Good Things: Wednesday Edition

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and a little under the weather.  I’m trying not to wallow in either, though, because neither is particularly productive.  Instead, a list of good things from this week!

  • We bought this blender and it’s kind of really awesome.  We used to have a blender, then sold it a few years ago because we never used it.  I spotted this one in the Crate & Barrel catalog, and was sold on it when we played with the components at Bed Bath & Beyond.  Thanks to the wonders of Amazon Prime, it arrived in 2 days, and Shane has already blended 2 things with it.  Hooray!
  • It’s totally gorgeous out – 64 and sunny – and my new window bump office was nice and warm in the afternoon sunshine.
  • My photos from Amber came in the mail today and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!Only 3 weeks left in the semester!  That means a fair amount of grading, but also the imminent return of guiltless free time!
  • This time next week I’ll be on a mini-break with five of my best ladies (and two of their adorable progeny).
  • And OH YES, our first wedding anniversary is Sunday.  Happy almost one year to us!

14 September 2008

A year ago today I said my farewells to most of my Champaign friends.  I packed up my last few things from my job.  I went out for drinks with my coworkers, except that Jill couldn’t drink, and Garret was blinded by the late afternoon sun.  I had dinner at Bread Co, and a bourbon outside at the Esquire, too cold for the little dress I was wearing.  I danced my ass off at 80s night, with lots of songs played by my DJ friend just for me, lots of laughs as one of the professors joined us, lots of sweaty happy hugs at the end of the night.  The next morning I packed up the car, hugged Molly goodbye, had a last breakfast at Sam’s with a few sleepy friends, then hit the road with Jimi’s mix CD before I could lose my resolve and composure completely.

Do I still miss Champaign?  Absolutely, almost every day.  I miss my friends.  I miss my job (though Karla is filling my shoes wonderfully, including insanely multi-tasking, though she’s taken it much further than I ever thought about).  I miss our sunny cool apartment, and I miss our easy life, and I miss the way I could fly down University on yellow bike at 7am.  I miss the garden patch, and knowing people everywhere we went, and eating and drinking (and smoking, but only sometimes) with Carl.  The missing is palpable.

But there are really great things about being here, too.  Today we biked down to Old Town for brunch and had a lovely time, even though we were drenched in sweat when we arrived.  We’re better cooks and better partners.  We’ve made some friends, and have found some favorite places.  We have a funny Mina.  Life is good, though the hole in my heart shaped like East Central Illinois hasn’t gotten any smaller.

Bacaro tasting menu

Things we ate tonight, in honor of our year-and-a-half-aversary:

– tiny balls of mozzarella in an olive tapenade
– decent but not earth-shattering bottle of pinot nero ($26, not $40)
– peeky-toe crab cakes with truffle aioli
– house-cured prosciutto with tempura battered garlic (something) and parmigiana
– risotto with sea urchin eggs, cherry tomatoes, and lemon zest
– (some kind of meaty white fish), bacon mashed potatoes, green beans, truffled broth
– 9 year aged Wisconsin cheddar, tiny slices of baguette, some kind of white cheese from Vermont
– mint meringue, sour cream whip, blackberry compote, hazelnut toffee
– French-press coffee
– little chocolatey cookies

I woke up last New Years Day with a boy who until a few hours previously had just been a friend. After a night of dancing and champagne and kissing, he slept over, though we both spent more time tossing and turning and talking than actually sleeping. I was resolutely single at the time, and he was just out of a long term relationship, so I thought it was just going to be one of those things, and we’d go back to being friends.

I was wrong.

Much to my great surprise, it wasn’t just one of those things. The last year has been full of surprises and happiness and growth and kittens and excellent meals and love. I’m very happy, and very grateful for this man.

Happy first year, baby.