Thursday, October 29, 2015

First Anniversary Adventures!

Hey everyone!

The title says it all; here's what we did on our first anniversary!

I was actually really anxious the night before and I had a hard time falling asleep, so when I was woken up at 5:45am by a huge crash in our closet, I had only gotten about three and a half to four hours of sleep. We keep our walk in closet open at all times because we keep the cats' litter in there and I've been feeling lately that my side of the closet is quite heavy and might collapse (Patrick has clothes on his side but I keep things like photos, purses, my sewing machine, etc. up on top of the shelf, adding extra weight). Worried that one of the cats might be underneath the collapse, I jumped out of bed right behind Patrick and ran to the closet.

Thankfully our shelves did not collapse like I thought and no kitties were harmed in the process. In our old apartment I didn't like the shower rod in the master bathroom so we replaced it with one of those extendable ones. When we moved out, we brought it with us. For a while I couldn't think of what to do with it until one day I decided to put it up pretty high in our closet as an extra storage rod for all of the hangers that we don't use on a regular basis. Then when Patrick bought me one of those hanging organizers with cubbies for all of my yarn, I stuck that on there too. The other day I decided I was going to try to move the bar up slightly so I loosened it. I didn't have enough arms to hold the rod up and also move it up and tighten it, so I tightened the bar back up-- just apparently not well enough. So the floor of our closet was covered in hangers and yarn. Who knew that yarn was so heavy?

At this point I was too wide awake from the craziness to go back to sleep, so I just stayed up.

After Patrick and I did our morning routines (which are comprised mainly of a lot of catching up on social medias), we decided to do presents.

My gift for Patrick
My present to Patrick was a nightmare to get done, honestly. We had decided to stick to the traditional gift list that has been around for quite a long time and go with the given gift material for our first anniversary: paper. I struggled with an idea for him until I realized that puzzles are totally made of paper and Patrick LOVES puzzles, so I ordered a custom puzzle for him. I chose my favorite photo of us that was taken on New Year's Eve 2014 by our friend David Bedno and after a fiasco regarding pixels per inch, I went with Ravensburger on a whim. I had originally planned on going through a smaller, less known site but they rejected the image I uploaded and I had to scramble to find an alternative.

I truly thought that our anniversary was ruined after yet another fiasco in which my bank account was overdrafted. Because our accounts are linked, Patrick can see my account info but since he knew I had ordered his gift, I asked him not to look at my bank statement so he wouldn't ruin the surprise. Unfortunately that is unavoidable when your account is suddenly -$5!

Apparently Ravensburger does a "test charge" and charges you the full amount of your purchase immediately after you purchase it and then they cancel the charge. The point of this is to make sure that you have the funds in your account, however I was not made aware of this and I thought that the money had been taken out of my account and that was that. I didn't notice that they had put it back in because it took the bank several days to cancel  hold on the funds that they charged and then cancelled. Then when the puzzle was actually shipped, Ravensburger re-charged me, but I had thought that the charge had already gone through and I had less in my account than the value of the purchase so my account was overdrafted. To say I was livid was an complete understatement because Patrick had seen the charge from his favorite puzzle brand and clearly knew that he was getting a puzzle for our anniversary. However, he didn't know that you could order custom puzzles and was completely surprised by his gift regardless!

*Though I'll include this statement in my Facebook post because I don't believe either of these people read my blog, I wanted to give a huge shout out and a million thank you's to David Bedno, who graciously allowed me to have the full-sized image of the photo he took of us, free of charge, when I know full well that he would have been completely within his rights to charge me the rights to use his work. A second thank you to Christopher Grafton, who was ready and willing to re-size the image to the specs that the first puzzle company required before I had to switch companies! 

I'm sure I'll post a photo of the puzzle when we've finished it, but here is the custom tin with the puzzle inside! I even got to name the puzzle, which I named "I Love You Always, Forever" after the Donna Lewis song. I change my the description on my Twitter account to a new quote that I like every single Tuesday and last year, the morning of our wedding, I changed it to "I love you always, forever" in honor of our wedding later that day. I thought it was an appropriate title :)

Patrick's gift(s) to me
Patrick's presents to me were just as complicated if not more! He had the perfect gift idea for me but didn't know if the item would get here in time so he got a backup present as well, therefore I got two presents!

Patrick's first gift to me (my "backup" present) was something he knew that I've been wanting for years-- a manual typewriter! I am now the proud owner of a Smith-Corona Super Sterling manual typewriter! It is is complete working condition and even comes with its original owner's manual, correction tape, and the original key to lock the box. I'm so in love with it! It's heavy and it smells old and it's just absolutely perfect. He had to hunt down an antiques store after we moved here because he simply hadn't had time to do so while we still lived in California and then he had to hunt down a working typewriter in the store. To find one in 100% working condition with all of the original parts is a rarity, to say the least. Bonus: It's a pretty color, yay!!!!!

"Happy first anniversary!"

I definitely need some practice with it to learn to use it a little faster but it is perfect and gorgeous and will be fantastic for things like the hand-made cards I tend to make. Why use teeny tiny stamps with letters that look like typewriter letters when you can use a REAL TYPEWRITER?! Excuse me while I go write all of you letters. Expect snail mail, people.

My second gift, the original gift Patrick had been planning, came with quite the story behind it. To date, I think it's the most special thing anyone has ever given to me as a gift simply because of the effort and thought put behind it.

Many, many months ago, I was scrolling on Tumblr and I ended up finding the most incredible set of images. It was a full post of the images from a stand-alone comic called "Hearts for Sale". The story was so simple and beautiful that it brought me to tears. I tried to find where to purchase a physical copy of the comic with no luck-- to my devastation, they were no longer in print.

Patrick remembered that comic and got in contact with the author herself-- in Germany, no less-- and she had a single copy printed just for him. They were both nervous that it wouldn't get here in time, but thankfully it did and I am now in possession of a signed copy of the most beautiful comic I've ever seen and the only printed copy in its edition. Even now I'm getting choked up remembering the lengths that Patrick and this complete stranger-- thank you Julia!-- went to in order to give me the perfect anniversary gift. All day yesterday I kept going to it, picking it up just to hold it, and the putting it down. I must have read it a dozen times (with the binding hardly even cracked so I can keep the integrity of the pages).

You can read the Hearts for Sale comic HERE and you can purchase the eBook format HERE. Prepare to cry. 

The front cover

The signed inside of the front cover

The back cover

After we exchanged presents it was still quite early. Patrick had planned on going to Fred Meyer (a store chain here) to get new drip pans for our stove, however since I was awake I decided to go with him. There we bought several random things including a zip up sweater for me (a real knitted sweater with pockets and a zipper-- how strange and lovely!), a salad spinner, the drip pans we needed, Benadryl, throat lozenges, a few different types of salad and dinner condiments, etc. Like an old married couple, we love just walking through stores and looking at stuff!

When we left from there, I wasn't feeling all that well and I decided to take a nap to catch up on sleep from the night before. I've been having a lot of what seem to be allergies or the start of an illness/cold for the past couple of days and I've been sneezing and sniffling like crazy, so I took a Benadryl and climbed into bed.

We've been on a low-carb diet for the past few weeks and I have been very, very strict about my diet. I feel that I'm the type of person that has to go "all or nothing" in a diet change because if I feel like I'm eating "bad food" (replacement junk food like Atkin's "candy bars" and sugar-free candies and "replacement" bread) then I'll want other bad food and junk food, so I've been sticking to the basics-- a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed meats, etc.... basically stuff that hasn't been processed and no "sugar free" sweets or anything like that so my mind isn't tricked into thinking it's not on a diet because that was the downfall of my will power last time we tried to go low-carb. However, I've been skipping the "cheat days" that most people tend to have once a week but I gave in to one day of extravagance for our anniversary. Today it's back to the grind, but yesterday  after my nap I woke up to Zoup! Bless his soul, Patrick got my favorite Zoup! soup, Chicken Pot Pie, while he was out during my nap. It was perfect on that cold, rainy day, especially after I've been sneezing non-stop for over 24 hours and my throat was a little raw!

Ever since Patrick went to that antique mall to get my typewriter he has been wanting to take me there, however he didn't want to take me before I opened my present in case I figured out his present idea or directly asked for a typewriter myself while I was there. Now that I had opened my gifts, we went to the antique mall to mosey around and check out what they had. It was all really cool!

When we got home, I pulled our my typewriter in order to learn how to use it while Patrick took a short nap. Later he took me out to dinner at, and I quote, "the best Italian place in town", Giovanni's! Since we've been laying off the carbs and today was the one cheat day I allowed myself, of course I ate as many carbs as I could stomach! It was all quite authentic (at least, much more so than Olive Garden or Strings-- or even Mamma Mia's or East Side Mario's, for all of you Livonians out there). I don't even like red sauce but the red sauce on Patrick's dish was incredible. You could even see the hand-pressed fork marks on my hand-made gnocchi. We were both super impressed-- and super full!-- by the time we got home.

The decorative map above our booth at the restaurant

These were the BEST mozzarella sticks, in my opinion. Patrick was indifferent.

My gnocchi (tied for first place as my absolute favorite pasta dish... the other is pierogi and, as a Pole, that's basically my bread and butter) in a delicious parmigiana cream sauce. You know something is good when even I don't put salt on it!

Patrick's cannelloni

Our dinners came with salads (not pictured but definitely devoured) and delicious garlic bread!

Across the street from Giovanni's is the Beaverton Bakery. In the window of their second floor, we have Betty Boop doing a Marilyn!

Awesome clock just in front of the Beaverton Bakery

Although dinner was delicious, it's back to the diet tomorrow! Today was absolutely amazing and so much better than I had ever imagined. I loved celebrating such a special day with the most important man in my life and I couldn't have asked for more! 

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