Sunday, May 27, 2012

To the Moon!

This weekend we went on day-trip to climb pyramids near Mexico City. These pyramids were build centuries ago by the ancient Olmec civilization in Mexico. Fact: Usually the Olmecs are known for constructing images with huge heads, but we didn't see any huge heads on this trip. Unless you count Ryan's.

There are two enormous pyramids - bigger than some of the pyramids in Egypt! The pyramids of the Sun and Moon, as they are called, were completed in 200 A.D. and 250 A.D. respectively in the ancient city of Teotihuacan. Teotihuacan, the largest city in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, means "the place of the gods."

With some of the summer students on top of the Pyramid of the Moon! 

We went on this one-day excursion with the new summer students and their host-families. Over the past year, we've gotten to know and spend a lot of time with these families.
They're amazing, and we love each other.
Students, host-families and us - ready to climb some piramides!

Walking toward the Pyramid of the Moon

Celebrating our first climb

Ryan in front of the Pyramid of the Sun

On top of the Pyramid of the Sun, overlooking the Pyramid of the Moon

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Weddings are the #1 Killers of Relationships

For some reason today, people are feeling the need to tell me how detrimental planning weddings can be on relationships. According to one advisor, it shares the number one spot with "buying a house." Since buying a house isn't going to happen for say, a decade or so, let's focus on its partner - "planning a wedding."

I'd like to think I've been a pretty easy bride thus far. Up until last weekend when Ryan and I jumped the gun and decided that Oklahoma was going to be too expensive and doing a small ceremony in Mexico was the perfect choice for us, we had had very little go wrong with the planning process. And then our gourmet pizza place accidentally booked an OU-Texas football game on our wedding date. Niiiiice. We appreciate the fact that you appreciate men ramming into each other in order to earn arbitrary points over two people who love each other more than life itself and have decided to publicly commit themselves to each other in front of their friends and family. Thanks, Pizza People. And then our freebie photographer, my brother-in-law-in-law, got a real job and can't promise that he'd make it for the event. 

Commence the freaking out. Commence the frantic emails to loved ones with an SOS-style message. Commence the changing of everything we had originally planned to something completely different and very Mexican.

Our boss Antonio's partner, Eduardo, just so happens to be the heir of an old sugar plantation which so happens to be one of the prettiest places I've traveled to in Mexico. They're super sweet and Antonio's our sugar daddy (so many saccharine references!). They said we could get married there and have a mariachi band and eat mole and swim by the pool on our wedding day. Who wouldn't want that? Crazies like us, that's who.

We're travelers and adventurers, yes. But it doesn't define who we are. At our core, we're homebodies. I'm an Okie. Ryan's a Nebraskan. I rarely say, "Soy de Los Estados Unidos!" with pride - actually never do I say that with pride - but I always say, "Soy del estado de Oklahoma." with as much pride as Carrie Underwood can sing about.

As wonderful as it would be to have all of our Mexican friends and co-workers join us for the wedding, we'd like our grandparents to be there, too. And some friends. And our $5,000 budget wouldn't quite fit into such an extravagant event as this. 

So here we are, one week later, with exactly the same plans. The wedding planning has become slightly more realistic which inevitably means slightly more stressful. But we bounced back into our "Si se puede!" moods and very little was lost.

Pöint being: Advice about how planning weddings can break up relationships doesn't apply in this situation. I'd like to think we're better than that. And we are.

This post was written about a month or two ago .We were too embarrassed of how quickly we decided all our former plans needed to be uprooted and thrown out. But now we're over it. It was a funny little hiccup in our normally calm planning process. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sing, Sing Aloud

The first time I did it, I was 21. I only did it once. It was exhilarating and freeing - and slightly uncomfortable, as one might expect. It was with a friend who I trusted and who had experience and who really pushed me to step outside my comfort zone. I didn't care what other people might think when they found out, because they were bound to find out. It was a small, tight-knit school that loved to talk. It was a snap decision, and in the end, I was glad I did it. Everyone says that college is for experimenting. So I did. And then there was a two-year dry spell. And I did it again with a friend during my senior year of college at a Howard Johnson by the Kansas City airport. 


Fast forward to May 2012. Our co-worker Naty is a huge, enthusiastic, spirited karaoke-lover. She and her family karaoke on the regular. And by "the regular," I mean at least twice a week. We got invited over for Ryan's initiation into the world of Karaoke (pronounded "Kah-reh-oh-keh"). Naty's family is made up of what one might call professionals, so when her daughter got up to sing an Adele song and sounded better than the singer herself, we got a little nervous that might not fit in. So we downed some Cuba Libres and held our breath.

In the end, we each sang five songs - solo - and danced in the living room and hooted and hollered at the other participants and ended up catching the karaoke bug. So Friday night after a few margaritas and a fancy dinner at the most expensive restaurant in Cuernavaca paid for by a retiree friend of ours, Naty, Ryan and I left to sing karaoke at a bar "just for a couple minutes." We were there for hours. We were also the only ones in the bar for the first hour. And the DJ is Naty's brother who is now our karaoke supplier. 

We've caught the bug, we caught the bug real bad. 

Watch and enjoy:

"I want to do it all the time now." - Ryan