Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Blogging Love Story

Back during the wintertime I began corresponding with a wonderful blogger from Germany by the name of Beate. We began exchanging emails with one another on a regular basis. Eventually those emails turned into us writing back and forth to each other every day about everything under the sun. We explored the deepest topics imaginable and began to form an incredible bond and deep friendship. Eventually we began talking on the phone for hours and hours at a time. These phone calls sometimes turned into 5 and 6 hour conversations! We would talk until both of our eyes got too tired - and we still didn't want to get off of the phone. 

Then, in something straight out of a movie, she flew over here to the states during the New Year and we spent 10 amazing days with one another. We fell deeply in love. After a tearful airport goodbye, she flew back to Germany. When she was back in Germany we resumed talking every day on the phone. Every single day - we haven't missed a single one in 2014 :)

Three weeks ago, it was my turn :) I flew over to Germany (Bavaria) to visit her. We experienced another amazing 10 days together. So in the span of four months we have both flown across the ocean for one another. How awesomely crazy is that!? The trip was absolutely perfect. It was my very first trip overseas and I loved every single second of it. On the third day of my visit there, while we were on a beautiful nature walk, I got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife. She said yes and immediately made me the happiest man on earth. 

She's the most amazing woman in the universe. She's beautiful, brilliant, kind, creative, compassionate, deep, and loving. Due to her humility, she's probably turning several shades of crimson right now while reading this :)

She's truly a beautiful soul. She notices the beauty all around her in ways that most people do not. She's an incredible writer and artist. And she's the most gifted photographer I've ever known. She inspires me every day. Every single day. 

She helps me grow in ways I've never grown before. In previous relationships, I haven't always been the partner that I wanted to be. I have done a lot of soul searching and confronted the things about myself that I wanted to change. I began to realize that I would never be the partner I want to be if I am not the person I want to be. And this is an area in which she has helped me grow so unbelievably much. 

Our relationship has truly made me think in terms of "we" and "us" rather than in terms of "I". We grow together every day, support one another, believe in one another, and challenge one another in the most healthy ways to be the best people we can be. 

I'm sure you are asking "who's going to live where?". I am excited to announce that I will be moving to Germany this year and we will begin our life together in beautiful Bavaria! I am so incredibly excited! It shall be an amazing journey and I am so excited to share this with all of you who I have become friends with on this blog over the past two years. 

You are all like family to me and I love that I can share this with my blogging family. Please visit my fiancee's amazing blog here and say hello :) 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Slow Death of the Ma and Pa Shops

My very first job was in a place called Clyde’s Grocery Store. It was a small grocery store located on the Ohio River in Maysville, KY. I have such fond memories of that place. It was family owned and the atmosphere was so down-to-earth.

Once Wal-Mart came to Maysville however, Clyde’s was unable to compete. It tried, oh boy did it try. But ultimately it succumbed to the same slow death that all the small stores are succumbing to nationwide and worldwide.

There’s just something so unexplainably wonderful about small-town, family owned stores isn’t there? Whether it’s a small grocery store, a clothing store, a book store, a café, or a restaurant, they just feel like home. They have personality. What’s more awesome than having coffee with a friend at a small-town café? What stirs the imagination like spending hours reading in a small-town book store? They are each unique unto themselves, whereas the large chain stores and restaurants are impersonal and are basically just clones of each other.

The realist in me knows that there is no reversing this trend. The small stores simply cannot compete with the prices of the larger chains. Wal-Mart can make a penny profit on each item and still make billions because their volume is so large. Whereas the smaller stores, with smaller volume, have to have to make a larger profit on each item just to barely break even. This is why the large chains can offer such low prices.

I am hoping that there will always be a home for the smaller stores though. I hope that there will be towns that will remain free from the larger chains. I hope upon hope.

Do you have any small family-owned stores or restaurants that you have fond memories of? What are your thoughts on the death of the small stores?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Going on a Vacation!

My dear wonderful blog readers and friends! I will be going on vacation beginning tomorrow and will not be blogging during that time. 

I will return in two weeks and I look forward to catching up with you all then!

What was your most memorable vacation ever?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Go Big Blue!!

"I am more than just a serious basketball fan. Because I was born in Kentucky I learned early on that basketball is a way of life" Hunter S. Thompson

It is hard to describe to a non-Kentuckian just what basketball means to this state. In many ways, basketball is a way of life in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office "sick days" are used a lot at tournament time, birthday parties are planned around the games, and weddings are planned so as not to conflict with tip-off time :-) 

I know it sounds crazy, but anyone who lives here will tell you that these things are true. 

Tonight, our beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats play in the national championship game. This year's tournament has been the craziest NCAA tournament that I have ever followed, and I am hoping that tonight our team will be hoisting the championship trophy. 


Update: My beloved wildcats lost 60-54, but they had a helluva season and an amazing run. I'm very proud of them. 
Do sports play an important role in your state, province, or country?