Valentines Day Pity Party: A Beginner’s Guide

I have something to admit to everyone.

I really don’t like Valentines.

Now, for those of you who are close to me, you might find this surprising since Valentines day is technically my birthday.  But I’ve never really liked this particular holiday because it’s become so commercial and disappointing for those single girls who just eat chocolates and throw them at the TV because they’re so insanely depressed.

Seriously.

Seriously.

Luckily for me, I married a romantic gentleman.  Except when it comes to flowers, because screw flowers apparently.  Alex’s view on flowers is the same as my mother’s: Why buy them when they’re going to die right away?

How stupidly insane, right?  Flowers are gorgeous.

But before I met Alex, I always spent Valentine’s day by myself, eating ice cream and just feeling sorry for my single self.  I have had a lot of friends who are the in the same boat and also, a lot of people I know now that are in that boat.

So I decided that I’m going to spend Valentine’s day like a single person.  With my husband.  And our mutual friend.

So here are the keys to having an absolutely pathetic, yet awesome, valentines day if you’re alone.

1. Bailey’s Irish Cream

This is a must have.  The thing about Bailey’s is that it is the best possible liquor out there.  And get the flavored stuff too, they have a great hazelnut one, or chocolate, or whatever.  Pour that all over your ice cream. Or drink it straight.  No matter what, you’ll feel great.

Bailey's and Ice Cream.  A heavenly combination.

Bailey’s and Ice Cream. A heavenly combination.

Speaking of ice cream…

2.  Minimum 1 pint of ice cream

Being single on valentines just isn’t the same without ice cream.  It’s practically mandatory to have ice cream.  I’ve found that Blue Bell I ❤ Chocolate is absolutely excellent for valentines considering it’s just tons of chocolate with chocolate hearts IN THE ICE CREAM!

3. Sweat pants

Since you’re most likely not leaving the house or even showering since this is a pity party, might as well be comfortable.  I say you should be wearing sweatpants, or maybe order yourself some footsie pajamas.

DO IT!  YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT EVER!

DO IT! YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT EVER!

4. Stupid movies

Letters to Juliet, The Holiday, Romeo and Juliet, are sweet, romantic movies, but this will just make you feel worse.  I suggest something much more stupid like This Is The End, Movie 43, The Break Up, We’re The Millers, or if you want to feel really good about yourself, may I suggest The Hunger Games, Kimjonilia, Seoul Train, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead?  These last few will make you realize that you just have shitty first world problems and that Valentines day is awful.

Alex offered to take me out this year for Valentines, but I’m really digging the idea of a jar of Nutella and a bottle of whiskey.

So we’ll probably watch stupid movies and order take out while eating tons of ice cream and laughing at how romantic other couples are because we are no longer romantic in any way.

 

What do you do on valentines?  Anything mushy or exciting?  Maybe something more?  Put your thoughts in the comments below!

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Merry Christmas! (From the Velociraptors)

So Alex and I decided to get Christmas portraits done since we haven’t had pictures done since last year, and we forgot to get prints of them (but they’re on facebook!) and before that we had pictures done at our wedding.  So the entire three years together, we’ve had pictures done twice.  We felt that since we couldn’t really afford to get gifts for many of our friends and family this year, that we would get pictures done (it was only $20 for 64 prints, you can’t beat that), so we dressed up nice, I straightened my hair and did my make up, and off we went to get pictures done!

While sitting in the waiting room to do the pictures, we were looking at all of the example portraits on the walls, and Alex and I decided to do our normal thing of completely weirding out.

Alex: Dude, wouldn’t it be funny if they had totally retarded pictures on the wall?

Me: Yeah, or just the worst possible shots and be like “Don’t get these pictures done”

Alex: Or maybe of velociraptors, or velociraptor faces and be like “We have a sense of humor too”

Me: Oh my god… Velociraptor Christmas cards

Alex: OH MY GOD WE HAVE TO DO THAT!

Me: AND GET THE 10X13 PICTURE OF THAT FOR US!

 

So while we were doing the pictures and the poses, our photographer was absolutely awesome.  We have a habit of making everyone laugh, but I think they’re usually laughing at us because we’re just so weird.  We did a few silly pictures, but we couldn’t stop laughing posing for the velociraptor pictures.

So the time came where we had to choose which pictures we wanted for the cards and for the portfolio prints.  When we saw the velociraptor picture, we knew we had to use those for the Christmas cards.  It was then we found out that we were only allowed one picture for the entire portfolio.

I also found out that for an additional $14, I could get 20 extra Christmas cards with any picture I wanted.

 

RAWR BITCHES!

RAWR BITCHES!

 

Our mothers didn’t know that we bought additional Christmas cards, and so we sent out the velociraptor card to everyone we knew.

I was expecting my mother to flip out on me, which is kind of what I was hoping for.  I was certain my mother in law would shrug it off and laugh.

Their reactions were actually flipped.  While my mother in law didn’t flip out, her response was “That better hell not be the real picture because I am NOT putting that on my wall for everyone to see!”  to which Alex and I couldn’t hold it in any longer and were dying from laughing so hard.

My mother is a hard woman to rattle.  She just saw it and said “I know that this isn’t the real picture.”

None the less, several friends have gotten a good kick out of it.  I’m glad they enjoyed it.

So what do YOU all think of the Velociraptors?

 

Also, I would like to thank Portrait Innovations for doing such a FANTASTIC job on our portraits.  Your staff was so courteous and if there is a portrait innovations near you, I highly recommend you.  They had great deals, they were friendly and offered the best service I have ever had from a photography session.

How the Hunger Games Saved My Marriage: Part III

So we didn’t find a hotel in Montana.  And every hotel we went into between great falls and Medora, ND, had vacancy signs but the people at the desks were total dicks.  By the time we got to Medora, it was around ten in the morning and we decided to say “Fuck it, we’re just going to Grandma’s from here.”

I decided to drive from Medora to Fargo because I had done that drive before with my family. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Medora, if you ever get the chance to visit, I suggest it.  It’s in the bad lands in North Dakota and it’s a very pretty landscape of endless fields and the painted canyons.  The musical there is breathtakingly wonderful, the old fashioned pictures are great, and there’s lots to do if you’re there for a day or two.  I highly recommend it.  I’ve been there a few times and I would love to go again in the near future.

 

Anyway, since Alex isn’t really big on sight seeing, he decided to sleep while I drove.  While I had chosen to drive so he could enjoy the beauty that is North Dakota (I don’t care what anyone says, NoDak is beautiful).

At around one PM, we drive through Bismark, to which I decide it’s time to call Grandma and let her know that we’re halfway across NoDak.

Me: Hey Grandma, we’re in Bismark!

Grandma: Okay.  So when will you be here?

Me: Uh… How far is Bismark from Fargo?

Grandma: I dunno, not too far I don’t think.  I’ll have dinner ready at five.  Get here by five.

Me: Uh… okay.

 

So we keep driving and once we get into Fargo I am totally confused.  Fargo had doubled in size the last time I had gone there.  To which Alex, of course, is teasing me.

Alex: I thought you knew Fargo really well.

Me:  I’ve never known it really well, but nothing is the same.  WHERE THE FUCK AM I?!

So I go onto google maps which has caused Alex to take away my driving privelages, which is when we notice Luna.

Luna is shaking in the backseat.  Her tail is wagging and her ears are up.  We’re confused until we realize that the rolling fields of grass look like a giant dog park to her, since the dog park in Alaska was always in a large grassy field.

We roll our eyes.  She thinks that after four days of straight driving we’re at a giant dog park.  Poor girl.

We get to grandma’s to which we arrived ten to five, where grandma was putting food on the table.

Now, I’m pretty sure my grandma is a Wizard.

You see, she was a farmer’s wife for 47 years, and about nine years ago my grandpa died, but she never lost that farmer’s wife mentality.  On top of that, she’s a full blooded Norwegian and has a really thick Minnesota accent and honestly looks like a grandma.  She has the big glasses, short curly white hair, a few inches shorter than me, pleasantly plump, and has a very distinguishable laugh that I adore.  She fits into the grandma look and persona very well.

The reason I say that she’s a wizard is because the food she makes tastes like she used the tears of angels to season it with, all cream based food, with a pistachio dessert that is to die for.  And we were so full.  And we woke up full the next day, 14 hours after we ate.

Like, not even kidding, I’m pretty sure I was going to die.

Now, my grandma is 80 years old and has lost her filter, giving her quite a bit of spunk that she’s never had before.  She mentions about how she doesn’t like animals in the house.  My dogs are passed out on the floor in the living room.

Me: Do you want me to put them outside?

Grandma: No, they can be in here.  But I really don’t like animals in the house.

Me: So tell me, what was it like growing up in the dirty thirties?

Gramdma: Well we had nothing.  No television, no food, hardly any clothes.  Dust everywhere.  And we never had animals in the house. (these are her exact words)

Me: I told you I can put them in the garage or outside.

Grandma: Oh no, they’re fine.  I just don’t think animals belong in the house.

 

I posted on facebook that Alex and I had made it to Grandmas after four days of driving, to which it seemed a lot of my cousins decided to stop by to say hi.  Alex came out to say hi then retreated to the bedroom to pass out.  My cousins and aunt were confused, until I explained that we drove for over 30 hours from Prince George, British Columbia, all the way to Minnesota.

When they realized that I had been awake for close to 32 hours, they wished me luck on the rest of the trip and left.  But only after mooching some dessert from Grandma.

Next morning at 7:30, grandma had breakfast for us.  And we were still full from the night before.

Seriously, she’s a damn wizard.  We forced ourselves to eat the freakin’ delicious breakfast she made, fed the dogs the leftovers, to which she told us how she doesn’t like animals in the house, we gave her a hug, and off to Minneapolis we went.

I had Alex drive most of the way, but there is one place, in Clearwater, that is possibly the best truckstop ever.  The Nelson Bros. Truck Stop and Bakery.  They serve wild rice sausage, everything smothered in gravy, two breakfast platters of food that’s cheap, and their apple fritters are about a pound from how freaking huge they are.  This is a favorite of Alex’s to stop at when we go to Minnesota, so we stopped in and got some pastries and sausage, immediately regretting the fritters because we were still full from Grandmas.

Now, I understand this is a fairly boring post so far, but it’s about to get entertaining.

Since I’m originally from Minneapolis and I used to steal my moms car at two in the morning to drive around, then fill up the gas tank so mom wouldn’t notice (sorry to break it to you this way mom), I like to think that I know Minneapolis pretty well.

Except I forgot that I haven’t lived in Minneapolis in five years and I hadn’t been to Minnesota in the summer for the past five years. 

And every single fucking highway was closed for construction so I had to take the FUCKING SIDE ROADS.

But I couldn’t tell Alex this.  Because he said if I got lost once, I wasn’t allowed to drive the rest of the trip.

So we were on I-94 from montana and it goes right through Minneapolis, which is perfect.  But in order to get to my home town, which is technically a suburb of Minneapolis, I have to hop onto 694.

I saw a sign for 494 and for 694.  I got excited because I was like OH MY GOD I RECOGNIZE 494 SO THAT MUST BE THE ROAD THAT GETS ME TO MY MOMS HOUSE!

Oh, how wrong I was.

I take 494 and after I’ve gone thirty miles south of my mom’s house and end up in fucking Minnetonka, I decide to tell Alex that we’re horribly lost and I have no idea where we are.  And we need to call my mom.

Alex: Hey, we’re in Minneapolis and we’re lost.

Mom: Haha, Leah’s driving isn’t she?

Alex: Yes, actually.  We’re in… Minnetonka?

Mom: WHAT THE HELL?!  How the hell did you end up in Minnetonka

Step-dad (who was listening to mom): They took 494 instead of 694, didn’t they?

Alex: I heard him say that, yeah we’re on 494.

Step dad (who takes the phone from my mom): Alex, why did you let a woman drive?

Me: (while driving into the town I was born in, Crystal) OH MY GOD I KNOW WHERE WE ARE!

Alex: What?

Me: I’M SIX BLOCKS FROM MY DADS HOUSE!  SCREW YOU GUYS I KNOW HOW TO GET HOME!

 

To which all the roads had changed names and locations because of the construction in the past five years, so we had to look on google maps on how to get to my moms house.  To which my entire family teased me relentlessly for the entire eight day visit in Minneapolis.

 

My defense: They never told me there was insane amounts of construction in Minneapolis.

Their retort: It’s Minnesota in the summer, of course there’s construction.

 

The fourths and final part shall be posted next week.  Give your thoughts on this installment of the trip.  While this part was slow, it’ll pick up for the next piece. 

Comments? Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Cockroaches?  LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!