Life Lately + Head Trauma

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. – Ferris Bueller

SO FREAKING TRUE. While we haven’t done anything monumental lately, we have had some really awesome weekends, and the more I forget to share, the faster the time seems to go.

Let’s start out by categorizing what’s been going on with our life lately!

Wedding Planning

I. AM. SO. EXCITED!!!! This is the stage where I’m the most comfortable being at when I’m planning anything. It’s the anticipatory, to-do lists, breathable, productive, I’m-going-to-conquer-the-world stage and I’m loving it.

Obviously, the beginning was ROUGH. Like, beyond rough. Like crying every day for a month rough. Once we set that date, it was a ticking time bomb strapped to my back. Looking back, it was a combination of everything in the world that overwhelms me, hitting me all at once.

  • Ginormous price tags? Check.
  • Guilt beyond belief at my parents paying? Check.
  • The idea of being married when I had never wanted that? Check.
  • Decisions that I never thought I would ever need to make and try to make them with someone who doesn’t like making decisions? Check.
  • Planning a major event from a different state for a reason that I never had wanted before? Check!

One of the main problems was that Timmy and I do not approach decision-making in the same way. In fact, we’re complete opposites. I’m a snap decision-maker. I don’t like to over-analyze anything and I just want to move on and get shit done. Timmy becomes paralyzed. He gets frustrated easily when it’s time to decide, and then he will just stonewall until he feels he’s had enough time (usually about 10,000 times longer than I’m okay with). This does not make for smooth decision making and it’s been an issue for a long time in our relationship in general.

But we sat down, hashed it out, and now we’re excellent. Timmy and I finally found a groove to wedding planning. I’ll do some research here and there and compile some ideas and send it to him, and then 2-3 weeks later, we’ll basically knock out like 3-5 decisions in one day. And I’ve had time to digest the fact that my parents WANT to do this for us and I can accept it now.

We have just under a year until we get married. This is what we’ve done so far:

  • wedding coordinator hired
  • date and time chosen
  • venue chosen
  • guest list almost complete
  • photographer chosen and engagement pictures printed
  • caterer, food options, baker, and design chosen
  • band chosen
  • alcohol package chosen
  • wedding website nearly complete
  • invitations printed
  • registries complete
  • save the dates designed
  • rehearsal dinner space booked
  • wedding dress and bridal party and outfits selected
  • bachelor/bachelorette party scheduled

I told you, I don’t mess around when it comes to planning. I want as much done now so that we can just pretty much coast up until the wedding. We have about 4 things on the docket that should be complete in the next few weeks, so as that to-do list gets done, I get happier and more and more excited to marry my partner.

Travels and Visits

The first weekend of June, I traveled to NY to celebrate my best friend Denise’s daughter’s baptism. Seeing as how I hadn’t met the little lady since she was inside her mom’s uterus, I thought it would be a great time to meet her and chill out with my besties. This trip, I didn’t even step inside Manhattan, which was a nice change of pace. It always feels like the city is trying to run me over when I visit because I try to fit so much into one weekend, and this time, we just stayed in the suburbs and enjoyed beautiful weather with family and friends.

Not going to lie, their apartment does not absorb sound well, so in addition to little Mary’s screams, I also was privy to the fighting Puerto Rican family below them, and good god, getting 4 hours of sleep is just not okay.

A few weekends later, my good friend from grad school, Alex, came down for a half week of relaxation and fun. This woman, god I love her. She’s amazing. Strong, driven, intelligent, and with a heart as big as the sun. I admire her in so many ways, and it’s always such a nice calming feeling to be around her. She pretty much came down to escape a little drama in her life in Atlanta, so we ate well, beached it, had a boat day with my old work colleague Leila and her husband, and just enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

Pride Weekend

It’s really really fun living in monumental moments. Timmy had made the trek to St. Pete a few weekends in a row, and so Pride weekend (the last weekend in June) was supposed to be my weekend in Orlando. But then the Supreme Court upheld marriage equality Friday morning, and because Timmy is the most amazing person ever, he decided to come to St. Pete to help me volunteer and experience what a major civil rights victory feels like.

This year, I’ve been trying to volunteer more around my community, and Pride felt like another perfect moment to help out. I volunteered earlier in the week for the Stonewall Reception and got to meet the mayor of St. Pete. We volunteered together at a concert with someone from Glee (no clue, but holy cow they could sing!), and then we made it out to the nighttime Pride parade on Saturday night. Of course, Timmy is the greatest flirter in the world (which I warned him about), so he won the bead war. Hey, it’s not my fault most of the floats were men and Timmy was practically throwing himself at them!


But all in all, it was pretty much the perfect weekend, and I can’t wait for next year! 🙂

Destin and 4th of July

UGGGGHHHH, this trip was no bueno for me. It seems like every time I’ve been to Destin, it ends in E.R. visits (which is actually the case for Timmy. He and his friends really have never been able to finish a trip to Destin without visiting a medical professional). They actually still had my information on file from the last time, like 5 years ago, when I jumped in the water and stepped on some barnacles which tore the sole of my foot up.

This time, it started out great. Magda and Corey, who so generously donated the BOTE board for our “30 Years, 1 Wish” party, invited us to stay in their renovated, white, shiny new home. Their house is super gorgeous and seems to be the perfect party pad. I’m not a huge alcohol drinker, so I knew I would have to psych myself up to hang out with this crew who have livers of steel. Not that I went overboard, but I definitely had to pace myself to get through the day drinking part (which for those of you who know me well, is NOT a strength of mine).

Friday, they had a get-together at their house where people just drove their boats up or paddled up on their boards (which is the greatest way of life, let me tell you) and we all hung out in the sun by their pool. Saturday started out much like Friday. The sun burning our eyes out (they hadn’t put up drapes yet), children crying, that sort of thing. But we were heading out to Crab Island, so I was excited to have a really awesome day.

The only photo I got of the weekend.

The only photo I got of the weekend.

We made it out there, anchored the boat, played a frisbee game, met people, it was great! BOTE is constantly trying out new designs, and this weekend they were trying out a prototype for a wake surfing paddleboard. It’s smaller than a regular paddleboard, and way less stable. I tried it out a few times, was able to get the hang of it, and even tried (and failed) to do a little yoga on it.

But then, it all went downhill.

Here’s where my memory gets a little fuzzy. I remember talking with Timmy, facing their boat, and then all of the sudden I heard, “Look out!” and then BAM, the paddleboard came crashing down on the back of my head. If you’ve ever been hurt by something that’s also taken you by complete surprise, you understand the feeling. It was horrendous.

After that, I remember things in bits and pieces. I remember being brought on someone else’s boat to ice my head, I remember feeling really sleepy and just wanting to rest my eyes, and then I remember being at the E.R. with a brace around my neck, going in for a CT scan. I couldn’t remember who the president was at first (which made me cry because I was so scared).

Timmy was by my side the whole time. He was my rock, calming me down when I started to freak out, asking all the right questions, and helping me with insurance and confusing payments. In short, he was incredible.

The following week, I had some nausea, trouble sleeping, headaches, and general confusion. I had a lot of trouble getting words out, and am still kind of struggling here and there with speaking smoothly and quickly but in general, I’m completely back to normal. Timmy hated it but loved it because he eventually said, “I finally feel smarter than you!”


After that, I felt good enough to have another St. Pete weekend (the last one in a while, since it’ll be my turn to visit Orlando multiple weekends in a row. It’s only fair). We had a really good time at the Rays game last Saturday night for an Emory alumni event, which I may or may not have outed him to everyone as a non-alum. As though his Auburn hat didn’t give him away. We had a delicious dinner at our new favorite place, Brick and Mortar, met a couple and talked with them the entire night. Sunday, we had lunch at Locale Market (an incredible, jaw-dropping place) and saw Jurassic World (which pretty much sucked. We were uber disappointed), and had ourselves a delightful weekend together.

The weekends are getting harder and harder when it comes time to say goodbye. We may be seeing an end in sight as we try to figure out Timmy’s job and what moving will look like. We’re not there yet, but we’re definitely having the talks.

Life is so funny. As I’ve been going through the summer, I haven’t really felt like what we’ve been up to has been that interesting to share. I haven’t been taking as many photos, I’ve really been trying to be IN the moment. But now that I’ve finished writing this post, damn, we are busy people. I love our life.

♥, VB

Setting of the Sun

Last weekend, I was driving back to St. Pete from Orlando after spending a lovely time with Timmy. Our situation is still working quite nicely, and after a break from living together (which was SUPER needed), we are now missing each other enough to want to live together again. Which is such a great feeling. Absence and heart and fondness…that saying is so true.

As I was making the almost two-hour trek home, I realized that I had enough time to make it to the Gulf Coast to see the sun set. I don’t always get that chance since the beach is about 20-30 minutes away, which is of course totally doable normally. But I’m usually too tired to get out of the house again once I’m through that front door. And with work being as completely crazy as it has been right before school starts, I haven’t the energy to think about plans beyond my normal work hours.

As I sat on Indian Rocks beach, I fell a little bit more in love with this town I’m calling home. This place seriously rocks my socks off.

Warning: super overload of sunset pictures to commence, thanks to Timmy’s amazing gift that keep on giving–my super duper camera.

i was able to catch a little playing of strangers in the water

i was able to catch a little playing of strangers in the water

an accidental shot which I love

an accidental shot which I love

♥, VB

Things That Only Happen to Me

When you look back on your life, do you ever think, Why me? Of course you do. You’re human. It happens to the best of us at the most inopportune moments. Those flashes of “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?!?” and “Does this ever happen to anyone else?!?!” and of course, my favorite, “WHY GOD, WHY?!?!”

I’ve not only had a few, I’ve had more than I care to share out loud. But since this is the internet, and I know you guys won’t tell anyone, I’ll give you the inside scoop on what it feels like to be the one who things always happen to but not to anyone else.

Ready? I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat.

  • You know the chain that hangs in the line inside a fast food restaurant that tells you not to enter there. It’s on the front part, next to the registers, and blocks you from entering right up front so you have to travel that itty bitty maze until you order. I sat on it once as a kid, swung once on it, and fell straight on my ass when the chain broke. I’ve never EVER heard that happening to anyone else.
  • I was “asked to withdraw” (fancy way of saying I got kicked out of school) after doing drugs for the first time. In 8th grade. On the school trip to D.C. Granted, it was LSD, which is a bit extreme for a 13 year old to be doing, and I hadn’t even smoked weed before that. Quite a few of us share this story as 23 of us got kicked out, which again, I’ve never heard anyone other than this group share that type of story from their past.
  • Within the first three years of owning my Mini, I replaced every single tire. Maybe that’s specific to Mini drivers, but as I don’t currently know any other Mini drivers, I’m the only one who’s dealt with those financial setbacks so quickly after buying a brand new car.
  • I had reconstructive ankle surgery in 2011 after 14 major ankle sprains in my lifetime. I’m definitely the only person I know who had to have major reconstructive surgery on a body part that had ZERO scar tissue show up in any MRI I had. And I had 3.

I also have no luck when it comes to winning things. I’m not alone in that clearly (hello, lottery anyone?). But a few weeks ago, something was definitely in the air. Timmy felt it. I felt it. The tide was turning my friends, and for the first time in my life, I was hit with pure dumb luck.

I talked Timmy into going to the Annual Meeting for the YWCA of Tampa Bay. I had attended a lunch fundraiser for them a few months back where during a silent auction, I won two purses. Silent auctions are my jam. They are the only way I’ll participate in anything that seems like gambling because I can track if someone has outbid me. I will stalk the table and give menacing looks to anyone who even THINKS of bidding on one of my items.

I have issues.

Anyways, ever since that luncheon, I told myself I would get involved with their organization once I moved closer to St. Pete. Their mission of Empowering Women, Eliminating Racism — it’s a winner. I got a hotel for the night in downtown St. Pete and hounded Timmy about his schedule to try to get him to attend with me.

It was held at the St. Pete Yacht Club, which I go by all the time when I walk along the waterfront after work. I just wanted to know more about their work and find an opportunity to help them. After 30 Years, 1 Wish, I’ve felt more than ever that fundraising is amazing, but I really want to do more. Now that I’ll be in St. Pete around the end of next month (YES I FOUND AN APARTMENT), I can get more involved!

During the dinner, they told us about a raffle. A raffle for a free week’s stay in a private villa in Tuscany. Italy. A free week in Italy, people. That is the shiznit. I went to Italy when I studied abroad in London in 2004: Rome, Milan, and Florence. Our weekend there was so filled with memories, and most of them involved getting me fatter. It was awesome, and I’ve been dying to go back ever since.

Raffle tickets were only $25 per entry, so I filled out a ticket and Timmy filled out two. The dinner went on and I knew that we weren’t going to win. Wait, let me correct myself: I wasn’t going to win. I never win anything, why should this time be any different? But this time was different. I felt deep down in my gut that something was different this time, but my experience kept telling me, “Yeah freaking right.”

Timmy was so arrogant, he kept saying things like, “We’re so winning this. How can we not win this? I win things all the time.” And I just rolled my eyes because this is our normal mode of communication. Once they were ready to announce the winner, 5 more people stood up saying they wanted to enter the raffle. With the addition of 5 new entries, yeah right, like I stood any chance whatsoever.

Timmy went to the bathroom, and I pulled out my phone and started to check FB. When you know you’re not going to win, FB is a great distraction. They got up to the microphone and announced the winner.

“Victoria B!”

And with that, I threw my hands up in the air and let out a loud, “WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!

Awesomeness cannot begin to describe the feeling you get when you win something of that magnitude. It felt like karma was finally starting to pay me back. For all the hardships I’ve had to endure this past year, for all the struggling I’ve done to get this job and to keep it, for anything I’ve ever had done wrong to me, I felt it being lifted off because mother effer, I WAS GOING TO MOTHER EFFING ITALY!

I ran up to the front of the banquet room, shaking, ready to take pictures with the CEO and CFO and wine guy and whoever else was there, with a smile I couldn’t get off my face. Timmy came running back into the room, and once he saw me at the front, he knew. He knew from the beginning we were going to win. He felt it. That astute boy of mine.

No airfare was included, which is a bummer, but there is no complaining. We have a week’s free stay in a private villa in San Sano, a village of 50 people about 1 hour south of Florence. It’s in a 12th-century building that used to be a monastery, and there is only one person in the town that speaks English. So as I’m sure you figured out yourself, Timmy will clearly be talking to everyone there nonstop.

The couple who donated their villa apparently own a number of super successful drycleaning stores around the Tampa Bay area. When we met them at the dinner and thanked them for their generosity in donating such an amazing prize, they couldn’t stop talking about the town. About all the fun we’re going to have there. Of all the relaxing we’re going to be doing. Of all the food we’re going to be stuffing down our mouthholes. It’s going to be glorious.

So ladies and gentleman, let this be a lesson to you all. When your hand is open to give, it’s open to receive.

And receive we did.



♥, VB