I am really enjoying this time of year, despite that it’s getting colder, the days are shorter, and the holidays all get intertwined even though they are a month apart. Why? Well, if not for one day that Gina and I got to plan and execute so well, that it made the spirit of the holiday season start early. Now granted, I use this time to “slow” down, use training time as “play” time, and really step back to take a closer look at everything around me. Everyone too. I call it my Pre-Advent phase because it is THEN that I get real reflective and embrace all that the holidays REALLY mean. Never settle. Always grow. Always BE.

Gina and I have been working a lot and our schedules have not been able to mesh often. We often now work weekends, where we get in a little training early and often get up early in Sunday to attend Mass, or have odd days off where one of us winds up working regardless. It’s stressful, but we teamwork to make sure it doesn’t effect WHO we are. We both have to deal with the many frustrations that come with service, but we deal with it cause we like what we do, those we CAN indeed help. It’s becoming quite clear our society is loosing touch at an alarming rate. Touch with themselves honestly. Disturbing and comical at times, but a sigh is all I can muster most of the time, and move on, even if it means taking the brunt of it. A cross I don’t mind carrying, but BEWARE of by BEing AWARE.

Her Mets are doing so well – World Series?? And I can’t take credit, but she has been wearing this a lot during the later part of the season and continues to do so on this streak:

We did plan ahead however to both take off work for our 5th wedding anniversary. It fell on Friday so we made plans to just involve US. We looked forward to it and each night that week, no matter how stressed the day got us, we knew we could recharge on that day. We had a Do Not Disturb agenda. You could try – but you’d get to talk to this:

BOOM – count the 5 of them.

We took our time getting up that morning. We went for a long walk ignoring the traffic that was piling up on the streets as we recalled everything we did on that wedding day. The sun was warming everything up as we stretched and got ready for a breakfast at Another Broken Egg. At 9:30, it is quiet and welcoming to a nice conversation and a mighty fine breakfast!! We even had some Bailey’s in our coffee (waitress suggested it). BOOM. From there, we redeemed some of the many Bed Bath and Beyond coupons we accumulate each month and racked up the k-cups for Gina. We then traveled for a cake and found it in all places the HT - and happy that a Johnson and Wales baker made the cake. BOOM. From there we dropped the cake back home then right out to catch the 1;30 matinee for The Martian. Great movie, fun ride, enjoyable story. Empty too. BOOM. Once we got out, sun was really warm and we had about an hour to freshen up before going out to dinner nearby at Fiamma (www.fiammacharlotte.com). We got seated at the upper round table overlooking the parking lot and it was indeed a romantic setting. Tucked away and man did we dine! The food was awesome in that we ordered everything off the specials menu. They gave us a glass of prosecco on the house. The appetizer and main course was BOOM good. No distractions could have disturbed the happiness we felt. We were tired from the long day, but gloried in the way we nailed everything we planned – just like we did our wedding day. We planned everything ourselves, we paid for everything ourselves, and everything that day went smooth and the way we wanted. Kind of like the way we race!! They presented us with a special dessert on the house and we got an even nicer gift soon after that. As we walked out of the restaurant and headed home FINALLY, we just held hands and didn’t want it to end. Wait – it didn’t!! We got home and opened some wine while diving into this!!! (which I am now responsible for finishing). BOOM.

We consider each other a blessing in our lives. We grew as co-workers, friends, romancers, a long engagement, and now into our 5th year of marriage. We are a solid team, have been all over the U.S. and world (and plan to continue that), been more poor than rich, more better than worse, and strengthened by our faith and prayer, will continue to grow in our love together regardless of what obstacles – people or things – we face. Throw in another BOOM.

And another, and another……………







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