Right now, I just want to toot my own horn. I never really do this, and it feels strange and I find myself second guessing this as I type it. But hey, self, stop it. In the last 2 1/2 years, I’ve had two promotions. I’m kinda (kinda feels better than openly admitting I’m totally rocking the house) kicking ass as the second head on the totem pole of heads, and it feels good. It’s a hard job, and I’m good at it, which makes it feel even better.

But, what feels even better than all of that? Off days. This day off was filled with brunch and french music, sunny drives, murals, pelicans, delicious markets, and coffee paired with a chocolate chip cookie. It was perfect, and needed, and deserved.

And, I discovered the rowing machine at the gym tonight and I felt very, Claire Underwood-esque. Psst…she’s from House of Cards. Haven’t seen it? You’re way behind. Go watch it!

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St. Petersburg has the most incredible murals. These two are a couple of my current favorites. We also stumbled upon this little letterpress shop and found some art work that will surely hang in our next home.

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Locale Market: insert 9 heart-eyes emojis here. T is a fantastic cook, and he was nearly jumping up and down when he saw their meat selection. I was pretty smitten with the seafood, the array of cookbooks, and all of the little gifties that I want to send out to everyone and their mothers.

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He’s cutting a cheese that was aged for nine months, and it was goooood.

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I mean, isn’t it just so pretty?! No? YES!

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*sigh*

I’ll dream of sunny piers and seafood dinners tonight.

Hilton Head, SC

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Hilton Head Island is one of my favorite places on this Earth. Buildings can’t be taller than the tallest tree. Structures have to be painted so that they blend in to the landscape, meaning that there are no neon, flashing signs saying “Get Cash Now”, or tall McDonalds signs peeking through the trees. Everything blends into the pine trees and the Spanish moss, which is a wonderful relief.

We headed up to Hilton Head for our first anniversary, and had a blissful week. We took James on his first vacation and found that it will be his last vacation, since he is not a happy-car-cat.

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I always love when the beaches are steely grey like this, and you can smell the cold sea.

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I have always loved the parts of When Harry Met Sally where each of the couples are being interviewed and telling their stories. One talks about how she knew he was the one for her, the way you know about a good melon. One talks about how he crossed the room to talk to her, but she thought he was crossing the room to talk to Maxine, because people were always crossing rooms to talk to Maxine. One introduced himself as Ben Small, of the Coney Island Smalls. (Obviously I’ve watched the movie a lot)

I decided, and thankfully Trey liked the idea, that every year, no matter where we are or what is happening that day, we will make a video on our anniversary. We did our first one this year on one of Hilton Head’s beaches, and I’m excited to see where next year’s will be. I just think that years down the road, it will be special to look back and see where we were every year, and how we have changed. This year we told about how we met (à la  When Harry Met Sally), and all of the things that the last year has held. We talked about what we want from this upcoming year of marriage, and what we want for our future.

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I imagine that one year will feature a very pregnant me, or us in our kitchen with kids running circles around us, or a very sick Trey, or maybe we will be mad at each other that day. I’m really excited to see how the videos vary over the years.

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We couldn’t miss out on a beach sunset, and the whole time “Hard Candy Christmas” and “Marshmallow World” were playing in my head because the skies and the beach were the most incredible pinks and baby blues for the longest time.

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“It’s a marshmallow world in the winter
When the snow comes to cover the ground
It’s the time for play, it’s a whipped cream day
I wait for it the whole year round.

Those are marshmallow clouds being friendly
In the arms of the evergreen trees
And the sun is red like a pumpkin head
It’s shining so your nose wont freeze.

The world is your snowball, see how it grows
That’s how it goes whenever it snows
The world is your snowball just for a song
Get out and roll it along

It’s a yum-yummy world made for sweethearts
Take a walk with your favorite girl
It’s a sugar date, what if spring is late
In winter it’s a marshmallow world.”

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“I’ll be fine and dandy
Lord it’s like a hard candy christmas
I’m barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won’t let
Sorrow bring me way down”

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See you again one day soon, Hilton Head. You were a gem, as always.

Quick Summary

OCTOBER

Work promotion. Worked on Halloween. Couldn’t handle the fact that there isn’t a real autumn in Florida, so we decorated for Christmas on October 28th.

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NOVEMBER

Went home to Alabama for a few days before Thanksgiving since we wouldn’t be able to go home for the actual day. Stomped on all the leaves and collected the prettiest ones. My older brother adopted a fluffy peach of a kitty and named her Loretta. I made a BITCHIN’ caramel-apple pie, and Trey and I cooked the entire Thanksgiving meal for our family and had a wonderful time doing so.

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DECEMBER

We missed Alabama. A lot. We watched Christmas movies regularly, sang Christmas carols daily. Made gingerbread houses, Christmas cookies, worked a lot, celebrated our first married anniversary in one of our favorite places, traveled home for Christmas, and made plans for what’s next.

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JANUARY

We’re off to a good start.

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