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2016, Part II

Sunday, January 8, 2017

May

May was a pretty busy month!  I started out the month by flying to Ohio for my sister's college graduation.  It was so fun to see her walk across that stage and I was so proud of her!  This was a big year for her - she graduated, got a job, got her license, bought a car and moved to her very first apartment! While home, we did a bit more mushroom hunting, but the season was just too late.  We also celebrated Mother's Day.  I left the day before my Mom's birthday so I made sure to celebrate that with her as well.

My friend Onyi from London came to town for a week and we spent the time catching up, shopping and grabbing brunch and coffee. 

Later that month, I headed to Miami for Amy's sister Sara's bachelorette party.  I had never been there before and we had a great time.  We stayed in a sweet suite (see what I did there?), had tasty drinks on the beach in the clearest, bluest water I've ever seen, had 2 delicious fancy dinners, and partied at LIV.  We also were able to celebrate Amy's 30th birthday with the most delicious chocolate cake I've ever had in my life.

June

In June, Bill started a new job!  This was quite the year for us in terms of careers.  His old job threw him a goodbye party early in the month.

I went to a pop-up crab shack with our roommate BJ. I video-chatted with my dad when he opened his birthday gift from us, a carve-your-own pipe kit from Man Crates.  I had brunch with friends. I tried Soul Cycle for the first time (spoiler alert: I hated it and felt like I was incinerating and dying).

June was clouded for me with the terrorist attack at the nightclub in Orlando. I am still so sad over this.  It could have been any club, anywhere. That club was a solace for so many. I remember when my best friend was coming out -- the local gay nightclub was the one place he felt safe.  That feeling has been forever shattered for so many and it's so sickening to me that things like this can happen in this day and age.  

The month ended on a good note, however. We drove to Columbus near the end of the month for Sara's wedding!  It was held at a beautiful golf club and we had a great time.  She looked so beautiful and grown up! The next day, we drove up to Cleveland for my first bridal shower! My aunt threw me such a perfect day. I will write a full recap of this at some point. My sister turned 24 the day after our shower! We all went to a Cleveland-area chocolate shop to get her fave ice cream.


July

This was another mixed month of highs and lows.

We started a Whole30 for wedding prep.  It was . . . challenging. It ended up only being a Whole17 but I would try again. 

The month started by Bill & I taking a trip to his brother's house in Asbury Park on the Jersey Shore. We had fun exploring the town and lounging on the beach.  I took a day trip to NYC to celebrate m friend Tara's birthday. Later that night, Bill & I went to a sushi dinner, watched fireworks from the restaurant and then walked the boardwalk.

Probably the best moment of July was another bridal shower! My sister (maid-of-honor), man-of-honor and mom threw me a 4th of July themed shower in my hometown!  The decoration and food was awesome and it was so fun to see all my extended local family and friends.

I don't want to harp on the sad events that occurred around the country and world, but this was one of those months where the hits just kept on coming.  A terrorist horrifically ran down and killed 84 people in Paris during Bastille Day celebrations.  Countless black men were gunned down by police officers and subsequent riots occurred where police officers were killed. The violence in our society just sickens me and it was heavy on my mind this month.

One of the bright moments in July (and my life, tbh) was watching Hillary Clinton accept the Democratic nomination for the presidency.  Full disclosure, she wasn't my original candidate of choice, but the moment that she walked out on that stage in her white pantsuit, tears started streaming down my face. I'll never forget sitting in our downstairs living room late that night watching the convention with Bill and BJ, our then-roommate. The feeling I felt to see a woman walk out on that stage was indescribable.  Until her nomination became a reality, I never realized that in the depths of my heart, I didn't think I would ever get to see a woman on that stage.  Amy texted me that day with a post she saw online that said something like "You see that outside? That's not rain -- it's glass."  I truly thought that she had shattered the glass ceiling and that night, I got on board.  It was time for a woman to lead our nation.

Our joy was short-lived, however.  A few days after that, we drove to Pennsylvania to bury my grandpa's ashes and the whole experience was just sad.  On the drive home, we were dealt another blow.  We got the news that Bill's grandpa had passed away after a battle with brain bleeding as a result of a fall.

August

August began with an unexpected trip to Indiana to bury Bill's grandpa.  In short, it was awful.  Though he had been sick, it was unexpected because the only reason he had been sick was because of his fall.  We drove there and back with Bill's brother, 10 hours each way. It was very hard to be back at the farm without his bubbly personality cracking jokes.  It was awful to see his grandma all alone for the first time in 40+ years.  I know that his dogs were looking for him, wondering when he was coming home.  It was the first big loss on Bill's mom's side and the first family member that Bill lost.  The viewing was long and we had to greet everyone who came - he was a very popular man in his town, known for his tractors, humor, teaching and general kind spirit. Of course, it was nice to see the family, but not for the reasons that we were there.

The month got mostly better from there.  We watched the US kill it at the Olympics.  I live-streamed gymnastics on the whole ride home from Indiana.  Gymnastics is my jam and this year was incredible.

My local and semi-local bridesmaids through me a bachelorette party at the end of the month! More on this later, but it was a fun night on my old boss's rooftop party area and then out dancing.  Tara came in for the trip, so we also hung out with the gang.  It was so nice to have her in town. I never wanted a bachelorette party, as they are just not my scene, but it turned out pretty well!

The month ended with an absolute hair disaster. I picked a pretty brown balayage color which was darker than my hair at the time.  I went to a new place with great reviews for being one of the "best colorists" in town and somehow I came out with completely blonde hair that only seemed to get lighter the next day.  I returned for a "fix" a couple of days later which ended with me in tears.  This was just a week before my wedding!  I posted online for help and my friend Karlee gave me a recommendation for her stylist out in Old Town.  She was blessedly able to fix it and it looked like what I originally wanted.  I know it's just hair, but it was for my wedding and it was very stressful.  I am forever grateful for Nina at Bazzak!

On a very hot day, the junkyard came to pick up my car.  I sold it to them for a whopping $150!  It was the best offer I got.  Most places wanted me to pay them to come get it!  That car served me well.  I bought it from my Great Aunt Jeannie in 2011 and it got me through law school and then some. 

I headed home for "my" version of a bachelorette a week before the wedding.  I wanted a day with my dad to do whatever we wanted and then a day with my mom.  My dad and I went to lunch at Rooster's and played some Keno and then we shopped at some antique stores.  My mom and I went to the fabric store to take care of some final dress-related items, went to lunch and then shopped downtown at some local stores.  It was a perfect weekend!!

Whew, that was a long summer.  Up next, fall.

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