (I know, I know) and fell. It was like slow motion on the way down - all I could think of was how I needed to avoid my face, and luckily did, but I got my arm and leg pretty good. Needless to say, I learned my lesson.


We were married in the evening so we spent the day at the beach, and then took a nap, and then leisurely prepared for the wedding. I have to say it left me a little groggy in the end. Perhaps we should have gotten married bright and early in the morning. I have no regrets though... except I wish I would have just let go and let my dress fall in the water. I can be laid back and easy going, but in some ways these two pictures capture us well - Jesse with his pants wet in the water just caught up in the moment, and me never fully able to let go - always worried about something.

With our time left on the island, we hung out at a number of beaches, went snorkeling, saw the Annaberg ruins, went hiking, and ate lots and lots of food (pictures likely not in the correct order).

Annaberg Ruins

The British Virgin Islands can be seen behind us.

Cinnamon Bay

Salt Pond Beach - husband's tattoo says "every day is a good day". That it is.

Trunk Bay - we were married down there!

Trunk Bay has a guided snorkeling area. There are signs under the water all around that island. It's pretty cool, but the water was a little rough when we were here so I only did part of the tour. 

Hiking at Ram's Head where I built these rock statues and then made Jesse take pictures of them.

Above is the picture we have above our bed, but want to redo a little. Taking this picture was a coordinated event. I suggested we do it, Jesse collected the coral, I created it, he took the pictures while I told him when a cloud would be over head so he could snap away. Sounds more complicated than it was and well worth it.

Ram's Head trail

You may not be able to tell above, but my head was about to explode. I'm really sensitive to heat (but so prefer warm to cold) so we took this trek early and brought lots of water. Didn't matter because in the end I still ended up with heat exhaustion (heat stroke?). It was bad - I didn't think I was going to make it back to the car. Usually, when I get a headache that bad it lasts for days so I was surprised that by the afternoon (after cold, wet cloths, ice packs, fans, a nap and a little throwing up - tmi?) I felt way better. Jesse now knows it's no joke when I start to overheat.

Snorkeling at Leinster was fun, but also a little scary for a poor swimmer like me. I wasn't really seeing anything but maybe a starfish or a fish here and there so I wasn't that bummed about heading back to the beach. Guess I missed out though as Jesse got to see and touch, yes touch, a turtle. I think it might have been one of the most important moments of his life (the way he tells it).

Oh also? It was about this time that I started having issues with dry eyes and couldn't wear my contacts very much. I was worried I wouldn't be able to go snorkeling because how do you fit goggles over glasses, but I was able to rent prescription goggles for the week and it was awesome. Everyone probably knows this is possible, but it was an amazing discovery for me.

Those sunglasses are prescription so I'm actually blindly looking at the camera.

I have to admit that while the food on the island was good it was a little spendy. There were a couple places we favored including the place we ate on our wedding night which still stands out as the best restaurant I've ever eaten at. It may have been the euphoria of just getting married, but I still loved it.

Thanks for humoring me and taking this trip back to 2009 with me. We had a such a fantastic time visiting this tropical getaway and would recommend it for someone looking for a relaxing vacation or a place to get married.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Photo a Day | August Week 4

August Photo a Day is winding down and I am looking forward to September, but I am thinking I might take a break after that again. Already the sun is going down earlier in the day so these might be more of a challenge in a couple months, but I still find them enjoyable to do.


I know a lot of people see pennies as worthless and will walk right by one that's on the ground, but you add up all those 'lost' pennies and you have a chunk of change. Plus, one little penny is a big deal to a three year old who has several piggy banks to fill up. 


I really need to reseal these stairs to our deck, but I sorta love the rustic look of them. I'm sure that will change with the first splinter my kiddo gets. Oh, and yes, those are my 3 year old's ginormous, size 11 feet. 


Ok, so this one is a little obvious I suppose, but I had no idea what I was going to do all day. After work, I pulled into the parking lot of my eye doctor and saw this sign. I grabbed the iPad and walked to the middle of the lot and snapped this pic while I'm sure all the people watching me were wondering what the heck I was doing. Whatever. The important thing is that my eyesight hasn't gotten any worse in the last year. With all the other issues I've had this year with my eyes I will take that as a huge positive.

A room

Another doctor's appointment this day brought me to this room. My general doctor's office isn't anything fancy, but this bathroom felt rather posh. Oh, and I'm wearing my favorite skirt. Might as well show that off.


 It seems like the city has been teasing us in regards to tearing up our road. But after weeks of other work (moving gas meters outside, running new gas lines, etc) I finally came home to a dirt road. Hopefully, by the end of next week it will be newly tarred and smooth.


Riley's really into drawing faces so I will draw a bunch of stick people (and cats and dogs) with chalk and she will fill in the faces making them happy or sad... We are also working on things like curly hair vs straight. She told her dad that all these stick people were her friends. This particular morning while Jesse and I did some yard work Riley played well on her own nearby. Turns out she was mostly playing with dirt. You may not be able to tell here, but her face is covered in dirt. Whatever keeps her content is fine by me.


This one was a hard one for me. I took a lot of pictures late in the day trying to find something that fit and this one seemed the best for me. I'm not obsessed with football (and used to hate it when I was younger), but I do like to watch the games each week. I know it's pre-season right now, but this still seems wrong that they are playing when it's practically 100 degrees outside.