Punk rock, snowboarding adventures and cute couple-y stuff.

March 8, 2011

It’s been another fun month filled with friends and lots of “busy”, but hey, that’s my life and I like it!

If you know me even a little bit, you know that I absolutely love punk rock music. I’m not talking the watered-down crap you hear on the radio but the real stuff. The in-your-face, wild, rebellious-youth mohawks-and-safety-pins punk rock. Lucky for me, I grew up in NYC so I got to go to hundreds of amazing shows. Somehow, I’m still not quite sure, I managed to never see NOFX (I heard they suck live, though). Well, that all changed last month! They played here in Atlanta at the Masquerade with the Bouncing Souls (who I also absolutely love) and I finally got to go! The show was pretty awesome, despite the sound guy sucking majorly. Both bands played all my favorites and I’m glad I no longer have to live with the shame of never having seen one of the greats. 😛

I was sitting at work one Friday and saw an ad on Facebook for “free couples photography”. Normally I don’t click FB ads but that one intrigued me, and I was a little bored. Turns out a local photographer was trying to build his engagement/wedding portfolio and needed couples to act cute in front of his lens. Erik and I were happy to oblige and not only did the shots turn out awesome, but the photographer, Darrell Ardita, turned out to be a pretty cool dude! We had a great time and definitely recommend him!

I love this shot. The rest came out great, too! See them all at: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=10503411&aid=2289357

We celebrated Valentine’s Day with an awesome dinner at Taka Sushi. It was also their 9th year in business so they were celebrating their anniversary with $0.09 appetizers and sake. Cool!!

Riding has been, um, “meh” lately. There really aren’t any good school horses for me to ride at Huntcliff and I haven’t had any fun at all for months. I’m just so sick of riding horses that are completely dead to my leg, my hand, my seat, etc. or that are crazy and I wind up having to train them for the hour. No, not cool and definitely not fair considering I work my butt off 80 hours a week just so I can afford to spend 1 hour in the saddle. Anyway, one of the super-nice girls there has very generously offered one of her horses for me to ride and I am incredibly grateful! The horse is really nice and I’m looking forward to riding not being miserable anymore. *fingers crossed*

We spent last weekend out in Utah for our annual snowboard trip with some friends. We all crashed at EJ’s parents place (thank you Debby and Bill!) and they, as always, were amazing hosts. We hit up Snowbasin on Friday and I finally got off the Bunny Slope and did some Green/Blue trails! I was breaking in my new board and unfortunately it wasn’t set up right for me but I was too lazy to fix it so I got super exhausted by riding incorrectly all day. Regardless, it was fun. Saturday we took the day off to recover, run errands and just hang out. Sunday we went back to the mountain and (after having adjusted my board) had a great time, although I did notice that one of my brand new bindings had broken. Bummer. I was painfully tired by the end of the day but it was worth it. I’m already looking forward to going back next year!

As for wedding progress, we’re currently interview photographers and hope to have someone picked by April. I found a great videographer that we’re in love with (Three Ring Media) and we just sent in the deposit. As always, you can visit AinsleyAndErik.com to stay up to date on the planning progress.

Speaking of websites, I also finally got around to building my AinsleyHyman.com site. I’ve had the domain and layout for years but there was no content and the code was very, very out of date. Go check out the new and improved version! 🙂


Atlanta Blizzard, Hockey, Ladies and the Wedding

January 31, 2011

We’re almost into February and I haven’t even posted an update yet! Happy New Year and whatnot, I guess.

We had a party at our house to celebrate 2011 and also to officially welcome Sarah to Atlanta! It was nice getting everyone together and I especially liked not having to drive home after a late night. 😉

A few weeks later there was a freak snowstorm in Atlanta and we wound up getting about 6″ of snow. Seriously. In Atlanta. Crazy, right? So anyway, the “blizzard” wound up being pretty awful since it didn’t get above freezing for a week which, combined with the fact that Atlanta does not plow or salt its roads, means everywhere was completely iced over and I got trapped at home with no way to leave. The driveway was a 1/2″ of solid ice and there was no way the Miata could have made it up all the hills in my neighborhood. The worst part was that Erik was in Raleigh for work so I was completely alone for an entire week and it sucked! By the time I finally got back into the office, I had been home for a total of 10 days straight. Ugh! It was definitely an adventure, though. Watching the news was hilarious. People were abandoning their cars on the interstate and literally ice skating on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta.

Snow “turbo” that I built during the Great Atlanta Blizzard of 2011, complete with a machined billet compressor wheel! LOL

Last week Erik and I hit up Philips Arena for an Atlanta Thrashers vs. Washington Capitals game in a dope VIP suite thanks to our friends Tim and Sara. The game itself was okay (Thrashers won 1-0) but it was hanging out and meeting new people that was really the best.

Speaking of entertainment, we also picked up a sweet 50″ plasma TV for a killer price from a friend of ours. In the words of the great Black Flag, TV PARTY TONIGHT!!

This past weekend, EJ, Sarah and I had a lesson all together at Huntcliff. I hadn’t ridden in a month due to the crazy weather we’ve been having here lately and it was okay but I still really, really miss Toby. I haven’t found another horse that comes even remotely close to how awesome he was. *sigh*

Saturday night a bunch of us ladies did a “Girls Night” that we’re hoping to make a regular occurance. Eight of us met up for dinner and then saw No Strings Attached which I thought would be good but it absolutely exceeded my expectations. It’s hilarious and pretty non-click-flick-y for a chick-flick, if that makes any sense. I had a blast with the girls and I think it’s so strange how my whole life the majority of my friends have been dudes but now I’m surrounded by a fantastic group of ladies. I’m fortunate either way, though, and grateful for that.

As for the wedding, we’re slowly but steadily making progress. We met with a wedding planner who we absolutely loved (Daria from Circle of Love Weddings) and decided to claim her for our date. I’m looking forward to working with her and getting started on the planning! We’re also in the process of locking down our venue and will be signing those contracts within a week or two. Fingers crossed!

PRI, 6 years of “us”, Wedding progress, Christmas and more

December 28, 2010

Well, this will be my last update of 2010. It’s been an okay year overall with plenty of ups and downs but at least it was memorable.

First, I’d like to welcome one of my bestest friends, Sarah, to Atlanta! She’s moving here today and I am soooo excited to be able to spend more time with her!

Erik recently celebrated his 30th birthday so he’s officially a grown up now (at least he is on paper). We had a big birthday dinner for him with a ton of friends at a local Korean BBQ place and it made me smile to see him smiling so much.

I was down in Orlando a few weeks ago for the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show. PRI is a lot like the SEMA show in that it’s automotive-centric, but unlike SEMA, PRI is specifically focused on hardcore racers and racing products. I was with Precision Turbo & Engine and spent three days working the booth, talking to people, seeing some old friends and generally having a blast. It’s funny but when it has to do with racecars, work feels more like fun to me. I also ran into some of my coworkers from when I was at Garrett and it was wonderful to see them again. I’m especially grateful to the entire PTE crew for making me feel like a part of the team and for their hospitality. Everyone go buy a Precision turbo, now!! 😀 PRI shout-outs to Full-Race and Enzo Racing, too!

Precision Turbo & Engine’s booth at the 2010 PRI show.

While in Florida, Erik and I also celebrated our 6 year anniversary. Sometimes I can’t believe we’ve been together this long and other days I feel like we’ve been together forever. Regardless, we waited until we were back in Atlanta before officially celebrating with a fabulous dinner at Tom Colicchio’s Craft. Everything was delicious and I ate so much I was in tremendous physical pain. Craft is the absolute best restaurant I’ve ever been to in my life, hands down, and they’re closing! If you live in Atlanta, make sure you get there soon before it’s too late!

Last week I took off from TMP so that Erik and I could continue our wedding planning by hitting up as many potential venues as possible. We looked at 19 different places, met with a planner and stopped by a bridal services boutique store – woo I am tired!!! The first 18 venues we visited were all nice but not quite what I had in mind and I was starting to get incredibly discouraged, it was awful. Then, with lucky number 19, we found the absolute perfect place! I’m SO excited! I won’t say what it is yet (in case it doesn’t work out) but I’m hoping we can make it work within our budget and book soon so we can lock in a date. Keep your fingers crossed!

Christmas eve we cooked a big dinner and had some friends over which was nice; it makes me so happy when the house is full of people we love. The next day, Erik, EJ and I opened presents then did the good-Jew-on-Christmas traditional Chinese food and a movie thing (Tron, which was awesome, by the way). Overall it was very low-key but that’s exactly what I had wanted!

Switching gears (no pun intended), Damnit came home last night after having spent over a year up at Balanced Performance getting work done. (Damnit it is our ’92 Lexus SC300 that used to belong to our friend Sae Kang who passed away a few years ago.) I’m excited that Erik will have something to race now and that we still have a bit of Sae still in our lives.

Now, let’s get 2011 started!!

Thanksgiving, Engagement Photos and the Search for a Wedding Venue

December 3, 2010

Okay, while I’ve got a few minutes of downtime I figured I’d knock out a post.

I went up to Maryland a few weeks ago with the guys from Precision Turbo & Engine for the World Cup Finals Import vs. Domestic race at MD International Raceway. I’ve been doing some work for them over the past few months and it was great to finally meet some of the guys as well as my boss. I had a blast hanging out down at the starting line taking pictures and talking to new, interesting people. I hadn’t been to a drag race in forever and I forgot how much fun they can be, despite the fact that it’s straight line racing. LOL

Riding has been very meh lately. I actually haven’t ridden in almost a month because my last three lessons have all gotten rained out and the last time I did manage to get on a horse I wound up on the ground. We had done an entire hour-long lesson of no stirrups (took them completely off our saddles so we couldn’t cheat) and I was absolutely dead tired by the end which was when we started jumping and the ridiculously tall, painfully uncomfortable horse I was riding decided to take a long spot for one of the jumps and I was too exhausted to stay on. Eh, at least I didn’t get hurt and the ground was surprisingly more comfortable than being in the saddle. Ha!

Erik and I went up to NY for Thanksgiving to visit our friends and family which was nice. We got in Thursday afternoon and had dinner at his mom’s. Alana stopped by which was awesome because she’s been one of my best friends since I was 6 years old (seriously) and I love her to death and hadn’t seen her in years.

Friday we hung around, got rear ended in Erik’s mom’s car by some 18 year old kid (he was absolutely terrified and shaking after it happened, poor baby) but luckily nobody got hurt and the damage wasn’t too bad. Had dinner with an old friend and then went to Grand Prix New York to meet up with some other friends for go-karting. I was surprised at how baller the place was – definitely the nicest facility I’ve ever been to, period.

Saturday was spent down in NJ doing the big family Thanksgiving dinner. As usual, I really enjoyed hanging out with Erik’s family. I’m so fortunate to be marrying into such a wonderful group of people!

Sunday was Erik’s 30th birthday but also the day we got to do our engagement photos! A good friend of mine, Paul Nart, is a very talented photographer and offered to take some snaps of us. We met down under the Brooklyn Bridge and suffered through the cold weather for the sake of looking good. 😉 Paul got some really incredible photos and I couldn’t be happier! We even found two beautiful old cars in a parking lot that we managed to pose with for a few. Check out the album here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2276775&id=10503411&l=8c62126645

Erik mentioned that he really liked this photo because it shows our past, where we’ve come from (the city) and our future which is still “under construction” and I couldn’t agree more.
See them all at: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2276775&id=10503411&l=8c62126645

Yesterday we went to go see two potential wedding venues and I was incredibly underwhelmed. I don’t know what it is about Atlanta, but it seems impossible to find somewhere that I love! Maybe I’m being too picky but I’m really bummed about the lack of quality wedding space for what we want/need. Feel free to suggest places… argh.

This weekend is shaping up to be a good one. One of my favorite peoples ever, Miss Sarah Fick, will be spending the weekend here with her mommy as they go apartment hunting in preparation for her move to Atlanta in January! I can’t wait!! 😀

My First Disney Adventure and a Jersey-tastic Halloween.

November 4, 2010

Time flies when you’re working 80 hours a week. I’ll try to do this update as quickly as I can since I honestly don’t have the time to sit and write thoughtfully.

Back in October, I attended my first ever air show. We went to Wings Over Atlanta at the Dobbins Air Force Base and I was simply amazed, to put it mildly. We saw the Blue Angels and the Canadian Snowbirds perform, among others; the tricks and maneuvers these planes did was nothing short of outrageous and it made me want to a) go for a ride-along and b) learn to fly. Great, just what I need, another expensive/time-consuming hobby… Let’s hope I forget about this pipe dream in the near future.

The next day, Erik and I decided that we wanted to take the Miata for another autocross adventure. It had been leaking coolant very, very slightly at the last event so we figured it would be okay. NOPE! On my very first run, not only did I get lost on course (haha OOPS! *so* embarrassing) but the car started pissing coolant, hardcore. Ugh. Great. So we called AAA and had her towed home. Turns out that there is a very small little coolant blockoff line that is at the back of the head and the cap on it commonly fails. A silly $4 part cost me an event (although the Atlanta Region SCCA was nice enough to refund us) and a ton of peace of mind. Either way, she’s all fixed up now and should be good to go for the 2011 season!

Every year for work, Erik has to travel to the Gartner IT convention in Orlando. Now, I had never been to Disney (seriously) and Erik knew I was jealous that he was getting to go essentially for free while I was stuck at home so he did the only logical thing a boy could do – he planned a Disney adventure weekend for us! I flew down on a Thursday and we went to dinner at the T-Rex Cafe in Downtown Disney with our friend Julius who lives in FL. I know, it sounds cheesy (and it was) but it was SO much fun! They had these huge animatronic dinosaurs and the restaurant itself was done to look like different prehistoric types of land (ice cave, forest, undersea area, etc) which was really interesting. Before/after dinner we wandered around and played with Disney stuff, went to the Lego store and got a huge ice cream sundae at the Ghirardelli shop. YUM!

Friday we went to Epcot and I was just as excited as all the small children we were surrounded by. I’ll admit, I actually got a bit emotional as we walked in and saw Spaceship Earth to the point where I even got a little teary. After taking some pictures, we got straight down to business. Our mission was to hit every single area of the park. First we got in line for Soarin’ which was a lot of fun. Next, we got in line for Mission: Space and decided to do the “advanced” part of it, which we instantly regretted. Normally I don’t get motion sick but ohMYgod that ride made me almost barf, it was terrible! Luckily, the rest of the day was much better. We rode Spaceship Earth, drove around on Test Track, saw Captain EO, hopped on a boat in the Maelstrom, partied with the Three Caballeros and even met Snow White! We toured the world and enjoyed the Food and Wine Festival, ate lunch in Morocco and watched a lot of neat cultural shows. By the end of the day we were exhausted and my feet were killing me but we toughed it out for the fireworks show, Illuminations.

Saturday was the “big day” – the day we were going to the Magic Kingdom! Our plan was the same as it was for Epcot in that we wanted to see every bit of the park possible and we managed to make it happen, too. We rode all the classics: Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain, Peter Pan, It’s a Small World, Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road, the Haunted Mansion, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Stitch’s Great Escape, Swiss Family Treehouse, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, saw Mickey’s PhilharMagic, caught a show at the Enchanted Tiki Room, rode the Liberty Belle river boat and more. You’ll notice I left out Space Mountain. Oh yes, we did that, too. I *hate* roller coasters. I’ll admit, I’m a wuss and they scare me (even the little kid ones). Erik suggested we do Space Mountain which is in the DARK and somehow he convinced me that I should agree. Needless to say, I screamed like a terrified little girl the entire time but it was actually so much fun!! I couldn’t stop smiling, even though I had convinced myself I was scared. After we had ridden everything possible, we wandered around the park and tried to really take it all in. We caught the electrical parade and watched the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle. It was a perfect end to a perfect day.

Sunday was our last day in town but we still managed to get in a few hours at Hollywood Studios before catching our flight home. We didn’t get to see or do everything in this park since we were on a limited schedule, but I enjoyed the time we spent there. We did the Studio Back Lot Tour, saw Lights! Motors! Action! and even met Buzz and Woody!

My real life Prince Charming. *awww*

Click here to see the entire album from Disney! YAY!

This past week has been a pretty busy one, despite not actually traveling anywhere. We went to go see Metric with some friends at the Tabernacle which was pretty good.

Saturday night some friends had a Halloween party and it was decided that we were to do a Jersey Shore theme. Since I’m short, I called dibs on Snooki. EJ, my best friend, was (E)J-Woww and Erik and Mikel were The Situation and Pauly D, respectively. I got an awesomely trashy black/leopard mini-dress, teased a huge pouf in my hair and wandered around wearing a pair of huge, pink fuzzy slippers. All four of us used a disgusting amount of bronzer and the results were hilarious. On our way to the party, we stopped at a liquor store to get some booze and the people working there gave me candy. YAY trick or treating in a liquor store! How perfect is that given the costume? HA!! My only regret? That I didn’t get to use the costume a second time!

(E)J-Woww and Snooki: real-life and Halloween BBFs. …does anyone have any pickles?

The next day, Erik and I went to go see Bad Religion and The Aggrolites at the Masquerade. I was stoked because despite the hundreds and hundreds of punk shows that I went to in NYC growing up, I had never seen either band! They both played awesome sets, we met up with some old and new friends and got sweaty and screamy just like I used to do ten years ago. Man, I had a blast. I miss those days… UP THE PUNX! 😀

Anyway, that’s about it for now. I rode a new mare at Huntcliff this week who, despite being a wiggley baby, seemed promising. We’ll see what happens with that. Lastly, tomorrow, I’m heading up to Maryland for the weekend for some car stuff.

The Girls, My First Autocross and the End of Summer.

October 11, 2010

Life. Is. Good. I’m grateful that I’m fortunate enough to be able to say that so frequently.

Last month, The Girls came to visit. We’ve been trying to make this an annual trip and so far we’re going strong 4 years in a row! Sarah actually drove down about a week earlier and stayed with me while she job searched and went on interviews. I’m pleased to announce that she got a great offer, accepted it and will be moving to Atlanta in just a few months! Congratulations, lady! Cori and Alyssa flew in Friday afternoon and we immediately got into “having fun” mode. 🙂 After decompressing at the house for a bit we went over to Flip Burger for dinner and amazing milkshakes. Somehow the subject of the Clermont Lounge came up and it was decided that we wanted to go see what it was all about. For those that don’t know, the Clermont is Atlanta’s old strip club and is affectionately referred to as “the retirement home for strippers” or “where strippers go to die”. Why? Because they’re all old. No, not “old” as in 30s, old as in 60s and 70s. Seriously. Yes, it’s just as creepy/awkward/somewhat-frightening as you’re imagining, but it’s also absolutely hilarious.

The next day we woke up early, did the traditional Waffle House breakfast and headed off down to Rancho Loma Linda in south Georgia. Angel and Andrea Rodriguez own this beautiful farm where they raise Peruvian Horses and take people like us out for super-fun trail rides, followed by BBQ and hanging out. We spent the entire day there and came back late Saturday night, happy and exhausted.

Sunday morning we hit up the Flying Biscuit for breakfast before heading off to the airport to say goodbye to Alyssa. The rest of us came home and spent the remainder of the day relaxing and recovering from the busy weekend. We had a “wine and horsey movie marathon” that night – sometimes I have the most fun just doing nothing with the ladies. Overall, it was a fairly short trip but I’m always thrilled to see my girls. I love you all! ❤

Me, Cori, Sarah, EJ and Alyssa at Flip Burger.
Click here to see the rest of the photos from our weekend.

The following weekend Erik and I went to the 2010 Atlanta Chili Cook-Off at Stone Mountain Park. Some friends of his were competing so we mostly hung out with them and walked around to sample lots of different chilies. We also managed to hit up the Gwinnett County Fair that weekend – my first “real” county fair and my very first deep fried Snickers experience! (Yes, it was actually quite delicious).

Since summer was winding down, we also managed to squeeze in a Braves game with some friends. They were playing the Phillies so I wasn’t really sure who to cheer for considering I lived there for 4 years but here in Atlanta for 3. Regardless, the Phillies won 11 to 5 and we stayed to watch the Friday night fireworks at Turner Field.

That Sunday, Erik and I woke up super early and drove the Miata down to Atlanta Motor Speedway for an autocross event being held by the Atlanta Region SCCA. I’ve always wanted to try this but never got around to it so I was incredibly excited (and yes, nervous) to give it a shot. We both drove the Miata in the E-Stock class and I had the time of my life. My first run was awful because I wanted to make sure I a) wouldn’t get lost on the course and b) wasn’t going to blow up the car. By the time I had finished my fourth and final run, I had shaved 15 seconds off my total time and was pretty pleased with that. I still sucked, but I’m looking forward to doing even better at the next event!

Later that afternoon after we had done our duties as course workers, we met up with a bunch of friends at the Atlanta Greek Festival where we ate food, watched some dancing and enjoyed the last few bits of summer.

This past weekend, EJ and I hit up the mall to find our outrageous Halloween costumes: I’m going as Snooki (yes, I’ll post pictures eventually) and she’s going to be (E)J-Woww. After the mall we went to go see an afternoon showing of Secretariat. Given we all knew how it would end (he won the Triple Crown back in 1973), the movie did a great job of being suspenseful and really making you wonder what was going to happen next. I loved it, and not just because it was a horse movie!

Saturday night we went out to dinner with some friends at the Boulevard Diner. At one point our waiter asked if there was anything he could bring me so of course I replied “a pony”. He made some funny, sarcastic comment and a few minutes later appeared at the table with a drawing of a pony that he had made for me. Hilarious! Then later when our checks came, I opened mine to see that the bill was completely blank except for a big zero and the words “pay it forward.” I looked at our guy like “ummm…?” and he winked and told me that once a day he picks a customer to do something nice for in the hopes that we continue the trend. How awesome is that?? I love that place and the idea! Yay karma! 😀

Afterwards, we made our annual trip to Netherword, one of the scariest haunted houses in the country which just happens to be less than 3 miles from my house. I didn’t get kissed by a zombie this year, but it was still absolutely incredible. I don’t scare very easily so I was giggling the entire time but I loved every second of it and can’t wait to go again next year! Lastly, we drove up yesterday to north Georgia with some friends to go to the Ellijay Apple Festival. It was interesting, to say the least. I’d like to go back again next year so long as it isn’t disgustingly hot out like it was! Ha!

All in all, it’s been a great past few weeks. I’ve got a lot of stuff planned over the next few months so I’m sure I’ll be just as busy having fun for the rest of the year!

Nashville, Clemson and yes, a Bridal Show!

September 16, 2010

Wooo this sure has been a busy few weeks! I know I say that all the time but it’s like my life just keeps getting more and more exciting as time goes on. Lucky me.

So far this month I’ve gone to a Columbia University send-off event for the Atlanta students (Erik is an alumnus), went to a Braves game with some friends and spent the weekend in Nashville with Erik for the Ruby Hoedown convention where we met “Elvis” and got to see the fake Parthenon.

Last weekend, Erik and I went to South Carolina to see the Clemson vs. Presbyterian game. A friend had season tickets and wasn’t going to that game so he gave them to us as an early engagement present. Sweet. I’d never been to a real-live football game before so I was excited, especially since I have a few friends who went to Clemson and their team spirit is contagious! The game itself wasn’t particularly interesting (Clemson slaughtered PC, 58 to 21) but the family we were sitting next to helped make my first game a memorable experience. They were really nice and I wound up chatting with the dad for the duration of the game. They were also super excited that Erik and I were engaged, even though we had just met them. LOL.

Erik and I at the game after Clemson beat Presbyterian, 58 to 21.

While we were at the game, one of my best friends from when I was at Drexel, Sarah, drove down to Atlanta from Maryland. She’ll be finishing grad school soon and is looking to move to Atlanta so she had scheduled some job interviews and is currently staying with me. I couldn’t be happier or more excited for her!

The next day, I dragged her and EJ (and Erik, although he says he actually wanted to go) to a bridal show. I haven’t the slightest clue as to how to plan a wedding or where to start, so I figured it would be fun and educational. We talked to lots of vendors, ate yummy cake samples and I even got to play in one of those flying-money-booths. Overall, we had a great time and I definitely learned a lot but I’m still completely overwhelmed!

Tuesday I had my riding lesson, as usual, at Huntcliff with EJ. Since Sarah is in town she joined us and we had our first lesson together as a group since 2007! I rode a reallllly nice new horse named Bentley and I’m actually excited about lessons again. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden a strong horse that will challenge me (without being dangerous) and so I’m hoping he’ll stick around for a while.

As for this weekend, Alyssa and Cori are flying in tomorrow and we’re all doing our annual Sheep weekend! I can’t wait to see my girls!!

I know this was a relatively short post but I’ve been sooooo busy with work lately that I honestly didn’t have the time to write more!

The Proposal Story: How Erik Asked Me to Marry Him (and How I Got a Miata!)

August 19, 2010

Well kids, it finally happened – after 5.5 years, Erik proposed! Here’s the story of how it happened… Caution: you may need a tissue or two. 😉

Thursday (08/12/10) morning Erik had to go in to work really early for a meeting. Later that afternoon he texted me and said that he wanted to go out to dinner, somewhere nice. I was all ‘okay, any idea where?’ and he said no but he’d figure something out by the time he got home. I was a little suspicious of him considering it was out of the blue and usually when we decide to go out it’s somewhere not-fancy… Anyway, he came home around 5:30 and I complained that I was already hungry and asked if we could go right then but he said no we had to wait until 6:45 to leave and I asked ‘why? Do you have reservations?’ and he said no, he did not. He also then suggested I wear something “nice” (I was in jeans) since we were going somewhere a little more upscale. Weird, but I complied.

We headed out to the restaurant which was in Buckhead (that’s the fancy-pants part of town) and it wound up being Bone’s, one of the best steak houses in Atlanta. We dropped the Subaru off with the valets and headed inside. Already I’m thinking to myself ‘expensive restaurant, valet… what the heck is going on?’ Once inside we were greeted by the maître d’ who welcomed Erik by name (“ah, Mr. Jacobs, so lovely to see you again”) and I said ‘wait, how does he know you??’ and the guy quickly replied “he’s been here several times with some business colleagues for meetings” (turned out to be a total lie – nice one, maître d’!!). So he seated us and like a bajillion different servers came to our table (one dude for water, another for bread, another for menus, another to drop off the wine list [which was actually an IPAD!! SO COOL!] and another to take our wine order). Dinner was excellent and then Erik suggested we go somewhere else for dessert since he had heard of a really good place.

As we walked out of the restaurant I noticed a white Miata parked out front. I jokingly said to Erik, ‘aww cute Miata! Is it for me?’ and he was like “pffffft NO”. The valet ran off to get our car and came back on foot. I was really worried that the Subaru wouldn’t start or something like that but then guy handed me a not-our-Subaru car key. I then proceeded to go from worried to confused… ‘why is he giving me a key? Usually I give them the key and they bring me a car….’ ‘is the Miata his and he wants me to drive it because he heard me say I liked it?’ then Erik pulled out another Mazda key and the both of them just stood there smiling at me and the only thing going through my head was ‘…………………?’ so Erik finally pointed at the car and goes “it’s yours!” I then squealed and did girl-hands and ran over to it and pretty much freaked out. AWESOME.

My beautiful 1.6L ’93 Mazda Miata MX-5 “Elli”. Best. Engagement Present. EVER! 😀

We got in the car and drove down to the ice cream place (Morelli’s) which was about 20 minutes away. I was suuuupppper excited about the car (it’s SO cute!) but figured that was all that was going to happen. We ordered (salted caramel, if you’re in Atlanta you need to try it because it’s amazing) and sat down to eat. It was so beautiful out… typical warm, breezy Atlanta night – a few clouds and some really gorgeous heat lightning… perfect.

After we finished I got up to throw out the cup and get ready to leave. Erik said “hey, no, let’s stay a bit since it’s so nice out” so I sat back down. I don’t really remember the next bit exactly because it was such a blur but basically he asked me “do you remember where we were when I first said ‘I love you’?” and I said yes, we were at Carvel. He asked where we were now and it clicked that we were again at an ice cream store… Then he told me to kiss him so I did and while we were kissing he started fiddling with his pocket.

The next thing I know, he’s down on one knee. He said some things that my mind couldn’t comprehend and then asked “will you love me forever?” annnnd I pretty much lost it. I completely forgot to even say the word ‘yes’. Ha! So we started kissing and some people standing nearby were all like “awww, yay!” and then he pulled out ANOTHER box! So by then I’m seriously confused because I’d already gotten a car and a proposal, what the hell else could this be? Turns out it was his grandmother’s engagement ring… I stared at him blankly and asked ‘wait, do I have to pick one?’ and he assured me that no, I did not: I got both.

That’s pretty much it but I’m sure I’m leaving out a lot of details. I’m SO beyond excited/happy/everything… I don’t think it’s really hit me yet though 🙂

Anyway, after we had gotten home and were done smiling/crying/calling our parents/etc. he told me a bit more about the plan. Apparently he’d had the car since MARCH and had been hiding it from me in the parking deck at his work. I had even seen it a few times when I went to visit him at his office without knowing that she was actually all mine! There were lots of sneaky people involved in this… Eugene, Rob up in NC and Seth helped find the car, Mikel fixed it when it had a coolant leak. Wow. Thanks so much to everyone for making this the best day ever and for keeping a secret! Lastly, remember that “having to go in to work early” thing? Yeah, it was part of the plan. Erik dropped the car off to be detailed that morning then picked it up and dropped it off at the restaurant so that he could surprise me. Amazing. He’s absolutely incredible.

I think I’m the luckiest girl in the whole world. I love my fiancé, Erik Jacobs!

Whitewater Rafting Adventures!

August 19, 2010

A few weekends ago Erik and I went white water rafting for the first time with some friends. I honestly didn’t know what to expect and the friends kept making it sound like a really big deal so I’ll admit I was a little bit nervous. We went to the Nantahala Outdoor Center to raft the Ocoee River in Tennessee and it was so much fun! We did the upper and middle sections of the river and spent about 5 hours on the water. We did mostly Class IV rapids and a few Class Vs and I absolutely can’t wait to go again next year! At one point I started feeling alternating warm and cool breezes and mentioned that I thought a storm was about to roll in. No more than 5 minutes later it started raining and there was lightning all over. It freaked me out a bit to be stuck in a lightning storm in a tiny little raft in the middle of a river but we survived unscathed. Go us!

Me, Erik and some friends whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River in TN

Erik’s mom Linda came to visit us for a weekend which was great. We spent the weekend relaxing and hanging out with his cousin, his cousin’s new wife and their adorable new baby boy! We also took advantage of the Atlanta Restaurant Week that was happening and went to Paschal’s for some yummy southern food.

That same weekend, a 52′ moving truck showed up in front of my house. Long story short, I was the recipient of my youth in the form of dozens of boxes. Most of it was junk that I threw out but I’m happy to say my collection of Breyer horses and all the ribbons/trophies I won from horse shows when I was younger are now safely in my room once again.

Riding at Huntcliff is going well. Toby got sold a few weeks ago and while I do miss him like crazy, I’m happy that he found a family to love him and treat him well. I’ve been riding different horses each week and haven’t really found anyone that I love (yet), although a new Hanoverian named Navi is a real sweetheart and seems promising.

Travel, Cross Country Jumping and Amazing Friends

July 14, 2010

I have been putting this off for a while because, as usual, so much has been going on lately that I haven’t had the time or motivation to sit down and write.

The first weekend in June, Erik and I flew up to NY to visit his family. His father recently turned 70 so we organized a "family weekend" to celebrate. We all drove down to Pennsylvania and visited a bunch of places they all used to go when Erik and his brother were younger. We stopped by the Wilbur Chocolate Factory and spent a day at the Strasburg Railroad, an old steam train that runs through the Amish countryside. As a special bonus treat, one of my best friends from Philly, Alyssa, came to Strasburg to hang out! It was great getting to see her again and I even had the pleasure of meeting her amazingly wonderful new boyfriend.

Two weeks later, Erik and I drove down to Tampa to run the grip track timing equipment for a Full Auto Motorsports event at Tropicana Field which was a blast as usual.

Even though the drive is about 8 hours, we decided to continue south for an additional hour and check out the food at Munchies 420 Cafe. We got a "Fat Sandy" sandwich (a hoagie stuffed with 2 cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, onion rings, french fries and topped with mac ‘n cheese) which was *amazing* and, strangely enough, were still hungry after so we finished up with a Philly. If you’re anywhere near Sarasota, FL you should definitely check this place out!!

That brings us to June 27th which was amazing. I’ve always wanted to go cross country jumping but have never had the time, opportunity or horse to be able to make that dream a reality. My amazing trainer, Miriam Lemnouni arranged a schooling day at the Chattahoochee Hills Eventing center, an unbelievably gorgeous facility about 45 minutes away, for myself and some other ladies. I took Toby who I ride regularly at Huntcliff Equestrian Center and had the time of my life.

I’ll admit I wasn’t as brave as I had hoped I’d be but considering it was my first time and the jumps are pretty intimidating since they’re so solid, I think I did pretty well! We did Beginner Novice stuff which is 2’7" and I was really proud of how easily Toby cleared everything considering he’s just a pony. We jumped logs, ditches, coops and other big, scary, solid wooden structures. We cantered through water and across fields. We even jumped up (and DOWN!) an embankment which was absolutely amazing! We spent about 3 hours riding and I was totally pooped by the end but it was one of the most fun days I’d ever had. I can’t wait to go back again and jump bigger stuff now that I know I can trust myself and my Toby not to die!

Toby and I jumping a Beginner Novice (2’7") coop at Chattahoochee Hills in Fairburn, GA.

I posted a whole album on Facebook so if you’re interested in taking a look, go visit http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2227538&id=10503411&l=e5816e703f!

Speaking of riding, I got dinner with two lovely ladies who I used to ride with the other night and had so much fun catching up with them. I miss you Brandon and Claire!! 🙂

We had a relatively low-key 4th of July this year since we were so exhausted from having been busier than usual lately. We mostly just hung around the house relaxing and doing chores. We went to watch fireworks at the Lenox Mall since they always have a spectacular show.

July 7th was my BFF’s birthday (I love you Miss EJ!!) and we decided to spend the entire following weekend celebrating. Sarah, another one of our besties, had booked a flight to come in for the weekend and a surprise and it worked perfectly – EJ almost cried when she showed up! We went out Friday night for dinner and drinks at Grape and then went to Dad’s Garage to see the Samurai Davis Jr. & Dim Sum’s Super Mega Happy Fun Time Improv Show which was hilarious, as expected. Saturday night we got a huge group of friends together and had EJ’s official birthday celebration dinner at R. Thomas. Sunday we spent at Dan & Jill’s watching the FIFA World Cup and grilling. All in all it was a lovely weekend.

Lastly, I do have a bit of exciting news to share. I GOT MY BRACES OFF!! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, after not being able to smile for 10+ years, my teeth are finally straight and pretty and normal and I am so happy I can’t even begin to describe the feeling. YAY! 😀  <– me, not able to stop smiling!