Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Eleventh Anniversary of Karen & LaMar

This weekend I was lucky enough to celebrate 11 happy years of marriage to the truest companion anyone could ever have.  We've crammed a lot of living into those 11 years.  We've experienced some definite lows here and there, where the love and companionship given to each other has made all the difference in helping us to pull ourselves out of despair.  We've also had some of life's happiest moments and celebrations to share: 4 high school graduations, 3 college graduations, 4 marriages, and 4 grandchildren - 5 this September.  It's been a good ride, made all the more joyous by sharing it together.
To celebrate we took off after church on Sunday and spent Sunday night and today in Pasadena in the old town area.  If you're not familiar with the area, it's where the Rose Parade is held, the Rose Bowl is close by, and it's surrounded by the most incredibly beautiful architecture, gorgeous estate neighborhoods, and fun little restaurants.  We started our stay with dinner out at a great little Asian fusion restaurant.  It was crowded and filled with the good smells of great dishes.  I had something that had pineapple, chicken, shrimp and cashews and brown rice with just a hint of curry.  L had a spicy spaghetti dish with chicken that had a blackened quality to it.  Both were delicious and a great way to start our stay.  You'll have to forgive me going on and on about food - it's just that I love it so.
After dinner we drove through the area and were surprised at how many people were out and about (lots of them!) shopping and eating on a Sunday evening in old town Pasadena.  Lots of college students, lots of energy.  We remembered that it was Sunday after all, and made our way (reverently) back to the hotel.  It was good to be with my best friend away from home on a little adventure.
We woke up this morning and L went to work out in the hotel gym while I got myself ready.  He'd found a little restaurant called Marsten's where we went to have breakfast.  I'm about to go on and on about the food again.  They had thick french toast coated in corn flakes.  OH. MY. GOODNESS.  I will make my french toast like that from now on.  We also ordered a sort of eggs benedict thing - only instead of ham, the poached eggs were sitting on BBQ'd pulled pork and had a spicy hollandaise sauce over it all.  So we each had a slice of french toast and we each had an egg/pulled pork thing.  It was amazing and so was the price, but it was a celebration, right?  I can be frugal at home.
From that point on, we just sort of wandered around the city looking at things.  It was a classically beautiful day in Southern California - the kind we're famous for: 80 degrees and blue skies.  We drove the beautiful tree lined avenues that had one beautiful estate after another and we marveled at the beautiful old architecture on the buildings downtown.  We saw a beautiful domed building in the distance, and when we found it, it turned out to be city hall.  A great find for many reasons: 1. The building itself was amazing   2. It was a holiday (MLK Day) so you didn't have to feed the parking meters  3. In the middle of the building was a courtyard with old oak trees and shade underneath where you could sit  and watch the fountain, or, in our case, a very busy squirrel in one of the trees.
Pasadena City Hall
City Hall courtyard and fountain

We noticed as we drove and walked around Pasadena that there were a lot of furniture stores.  We passed one that was having a big liquidation sale.  L asked if I'd like to go in, and of course I did, so in we went.  I don't think I was expecting anything great - the outside of the building was old and it just didn't look that nice, but you never know...  As it turned out, we found the perfect desk for my office.  The table that L has already made me will now be my project table and my computer is now on my new desk.  L really didn't want to build a table - he was having a hard time working up the enthusiasm for another project. (The remodeled bathroom has really taken the joy out of working with his hands for the time being)  So that's what we were hunting for.  Everything was too big.  Until... behind some crime scene tape (truly - this one area of the store was taped off!) was a glorious  desk.  Hand painted and totally distressed.  But why was it behind the crime scene tape???  The salesperson explained that the desk was one of the pieces that the store owner had put aside for himself, but said he would call and ask if he'd sell it.   Long story short, he did sell it to us and at a very good discount from it's original price.  
And just look at it!  Feast your eyes on the drawer pulls and the painting and the distressing.

I'm in love.  I can't believe how lucky I've been.  I've had very few pieces of new furniture in my adult life.  Most of what we have are pieces that L brought with him - I didn't have anything worth anything.  And they're lovely things, but they aren't things that I was able to pick out myself.  And in just one week I've been gifted with 2 completely gorgeous pieces for my office.  When we got home this afternoon, I kind of broke down in tears.  It was just... so.... much.  I felt like it was too much goodness, or like I was too lucky, or undeserving.  It's hard to explain.  Sometimes a lot of good is hard to wrap your mind around - it's almost scary in a way, like no one is that lucky.  I will try to stop looking over my shoulder for the gremlins to show up and just enjoy the moment.
I'll take some more pictures when the other piece arrives and I get the room more together.  It looks like a bomb hit it now because things are shoved aside making room for the new piece yet to arrive.  It will feel so good to be able to have a place to put paints and wrapping paper and glitter and games away.  I can start to hang pictures - I was going through them tonight, and some of them I'd forgotten I have.  I'm excited to have a space to call my own, and to decorate exactly as I want to.  A space where I can create and make a mess.  And also a space I can share with the grandkiddies when they come for a visit.  A space for games and fairy castles and snuggling while watching a movie.  It's gonna be great, thanks to the help of my true companion, my best friend of 11 years who always tries to make my dreams come true.  And so far he has.


  1. This was such a happy happy post! I can definately tell that you two were made for each other and are deeply in love! What a wonderful thing and Happy Anniversary!!!

    BTW I think one of the greatest things on a getaway is food so I loved that you talked about the wonderful things you ate - I would've done the same thing!!

    The desk is simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! It is gorgeous - Lucky you!!!

  2. Gorgeous desk!!! You're one lucky woman! So glad you and LaMar had an awesome weekend celebrating your anniversary :)

  3. Love this post!

    Love that desk!!

    Love that you are so happy!!!


  4. Happy Anniversary! Love the desk. I hope when you make the corn flakes French toast, you post a picture!

  5. Congratulations. Love the pictures and love the desk.

  6. That desk is really something. Lucky girl--new desk and a man who would buy it!


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