Wednesday, October 31, 2012

a mother's love

"you have a blog?!?!?! oh my goodness, why does anyone care?!??!?!"
-eileen gallegos-lewis, 10/27/12

signature cocktails

one of the things at the top of our list was making sure to have an open bar. we drink, our friends drink, and contrary to popular belief, most of our family members drink as well. had we gotten married five years ago i would have thought, "ok open bar equals a heavy beer, a light beer, maybe a random white wine, and liquor." but now, in my old age, my taste in alcoholic beverages has changed. however it is quite different than my beloved's. i love chardonnay, he loves full flavored brews. he doesn't like liquor, i order gin and tonics with three limes like my two feet are still at highlawn and they cost $1.

like all things with our wedding, we want the choices of adult beverages to reflect us as a couple. so in order to satisfy each other and ourselves we are looking into offering a variety of beers and wines, but nixing the full selection of liquor. my parents were shocked when i told them this, and who knows if we will change our minds, but there is something that i absolutely love about having a "signature cocktail." i have been perusing the internet for a few weeks now, finding different ideas, and so far these two are my favorite:

apple cider sangria

whiskey punch

don't they look delicious??

if you have any ideas, leave a comment below! 
any and all suggestions are much appreciated. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

oh, sandy!

i hope your lights stay lit and your heads stay dry, friends! 

patrick, polly and i are thinking about you while we enjoy the first week of fall here in florida. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

week in snapshots

one year, love. just one year!

my fiance isn't only handsome and smart, he is an artist!

the cutest little jail bird i ever did see
we find the defendant guilty! of being toooooooo cute!

one of my beautiful bridesmaids in the loveliest of dresses

polly and her most favorite toy
c/o ashley sansing

so it's a little bit more than a week's worth, my apologies. we have somehow been extremely busy doing absolutely, positively nothing. no trips, no visitors, nothing huge going on at work...we've been blissfully content with catching up on our dvr, starting homeland, and taking polly for extra long walks in this gorgeous 80 degree late october weather. 
hope all is well in your little corner of the world! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

shh, i have a secret.

i pay no attention to advice in magazines that guarantee 20 easy ways to fix your friendships, or how to spice up your sex life. whenever i see them, i think to myself, "ugh why don't you just mind your own business?" of course, it would be absolutely lovely if pat would randomly buy me a gorgeous piece of jewelry. or if he surprised me with flowers and dinner already on the table a few times a month. but do i believe that if we find ourselves broken, that either of those things would actually fix anything? no, i don't. not at all. 

however my dear sweet friend, becky (bridesmaid becky!!), sent me "15 ways to stay married 15 years." and i found myself tearing up as i went down the list. the advice is so real, and so honest. here are my two favorites:

9. Move. Live in different houses. In different parts of the country. Travel. Make it so that you can look back and divide up your life into the years you spent in different cities, or different houses. If you’re feeling stuck geographically or physically, you can confuse yourself into thinking you’re stuck romantically. See your husband in different places, in different contexts, in different countries even. Try it. Take him to a mountaintop and give him another look. Pretty sexy. Take him to a new city and check out his profile. Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to change personally, or let your wife change as a person. Don’t worry about “growing apart.” Be brave and evolve. Become completely different. Don’t gather moss. Stagnation is unattractive.

14. Be loyal. All the crap you read in magazines about honesty, sense of humor, communication, sensitivity, date nights, couples weekends, blah blah blah can be trumped by one word: loyalty. You and your spouse are a team of two. It is you against the world. No one else is allowed on the team, and no one else will ever understand the team’s rules. This is okay. The team is not adversarial, the team does not tear its members down, the team does not sabotage the team’s success. Teammates work constantly to help and better their teammates. Loyalty means you put the other person in your marriage first all the time, and you let them put you first. Loyalty means subverting your whims or desires of the moment to better meet your spouse’s whims or desires, with the full understanding and expectation that they will be doing the same. This is the heart of everything, and it is a tricky balance. Sometimes it sways one way and some the other. Sometimes he gets to be crazy, sometimes it’s your turn. Sometimes she’s in the spotlight, sometimes you. Ups and downs, ultimately, don’t matter because the team endures.

because i truly believe that happiness is the consequence of personal effort, i get a mix of emotions about how much work marriage will be. how will i balance anna the wife, with anna the mom (hopefully, someday!), with anna at work, with anna and her friends. but what i already know, is that there is not another person on this planet that i trust more, love harder, believe in, would go to the ends of the world for, and am loyal to than patrick. and the best part? he feels the same way about me.

the rest of the list can be found here.
thanks for sharing, b! xoxo.

Monday, October 15, 2012

the maiden name

my mom hyphenated her last name but ross, daniel, and i - we are all lewis'. i remember traveling with my family and overhearing my mom saying "4 lewis', 1 gallegos-lewis" whenever we checked in for flights. at some point i asked her why she had two last names. and she looked at me and in all seriousness said "anna maria, do i look like a lewis?" and the answer is quite simply: no, she does not.

"gallegos" ties her back to her roots and her childhood in her beloved home state of new mexico. and when the time came to marry a man born and raised in the chesapeake bay, i think she knew deep down she would never again live in new mexico. she would never be surrounded by the mountains she loves, or live somewhere that wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots and going to "la mesa" is a daily occurrence. her way of holding on to her culture, her childhood, her heritage, was hyphenating her last name. i've always admired this small act of independence in my mom and to be honest, i think my dad does too.

for many years i knew that i wouldn't marry someone who demanded that i change my name. something about being told to do something doesn't really scream "respect," "love," "honor," or "cherish" to me. especially because i know in full confidence that the testament of my love and commitment to my husband will not lay in whether or not i took his last name. would it matter if my husband had a preference? absolutely. because the testament of my love will be understanding, compromise, and respect.

if patricio has a strong opinion on what he wants me to do, he hasn't shared it. he says that it's my choice, and right now, i really don't know what i will do. hyphenate? drop maria? merge anna maria into one name? (as it should have been from the start) considering the fact that i am pretty attached to the three names i already have, there are many options to choose from.

what i do know is that our little chickadees will have their father's last name. nothing will make me more proud, or more happy than to be a momma to heckel children. and i trust that should i hold onto "lewis" my children will be smart enough to figure out why.

**changing one's name (or deciding against it) is an extremely personal decision to make, at one of the most special times of your life. so let it be known, i do not care about anyone's opinion on this matter (besides patrick's.). it will neither sway nor make me feel more confident in my own. and because it is so personal, i do not in any way, shape, or form have an opinion on what anyone else decides to do.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

the countdown has begun!


in less than one year we will be married! 
we celebrated our soon to be wedding anniversary by going out to dinner and having the most mouth watering seared ahi tuna, crab cakes, and lobster tempura. it was the most perfect evening. 

i am actually quite excited to officially have an anniversary with this guy. for a very long time, i had a perpetual frown on my face when it came to romance. and so when we first started dating, i didn't even think to mark my calendar with our first date. which is why we "celebrate" our anniversary at the end of march/early april every year. 

but now we have an actual date to celebrate, and i am already looking forward to every october 12th to come.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

always the bridesmaid...

while i was not blessed to have sisters of my own, i have been so blessed to be surrounded by an array of wonderful women from the different chapters of my life. i met my childhood best friend in the 6th grade, but it took us years to actually like each other. and in harrisonburg, virginia i met some of the most loyal, hilarious, loving and supportive girls i know. and then i left them, and moved to chicago, where i was lucky again to find girlfriends who i adore.

that being said, a girl's gotta pick her bridesmaids. and after nailing down quite a few of the major details, i got around to visiting rifle paper co., scooped up some cards, sat down with patrick and settled on our wedding party.

they are...

christine fitzpatrick - matron of honor

cheyenne brooks

sara wist

ashley bishop

marissa jones

and becky hoerr

...ladies: i love you, i love our memories, our stories, and the special bond i feel with each of you. whether it was gently encouraging me to go on a second date with him ("i don't know loo, it kind of sounds like you like him!") or feeling comfortable enough to scream "NUGGET!" when you were first introduced; patrick and i are so grateful for the love and support you have given us over the last few years. and i want each of you to know that as i walk down the aisle to marry him, my journey to him wouldn't have been the same without each of you. so from the bottom of my extremely full heart, thank you.

and just for good measure, patricio has asked his brothers, my brothers, and our dear friend john (and becky's other half!)  to stand beside him.

we are so excited!
and in true aml fashion, the bridesmaid dress was already picked! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

730 days ago...

october, 2010

....patrick met the group of girls i affectionately call "k&co" for the very first time. it was one of the most fun, exciting, bittersweet, warm, carbohydrate filled, and hilarious weekends of my life.

oh yeah, and my best friend got married!

happy two years of marital bliss to the fitzpatricks!!!!!! the (soon to be) heckels LOVE YOU!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

the fall feeling

it still doesn't feel like fall here in sunny florida. it's 90 degrees, pretty much every. single. day. i catch myself complaining, and then think about how i spent the last five winters: a frozen curly haired icicle, waiting for the el on an elevated platform (i still don't know who planned out the cta, but seriously, why isn't everything underground??).

i am rather upset about not having a fall this year, because it's my favorite season. correction, it's OUR favorite season. it's when we first said "i love you." when we first moved in together. when i loved him through an nfl season (which isn't as easy as it may seem.) and my dream fall wedding will actually be coming true. i know the time will fly, and before i know it, we will be traveling to virginia for our wedding weekend, a weekend that i hope FEELS like fall.

but then. i. get. so. overwhelmed. i'm looking into so many different ways to incorporate fall that i feel like i have to stop. and like all girls, i call my mom hoping for her too to soothe me with the old advice, "this is just a wedding." but she reminds me, this isn't just a wedding. this is my wedding. and so the details are important. and it's ok to feel a little stressed about making these decisions because it does matter where our rehearsal dinner is and how we pay homage to our beloved chicago. it matters whether our guests are comfortable at their hotel, and what kind of food we decide to serve. we have the rest of our lives to go through highs and lows, but this day, this october 12th, it's going to be perfect. and we must focus on what is the most important, and for us, it is making sure that every single person who attends our wedding knows exactly how much we love them. and how happy we are that they are a part of our lives.

so to our family and friends near and far, thank you. and i look forward to showering you with gratitude and love on october 12, 2013.

Friday, October 5, 2012

a week in snapshots 3

is it me, or was this week f-o-r-e-v-e-r? oh well, it's (almost) over and we have a full weekend ahead of ourselves. but here's what our life looked like this week:
we were both extremely busy with work, which in my opinion is kind of a good thing.
we celebrated one year of being a three heartbeat family.
& we are very slowly working on some wedding details that i have a funny feeling will come together all at once!

my furbaby 

i see you, united way! even at the grocery...

love that rifle
loves you

happy october! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

rifle paper is the new anthro.

living so close to rifle paper co. could prove to be a very, very, bad thing.

(clockwise from the top) 
notes for my love, the new addition to my monogram, thanksgiving and halloween cards.