My Reality of Online Dating

Online dating is all fun and hook ups to some people.  I find pleasure looking through endless profiles to see if there is a guy that fits my very specific criteria.  But there is also a hidden truth and seriousness to my reality of online dating.

One of my biggest issues with starting a relationship it having to explain my story to a stranger.  After relationships that have ended in the past, it is the worst thought to me that I have to explain my life story to another person who could end up not working out and having to replay the whole script all over again to another stranger.  Sounds like a crazy reason to not serial date, as I like to call it.  I see friends date guy after guy.  My first thought is how painful it must be to lose someone who you have grown close to over a couple of months, walk away and take your story with them without one care in the world.  I find it terrifying to let someone into my life and into my story only to hurt me in the end.  My story is special to me.  I have had heartbreak and sadness, but I also have had more joy than some people only dream about, and I want to share it with someone, just not everyone.

So I ponder as to why this is hard for me to do.  I find myself only telling people what they can find on my Facebook.  Things that they can read just from my face, or my jewelry, or by the car I drive.  I find it hard to tell them that I have only had two “serious” boyfriends.  Why you ask? Good question.  Something so simple but yet something I don’t like telling people.  Some of my friends have gone through 6 or 7 boyfriends.  Me, only 2.  Why is this?  I don’t see the point in opening up my heart, mind, and family to a stranger who is only going to add another sad chapter.  I am not necessarily trying to find “my future husband” through my online dating, but I am trying to find someone who will value my story enough to not walk all over it when they don’t see the potential relationship anymore.

Of course, online dating requires certain topics to come up every time I talk to a different guy.  Name, age, occupation, height, hair color, eye color, what you are looking for, where you live… typical online dating profile questions.  Then there are the questions everyone asks once the emails start.  If you like your job, what you like to do for fun, where you like to travel, how many siblings you have, if you love animals.. the “deeper” questions that help a guy decide if you’re worthy of a date and their attention for a night.

Those questions I don’t mind telling people.  Yes it is slightly annoying after replying back to the 100th person with the same questions.  Typically dates don’t go further than the first date.  Any I believe that this is the reason.

Rejection. It’s the hardest aspect of dating and life in general.

Opening up your story and explaining the chapters that have shaped me to who I am today leaves a terrible thought in my head. They will reject you.  It might not make sense to everyone, but to me it explains my resistance to these guys.

Don’t get me wrong.  I thoroughly enjoy meeting these guys and yes some are interesting pages to the chapters I am adding to my story, but overall, I do enjoy this process.  It is difficult because the fear of rejection tends to take over on the first date.  It tends to write off one thing the guy says and makes me feel as though he wouldn’t accept my story, therefore we wouldn’t work so why “waste” the time.

I see friends who have also found their one and only very early in their adulthood.  They are lucky because they found the one God intended them to be with and you can see that written all over their marriages.  They took their spouses stories and accepted every ounce of what it was and wanted to be a part of it.  I want someone who will look at my story and say “I want to be a part of that.”

To achieve this will be interesting.  Will I let myself tell someone my story? I doubt it.  Or at least for a while.  If I find someone who I believe would understand my story without judgement, I would open up chapter by chapter.  I believe that my story is something I still create, shape, and will explain when I am ready.  This is something that I manage and that I will release when I want to.

My story is unique to me.  There is no one else that has my exact story.  I write my story.  I will find someone who will accept my story and I, but for now, I will continue to prospect potential readers.

What to look for in a man’s online profile?

As I sit here, I have been thinking about what kind of man my friends would think I’d be compatible with.  Dark or light colored hair? 23 or 33? Dog or cat lover? Blue eyes or brown eyes? Buff meat head or slimmer fit dude?  It would be interesting to see what other people see me with.

Personally I see myself with a 28-32 year old who has a good head on their shoulders.  That means that they have been through school, have started their career, have a good family background, and they have to love dogs.  You would think that criteria wouldn’t be too picky.  Hell it’s harder than you’d think.  I don’t believe that I necessarily have a “type” of guy.  I definitely don’t want too buff or too scrawny but a decent middle sized man would be fantabulous.

I have also thought a lot about why dates have not worked out.  Most of the time I will meet up with a guy for a date and then never hear back from him or I ignore him.  Just something doesn’t click.  I definitely don’t think I’d automatically know someone is the one from a first date, but I do feel like I’d at least want to go on a second date with him.

After months of online dating, I just feel as though I need to rethink what I’m looking for.  Should I be more specific or do I just need to figure out what I want in a man? Am I thinking too far into all of this? I don’t know.  I feel as though when the time is right, I will meet the right person.  But what if I want that time to be now…

10 Safe Ways to Online Date And Not End Up On Dateline

Being a young female in the online dating world, there are precautions I take before meeting someone I have interacted with online.  It is somewhat different for guys but these 10 things mostly pertain to either sex.

1.  Don’t give out your address.  Yes, I’ve broken this rule to have dates pick me up, but I have realized it’s not worth the risk.  They will forever know where you live now and if you live alone, you risk the chance they come back at unexpected hours.

2.  Don’t give them your full name.  There are creepers out there that will find out anything and everything about you.  Keep some things hidden until you’ve physically met in person.

3.  Don’t give out your phone number until you feel 100% comfortable with that person.  The emailing system the online dating sites use are for you to get to know that person without them knowing too much about you.  Use it.  Obviously you will eventually give out your number, but wait as long as possible.

4.  Plan a date that is somewhere public.  The more people around the better chances you have of making it home alive that night.  Not to freak you out, but in case you just met Dateline’s next murder suspect, you at least won’t be the victim.

5.  Weed through the crazies to only meet those who seem normal.  Take a couple of days to get to know someone through the emailing system on the site to make sure they don’t just wanna kill you.  Don’t go out on a date with someone the night you start talking to them.  Sketch balls.

6.  Have some sort of device that will help protect yourself from that crazy person.  You never know when you might need pepper spray but it doesn’t hurt to have it on you at all times.  I don’t care if you think you’re a ninja and could fight anyone, it’s handy to have some help sometimes.

7.  Stalk them on social media before the date.  If I can add someone on social media it just reinforces the information they have given me on the dating site.

8. Tell someone who you are going out with.  I tell my cousin as much information as possible.  Typically I have their first and last name, phone number, what kind of car they drive (make, model, and year if possible), and also their license plate number if I can get it secretly.  Give your person a picture of your date.  Might sound weird but it could also save your life if something were to actually happen to you.  I know sounds crazy, but I am not ending up on Dateline 10 years from not because of online dating.

9. If you ever leave the bar stool, table, whatever you’re sitting at, take your drink with you.  You don’t know what they are doing when you are in the bathroom.  They could be licking your straw or putting drugs in your beer… ya never know…

10.  Let someone know that you have made it home after a date.  My cousin is my person that knows when I’m home from a date and recently I came home and fell asleep before snapchatting her I was home… that didn’t end well.  I was grounded due to her waking up at 5am with a heart attack that her 24 year old was dead from the date the night before.

There are some crazy people in this world.  I’m not gonna lie, I’m very normal, but I know there are weirdos out there online dating for all the wrong reasons.  And of course I watch too much Dateline but I also want to meet new people therefore I take precautions so I don’t “get dead” (Vodka Kayla).

This isn’t to freak people out of online dating.  This is to encourage people to be smart about blind dating.  You never want to get into a situation you can’t seem to get out of, but with precautions, dating will only be fun!

Rewind

December 31st was my 1 year anniversary of moving to Iowa and starting my career.  It seems crazy to think that a year has already flown by.  So much has happened and changed.

January

I took an 18 hour one day road trip with my amazing grandmother to move to Iowa.  I moved in with my wonderful cousins and started a career at a hotel near by.  I was introduced to my cousin’s in-laws who have graciously adopted me into their family.  I explored Des Moines and by explore I mean I found the malls.  I spent my paychecks on clothes, fast food, and everything but my savings.  First month in DSM was all about moving in and getting settled into my new life.

Driving through St. Louis while my Grandma took pictures of the Arch.  I dropped Grandma off in Omaha before heading to Des Moines and got to see my cousin on my mother’s side of the family.

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Look how little he was at 10 months old!

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Of course I took a picture of my office on my first day of work!

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February

I was starting to feel the pressure of not being home and not being able to see my family any time I wanted.  I was loving work but being the first time this far away from my family was tough! I took a trip to Omaha at the end of February to see cousins on my mom’s side of the family.  I stayed with them for two nights.  We went out in Omaha and had a crazy fun night.  I found out my father was flying to Minneapolis for the night on a Monday. Luckily I had a 4 day weekend that weekend so I decided to leave Omaha drive to DSM for the night and then drove 4 hours to spend a little more than 12 hours with my father.  I arrived in Minneapolis a little earlier than expected so I went shopping at the Mall of America and then met up with my father afterwards.  Just seeing a Southern face was such a wonderful feeling.  I drove home the next morning and lucky for me I hit a snow storm about an hour from DSM.  Tragic.  Driving 30 mph for over 1.5 hours is never ideal. I did make it home safely but hate driving in snow.

I also had my very own Valentine :)

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March

March was a busy month work wise but we also got to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day which is my cousins favorite holiday.  We went downtown Des Moines on the actual holiday (Sunday) so there weren’t many people out which made it more fun for us.

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We also celebrated my little cousin’s First birthday.

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April

I was lucky enough to have my parents visit at the beginning of the month to bring me some of my summer stuff.  I wasn’t able to pack Roxy (my car) with absolutely everything I owed so my parents packed their car and headed to see their favorite daughter.  We were able to spend Easter together and got some family together for and Easter egg hunt as well as have a big family dinner.

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My parents visit also helped get me back to SC for my best friend’s wedding.

Rehearsal Dinner

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Wedding

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Reception.  I was lucky to be able to see some of my sorority sisters that I hadn’t seen since I moved at Angela’s wedding.

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It was a wonderful way to see a bunch of people in one place. I was lucky to be able to stand by one of my best friends on her wedding day!

May

I received news in early May that my Grandmother had fallen which resulted in her wounding her leg pretty severely.  I quickly decided that I needed to go home and see her, so I planned a trip for Memorial Day weekend.

May’s trip was special in a number of ways.  I was comforted knowing that my Grandmother was doing well under her circumstances and was able to see some very special family members.  I was able to go to Charleston to spend a night with my pregnant sister and her husband and was also able to see my brother.  I had not seen my brother since December and will not get a chance to see him again until Memorial Day weekend 2014.  It was very special because it was just us siblings and we were able to spend time just the 3 of us.  It was also fun to see my sister pregnant because I knew the next time I’d see her she’d have baby Zoe.

I was also able to go out on Lake Murray one day with some of my closest friends.  My father was nice enough to be our Captain and we enjoyed a fun filled day on the lake.

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June

June was an exciting month with the Park season in full swing as well as the waterpark.  For me this was fun because I was experiencing another aspect of the business I was a part of.  By the middle of June I was ready for someone other than family to come visit me, so I tweeted this…

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and received this great news…

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After the excitement calmed down, I realized I still had to wait a month and a half for her to get here…

June was also a big month because I started Match.com and my blog! I went on a handful of dates and learned a lot in that short time.

July

July was filled with warm weather, deck nights, dating and some fireworks.  I was mostly excited for Blaine to visit.

She arrived on a Saturday morning and had a packed weekend full of meeting people, dining around Des Moines, and nights out.

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Another exciting event that actually happened while Blaine was here visiting was that Zoe Adler was born on Monday, July 29th.

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August

The countdown was on until I would get to meet my niece, but first I had to get through the end of Park season as well as the Iowa State Fair.

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I was able to take vacation at the end of August to head to South Carolina to meet Zoe.

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We spent most of our time in SC on the lake soaking up that Carolina Blue Sky! It was much needed time with my family.

September

After vacation, I started going on more dates due to forgetting to cancel my Match membership, so I tried to make the best of it.  I went on a couple more dates, but none that came of anything.

My parents and grandma came to visit me again at the end of September and stayed at my hotel.  A bunch of my family from North Iowa also came to stay due to all going to the same wedding that Saturday.  We also celebrated my birthday since my parents and grandma were here. I was lucky to be able to celebrate with them in person since this was the first year I would be celebrating in Iowa rather than SC.

October

MY BIRTHDAY MONTH

Yes October is the most important month in the year! My host family was kind enough to put together a surprise dinner and night out for me.  Dinner at a Japanese Restaurant and drinks at a place called Tapz.

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My grandmother was also there on my birthday and we decided to go to Clear Lake to celebrate and so she could see more of her family.

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My Grandma sure does love a road trip.

The rest of October went by fairly fast.  One of my roomies went to Italy for two weeks and of course when he leaves the country all hell breaks loose.  First our oven broke, then I threw my phone in a washing machine, the host family child was very very sick, and others that I can’t think of off the top of my head at the moment, BUT we survived and actually had a fun two weeks despite the bumps.

I spent Halloween with my coworker Deb and her husband Fred handing out candy… Funny thing is is that in DSM, you have to tell a joke to get candy.. Weird but actually fun!

November

November was great… oh wait no, it got cold.  Yes the start of winter… FML. It was starting the grey sky cold long days.  Yuck. Not my favorite time of the year.  I love the holidays, but not the cold.  I put my dating on hold for the time being to breath a little.  It was beginning to be the same people over and over and I was over it.  I spent time going out with my host family and enjoying time relaxing.  We celebrated one of my cousin’s 30th birthday with friends and family which was fun.

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December

My host family and I were invited to a Holiday Party where we sang karaoke with drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

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CHRISTMAS was almost here.  I had already got my host family’s presents and nagged my cousin to let us open them every night before Christmas.  We finally got him to cave on Christmas Eve but before we opened presents, we had a traditional dinner provided by my cousin’s family.  They typically have hors d’oeuvres and then Fish and Pasta as their main entree.  This was very new to me because my immediate family always does a Low Country Boil on Christmas Eve.  I tried a little of everything and loved it!

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Later that night, we opened up presents from each other and my host family got me a canvas of Mugs.  I now fall asleep while looking at a huge picture of Mugs hanging on my wall.  It’s amazing.  Hashtag Crazy Dog Lady.

A couple days later, we met one of our other cousins out downtown for drinks to celebrate her birthday and just to get together.

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It was a fun girls night out.

That gets us back to New Year’s Eve where I spent the night in due to having to work the next morning.

It’s been quite the year I must say.  I’ve met tons of great people and seen family I haven’t seen in years.  I’ve completed the first year of my career and even managed to pay my bills on time..mostly.  Sorry landlord! I’ll be better in 2014! I must say if 2013 was this great I hope 2014 is even better.   It’s already started out to be a good year!

Cheers!

Creepers…Creepers Errrrwhere

On this free dating site, it has become quite the challenge replying to the multiple emails I am receiving.  I understand that being on a free site will attract all sorts of individuals and more than likely I will only respond to one out of every 20 incoming emails.  Sounds harsh but I am including some pictures right off my app to show you how ridiculous these emails can be.

Most of the emails are “Hey” or “How’s it going” but then there are some like this…

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Then there are those man children that just won’t give up…

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Now you’d think if you were going to reach out to someone a second time, you’d write something slightly different.. be original!

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It looks rude not responding but if you don’t feel a connection with their profile, you won’t feel a connection with them.  Sounds weird right? If there is something on their profile that doesn’t appeal to me, why would I waste either of our time? I’ve tried responding to be nice before, and that just went no where for either of us…

Let’s move on to profile pictures.  Man children are TERRIBLE at putting up pictures.  For instance…

Let’s show off my abs and pubic area! GROSS!!! Toooooo Much Information yo.

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Ok so the cat is funny, but to be the only picture on your profile = I’m not interested.

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The bad A showing off the tat…TOOL (yes that is their profile picture oh and only picture…)

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The man child bathroom selfie…

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And then there are the man children who have never seen a picture of themselves therefore don’t put on on their profile…

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Really?!?! Of course I’m not going to respond! You don’t have a face!

I obviously have responded to some people who are attractive with good personalities and I understand that I shouldn’t read into their profile pictures like I do, but how can you not? I’d be in a world of tool bag man children if I responded to people with the above profile pictures!

Shotgun Betty’s

On Wednesday, January 22nd I met “Andy” at a bar on a very very extremely cold night.  The bar was a country bar called Shotgun Betty’s.  I didn’t know what I was about to get myself into.  I even wore Fuggs (Fake Uggs) to a country bar.  Judge me.

We met at 10:00pm which was wayyyy past my bedtime, but I was excited.  He pulled up in his truck.  Nerves hit real quick.  He was actually one of the first guys who looked exactly like his profile pictures.  We both had to pee so we went to the bathrooms first before getting a drink.  Yes, everyone was staring at my Fuggs but hashtag YOLO.  I was warm and that’s all that mattered.  So after the potty sesh, we grabbed a table and got some drinks.

I got a Michelob Ultra and he got a PBR.  Gross but it was better than the Wild Turkey he was talking about.  We struck up a conversation and it was going great.  I believe there was only one awkward silence which is pretty good for a first date! We got up at some point and picked out some music.  He is slightly on the country side and we were at a country bar so we chose country music.

We listened to the songs and talked some more before I decided I needed to get home and get to bed.  He walked me to the car like a gentleman and kissed me goodnight.  I know kinda crazy for a first date but again hashtag YOLO.

We planned another date for tonight.  Something like dinner and drinks.  We’ll see how tonight plays out!

Southern at Heart

Even though I’ve moved to the Midwest, I will always be Southern.  Today I found two links on Southern topics that I thought applied to my life.

I will always and forever have Southerner values only because it was how I was raised.  I do not necessarily believe that some values are better than others, but I prefer a Southern way of life.  This Buzz Feed article was spot on.

15 Things That Happen When You Fall In Love With A Southerner

This article from Total Sorority Move on Southern Sorority Girls is funny cause most of them apply to me or someone that was in my chapter.

37 Signs You’re A Southern Sorority Girl

Everyone knows I love my dog!

13 Things That Will Happen When You Date A Girl Who Loves Her Dog

 

Plenty of Fish

So last night, Vodka Bri and Vodka Kayla were sitting in the living room having a conversation about my lack of dating recently.  Vodka Kayla got the bright idea to sign me up for Plenty of Fish (POF), which is a free dating site.  Good lord.  Within minutes of her signing me up for the site, she had 5 emails from guys.  She quickly became very overwhelmed with responding to them all so she told me to download the app and get on with it.

Well after sending some emails to a couple of different guys, I went to bed last night.

I woke up with over 22 emails from different guys.  I say guys lightly because most of them are man children who just want a hook up.  It was funny how most of my what not to say to a girl from my Match account quickly applied to POF.  I didn’t respond to anyone that called me cutie, beautiful, gorgeous, or anything like that.  I didn’t respond to anyone who used my name cause for some reason I find that awkward.  Yes endearing that they paid attention but those guys seem to already know too much about me.

So after replying to a couple more emails, I found two good-looking prospects. I have a date with “Andy” tomorrow and “Ben” on Friday.  Things happened quickly which is good because if you say too much over email its hard to say more when you meet.

I’m actually pretty excited for the dates because I was going to give up on my blog because it just didn’t seem interesting to me anymore.  But after just talking to the guys, it brings back the fun of writing about them.

We’ll see how Andy’s date goes.  He seems pretty excited which terrifies me only because it could mean he’s let down when he meets me! We shall see.

Zoe Adler

I have had permission from my sister to write and post pictures of Zoe girl for a while now, but I have not been able to write without becoming a basket case.  I never thought it would be this hard to be away from my family until this little bundle of joy came into my life.

The day Zoe was born was the toughest day I’ve had in Iowa.  I wanted to be with my sister and brother-in-law and family so bad.  I hounded my mother for details every 5 minutes from 7:00am-9:00pm waiting for the delivery of my precious niece.  Around 2:00pm Iowa time, I was in Victoria’s Secret shopping for bathing suits when I text my mom asking if I had a niece yet.  I received a yes and this picture. 

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Zoe Adler born 7/29 weighing 7lbs. 7ozs., measuring 21 inches long. 

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The most perfect little creature I’d ever seen.  I would have done anything to be there in that moment, but at that time my purpose was to be in Iowa.  I was able to talk with my sister on the phone hours later to tell her Congratulations!  I received an abundance of pictures from my family of different people holding and loving on my adorable niece. 

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I had to go 31 days before seeing her.  31 days doesn’t seem like a lifetime, but watching this little angel change ever so slightly every day was heartbreaking knowing I wasn’t there to see the changes.  Of course I get daily pictures and calls from my sister.  She has been wonderful at including me being that I’m so far away. 

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When I finally was able to make the trip to South Carolina, my plane landed around 11am and I was in Charleston holding my niece within the next 4 hours.  I walked into my sister’s Charleston home and greeted her first two children (Achilles and Cassie).  I gave them love and headed for her bedroom.  I opened the door and say the tiniest little baby resting on my sister’s chest.  I never imagined how bite size she would be.  Mind you I have received mostly pictures of Zoe lying down rather than with people holding her, therefore it was hard to see exactly how big she really was.  I immediately washed my hands and carefully picked Zoe up and placed her in my arms.  

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I have never had such an overwhelming moment in my life.  Of course newborns are usually sleeping, eating, or getting ready for one of them.  I was able to change her outfit and diaper and even though I have babysat a million times, moving this baby seemed like I was going to break her.  Her tiny little cry and little noises made it seem as if I was doing something wrong.  My sister assured me that those were typical but I still did not want to do anything wrong. 

I held Z while my sister showered so we could go to dinner.  This was the first week that my sister was allowed to take the baby out into the world without being nervous about all the germs and so forth.  I chose Taco Boy because it is a Charleston original and something I cannot get in Iowa.  So loaded up the car with all the baby swag and headed for dinner downtown.  We sat on the patio and enjoyed the wonderful upper 80-degree weather.  It was a beautiful night.  We ordered some drinks and enjoyed each other’s company.  Zoe started to fuss a little and of course Auntie Bri Bri offered to hold her.  My sister was kind enough to let me so I held Zoe as long as I could.  She sat in my arms looking at her mama and we enjoyed dinner. 

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After dinner we rode to the Battery so I could take some photos for the blog. 

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I had made plans with my friend Lacey after dinner so we went home so I could go meet her.  The next morning I was headed back to Columbia to enjoy the rest of my vacation.  My sister and her family were coming up Friday to spend the weekend with us and to see my cousins. 

To be able to see Zoe and my sister one on one was such a special memory.  I will forever cherish seeing Zoe and spending quality time with her whenever I’m home.  I continue to miss her and the rest of my family every day, but I know I’m in Iowa for a purpose.  Some days are harder than others, but with modern technology I am able to FaceTime my sister and Zoe regularly.  I am lucky to have such an amazing family.  It is so special seeing our family grow.  The next time I will see Zoe in person is in January and I am already counting down the days. 

Here are just some other pictures of Zoe I have received from my sister over the last couple of months.

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Winter Storm

So this blog is all about my life in Iowa and well, Winter is a big part of the year.  Last night around 10:30pm a snow storm hit.  The fun part about snow is waking up in the morning to see how much snow actually fell.  This morning I woke up to about 5 inches of snow.  One of my favorite parts about the snow is how pristine it looks before anyone walks on it.  I took some pictures of our house before all the neighborhood children took to playing in it.

Our house snow covered.

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Our sidewalk shoveled as well as our street.  The plows have not come through yet but people have still been out on this cold Sunday.

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Our picnic tables are a great way to see how much snow fell.

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I decided to put my footprint in the snow.  Shows roughly how much snow we got.  The random looking object is a turtle sand box.

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It is a brisk 19 degrees today.  Tomorrow the high is only 9 degrees so we are in for a colder Christmas.  But, we will have a White Christmas.  Needless to say, I will be staying in the warmth of my house today and enjoying the snow from inside.