6 Years Strong

Dear Pyro Man, 

Happy anniversary, Handsome! I could write so many things about the last six years, how wonderful they've been, the challenges we've already hurdled, and all the dreams we have for tomorrow. Instead I'll keep it short and sweet, tell you how much I love you, how happy I am you're my partner in life, and how I can't wait to see what else is in store for us. 

Love you like crazy, Janson. 

Apryl Ann Photography

Apryl Ann Photography

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Happy Fifth Anniversary!

Has it already been five years? Just like that, time is passing faster than I can imagine and I know we missed out on some memories these last two years, but we're making up for it now. Crazy as it sounds, I'm actually grateful for our long distance challenge. We learned a lot about what marriage is and what it takes to make it not just work, but to make it great. We took the challenge head on and saw it through to this, finally being home together again. So yeah, in some ways I am glad we had to climb that mountain together. 

But really, we're not doing this long distance junk again. That chapter is closed. For reals. I mean it. Done. 

Handsome, you're a peach, a darling, a Dr.-Pepper-Lovin'-man that drives me crazy but I love you. There's no one else in the world who can love me like you do. Many times you say or do the right thing and it makes me realize how much you know my heart. I count my lucky stars to have you in my life. Then you also do something wacky that makes me want to throat-chop you. Really, that's just balance though, right? 

My sweet, I hope we always laugh and keep communicating. I hope we continue to grow together and lean on each other through all our future challenges. I hope we celebrate big for all the successes and excitements that come our way. I hope I keep you on your toes and I hope you do the same for me. I hope you continue to take me on adventures and I hope I continue to be your home.  Mostly, I hope we continue to love, honor, and cherish one another. Always. 

Happy fifth anniversary, Pyro Man! 

I love you like crazy. 

Three cheers for celebrating our anniversary ON our actual anniversary TOGETHER in the SAME. PLACE!  Miracles do happen! 

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Little Moments

Last week of classes! Holla!!!!

We are coming up on the end of this spring semester, "we" being my husband and I. It's hard to believe that we are already through this time, it's blown by so fast! His first semester is done and we've managed to be back under the same roof for four straight months. And we still like each other. It's just nuts, man. 

When I dreamt about him coming home, I knew I didn't want to take little moments for granted. I really wanted to savor all the times I had with him without making them heavy. It's just, I missed so much of the little things while we were a part that I didn't want to miss out on them when he came home.

The semester has been busy for both of us, no surprise there, honestly, and yet we've been able to make time for one another. Breakfast together on Sunday's, yard work for a Saturday afternoon, and date nights on Friday's even if it's home watching whatever series we're binging. Lately it's just been neighborhood walks. Sometimes it's a lot of conversation, something it's just about walking side by side. Well, side by Penny by side--you know, the dog's got to be right there between her people so, there ya go. In any case, we've made sure that there's a time for each other no matter how busy life gets. 

Just thinking in calendar time, we're a third of the way through 2017 now. A third! Four months can go by hurriedly and if we're not careful we can find a lot of wasted time or missed opportunities. I think we've been consciously making choices to slow down and take in those little moments and I think it's made this year pretty stellar so far. 

Here's to all those little moments and how big of an impact they actually make!

Oh, and here's to the start of summer because, duh, it's summer! Cheers! 

What's a little important moment for you?

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Settling In

Tennis shoes in the living room, a pair of jeans on the back of a chair, a Dr. Pepper can by the sink, and a hat on the kitchen table. Normally these little droppings might bother me, but these days I'm just happy to see evidence that I've got my man back in the house. I don't think there's anything right now that could make me happier than seeing him settling back into our home.

He's all unpacked and taken over the "man cave" with books and papers and things. He's getting his own rhythm set for the semester and we've found a nice routine together, too. Every night we have dinner together with just enough time to watch one episode of "Narcos". After that, an early bedtime before we rise to do it all again.

I've said "together" more times than I really want to count, but let's be real for a second, being in the same place at the same time within inches of each other is something I've been waiting to happen for way too long. Indulge me a little here. I'm happy our long distance is so freaking over!

Sure, it sounds pretty simple and far less exciting than most. Right now, though, this is my little piece of heaven on earth.  I'll enjoy those little annoyances and our simple married routine for as long as possible because every time I missed him, I wished I had reminders around the house and simple dinners on couch with him.  

What says "home" to you? What makes it feel like your home is complete and your heart full and happy? 

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A Difference in Opinions

I like to sleep in a cold house under layers and layers of sheets and blankets. He likes it cool with minimal amount of blanket coverage, a light blanket and sheet, thank you. 

I like onions in almost every meal, the flavor mouthwatering, the smell amazingly enticing to the tastebuds. He likes as little as possible. 

I like vegetables in my meals, good wholesome nutrient rich veggies. He just doesn't. 

Music on a road trip. Talk radio or comedy. 

Pictures on the walls. Deer heads in the living room. 

There's lots of things we differ on in but there's a lot of things we agree upon, too, sometimes more important than the amount of onions in a dinner meal. Things like morals, family values, the importance of a good salsa.

What I'm trying to get out is people can disagree on all sorts of levels. It doesn't mean you aren't standing for the same thing. If you find yourself getting immensely frustrated, take a beat. Back yourself up. Ask if you're really hearing what's being said. Did you really understand what they were saying or trying to convey? Perhaps you stepped on a grenade unintentionally. Listen, don't put up defenses. Figure out what happened, let the apology out and move on. Or, for Pete's sake, agree to disagree and don't let it bother you much. 

 People are going to have their opinions and it's their right to differ. We might not always agree *cough, the down duvet is perfect, cough cough* and it's really okay. If at the end of the day you still stand for the same important things together, then we're on the same page after all. 

That's my kumbaya story for the day and I'm officially stepping off the soap bow. Now, who wants a taco with extra onions?!

A tete a tete doesn't really have to be so divisive if we remember what we're standing for together. It's good to remember that in any relationship. Sometimes we just want to be heard. 

A tete a tete doesn't really have to be so divisive if we remember what we're standing for together. It's good to remember that in any relationship. Sometimes we just want to be heard. 

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Wedding Cake Bliss

To be perfectly honest, what I was most excited about in the wedding planning process was the cake testing. Forget the dress and flowers, bring on the buttercream frosting, baby! 

Unfortunately and fortunately, the first bakery I chose was so good I didn't have to look any further in selecting a cake. Mind you, I would have been more than happy to continue the search, but I was pretty happy with my selection of The Cake Guys and continuing the search would just have been a waste of precious planning time. 

We were able to put in a tasting order where they prepared a couple of boxes filled with huge slices to try and different icings and fillings to pair up. WARNING: never take your pregnant sister with you in you want to be able to be able to try flavors more than once...

See what I mean? I literally had to put my body in between Big Sister's fork and the cake! Just kidding, we all had a really good time sampling everything and it was all SO good! 

In the end I chose a white cake with buttercream frosting, traditional and simple, yet perfectly delectable! What really made the cake pop was the filling I chose to put inside: dulce de leche. Nope, it was not carmel like at all. It was actually a buttercream frosting flavored with dulce de leche. So dadgum amazing! 

All photos from this slide show taken by Apryl Ann Photography. 

Come our first anniversary, I really wanted to serve our wedding cake as dessert. Problem was we were living in Oklahoma City and our bakery was in Texas. SO, I got creative with Mom and we set out to try and replicate the dulce de leche frosting. How hard could it be? 

Apparently not hard at all! It's really simple and you only need two ingredients. Buttercream frosting and dulce de leche. 

Now, I will say that I prefer my icing homemade--that's just me. But the dulce de leche, well, the first attempt in making it fresh didn't turn out so well so I resorted to using the bottled brand (You can find this is the Mexican food section at the grocery store. I used the Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche brand.) Now. If you really want to make that homemade, and I might try it next year, Pioneer Woman has a great recipe here

Buttercream is really easy to make up. For a hard copy, download the recipe here. A standard white box cake was used this time for simplicity since the icing was the main focus. Once the buttercream is ready, the ducle de leche part is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

To get the dulce de leche flavor, add the dulce and continue to mix until consistency is right. More powdered sugar might be necessary to keep the icing thick. A helpful hint is to refrigerate the icing for a time in order for it to set up before adding as the inner layer. 

This will forever be my wedding cake bliss and a sweet reminder of a very happy occasion! 

What if your favorite cake to eat at weddings? 

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