Recently in Linda Category

Pumpkins, The Next Generation

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It appears, after careful searching (read: not that careful), that I never blogged our pumpkin effort from last year. Odds are it was because we were stuck in Minneapolis due to Superstorm Sandy, but it could be just because I'm lazy (quiet, you.)

So, after a really nice effort this year, I've decided on a MEGAPOST of both years' accomplishments!

Without further ado, we'll start with 2012's editions:

Ellen's Dr. Who "Fezzes are cool":

Katie's "Nyan Pumpkin"

Chris's "Celtic Pride" unlit and lit

And my "Super Mario" unlit and lit.

Linda did not participate in the 2012 festivities, preferring to take a more advisory post. However, she did a wonderful job with her "Jack Skellington" head this year:

Katie followed up her lovely Nyan cat with an even geekier effort, the robots from Portal 2 "high fiving".

Chris outdid himself with the Psycho from Borderlands 2. I'm posting a picture from their website this is based on, and his freehand pumpkin version.

I did the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, looking angry.

All in all, a really really great batch this year. Super impressed with Chris's, especially. It required a huge amount of patience and he did a great job!

Today, I Wed

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It's 1AM on the morning of my wedding day, and I'm still awake. As much as we can prepare has been done in advance. Tonight was a "rehearsal dinner", which meant that our wonderful friends and family ate a literal ton of smoked BBQ here at River's Landing. Ribs and Cornish Hens tonight, along with some giant salads that Kim made (thank you!) and lots and lots of help getting things set up for the wedding.

Thank you to Liam, for cooking your brains out.

Thanks to Jody, for making a dessert (Baklava) and a main course (Spanikopita) for the wedding.

Thanks to my katiebug, Rachelle, Cara, Weensie, Lauren and Karolyn for doing so much today to get everything ready for the event. Setting up the tent, getting the arch decorated, peeling off millions of stickers from little gifts and wrapping them in neat little bows (thanks Rachelle!), cleaning and arranging everything. Without you guys, I can't imagine I'd be going to bed even this early.

Looking forward to a day of fun, food, and love.

Most of all, thanks to my wife-to-be, Linda, for making this day possible. I love you!

So much going on...

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God, it's been ages since I updated this. I keep looking at my blog and thinking, "boy, it was so nice having all that good stuff" and then still not updating it. However, there's enough going on that I really do need to write something...

I'm getting married next weekend, 9/21/13. Linda and I are finally tying the knot right here in our lovely house that I like to call River's Landing. We'll have a big 'ol tent in the back yard, and my buddy Liam and I are doing about 75% of the cooking. We're making all the appetizers and I'm making one of the main dishes (pulled pork!) and my other buddy Jody is making another dish (Spanikopita!). We have a caterer doing a few main dishes, but really most of the pressure for getting this shindig together is falling on me. That's good, in that I'm a control freak anyway, but bad in that I've never done this before (well, I've gotten MARRIED before, but not catered my own wedding!). It's nervewracking.

My friend Nate is coming to take the photos. He's brilliant and I can't wait to see them.

So many of our friends are coming, but special kudos to a few friends who are really busting it to make it here, including our darling Cara, Jody and Rachelle (all three of whom are coming from Canada!), and some of my oldest friends Alex and Claudia, who are flying in from Michigan for this. It means a lot, guys, and we really appreciate you making the effort.

I'll post more as we get closer, but I wanted to just put this out there since there's such a feeling of anticipation and I had to share.

About 3 months ago, I moved into a cool new place with Linda and her kids. Kim and I are officially divorced. It happened. I moved away from my kids, but, happily, only 3 blocks.

But as life goes on, things return to "normal." Tonight I spend most of the evening with Chris on one couch, me and Katie snuggled up on the other watching The Avengers. You know, I love playing video games, and I love going out and having fun, but there's something special about snuggling my kids and just watching a movie. Katie's spending the night for the second time, and Ellen's spent a few nights here. It' It's odd, it's all over the place, and it's a bit chaotic at times, but there was no disaster. No tidal wave when I moved out. I see my kids all the time now, during the week, on weekends, at random times, just like before, but now I have another full time kid, and one in college. I am with Linda every day, I see Kim often, my parents come to dinner or whatever often.

As they say, the more that things change, the more they stay the same. And I think I kinda like it.

Big Doings

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This blog has seen almost nothing posted by me about my girlfriend and her terrific kids over the past few years, for varying reasons, but this entry I think will be the first of many. Last Thursday night, 6/23/11, I asked Linda to marry me, and much to my delight, she accepted. At the same time, I got the OK from both Chris and Lindsay to move the whole family up to my area next spring. I've told this to a bunch of people, and posted it on Facebook when it happened, but haven't actually blogged about it, or about what this whole experience has been like.

Long distance relationships are hard--really hard. Linda and I have some money, and that's helped a great deal as we can see each other nearly every weekend, but it's still not the same as living in the same house. There's something to the idea of no matter how busy and chaotic the day is, when night time rolls around the other person there in bed waiting for you. Awake or asleep isn't really the point--it's the touch, the closeness. That's not there over Skype, or via IMs when Linda's 200 miles away, but seeing the homestretch closing in is something amazing to both of us.

When I popped the question, it was in front of Chris at a nice restaurant in Virginia. Linda was completely surprised and just stared at me, in shock. So was Chris. I thought how important it was to make sure Chris (and Lindsay) knew that they weren't moving just so their mom could be closer to her boyfriend, but moving so that we could all become a family. Linda and I, Chris and Lindsay, Ellen and Katie, even Kim and Mike, all part of this new, extended family. Who knows what complexities lie ahead for this group, but ultimately, no matter what they turn out to be, I'm looking forward to sharing them day in, day out, instead of the snippets I get now. That's how a real family grows into each other and I can't wait.


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