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Marriage

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100 Days of Discussion

At the moment I'm feeling proud, excited, overwhelmed and—to be honest—a bit glad.

Why? Well, because The 100 Day Project from Elle Luna and The Great Discontent wraps up today. As you may recall, I started the project with my husband as a way to have a conversation each day and get to know each other all over again. I'm happy to report that this portion of the exercise was a success and we're so proud to have stuck with it for 100 days! 

That said, the project was actually a bit tricky. What makes projects like this one so great is the social aspect. The act of posting a picture each day is meant to hold you accountable, right? Yet, the community support for the project was so wonderfully overwhelming that I found myself spending far too much time on Instagram, which is the antithesis of spending time with those you love in real life.

So, I had to get smart about it. I posted the daily photos when my husband was busy doing other things. I responded to comments the next day before I started my work. I made sure to include both simple and more thought-provoking questions. In short, I made a point to keep my Instagram time to a minimum so that I could maximize my time in the present moment.

It was incredible to have the opportunity to chat with people from all over the world thanks to this project, but having a discussion-a-day with every engaged Instagram friend was a lot to manage. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to having many future discussions with my husband without a corresponding Instagram post.

Still, we are absolutely giving ourselves a pat on the back today and I hope those of you who participated in The 100 Day Project are doing the same!


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A Look Back: 10 Years Ago

So much can happen in a decade. People grow. Interests fade. And yet, we march on. We connect with communities, nurture relationships and seek inspiration. In the spirit of the upcoming "holiday" associated with love, I'd like to remember a few events from 10 years ago that will forever inspire me to appreciate the people, places and things I love most.


In February of 2003, I went to England.

In fact, 10 years ago today I was waking up in another country for the first time.

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I had decided to take a semester off between junior college and university and, if I'm being honest, the opportunity to visit England with my aunt and nana was a big reason for that break. We were only going to be there 12 days, but I didn't want to lessen the excitement of travel by lugging along giant text books and prepping for make-up exams.

We visited every tourist spot we could find: Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Shakespeare's Globe, Harrod's, you name it. We also had a chance to visit family. My napa, papa, dad, aunt and uncle came to America by ship in the 1950's, but we still have family across the pond. Meeting some of them for the first time was definitely a highlight.

I'm sad to say that I haven't traveled outside of the United States since then -- not even to Canada or Mexico! We've had such a great time visiting places here in the U.S. and haven't really felt the pull from far away places -- yet. That said, we're in the process renewing our passports. We're always watching the travel deals and you never know when an overseas travel opportunity might present itself, right? Right.


I opened my first email from my husband 10 years ago.

This guy. I'm not sure that I've really written about it here, but my husband and I met online 10 years ago. Mmmmhmmm... that's back when we had dial-up, ya'll.

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I specifically remember heading to the lobby of our London hotel to check my email because I only checked it once the entire trip. I paid the nominal fee to use the computer, logged on and there it was: a match.com email from the man I would marry. A few short weeks after my return, we went on our first date and the rest, as they say, is history! We got married in 2008 (photo above) and have been attempting to live life to the fullest ever since. It's hard to believe that we met nearly 10 years ago, but I'm so glad we did.

Can we take a moment and raise a glass to the internet? People thought we were nuts to be searching online for love. Yes, we were young and everyone else was meeting in bars (I'm not even going to begin discussing the success rate of those encounters), but we gave it a shot... and it worked.


10 years ago, I had no clue how studying literary greats would shape my future.

If you told me 10 years ago that I would be reading and understanding Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales in Old English or delving into the authorial intent behind the works in Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem, I would have called you crazy.

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While I was taking a semester off from school 10 years ago, I was also preparing to finish up my English degree at California State University, Sacramento.

You must know this: I have terrible handwriting, I can't speak in public to save my life and I produce fairly crappy first drafts. However, I have read great works.

I learned more about Native American history through literature than I would have ever learned from a textbook. I had time to absorb both the classics and contemporary works. I studied authors who dedicated their lives to the appreciation of nature (they've had a profound influence, if you hadn't noticed).

I was also a writer 10 years ago. I wasn't paid for my work and the results of my efforts were often questionable, but I wrote everyday -- in notebooks, on the old Compaq, in the margins -- and I loved it.


It's amazing how much can change in 10 years, but what really strikes me is just how much remains the same. While there have been bumpy roads and uninspiring moments, I'm still exploring a love of travel, building a true partnership with the man I love and aiming to read and write as much as possible.

Here's to discovering what makes us happy and sticking with it!

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Your turn: How have you all changed in the last 10 years? How have you remained the same? What "loves" have you found that stand the proverbial test of time?


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Real Life Goodness

It's been nearly two and a half weeks since my last blog post and I couldn't be happier about that. Why? Well, I happen to love when real life goodness gets in the way of online time. I've been completely preoccupied with having a blast and this blog just had to take a back seat.

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