Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Here's to an Even Better 2007!

Happy New Year!

Although I found myself wanting to write at various times over the holidays, I n’er took a moment to sit down and actually do it. There were several topics that I had stewing in my brain though:

Happy Whatever You Are
Happy Holidays? Merry Christmas? Happy Hanukkah? Happy Kwanza? My take on it – in a nutshell – is to wish people what you are, and not be offended by what they say to you. If I celebrate Christmas, my Jewish friends understand what I mean when I say, “Merry Christmas” to them, just as I understand what they mean when they say to me, “Happy Hanukkah.” Why are we so darn quick to be offended in this melting pot? Especially, at this time of year?! It seems so petty and selfish.

I am so sick of Santa! “He” is every-freaking-where. He’s even shirtless, with a tight bod and skimpy drawers in L.A. malls from what I understand, and the ladies are a-lovin’ it. Give me a break! We should call it Santamas already and get it over with. There is nothing spiritual about the holiday advertisements touting “celebrate the season”. Indeed, celebrate the season of shopping, sales, and Santa! For, apparently, HE is the reason for this materialistic season. Ugh!

House Hunting is Hard!
We’re on a mission to find a new home, preferably before our baby is born (March 2007). We’re currently in a small, two-bedroom (well, one bedroom, one office) basement apartment with space and ventilation issues. Financing? Check! Realtor? Check! House? HA! They want how much for this place?! Out of 7 that we looked at, one was worth considering. Needless to say, we’re still looking.

So, apparently, I AM Crazy!
I went back to the doctor for the results of my blood test and sonogram expecting to hear that, indeed, I have gall stones and will have to have my gall bladder removed after giving birth, which will completely throw a wrench in my plans to breastfeed. But, instead, we learned that I do NOT, in fact, have anything wrong with my gall bladder, AND that my doctor has no earthly idea what could be causing the burning, stabbing pain in my upper abdomen and middle-back.

Phantom Pain, I love it.

The Best Christmas Eve EVER!
Honey told me he wanted to take me out to dinner, some place nice, out of town, maybe over our holiday break. We weren’t doing gifts this year, trying to save for a house and a new baby and all, so it sounded like a nice way to get away, enjoy each other and some good cuisine. So, we both looked into various restaurant possibilities. After reviewing a few options the week before, he told me he would take care of it.

On Friday, two days before Christmas Eve, he mentioned in devising the plan that he would like to visit his grandparents first before heading on to dinner. He would not say where we were having dinner.

On Saturday, the eve of Christmas Eve, he stated that we would be spending the night in St. Louis, instead of coming home after dinner. So, I should pack for Christmas day, since we’ll be going straight to my parents.

On Christmas Eve, we headed out early, about 10 am. Arrived in Fairview Heights about noon, and did a bit of shopping and exchanging. Visited his grandmother until about 3 pm and headed to his grandfather’s. About 4 pm, he stated he was going to see if we could push back our reservations from 5:30 to 6:00, because, well, Grandpa’s a talker and we still had to get to the hotel. We left Grandpa’s at 4:30.

As we crossed the Mississippi into Missouri, Honey handed me the map to the hotel. At the top of it, it said Millennium Hotel. I began to get very excited. I helped navigate us downtown to one of the tallest buildings on the riverfront. We checked into our 22nd floor room, overlooking Busch Stadium, at 5 pm. Honey told me we would be having dinner in the hotel, so we began to get ready.

The room was beautiful, had a huge king size bed, large windows, and the bathroom vanity lit up! There was even a complimentary bathrobe and slippers in the closet. Ooo-la-la!

We arrived on the 28th floor to the Top of the Riverfront just after 6 pm. The host directed us to our table, located next to all windows on a slowly rotating floor. The restaurant, hotel in fact, is circular, and the restaurant rotates overlooking all of downtown St. Louis. It’s absolutely breathtaking at night!

I was so excited about our little getaway. Honey had really gone all out. It had been a long time since we had taken a little vacation, and with him making all the reservations and doing all the planning, he made me feel very special. I was 27 weeks pregnant, and it felt so wonderful for him to be taking such good care of me. He has been awesome from the jump, but I had never expected something like this.

For dinner, I started with lobster bisque, while Honey sipped on an extremely smooth red wine. Although, I am not much for red wine, I did partake of a sip with Honey’s approval simply because he expressed how wonderful it tasted. The bisque, by the way, was also very creamy and delicious. Honey passed on a sip of the bisque.

Our entrees were similar: I chose the 12 oz. NY Strip; he went with the 22 oz. Porterhouse. Both served with garlic-mashed potatoes, asparagus and baby carrots. Prepared to our liking, all was delicious! The dessert tray was displayed, and although I am a sucker for cheesecake, I just could not see myself eating a double-decker cheesecake with a third layer of chocolate cake in between, all by myself. Honey doesn’t do cheesecake, and really, doesn’t do desserts too often in general, so I opted for the Crème Brule – which turned out to be much larger than the size of the display! It, too, was absolutely divine.

After finishing our meals, Honey came and joined me on my side of the table. We sat and held hands watching the Arch slowly approach our point of view. I rested my head on his shoulder and noted how I could feel his heart beating through his suit. We contemplated going after the camera, and, after some time, decided I would run to get it – I had to use the bathroom, again, anyway!

Upon my return, we took some photos of one another. Our waiter took a photo of us together. I practiced taking pictures without the flash so we could capture the skyline through the windows. In fact, I moved to a different table’s chair, so I could take a picture of Honey with the Arch behind him. It turned out rather well for requiring such a slow shutter and relatively steady hand and pose.

As I started to move back to my chair, Honey suggested I stay there.

He pushed his chair back away from mine slightly…

Reached in his inside jacket pocket…

And pulled out a little black velvet box.

My eyes got as big as silver dollars, my mouth instinctively hung open…

He bent down, looked up into my eyes, and asked me to marry him!

I couldn’t say yes fast enough! I hugged and kissed his whole face! The waiter appeared out of nowhere and popped the cork on a champaign bottle! Honey placed the ring on my finger as I stared in awe into his loving eyes. What a wonderful, romantic surprise! I was speechless, but I hope my smile and kisses said it all. I could not have been happier at that moment. He – much more than the view – took my breath away. It’s a night and a memory I will cherish forever.

And, I haven’t stopped smiling since…

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