May-ments in time

31 May

The month of May had me feeling amorous ❤

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Like this view: Giving me love, despite the grey skies.

 

For this post, there are *8 categories of love. 
*Editors Note:  Eight is arbitrary.   Or, arb-eight-trary. 

 

  1. Friendship Love:

 

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Matching energy

 

In May, I was asked to be interviewed on stage about travel and, for those of you who know me (which you probably do because you’re reading my blog), you’ll know that I have stage fright.  I don’t like the attention.  I said yes, despite this, both because they were friends of mine and because I was flattered.  However, when the week finally arrived…I was freaking out. Helen had also been asked, by the same friends, on the same show, to come and do a little standup.  She was going to close out the night. Spoilers: She crushed!

Bel and I had not been on a show together (because, duh, I don’t perform comedy) since our Improv 101 class show.  This was an exciting night! Officially, we got to hangout out together in the green room, talk to the other performers, and relish the experience…right up until the time I had to go on stage. Gulp.

Luckily, Helen, (aka my best friend), came on stage with me. (THANK YOU, HELEN).  We had been planning to do this since I had been asked to come on the show and luckily, the hosts had said that it would be fine.

 

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Moral (and actual) support.

 

Bel acted as my initial mouthpiece and stepped in whenever I became overwhelmed. She rubbed my back, reminded me of the stories I was going to tell, and provided invaluable support.  She made the whole experience fun(ish) from start to finish.  And then — I got to return the favor. Kind of. She let me (and Sarah) sit on stage with her while she performed her killer set.  Bel and Bam, in bright lights! 

 

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The after show hang

 

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  1. All sorts of other shows, Love.

 

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A magic — I mean, a comedy show

 

A music show:

One Wednesday, I met an awesome group of friends at banjo night.  Emily had gotten wonderful people together; Laura, Trisha, Joe, Erin, Josh, myself, and of course Emily! It was such a fun night, hanging out with people I don’t get to see often enough.  We even got to take a private tour of the Elk’s Lounge — courtesy of Erin — and it was super cool. I’m (still) considering becoming a member.

 

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#friendship and #memberperks

 

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  1. Exercise Love:

 

Sure, I worked out in the gym. #alwaystrying   But outside of that (I’m talking literally outside), I joined a kickball team with a fantastic name (see photo caption below).

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Kickball team name: Pitch, please. 

 

The selfie below was taken on a particularly messy game day when Emily, Dan, and I made, in my opinion, the best possible use of some very muddy fields.

 

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Not pictured: my car’s interior… but you can imagine

 

The photo below is from an actual mud run. Or rather, it was inflatable 5k that felt like a mud run, celebrating Laura’s birthday. So fun! (Happy birthday, Laura!)  And afterwords, we all went to Hitchhiker brewery to celebrate. Because what’s a birthday party without having to explain to everyone else why you showed up dirty. 

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Running into 31 like…

 

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  1. Dating Love:

 

I’m keeping (some of) the juicy details to myself, but I went on some pretty fantastic dates — including a surprise date that I got to plan.  It was May 24th, on a Friday night, by most metrics a classically romantic time. This evening was going to be no exception. I gave Collin, my date, some clues and a couple of chances to guess, but mostly, I chose to keep the suspense — and the mystery — alive:

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This was exciting.

 

Question: What (and where) was our surprise date?!

 

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A Bright Star surprise. 

 

Answer:  An (adorable) Northside date to the New Hazlett Theater to see a production of Bright Star (a musical that Steve Martin wrote with incredible bluegrass accompaniment).  

But wait, there’s more!  Would a romantic evening be complete without a walking picnic (especially when I knew my date was going to show up at my doorstep hungry)?!?  I could let you guess, but the answer is ‘nope’.

I packed us a walking picnic — aka rotisserie chicken in a bag — that we ate (the food, not the bag) on our way to the theater.  And when we arrived at New Hazlett my handsome, traditional, Friday night date chose the best seats in the house, and we fully enjoyed the phenomenal show.

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Enjoying live theatre

 

I genuinely felt the full range of emotions at this play;  I laughed, I cried, I loved;  The experience was incredible — especially the music, the storyline, the location, and the company.  Col and I left LOVING LIFE and, great news, our date didn’t stop there.  Once the show was over, we walked back to the dreamflat to make, unbeknownst to us at the time, THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES I’VE EVER EATEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!!! Let me repeat that, the best chocolate chip cookies that I’ve ever eaten in my entire.life. “And I love cookies!”  Bonus: These incredible cookies are vegan (#dairyfreemonth) and OH MY GOD ARE THEY GOOD.

 

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Cookies so good I (almost) forget it was dairy-free month.

 

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And then, the great dates kept on coming.  Like the super fun double date we went on with Mike and Kendyll.  Mike and Kendyll are people whom I was destined to meet. These two gems are past-Sammi’s neighbors (circa 2012-2013). They live directly next door to where I used to live. (And when I lived there, they lived there too…except on the other side.) The universe has been trying to connect us for awhile 🙂 Thanks, universe! 

 

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Double the fun

 

As the four of us hung out on a restaurant patio, Kendyll and I could not help but notice…and then laugh at…a guy wearing a neon bike helmet dining with his family.  Were there some hidden dangers we were unaware of?  A piano falling from the sky?  Mike, like a champ, changed the subject and told the waiter “we’ll take another round!” And, my night ended perfectly, with Col and I alone at the dreamflat, laughing hysterically until we cried… just the way I like it.

Collin and I continued to organize lots of at-home dates in May.  One that stood out, in particular, was this one (pictured below) that Col planned:  He greeted me at the door with a bouquet of stunning, fresh roses *happy sigh* ❤️  And then we went food shopping at the farmers market directly across the street #northsidepride Our dinner that night was prepared ONLY with the ingredients we had bought there. Local, home cooked, and made with love?!  You can see the results below.  Collin is fantastic in the kitchen!  And those roses that he had brought were absolutely gorgeous!  I wanted to make room for them on our table.  So, to save space, I put a single rose in my water glass, and that rose and I got to sip from the same, refreshing drink all evening long. Talk about a tall glass of water! 

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Sooo much goodness in one picture; it’s like a Where is Waldo, except everything is Waldo

 
That evening, as I mentioned, it was *supposed* to be a date night at home. Except. Well, I had just found out that the Harry Potter house party that Helen and I had attended last year was happening again.  And Collin loves Harry Potter!  So, we went, for Collin.  We cleaned up our dinner, left the dreamflat and, we went to the Housecup party — Team Ravenclaw (Claw! Claw!) — for the rest of our very fun(ny) night.

We got there just as the party was getting started.  Games galore!  First up?  Flip cup (which I’m not good at) with spells.  Followed by a horcrux hunt.  And, well, this is where Col points to as the turning point in his night, a game of quidditch where we had to finish three bottles of wine before our seeker could be released.  Allison coached us. Collin was competitive. Jesca was a masterful seeker. AND RAVENCLAW WON (this game)!!! Claw! Chug! Claw!

Next game? Act out a scene.  Collin was on the microphone and he narrated the Ravenclaw’s skit.  While our scene was good, the most memorable part, for me, came when the Slytherians pointedly defended their choice to cut down an “invasive species of plant”.

“Can I say something?”, Col, not very quietly, leaned in and asked me.

“Uh, no, I don’t think so. What do you want to say?”

“I would tell them that they are DORKS!!”

“Yeah, don’t say that. It’s time to go.”

And with that, we left, missing the final game of the night  — trivia. We got into the car with mumbles from Collin…“We were supposed to stay in.  I thought you said we would have fun. Why did I drink like that?”  I did my best to comfort him and when we got home, into bed, I read a text from Allison…. Ravenclaw had won the Housecup this year!!!! WAHOO!!!  THIS WAS GREAT NEWS!!!!  I leaned over to share the glory with Col but, understandably, he’d already fallen asleep — I’m sure with dreams of the Harry Potter world flip (cupping) around in his head.

 

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  1. Family Love: 

 

I was happy to spend time with my parents this month as well.  It was on a road-trip to FL where I quantified exactly how much I like to stop and got to play the question game.  Then, when I arrived, I GOT TO TRY OUT A NEW VERSION OF SURF AND TURF: Lobster pizza with a side of steak. YUM!   After dinner, my family took us to see the sights; a mini road trip around the gorgeous lake.

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When the steak hits your eye with a big cauliflower-pizza pie, that’s amore

 

My parents also came into Pittsburgh to visit me to see a slanted house.  Which was an interesting experience (and a no go) but the best part was driving around afterwards, looking at and appreciating all the other the cute houses that I didn’t have to own.  Then!  I took my parents to Hello Bistro (for their first time ever) where we enjoyed each others company and ate huge salads.

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  1. Bonus Love:
  • A Thai dinner with Emily’s mom (Hi, Cindy!), sister, nephews, and girlfriend (love to you, too, Laura 🙂 ).

 

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 Meeting mom!

 

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Those precious nephews

 

  • Being asked to write out a set list for my first time ever. It was AN HONOR!

  • I got myself an official boyfriend, and my boyfriend got himself an official girlfriend ❤  (Looks like I really wanted to bury the lead back in May.  ’cause it’s August right now and I’d like to shout this fact WITH JOY!)

  • Dinner at Fat Heads to meet some family with a hashtag I shouldn’t spread and a game I made up…but Taylor Swift was my inspo (Is it more disrespectful to wear Pappy’s glasses or to wear black?)

 

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Fashion guru.

 

  • BECAUSE I went to Fat Heads, I got to “woo” when, later at a comedy show, the audience was asked who’d been to Fat Heads most recently.

  • …emphasis on that Club Cafe after-show hang, which was full of first time LOVE.

  • I drank a bed beer after therapy, asked for matching dogs, and came to terms with the fact that I’m not good at transitions.

  • Meeting the infamous Triplets at a fun Park House hang, with an exciting kamikaze, and a bonus, late night scooter ride.

  • Spoiled by stuffed breakfast mushrooms.

  • The friendly cabin for Memorial day!
  • A happy encounter — Brian and Andrew at the Game of Thrones bar. 
  • And, speaking of GoT, I know this post is all about love in May, but the one thing that there’s questionable love for was that GoT finale… it was “like finding out they had run out of PhDs after getting all the way through school.”

  • Spending a belated Mother’s Day with my mum, in Pittsburgh, house hunting, and eating a delicious Caribbean lunch.

  • Pride party planning commenced!

  • “Have you ever ordered from Amazon?”

  • A hang with Jodi (!) and Bel, eating pizza from the Northside.  That must have been on my dairy free cheat day because there’s no other explanation.

 

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  1. Photo Love:

 

Here are three photos of 3 things I’m grateful for:

 

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A snuggly place to sleep.

 

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Homemade breakfasts with arugula.

 

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And sweet views out my car windshield, reminding me of best friendship.

 

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  1. Selfie Love:

 

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Good morning, I love you!

‘mi

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