Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!!

This past weekend, Brian and I celebrated our One Year Anniversary together! September 25th 2009 was our first official date... for that date, Brian surprised me with dinner at The Melting Pot, because he knew it was one of my favorite places to go. Little did I know, that night was just the first of many more pleasant surprises to come over the next year.

In honor of our first anniversary, Brian planned a day filled with lots of little surprises from start to finish! He woke me up that morning and led me downstairs with my eyes closed... he led me into the kitchen and I sat down at the table and opened my eyes to find a vase of beautiful roses and a plate full of heart-shaped pancakes that he had made himself! :) :) :)

After breakfast, we exchanged presents... I was so excited to give Brian his presents (one in particular) - I had made a collage frame of different pictures of us from throughout our first year. I embellished the frame using some of my scrapbooking materials... it turned out EXACTLY how I pictured it! (I tried to get a good picture of the finished product but I kept getting a glare or it turned out blurry... this is the best I could do!) Now we just need to find the perfect place to hang it! :)

I also got him a Salad Chopper... it's this nifty bowl with a chopper that resembles a pizza cutter but has 2 wheels on it instead of 1. (there's a salad place in the food court at White Marsh Mall that makes chopped salads... we've gone there quite a bit and we love their salads... now we can make our own at home!)

When I went to buy the salad chopper thingie, I saw something else that caught my eye... Brian had mentioned before that he would like to have a pizza stone and I saw a pizza stone kit that looked awesome! The kit came with the pizza stone and a serving rack for it, a pizza peel (one of those wooden boards with a handle that you see in pizzerias), a pizza cutter and a recipe book! I knew I HAD to get it for him!

I still have one more present for Brian that didn't make it in time for our anniversary... so that part is To Be Continued... :)

Brian was also excited for me to open my present... it came wrapped in a pretty pink bag with white polka dots and pretty pink tissue paper (does he know me or what?!) - it was so pretty that I almost didn't want to open it! ALMOST, but not quite! LoL Inside, I found the cutest little fuzzy teddy bear... he was holding a little box from Shaw's Jewelers on his lap. I opened the box to find a very pretty sterling silver necklace that has 2 oval loops intertwined with a sparking diamond in the middle... for me, it is reminiscent of how our lives have intertwined over the last year. I LOVE it!!! Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, and they may also be my birthstone, but THIS girl has never had a real diamond before! I couldn't wait to take my old necklace off and put my new necklace on! :) :) :)

After we exchanged presents, we both took showers and got dressed so we could head out for the next surprise. I had no idea where we were going and Brian wasn't giving me any clues! We traveled southbound on I-95, went through the tunnel, and got off at the exit for downtown Baltimore. We parked in a garage and walked over to the Inner Harbor. Brian walked over to a ticket booth where he picked up 2 tickets for a lunch cruise on the Spirit of Baltimore! He had also paid for the souvenier photo package that I can't ever seem to say no to... LoL We boarded the boat and had our pictures taken... then we were seated at our table. There was a card sitting on the table wishing us a Happy Anniversary and thanking us for celebrating with Spirit Cruises. We ordered drinks... Brian had a bottle of Amstel Light and I had a "Tropical Treasure" - an extravagant blend of Absolut Citron, Malibu Coconut Rum and DeKuyper Creme de Banana with a dash of Sweet & Sour and a splash of cranberry juice, served in a distinctive Spirit Cruises hurricane glass that's yours to keep!

Then it was time to EAT! There was a fresh salad station, and a buffet line of entrees including: herb roasted chicken, wild Alaskan salmon in a lemon butter sauce, Thai BBQ pork loin, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed vegetable medley, and macaroni & cheese! For dessert, they brought out a duo of cheesecake with a strawberry glaze and a chocolate mousse cake... both were DELICIOUS!!!

The staff on the boat was very friendly, not to mention entertaining! They even sang and danced! They also announced several birthdays and anniversaries, including OURS! Everyone on the boat applauded and wished us a Happy 1st Anniversary! Brian and I went up on the top deck of the boat a few times to look around and take in the scenery... did I mention what a B-E-A-U-tiful day it was?? We got so lucky! :)

After the boat docked, Brian & I walked around the Inner Harbor for awhile and then walked over to the Barnes & Noble to look around. That is one of my favorite things to do, and because I'm always so short on time I don't get to do it very often so this was a nice treat! :) After about an hour, we walked back to the parking garage and headed home. Although I was a tiny bit disappointed that we weren't returning to The Melting Pot, we had planned a nice quiet dinner at home... I thought it would be fun if we had a semi-fancy meal, so we decided on Surf-and-Turf. Originally I had planned on getting some jumbo shrimp and some filet mignon but I couldn't find any filet mignon that looked good, so I settled for some NY strip steaks instead. I found a copycat recipe for Outback's Shrimp on the Barbie, so I thought we'd give that a try! Brian was the grillmaster and I took care of the rest... along with the Surf-and-Turf, we had roasted garlic mashed potatoes and some fresh Italian bread with butter. It was YUMMY!!! (sorry, no pics... I'm slacking!)

Once we had finished dinner, Brian told me to go downstairs and relax while he cleaned up the kitchen (isn't he the greatest ever?!) and got his next surprise ready. A little while later, he called me upstairs... I came into the kitchen to see a mini-crockpot full of bubbly chocolate fondue and a plate of marshmallows, sliced strawberries, and bananas... just like The Melting Pot! Brian and my mom had secretly joined forces in planning this surprise... Brian bought the ingredients and my mom made the fondue. While we were out on our lunch cruise, my mom brought the fondue over and put it in our refrigerator so that all Brian had to do was heat it up later. Sneaky, sneaky!!

It was so nice to be able to spend an entire day together... and I can't think of a better way to spend our day! I can't believe that it has been a whole year already... in some ways it feels like our first date was just yesterday, but in other ways it feels like this has been the longest year ever! We have done and seen and experienced so much together over these last 365 days! I never imagined that our friendship would blossom into a relationship, but I'm so thankful that it did... I can honestly say that this has been the best year of my life! Brian is so much more than just a boyfriend to me, he's my BEST FRIEND, my confidant, my partner, and the love of my life... I'm looking forward to celebrating many more years together!

I love you, Brian Jomiguire-Crenshaw-Brownfield! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

September slacking...

Well, September is sailing on by... and I'm starting to slack on my blog posts, which I promised myself I wouldn't do. I seriously cannot believe that we're already 17 days into the month of September. Where, oh where, does the time go?!

Here's what I've been up to so far this month...

Brian & I had a double date night with my friend Jon and his girlfriend Amy. We all went out to dinner a few months ago and have been saying we'd like to do it again, but... as always, scheduling conflicts prevented that for awhile longer than we would've liked. Finally, we were able to find a night that worked for all of us. Instead of going out to eat, I suggested we have Jon & Amy over to our house for dinner and a movie. I made Asian BBQ Chicken and Spicy Stir-Fried Green Beans... after dinner we hung out and watched Date Night. It was a fun time... we're looking forward to doing it again soon!

We went to yet another wedding... the groom, Shawn, is a deputy who I used to work with on evening shift. Their wedding was casual with a nautical theme. It was kinda nice to just relax and not have to worrying about being so formal for once! :)

Brian & I celebrated Labor Day weekend by going to Bengie's Drive-In for their 55th Annual Dusk 'til Dawn Movie Marathon. They were playing Despicable Me, The Other Guys, Salt, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and The Expendables. I haven't been to Bengie's in YEARS... like years and years... and it was so cool! You really can't beat it... we paid $8 each to get in, plus we bought a pass for $7 that allowed us to bring outside food in with us. We brought a cooler full of ice, sodas, and water bottles, along with some snacks, and we stopped on the way and got a pizza. We brought pillows and a blanket with us too. We couldn't have asked for better weather... during the first movie, all the windows were down and the sunroof was open; during the second movie, the windows were halfway down and the sunroof was cracked; by the third movie, all the windows were up and the sunroof was closed, and Brian & I were cuddled up under the blanket! We found out that 5 movies was way too long for us... I fell asleep during the 2nd movie and we both fell asleep during the 3rd, so after that we just headed home. Bengie's is supposed to be open into the beginning of November, so I think we're going to try to go again before they close for the season. I can't wait! :)

Friday, September 10th was my Mom's birthday... she turned 55 years old this year! Since she had to work that day, I thought it would be nice if my Grandma and I could go to her work and have breakfast there with her. On my way home from work, I stopped and picked Grandma up and we headed to the Double TT. It was nice to spend some time with Grandma and my Mom. Because I had to work on her actual birthday, we planned to celebrate it on Sunday.

On Saturday, Brian & I took an evening walk through Mariner Point Park with my Mom & my sister. We walked the perimeter of the park twice and by the time we were finished, it was pitch black outside! After our exercise, we all went to Rita's for some Italian Ice... mmm!!! I got Ocean Spray Cranberry and it was DELICIOUS!! Definitely one of my favorite flavors!

On Sunday, in honor of her birthday, my Mom, sister and I decided to have a "Girl's Day" - we went to the movies together to see "The Last Exorcism", then we did some shopping on The Avenue at White Marsh, and then we went to an early dinner at Fogo de Chao in Baltimore. I had made reservations for us online and mentioned that my sister & I were going to be celebrating our mother's birthday, so after we finished eating the waiter brought out a plate of dessert with 3 forks and the words "Happy Birthday" written in raspberry puree along the edges of the plate. I thought that was so nice of them! :)

I've been busy scheduling tons of clinicals for the next few months... I've signed up for shifts at St. Joseph's Hospital in the Operating Room and the N.I.C.U.; Sinai Hospital in Labor & Delivery, the Psychiatric Ward, the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, and the Pediatric Emergency Room; and the Maryland Poison Center... plus a ton of shifts at the firehouse where I'll be precepted by a senior Paramedic. I've got lots of work ahead of me, but it will all be worth it in a few months when I get that Paramedic patch to replace my Intermediate patch that I worked so hard for!! :)

I think that should bring us up to date... I promise I'll try harder at not slacking so much! In the meantime, like the song by Green Day, "wake me up when September ends..." LoL

P.S. I'm lacking some pictures on these last two blogs because I transferred everything to my external hard drive and wiped my laptop hard drive clean... I've been meaning to bring my external hard drive with me so I could upload some pics, but I keep forgetting. Anyone who knows me should know that it's not like me to not take pictures!! :)