The Craziest 2 & 1/2 Weeks of My Life

Trip to Niagara Falls

OK, I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I have a good reason, I promise.

I have several reasons, actually.  Several frustrating, scary, exciting, fantastic, and all around time-consuming reasons.  Be forewarned, though… this post is a long one and there is no recipe at the bottom (though I did just finish up my third attempt at fudgy dark chocolate brownie bites… not bad, but not quite perfect yet).

Since my last post the following things have happened:

  1.  Zach had a seizure while driving his car and wrecked into a daycare wall (no children were hurt, but getting the phone call from his mom that this had happened was one of the absolute scariest, worst moments of my life)
  2. (After being released from the ER) The two of us drove to Canada for a vacation we planned a few months ago (I drove, which I HATE doing.  He is usually the driver in our relationship and that has always worked out great for both of us)
  3. Zach PROPOSED to me on the American side of Niagara Falls (best moment of my life)
  4. After a long weekend (Thursday-Sunday) I drove us back from Canada and we learned that his car was officially totaled :(
  5. The two of us looked at future homes, found one we really really liked loved, and made an offer on it
  6. We set and booked a date for our wedding (OCTOBER 11TH, 2014–we aren’t messing around or wasting time here!)
  7. I picked out and bought my wedding dress, and my bridesmaids ordered theirs as well
  8. The sellers of our perfect would-be-first home countered our offer, and we countered back
  9. Zach learned that according to Pennsylvania law he cannot drive for 6 months due to his seizure (NOT a convenient thing when he works 40 minutes North of his home and anyone who can drive for him works 40 minutes SOUTH, ugh)
  10. The counter-counter offer on our perfect starter home was ACCEPTED!  We are very, very near owning our own house (settlement is June 19th)!

PHEW

That was a lot, right?  The good things have definitely outweighed the bad, but it’s been sort of an emotional roller coaster.

Right now there’s just one point I really want to focus on for this post.  I know this is a food blog, but it is also my blog and it seemed like the perfect place to capture these memories and so I would really like to tell you about the amazingly perfect way that my boyfriend proposed, and then I promise my next post will be a recipe (and oh is it a good one).

So sit back, grab yourself a salted praline bar, and let me brag to you about my boyfriend fiancé for a few minutes.

For a little bit of background info, Zach’s seizure was caused by a neurological condition that we discovered he had at the end of last summer.  He’s been seeing a neurologist, but none of us knew that he might possibly have a seizure due to his condition so it was very, very frightening when it happened, and though his car was totaled and his license revoked for 6 months, things could have been So. Much. Worse.  So much.

We were supposed to go to Canada the following morning, but while we were in the ER the doctors checking him out wanted to keep him overnight.  I told him that it would be fine, that we could go another time, but he was absolutely adamant that we were still going.  The ER doctors called his neurologist who prescribed him an anticonvulsant and gave him the OK to go, so long as he started taking it immediately.  He obliged, and we left for Canada the following morning, though under doctor’s orders to not drive until he spoke with his neurologist.

Driving is so nerve-wracking for me, but I think I pulled it off pretty well driving the 6.5 hours to Canada (though Zach may disagree).  On the way there, Zach said that he wanted to stop on the American side of the falls.

“Okay we can just stop on the way back.”

“No way we have to stop on the way there.  ‘Murica.”

How very patriotic of him.  I didn’t think much of it, and though I’d been to Niagara Falls Canada one snowy winter about 12 years ago, I’d never been to the American side.

We had a smooth, pleasant drive up, and when we finally parked to check out the American side of the falls I was more excited than I’d thought I would be.  It was so pretty; the weather was fantastic, the park was clean with green lawns and there were squirrels (one of my favorite animals ever, they just seem so ridiculously chipper and bouncy and adorable) everywhere.  There also really weren’t too many people, which is perfect because I hate crowds.  I could see and hear the water and it was simply magnificent, I was eager to get over to it and look over the Falls.

Construction near falls

Zach was… not so enthused.  Or at least he didn’t seem to be.  He was walking with his hands in his pocket, his face solemn, distracted.

“What’s wrong?”  I asked him.

“Nothing at all.”

I was worried that whatever was going on with him was related to his seizure the day before, and I asked him if it was, but he told me “No”.  I was skeptical, but figured he would tell me later.

I started to move towards the falls where a group of tourists were gathered, but he steered me away, saying he wanted to look at the falls further away from people.  That sounded great to me, I hate crowds, and just a little ways up from the falls were some beautiful rapids and a strip where construction was in progress (though no one was there at the time working).  We could see the falls (so impressive), the water was beautiful, the weather was fantastic, the rapids were picturesque and there was no one nearby.

And that’s when he pulled me in.  And hugged me.  And kissed me.  And bit me on the nose (evidently he was nervous, HAH).  And he started to tell me some really, really sweet things that I will NEVER forgive myself for not being able to hold in my memory but at this point I started to realize that something prettttty serious was up, and my mind was racing.

Near where he proposed

And that is when he told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and got down on one knee, and even though I don’t remember everything he’d said I will NEVER forget the way he looked, looking up at me beside the falls holding the prettiest engagement ring in his hand, asking me to marry him.

Let me tell you what an impact this had on me… weak knees… not just a thing in the romance novels.  When we first worked together back at Arby’s (where we met) when we were 16 and 17, I used to work the Drive Through a lot, standing there, all my weight shifted to one leg as I took orders with the headset.  He used to sneak up behind me and push his foot into the back of the knee of the leg that I was supporting myself with, making me collapse.

That happened.  Knees, completely weak.

Evidently I forgot to speak, too, because I didn’t actually answer him when he asked me if I would marry him and left him there on his knees for a minute (I was COMPLETELY shocked, OK.  We’d talked about marriage in the past and I always knew we’d be together, but I wasn’t expecting his proposal at all, I thought it wasn’t on his mind THAT much) so he had to ask me again “So, uh, are you going to answer me?”

Oops.

Of course I told him YES (I mean look at that ring ;) ).

Enagement Ring

Even more perfect–RIGHT after I said YES an adorable squirrel came bouncing over, came within about 5 feet of me and stood up on his hind legs, looking intently at me.  OK, sure, people probably feed them all the time and he was probably looking for food, but it was perfect timing, as though he’d come over to be the first to congratulate us.  :)

Squirrel

(Sorry about the pic quality… I only took my iPhone to the Falls with me)

Turns out my boyfriend is a lot more thoughtful than he’s ever let on.  Evidently, when he wrecked his car Wednesday night he had been on his way over to my house to tell my parents that he wanted to ask me to marry him.  (Not that he needed their approval since my dad has been asking him when he was going to marry me since we were 19).  He specifically wanted to ask me on the American side so that I could call my mother right after and tell her what had happened, and I was glad I got to be the first to tell her.  I probably didn’t stop shaking until the next day, I was so happy, and so shocked.

Falls_Engaged-2

I asked Zachary when he wanted to get married and he told me it was up to me, so I told him we could do it next May, a year from now.

He didn’t want to wait that long, and I didn’t either, AND I’d rather have the wedding in the fall anyway (but DEFINITELY NOT during the winter), which meant we could try to do it this Fall.

So that’s what we shot for, and after some crazy hectic days of planning and calling people (my 18-year-old sister Jaclyn really made all of the calls and did a ton of the booking… there’s no way this would be possible without her) our wedding is scheduled for Saturday, October 11th.  The venue is booked, the priest is booked, the photographer is booked and the DJ is in the works.  OH, and I have my dress and the bridesmaids have theirs ordered!

OK, that is going to have to be it for now.  I could go on and on about our house (I’m so in love with it, it just had an inspection done yesterday so we have to work out a few details about that) but I am so happy with it.  I also don’t want to live with Zach until we are married, so that’s another reason we wanted to have the wedding sooner rather than later.

It’s all coming together so perfectly and I have never been happier.

Zach's dog Penny in front of a "Congratulations!" sign his sister made

 

{ 3 comments }

OK, I know it's been a while since my last post, but I have a good reason, I promise. I have several reasons, actually.  Several frustrating, scary, exciting, fantastic, and all around time-consuming reasons.  Be forewarned, though... this post is a long one and there is no recipe at the bottom (though I did just […] Read More

Post-Football & Avocado Salsa

So the Ravens game last night was way intense, to say the least!

Zach has his stoic game-time face on

For my first football game ever, it was quite an experience.  Baltimore made the news for some angry chanting over some seriously  questionable calls by the refs.  There was so much screaming I thought I might go deaf, and I’ll admit I was pretty impressed by the way the players were brought out on the field.

I won’t bore anyone with the details because I’m probably the only one who hasn’t seen this sort of thing before, but I there were fireworks, and flames and, of course, a whole lot of screaming.  Everyone was so amped up!  During the game there was even a streaker!

OK, so he wasn’t exactly a streaker, but he was only wearing a cape and gym-shorts

(Sorry about the pic quality, I had to move fast to snap a shot before the guy was tackled and escorted off the field, presumably to streaker-prison)

It was a really close game, but the Ravens won it in the end!  What a relief, too, because Zach can be quite difficult to be around when his teams don’t perform as well as he would like them to.

Today

I had planned on working out today, but I didn’t get to bed until after 2 thanks to the Ravens last night and I still had to be up early for work so I was pretty tired all day and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was any kind of sweating.

Instead, I felt like staying home and baking, and I made a batch of healthy (healthy as far as cookies go, anyway) Coconut-Orange Oatmeal Cookies.  I was really happy with how this recipe ended up turning out, and I’ll post the recipe tomorrow so check back for it if you’d like to try it out! :)

Dinner

For dinner tonight, my mom had made one of my favorite dishes, chicken enchiladas (She follows this Kraft recipe, I always remove the cheese).  I whipped up some Avocado Salsa to compliment the meal and served it over my enchilada… delicious!

I found the recipe for the salsa from Chef in Training but you can also find it below with a few modifications, and made to serve just 2 people.

 

Avocado Salsa
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, diced
  • 3 Tbsp chopped onion (I would recommend using a red onion, but all I had on hand were white onions and it turned out fine!)
  • ¼ cup corn (I used super sweet yellow & white corn by Green Giant)
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine avocado, tomato, onion, corn, and cilantro. Stir well.
  2. Add lime juice, garlic salt, and black pepper. Stir again.
  3. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

{ 2 comments }

So the Ravens game last night was way intense, to say the least! For my first football game ever, it was quite an experience.  Baltimore made the news for some angry chanting over some seriously  questionable calls by the refs.  There was so much screaming I thought I might go deaf, and I'll admit I […] Read More

First Football Game

As I mentioned before I’m not a big fan of football, though Zach, my boyfriend of four years is (very much so).

Well tonight he is taking me to my first ever football game (Ravens vs. Patriots)!  Even though I’m really not a football fan, I’m looking forward to going to this game, it should be far more exciting than when we watch the games on TV.

Pre-game I made myself a pita pizza.  Since I won’t be getting home until late and I have to be at work early tomorrow morning, I made two of the mini pizzas, one for tonight and one for lunch tomorrow.  I used mozzarella cheese on one and crumbled goat cheese on the other (which I just discovered that I love).  They were both delicious!

To make each pizza, I used  Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Pitas, drizzled a little bit of extra virgin olive oil over each pita, and spread about a spoonful of marinara sauce (leftover from last night’s Zucchini Pasta) on each.  For the toppings I sprinkled on some diced onion, used a few slices of fresh tomato, used some fresh spinach leaves and then sprinkled one with mozzarella cheese and one with crumbled goat cheese.

I had half of each pizza to keep me full enough before the game so that I’m not starving and don’t spend a ton of money eating greasy stadium food.

Alright, let’s see how football game goes… GO RAVENS! :)

{ 4 comments }

As I mentioned before I'm not a big fan of football, though Zach, my boyfriend of four years is (very much so). Well tonight he is taking me to my first ever football game (Ravens vs. Patriots)!  Even though I'm really not a football fan, I'm looking forward to going to this game, it should be far […] Read More

Super Sweaty Workout

trail run

Today was a fantastic day for a run, but because I’m trying to take it easy out on the trail so as to not bring my shin splints back on, I limited my outside run to only 2 miles on the flat easy trail.

Today was another cardio-only day so I spent 5 minutes on the Stairmaster on a setting of 19/20, a great way to get the heart pumping and the sweat flowing!

And speaking of sweat… Let me tell you what a difference it makes to have a good book with you on the elliptical…

As I mentioned before I’m reading Lightning by Dean Koontz.

I was so absorbed in this book that my 45 minute elliptical workout flew by in no time and when I was finished I was so drenched that you probably could have wrung my shirt out and swam in the puddle of sweat.  Sorry for that visual, but it was intense!

After that workout I ventured outside for a 2 mile run on the trail.

Like I said, it was a beautiful day for a run, and the trail is the perfect place for an easy run… and the scenery is great!

After my workout I refueled with half of a chicken salad sandwich on an Arnold Sandwich Thin.  The chicken salad was made with chicken, diced apple, diced onion, pepper, and just enough Mayo made with Olive Oil to coat everything.

Delicious.

Also, I discovered my new favorite snack today!

I love almonds and I love chocolate, so I knew I couldn’t go wrong by buying these!

Question:  What is your favorite cardio workout?

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Today was a fantastic day for a run, but because I'm trying to take it easy out on the trail so as to not bring my shin splints back on, I limited my outside run to only 2 miles on the flat easy trail. Today was another cardio-only day so I spent 5 minutes on […] Read More

Laid Back Sunday

Pretty laid back day today, which is always nice!  I’ve been working on getting a more personalized theme for my blog but it’s taking some time…

Breakfast this morning was a Banana Donut in lieu of a regular gas-station donut.

It hit the spot without weighing me down like a regular donut would have, and I made it through a workout without feeling sick from a sugar/fat/grease overload.

Workout

I’ve developed shin splints again that are currently keeping me bound to the elliptical, which is not very exciting.  Fortunately, with a good book it’s  a lot easy to power through 35 minutes of elliptical on the cross-training setting.  I’m currently reading Lightning by Dean Koontz.  I’m a huge Dean Koontz fan and though I”m only 50 pages into this book, I have a feeling I won’t be disappointed by this novel.  This particular novel is one of Koontz’s older works, published in 1989 (An excellent year, considering that I was born then ;) ).

After the elliptical was 2 minutes of planking followed by  3 reps of 8 each on the chest press, leg extensions, leg curls, and abs.

Lunch was the last of my Quinoa Chili with a side of grapes.

I don’t know what it is but for some reason I need to have both purple and green grapes together to really enjoy them.  I don’t like to eat just one or the other, I need one purple and one green at the same time, it’s like they balance each other out.  Maybe that’s just me though…

I spent most of my time after lunch working on updating and personalizing my theme (which is obviously not finished) until it was time for dinner.  My family usually goes out to dinner together on Sunday, and this weekend we went to Friendly Farms.  They have delicious crab cakes (though I can’t say I’ve ever had a crab cake that wasn’t delicious).

A nice, tasty end to the weekend.

What is your favorite thing to read while working out?

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{ 1 comment }

Pretty laid back day today, which is always nice!  I've been working on getting a more personalized theme for my blog but it's taking some time... Breakfast this morning was a Banana Donut in lieu of a regular gas-station donut. It hit the spot without weighing me down like a regular donut would have, and I […] Read More