It’s Been Awhile

I think I owe you an update.

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It’s been a long 8-ish months since I’ve posted anything on LPA and for that I sincerely apologize. Life has gotten incredibly crazy and I feel like I’ve been living in a bit of a blur. Not only did my snazzy Finn and I finally reunite, we’ve received an amazing surprise, but more on that later!

Now there’s a lot that has happened since my last post back in January and I promise to update you all as briefly as possible; buckle up and let’s get to it.

Jan through March: This period of time was full of angsty waiting while working as a leasing consultant back in Michigan and as a digital marketing intern for a company based in Helsinki. The boyf and I were trying to figure out any way for us to reunite in the future and avoid this whole long-distance thing.

I cannot even begin to explain how overwhelming it was to weed our way through several options, eventually land on one, and then attempt to get it all sorted as quickly as possible. Not only were we moving me to Finland, but also two of my cats (one is currently living with my dad in Michigan and is his little buddy!), and timing it perfectly to allow me to return to Helsinki in time to finish my last month of my internship in person while first allowing the boyf to come and meet my family. It was hectic to say the least.

But alas, he made it to Michigan and met my family. We traveled around Michigan IMG_3551sightseeing and we got engaged! He proposed at Port Huron; it was a truly perfect day as we were driving around the thumb of Michigan, stopping at different little spots along the way, and we even made a pitstop at Wilson’s Cheese Shoppe to grab some amazing cheese curds, dip, and sausage for snacks. We chowed down the entire drive home, haha.

Interested in reading about the immigration process in Finland? Check out our next post!


April: We left for Finland on April 6th. In all honesty, we probably should have postponed my coming to Finland because not only was no one in the office for all of April, but staying home to save up money would have been a smarter decision. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20 and I’m truly grateful to have been able to spend so much time with my man. Anyway, April 6th was a day full of emotions. I was incredibly stressed out over moving to Finland, getting the cats situated with their flights, and we received a major surprise that day.

About 2 hours before we were to leave for the airport, I was standing in my mother’s bathroom staring at a big + sign in utter disbelief. I stuffed the test into my pocket and placed it in the center console of my car so I could tell my guy privately. We ended up IMG_3728taking a quick trip to the bank and I asked him to check the console. He opened it up, looked inside and goes “there’s a pregnancy test and your wallet” and then closes it, not even looking at the test! I laughed and said, “did you even look at it?!” which causes him to reopen the console, look at it, and then at me. His expression was complete shock and pretty much captured the mood of the rest of the entire day.

Our flight to Finland was filled with us, holding hands, watching movies, and occasionally looking at each other and saying “oh, shit…” while laughing. It was definitely what you’d imagine seeing in a movie!

By the end of the month we had visited a maternity clinic here in Helsinki and heard our little baby’s heartbeat. Life truly hasn’t been the same since.


May: In May, I began renegotiating a contract with the company I worked at as an intern for in Helsinki, just to come to an agreement that was revoked after they were bought out by a larger company. Literally the next day. I was devastated, because not only did I love what I was working on, but because I knew I needed some form of income while in Finland an awaiting my residence permit.

By the end of May, boyf morphed into my husband and we traveled to Estonia on our IMG_4698short but absolutely perfect honeymoon. We spent about 4 days in Old Towne walking up and down cobblestone streets and eating delicious food. We made a special trip to St. Olav’s Church and climbed to the top of the church tower to appreciate the gorgeous views.

Note: This tourist spot is not handicap-friendly and while I saw a little girl climbing the stairs to the top, I would definitely not say that it is kid-friendly either. The staircase is insanely narrow and the steps are no more than 4 inches deep. It’s a bit disorienting because it’s such a twisty staircase and there’s only a rope to hold onto, plus some people are walking up while others are walking down and each step is probably only two feet wide. After climbing to the top, I really dreaded going back down. Luckily we were one of the first few people to go up, so it wasn’t super busy until we made our way back down .

Stay tuned for my next post that ventures deeper into our honeymoon in Estonia!


June through September: Okay, so I know this is a really large lump, but there’s mostly just been routine and not much to note in these last few months. After everything with my internship ended, I focused mostly on just finishing my degree (which was conferred in August, whoop!) and taking care of this little bun in the oven.

August 1st we found out we’re expecting a baby boy and we couldn’t be more excited.IMG_5145
We’ve decided to name him after both of our grandfathers and with a name that works in both English and Finnish. Let me tell ya, figuring out a name in both languages for a girl was such a pain in the butt and we weren’t in love with our decision, so having a boy was the perfect solution! Our little man has been steadily growing and I’m nesting little by little. My parents are sending us a package of baby items in the mail because clothing and everything we need is so expensive here. We’ve been fortunate enough to have generous parents and people in our lives. Hubs’ parents built baby’s beautiful crib by hand and we finally have it situated in our bedroom.

Interested in seeing a completed nursery/master bedroom tour? Stay tuned!


So now we’re here, in modern day, enjoying the last few months as a family of two – four if you count the cats! Life has been an incredible adventure and it’s only just begun.

xo,

LP

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Love Can Hurt, Distance Doesn’t Help

I could spend forever with you and it still wouldn’t be enough.

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I’ve been told to write about that which you dwell upon and I guess you could say I’m dwelling on this.

I honestly don’t know where to begin with this. I’ve tried writing this post for the last hour and I’m still just swimming in thoughts mixed with distractions, all of which are laced with a painful reminder that I’m here and you’re there. And I just want you here.

I’ve learned a lot these last three months that I’ve spent loving you while simultaneously being in the same country as you, in the same space as you.

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Now that I’ve been spoiled with the knowledge of what it’s like to hug you, kiss you, and do all the things that we’ve done, I can’t forget it. For a year, video calls were enough for us.  Sure, we wanted more, but we knew that it would come and we knew that we would be together. I suppose we still know that, but now the moment we were looking forward to is in the rearview mirror on this road in which there is no U-turn.

I don’t even know where to begin in order to unburden myself of this heartache, but I suppose the beginning is the best.

This past October, I packed my bags and boarded a plane on my way to you. I spent 15 hours traveling and attempting to contain my excitement as I flew across the Atlantic. I had no idea what to expect and honestly I didn’t have any expectations, I just knew within my heart that the next three months would be amazing… and they were.

We’ve experienced so much together, all of which only deepened and strengthened my love for you. From our trip to the cottage in Puumala, to the weekend in Gdansk, and even our day at the zoo, every day started with waking up beside you, and ended asleep beside you. Precious moments turned into memories and I swear it happened all too fast.

I hadn’t realized how quickly three months could fly by, but now we’re here at this phase where we aren’t together anymore because over 4,000 miles separate us. After having my lips against yours every day, this distance feels insurmountable. I feel hollow without you in my life and after returning to a place I had called home with ease, it doesn’t feel like home.

I feel alone in a place I used to feel relaxed in. Your presence in my life is so potent that I can’t help but to wonder how I had gotten on without you before. I can’t even explain why I feel so sad, I just do. I can’t sleep without you anymore; at first I thought it was jet-lag, but now I know it’s more than that.

IMG_2995I was told that when you are away from home for an extended period of time, you’re never really able to fully come back. I hadn’t believed it before, but I do now. This is no longer my home. The time I spent in Finland had felt so natural that now I don’t know who I am or what to do. I spend my days here thinking about going back as quickly as possible, knowing that I won’t be able to for many months. I find myself wondering what we’ll do if the position I have at the Helsinki based company falls through and it terrifies me.

I’m not afraid that we won’t make it. I’m not afraid that the distance will win. I’m not afraid of anything to do with us; I have no doubts about the strength of our relationship, but I just feel alone. I know that it’s not easy on you either. I know that you’re forced to live in our flat alone. You walk to the shop alone and sleep in our bed without me. You’re living our life without me and I can’t even imagine how that feels.

I guess you’re right though, this is the cost of having something amazing. We have something truly amazing. It’s been over a year and I’m not only madly in love with you, but I’m not annoyed by you, and I still crave your presence. All I want is a life with you and I know that’s what you want to.

There’s been a lot of rambling in this post, but it’s just been a way to decompress and let go of some emotions… maybe this will help me stop crying randomly during the day.

-LP

Letting Go of Who You Were: A Beginner’s Guide

Don’t let yourself slip between the cracks.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; life is hard. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day aspects of our lives and forget to allow ourselves time to reflect and grow. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure you are too, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change for the better, it just means that we’ve got to start that routine today.

  1. Be Kind to Yourself. It’s easy to look back at who we were and want to rip away the parts that don’t seem all that great. Just recently, I spent some time reminiscing on the teenage version of myself and I’m glad to say that I’m no longer that girl. It makes me cringe to think of who I used to be, but I know that 10 years from now I’ll be doing the same when I look at how I am today. It’s alright. We’re learning. Life is a process.
  2. Forgive Yourself. Don’t hold those awkward, embarrassing, painful, or even disappointing moments against your former self. Come to terms with the fact that you’ve made mistakes and realize that we all have. It’s natural and part of growing into a better version of ourselves.
  3. Forgive Others. The worst thing we could do is harbor resentment for those who have wronged us. It’s draining and quite frankly isn’t all that healthy either. Sure, your ex-boyfriend might have been a major mistake and he may have committed some terrible crimes against you; forgive him anyway. Let it go and hope that he’s moved on as well. Wish him well and say goodbye. It’s alright.
  4. Love Yourself Through the Crap. You’re going to keep messing up. You’re going to forget that you’re not meant to have it all together; that’s okay. You might get chubby. You could enter a marriage you were never supposed to be in. You could break a home and a heart, and move across the globe. It’s okay. Love yourself anyway. Love yourself through it all, even the bad parts.

Ultimately, our experiences shape us and without them we would never grow and change so accept the fact that you’re still learning and let go of the old versions of yourself, even the one from yesterday. You’re better than you were then and not as great as you’ll be tomorrow.

 

-LP

 

I’ll Pretend to Have All the Answers

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25 Things to Start Doing Today

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day and FLOSS. It’s important.
  2. Compliment a stranger. It can brighten their day.
  3. Hold the door open for the person behind you. 
  4. Take responsibility for your actions.
  5. Stop putting your career first. Your career is great, but so is having a life and appreciating time with your family and friends.
  6. Tell the one you love, you love them. Often.
  7. Express yourself with authority. If you don’t believe in what you’re saying, no one else will either.
  8. Declutter. You don’t need all of the possessions you’re holding onto. Getting rid of what doesn’t matter and keeping what does will change your life.
  9. Don’t be afraid to travel. Even if that means you’re going to do it broke.
  10. Care about something or someone more than yourself. Yes, cats count too.
  11. Spend time with your loved ones. They’re gone too soon.
  12. Cry when you’re sad and laugh when you’re happy. It’s okay to feel things. If you’re waiting for someone to tell you that, there ya go.
  13. Learn a new word each day and try to use it.
  14. Let go of the past. This includes old partners, bad habits, grudges, and even memories that hurt.
  15. Live in the moment, with a bit if caution. This is not a #YOLO type idea, what I mean is this: if you see a pretty sunrise, stop for a moment and enjoy it. If your family member is sick, call into work and spend the day with them, it’s worth it.
  16. There are a million reasons to not do something that’s a bit scary, focus on the reason you should. 
  17. Love yourself unconditionally, without being conceited.
  18. Love others unconditionally, without being foolish.
  19. Offer support to those around you. You never know how much they may need it and they may never ask for it.
  20. Ask for support when you need it. Life is hard and we can’t go through this alone.
  21. Don’t apologize if you don’t mean it. Unless you’re actually sorry, don’t say “I’m sorry.” Don’t apologize for being excited about something or for not knowing the answer, yet.
  22. Count your blessings. Use your fingers and toes.
  23. Say one nice thing about yourself each morning. It gets easier with practice.
  24. Never speak ill of your partner. Don’t let the last annoying thing they did, be your next topic of conversation with your friends.
  25. Don’t take yourself too seriously. We’re all still learning.

-LP

Life Update: LPA Got a Face Lift!

It’s been a while since I did an update on what’s going on in the life of Little Peb.

Let’s just say, things are getting crazy.

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Classes are in full-swing! And boy, am I swamped. I’ll be sharing some of the short stories that we’ve been reading throughout the course, so keep an eye out because there have been some amazing  authors I have had the pleasure of being introduced to and I just cannot keep their amazing pieces to myself. I have also encountered some absolutely mind blowing poetry in another course that will definitely be gracing the pages of LPA. It’s amazing how work that you wouldn’t have normally thought you’d find yourself interested in becomes so… life changing.

I’m going to Georgia! This gal, you know, the one who has never flown before, gets to head down south for 3 days of extensive training for work. I’m super excited to take my first flight and it’ll give me a bit of an idea in terms of what to expect when I take the long awaited flight to Finland. I’ll be down there to get some great insight on how to properly handle emergent cases and what truly qualifies as an emergency in the eyes of veterinary care. I’m super pumped for it.

Little Pebble’s Adventures got a facelift! I. AM. IN. LOVE. I cannot say enough good things about the amazing artist that was behind this work. If you guys are in need of any sort of branding, check out Krysten’s site by clicking here. Not only does Krysten create amazing, one of a kind, illustrative and design pieces, she is also an ethical taxidermist who creates adorable ensembles and truly gives these perished animals a new life of their own. All in all, she is an amazing artist and an absolute pleasure to work with; Krysten truly brings your ideas to life while adding her own, amazing, spin to it. So please, go check her out. You won’t be disappointed.

As I said, guys, life is getting crazy, but I’ll be trying to stay on top of it all while still posting weekly posts, so fret not. LP isn’t going anywhere!

-LP

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You’re a World Away

My feet have never stepped upon the ground beneath you.
My hands have never brushed your air.
But my eyes have seen the same sun rise,
And my heart has felt pull of the same moon.
I’ve looked to the sky and seen the same stars as you
I’ve seen them all, without ever knowing;
How could I have lived a life ignorant of your existence?
How could I have not known you were there?
Somehow, I lived my life oblivious to the fact that
Somehow, deep within me I knew.

I swear, you’re not new to me;
Somewhere I met you, many moons ago.
I guess we’re what you call kindred spirits.
I guess we’re more than just a happy coincidence.
Maybe as a child, when dreams took us away,
We’d wander through our new world, eyes wide with curiosity.
That must have been where you found me.
Because I swear, you’re not new.
I know, I’ve never walked the same streets as you.
I know we bumped into each other on accident.
I’ve never been one to believe in destiny.
I’ve always been the kind to take fate into my own hands.
But now, all I want in these hands,
Are yours.

Let fate do what it will.
Let destiny lead me closer.
If that’s what this is,
Then maybe I was wrong.
Maybe I do believe in destiny.
Maybe fate is real.
Because, although my feet have never stepped upon the same ground as you.
And my hands have never brushed your air.
I know that one day, I’ll be standing beside you,
Realizing I was always meant to be right there.

One Day I’ll Learn

Things I’ve Learned as of Late

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Sometimes I learn things and more often than not they’re confirming things I’ve known to be true but would rather ignore. The last few weeks, I learned some wonderful things. Take a peek:

  1. Sharing is essential. Sure, we’ve all been told “sharing is caring;” I have to say that it was much easier to share my toys as a child than it is to share my feelings now. Maybe it’s from years of attempting to pretend that I can handle it all, or maybe it’s because I’m just attempting to be stronger than I am; regardless, it’s no longer something that comes naturally. That being said, it’s more important now than it ever has been. When you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to try to brush things under the rug and attempt to put on a smiling face, but ultimately that will fail and leave you feeling less than stellar. Share what you’re feeling; share your thoughts and listen to your partner as they share theirs.
  2. Cats are cutest. Okay, okay, I might have known this all along, but my little kitty is currently snuggled up on my lap and I just can’t focus on anything else. I mean… he’s basically the cutest little snuggle buddy around. His ears are so cute, oh my goodness and don’t even get me started on his little paws!
  3. People show they care in different ways. For instance, I show I care by doing random little things; some people don’t appreciate that, some do. It’s not always easy to know what it is you need from someone, but until you can figure that out, no one can give that to you. It’s easy to feel disappointed in a relationship that feels less than perfect, but remember that no one is perfect and ultimately, your partner will learn and grow with you, if you let them.
  4. Michigan winters will always be my fav. As much as the place I call “home” may change, Michigan will always be my favorite place. Who can beat these winters? What other place will ever feel as much like home as the mitten? I guess we’ll see. Regardless of where I call home, Michigan will always hold a special piece of my heart. C’mon guys, my state is literally waving at you!
  5. Self care is important. It’s so damn easy to allow yourself to fall on the back burner when things get crazy, but don’t let it happen! I’ve spent the majority of the last few weeks stressing out over work, school, my relationship, and other things that are beyond my control; it’s been taking its toll on me and I’ve finally decided to just let my worries go. I don’t know how it is that you relax, but for me it’s face masks, wine, and The Office. Who doesn’t want some Michael Gary Scott in their life?!

What have you guys been learning lately?

-LP

It’s Time to Grow Up

11 things I want to do before I turn 24

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  1. Get ONE piece published. Just one! I think that’s reasonable right?!
  2. Nurse some bottle babies. I cannot wait until Spring. Apparently, my office is notorious for getting litters of newborn kittens and we get to take a few home and nurse them throughout the night. The cat lady in me is about to die just thinking about some snuggly babes sleeping in their little kitty bed on my nightstand. *swoon*
  3. Get a massage. I’ve never gotten one and you know what, I’m freaking doing it. I’ve alway been hella nervous about being naked under nothing but a towel with some random person rubbing oil on my body… but I’m stressed to the max and I want something relaxing.
  4. Buy some “adult” clothing. I probably shouldn’t spend every day off in leggings or jeans and sweaters. I need something snazzy and something that I can be both comfortable and sassy in. I’m thinking dresses. Lots and lots of dresses.
  5. Get rid of all of my CRAP. I have an entire storage unit that I share with my dear old, soon-to-be ex-husband. I literally need none of it, but somehow it’s still there. I don’t need the baggage, I mean that both literally and figuratively. Looks like there’s gonna be a garage sale this summer! Come on by to purchase some old scratched and dented dreams.
  6. Learn enough Finnish to get by in Finland. Just a smidge! I need to know how to say “where’s the bathroom? Where’s the train? Can you take me here?” You know.. the basics.
  7. Get my passport. This is a necessary task in order to head on over to Finland. So this is a definite must.
  8. Buy myself a pretty necklace or ring. It’s been a while since I bought myself something beautiful. And I’m a fan of delicate, beautiful things. Unfortunately most of my jewelry box is filled with things I don’t want to keep and things I don’t wear. I need something new.
  9. Buy a sturdy piece of luggage. The few pieces I have are super heavy and bulky, all black, and one is actually broken! I need something new and snazzy if I’m going to be traveling back and forth between the mitten and Finland. Let’s be real here… I don’t need to lose all of my belongings on the trip over.
  10. Take a mini road trip on my own. I want to have fun and explore a new spot of Michigan on my own. I think it would be great to be able to spend a couple days on Mackinac Island or somewhere in the U.P. on my own. I’d get to experience different things that you can’t do when you go with another person.
  11. Have faith in myself. I want to stop questioning my every decision. I need to start feeling more solidified in my decisions and in my future.

I’ve got goalz, they may be far-fetched, but they’re mine.

-LP

Things I Learned This Week 1.2

Sometimes I learn things.

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For instance; this week I learned:

  1. Some people won’t take ‘NO’ for an answer. And quite frankly, it’s up to you to make them. I’ve learned that backing down only allows them to think that they can continue to bully their way through life and get whatever they want. It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to those who encounter them, so when someone sassily tries to get you to bend to their will, stand tall!
  2. We’re basically a dream team. My guy and I are super awesome. Have I told you that yet? No? We’re buds in the best way possible. We both manage to think of the exact same abstract jokes, we’re both pretty snazzy, at least he is, and let’s just say he’s the coolest cat I know, so I can be cool through association. He has the ability to make me feel joy even on the hard days; I hope I can do that for him, too. Having a person you love as a pal is a glorious thing. Also, he’s basically bombtastic at dealing with me and all of my emotions when I’m PMSing. Way to go, babe!
  3. Sometimes the simplest thing can make a hurting person hurt less. On Tuesday, we had a client come in who found out his kitty was in the late stages of congestive heart failure and there was nothing we could do. It’s not easy to lose a beloved pet, so I sat beside him, held his hand and told him it would be okay while he sat staring blankly ahead as his companion passed. The next day, we got a call from him, thanking me by name. It really touched my heart in ways I had never experienced before. Although it cost me nothing more than my time, it meant a lot to him and that’s all that really matters.
  4. Some cats are more affectionate than dogs. I know, you probably think that this is like super, hella false, but it’s not! And if you should believe anyone, it would be the gal who works with cats LITERALLY all day long for about 45+ hours a week. Some kitties need lots of love and attention, some want to bite your face off; it’s all about balance.
  5. The saying “where there’s a will, there’s a way” is accurate! I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’ve got doubts floating around in this noggin’ of mine. I tell myself that there’s no way I can complete a project on time, or handle the credits I’m taking, or work full-time, write a blog, and somehow magically ace my classes (fingers crossed that the last one actually happens); but you know what?! Doubting yourself doesn’t make it any easier to succeed; if anything, it makes it easier to fail! So instead of saying I can’t do something I’m going to get real with myself while standing in front of the mirror each morning and giving myself a bit of a pep talk; give it a try if you’re feeling doubtful:

    “You can do this if you want to do it. You are capable if you are willing.”

    I’ve found that having a bit of faith in yourself is enough to make it through the busiest, most hectic days.

 

What did you guys learn this week? Leave a comment and let me know!

-LP

You’re Babetastic

I’m the kind of gal who knows what she wants.

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I can write all about it. I’ll tell you how to touch me and where my soft spots are. I’ve got a heart and boy, I know how to let you grab ahold of it. It’s never been something that I kept secret, however it’s always been a bit too out of reach for most. I don’t want someone who merely plays the part of the perfect companion. I’m truly not interested in it; what I am interested in is having a person who loves me in a way that I didn’t know I wanted.

I’ve got that now.

I’ve got a guy who loves me in his perfect way. He sasses me back. He makes me smile. His heart is the heart I’m after and the one I want linked to mine. He is just wonderful and I’m feeling hella mushy today so… please excuse the mush overload that is known as this post.

When I met him, I realized I was wrong; having a creative partner is such an amazing and necessary experience. I never thought much of the fact that any person I had shared my time with wasn’t the “creative type.” It wasn’t ever an issue it was just fact. The one downside was that, if I shared anything with them, it always amazed them; now don’t get me wrong, I’m a gal who likes to woo with words, BUT it’s so wonderful to be able to discuss works in progress with my guy. I love that I can go to him with my thoughts or my struggles and he just gets it. He understands what it means to just want to be immediately amazing at your skill because he’s been there. He can vent his frustrations over his mix to me and I can truly sympathize with him. I can’t speak for my guy, but I’m so damn grateful for this creative and wonderful partner of mine.

He has shown me a different side of myself. I can accept that maybe all metal music isn’t half bad. “B” movies are pretty damn amazing to watch. I’m a morning person, at least when it comes to talking to him, I’ll happily wake up an hour earlier than necessary just to have my morning/his afternoon chats. I can push through hard times with a bit of encouragement, and by-golly, he gives it to me. He makes me feel like I can achieve my dreams and that they’re not too far fetched.

He keeps me grounded when times are hard. Just this past weekend I was stressing out over this little blog of mine; wondering if I could do it or not. I’ve been worried about what kind of writer I’m becoming, of what kind of person I’m trying to be… He asked the questions that forced me to reflect on what’s important to me, listened to me, and wrote down what I said to show me that I do know what I want and where I want to be. He does these little things without being asked, somehow he knows what I need.

His voice perks me right up. The sassy ghetto voice he does when he’s feeling silly. His fruity voice he does when he’s feeling a bit saucy. His super deep manly voice when he’s working real hard on asserting that masculinity of his. And his regular, wonderful sounding voice when I first hear it each morning. That initial “Hey, babe” melts my heart and instantly paints a smile upon my face; it makes me want to run out and buy up all the mistletoe I an find just to pull out a sprig anytime he walks by and plant a kiss on his cheek.

Also, he’s pretty damn babetastic. I mean… that doesn’t need any explanation.

Grow old with me, babe.

-LP