Monday, October 31, 2011

The Anniversary of the Day That Changed Everything.

I'm finding it hard to get back into the swing of, well, everything, as my energy slowly returns (hip hip hooray!). Especially hard to get back into the swing of cooking and then blogging about it. So today I will tell you a little story. It's one of my favorites. It has nothing to do with food, but it's the very start of how I came to be married to my favorite dinner date.

I've mentioned before that Hugh and I met in class, our last year of undergrad. The class was a Jamaican Slave Literature Honors Seminar. There were nine students - me, Hugh, and seven other English majors who felt compelled to take an 8:30am class that required a number of 20 page papers. 

One of the requirements of this class was a Saturday field trip to a former slave plantation that had been restored and was used for teaching purposes, located two hours away. We were also required to carpool to this event. A few days before the field trip, the travel arrangements were scheduled to come up for discussion at the end of class. 

Here's what I knew about Hugh at the time of this discussion: he rode his bike to school; a few weeks into the semester, he got hit by a car on said bike and broke his wrist; he was quiet in class (a real boon when you are in a room with a bunch of people who love to hear themselves talk), but when he did participate, his comments were either funny or intelligent; he was handsome; during a particularly boring lecture, he once leaned over and asked to borrow my pencil so he could puncture his own ear drums (see: funny).

So, the carpool plans came up for discussion at the end of class, and I had to leave to go to work. On a whim that would change the rest of my life, I leaned over to Hugh as I was running out the door and asked him if he wanted to ride together. He said yes. Very excitedly, I might add.  He must have been taken with my roll out of bed at 8:20am and wear some wrinkled running clothes to class look. Later that day, I got this email from our professor: 

And then I realized I had planned to spend an entire day with someone whom I knew really nothing about.  I decided I would cancel and drive myself. When I told my mom this plan, she said that was rude and I would do no such thing. I told her I hoped he wasn't a serial killer.

Saturday rolled around. Hugh picked me up at 8am, right on time. I was inexplicably nervous when I was getting ready that morning. And he was nervous when I got in the car. We made stilted chit chat for the first two minutes. And then we settled right into a conversation that lasted the rest of the day. It was one of the best, and easiest, conversations I've ever had. The field trip was kind of a disaster, but it didn't matter. 

On the way home, we stopped to get lunch at a kind of disgusting chain barbecue restaurant. I offered to pay since Hugh had driven (He would like me to note here that he objected. I paid anyway.). So I, of course, love to joke that on our first date Hugh took me to a terrible restaurant and then he made me pay. 

I remember feeling genuine disappointment when we pulled up to my apartment at the end of the day; I was sad our day was ending. After we parted ways, I immediately called my Mom to tell her that a. I had not been murdered, and b. I had had the most fun day I could remember. Little did I know, Hugh called his dad as soon as he was out of the parking lot to regale him with tales of my wit and charm and beauty. Really, he called to tell him that I was very funny and laughed at his inappropriate jokes, which was code for the fact that he kind of loved me already. And to tell him that he had not been murdered. 

The story could have ended there, but that night when I was out with my friends, after a little liquid courage, I called Hugh (seriously, so forward, right?) to see if he wanted to come out and meet us. He did. Here's a picture of that night:


At the end of the evening, he drove me (and all my friends) home, and was the perfect gentleman. The next afternoon I was on the phone with my favorite friend, recounting every detail of the day and night to her, discussing whether or not it would be weird to see him in class on Tuesday and if I would hear from him, when he beeped in. He was calling to tell me happy Halloween. We talked for two hours.  

And the rest, as they say, is history. Since October 30, 2004, rarely has a day gone by when I haven't spent hours in conversation with Hugh. Even those first few months when I was assuring him and myself and everyone I knew that we were just friends, we would spend our evenings talking at his apartment or chatting on the phone late into the night. He remains my very favorite person to talk to. And riding in his truck to that field trip 7 years ago remains my very favorite decision I've ever made.

I'm so glad you drove a two-passenger car, h.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What We've Really Been Cooking Lately.

Do you know that I am not a great secret keeper? Especially when the secret is good news. I'm less of the keep-my-mouth-shut type and more of the shout-it-from-the-rooftops type.

And, when I am tasked with keeping quiet about the best news ever, I've found it's easier for me to just not talk to anyone than it is for me to keep it to myself. Hence the fact that I've kind of been ignoring you for the last two and a half months, blog friends.

But it's not just you. I've been ignoring a lot of things in my life. My garden. My kitchen. My meal plans. My exercise. My cleaning. My camera. Even my children (but only a little).

I am, however, extremely well-acquainted with my bed. And my couch.

So, now that I am slowly lifting my head off the pillow, I think it's time to come clean before I just explode with secret-keeping. What makes you so tired you lose the will to do anything but spend your days in the horizontal position and so nauseated you turn green at the thought of cooking one single thing and so grateful you feel like your heart may burst?

You guessed it:

Baby's first photo, taken 6 weeks ago.

I'm pregnant.

With a little White Hot baby. And Hugh and I are already completely and totally smitten.

More details to come, but suffice to say our excitement level is off the charts. We've basically been one big non-stop celebration since August 15th.

Can you even believe it?!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Blogger Formerly Known as Craft Impaired.

So, I've mentioned before that I was in a sorority in undergrad. Say what you want about sorority girls and the coinciding stereotypes, but I will tell you this - the friends I made during those 4 years are some of the very best I have. And those were some of the most fun years of my life.

Plus, if you go to a massive public university with 45,000 of your nearest and dearest, it pays to join an organization that makes the place feel a little more like home.

I will also tell you that sorority girls do a lot of crafts. Like a lot. Projects for your big sister, projects for your little sister, outfits for parties, banners for events - there is a lot of painting and hot gluing and fabric-covering and glittering that occurs under those roofs.

So, you either start out crafty, or you learn quickly. Which brings me to the point of this post, a little confession: I was totally the latter, convinced I was born without a crafty bone in my body.

But you'd never know it now. Just look what I whipped up for our front door a few weeks ago:

I emailed my mom a photo of my wreath project, and this was her response:

"Wow! This is beautiful! It makes me think of when you used to have to do all those crafts at Chi O, and I thought it was hilarious because you were so craft-impaired. Just look at you now!"

Oh, Mom. She knows the truth.

Your Favorite White Hot Crafter

Post Script: I used this tutorial for the ruffles, and went off on my own for the embellishments. A little JoAnn's faux flower and some miniature pine cones, and that sucker was screaming Fall from our front door. Happy crafting, frinternets.