A few weeks ago I had one of the best vacations ever. I didn’t do anything too crazy. Nothing out of the ordinary. But it was the longest length of time I’ve been able to spend with the love of my life, and tonight I miss her something fierce. I try to keep my blog focused on mostly professional things, but if you’ll have me, I’d love to share my 7 favorite moments from that trip…
#7: “I have a surprise for you! Well not so much for you, but it’s still a surprise…”
This was June 22nd. We have a few traditional meals, which boil down to Jimmy Johns,
Chick-Fil-A, Panera, and a Chinese takeout called Ming Cheng’s in Kent, Ohio. I always use chopsticks. Why? Because I can. And on that Friday night she surprised me with novelty chopsticks from Five Below (she loves Five Below). I know it’s silly, but it was sweet, adorable, and quirky. They now live in one of my kitchen drawers.
Sidenote: I only eat at my kitchen table when she visits. I can’t bear eating there alone, so I just put my work stuff on it when she’s not here.
#6: “Do I have a sunburn?” “You’re not going to get a sunburn!” “I think I have a sunburn…” (I had a sunburn.)
This was June 26th. We went for a walk on the hike and bike trail near my apartment. It was overcast and peaceful, and just wonderful being able to walk with her. We’d walked the trail once before a few months back, and I’d used a pocketknife to carve our initials into the wooden railing on an overlook for a pond. I know it’s a little juvenile, but I love that it’s still there. I’d never done something like that before.
Sidenote: We ran part of the last mile back. Even though we had to stop (she was sick and really congested at the time), it was amazing finally being able to run with her. I’m not sure if she realizes, but I mostly started running so I could keep up with her :o)
#5: “The media guys are normally here by now…”
This was June 28. It was the last night she was able to see me present at Kent State. I love presenting, and I love that I was able to share that with her. That Thursday the media guys were late in opening up the presentation space, so we took out my iPhone for a quick photo-op.
Sidenote: My favorite pictures of her end up being the pictures she hates. But I love when she’s goofy and ridiculous with me. I can’t think of anyone else I want to make faces with.
This was later that night. She took me out for dinner at the best worst local Mexican restaurant. I love their chicken tacos. It’s tradition for her to draw a little muffin like this on the takeout box. Did you notice that the muffin is actually a globe. Like…the world? It’s a muffin and the world, which she only draws when we’re together.
Sidenote: I’ve carved all of her drawings out of the styrofoam containers, and I keep them on my fridge. Sometimes I see them and for a minute or two it’s like she’s there. Like it’s actually our fridge instead of just mine.
#3 “What’s it called?” “Fiesta Lettuce Wrap Taco Night Extravaganza.”
After sharing that she wanted to learn more about cooking while she was visiting, she tracked down and made this delicious meal all by herself. It was excellent, if not incredibly messy. On a related note, I love cooking with her. We work really well together, especially in the kitchen.
Sidenote: The bananas in the background had to sit there for three more days before she’d even consider eating them.
#2: “I don’t want you to be jealous when you meet my husband…”
This was July 3rd at the Nautica Pavilion in downtown Cleveland. She’s had a huge crush on Death Cab for Cutie lead singer Ben Gibbard for years, and colloquially refers to him as her “husband.” So naturally I thought it’d be a good idea to get us concert tickets to go see them live. Fun Fact: If you want an idea for how often she’s referred to Ben’s ex-wife Zooey Deschanel as “husband stealer,” just google “ohmuffins husband stealer.” I’ll wait.
Sidenote: She picked on me for bringing Ziplock baggies for us to put our phones in if it rained. We had to run through a torrential downpour on the way to the car. It was actually one of those amazing movie moments because we were holding hands. It was raining so hard we managed to actually run two rows PAST my car, which we found by repeatedly locking the doors to make it honk. We were absolutely drenched by the time we got inside. But our phones? They survived because they were in Ziplock baggies. BOOYAH!
#1: “Can we stay a little longer? I want one without her head in it…”
We went to dinner at Panera on the last night of our trip. This booth is important for reasons, and so we stayed well past the time it took for us to eat our meal so we could get a picture without that lady’s head in it (top left corner). This booth is so important that we’d actually joked about getting it or one similar to it in whatever future home we create together.
Sidenote: Later that night I tried to pack my bag to make things “easier” in the morning when I’d have to drive back to Ohio. I managed to pick up one shirt before I broke down in tears. We held each other for awhile and cried. Hell, I’m crying just typing this. The only thing I could say to her was “It won’t always be like this.”
Being in Ohio is hard without her. I have a great job here. I have an amazing woman in North Carolina. From where I stand, only one of those things is replaceable. And when you find someone special, when you find that person who just fits, you do everything you can to be with them. Because jobs come and go. Some people do, too. But there’s no one out there like her. I feel it in every part of me. And I’ll do whatever I can to keep that, because it won’t always be like this.