So, the past two Sundays Cooper and I have splurged. We’ve gone out for donuts one weekend and cinnamon rolls the next. These weekends of indulgences spawned from 1.) seeing this store front:
and 2.) A groupon. Little did we know both the donut place and the cinnamon roll spot, Cinnaholic, were 100% VEGAN. Not bashing vegan eating but I totally thought we were splurging (but also secretly happy that it wasn’t the full deal). Both were great…think salted caramel donuts and cinnamon rolls with maple frosting…but the one thing they were lacking was a good cup of cows milk to wash it all down. Silk just didn’t do it for me.
Ok, I know people don’t really care about donuts or cinnamon rolls…what you really want to know are the other juicy details. The one bit of news Cooper and I have kept semi quiet is that we are engaged. We’ve actually have been engaged for a good month and a half now but it wasn’t until yesterday that I said to Cooper “Are you going to change your Facebook status, ha ha ha?” His reply: “I don’t know, are you?” My reply: “Not until after you do it.” Then I got an e-mail asking me to accept an engagement invitation. Oh, Facebook. Yes, we’ve told our families…we’ve just been enjoying the world of engagementhood in slow and simple steps. But now it is out there and I know many of our close friends and family they are thinking: It is about damn time. We’ve actually been talking about “making it official” or as we like to say “having a special celebration” for about a year…but with our 10 year anniversary approaching in April we thought around then would be appropriate. I’ve told several folks over the many years that I’ve either dreamt or read about a culture where the couple celebrates after years of being together (i.e. waits until they are bald and wrinkly) before they make it “official.” I have kind of liked this notion and am really glad we’ll get to celebrate after hitting our 10 years milestone and Cooper will still have some hair and our wrinkles are not too deep yet. Whoo hoo! Win win all around. We plan to do something suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper small (like just immediate family) and suuuuuuper low key. We hope to take some of our own wedding portraits after all is said and done (as well succumb to the challenge of hiring a wedding photographer for the day of stuff) so I’ll be sure to share a photo or two.
The engagement story (since people have asked!) is simple and sweet (and perfect). Before daylight savings began in November the bay area had some of the most amazing sunsets known to man. Throughout all of our years in the east bay one of our favorite things to do on warm summer nights is to go to an overlook in the Berkeley hills and have dinner as the sun sets. The view from up here is awesome. So, on November 4th, Cooper said “Hey, woman…why don’t we have dinner at the overlook tonight?” My response was “Absolutely, Sir!” (ok, he didn’t say “Hey, woman” and I didn’t call him Sir… I added that in there for the effect). So we did. And it was a beautiful night:
Once we finished our meal and all the other spectators left Cooper popped the question.
And it was an awesome moment. And we couldn’t be happier. And our dog was there. And as we lived in the moment Oslo (the dog) started chewing through his leash and almost ran away from us because we were so mushy gushy (seriously, we caught him just in time). And life is really good and has been for a long time and I genuinely feel really really lucky.
So, that is the story. Simple and sweet and just right. We are not really a traditional couple and if he had bent down on one knee or dished out a big fancy ring I probably would have felt a little ill. Instead I felt just great.
I have three two and a half bits of news to share but I can’t share any of it because they are all in the works and can’t be dished…yet. But, two good words of note: I’ve framed my mustached man photo. I plan to put this framed work of wonder over the toilet paper holder in the loo but so far it is just on our massive 20 foot photo ledge. That, and I started sewing again. It feels really good.
Also, how cute is my niece? Yes, she is a hipster in the making and I love it.
It has been confirmed that my dog belongs to me. I recently brought home an accordion from a garage sale (yes, that is how I spend my money) and upon first hitting the chords Oslo decided he wanted to sing along. So now, everyday we have a little jam session and he LOVES it! (please overlook the butt licking).
Holy shazbot the past month has been craaaaaaazy! 30th birthday=celebrated (more on that later). Brother had a baby=AMAZING. Cdawg photographed the President=Say What?!?! Trip to WA for an unfortunate event=sad. But, before I get into any of that here are some more Ireland pics. Yes, Ireland is still on the brain.
Some great photos of the countryside, cows and castles
and tea time
and the table (this photo probably wasn’t intentional but I really like it)
and Guinness beer kegs
and an Ali shopping (my head looks tiny compared to the rest of me)
and an amazing “house”
with an amazing bathroom
I’m ready to move into that “house,” wear wellies allllllllllll the time, drink tea and Guinness at the time same time but in separate glasses and look out from my house to the view of castles and cows. Yup, I’m ready.
We then went to Ennis where my family might be from according to census records. Potentially my GGG-Grandparents are from this area? Whether they are or are not it was great checking out the town…small and not touristy!
We went to the pubs and listened to Irish music…
Cooper says this doesn’t make for very interesting video but just so you can hear some of the Irish music were listening too (and watch Cooper sweat in front of the camera):
We got to have a great breakfast (side note, I could eat baked beans for breakfast everyday…)….
And before heading out to our next destination we stopped at their local Farmer’s Market where we got a fresh baked scone (yes, yum is correct) and listened to an accordionist while watching an senior fellow churn fresh butter. Hint hint to farmer’s markets…freshly churned butter is a great idea for a new product. This photos is after the farmer’s market…to memorialize that I stepped foot in what might be the potential area where my family is from.
Ireland film scans are back! I can now share a few photos (both digital and film) from our trip to my homeland. The first few days we were in Galway which I loved…although we didn’t make the most of our time there because of 1.) jet lag and 2.) Cooper had to adjust to driving on the other side of the road. We did get to have a great dinner/drinks with friends and went to a true Irish pub where two drunken Irish men arm wrestled. Oh, and another highlight: I went swimming in the pool at the hotel and it was the first time in my life where I wasn’t the only really really white person in the pool. In fact, Cooper’s farmer’s tan was much much darker than any of the other skin tones. I surely loved fitting in.
First up for photos: Cliffs of Moher. Breathtaking? Yes. Touristy? Yes…until you go beyond the fenced areas and live life on the edge (literally, ha!). My Dr. Scholl’s insoles for lower back pain made me slip around in my shoes too much to totally feel secure on the cliff’s edge but it was a great sight nonetheless. Just writing about it makes me weak in the knees.
The trip wouldn’t be complete without Cooper doing a jig:
Lots to catch up on now that we are back from the homeland (aka Ireland). I have many many many photos and videos to share from our trip but since we are now “back to the grind” I’ll share a moment from a wedding we shot this weekend. I realized that when Cooper had the camera pointed at me for a few minutes and the lens wasn’t moving it was my cue to try my hand at channeling my inner Jay-Z/Alicia Keys. Then I noticed the guests/bride watching and if the lighting had been better you’d see me turn a bright shade of red.
I might also kind of fit in looks wise with my very fair skin and dark hair. I’ll never forget when I was a kid and a friend’s gma said to me “You are so Irish looking!” I had no idea what she meant by that and it made me a little nervous but then seeing how my own Gma Kopp was so extremely proud of her Irish heritage I now think it is a major compliment.
Time to go shake my shillelagh (sp?) and drink lots of guinness (and other beers) extra cold.
It has been a grand couple of days. I’ve been able to get a lot of work done, C-dawg’s brother is visiting and he is a great/easy house guest, we’ve eaten enough to give us a nice extra layer of padding for the cold months ahead and we’ve spent a lot of time outside in parks…on blankets…doing nothing. Life is good.
A few memory highlights:
1. We shaved Oslo’s ears. His head looks tiny. Cooper accidentally cut it a little too close on one ear and it looks like a big heart shaved into his ear.
2. All in one day we crossed numerous things off our to do/eat list: ate at Ike’s Sandwich shop, tried Tartine, got to scour through the Curiosity Shoppe, hung out in Dolores Park for hours. Ate candied apple flavored lollipops.
3. Went shopping a bit which we should not do but got a few new necessities. Such as: a mustard sweater, a new dress for weddings, a new pair of sunglasses and maybe some jeans (I have to see if I can afford these…not sure yet…aka buyers guilt).
4. HAD A CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA TASTE-OFF (for the second time for scientific purposes of course). Yes, once again we tested four chicken tikka masalas from from four different restaurants. Right away I could taste which one belonged to Naan ‘n Curry and I wanted to drink the sauce. Gross? Perhaps. But, I wanted to. We have to do this as least nine or more times to further our research so please come over and be a taste tester with us. Ha. This is what a chicken tikka masala taste-off looks like: