Wednesday, August 14, 2013

3 Years with My Love!

Today marks 3 years of marriage!!!

I think Brad Paisley totally said it right, "...and I thought I loved you then."   I feel like until this past year, I didn't fully know what love was.  I knew I loved Neal and I knew he loved me, but when you actually have to weather a few storms, finding your way back into the sun shining high above with a rainbow in the distance, that's when I feel I truly knew more of what love is all about. 
Going out one night in Spring 2013
We have had SO much excitement this past year mixed in with our fair share of challenges.  Neal has been the best support I could have ever been given as we are trying new things and growing up in ways I never could have imagined. 

When I was 18, I thought my life at 25 would be very different.  I'd be on may way to becoming a big business woman at a big corporation, single and focused only on my career.  Well that's very very far from the truth and I honestly couldn't be more thankful. 
Through Neal, I've been able to learn that work is important, but it's definitely not everything, or even close to it.  Over the past year we have become business partners.  We are currently landlords of one rental property and in the process of taking on another, duplex, property.  Our ambitions aren't set on sight just a few years ahead, they are set on seeing us through the next 50 years!  I am SO PROUD of Neal for becoming this great entrepreneur who's constantly searching for, honing in on, and developing his skills.  He listens to books on tape all about investments, taking advice from the wealthy and super wealthy, and bringing that knowledge back to us.  Though my life looks so different than what I thought it would be, it's way better than I could have ever imagined.
I'm also incredibly fortunate and thankful to be able to have opened my own company, Lively Happenings.  I love making jewelry, and Neal is my constant support.  He helps me make finishing touches, talk about the money side of the business, and is my craft fair companion.  Though this is not my main work, more of a creative outlet for me, Neal is able to give it equal importance and attention when I need him.
At Zoo Brew 2013
A little recap of this past year:
  • Opening my own business, Lively Happenings
  • Becoming landlords
  • Being with my mom as she got married (see her pretty invites we made here)
  • Learning how to manage and anxiety filled dog.  Thanks for this one, Walden...
  • Going on a beautiful vacation to Cancun with some of our best friends
  • Doing a 45 mile bike ride where I thought Neal might kill me at the end...he hated it, I loved it!
  • Facing major challenges with my reproductive system, brining crazy hormonal episodes I hope never happen again.
  • Neal supporting me through my second, and likely last, half marathon
  • Meeting more friends and learning to love Indiana more each day!
Celebrating 3 Years
To celebrate our 3 year anniversary, we went to the French Lick area of Indiana where we zip lined for the first time in Lark Valley, enjoyed some great food at a local restaurant/bar, explored West Baden Hotel, French Lick Casino, and the French Lick Winery.
We dropped the dogs off at daycare/overnight care and went on our way this past Saturday to Lark Valley Zip Lines.  We had SO much fun!  Both of us loved the zip lines and were so glad we did this little mini adventure.  For our first anniversary, we went spelunking at Morengo Caves.  For our second anniversary, we did the "Viking Assault".  So I knew I wanted some sort of adventure for the 3 year and found the Groupon for Lark Valley!
We had planned to spend a good portion of the rest of our day at the French Lick Winery, until we got to the winery.  The last winery we had gone to was Huber Orchards and Winery, which if you haven't been there I recommend you go because it's beautiful and fun!  We assumed, wrongly, all wineries were like this.  The French Lick Winery is nothing more than the building which they ferment and make the wine.  There's no vineyards, no tours, no other attractions.  We still taste tested some wine before exploring more of the town, French Lick, and then coming back to the winery for our dinner of an appetizer and a bottle of their Traminette.
Enjoying a delicious lunch at a great little bar/restaurant after zip lining.
So for the other portion of the day, we explored the grand West Baden Hotel.
I liked it, Neal thought it just looked old!  Here's a peak at the inside.  We didn't take any garden pictures, but it's worth a visit to see the beautiful gardens they have. 
After exploring the hotel, we went over to the French Lick Casino, where we lost $8 and decided to stop.  Yea, we aren't so great at gambling, and we don't think that's a bad thing!
The casino used to be a hot spot for many famous people to stop.  There's this spring called Pluto's Spring that they used to bottle water from to help cure many ailments from headaches & bowel issues to alcoholism.  The spring is filled with sulfur water, and when you walk out into the gardens, you can't help but have your breath knocked away.  They no longer sell the bottled "Pluto Water" but you can take 'healing' sulfur baths at the spa.

Neal at the spring's smelled so we didn't stay long

Neal with Pluto, alright!
It was very relaxing just taking the day easy and exploring the area.  If we were to go back, I'd want to stay at the Casino's hotel or at the West Baden hotel.  We stayed at a great and clean Comfort Inn, but since there's honestly not all that much to do in the French Lick area if you don't want to gamble or if you are done with your outdoor activities, being able to relax at one of the pools would have been nice.
I'm so glad we were able to take the weekend together to celebrate our anniversary, and I'm so happy to be where we are today!  I love you Bug! 

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