I achieved pure cheese on that title didn’t I? Haha. I am running around like a crazy person today. My coworker is coming into town for 24 hours to work on a project, and since I never have people over, I tend to go a bit overboard when it comes for preparing for their arrival. I have cleaned my entire house, I planned an easy dinner that I wouldn’t have to worry about and I’m hoping that if I pee the dogs every 15 minutes, we won’t have any phantom pee in the kitchen this afternoon.
Last night while I was working, Neil disappeared to the kitchen for a bit and came back and told me dinner was ready for the crock pot. I didn’t give it much thought until this morning when I looked in the fridge and saw that he had pre-cut and seasoned all the veggies and the roast was thawed and ready to go. He even put the chicken stock in a pot to finish thawing. It saved me so much time.
I’m never one to boast, but man, Neil is the best.
So we haven’t blogged in over a week. I blame myself mostly. Life has been so crazy, literally non-stop, yet until a few days ago, none of it was really blog-worthy? I don’t know quite how to explain it. Bloggers, tell me, does this every happen to you? There’s so much going on, but none of it can be told with any sense of logical narrative, and it just feels too varied to consume logically?
After spending the weekend with my brother in Omaha (now two Sunday’s ago — ugh), I headed to Lincoln for a three day meeting with my coworkers. It was my hope to maybe explore the Lincoln CrossFit scene or kind of explore the town and tell you about it, but I literally worked from the time I woke up to the time I collapsed into bed each night. Definitely not blog-worthy. I drove home late Wednesday night and spent a few days at home catching up on even more work before packing up yet again and leaving for Springfield with Neil and the pups.
You see, back in February, we bought tickets to see Eddie Vedder in Tulsa. I’m a huge fan of his, so you can imagine how excited I was. Then, a few weeks before the show, the entire tour was postponed because Eddie sustained some nerve damage to his hand and couldn’t play. We were given the option to get a refund for our tickets, but opted to hold onto them instead and attend the shows rescheduled for a few days ahead of Thanksgiving, knowing we’d be in Springfield for the holiday and it would be a fun way to belatedly celebrate our sixth anniversary (we mark our relationship anniversary more significantly than our wedding anniversary — quite simply we’re just more attached to it).
So off we went to Tulsa Monday morning, leaving the pups in the care of Neil’s parents. We sprung for a room at The Mayo, a gorgeous old hotel downtown, conveniently close to the Brady. The rooms were absolutely gorgeous, and our corner room sported an awesome double-paned view.
After checking in, we grabbed lunch at The Atlas Grill, a tiny diner tucked into the back of the Marriot, and then spent a few hours lounging before the show. The Brady is an incredible venue. Big enough, but completely intimate, as it was designed and well broken in by the time microphones became commonplace. We picked up tour shirts and a poster for our loft and settled into our balcony-level seats.
A few minutes later, a woman approached us, obviously with the band, and offered us upgraded floor seats. We said yes, thinking we probably scored something in the middle set of seats. However, upon closer inspection, they were for the front row! I felt kind of sheepish, as we weaved through the crowd, passing people who we knew had paid twice what we had, but once we were at the front, I could only think of how close I was going to be to Eddie once he started playing. Hey, everyone has to have that one thing/person they are kind of fanatical about right?
Glen Hansard was the opening act. I’d only heard his biggest hit, “Falling Slowly“, but in all honestly I actually prefer the rest of the library so much more. He’s a great entertainer and amazingly talented musician and I will definitely be listening to much more of him now for sure.
Seeing Eddie on-stage was just, wow, a thrill of a lifetime. He covered a little bit of everything, from Pearl Jam hits, to tracks from Into the Wild and Eukulele Songs. He also did some covers, and even impressions. He did an awesome impression of Willie Nelson covering his PJ hit “Just Breathe.” As a Wilson fan, it was dead-on. Glen came out and played with him for a few songs, along with the nearly the entirety of the three encores Eddie did. Talk about wow. Throughout the show he tossed things into the audience, and talked to people. He slowly worked his way across the audience and when finally he made contact with our side, he shook both of our hands and pressed this into mine.
Yes, this happened. I could have died. It was probably good he didn’t play “Come Back” or I would have turned into a puddle.
It was all so surreal, and being the sap I am with a good soundtrack, I couldn’t help but reflect on the past six years and how much Neil and I have grown into our collective lives, each giving the other the missing pieces of what we once thought was entirely complete and independently whole. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that you don’t need to be independent and able to love yourself before you can fully love others. That is all still very much true. But it now feels like merely the beginning of the journey rather than the end. Because, in everything that I love, Neil has added to it in some way — and I hope vice versa. My love of music and art, my fierce passion for my beliefs. Add to it all the things I was never brave enough to try or even allow myself to admit about myself. In the past year especially, as we wade into our thirties, I feel that we’re holding ourselves back even less in that regard. I feel like we’ve landed in this place of being so comfortable with ourselves and our four legs on the ground that we’re able to hold firm and steady wherever we choose to stand. As we’re not for writing things off as merely luck, I think we can collectively settle on our good fortune being the result of a stubborn insistence to do things our own way and not anyone else’s. That being said, I’m excited to see where we are in another six years…
Today is our three-year wedding anniversary. It’s cliché I know, but really, where does the time go? I was doing some blog work the other night, fixing some posts with broken picture links, and one of the posts was our honeymoon recap. How far we’ve come since then, and wow, how different we look! I love it. I’m so proud and grateful of where we are and where we’re going and how much fun we’re having along the way. Few people can say they achieve full belly laughs before 9 AM. We’ve really come so far.
Last year I recounted some of our observations, and this year I thought write a few more.
Create a sanctuary: Curating privacy has been valuable for us. Since buying our house, we’ve cultivated it into a mostly private space. While you see some parts, others will remain just ours. It’s our sanctuary. On that note, we’ve also found ourselves pulling back from sharing everything online as well. While that might seem backwards for a blogger, it just feels better. Maybe that’s creating a ceiling for our success (as bloggers anyway), but what’s more important?
Reward yourselves: I think one of the biggest mistakes we made early on, with the best intentions and mostly out of necessity, was to be too tight with money. Far too often, I think we expected the worst or we felt too guilty about enjoying some of the fruits of our labor. You can save for a rainy day, but sometimes, you can also enjoy the sunshine.
Change your plans: One of the best books I’ve read this year is Rework by 37 Signals. While it is specifically tailored to business, it offers a lot of advice that I think can be adapted to many other areas, especially relationships. I especially liked this bit:
You have to be able to improvise. You have to be able to pick up opportunities that come along. Sometimes you need to say, “we’re going in a new direction because that’s what makes sense today.”
Make goals, but don’t obsess or compare your progress to that of others, and above all, remain flexible.
It never hurts to adopt another rescue pup either.
That’s what we’ve learned after 3 years of marriage. As always, thank you for continuing to read and follow our journey! We hope we keep you at least somewhat entertained.
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