Tag Archives: Marriage

A Delayed Year in Review

I know we’re already two weeks into 2010 but I never properly recounted what an amazing year 2009 was. I like to take a little time to think about the highlights of the year before. And often when I do I’m amazed that I ever have days where I think I have the most boring life ever… and yes I do have those days.

In January I flew out to California to shop for bridesmaid dresses with my best friend Tonya. My other girlfriends Dawn and Melly flew out, too and we had a blast. Then Tonya drove up to another part of California with me to do some research for a book I was writing… a project that was later unfortunately put on hold indefinitely.

The Girls with Tonya's Man Ryan

In February we launched GeorgeBevShea.com, welcoming the world to send birthday wishes to 100-year-old George Beverly Shea in preparation of the launch of his new book. We even got country star Josh Turner to record a greeting. Tim flew out to Utah with some buddies for a snowboarding trip. I stayed home and made dorky t-shirts for us to wear on Valentine’s Day. So romantic!

Nothing Sexier Than a Man Vacuuming

In March I watched the world’s biggest jerk-face dump his fiance on live TV and ended up getting more than 3000 hits on this little blog in two hours because of a post I wrote about Jason Mesnick. Also in March I was able to see one of my favorite storytellers, Garrison Keillor, live at the Peace Center in Greenville. My favorite moment of the evening was listening to him recite Edgar Allen Poe’s poem Annabel Lee. I also experienced one of the worst hair disasters of my life (except for that perm in 1988) and was a guest on a local radio program where I talked about saving money.

In April I attended some TEA Party rallies, voicing my opinion about the government bail-outs and increased tax burdens. The 25/30 celebration was launched in Florida with my husband’s 25th birthday. We spent a day at Universal Studios and took in a Trace Adkins concert. I sent him on a birthday Easter egg hunt where he discovered at the end that he would be going to Ireland the following weekend. Except that the trip didn’t work out because we were flying standby and the seats were booked. We ended up breaking our backs sodding our yard instead. So we tried again the following weekend… and it worked! We spent three-and-a-half quick, lovely days visiting his family and taking in amazing sites.

Hiking in Northern Ireland

In May our friends gave us a joint birthday party at our favorite restaurant, The Lazy Goat. We took a road trip to New York City, stopping in DC along the way to take in a chocolate fashion show and visit our friend Jennie. In New York we saw Robin Williams at a taping of The David Letterman Show, went running the full length of Manhattan, and went rowing in Central Park. I happened to tell The David Letterman Show about my brush with fame in 1997 when I was on a Richard Simmon’s infomercial and they wanted to put the video on air, but I couldn’t find it. Oh well. We ate amazing food, watched Cirque du Soleil in a real tent and went to lots of flea markets where I spotted design star Eddie Ross. And I turned 30. It rocked.

A Picture From My 30th Birthday

Also in May we sold our sweet Mini and ended up with a luxurious Audi for less than the cost of our scooter. I appeared on a segment on WYFF called Blog Talk. We also left a disposable camera in downtown Greenville to see what would happen… cheap entertainment at its best

Our "New" Car

In June we did summery things like have a yard sale, buy patio furniture and lounge on the beach at Lake Lure, North Carolina. I did some more decorating around the house and cheered my husband on as he decided to go for an 18 mile jog one Saturday after watching the movie Ultramarathon Man. I also through a backyard baby shower for our neighbors.

In July we went on what was perhaps our longest road trip ever. We drove from Greenville, SC to Denver, CO for the International Christian Retail Show. It was a great week and I met a lot of neat people. Plus we were able to take in some sites in Denver including the Botanic Gardens.

Simple and Beautiful

In August we followed up one long road trip with another one. This time we headed to Iowa for Tonya and Ryan’s wedding. It was an amazing week of fun and friends. We got to go jet skiing, relax and see our awesome friends get married. I also got to show Tim around my college town of Ames and see the dumpy house where I lived. After that relaxing weekend I embarked on organizing Greenville’s first Twestival, a global event to raise money for charity that was pulled together in just three weeks.

Our Friend Tyler was One of the Models

In September we headed to Charleston to celebrate two years of marriage. We rented an apartment above an art studio that came with two beach cruisers which we rode all around town. We came back and put on the Twestival, raising a bunch of money for the Miracle Hill Boys’ Shelter. Local clothing stores outfit models in pieces from their stores along with items from the Miracle Hill Thrift Store. Vespa also featured photos from our last big charity event, 2 Wheels 4 Water, on their Facebook page for thousands of fans to see. In September I also found Ruby. She can in front of my scooter as I was riding up to Walgreens.

Ruby Joined Our Family

In October my sister came for a visit. We carved pumpkins, went hiking and took her to Charleston. Tim and I also did more projects around the house including painting our porch. Our friend JJ pressure washed everything for us, too. We hosted a Halloween dinner party with a few other couples. Tim also ran a half marathon in Greenville and I loved cheering him on!

Tim Nearing the Finish Line

In November we finally started converting our attic into a master suite, work that helped us discover some treasures in our attic including 100-year-old stamps and newspaper molds from The Greenville News. I also taught a coupon class at my church, helping 20 people learn how they can use coupons to give more to local shelters and food banks. I also got word that a national magazine was interested in one of my articles.

Teaching How to Use Coupons to Give More

December was the hardest month of the year. We lost Tim’s Uncle DD. Shortly after that Ruby got out and was killed by a car in front of our house. But we managed to have some wonderful Christmas moments, including our fourth annual visit to Reedy Place, a shelter for chronically homeless people. We also had a great Christmas in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with my family. We got to try hangliding, we went horse back riding on the beach and we rode in a 4-wheel drive SUV on the beach to search for wild ponies. It was a wonderful way to end an incredible year.

Tim and I Looking for Wild Ponies in North Carolina


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Filed under Getaways, Home, life

Married for Two Years, Two Months and Two Days

Why do we only celebrate anniversaries to the day? Why not celebrate being married two years, two months and two days? So that’s what I’m doing. In honor of our two-year-two-month-two-day-iversary here are 22 things I love about my husband (in no particular order):

1. His Irish accent, which by the way was voted the sexiest accent in the world.

2. How excited he gets about the silly things that make me excited like finding a good deal on toothpaste.

3. His love of travel and trying new things.

4. His six-pack. Hello!

5. His inspiring endurance that allows him to run a half marathon without training.

6. His neat-freak tendencies that mean our house is pretty much always clean.

7. The afternoon “I love u” texts.

8. That he gets annoyed by the same things and entertained by the same things as me.

9. His work ethic.

10. That he passed on his love of Nutella and Indian food to me.

11. His dislike of watching football on TV.

12.His daily commitment to reading God’s word and prayer.

13.His nightly foot rubs. (Please don’t hate me ladies!)

14.His sense of style both in fashion and home design.

15. That he hates 95% of chain restaurants just like I do.

16. His never-failing support of my dreams.

17.The fact that he has the same satisfied reaction to a meal I whipped up in the crock pot and a dinner at a five-star restaurant.

18. His sideburns.

19. His super thick eyeglasses.

20. How he always wakes up in a fabulous mood.

21. How appreciative he is of even the smallest gifts.

22. His overflowing love.


Filed under Family, life, Marriage, Observations

Two Lovely Years of Marriage

Celebrating Year Two!

Celebrating Year Two!

It’s been a couple of weeks now, but it’s an important milestone that deserves recognition. On September 2nd my husband and I celebrated two lovely years of marriage. The following weekend we drove to Charleston for a little adventure, a little romance and a little relaxation. We stayed in a beautiful, white-washed studio apartment above an art gallery in the heart of historic Charleston. The place came with two beach cruiser bicycles that carried us all over town. We hit the beach, drank lots of coffee and ate wonderful food. And we reminisced on the highlights of this fabulous year:

Melly and Al’s Iowa Wedding

Working on Our First House

Stephanie’s Visit From Seattle

Picking Apples in the Mountains

Ross and Rebecca’s Wedding

Alanna and JJ’s Wedding in Charleston

Thanksgiving in Vegas & Celebrating My Dad’s 60th, Going to Beatles Love

Christmas in Florida

Seeing Garrison Keillor at the Peace Center

Tim’s Birthday in Florida & Going to Universal Studios, Trace Adkins Concert

Sodding Our Yard Ourselves

Surprising Tim with a Trip to Ireland

Not Getting Seats on Our Flight to Ireland

Going to Ireland the Following Week

A Double Surprise Birthday Party

Visiting Washington DC

Spending Almost a Week in NYC, Pretending We Lived on the Upper West Side

Going to Cirque du Soleil

Throwing Jenna’s Baby Shower

Driving to Denver for ICRS

Driving to Iowa for Tonya & Ryan’s Wedding, Enjoying the Lake

Tubing in North Carolina

Cheering on George Hincapie at the Cycling Pro Championships

Celebrating our Anniversary in Charleston!

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I’m Just Not Meant to Meet Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz is one of my favorite musicians. I love his laid back style, his soulful lyrics, his white boy raps. That’s why when I first started organizing the Greenville Twestival I went out on a limb. I sent his people an email:

Call it a coincidence, call it divine intervention, but Jason is performing in Charlotte on September 10 because a major storm forced him to reschedule a July concert date. Charlotte is just a short 90 minute drive from Greenville so we were hoping and praying that maybe, just maybe Jason could carve out some time in his schedule to join us for a charity concert.

Two days later I got this response:

Hi Alison,
Thank you for the inquiry.

As you may be aware, we receive many requests such as this. Unfortunately under the circumstances we can only dedicate our time to a certain few each year and have to say “no” to the others. We hope you understand.

Best of luck with your Charity Event!

I wasn’t that surprised, but you never know until you ask. I asked. He said no. I told my husband about my long shot request and the negative outcome. Life went on and so did Twestival planning. The event came together with a hot Greenville restaurant, The Lazy Goat, agreeing to serve as our venue.

“They said we can use the restaurant either Thursday September 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 or Saturday the 12 from 4 to 6,” I excitedly told my husband. We both decided Thursday would be best.

Ten hours later while brushing his teeth reality hit my husband like a camera flash in a pitch black room.

“Baby, what day is the Twestival?” he asked with panic.

“Thursday September 10,” I told him.

He froze.

“What?” I prodded.

“I didn’t want to tell you until our anniversary but I bought you tickets to the Jason Mraz concert that night. After you told me he was going to be in Charlotte I thought you’d love to go,” he said.

I would have loved to go. But word of the Twestival had already gone out. Plans were set and there was no way I could miss it. I was crushed. So was my husband. His big surprise was ruined. And my gift was snatched away before I even got to be happy about receiving it. After about ten minutes of mutual pouting we found a way to laugh it off. Surely there will be other Jason Mraz concerts in our area and even though I won’t get to enjoy his soulful lyrics and white boy raps this time around, I’ll be  having a great time at the Twestival.

Anybody want to buy our tickets to the Jason Mraz concert?

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Filed under Charity, Funny, Marriage

Celebrating Two Years of Marriage in Charleston

I’m so excited! We booked a studio apartment in the heart of Charleston for Labor Day weekend. It’s to celebrate our two year anniversary. We spent our one year anniversary in airports coming back from a wedding in Iowa. Our house was in the beginning stages of being renovated so it was a stressful time. This year will be much different! Check out the place we are staying:

The Studio Apartment in Downtown Charleston

The Studio Apartment in Downtown Charleston

It's Above an Art Gallery

It's Above an Art Gallery

It even has a little deck. I think it looks so clean and peaceful! I’m really looking forward to our romantic getaway and to celebrating two happy, fun, crazy years.


Filed under Getaways, Marriage

Don’t You Just Love Weddings?

Don’t you just love weddings? I recently returned from a great one. One of my very best friends in the whole world got married last weekend. The wedding was in Okoboji, Iowa, about 90 minutes from where we grew up. Okoboji is to Iowans what the beach is to South Carolinians. It’s the summer destination for sun and sand.

Jet Skiing on Lake Okoboji

Jet Skiing on Lake Okoboji

We stayed three nights at an Inn on the lake. I went for jogs along the shore and ended my workouts stretching on the end of a dock. The weather was absolutely beautiful and got me anxious for fall. I was a bridesmaid and my husband was the best man. I got to spend lots of time with some of my favorite people. We laughed until our stomachs hurt and made lots of great memories.

The Bride and Her Bridesmaids

The Bride and Her Bridesmaids

The bride and her new hubby are now celebrating in Hawaii. I imagine them relaxing on a tropical beach, zip lining like they are starring in an episode of the Bachelorette and hiking up volcanoes. While I’m a little jealous I can’t be learning how to hula dance, I’m glad I was a part of her special weekend. Now all of my close friends (except for one!) is experiencing the joys of marriage. Congrats Tonya and Ryan!!

All the Married Friends Showing off Our Bling

All the Married Friends Showing off Our Bling

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Filed under Friends, Getaways, life, Marriage

The Inspirational Power of Ultra Marathon Man

Need Some Inspiration? Check Out This Movie.

Need Some Inspiration? Check Out This Movie.

Last week I checked out Ultra Marathon Man from the library. It’s a documentary about a man who runs 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states. I’ve run two full marathons and one half which makes running 50 consecutively even more unimaginable. But Dean Karnazes‘ story was just so inspirational.

It was at his 30th birthday party that Dean realized his life wasn’t going how he had planned. He wasn’t accomplishing anything. He was just spinning his wheels. So after taking a 15 year hiatus from running, Dean left the bar where he was celebrating with friends and started running. He decided to run 30 miles in honor of his 30th birthday. He did it and  he’s been running pretty much ever since.

Now my husband has never been one to back down from a challenge. So when he said, “I feel like I could run a marathon without training,” and I replied “so why don’t you?” I should have known what was going to happen next. “Well, where would I run to?” he asked. “How about Furman,” I said, referring to Furman University, a campus that I had cycled to before. Turns out Furman was 18 miles from our house, not quite a full marathon but still a challenge. “Ok. I’m doing it. This Saturday,” he resolved.

My husband works out at least five days a week, but he’s not a regular runner. The last time he ran with me was our five mile jog through Manhattan to the Brooklyn Bridge back in mid-May. But Saturday came and his alarm went off at 5:40am. We both set out before the sun was up. We ran for at least a mile before we saw another person. My plan was to run about ten miles so an hour into the run I kissed him good-bye and turned around. But he kept going.

Forty-five minutes later my cell phone beeped. It was a photo of the entrance gate to Furman. He was half way done. An hour after that there was a text. He was downtown, barely moving above a walk. I decided to drive to where he was with some Gatorade and hopefully offer a little motivation. I found him less than a half mile from home, struggling up a hill. When he saw me he started to lose it. “I can’t do this,” he moaned. “My whole body is in pain.” I knew exactly what he was talking about, although every time I’ve run 18 miles it was after at least a couple of months of training. It reminded me of a story from Ultra Marathon Man. Dean said he was running a 100 mile ultra marathon and when he reached mile 99 he had nothing left. He told his dad he had to quit. His dad told him, “Run if you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must.” I told Tim how close he was, how celebration was just a few blocks away. It was obvious how much pain he was in. A woman driving by stopped, rolled down her window and asked if we were ok. “Yes, he’s just finishing up a 18 mile run,” I told her.

Slowly Tim started moving again. I got back in my car and drove next to him, cheering out the window. Just ahead there was a group of about a half dozen women walking. I asked them to cheer for my husband, who was on the home stretch of a long run. They shouted and hollered and clapped, encouraging a complete stranger to keep pushing. About ten minutes later Tim crossed the imaginary finish line, running further than he had ever gone before, all thanks to the inspirational power of Ultra Marathon Man, Dean Karnazes. I don’t know too many people who would attempt something like that. Tim spent most of the weekend hobbling around on sore legs. Sunday night as we relaxed on the couch he asked, “I wonder if I could run 100 miles.” “I’m sure you could,” I told him. “But you might want to train first.”


Filed under life, Marriage